Meat On Lenten Fridays: A Mortal Sin?

by Jimmy Akin

in Liturgical Year, Moral Theology

A common question at this time of year is whether or not deliberately violating the law of abstinence is a mortal sin. It is. The relevant law is found in Paul VI’s 1966 apostolic constitution Paenitemini, which provides that:

The time of Lent preserves its penitential character. The days of penitence to be observed under obligation through-out the Church are all Fridays and Ash Wednesday, that is to say the first days of "Grande Quaresima" (Great Lent), according to the diversity of the rite. Their substantial observance binds gravely [Norm II §1, emphasis added].

That the keeping of abstinence (and fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) is part of the substantial observance of these days is evident from the fact that the second half of Norm II names this as the chief requirement of observing these days:

Apart from the faculties referred to in VI and VIII regarding the manner of fulfilling the precept of penitence on such days, abstinence is to be observed on every Friday which does not fall on a day of obligation, while abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday or, according to local practice, on the first day of ‘Great Lent’ and on Good Friday [Norm II §2, emphasis added].

The faculties mentioned "regarding the manner of fulfilling the precept of penitence on such days" have to do with the ability of pastors to dispense the faithful from the obligation of abstinence and fast or commuting it to something else. If such dispensation or commutation is not obtained then "the manner of fulfilling the precept" is abstinence.

Thus one must substantially observe the law of abstinence on such days, and the obligation to do so is a grave one, meaning that it satisfies the condition of grave matter required for mortal sin. If one knowingly and deliberately fails in this obligation then one has committed mortal sin.

As to the reason for this, the Code of Canon Law notes that:

The divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way. In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence, according to the norm of the following canons [Can.  1249, emphasis added].

It is thus a matter of divine law that the faithful are to do penance (a fact we could have determined from Scripture), and the regulations regarding fast and abstinence are simply the Church’s specification of this divine requirement, made in keeping with Jesus giving the church the power to bind and loose (Matt. 16:18, 18:18).

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{ 524 comments }

Tony February 16, 2005 at 12:42 pm

What suffices as a observing the law of abstinence substantially on a particular Friday? In other words a bite or two of a cheeseburger would not be a mortal sin but a whole one would ?

Ern Wyatt March 2, 2005 at 3:05 pm

No one may see this, so I’ll be brief. I came across this web site seeking words about eating meat on Fridays during Lent. What I found was some pinhead calling it a (possible) Mortal Sin!! First off, only Catholics have this thing about meat on Fridays. Does that mean the rest of the world lives in Mortal Sin? Also, where is it in the Bible that mandates not eating meat? Catholic traditions and/or observances are not moral law just because some priests think so. Guilt and suffering are the foundation of Catholic clerics and their answers to all moral questions, unfortunately. Bottom line: it seems like no Catholic really knows WHAT is real any more and what is just opinion. Very sad. This wasn’t brief, was it!

Edward Curtis March 2, 2005 at 6:09 pm

Well *I* saw it…and the same day you posted,too. :) Jimmy (or someone else) can correct me if I’m off; but my understanding is, that meatless Fridays do not bind those who are not Catholic.
Nothing in *natural law* (that is, the law of right and wrong that God has written on the human heart) says that one must abstain from beef on Friday, or fish on Tuesday, or chocolate on Thursday. Friday Penance is a *discipline* of the Catholic Church, and violation of it is a sin *for a Catholic* because it is disobedience of a duly appointed authority in the Church — not because the violating action is evil in itself.

Ern Wyatt March 3, 2005 at 2:26 pm

Edward Curtis,
Wow! A reply, and much appreciated. Since I didn’t expect anyone to see my original message I didn’t go into much depth. You’re the opening I needed.
First, I’m a Catholic. I also think you’re wrong, but then “I” might be wrong! That’s the dilemma many of us have: what is really right and wrong any more. I travel throughout the US and meet many Catholics. They all seem to have different views on Catholic teachings and dogma.
Regarding your words on the “discipline” of abstaining from meat on Lenten Fridays, I take great exception. How can something be a sin if it is not morally wrong, has no Biblical basis, and is merely a human (priestly) institution? A recomendation of a Friday penance is fine, but not morally binding, in my opinion. The fact that one can “commit” a sin (Friday meat) only because one is a Catholic seems totally illogical and just plain wrong. Either something is a sin for all of mankind, or not. And secondly on the same point, how can you say that a sin can be committed when the action is not evil in itself!? Just because a priest says something is a sin does not make it so! To me, a sin is a violation of a law of God as directed in the Bible. Catholic history has shown how horribly priests have misused their so-called authority in declaring things sinful, then later abolished by other priests later on. You can visualize this, right?
Anyway, must go. I won’t be able to come back to this site for another week or more. But I’d be very curious what the creator of this site (Jimmy Akin??) would say about all this. The fact that he makes a statement that eating meat during Lenten Fridays is a mortal sin, equivalant to murder or rape is so totally looney and idiotic that it must be addressed. But I doubt he would have the fortitude to back this up with reasonable commentary.

Neesha March 25, 2005 at 7:01 pm

As an X-catholic i agree with these comments and i would also like to hear what you (Jimmy Akin) have to say after hearing these comments. I feel that being raised a catholic, you are instilled with these beliefs and feel obligated to obey them even though they are only made up by catholic priests. This is very unfortunate because being raised in this environment you never question authority since it has been passed down from generation to generation. I think it ‘s important that we ask ourselves where are these rules coming from and do they originate from the bible or are they just simply arbitrarly made by random priests. i think it’s sad that some follow these traditions to the grave without ever really understanding why.

Mary March 25, 2005 at 8:52 pm

How can something be a sin if it is not morally wrong, has no Biblical basis, and is merely a human (priestly) institution?
What do you mean, has no Biblical basis?
“And so I say to you, you are Peter (Rock), and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Dano March 1, 2006 at 9:39 pm

Fasting has a biblical basis, as does penance. The fact that the Church has seen fit to apply these things in particular ways does not mean that the Church “invented” them, any more than it “invented” baptism by prescribing a particular way for Catholics to celebrate it, or “invented” the Eucharistic celebration because it prescribed a particular way for Catholics to celebrate it.

Kate March 17, 2006 at 6:36 am

I respect everyone’s thoughts on the subject and I myself being catholic, stick to the policy of no meat on Fridays of lent, but I seriously doubt that I’m going to burn in hell for all eternity if I eat a piece of chicken or steak on Friday. God loves everyone no matter what, even if they eat meat during lent. That’s just my personal opinion, but I felt the need to say it.

bill912 March 17, 2006 at 6:52 am

“That’s just my personal opinion, but I felt the need to say it.” I’m sure that God understands that your feelings are the arbiter of which matters “bind gravely” and which do not.

Naomi March 17, 2006 at 6:56 am

Neesha,
Clearly you don’t know anything about who Jimmy is, or you wouldn’t say what you say about him. He was not “raised in a Catholic environment,” and definitely has not taken on Catholic belief without examining it!
Kate,
An ACCIDENTAL or an ABSENTMINDED bite of meat on a Friday in Lent, isn’t sending anyone to Hell. But that God loves everyone, though true, won’t cause God to excuse open defiance of what God wants of us.

Aaron March 18, 2006 at 7:13 am

Kate,
Of course God loves each and every person no matter whether they eat meat on a Lenten Friday. But that says absolutely nothing about the gravity of such an action. God loves murderers, but their actions still carry a hefty eternal penalty if they do not repent of them. God also loves those who commit the ever-popular sexual sins; once again, grave matter. You may consider eating meat on Fridays the most minor of peccadillos, but God’s love for the sinner is entirely irrelevant to the gravity of the sin. Bad reasoning. A better line would be to draw on Catholic moral reasoning to reach conclusions. If this were done, though, the conclusion would be that based on current ecclesiastical discipline, meat on Lenten Fridays is indeed mortally sinful.

Karen March 18, 2006 at 8:13 am

And please quit making excuses for people to eat meat as long as it’s in soup based on very lame reasoning. It’s not even reasonable, as you suggest, to think the 1983 code is unclear just because the 1917 code explicitly forbade meat in soup and the 1983 doesn’t mention soup, yet forbids meat. Did the Church intend for us to read current canon in the context of every other obsolete canon from the last 2000 years? Don’t be silly. In these Lent-related posts, you’re reducing Lenten fasting to what you personally and arbitrarily declare “reasonable”, and your bias shows. Lenten fasting days according to jimmyakin.org sound barely distinguishable from every other day, to me. Let’s find some more “loopholes” until we can justify “unintentional abortions”, because of the Church teaching on “unintentional contraception“. Oh wait, we already did. Let’s find some more loopholes so that we can justify unnecessary animal cruelty and even make fun of it, despite what the catechism says. Oh wait, we already did.
I like this blog, the vast majority of the time. I even like the bloggers here personally, to the extent you can on the Internet, anyway. I mean no disrespect and don’t get me wrong. But it seems that the folks from Catholic Answers need some new blood–not to replace anybody but to provide balance. I *hate* to have to point this out. God bless.

Karen March 18, 2006 at 9:24 am

Oh, and “voluntarily giving something up for Lent” no longer means choosing what you want to give up, according to Catholic Answers and jimmyakin.org. Catholic Answers and jimmyakin.org think that the “choice” in “voluntary” means “choosing TO give up”, instead of the long-held idea that it means “choosing WHAT to give up”. No doubt they’ll use Webster to back that notion up, no matter what the long-held understanding has been. No, the long-held understanding of “voluntary” was just a misconception all these years, a rumor, held by people who weren’t educated. Yea, that’s it. We’ve got the semantical loopholes to back us up on it.

javelin March 20, 2006 at 12:09 pm

Ern and Neesha probably will not read this, but their questions are very understandable, as no one really clearly explained what exactly the sin was.
They were under the misconception that the mortal sin is eating meat. The real mortal sin, as far as I understand it, is deliberately disobeying the Church.
That being said, I can’t help wondering why the Church binds things such as abstinence on Fridays during Lent as grave matter. I understand that fasting and abstinence are important spiritual disciplines, but why does the Church believe they should, essentially, “create” a mortal sin for its members to fall over, possibly into hell?
Also, if the real mortal sin is disobedience to the Church, how are people who are formally separated from the Church in protestant denominations any better off than the Catholic who doesn’t believe eating meat on Friday is mortally sinful and does so on one occasion?
Peace,
javelin

Zenas July 23, 2006 at 7:30 am

Why does the Church prescribe laws for her members? With regard to fasting and abstinence, it’s a spiritual training of sorts. By being faithful and obedient concerning matters not sinful in themselves, we are better equipped spiritually to avoid intrinsically sinful actions.
And Protestants are not really “better off,” nor are they really even exempt from the laws of the Church. They merely are not culpable for the violation because they are ignorant of their obligation to belong to the Catholic Church and obey her laws.

Honora July 23, 2006 at 7:51 am

Good gravy, has the Church come no further than this in the U.S.? No wonder we’re holding at a measly 20-something %.
Ern says, I travel throughout the US and meet many Catholics. They all seem to have different views on Catholic teachings and dogma.
Wrong. We don’t goof on dogma, but teachings seem to fall by the wayside too often, especially when it’s convenient.

Michael July 23, 2006 at 9:15 am

The Friday Pepper and Egg sandwiches are so good that I almost feel it is a sin to eat them on Friday. I like Italian/French bread the eggs and green peppers but with a little hot peppers and giardenar
Is it a sin/or against the rules to put some of the Italian beef juice on the pepper and egg.
In Jewish kosher cooking it would be, as the kitchen has to be clean and no byproducts etc.
I do like the pepper and egg with a little Italian beef juice.
The Mexicans have some great Lenten potato dishes and also a Mexican food called Nopales.
Great vegetarian food at most St. Joseph tables and seafood.
It is healthy and delicious and encourages creativity to occasionally avoid meat.
It is not hard. Modern science and modern non Catholic diet people are encouraging more fish (just watch for the Mercury) and vegetables.
It is good to have culturally unifying and cohesive practices. It is good to make sacrifices and diet is part of many religions (Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Jainism, Mormons, Seventh Day Advensitsts) Christianity allows more freedom but that does not mean we can’t have some dietary restrictions and they are good.

Anonymous July 23, 2006 at 10:02 am

So, is dipping your pepper and egg sandwich in some Italian beef au jus wrong?

Honora July 23, 2006 at 11:56 am

I do know that that putting catsup on eggs is a sin. Or it should be. :-p Ugh.
But yes –just as wrong as having baked stuffed haddock nuggets with drawn buttah.

Mike September 12, 2006 at 8:12 pm

The Church training us in spiritual discipline is one thing; but a parent does not “train” children by threatening them with beheading if they do not eat their peas on Fridays. The Orthodox keep much more rigorous fasts than the Catholic Church, but they do not say it is a “sin” to not fast during Lent.
When did the Lord say or even hint that one must fast on certain days to be saved?

J.R. Stoodley September 12, 2006 at 8:29 pm

Part of being Christian is participating in the life of the Church. This includes fasting. We know that most Catholics equate not mortal sin to optional to why bother doing it. The Church knows what is good for us and requires a minimum involvement in the Church, with just some basic things like attending mass, recieving the sacraments at least occasionally, and a very light minimum of days of fasting and abstinence. I do not think this is unreasonable. To refuse to do even these minimal things is to reject the Christian life, the Church, and Christ Himself.
Certainly the Church has the authority to bind Christians to such practices, and Jesus need not have dictated the specific practice. He did say Christians would fast though, and he gave the apostles the authority to bind and to loose.

Mike September 12, 2006 at 8:57 pm

Christ gave the Church authority to bind, but not to lay snares. To demand abstinence of one kind of food on a certain day or one will burn in hell forever seems excessive, does it not?
It is not the command of fasting I question, but the concept that this is a *mortal* sin, i.e., sends one to hell forever. Surely the Church cannot just arbitrarily make something mortally sinful that was not in its nature damnable.

J.R. Stoodley September 13, 2006 at 1:01 am

Surely it can. I think it is a good thing, you think it is bad. I have the history of the Church on my side, you could claim to have St. Paul and thus the Holy Spirit, though I would still disagree.
Sure it could be abused, the rules could become excessivly burdensome or too many to keep track of. That would be an abuse, but not one we have to deal with right now. Note that there are dispensations for any circumstance where the requirements would be burdensome, and that if you forget about it you do not commit a mortal sin, only if you pridefuly refuse to obey. These ecclesial laws are not snares.

Jenny October 13, 2006 at 8:23 pm

This has all been very interesting to me but what is the Biblical passage that says that one has to eat fish on Good Friday. In the end we will be judged on the Word of God not our interpretation and human laws made on the Word.

bill912 October 13, 2006 at 8:33 pm

Glad to see you didn’t read the other comments, Jenny.

brigido February 17, 2007 at 8:29 pm

From what I understand, what constitutes a mortal sin are 3 things
1 sufficient reflection
2 full consent of the will
3 serious matter
As Catholics we believe in the full word of God both written and oral (divine scripture & divine tradition)
As Jesus commanded the apostles to “go and baptize all nations in the name of the Father ,Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to OBSERVE ALL THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU” Mt 28:19-20
If Christ commanded us to observe ALL and we believe that we have received this from the Church then to willingly disobey after sufficient reflection and reject the teachings of the Church, well that would be rejecting Christ because “if they reject you, then they have rejected me, and if they reject me then they reject the one who sent me.” Lk 10:16
At least thats the way I understand it, because of holy scripture & holy tradition

Scott K February 19, 2007 at 8:47 pm

This is so fascinating – a perpetual, multi-year discussion on church authority.
“It is not the command of fasting I question, but the concept that this is a *mortal* sin, i.e., sends one to hell forever. Surely the Church cannot just arbitrarily make something mortally sinful that was not in its nature damnable.”
With regards to the last statement, it does follow that the church, without any systemic guarantee of not abusing it, has the authority to do exactly what you say. That exercize of authority is a sign of true stewardship of God’s church on earth. While the Master is away, if the head servant makes foolish decisions and squanders the Master’s fortune, there is no “do-over” when the Master returns and discovers his fortune was squandered. The decisions of the steward are for-keeps. This is also the case with Peter’s prime ministership of God’s earthly family. However, we do believe the Holy Spirit guides us – if we trust the church to infallibly proclaim truths about the Eucharist or the composition of the Bible (for example), it deserves at least the benefit of the doubt in this case.
Next, this decision is neither arbitrary nor was it made arbitrarily. Consider a similar example: the required frequency of attending mass. I am unaware of anything in the Bible that says once per week is the magic hell-avoiding frequency, as opposed to every day, every six days, every other week, once a month, etc. However, making prudential decisions by weighing our spiritual nourishment needs, community practice, and undue burden, combined with our intense tradition from the earliest times of a weekly Easter re-enactment, have led the church to make weekly mass attendence a binding discipline. They could make it every 2 weeks. But they don’t. It is the result of careful deliberation (not made arbitrarily) and considerating of our spiritual lives in Christ (not arbitrary).
The spiritual discipline of Lenten penance is also not frivolous. Abstinence from meat is also rooted in tradition and fulfills the discipline. As I understand it, the discipline was modified over time, and the different [Eastern] churchs each have their own variant. I agree that the grave matter involves respect of church authority, but the moral dimension of it is choosing to be penitent. The church has merely chosen the form it takes.
The goofy loopholes (meat stock, 1-2 oz, etc.), I am certain, are the result of centuries of clarification questions and accommodations granted to make life easier for people but still show fidelity to the original purpose.

Tim J. February 20, 2007 at 6:57 am

WEll said, Scott K.
Jenny, you asked, “…what is the Biblical passage that says that one has to eat fish on Good Friday…”.
I just want to point out that one is not required to eat anything on Good Friday. In fact, eating nothing would be a pious act of penance and faith. It’s called a “fast”.
As far as Biblical passages go, there is a big one wherein Jesus gave to Peter and his successors, the Popes, the “keys to the Kingdom” as well as the power to “bind and loose”. That means that the Popes and the Bishops (the successors of the Apostles) have authority over the Church on earth, which in turn means that they teach what faithful Christians should believe and how they should behave in order to stay in Communion with the Church.
If you are concerned at all with remaining in faithful communion with the Church Christ established on earth, you will follow the teaching of those He appointed to lead it. If you are mainly concerned with staying faithful to some private understanding that YOU have of the Bible, or the Church, or the Spiritual Life, or whatever, then you will naturally not worry so much about what the Successors of Peter have to say.

Craig Payne February 20, 2007 at 8:09 am

As far as biblical passages go, how about this: Mark 2:20 says when the bridegroom is taken away, “then they will fast on that day.” King James says “in those days,” but in the Greek it’s singular (as in the NIV, NASB, NAB, RSV, NRSV, etc.). The bridegroom was “taken away” on a Friday. So Christians fast on that day. Legitimate application or not?

David B. February 20, 2007 at 9:22 am

“Either something is a sin for all of mankind, or not.”
Wrong. For example, while intimate relations between a husband and wife is not wrong, the SAME physical act between UNmarried people is mortally sinful.
“And secondly on the same point, how can you say that a sin can be committed when the action is not evil in itself!??”
If a parent forbids his son to eat candy before dinner, (an act which, of itself, is not evil) and the child disobeys, has not the child committed a sin?

Tim J. February 20, 2007 at 9:42 am

Along the same lines, David B., is it a sin to drive 40 miles an hour? It is if you just disregard speed limits and drive whatever speed you like. Why? Because you are disobeying the legitimate God-given authority of the state to make and enforce civil law.
If disobeying the mere civil authority of the state can be a sin, why wouldn’t it be a sin to disobey the God-given authority of the Church?
The sin is in the disobedience, not in the act of eating meat, otherwise we would all be perpetual vegetarians. In addition, and speaking personally, I think blowing off the fast and abstinence rules for no solid reason is just wimpy and childish… “But I WANT a hamburger!! Waaahh!”
Faith isn’t for wimps. If missing your customary chicken nuggets (or skipping a meal altogether) is just TOO HIGH A PRICE to pay for your faith, then your faith isn’t worth much, is it?

Tim J. February 20, 2007 at 9:43 am

Along the same lines, David B., is it a sin to drive 40 miles an hour? It is if you just disregard speed limits and drive whatever speed you like. Why? Because you are disobeying the legitimate God-given authority of the state to make and enforce civil law.
If disobeying the mere civil authority of the state can be a sin, why wouldn’t it be a sin to disobey the God-given authority of the Church?
The sin is in the disobedience, not in the act of eating meat, otherwise we would all be perpetual vegetarians. In addition, and speaking personally, I think blowing off the fast and abstinence rules for no solid reason is just wimpy and childish… “But I WANT a hamburger!! Waaahh!”
Faith isn’t for wimps. If missing your customary chicken nuggets (or skipping a meal altogether) is just TOO HIGH A PRICE to pay for your faith, then your faith isn’t worth much, is it?

David B. February 20, 2007 at 10:11 am

Tim J.,
AMEN!

Pseudomodo February 20, 2007 at 11:04 am

“If a parent forbids his son to eat candy before dinner, (an act which, of itself, is not evil) and the child disobeys, has not the child committed a sin? ”
Ths sin is not in eating the candy but in disobedience to the parents. The reason for the requirement to obey is for the childs welfare in not eating a treat that may spoil thier appetite.
The eating of candy is not a sin in and of itself but in it’s relationship to thier own welfare, it’s appropriatness to the main meal and obedience.

Chandni February 20, 2007 at 6:55 pm

“Thus one must substantially observe the law of abstinence on such days, and the obligation to do so is a grave one, meaning that it satisfies the condition of grave matter required for mortal sin. If one knowingly and deliberately fails in this obligation then one has committed mortal sin.” -J. Akin
I wanted to know what is the basis of this statement? Is there any proof to this, or is this just an opinion based on logical process? I may be a Catholic, but I’m certainly not a very good one, so I’m not going to hark on and on. I’m just criticizing Jimmy’s writing skills. One would think that the main point of his argument would have the most reinforcement and, in fact, it does not.

bill912 February 20, 2007 at 8:54 pm

Jimmy’s second paragraph is a quote from Pope Paul VI’s 1966 Apostolic Constitution. The last sentence of the paragraph reads: “Their substantial observance binds gravely.”

Cath01 February 21, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Okay. Lots of reading.
Let this echo:
God is a God of love. Love involves choice, He gives us the choice to behave as we do.
Sin is through intent. Fasting is a sign of your seriousness with your faith. Do you take it seriously? If you do not, why not? Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to be because this is an “I” centered world, and it is inconveneint to always live the faith.
It is much more easy to be selfish.
It is much more easy to ignore a custom because it is “inconvenient”.
If a person truly respected the good works that the Church does- in Charity and Spiritual growth for people and community, then you would not think twice about standing up for it, and basically saying “Yes I abide by this custom because I believe in the teachings of Christ, and the Church who are the people who are the community”.
But hey, it is easier to just dismiss it. Easier to hide that you are Catholic because it is quite popular to slander Catholics these days. I guess you really have to analyze what is important for you. Percieved status in the secular community, or experiencing and accepting true love of Christ, and living it every day, AND being committed to it.
Okay. The reason why “rules” are not priest to priest, is because anytime a rule would be inconvenient, then that person would split off into another church.
Thus the infinite potential division of Protestants, and thus the heirarchy of the Pope or the 4 leaders in Orthodoxy. When it comes down from the top, then there is unity.
When there is unity, there is hope in fighting evil.
Evil breaks down unity and community.
If you extend a division of churches to the infinite degree, then you will have 1 person in one church. Each person will be on their own.
When you are fighting a battle – and this one IS spiritual , you better believe that the side that is separated into tiny groups has a much smaller chance of survival. In physical terms: If you are fighting evil, but are alone in your battle, the evil will be much harder to overcome.
What else happens in a battle? What gets results? Taking out the leaders, and the people of influence. Same thing in the spiritual battle between good and evil. But I digress.
We should not be wasting time on principals, because then we have bickering amogst each other. Such as Catholics and Protestants. That is sad.
Unless we can pray for peace and love together, then we are in trouble.
The minute that an ouce of energy is directed away from Christ’s will of love, and put towards arguing principles, then evil wins.
Why? Because the spread of love is CEASES during the internal fights.
Love is the ultimate rule, and the ultimate message of Christ. We need to concentrate on living that first.

RC February 24, 2007 at 8:17 am

Yes, the Pope said that it binds gravely, but only according to temporal law, not according to the moral law. Therefore, violating this precept is not an objective mortal sin, but merely a more serious violation temporal regulations.
Akn fails to distinguish between the moral law and external precepts, a mistake that the Pharisees of ancient times also made. Such a Pharisaical claim binds up heavy burdens and places them on the backs of others, while disregarding the law of charity.
Canon Law distinguishes between “The divine law” which “binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way,” and the “norms” of canons. But Akin fails to see this distinction.

bill912 February 24, 2007 at 8:25 am

Well, if it’s a pharisaical claim, then I guess you can ignore it. I wonder if God agrees with you (“He who hears you, hears Me…I give to you the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”).

David B. February 24, 2007 at 8:55 am

Pseudomodo,
“Ths sin is not in eating the candy but in disobedience to the parents. The reason for the requirement to obey is for the childs welfare in not eating a treat that may spoil thier appetite.”
uh, that’s what I was trying to say.

Tim J. February 24, 2007 at 10:15 am

But, RC, obedience to those in legitimate authority over you IS part of the moral law.
“Such a Pharisaical claim binds up heavy burdens and places them on the backs of others, while disregarding the law of charity.”
No. The fast and abstinence laws of the Church are for the good of all Christians. They are a great spiritual benefit to all who accept them. They are only burdensome to those who have allowed their faith, hope and love to grow cold, or who have never learned how to make personal sacrifices for their faith. Fasting TEACHES us charity.
A “heavy burden” to stay away from meat for one day? To eat only a little, for one day? If you see these as heavy burdens, that makes me wonder in what kind of pampered lifestle you have been raised.
It also indicates that you really have no knowledge of the true extent of the Pharisaical laws of Jesus’ time. They were simply unbelievably numerous, intrusive and difficult. Church law is VERY small potatoes by comparison.

Amanda February 25, 2007 at 6:37 am

I was taught that the whole idea of fasting was NOT to have all of your food intake on Friday or Wwednesday to equal one whole meal….it was two small meals andd no flesh meat….that was fasting. You didnt limit your liquid intake..it was basically penance or giving up something you wanted as atonement for your sins. We used to eat a bite or two for breakfast..then have a bite for lunch and maybe a half of a peanut butter or cheese sandwich for dinner….just not eating as much as a usual day. When I was growing up..we were supposed to fast every Friday! Of course that was in the day of covering your head before entering church…even if it was a tissue with a bobby pin. Basically….it was reverence and respect and giving up something for Lent. Not that it was a mortal sin..it was your way of showing respect for the reasson of the season.

Some Day February 25, 2007 at 7:16 am

I don’t know why people complain, because to be vain and want to look like a barbie doll, they adopt the most punishing diets.
Biolatry!!!
And then for God you complain!
This world really has it coming.

DJK February 25, 2007 at 7:09 pm

As a Catholic, I find it disturbing that not observing Friday abstinence is considered a mortal sin because it shows disobedience to Church authority. The Pope is only infallible in matters of dogma, and lenten fasting is not a dogmatic teaching. It is a tradition which has evolved over hundreds of years.
Your interpretation of Matt 16:18, 18:18 is insufficient to support the premise that it is a mortal sin to disobey the Church on matters of tradition, like the lenten fast. Scriptures can be interpreted in many ways—your interpretation is only one of many. Why do you believe that those who disagree with your interpretation are somehow inferior Catholics?
Also, I am disturbed by one of the above posts that compares the Church to parents, and the lay people to children. This is a very ignorant view of the relationship between our Church, God, and the Catholic faithful. If you study our history, you will find that the Church and our Popes have not always made good Christian decisions. This is because the Church is run by fallible human beings (except for the Pope in matters of dogma), therefore, I would say that the clergy, lay people, and the Pope are the children, and God is the parent. Ultimatly, this means that it is possible for the Church to make incorrect decisions on non-dogmatic matters.

Maiya February 25, 2007 at 8:08 pm

Just to add another facet to this…
If you went to dinner at a friends house on a Lenten Friday and the friend, not being Catholic, served meat as a main course would it be a mortal sin to eat it so as not to give offense? (This is assuming eating meat IS a mortal sin.)
And I agree with what people have already said. Should it matter if it’s a mortal sin? Shouldn’t your faith be worth enough to give up meat?

Esau February 25, 2007 at 10:14 pm

DJK:
Didn’t Jesus observe fasting and abstinence? Also, didn’t the Apostles as well as the Early Christians?
You seem to neglect that despite your argument that there are so many ways to interpret Scripture, that the Apostles, the Early Christians, and Christ Himself have interpreted the passages in Scripture as such and, in fact, observed such practices! Also, the very purpose of the Lenten practices of fasting and abstinence is supposed to teach us to place the things that are of God (and, by so doing, God Himself) over the things of this world — even human nourishment! As even Jesus said in Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him: is written that Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word of God.

DJK February 25, 2007 at 10:37 pm

Esau
I am not against fasting–my issue is the premise that not fasting is a mortal sin only because the Church says that it is. Unfortunately, the Apostles and early Christians NEVER interpreted the passages in scriptures to say anything because THEY WEREN’T WRITTEN YET! The Bible, as we know it, was passed down by word of mouth for hundreds of years AFTER Christianity became the state religion in Rome. The books that compose our modern Bible are only a selection of many books written, or allegedly written, by people close to Jesus and the Apostles, and others. Granted, there was a written Torah back then, but I’m pretty sure that the only people who had access to read that were educated Rabbi’s, but I’m not sure. Although Jesus had a knowledge of scripture far beyond his contemporaries, it is certain that his Apostles did not, since they were simple mortal men.
As you said before, man lives by “every word of God.” My question—does the current tradition represent the word of God or man? Jesus did not create the Lenten season, we built these traditions to honor him. Therefore, since we are the one’s creating tradition, can we as God’s children establish artificial constructs and rules that can damn us to hell?

Anonymous February 25, 2007 at 10:49 pm

Esau
My second question—is this tradition relevant today? Perhaps 1,000 years ago, it was more difficult to go without meat for a day. I live in an area where I can fast just as easily on vegetables as I could on beef or fish. Actually, I can fast easier on beef or veggies because fish is much more expensive. In fact, the traditional seafood can be more of a delicacy.
Also, many people “fast” almost every day of the week for themselves, by trying to cut back and lose weight. Many of these people, myself included, cheat from time to time. So, a religious fast holds little significance because you can always tell yourself something like, “well, I’m supposed to do it anyway.” This is not a sacrifice! For someone in this position, would it be better to go hog wild and force yourself to put on a little weight? I don’t mean ordering a burger, I mean really overdoing it to the point where it hurts you more mentally–I mean enough to set your diet back for a day.
I’m not trying to be sarcastic here, I’m just saying that if the purpose of a fast is to cause minor suffering for the Lord, is it possible that for some people, the opposite would cause MORE suffering? If this is true, would it be better to call on Catholics to find some other way to “fast” or sacrifice rather than making the issue about obidience to the Church?

Mary Kay February 26, 2007 at 2:31 am

DJK, in your 7:09 pm post yesterday, you said it was “a very ignorant view” to compare the Church as parents and lay people as children. You suggested “that the clergy, lay people, and the Pope are the children, and God is the parent.”
Actually, your “leveling the field” is not what the Church has practiced. Holy orders includes an aspect of spiritual fatherhood. Mary is our spiritual mother. The Church is a spiritual mother. You’ve heard of Mother Church, I’m sure. Non-ordained men and women can in say, a religious order do also.
Your reasoning is “Ultimatly, this means that it is possible for the Church to make incorrect decisions on non-dogmatic matters.” Um, not really. Scott’s Feb. 19 post says it very well. There’s probably more that could be said on that, but I’ll leave it there for now.

bill912 February 26, 2007 at 2:49 am

“Although Jesus had a knowledge of scripture far beyond his contemporaries, it is certain that his apostles did not…”
Care to cite evidence for that? Or anything else you stated?

Mary Kay February 26, 2007 at 2:51 am

DKJ, in your 10:37 pm post, you say, As you said before, man lives by “every word of God.” My question—does the current tradition represent the word of God or man?
It seems that you’re indulging in a bit of “do-it-yourself” Scripture interpretation.
The quote from Luke 4:4 is Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’”
Jesus was referring to Deuteronomy 8:3 which in its entirety is He therefore let you be afflicted with hunger, and then fed you with manna, a food unkown to you and your fathers, in order to show you that not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
That verse speaks volumes and I won’t be able to do it justice. Briefly, it refers to the time when God brought his people out of Egypt and they had a hard time trusting Him. (This is referred to several times in the Lenten weekday readings.)
There’s too much to give you a complete answer, but it’s about obeying what God says and if you believe that the Catholic Church is founded by Christ, then that means observing Church discipline.

bill912 February 26, 2007 at 2:56 am

Or not obeying Church discipline and hoping that God agrees with you. (Of course, if He doesn’t, well…)

DJK February 26, 2007 at 7:43 am

Mary Kay
I’m not “leveling the field”, you are elevating people to a status that they do not deserve (except for maybe the Pope since he can be infallible in certain matters). Holy orders does not make clergymen “holier” than the lay people, which is why they can still make mistakes, which include possible bad judgement in non-dogmatic matters. If the clergy were truly above lay people, why do we have situations in the past where Pope’s have had kids on the side, or priests abusing their authority with children, or other issues, like the existence of Limbo, which seem to radically change every few years.
Also, your quotes are insufficient to say that the Church ALWAYS is correct. Yes, Christ founded the Church, and I believe that it’s the best we have, but because imperfect humans run it, we have the ability to mess things up, add stuff, and possibly leave things out. If you don’t believe me, look up some of the darker parts of our history–decisions were made in the name of the Lord that he would NEVER have approved of (Crusades, Inquisitions, political maneuvering, etc.).
Bill912
The Apostles repeatedly doubted Jesus, they denied him, and one even betrayed him to the Romans. They were as human as we are. Also, because only the educated Rabbi’s had access to sciptures, I doubt that the Apostles ever used or studied them. These were men who wandered around the world, preaching the world of the Lord to whoever would listen–most likely without a set of scrolls.
Or not obeying Church discipline and hoping that God agrees with you. (Of course, if He doesn’t, well…)
This doesn’t make much sense. By this logic, it is possible, not probable, for Jesus to be in hell (work with me for a second…). Jesus was a Jew, living in a Jewish world. Many of the things he did were against the common Jewish teachings of the day. In other words, Jesus saw things that were wrong with the current practices, and sought to change them. Because he rebelled against the establishment that claimed a monopoly on salvation, he was branded as an heretic and killed.
It is not a sin to question things in our Church. God also gave us brains to reason things out—by questioning things that don’t make sense, we can grow in our faith. Robotically believing everything that a clergyman says simply because he wears a robe does not bring us any closer to God.

bill912 February 26, 2007 at 7:53 am

So you can’t cite any evidence?
And you *are* hoping that God agrees with your justification of disobedience. You’re right about one thing: It doesn’t make sense to do that.

bill912 February 26, 2007 at 7:57 am

BTW, DJK: You sound like the Weston character in C.S. Lewis’ “Perelandra”. He was a human who gave himself to Satan, whom Satan used to tempt the “Eve” of the planet Perelandra. He told her that God really wanted her to disobey Him, that He wanted her to use her reason against His discipline.

DJK February 26, 2007 at 8:21 am

Bill912
The Apostles repeatedly doubted Jesus, they denied him, and one even betrayed him to the Romans. They were as human as we are. I don’t have the exact verses memorized, but it sounds like you probably know them better than me.
You can’t use the Bible as your only source of evidence. It is the word of God, but it was written by man, therefore, every part of it is open to interpretation. For hundreds of years, it was passed down only by word of mouth. Also, the translation process between languages causes the meanings of some words to change. (Which is why the Torah is still in original Hebrew). I learned this in Catholic school and confirmation classes, so I am sure you are familiar with this teaching.
You still fail to see the relevant point—that the Church heirarchy, structure, and traditions are created by us! Jesus did found this Church on Peter, however, the current structure was built only after Rome legalized Christianity. Actually, the faith was spread in Rome by the sword. I’m not trying to speak to ill of the Church, because I love the Church and it’s teachings, but I must admit that the Church has the ability to be imperfect from time to time because it is run by imperfect people. This is why John Paul II kept apologizing to everybody for the “sins of the Church.”

Tim J. February 26, 2007 at 8:50 am

“It is the word of God, but it was written by man, therefore, every part of it is open to interpretation”
But not just any and all interpretations. The Bible came out of the Church, and the Church authoritatively interprets the Bible. You have every right to interpret the Bible any way you want… you just have no authority. At all.
“For hundreds of years, it was passed down only by word of mouth”.
Now, that’s just false. The gospels were written within the lifetimes of the Apostles… within decades of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
“I learned this in Catholic school and confirmation classes”
Oh, Yippee. Another ringing endorsement of modern Catechesis.
“the current structure was built only after Rome legalized Christianity”
Ummm, no. The Papacy, Episcopacy, the Diaconate and the Priesthood were all present before then. Sheesh… read the Church Fathers.
“Actually, the faith was spread in Rome by the sword.”
Actually, it was spread by the blood of the martyrs… or do they skip over that in Catholic school now?
“I love the Church and it’s teachings…”
Well, except those teachings you don’t love.

Esau February 26, 2007 at 9:30 am

DJK:
It is evident in your posts that you have not ready anything regarding the early Christian church.
Read the Didiche.
It talks about the importance of baptism, fasting, prayer and the Eucharist in the lives of the early Christians.
In fact, the Didiche and 1 Clement are oldest church documents on church order.

Mary Kay February 26, 2007 at 7:58 pm

DJK, you put a lot of words in my mouth that I didn’t say. I can’t elevate anyone. Nor did I say that priesthood in itself makes priests “above” or “holier” than lay people. What I did say was that spiritual fatherhood is part of the package deal of priesthood.
Nor did I say that priesthood makes a man perfect, unable to behave badly. As you’ve noted, there are examples of badly behaving priests. But I would advise caution is what you consider the Church to have made “bad judgments.”
Because he rebelled against the establishment that claimed a monopoly on salvation, he was branded as an heretic and killed.
No, that’s not why. That’s a secular explanation. It is not Church teaching, which is that God so loved that he sent His only Son to deliver his people from sin.
God also gave us brains to reason things out
That’s true, but you also need some solid teaching.
that the Church heirarchy, structure, and traditions are created by us!
sigh. No, not true. Well, perhaps some of the discipline. But there’s a huge inaccuracy in your statement.
Jesus did found this Church on Peter, however, the current structure was built only after Rome legalized Christianity. Actually, the faith was spread in Rome by the sword.
Only in wildy inaccurate fiction. Is that what your knowledge of Catholicism is based on?

bill912 February 27, 2007 at 3:08 am

“…the current structure was built only after Rome legalized Christianity.”
For refutation, read St. Clement of Rome, circa A.D. 95 and St. Ignatius of Antioch, circa A.D. 107.

Anon February 27, 2007 at 6:15 am

…except for maybe the Pope since he can be infallible in certain matters…
Actually, it is the Church that is infallible, and the Pope is infallible only when and to the extent he exercises the Church’s charism of infallibility.

Dr. Eric February 27, 2007 at 6:54 am

First, it was easier to fast from meat in the old days as a cow would have been more expensive than a house!
Second, if you go to a person’s house on Friday and he serves meat, then you should either eat the entree, or eat everything but the meat. This should be on advice from a competent spiritual director. Don’t take spiritual advice on the internet!
Finally, unless you do it, you cannot fathom the Grace that god gives you when you Fast! But, Fasting MUST be always done with prayer!!! Otherwise it is a diet. Prayer and Fasting can “exorcise” your demons, transform your life, and change the world.
BTW, I have read on the Catholic Answers Forum that people are having terrible times quitting various sins (usually sexual for some reason) I would tell them to find a good priest (at a monastery?) and confess to him and find out what disciplines to do to mortify his/her flesh and do them with more prayer. “Show yourself to the priest” and he can help you turn your life around.

anon February 27, 2007 at 9:09 am

DJK,
You are wholly incorrect in your statement that “The Pope is only infallible in matters of dogma…”. I would strongly suggest that you learn about the things you write before posting wild inaccuaracies. The Pope is infallible only when speaking Ex Cathedra and only when speaking on faith and morals. I think fasting certainly comes under the heading faith and morals BUT I am not aware of any Pope speaking Ex Cathedra concerning fasting. If something is already dogma there is no point in the Pope speaking Ex Cathedra about it.

Tim J. February 27, 2007 at 9:28 am

“If something is already dogma there is no point in the Pope speaking Ex Cathedra about it.”
Bingo! Ding-ding-ding!
Thank you for pointing that out, as well as the fact that it is the Church that teaches infallibly THROUGH the Pope.
“Who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?”

David Wallace February 27, 2007 at 10:43 am

These discussions concerning Lenten fasting and abstinence are quite amusing. Let’s break apart and look at the Church’s regulation on fasting.
We see that there is the mystical body of Christ, the Church. We are all members of the body, under the headship of Christ. “And if one member suffer any thing, all the members suffer with it; or if one member glory, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Cor 12:26).
Now, the Church has authority to speak in Christ’s name. “He that heareth you, heareth Me” (Lk 10:16). We know that apostolic successors possess the power of binding and loosing (Mt 16:19; 18:18).
If the Church, in her wisdom, acting on behalf of Christ, asks us to fast, ought we not listen to her as though we listen to the sweet words of Our Lord?
Since we are all part of the mystical body, if one of us fasts, not only does it strengthen oneself, but also benefits the entire whole, as Scripture relates. Would it not behoove the Church, for certain times, to bind her members to make a sacrifice which benefits the entire Body? And would it not also be more of a crime to refuse to sacrifice when we know that our action, good or bad, affects the entire Body?
Now, in Paradise, wasn’t it a simple matter of God forbidding the eating the fruit of a tree that caused all of this mess in the first place? The first sin was not murder, not fornication. No, the first sin was eating. But underneath this act was willful disobedience against a command of God.
God doesn’t care if I disobey the dietary commandments of His Church, some say. God is not worried whether or not you eat flesh-meat. He is concerned that you listen to Him and love Him in EVERY little commandment. Every commandment is important.
No, it was not the eating of fruit that expelled mankind from Paradise. No, it will not be the eating of meat on a Lenten Friday that will expel a man into Hell. Rather, it will be the disobedience and pride that underlies these actions in not obeying the simple and loving commandments of Our Lord and His Church that will do send him into eternal misery.

DJK February 27, 2007 at 9:32 pm

Wow, I’ve got some pretty interesting responses so far. Some are respectful dialogue, others suggest that I am a sexual pervert, or not a true Catholic. Here is my answers to your common arguments. Please note that I have never suggested that fasting is wrong, improper, useless, pointless, etc. Originally, I asked the question, does the Church have the ability to make us fast on pain of commiting a mortal sin.
I ask these questions because the Church is a human organization. Despite all of the good the Church has done in 2000 years, there have been many times in the past where the Church has changed previous teachings, corrected past errors, or outright committed and/or been complacent in evil acts (I name a few below). There were times where politics were more important than faith (the Borgia popes, etc.). Although I believe that much of this dark history is far behind us, the fact is that if the Church could be so wrong in the past, couldn’t it be POSSIBLE that they be wrong in something as simple as this tradition? For a faithful Catholic, I believe that none of this should imply that the Church is not guided by God and the Holy Spirit, or that they are inherently wrong in everything.
The Bible existed shortly after Christ’s death and resurrection
The Bible was passed down by word of mouth for hundreds of years after Christ’s resurrection. There was no definitive written version for a long period of time. Letters by early Church leaders are NOT the same as the Bible.
The Church has always existed in it’s current form
The early Church had a structure, but it was still evolving. There were Popes, Bishops, and Priests, but it was a different organization than what we have today. The early Church was a stigmatized and sometimes illegal orgainization until Rome made Christianity the state religion. As the heirarchy grew, some leaders, including popes, became power-hungry. This caused multiple wars, schisms, inquisitions, and other travisties in the name of God and the power to ‘bind and loose’. The victims of these dark times included Protestants, Jews, scientists, and others who didn’t deserve to be killed or tortured. This is an ugly part of our history and it cannot be forgotten. This is why John Paul II apologized to the world a few years ago.
I am not suggesting that the Church is “evil,” only that it is run by imperfect human beings. Other human creations, like nation-states and other organized religions have been guilty of such evils in the past.
Infallibility
All teachings of the Sacred Magisterium are infallible. Also, the Pope is infallible only in certain circumstances (ex cathedra=specific dogma). The Church as a whole is not infallible. Infallible teachings do not include things like priestly celibacy, ‘bind and loose’, or lenten sacrifice because these are traditions, not dogma. Therefore, if the tradition of fasting is not an ex cathedra teaching, why should it be wrong to question it? Could it be possible that the Church may be wrong in judgement from time to time? If your answer is no, please read the above section.
The Church is the only authority on interpreting Scripture
My understanding from Catholic education, which has been repeated to me throughout my entire life in multiple parishes and Church-approved documents, is that the Bible is not to be taken literally, and we are free to interpret it’s passages as we see fit. There is no true way to interpret it because many passages can be interpreted to mean different and/or contradictory things. (ex: slavery)
Most responses I have received suggest that the ‘bind and loose’ statement is proof that the Church can bind the faithful to fast on certain days or face committing mortal sin. The problem that I have with this argument is that ‘bind and loose’ is only one interpretation of scripture. What can be bound and loosened? A literal interpretation would suggest that anything the Church says can be ‘bound and loosened,’ but couldn’t the true meaning of this passage be deeper? If not, then why can other passages of the Bible contain meanings deeper than their literal wording? I am not knoledgeable enough to say what that deeper meaning could be.
Tim J
I don’t understand your rudeness, perhaps you think yourself holier than the rest of us who have been raised by the “modern Catechesis.” I’m not trying to be too ugly, but I’d like to know what special knowledge that you have that much of the rest of the Church lacks, because much of what I am about to write was learned though my Catholic education.
Mary Kay
I’m not trying to put words into your mouth.
1) I have alot of respect for our clergy, but they are NOT our spiritual fathers. Priests play a ROLE as a spiritual father. We only have one spiritual father, and that is God (Our Father, who art in heaven…)
2) Jesus was killed as a “heretic” because he rebelled against the established faith. Although this is a secular explaination, it does not conflict with the idea that God gave his only son to save us from sin. Actually, this fact reinforces the Church’s explaination.
Dr. Eric
I am not against fasting–I am merely asking a question that I think deserves a more reasoned answer than “because the Church says so.” Why are you bringing up other people’s sexual problems into this discussion? Do you assume that because I ask questions about the Church I must also be a pervert? The only thing that you know about me is that I ask a few questions about my Church, so don’t judge me.
David Wallace
Also, who are we showing obiedience to–God or the Church? If it is to the Church, then why is it a sin to disobey the Church in a matter that involves tradition, especially when tradition doesn’t necessarily disobey God? Based on the darker parts of Church history, I would say that there were times in the past where obidience to the Church was a sin greater than not fasting (crusades, inquisitions, etc.). It seems to me that the words of God and the words of the Church can be two separate things.

bill912 February 28, 2007 at 4:22 am

The Church is NOT a human organization. The Church is the Body of Christ, with Christ as the Head, The Holy Spirit as the Soul.

DJK February 28, 2007 at 6:02 am

bill912
The Church is the Body of Christ, with Christ as the Head, The Holy Spirit as the Soul.
I agree with you 100%. But who runs the Church every day? Who has built 2,000 years of traditions? It’s us! That does not mean that Christ has not guided the ways in which we do things.
If the Church is not a human organization, how do you explain the past transgressions of the Church? Are you suggesting that Christ fully guided the Church to start the inquisitions? Do you believe that God wanted his Church to fight nine major wars over a few pieces of land and old buildings, some of which we can only speculate had a connection to Jesus? By not admitting that humans run the Church, you imply that God has demanded his Church to do things in the past that are un-Christian.

Mary Kay February 28, 2007 at 6:05 am

DJK, there are some major misunderstandings in your post that would take more time than I have at the moment to respond. I’m off to do what supports my combox habit, but will be back this afternoon or evening.

Tim J. February 28, 2007 at 6:57 am

“The Bible was passed down by word of mouth for hundreds of years after Christ’s resurrection. There was no definitive written version for a long period of time. Letters by early Church leaders are NOT the same as the Bible.”
No. That is just factually wrong. You are confusing scripture with the canon of scripture. The canon came along in the fourth century. All the books were present – in written form – from the first century, with only minor edits, the earliest surviving examples being remarkably consistent. They were passed down in WRITTEN form. Very Jewish. And for the record, “letters by early Church leaders” make up about 2/3 of the New Testament. They are scripture.
“the Bible is not to be taken literally, and we are free to interpret it’s passages as we see fit. There is no true way to interpret it because many passages can be interpreted to mean different and/or contradictory things.”
Oh, where to begin? The Bible is to be taken literally in places and not in others. Please read Dei Verbum. The Church teaches and has always taught that the NT truly records the real events of Jesus life and the early Church. How you make the leap of illogic from that to “there is no true way to interpret it” is beyond me. We interpret the Bible however we like? And you got this from Catholic school? God help us.
“Also, who are we showing obiedience to–God or the Church?”
This is a non-sequitur. A false choice. The Church has been established by God. It is His. He put the Church in authority. Disobedience to proper authority – without good cause – is a sin in itself. Therefore, you can sin mortally by disobeying a command given you by proper authority, unless it contradicts a command from a higher authority. You are just flat mistaken to assert that if a teaching of the Church is not ex-cathedra, we may ignore it. there are many teachings of the Church that carry the full weight of magisterial authority without being ex-cathedra pronouncements of the Pope. As a Catholic, you are subject to Canon Law.
You also need to read some good scholarship on the Crusades and the Inquisition. You sound like you have been watching too much television. The Inquisition, as told in the secular press, is mostly a myth. The Crusades are a mixed bag, but I ask you, should we have become involved in Europe in WWII? It was just some land and old buildings.
Yes, the Church is run by fallible people. So is your police department. So is the federal government. That has nothing to do with their legitimate authority over you. By your logic, I could argue that I don’t HAVE to pay taxes, because, you know… Watergate, Iran/Contra, Monica Lewinsky, No WMDs… look at all the mistakes my government has made. They COULD be mistaken about requiring me to pay taxes. Why should I? Just because they say so? What right do they have to threaten me with prison? I will obey God rather than men!

David Wallace February 28, 2007 at 7:07 am

DJK,
By obeying the laws of the Church we are obeying God. Remember, “He who heareth you, heareth Me.” Keep in mind also that the Church is also the “pillar and ground of truth” (1 Tim 3:15). Also, Our Lord said, “As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you” (Jn 20:21). And, “Obey your prelates, and be subject to them. For they watch as being to render an account of your souls” (Heb 13:17).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent (CCC 1857). It clarifies grave matter: “Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments” (CCC 1858). The Church has always understood the commandment to honor one’s parents as equally binding those to obey and honor their due authorities. The binding and loosing power of the keys connotes the authority to make disciplinary decisions, i.e. laws, in the Church (cf. CCC 553). St. Thomas defines law as being “nothing else than an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community, and promulgated (STh I.II. Q90. a4).
I will quote good St. Thomas further:
“Laws framed by man are either just or unjust. If they be just, they have the power of binding in conscience, from the eternal law whence they are derived, according to Prov. 8:15: “By Me kings reign, and lawgivers decree just things.” Now laws are said to be just, both from the end, when, to wit, they are ordained to the common good–and from their author, that is to say, when the law that is made does not exceed the power of the lawgiver–and from their form, when, to wit, burdens are laid on the subjects, according to an equality of proportion and with a view to the common good. For, since one man is a part of the community, each man in all that he is and has, belongs to the community; just as a part, in all that it is, belongs to the whole; wherefore nature inflicts a loss on the part, in order to save the whole: so that on this account, such laws as these, which impose proportionate burdens, are just and binding in conscience, and are legal laws” (STh I.II. Q96. a4).
In thr reply to objection 1 of the same article he writes, “As the Apostle says (Romans 13:1-2), all human power is from God…’therefore he that resisteth the power,’ in matters that are within its scope, ‘resisteth the ordinance of God’; so that he becomes guilty according to his conscience.”
Moving to your second point: “Based on the darker parts of Church history, I would say that there were times in the past where obidience [sic] to the Church was a sin greater than not fasting (crusades, inquisitions, etc.).”
You have failed to make any valid point here. Logically, this does not follow your train of thought. This is irrelevant to the conversation. I will, however, point out that the Crusades can be considered just war and that the Inquisition was also just. No supreme pontiff ever commanded men under pain of sin to go on crusade. Also, the state was responsible for any capital punishment inflicted on anyone. The Church does nor and never has had the jurisdiction to execute or inflict bodily punishment. Furthermore, since the pope is also a temporal ruler (more so in the past), he can wage war under his temporal authority. There are some acts that the Pope does today that are only his opinions as Head of State, i.e. his opinions on capital punishment and the war in Iraq, etc.
And finally, I will let St. Thomas speak for himself by quoting the remaining portion of the corpus of Quaestio 96, articulus 4:
“On the other hand laws may be unjust in two ways: first, by being contrary to human good, through being opposed to the things mentioned above–either in respect of the end, as when an authority imposes on his subjects burdensome laws, conducive, not to the common good, but rather to his own cupidity or vainglory–or in respect of the author, as when a man makes a law that goes beyond the power committed to him–or in respect of the form, as when burdens are imposed unequally on the community, although with a view to the common good. The like are acts of violence rather than laws; because, as Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. i, 5), ‘a law that is not just, seems to be no law at all.’ Wherefore such laws do not bind in conscience, except perhaps in order to avoid scandal or disturbance, for which cause a man should even yield his right, according to Matthew 5:40-41: ‘If a man…take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him; and whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him other two.’
Secondly, laws may be unjust through being opposed to the Divine good: such are the laws of tyrants inducing to idolatry, or to anything else contrary to the Divine law: and laws of this kind must nowise be observed, because, as stated in Acts 5:29, ‘we ought to obey God rather than man.’”

Mary Kay February 28, 2007 at 2:36 pm

DJK, it’s not sufficiently clear to me what the spiritual fatherhood discussion centered around, so I’m going to leave it (for now at least).
To say that Jesus “rebelled” is wholly inaccurate. For one thing, consider the third Suffering Servant song applied to Jesus and read on Wednesday of Holy Week, “…and I have not rebelled…” (Isaiah 50:4-11)
Second, to say that Jesus rebelled shows a confusion about authority. The chief priests felt threatened by Jesus, but that’s not saying that Jesus rebelled.
As for your comments made in general – there are so many misunderstandings and factually inaccurate information that I don’t know where to begin.
Tim’s post is right about the Bible in written form.
Where in “Church approved documents” does it say that the Bible is not to be taken literally, and we are free to interpret it’s passages as we see fit. There is no true way to interpret it because many passages can be interpreted to mean different and/or contradictory things.??? italics off?
who are we showing obiedience to–God or the Church?
That’s a false dichotomy. God gave authority to the Church. Therefore, to obey the Church is to obey God.
The rest of that paragraph in your post sounds like what is routinely quoted by two groups of people. The first are people openly opposed to the Church. The second are dissident Catholics in the Church who use the “big, bad, mean ol’ Church hierarchy” card to justify their own dissent.

DJK February 28, 2007 at 6:57 pm

1) Bible passed down by word of mouth
I don’t agree with everything on this site, but it’s pretty clear on the origins of the scriptures:
Oral Tradition of the Bible
The Bible was passed down by word of mouth for hundreds of years after Christ’s death and resurrection. Even if there were some printed scrolls somewhere, it’s not like the average Joe carried around a case of Gideon scrolls. This was a time before hard-bound books, the printing press, the Internet, and the Xerox machine. It’s a good guess that it was probably a death sentence to own a Christian document during the days where Rome illegalized Christianity.
2) Reading the Bible literally
This site appears to agree with your positions, which means that I need to study this further for myself. I have never heard throughout my Catholic education that there is a single interpretation that we all must accept. In fact, I have read in Church-approved Confirmation teaching materials that there can be multiple interpretations.
Of course, the above website supports the ideas of a geocentric universe and a 14,000 year old earth, so I am somewhat suspicious. (You can probably guess where I stand on these, but they are topics for another thread.)
3) Obidience to God or Church and disobeying authority–ie. gov’t, just/unjust laws
God gave his authority to the Church, but that doesn’t mean that obeying the Church ALWAYS obeys God, and that disobeying the Church ALWAYS disobeys God. Because the Church is run by humans, there is a possibility that the Church’s authority can be misused intentionally by evil men, or that good-intentioned men can misinterpret scriptures. None of this suggests that the Church is not divinely inspired, or that it is not God’s Church.
In these terms, I suppose the original question could be is it just for the Church to declare meating meat on a Friday a mortal sin? I could also ask does the Church have the authority to declare this a mortal sin?
Yes, the Church does have authority over us like the government. However, when we have problems with the government, like taxes, wars, immigration, etc., we can ask these kinds of questions without being attacked. We are encouraged to do things to change current laws, like writing congressmen or voting. In other words, if there is a legitimate problem with the government, we have the duty to fix the problems. The Church has no such mechanism for things that people legitimatly question. Apparently, we are told that things must be a certain way (geocentricism) and disagreement is akin to heresy. This is very sad–I believed that our Church no longer thought this way.
4) Jesus as a rebel
Jesus ‘rebelled’ against the Pharisees, the established Jewish authority of his day, by exposing them as hypocrites. The chief priests were threatened by Jesus because they knew that he was right. Also, the statement “…I have not rebelled” is technically accurate, since Jesus was only trying to fix problems. It was the Pharisees/priests/etc. who had “rebelled,” they just didn’t recognize their actions as wrong. You probably know more about them than I do. I am not suggesting that our Church is run by hypocrites, only that Jesus saw things that were wrong and sought to change them.
5) Crusades
The Crusades were a mixed bag. I can’t argue with trying to save the East from Muslim conversion, but most of the Crusades were fought to capture the Holy Land–a territory which had been in Muslim hands for 300 years before the First Crusade. The idea of recapturing Jerusalem became a dominant theme in future crusades. Why on earth would this have been a just cause for war? I can’t imagine that Jesus or God cares who controls the street where someone believes that Jesus may have walked on once or twice during his life.
Furthermore, the Pope made it clear to the faithful that fighting in a crusade would grant martyrdom to those who died. Sound familiar? This is another argument for why people should be able to question some Church teachings. God forbid, what would happen if one day, a future Pope declared a war on some other nation and demanded that all Catholics must participate on pain of mortal sin? Isn’t it POSSIBLE if the faithful are not allowed to examine the Church’s teachings?
6) Inquisitions
If the inquisitions were held today, every humanitarian hippie group on earth would condemn the Church for her actions. We would be held in the same regard as the Taliban or the Iraqi Ba’athists. Frankly, to even think that what was done in the name of our Lord was justified should be a mortal sin. The so-called “heretics” were tortured, beaten, imprisoned, and/or killed. Many of the victims had their property confiscated by the Church.
I believe that it is true that the Church did not (usually) directly inflict any physical harm on the victims, however, they facilitated and legitimized the actions of the secular states that held the inquisitions. In other words, the executioners and state officials were “just following orders” from the Church. Also sound familiar?
7) ‘Dissident’ Catholics
Just because a Catholic questions the Church does not make them dissidents. Questioning faith helps us grow and should not be discouraged. The alternative is to be like a mindless robot, simply automatically accepting everything that a distant group of people say without discussion because they are in authority. I am not suggesting that you are all mindless robots–I don’t know you or what you believe.
8) My facts
Any information that I have written here about the crusades, inquisitions, or the origins of the Bible can be found in any encyclopedia, academic source, or even “the Google.” Other parts of this are arguable.

DJK February 28, 2007 at 7:00 pm

My oral tradition link didn’t show up on my browser. Here it is:
http://www.scripturecatholic.com/oral_tradition.html

Mary Kay February 28, 2007 at 11:16 pm

DKJ, it is good to see your seriousness in studying Catholicism. Thanks for the link to that website. I’ll add it to my collection as it looks pretty solid.
1. Bible passed down by word of mouth.
The site you linked to lists scriptural passages and I didn’t see anything that supported your comment about the Bible passed orally for hundreds of years AD. But that’s a topic that I’ll put aside temporarily. :) at the image of “Gideon scrolls” But the oral tradition that you mention, people went to the synagogue and listened every Sabbath to the Law, the Prophets and the Writings (written on those “some printed scrolls somewhere”).
2. Reading the Bible literally
Tim’s suggestion to read Dei Verbum, the Vatican document on Scripture, is a good one. I find the easiest way to find Vatican documents is to Google the title and then pick the vatican.va entry.
About one, objective truth, you might also be interested in readingn Veritatis Splendor.
8. Skipping to your last point about your facts. While it is good to use external sources such as encyclopedias, there is a lot of information, especially about the Crusades and inquisitions that are um, not accurate.
On the inquisitions, Karl Keating has a good chapter in his book Catholicism and Fundamentalism. Probably the most accessible general history of Catholicsm (including the Crusades) is Triumph by H. W. Crocker III.
Also, check out http://www.catholic.com, which is where Jimmy works and his archives on this blog.
3. Obedience to God or Church and disobeying authority.
I can tell that this is one that you’ll be wrestling with for a while. Authority, just laws, and obedience is a big, important issue. But it’s also very late here, so I’ll pass on it and will begin to make a dent tomorrow.
4. Jesus as a rebel
Yes, your comment that it was the Pharisees and priests who had rebelled was what I was getting at, so I’ll leave this one also.
5. Crusades
You sound as if the Crusades were capture the Holy Land as if they were never Christian rather than taking back what the Muslims had seized, territory that had been Christian for 300 years before Mohammed was even born.
“where someone believes that Jesus may have walked on once or twice during his life.”
Sigh. You have a lot to learn about Jerusalem.
if the faithful are not allowed to examine the Church’s teachings
Who said you’re not allowed to examine the Church’s teachings? In fact, I’d strongly suggest that you do examine, study, learn everything you can about the Church’s teachings.
6. Inquisitions
Accurate information about the Inquisitions is probably the most elusive of all the topics you’ve mentioned. Use the above resources to balance whatever you’ve heard.
7. Dissident Catholics
Just because a Catholic questions the Church does not make them dissidents
That’s true. Many people have had to question, ponder, wrestle with Church teaching. It sounds like that’s where you are at the moment.
But that’s different than what I was referring to. And because it’s so late, I’ll have to leave it because my brain is telling me that it’s time to get to sleep.

DJK March 1, 2007 at 6:18 am

Mary Kay
I have not always been serious about my faith, but I have always asked these kinds of questions. Although I love the Church, I sometimes have a healthy suspicion of the human side of the Church. We talk up a big game, but unfortunatly, parts of our history make the past Church look like a typical mideval power. I’m not critisizing them too much, any other nation or religous group has a similar dark past. It’s just that the Church is at a higher standard.
1) Bible passed down by word of mouth
Here’s the first line of that page:
Mark 13:31 – heaven and earth will pass away, but Jesus’ Word will not pass away. But Jesus never says anything about His Word being entirely committed to a book. Also, it took 400 years to compile the Bible, and another 1,000 years to invent the printing press. How was the Word of God communicated? Orally, by the bishops of the Church, with the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit.
3) Obidience to God and Church
Here’s another site that I found:
http://www.catholicplanet.com/TSM/general-magisterium.htm
Of course, it doesn’t really say where the rules for Friday lenten fasting sit–my guess is that it’s an ordinary (non-infallible) teaching, which makes me question if it is a mortal sin to not fast. It seems like all of the infallible teachings are things that no one can really scientifically prove or disprove.
5) Crusades
Hypothetically, if the Pope said today that he was launching another crusade to, lets say, “clear the Holy Land of the infedels,” would it be just? Could we make a case for destroying the “pagan” temples in Mecca because it once sat on Christian lands? If we could justify it (I seriouly doubt we could), would it also be just to put the native populations on trial (inquisitions) and force them to convert? This is a common theme in many of the crusades.
6) Inquisitions
There probably is alot of misinformation about the inquisitions, like in other dark parts of world history. But this misinformation probably comes from both sides. The Church, as a human organization, has plenty of motive to absolve itself in the crimes committed in it’s name. Likewise, the peoples who suffered under the inquisitions have plenty of motive to magnify the terrible things that happened to their ancestors.
We must acknowedge the things that happened in these days. Alot of this is irrefutable documented history. Even in the best scenario, we MIGHT could say that the Church was only complacent in the crimes by doing nothing to stop them. I would argue that if we, as Catholics, were complacent in any form of evil, we would be sinning against God and the Church. We would need to hit the confessional and do something to make up for our transgressions. So, why does the Church, as a human organization, get a pass?
I hate to use this analogy, but it’s like listening to an old Nazi prison guard say that he didn’t kill anybody out of anger or hate, but was just following orders. Or like listening to German citizens say that they didn’t do anything when the Jews, Poles, Gypsies, etc. were being run out of their homes, and they didn’t notice the smoke and foul smells outside of the towns, and that they just didn’t think anything of what could be happening.

Mary Kay March 1, 2007 at 7:34 pm

DJK, okay, now for chipping away at the larger picture. You say you “sometimes have a healthy suspicion of the human side of the Church.”
I’d question the “sometimes.” Just from your comments, your concern about weak human nature in the Church has been a disproportionate amount of your comments, if not the entirety of your comments.
There are two problems with that. One is that of disproportion and the other is that there is sort of a denial of God’s grace when not acknowledging those who do get through difficult situations with the grace of God.
The other general topic is the authority, obedience, just-unjust that I might shorten to AOJU. You express a concern of those who said they were “just following orders” or those who didn’t notice what happened to the neighbor.
You expressed a concern about those “following orders” that they should have recognize the unjust situation and done differently. Yet there are lots of examples of Catholics in situations unjust to them, whose obedience was rewarded. Padre Pio and Theresa of Avila are two off the top of my head. Getting back to your “Jesus as heretic,” that was certainly an unjust situation, yet he was “obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him…” (Philippians 2:8,9) From what I’ve seen of people who really live their faith, obedience brings great fruit.
“But that’s different!” I can almost hear you say. Well, what’s the difference between them? It just occurred to me that you might not have heard that before, that obedience bears fruit. Maybe I’ll just leave it to you for tonight to ponder the difference between “just following orders” and the examples of Jesus, St. Padre Pio and St. Theresa of Avila.
As for those who didn’t do anything when neighbor was run out town, one could ask what you’re doing about abortion. If the answer is “nothing” there are similarities in complacency there.
1. Oral tradition – You seem to think that oral tradition meant that people didn’t know scripture. I think that’s a faulty assumption. As I think about the time I spent in a community with a strong oral tradition (about people in their community), maybe an oral tradition makes it more likely that people knew the scripture stories.
2. I looked at the linked site, but didn’t have the time to read it closely. However, I do remember that about ten years ago, a document came out about the three levels of authority and the bottom line was that Catholics need to obey Catholic teaching and disciplines.
5&6. Crusades and Inquisitions
You have some reading to do about these before you make hypothetical questions. The Catechism speaks of the need for a “well formed conscience.” CCC 1783
Your comments have had some factual errors and it would benefit you to get a more balanced knowledge of history.
Just considering your comment today and the ease with which you assume that the Church would spread misinformation in order to “absolve itself” indicates that you don’t approach the information with an open mind. You didn’t read what I suggested yesterday but already you’ve judged that it probably contains misinformation.
Your comments express a lot of doubts about the Church. CCC 2088 defines involuntary doubt as “hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith.” It goes on to say If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to a spiritual blindness.
So I leave you to your reading.

DJK March 1, 2007 at 9:46 pm

Mary Kay
I don’t question the Church on everything—I know they are infallible in certain areas. My understanding is that if your conscience tells you that the Church may be off on the non-infallible teachings, then you have reason to legitmatly dissent from some teachings. Of course, dissent is limited. This site tells alot about concsience:
http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a6.htm
Your quotes about a ‘well formed conscience’ are one small part of this document. There was another paper that Pope John Paul II reiterated this in regards to the contraception issue, but I don’t remember what site I found that on.
That other site that you didn’t have time to read goes through this much better than I can. Basically, it says that the Church body is constantly seeking truth, and that lay people, as members of the Church, can find elements of truth that other levels of the heirarchy may miss. Therefore, the lay people can influence the non-infallible teachings, since these are not as authoritative as the infallible ones.
Jesus was obidient to God, which is not exactly what I am talking about. I haven’t found out much about Padre Pio, but it seems like he was obidient to the Church, despite the fact that at least one Church leader falsely accused him of wrongdoing. St. Teresa of Avila actually DID “rebel” against her accusers by appealing to King Phillip of Spain, who saved her from the Inquisition. I admit that I don’t know much of the details, this is just what I’ve found from skimming through a few web sites. Again, it’s not that I’m totally against Church obidience, only that I am not certain that obidience is always right in every circumstance.
I understand that the Church’s stance on the Crusades was that they were fighting wars of self-defense, but this is only partially true. Politics were also involved. I haven’t had much time to go over this today, but I do know that several crusades were only half-hearted and poorly funded attempts to capture the holy land, meaning that the rulers didn’t put as much effort into the fight, while convincing many Christians that their sacrifices would reward them in Heaven as martyrs.
I did find more information on the Inquisitions–I am disappointed. Assume for a moment that the “revisionist” (not my word) view is correct, that the Church was less involved than history suggests. Even still, it is irrefutable fact that the Church was deeply involved in persecutions and torture of innocent people. By innocent, I mean every single victim since heresy is a religous offense, not a civil one. Even though heresy was a crime against the state, it should NEVER had been that way.
Suppose that the Church was only a minor player in the Spanish Inquisition. The Church would still have been complacent in committing terrible crimes in the name of Jesus. At the least, I would say that these crimes would include spreading the faith by force, expulsion of Jews (and maybe others), bringing harm to those who didn’t convert or repent, and silently allowing people to be tortured, imprisioned, and/or killed. I believe that this is the LEAST that the Church would have been guilty of, since the Pope and the Church were involved in different aspects of it.
What if some theologian rebelled against the authority of the Church in these days? Is it possible that such a person could have made internal changes in the Church that might have prevented these atrocities? If internal change was impossible, what if some clergyman was able to assemble the masses to fight against this oppression?
It’s not that I believe that the Church is deeply involved in rewriting history in a favorable light. There are two sides to this history and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. No one alive during those times is here to tell us what happened. Please understand that I have not written a single inaccurate thing about the Spanish Inquisition. This information can be easily found anywhere.
I have not had a chance to read anything from this book, but a few google searches give me a good idea of what it says—that the Church actually did less harm to the people by instituting the Inquisitions because their judgements were merciful and resulted in less death and pain than the secular authorities would have allowed. Although there are probably a few newly revealed facts and figures in this book, I think this premise is shameful. It would be like a German historian writing a history of WWII to say that the Holocaust was a good thing for the Jews, Poles, Gypsies, Catholics, and others who were killed.
History, science, politics (not moral issues), and faith are very different human endeavors. Our Church deals exclusively in faith–the area that can not be proven or disproven. They have NO authority to dictate anything else, regardless of scriptural teachings. Our leaders look foolish many of the times they step into these areas. For example, one of those websites I sent earlier suggests that we must live in a geocentric universe because scripture tells us so. Of course, our Church leaders are not unique in this—probably every other faith has leaders who try to authoritatively teach things outside of the realm of faith that are perceived as rediculous by those outside of the faith.
I apologize if I am rambling–it’s very late.

Esquire March 1, 2007 at 9:54 pm

DJK,
Here is what Aquinas had to say about heresy:
I answer that, With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death.
For what it’s worth.

Mary Kay March 2, 2007 at 4:52 am

DJK, your post could be titled, “Why I should be allowed to dissent from Church teaching and discipline” Paragraph by paragraph:
1. if your conscience tells you that the Chruch may be off on non-infallible teachings, you have reason to legitimately dissent.
You do say that dissent is limited, but give no indication how. A vague limitation might as well be limitlness.
2. “well formed conscience” is a small part, when in fact that entire section is about conscience and you would benefit from really reading it. What is the point of your comment about John Paul II and “the contraception issue?”
3. the hierarchy may miss the truth and therefore the laity can tell them what they missed. btw, please cite chapter and verse where the other site said that to provide a basis for discussion.
4. the only thing you say about St. Teresa of Avila is that she “actually DID ‘rebel.’” Do you see your preoccupation with “rebelling”? You say you’re not totally against Church obedience, yet your comments touch only on rebelling and dissent.
5. your claim that the Church’s stance of self-defense was only partially true, and attribute politics. Another “the Church was wrong”
6. half-hearted acknowledgement that some portrayals of the Church and the Inquisitions were inaccurate, but putting the Church in the wrong is “irrefutable.” Do you see your bias? That’s not to say that people in the Church did no harm, just that this illustrates your determination to make the Church wrong.
7. Yet another paragraph detailing the “Church is harmful” card.
8. Again, the Church as oppressive card and if only some rebel could have set everyone straight.
9. “there are two sides” yet you only give credence to one side.
10. a perspective favorable to the Church is “shameful”
11. faith should be kept completely out of science, politics, history and the implication that the Church has been dictating and overstepped. You don’t specify what prompted your comment, but it sounds like more “Why I don’t have to obey Church teaching and discipline.”
I just wanted to give you feedback as to how your comments come across.
this document” is the Catechism and it would have been helpful if you had said so. My guess is that

Tim J. March 2, 2007 at 6:50 am

“My understanding is that if your conscience tells you that the Church may be off on the non-infallible teachings, then you have reason to legitmatly dissent from some teachings.”
What if your conscience is off? “I don’t see it” is not a grounds for legitimate dissent. Obviously, if some churchman tells you to do something that goes against Revealed Truth, you may have a duty to dissent. You want to give me an example of that? Isn’t this period in Church history chracterized much more by laxity and permissiveness? And all grounded in the same kind of loose talk about the Primacy of Conscience, too.
“History, science, politics (not moral issues), and faith are very different human endeavors.”
This is EXACTLY the problem with Catholics in the modern world… they compartmentalize everything. They think that their “faith life” is one thing, their “work life” another, their politics another… and don’t even start on their faith having ANYTHING to do with their sex life!
Your statement is just damnably false. There is only one human endeavour for Catholics, and that is to do the will of God. EVERY aspect of your life should be an expression of your faith. If your faith does not permeate everything you do, then to that extent your faith is weak and sickly.
There are no compartments in the human will. Human beings are meant to be integrated, whole persons, and faith in Christ is what makes that possible.
“Our Church deals exclusively in faith–the area that can not be proven or disproven.”
Your idea that faith can neither be proven or disproven displays more modernist compartmentalization by trying to establish some basic conflict between faith and reason. There is no such conflict. Reason, science and faith are all aspects of one Truth. The divorce of faith and reason has been an unmitigated disaster for modern man. You really need to re-think these cliches on which you seem to have built your philosophy.
I’ll fight to the death for your right to believe whatever you want… but don’t call it Catholic if it ain’t.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 9:45 am

They think that their “faith life” is one thing, their “work life” another, their politics another… and don’t even start on their faith having ANYTHING to do with their sex life!

AMEN, BRUTHA TIM, A–MEN!
How many, MANY times that this has been the case!
As if merely wearing the label “Catholic” makes one so!
In fact, what’s the use of even BEING CATHOLIC when YOU DON’T EVEN LIVE OUT YOUR FAITH, YOUR VERY LIFE, AS ONE???
Is it simply to just go through the motions of filling in some human need for religion or perhaps adopting some sort of philosophy in one’s life in order to fill in whatever void there is psychologically-speaking or what have you?
DJK:
IF the Catholic Church is NOTHING BUT A HUMAN ORGANIZATION as you have said and is, therefore, PRONE TO HUMAN ERROR AND EVIL, in fact; then WHY TRUST anything it has done or taught whether now or in its distant past???
FURTHER, what of the books of the bible itself???
When the Catholic Church decided upon just which books should comprise the NEW TESTAMENT in the 4th Century; surely, as a HUMAN ORGANIZATION, it certainly may have made some HUMAN ERROR in its judgement and the books that we have accepted as part of the NEW TESTAMENT may be nothing more but a collection of fraudulent works perpetrated by charlatans and wackos!
Could you kindly DEMONSTRATE to me that since the Catholic Church is but a HUMAN ORGANIZATION, that it was actually CORRECT in the books that it determined as the NEW TESTAMENT?
How do ANY of us know if, in fact, the books that the Catholic Church declared as being the NEW TESTAMENT are really genuine and actually speak any TRUTH at all for that matter, since it is but a HUMAN ORGANIZATION and being such is prone to both ERROR and EVIL?
Furthermore, you rightly brought up possible errors that could have arisen through Oral Tradition.
For all we know, since the books of the bible were written much, much later after the time of Christ; the original teachings of Jesus Christ could have been corrupted as it was all the while being passed down orally by the people of the early Church since, just as you said, “the Church is run by humans”.
In addition, what of the books of the OLD TESTAMENT as well?
Didn’t Moses write the first five books of the bible?
I mean, really now, any ENLIGHTENED individual would know (should one even dare give credence to such things) that Moses was not at all present when God created the world, right?
So, how could he even know of such things?
He was HUMAN — just as you’ve magnificently pointed out about the Church — and, therefore, could have (for all we know) NOT only made ERRORS in writing the first five books of the OLD TESTAMENT, but, for all you know, he could have made the whole thing up!
I mean, going back to what you said, the Church is BUT a HUMAN ORGANIZATION; what would actually make the Catholic Church any different than, say, the church of Scientology?
This being the case, I say we ADOPT your resolution and, therefore, CEASE being but MINDLESS sycophants to what can only be SUPERSTITIOUS beliefs in order to CHAIN THE MASSES to such a CORRUPT POWER, a HUMAN ORGANIZATION that encompasses nothing more but sheer products of HUMAN WORKS!
Let us all become ENLIGHTENED, shall we?
For if there is not a DIVINE POWER that was actually GUIDING and PROTECTING the Catholic Church in its Teachings, it is TRULY but a HUMAN ORGANIZATION and, as such, can be deemed NOTHING MORE THAN AN ANCIENT VERSION OF THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY!

DJK March 2, 2007 at 9:47 am

I don’t have much time to give a good response, at least not until after the weekend, so I will be brief. The Chaticism, states that one who ignores their conscience is condemned by it, and that the conscience is a private dialogue with God. Therefore, it is possible that lay people may dissent against some teachings if their conscience has doubts or uncertainties. Of course, this means that we must educate ourselves, but the fact remains that this implies, along with other links about dissent, that lay people can see some truths that the clergy may miss in non-infallible teachings. This does not oppose the idea that the Church searches for the truth, since laymen are a part of the body of the Church, therefore also a part of the body of Christ. This doesn’t mean that the conscience is always right, only that we have an obligation to seek truth, even if truth is potentially opposed to a current teaching.
Unlike history, science, and other areas of study, faith cannot be proven or disproven—only believed. We cannot prove that the Pope is infallible, or that Jesus is the son of God, or that there even is a God, but we can believe it. Look at the words of the prayers said at Mass every Sunday—they say “I believe” much more than “I know”.
I am shocked that you deny that our Church played an integral role in the Inquisitions. I am sure that many of those church leaders believed that they were doing things for the “common good” and that they had the best of intentions. The problem is the results were anything but Christian. Like communists, socialists, nazis, islamofacists, etc, people were killed and harmed by the poor decisions made by church leaders made for the “common good”—we cannot deny this. Reason, science, and faith are a part of one truth, but we cannot substitute blind faith for reason.
It is clear that we’re not going to agree on anything. I only hope that, at least when it comes to history, you can educate yourselves with both sides of the story. Even if it is possible that the Church was LESS guilty of torture and murder, these older leaders are still guilty of complacency.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 9:58 am

Unlike history, science, and other areas of study, faith cannot be proven or disproven—only believed. We cannot prove that the Pope is infallible, or that Jesus is the son of God, or that there even is a God, but we can believe it.
Going back to what you stated:
“Because the Church is run by humans, there is a possibility that the Church’s authority can be misused intentionally by evil men…”
PROVE to me, then, that ANYTHING that the Catholic Church had done, be it now or in its distant past, was NOT actually THE DOING OF EVIL MEN? Again, for all you know, EVIL MEN could have manipulated the Councils of Rome, Hippo and Carthage in the 4th Century when they were deciding upon which books should go into the NEW TESTAMENT!
As for your other remark:
“I only hope that, at least when it comes to history, you can educate yourselves with both sides of the story.
DID you even read BOTH sides of the story?
From your posts above, I doubt that.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 10:28 am

For example, refer to the following program that, interestingly enough, was done by the BBC.
SO, just as you suggested:
“I only hope that, at least when it comes to history, you can educate yourselves with both sides of the story.”
I ALSO hope you can EDUCATE YOURSELF with BOTH sides of the story!
The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition
ELLEN RICE
————————————————
“The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition,” a 1994 BBC/A&E production, will re-air on the History Channel this December 3 at 10 p.m. It is a definite must-see for anyone who wishes to know how historians now evaluate the Spanish Inquisition since the opening of an investigation into the Inquisition’s archives.
The special includes commentary from historians whose studies verify that the tale of the darkest hour of the Church was greatly fabricated.

DJK March 2, 2007 at 11:15 am

Esau
If you read all of my last post, you would see that I clearly wrote that I wanted to study both sides of the story. Do you?
So what, the BBC aired a documentary called “The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition”. That is a single source of information, which needs to be evaluated with many other parts of documented history. Should I remind you that the Discovery channel is airing a special that claims that Jesus’s bones were found in a tomb, with those of his wife and son?
You want examples of evils committed by the Church? Read John Paul II’s apology. As you read it, remember that the ‘dissident’ Church members who committed these acts did so because they felt that blind obidience to the MEN who run the Church was acceptable to God.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 11:32 am

DJK:
Based on your take that the Catholic Church is but a HUMAN ORGANIZATION and that we shouldn’t owe such BLIND OBEDIENCE to it –
Where do you, then, base your ACCEPTING the NEW TESTAMENT?
Is this not also BLIND OBEDIENCE?
As for your wanting to study both sides of the story; clearly, from what you have written, you haven’t.
Yeah, so what about the one lousy program that the BBC finally put out there that, for once, presented the Catholic Church in such favorable light.
But, again, going back to another thing you mentioned:
“Reason, science, and faith are a part of one truth, but we cannot substitute blind faith for reason.”
Are you not BLINDLY putting Faith in the Church when you ACCEPT her Teachings as true? When you, in fact, ACCEPT the New Testament as inerrant, God-breathed, and so forth?
Since the Catholic Church is, as you say, a HUMAN ORGANIZATION; then, how can it be any different than the church of Scientology?
As you mentioned: …we cannot substitute blind faith for reason.
What would actually make the books of the Bible that the Catholic Church declared as inspired, God-breathed, inerrant and so forth any more special than the book of, say, DIANETICS? Aren’t they both the result of HUMAN ORGANIZATIONS? Please DEMONSTRATE to me that you actually ACCEPT the BIBLE based on ANYTHING OTHER THAN BLIND FAITH!

DJK March 2, 2007 at 12:00 pm

Congratulations Esau! You’ve figured it out! You can have faith in the Bible, and many of the Church’s teachings because the Church says that they are divinely inspired. If you want to call that blind faith, then that is acceptable.
Technically, we can’t prove the Bible is the word of God any more than Scientologists believe Dianetics contains any truths at all. We also can’t disprove them. Belief in the Bible or the Church involves some blind faith, and this is acceptable.
I am SPECIFICALLY talking about earthly/temporal matters.
Name one positive Christian act made by the Church during the Inquisition. Please explain how JESUS CHRIST himself could justify the inquisitions, regardless of what monstrocities did/did not occur. Please tell me where JESUS CHRIST could have founded a tradition where it was acceptable to run the Jews out of Spain and take their property.
Quite frankly, don’t tell me that there is ZERO POSSIBILITY that the Church, or some errant members, might not attempt to rewrite history. I’m not saying that’s the case here, but there is a possibility. Of course, I need to study it myself.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 12:23 pm

DJK:
THANK YOU for proving my point ABOUT YOU!
You are merely talking from BOTH SIDES of your mouth.
You shout out such loud condemnations against those faithful Catholics who would put such blind faith in the Church and how that is so unacceptable and outrageous; yet, when one reveals that you do so likewise, such blind faith SUDDENLY becomes such an admirable trait!
As for your taunts:
Name one positive Christian act made by the Church during the Inquisition.
Why don’t you — since you’ve become such an EXPERT on the matter that you have the ARROGANCE to propose such calumnious ASSUMPTIONS as that of the Church simply wanting to re-write history!?!?
By the way, do you NOT even know that the BBC is NOT even a CATHOLIC network (it is the British Broadcasting Corp., for goodness sake!) and that most of the time, their perspective on the Catholic Church is usually unfavorable?
Futher, just because you’ve preface your heinous comments with “I’m not saying that’s the case here, but there is a possibility. Of course, I need to study it myself” doesn’t actually NEGATE the FACT that YOU’VE ALREADY MADE YOUR MIND UP ABOUT IT and, for all intents and purposes, by YOUR VERY POSTS here, you’ve already DECLARED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH “GUILTY” EVEN PRIOR TO EXAMINING THE EVIDENCE!
…And here you are, CLAIMING that you are educating yourself on BOTH SIDES of the story!

A.Williams March 2, 2007 at 12:38 pm

Esau and others,
Check out the posts I made regarding the new letter sent by the Bishops of the Holy Land to the NCW. Really it is important news! You all, I think, don’t know how important it is that the NCW is corrected, it’s not a small matter. Anyway, it is a great step forward when concrete action is taken by councils of bishops to urge the NCW to ‘merge’ with the Church. To, ‘so call’, join the “one parish, one Eucharist”.
Unfortunately, the entire contents of the letter were not translated into english by Zenit, but were available in Spanish nd Italian. I took the Spanish text and passed it through an automatic translator, and then used my knoweledge of SPanish to fill in some of the gaps.
Anyway, I hope all you guys follow up on this very important, but so far largely ‘over-looked’, news item.

A.Williams March 2, 2007 at 12:43 pm

NCW = NeoCatechumenal Way…
and doing a search in Jimmys ‘Google’ search function under the above title, like ‘More NeoCatechumenal Way Spin’, will take you to the comments with the new letter included.

DJK March 2, 2007 at 12:43 pm

Esau
You don’t know me. You don’t know what I think. I have tried to be civil and respectful, but clearly, your “holier-than-thou” arrogance has gotten the better of you.
I have not said that the Catholic church is an evil organization, or that everything they preach is wrong. I have not said that you cannot have faith in the Church or it’s teachings. What I HAVE said is that WE as laypeople have an OBLIGATION to question the non-infallible teachings of the Church when our consciences honestly tell us that something may be wrong.
It is people with your mindset that would allow our Church to commit the acts that occured during the Inquisition. People who are so holy that they truly believe every word from the Church is sacred. I suggest you research Tomás de Torquemada.
The Church is run by fallable men. They CAN and DO make mistakes in temporal matters. Is the history of the Inquisiton temporal? Is is POSSIBLE, not PROBABLE, but POSSIBLE that elements within the Church MAY have ulterior motives? Isn’t it just as POSSIBLE that they don’t? I haven’t condemned anyone of anything, I am simply asking questions.
How dare you be so arrogant to elevate the clergy to the heights of Jesus in EVERY ENDEAVOR OUTSIDE OF FAITH.
I suggest you read this page from the Chatechism. It talks about how faithful Catholics form a conscience.
http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a6.htm
When your done with that, educate youself about the Magisterium. Notice how laypeople are included in the Church body that can form future teachings.
http://www.catholicplanet.com/TSM/general-magisterium.htm

DJK March 2, 2007 at 12:56 pm

BTW
I know exactly who the BBC is–they are members of the drive-by media, and are usually not kind to the Church. I hate to break it to you, but a story claiming that the Church wants to rewrite the history of the Inquisitions plays right into their action line.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 12:56 pm

DJK:
AGAIN –
You shout out such loud condemnations against those faithful Catholics who would put such BLIND FAITH in the Church and how that is so unacceptable and outrageous; yet, when one reveals that you do so likewise, such blind faith SUDDENLY becomes such an admirable trait!
As for your taunts:
“Name one positive Christian act made by the Church during the Inquisition.”
Why don’t you — since you’ve become such an EXPERT on the matter that you have the ARROGANCE to propose such calumnious ASSUMPTIONS as that of the Church simply wanting to re-write history!?!?
By the way, do you NOT even know that the BBC is NOT even a CATHOLIC network (it is the British Broadcasting Corp., for goodness sake!) and that most of the time, their perspective on the Catholic Church is usually unfavorable?
Futher, just because you’ve preface your heinous comments with “I’m not saying that’s the case here, but there is a possibility. Of course, I need to study it myself” doesn’t actually NEGATE the FACT that YOU’VE ALREADY MADE YOUR MIND UP ABOUT IT and, for all intents and purposes, by YOUR VERY POSTS here, you’ve already DECLARED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH “GUILTY” EVEN PRIOR TO EXAMINING THE EVIDENCE!
…And here you are, CLAIMING that you are educating yourself on BOTH SIDES of the story!

Anonymous March 2, 2007 at 12:56 pm

Sigh.
bold and CAPITALS, bold and CAPITALS, and even sometimes BOLD CAPITALS.
How would I ever understand the written word without such hints?

Anonymous March 2, 2007 at 12:58 pm

I also find it useful to have the same post copied over and over again, with the placement of bold and CAPITALS modified slightly.
It livens things up.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 1:04 pm

Your comment here:
“I know exactly who the BBC is–they are members of the drive-by media, and are usually not kind to the Church. I hate to break it to you, but a story claiming that the Church wants to rewrite the history of the Inquisitions plays right into their action line.”
demonstrates EXACTLY your IGNORANCE on such matters and that your CLAIM that you want to educate yourself about BOTH sides of the issue is only that: a CLAIM — nothing more!
Did you even watch that documentary they produced?
I, in fact, watched it on EWTN, which is actually a CATHOLIC network!
They, amazingly enough, had much to say about many of the things that were but fabrications about the Spanish Inquisition!
So, in your words: I hate to break it to you, but your story claiming that the Church wants to rewrite the history of the Inquisitions — wasn’t actually anywhere indicated both explicitly or even implicitly in this program!
Of course, who am I to tell you such things since you already CLAIM that you’re educating yourself on BOTH SIDES of the story!?!?
Again, BY YOUR VERY POSTS here, you’ve already DECLARED THE CATHOLIC CHURCH “GUILTY” EVEN PRIOR TO EXAMINING THE EVIDENCE!
The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition
ELLEN RICE
————————————————
“The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition,” a 1994 BBC/A&E production, will re-air on the History Channel this December 3 at 10 p.m. It is a definite must-see for anyone who wishes to know how historians now evaluate the Spanish Inquisition since the opening of an investigation into the Inquisition’s archives.
The special includes commentary from historians whose studies verify that the tale of the darkest hour of the Church was greatly fabricated.

DJK March 2, 2007 at 1:22 pm

Esau
There’s no sense in arguing with someone who doesn’t want to think. There are so many things wrong with everything that you’ve written about my position and the Church that I’d be here all day, and you’re too close-minded to listen anyway.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 1:33 pm

There’s no sense in arguing with someone who doesn’t want to think.
And who exactly do you classify as “someone who doesn’t want to think”?
Somebody who puts BLIND FAITH into a product that merely is the result of a HUMAN ORGANIZATION?
Does the fact that a MERE HUMAN declares it as INFALLIBLE TEACHING make it any more special than when that same human makes an OPINION on other matters?
IF we are to become such ENLIGHTENED individuals, instead of fronting such a facade, let’s go all the way, shall we?
…you’re too close-minded to listen anyway.
Really?
From how you’ve insisted on such NEGATIVE OPINONS on the Catholic Church (contrary, I might add, to this highly-proclaimed notion of yours to hear BOTH SIDES of the story), it is EVIDENT that you, in fact, are CLOSE MINDED when it comes to anything that should cast FAVORABLE LIGHT on the Catholic Church!

DJK March 2, 2007 at 1:49 pm

I don’t know what the point is, but I’ll try one last time.
The infallible teachings involve matters of faith–ie. Jesus was the son of God, He and Mary ascended into heaven, etc.
The non-infallible teachings involve other things–ie. eating meat on Friday, all-male priests, priestly celibacy, anullments, etc.
You can BELIEVE the Church is right on the infallible teachings, while recognizing the human element in making decisions on the non-infallible teachings.
Do you care to explain how the Church is infallible on the inquisition, or the history of the inquisition? Would it be a mortal sin to QUESTION the alternate history of a time that none of us witnessed?
Here’s are a few other questions you haven’t pondered:
* Does my questioning of the Church in non-infallible matters make me a heretic?
* Does your demand that the Church is infallible in ALL matters make you a heretic?
* Considering the amount of dissent among the lay people today (legitimate or not), would you like to start another Inquisition to get rid of us who attempt to think about our faith?

Going Deaf March 2, 2007 at 2:07 pm

Esau,
As an impartial, outside observer, lurking on this forum and just reading the combox with much interest, I thought the discussion was interesting and civil until your 9:45 AM posting.
That sarcastic, arrogant response turned an interesting discussion into a flame war complete with lots of bold and CAPITALS.
Take a deep breath and relax before responding.

Going Deaf March 2, 2007 at 2:07 pm

Esau,
As an impartial, outside observer, lurking on this forum and just reading the combox with much interest, I thought the discussion was interesting and civil until your 9:45 AM posting.
That sarcastic, arrogant response turned an interesting discussion into a flame war complete with lots of bold and CAPITALS.
Take a deep breath and relax before responding.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 2:08 pm

About my above comment, don’t worry — these days, it’s very FASHIONABLE to go with any opinion that even remotely says bad things about the Catholic Church and so I can understand why you’re MORE WILLING to accept bad things said about the Church rather than anything that would cast favorable light on it — even if it should come from a secular source!
Not to mention, these days, anybody who even APPEARS to be FAITHFUL to the Catholic Church is often looked down upon as a MINDLESS DOLT; I can see from your perspective how you would much rather GO WITH THE CROWD and likewise put down the Church versus defending it from any possible injustice done to it by those things which may have been but mere exagerrations, propoganda, and downright calumny.
But, hey — it is MORE LIKELY that the bad things said about the Catholic Church is true, right?!? So, why even entertain notions that the good things said about the Church may possibly be true?
From where you stand, when weighing a NEGATIVE opinion vs. a POSITIVE one concerning the Catholic Church, the former is more likely to be FACT!

DJK March 2, 2007 at 2:12 pm

When is the Chatecism a secular source? I didn’t know the BBC wasn’t secular anymore.
Esau, if it is true that Catholics may use their conscience, being a personal dialogue between God and man, to make judgements about non-infallible teachings, is it POSSIBLE, again, not DEFINTE, but POSSIBLE that laypeople can influence the non-infallible teachings to find a greater truth?
BTW, you didn’t answer my last questions. Feel free to be as blunt as possible–we are looking for the truth.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 2:30 pm

Feel free to be as blunt as possible–we are looking for the truth.
DJK:
Thank you for recognizing and appreciating the CANDID nature of my comments to you.
I felt that you deserve such honesty rather than my assuming some phooney charitable facade that some folks do in other circumstances just so that they can APPEAR to take some moral high ground on such matters.
I’m not talking about anybody specific here on the blog. I am actually referring to folks and events out there in the real world whom I have met and, in fact, admitted as much to me.
But, let’s go back to what you wrote in your latest post:
“The non-infallible teachings involve other things–ie. eating meat on Friday, all-male priests, priestly celibacy, anullments, etc.”
I can’t help but acknowledge the possibility that you may have suffered (as many of us have) from bad Catechesis.
For example, those that you included under non-infallible teachings, there were actually those you listed that are part of Church Doctrine and, therefore, CANNOT be changed.
I’ll leave you to figure that one out.
Referring back to my preceding point though:
Please answer this question –
Why are you MORE WILLING to accept as true those bad things said about the Church versus the good things?
Are the bad things any more true merely because of the fact that they say negative things about the Church?

DJK March 2, 2007 at 2:51 pm

Esau
Thank you for being honest and candid. Although, you still did not answer my three questions.
Honestly, there isn’t a single non-infallible teaching that I mentioned that the faith is totally dependent on. We could easily move on without celibrate priests, it wouldn’t matter. The same could be said for abstinence on Fridays during Lent. I’m not saying to do away with it totally, only that in some places, seafood is a luxury item, while beef is the norm. Sure, you don’t have to eat seafood, but that is the tradition.
Also, I’m not about bashing the Church. I’m also not more willing to accept the bad things said about the Church than the good. After all, I believe that the Catholic church is still the one true church. However, I recognize that, outside of infallible doctrine, our Church leaders are mortal men, capable of misusing Church authority. This has happened in different times throughout history. This misuse of power is not unique to the Church–every world government to ever exist has overstepped it’s bounds in different points in history. Again, none of this suggests that the Church itself is less holy, or that they are wrong in everything that they do.
About the inquisition, we must accept that there is a well documented written history that describes what happened in these days at the hands of the Church and local governments. We cannot simply discount that history because the Church reinterprets old documents. I’m not saying that their documents are falsehoods, or even that they are rewriting history–I don’t know all the details. What I am saying is that 1) this creates a perception of possible wrongdoing, which is why the BBC would love to run a story on it and 2) even if the inquisition was less bad, it still doesnt justify everything that happened.
Again, with all the dissent among the laypeople today, would you back another inquisition if the Church called for it? Who should be questioned? Is it possible today for an overzealous clergyman to misuse his authority to initaite such a thing?
Keep in mind that I am discussing temporal matters only, so the Church has no infallible authority here. Remember what Abe Lincoln said: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 3:15 pm

First, you still haven’t figured out the fact that there is something wrong with what you listed under your category of non-infallible teaching.
Care to look over your list again and see which of those you listed as non-infallible was actually infallible and part of Church Doctrine?
Regarding this matter:
About the inquisition, we must accept that there is a well documented written history that describes what happened in these days at the hands of the Church and local governments. We cannot simply discount that history because the Church reinterprets old documents. I’m not saying that their documents are falsehoods, or even that they are rewriting history–I don’t know all the details. What I am saying is that 1) this creates a perception of possible wrongdoing, which is why the BBC would love to run a story on it and 2) even if the inquisition was less bad, it still doesnt justify everything that happened.
That’s just it, DJK — you haven’t even given any consideration whatsoever to any of the evidence that has been provided (not just by the Catholic Church, I might add, but also from secular sources) which actually exonerates the Catholic Church on various issues.
Yet, in spite of this, for some reason, you still seem to claim that you are open to both sides of the story.
For example, you ignore the evidence presented by the program I mentioned above (which actually did exonerate the Catholic Church on various levels) and, in fact, was made by the BBC!
So, again, my question is:
How can you claim to be open to BOTH SIDES of the story when you have, in fact, ignored anything exonerating the Church on such matters?

DJK March 2, 2007 at 3:22 pm

Esau
I’m not ignoring it, it’s just that no matter how many crimes you can exonerate the Church from, there will still be a set of things that the Church did wrong. These crimes may not have been torture or murder. One could simply be complacency. Again, I have stated repeatedly that I don’t know all of the details.
Which of the teachings have I listed is infallible? Eating meat on Friday, all-male priests, priestly celibacy, or anullments? Infallible teachings are the types of things that usually involve faith, again, changing any of these teachings would not affect the core of our faith. For example, we could do away with an all-male priesthood, or we could only allow male priests of a certain age. We could grant annullments for “invalid marrages”, or we could allow divorce. We could also just as easily revoke all annullments. It doesn’t matter.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 3:32 pm

Further to my post above, doesn’t your very remarks here demonstrate the very thing I was saying all along??? That you’re MORE WILLING to accept those things that condemn the Church over those things that seem to defend it?
Look at what you wrote:
“About the inquisition, we must accept that there is a well documented written history that describes what happened in these days at the hands of the Church and local governments.”
Well documented?
Whose documentation?
Again, it appears that you’ve already made up your mind already — just as I stated previously — and that anything that condemned the Church on the matter is, in fact, true and cannot be refuted.
You then say:
“We cannot simply discount that history because the Church reinterprets old documents.”
Re-interprets old documents?
Please explain this since I’ve not even heard of this.
All the evidence that I’ve encountered that defended and spoke in favor of the Church came from secular sources.
You continue to say:
“… I’m not saying that their documents are falsehoods, or even that they are rewriting history–I don’t know all the details.”
IF you DON’T KNOW ALL THE DETAILS, then why is it that YOU’VE ALREADY FORMED A CONCLUSION ABOUT IT?
You continue:
“What I am saying is that 1) this creates a perception of possible wrongdoing, which is why the BBC would love to run a story on it…”
Excuse me, but the Program I mentioned to you was FROM THE BBC and, again, as mentioned, it actually EXONERATED the Catholic Church on various levels.
You then say:
“… and 2) even if the inquisition was less bad, it still doesnt justify everything that happened.”
IF, as you stated previously, you DON’T KNOW ALL THE DETAILS, then how can you say it doesn’t justify everything that happened?
Your very statement here would seem to claim that you have already looked over everything that happened and, thus, know all the details.
You continue:
“…Again, with all the dissent among the laypeople today, would you back another inquisition if the Church called for it? Who should be questioned? Is it possible today for an overzealous clergyman to misuse his authority to initaite such a thing?”
Yet again, the very nature of your statement here demonstrates the fact that you had already formed your conclusion regarding the Catholic Church and that you had found it “GUILTY”.
You continue:
“Keep in mind that I am discussing temporal matters only, so the Church has no infallible authority here. Remember what Abe Lincoln said: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”
The latter statement you made further illustrates my point that NOTHING anybody could say, even the program put out by the BBC which actually exonerates the Catholic Church on various levels, would convince you.

DJK March 2, 2007 at 3:40 pm

Esau
As I said, I haven’t seen the program, and I am interested in what it has to say. All I have said is that there is a documented history, from secular sources, that says that bad things did happen. We cannot fully discount that history because of a BBC program. I believe the truth probably falls somewhere in the middle of both extremes–that in some areas, maybe the Church is not as culpable, while not fully innocent. We also have a papal apology, although I don’t think it mentioned the inquisitions by name it alluded to them. Again, I don’t know all the facts.

Esau March 2, 2007 at 3:49 pm

DJK:
Have you read the Old Testament? Were there any priests in the Old Testament that were women?
Have you read the New Testament? Were there any of Christ’s Apostles that were women?
The All-Male Priesthood was something that Christ Himself had established and this was thus subsequently passed down from the earliest times of the Church onto the present.
It is part of Church Doctrine and CANNOT be changed.
(Celibacy, perhaps, since it concerns discipline, not doctrine.)
Also, if you studied typology, an all-male priesthood would make sense, as my first two questions to you would seem to indicate.
Also, have you ever heard of the term “Alter Christus”?
The priest represents and acts in the person of Christ.
Further, the Church is the Bride of Christ.
Would it really make any theological sense whatsoever if a woman were to be ordained as a priest?
Now, that doesn’t make women any less than men.
Besides, the greatest person in the Bible (aside from Christ) is Mary, His Mother, who is a woman and is held in the highest esteem by the Church.

Mary Kay March 2, 2007 at 3:50 pm

there will still be a set of things that the Church did wrong
Let me paraphrase that: No matter how much good there is in the Chuch, you will see only the bad.
That’s all you’ve talked about. You have not mentioned a single positive thing about the Church.
That’s unfortunate. You’re missing out on so much. Not only are you missing out on joy, but your “right to dissent” will not help you grow in your faith, will not carry you through difficult times and will not help others.
The people who I’ve found most helpful are faithful, obedient Catholics. The dissidents simply didn’t have the depth for the difficult times.
So if you want to persist, that’s your choice. All anyone here can do is present information. It’s your choice what you do with it.

DJK March 5, 2007 at 9:24 am

I have only focused on bad things because many people on this site appear to believe that the Church can do no wrong. That is unfortunate because it is theologically and morally wrong to believe that the men who run the Church can NEVER misuse their authority or make mistakes.
To be a faithful Catholic, there is a set of truths that you must believe have been infallibly revealed to the Church. However, there is a large set of teachings and traditions which are not infallible. In fact, there have been times in history where non-infallible teachings have been modified or condemned, or Church leaders have made poor temporal judgements in the name of God. For example, (a short list of things John Paul II apologized for):
* The persecution of the Italian scientist and philosopher Galileo Galilei in the trial in 1633 (October 31, 1992).
* Catholic involvement with the African slave trade (August 9, 1993).
* The Church Hierarchy’s role in burnings at the stake and the religious wars that followed the Protestant Reformation (May 1995, in the Czech Republic).
* The injustices committed against women in the name of Christ, the violation of women’s rights and for the historical denigration of women (July 10, 1995, in a letter to “every woman”).
* Inactivity and silence of some Roman Catholics during the Holocaust (March 16, 1998).
* For the execution of Jan Hus in 1415 (December 18, 1999 in Prague). When John Paul II visited Prague in 1990s, he requested experts in this matter “to define with greater clarity the position held by Jan Hus among the Church’s reformers, and acknowledged that “independently of the theological convictions he defended, Hus cannot be denied integrity in his personal life and commitment to the nation’s moral education.” It was another step in building a bridge between Catholics and Protestants.
* For the sins of Catholics throughout the ages for violating “the rights of ethnic groups and peoples, and [for showing] contempt for their cultures and religious traditions”. (March 12, 2000, during a public Mass of Pardons).
* For the sins of the Crusader attack on Constantinople in 1204. (4 May 2001, to the Patriarch of Constantinople).
* For missionary abuses in the past against indigenous peoples of the South Pacific (November 22, 2001, via the Internet).
* For the massacre of Aztecs and other Mesoamericans by the Spanish in the name of the Church.
I point these things out to make three points:
* The Church is run by fallible human beings
* They can make mistakes
* We are not supposed to believe that they are impeccable–incapable of sinning or making mistakes
The all-male priesthood MAY fall into the category of non-infallible teachings, as there is still some debate on this issue. No Pope has issued an ex cathedra statement on the issue, however, JP II MAY have suggested that it was infallible on the grounds that all bishops have agreed with the practice (ordinary and universal magisterium). He wasn’t particularly clear on the infallibility of the issue, so you have one camp that claims it was infallible, and another which believes that all-male priesthood still falls under the ordinary magisterium’s non-infallible teachings.
Were there any of Christ’s Apostles that were women?
According to the Discovery Channel, Mary Magdalene MAY have actually held the title of “Apostle.” Of course, it isn’t written down in any scripture. If we are to believe that a single BBC special could clear the Church of any possible wrongdoing in the inquisitions, then I would think that we could also say that MM was an apostle, and that she is buried next to her husband, Jesus. Just a thought.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 9:36 am

DJK:
You say that YOU DO NOT KNOW ALL THE FACTS; however, you list in your latest post several things that you CLAIM are FACTS and ATTEMPT TO PASS YOURSELF OFF AS AN EXPERT ON SUCH MATTERS!
Yet, please tell me — DO YOU ACTUALLY KNOW EVERY DETAIL of all the supposed events that you cite in the above post of yours???
As I’ve said repeatedly (which is further PROVED by your latest post above), you are MORE WILLING to ACCEPT AS TRUE ALL THOSE THINGS THAT MALICIOUSLY PUTS the Catholic Church IN SUCH NEGATIVE LIGHT — EVEN HEINOUS PROPAGANDA!
SO, let’s be done with all this PRETENSE of yours — YOU HAVE NO INTENTION WHATSOEVER in EDUCATING YOURSELF with BOTH SIDES of the STORY — You’re ONLY INTENTION is to DESCREDIT the Catholic Church!

Esau March 5, 2007 at 9:47 am

ALSO, DJK –
Don’t think that I don’t know where you compiled the list from your post above!
DON’T EVEN TRY TO HIDE THE FACT THAT YOU DID NO RESEARCH WHATSOEVER IN COMPILING YOUR LIST OF SUPPOSED FACTS IN THE ABOVE POST OF YOURS, BUT THAT YOU ACTUALLY JOTTED THEM DOWN FROM A BLOG!
IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOUR ‘RELIABLE SOURCES’ ARE NOTHING BUT EXCERPTS OF COMMENTS POSTED BY COMMENTORS FROM CERTAIN BLOGS, THEN WHY SHOULD ANYBODY GIVE CREDENCE TO YOUR BLASTED POSTS!?!?
Here is where I found the SOURCE of your RELIABLE SOURCE:
http://letters.salon.com/ent/feature/2006/08/01/mel/view/index21.html
Oh yeah, there was a COMMENT that I found in another BLOG where the POST-ER said that the THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WAS INVOLVED IN THE ASSASINATION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN! I suppose that was true as well!

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 9:59 am

DJK,
If we are to believe that a single BBC special could clear the Church of any possible wrongdoing in the inquisitions, then I would think that we could also say that MM was an apostle, and that she is buried next to her husband, Jesus. Just a thought.
There is a concept in law known as the “statement against interest.” It is a fancy way of saying that some things that people say are more trustworthy than others. If I say that I’m the greatest lawyer that ever lived, that would rightly be disregarded as puffery (and outright nonsense). If I say that I committed malpractice in representing a particular client, that statement is regarded as more trustworthy, simply because it is does not further my own interest to say that, and actually would put me at risk of being sanctioned, sued or disbarred.
It is no secret that the BBC is not a friend of the Catholic Church. A series put out by the BBC that supports the Church is invariably more trustworthy than one that furthers an agenda to bring it down.
That does not end the analysis, of course. But accepting something the BBC says does not mean you have to accept all of their garbage, and to the extent you are suggesting there is a logical contradiction there, you are wrong.
On your other points, the Church has long rejected “theogological positivism” where only infallible statements count and all other teachings are up for grabs. On the contrary, ordinary teachings on matters of faith and morals such as those found in encyclical letters and curial documents require religious submission of the intellect and will on the part of the faithful. Read Donum Veritatis, article 23; Lumen Gentium, article 25, and Canon 752 of the Code of Canon Law. “This kind of response cannot be simply exterior or disciplinary, but must be understood within the logic of faith and under the impulse of obedience to the faith.”
In the assent of the mind and will, the individual confesses that the magisterium’s guidance is the most reliable truth in the present historical situation, trustworthy above and beyond the individual person’s (or some other source’s) own perspective on the matter.
On the all-male priesthood, what part of the following is difficult for you to understand:
“in order that all doubt may be removed”
“I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”

You seem to say that only infallible teachings need to be definitively held, but when the Holy Father says that something is to be definitively held, you backtrack and say that it MAY be infallible.
Which, may I ask, is it?

Esau March 5, 2007 at 10:12 am

DJK’s RESEARCH METHODS into the Catholic Church:
1. Find on the Web ANYTHING that says malicious things about the Catholic Church.
2. ACCEPT AS HISTORICAL FACT even COMMENTS made by DOUBTFUL SOURCES such as those from passer-by commenters on the COMMENTS SECTION for various blogs.
Case-in-point:

DJK’s Mar 5, 2007 9:24:59 AM POST which listed several SUPPOSED historical facts actually came from the following COMMENT made on the following website:

DJK’s ‘RELIABLE SOURCE’

3. Anything that should say GOOD things about the Catholic Church – REJECT as UNRELIABLE FICTION.
4. Anything that should say BAD things about the Catholic Church – ACCEPT as VERITABLE TRUTH.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 10:16 am

By the way, DJK, are ‘Tiffany Lach’?

DJK March 5, 2007 at 10:23 am

Esau
Do you take me for an idiot? Most of my links are from Catholic websites, but I got this information from Wikipedia at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_Paul_II#Apologies
It’s not the most academic source, but it is at least reviewed my many other people and sourced. This is the list of things that JP II apoligized for. If you can find one piece of propaganda in my post, please educate me. Tell me the Pope was wrong about something, and you would just prove me right.
My question for you is do you know all of the facts of everything the Church has/has not done in the last 2,000 years? Good or bad? The only reason I’m writing about the negative is because you can’t/won’t accept the negative. My intention is not to DISCREDIT the Church, only to discredit your logic that the Church leaders can do no wrong in the name of the Church. If you pay attention to anything that I’ve written I have said NOTHING that discredits the Church or it’s leadership and teachings.
BBC
I’m not suggesting that the documentary is bogus. Only that some people on this post suggest that the documentary removes all doubt. It is only one part of a larger set of documented history, and should be considered. Since the BBC doesn’t air this documentary every night, I have not seen it. Nor have I ever said that it is junk. All I have said is that it should not totally dismiss hundreds of years of written history.
All-male priesthood
The controversy is that Benedict XVI and others have claimed that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was not ex cathedra, but that it clairified an infallible teaching. My understanding is that the all-male priesthood MAY BE infallible because it is a non-infallible teaching that has been accepted unanimously by all of the Church’s bishops. But it seems to me that, if in 1,000 years the Church decided to ordinate women, they would simply state that the previous teaching was thought to be infallible, but never actually was. Again, wikipedia is not the most academic source, but it’s at least debated a nd reviewed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordinatio_Sacerdotalis

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 10:24 am

This article by Mary Ann Glendon, which is posted on the Vatican website, should be required reading for DJK and all others who want to spin papal apologies into something they are not.

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 10:28 am

My understanding is that the all-male priesthood MAY BE infallible
Again I ask, what part of “so that all doubt may be removed” causes you to still doubt?

DJK March 5, 2007 at 10:30 am

Esau
What the hell is your problem? I have NEVER DISCREDITED THE CHURCH! I have only STATED FACTS! I’m sorry that you can’t accept a few historical realities. Tell Pope John Paul II!!!! He APOLOGIZED for everything that I wrote!
I also have NEVER SEEN the blog that you found. Where do you come up with this?
TELL ME ONE BAD THING THAT I WROTE THAT ISN’T TRUE. BETTER YET, TELL ME WHERE I DENIED ANYTHING THE CHURCH HAS EVER SAID.
DO I DENY THE CHATECISM LINKS THAT SUGGEST THAT WE SHOULD FOLLOW OUR CONSCIENCES? THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AN INTELLECTUAL DEBATE BASED ON CURRENT CHURCH TEACHINGS AND HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE. ALTHOUGH I HAVE REPEATEDLY STATED THAT I HAVE NOT SEEN THE BBC DOCUMENTARY, ALL THAT I HAVE SAID IS THAT ONE DOCUMENTARY CANNOT TOTALLY REPLACE ALL THE WRITTEN HISTORY THAT DOCUMENTS THE INQUISITIONS, IT CAN ONLY SUPPLEMENT IT!

DJK March 5, 2007 at 10:37 am

Who is spinning? That papal document is not considered infallible, therefore, it COULD, not DOES, contain errors.
You want to know why I’m on here? It’s past statements like this:
1866: The Holy Office of the Vatican issued a statement in support of slavery. The document stated that “Slavery itself…is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law…The purchaser [of the slave] should carefully examine whether the slave who is put up for sale has been justly or unjustly deprived of his liberty, and that the vendor should do nothing which might endanger the life, virtue, or Catholic faith of the slave.”
from http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_slav2.htm
The phrase “natural and divine law” is used today to justify other Church teachings (non-infallible ones) today. The non-infallible teachings can and have changed over history.

DJK March 5, 2007 at 10:39 am

Looks like the Salon poster copied their facts from Wikipedia. Wanna apologize, or are you too holy for that Esau?

Esau March 5, 2007 at 10:42 am

DJK:
By your latest post above, the fact that you DO NOT EVEN KNOW that the all-male priesthood is part of Church doctrine SPEAKS VOLUMES about IGNORANCE.
As I’ve stated previously, perhaps this is not fault of yours — but the fact that you do not even desire to learn from CREDIBLE sources (such as the Catholic Church herself) indicates a hesitation even there about ACCEPTING AS TRUE THE VERY TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH.
Now, going back to the other subject –
You say in your most recent post:
All I have said is that it should not totally dismiss hundreds of years of written history.
Please, educate me, once again, but did you not say that YOU DO NOT KNOW ALL THE DETAILS???
IF so, how can you even make the statement above???
To say that as well as the other things you’ve stated previously (for example):
About the inquisition, we must accept that there is a well documented written history that describes what happened in these days at the hands of the Church and local governments.
… and 2) even if the inquisition was less bad, it still doesnt justify everything that happened.
…Again, with all the dissent among the laypeople today, would you back another inquisition if the Church called for it? Who should be questioned? Is it possible today for an overzealous clergyman to misuse his authority to initaite such a thing?
Keep in mind that I am discussing temporal matters only, so the Church has no infallible authority here. Remember what Abe Lincoln said: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
All these statements suggests that you have already MADE A JUDGMENT AGAINST THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.
How else can you say:
…there is a well documented written history… and …should not totally dismiss hundreds of years of written history
when you’ve just mentioned YOU DO NOT KNOW ALL THE DETAILS???
In terms of “well-documented” — To which and whose documentation exactly are you referring?
IF you DO NOT KNOW ALL THE DETAILS, how can you even claim that something is WELL-DOCUMENTED?
In terms of “should not totally dismiss hundreds of years of written history” — Whose version of ‘Written History’ and by Whom are you making reference to exactly?
Again, IF YOU DO NOT KNOW ALL THE DETAILS, it strikes me as rather remarkable that you can actually make such CONCLUSIVE STATEMENTS as those you have in several of your posts above in such a sweeping manner!

Esau March 5, 2007 at 10:50 am

This article by Mary Ann Glendon, which is posted on the Vatican website, should be required reading for DJK and all others who want to spin papal apologies into something they are not.
Posted by: Esquire | Mar 5, 2007 10:24:42 AM
Mother Angelica had once mentioned (and I’m paraphrasing here) how these days, folks can do away with their Faith so easily when it becomes all too inconvenient for them — unlike the times of the past (such as the days of the early Christians) where Faith was such a serious matter and folks took it so seriously, they would even go to their deaths just for the sake of it!

Anonymous March 5, 2007 at 10:51 am

Mary Kay March 5, 2007 at 11:16 am

I have only focused on bad things because many people on this site appear to believe that the Church can do no wrong. DJK’s 9:24 am post.
On what basis did you draw that conclusion?

Going Deaf March 5, 2007 at 11:21 am

Esau,
Do YOU KNOW ALL THE DETAILS? Please stop your immature badgering of DJK for his humble admission. No one KNOWS ALL THE DETAILS. If we waited until we all KNEW ALL THE DETAILS, then no one should be posting on this forum.
Instead, why don’t you actually address any of DJK’s statements? All you’ve done is to chastise him for not KNOWING ALL THE DETAILS. He presented a series of apologies from a wikipedia article. Can you address any of them specifically?

Going Deaf March 5, 2007 at 11:24 am

Mary Kay writes,
“On what basis did you draw that conclusion”
I’ve gotten the same impression as DJK. I don’t say that DJK is right — only that no one seems willing to address anything he says.
This blog would be more helpful to outside readers like me if DJK’s actual points were addressed, rather than his character and motivation.

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 11:31 am

DJK,
Who is spinning?
You are.
“Religious submission of the intellect and will” does not equal “ok, but it could still be riddled with errors” or “maybe they’ll change it later” or “they’ve said that before.”
When the Magisterium teaches in plain English (pun intended), your best bet is to take it to the bank.

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 11:34 am

Going Deaf,
I have been attempting to address the substance of DJK’s posts, and pointing out the fallacious reasoning in them. If you think no one is willing to address his points, you’re not paying attention.

Going Deaf March 5, 2007 at 11:37 am

I wonder if the below quotes, taken from the Mary Ann Glendon article, will be helpful to anyone:
“the Pope himself is careful to speak of sin or error on the part of the Church’s members or representatives, rather than the Church in its fullness [my emphasis], that important theological distinction is almost always lost in the transmission”
Later on:
“As novelist Flannery O’Connor once succinctly put it: «Christ never said that the Church would be operated in a sinless or intelligent way, but that it would not teach error. This does not mean that each and every priest won’t teach error, but that the whole Church speaking through the Pope will not teach error in matters of faith».”

DJK March 5, 2007 at 11:38 am

Esau
How do you know EVERY detail about the inquisitions? Because you watched a BBC documentary that I STILL have not discredited and that I STILL admit have not seen yet? Keep in mind that I probably never will see it since I don’t control when the BBC will air it again.
Second, until recently, the all-male clergy has been a teaching of the ordinary magisterium aka. the non-infallible Church teachings. It is not apart of the infallible doctrine of the Church, but MAY be infallible through the ordinary and universal magisterium. JP II didn’t follow the standard formula for ex cathedra statements, which has caused people to ask more questions.
Third, if you truly believe that the Church leaders are impeccable (unable to sin), or that he cannot make a well-intentioned but non-infallible statement, then you are not a faithful member of the Church. Instead, you are WORSHIPPING the MEN who run the Church. You claim to know so much about the Church, so it shouldn’t be too hard for you to find a document that verifies this. In case you don’t believe me:
It need only be added here that not everything in a conciliar or papal pronouncement, in which some doctrine is defined, is to be treated as definitive and infallible.
from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07790a.htm#V
If I can quote wikipedia again (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility) without being accused of slandering the Church, it states that the last instance of an infallible statement was made in 1950 about the assumption of Mary. If you look at the past instances of infallible statements, they are all things like, Jesus rose to Heaven, the Holy Trinity, etc. THEY DO NOT INCLUDE ABSTINENCE ON FRIDAY DURING LENT! Therefore, because the Church COULD (not IS) be wrong in forcing people to continue a tradition that may not work as well for them, it may not be a mortal sin to eat meat.
The same link on all-male priesthood:
For modern-day Church documents, there is no need for speculation as to which are ex cathedra, because the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith can be consulted directly on this question. For example, after Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone) was released in 1994, a few commentators speculated that this might be an exercise of papal infallibility (for an example, see [3]). In response to this confusion, the Church’s magisterium has unambiguously stated, on at least three separate occasions [4] [5] [6], that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was not an ex cathedra teaching, although the content of this letter has been taught infallibly by the ordinary and universal magisterium.
BTW, STILL waiting on that apology Esau. Are you too holy to admit a mistake? Perhaps you are infallible too.

Going Deaf March 5, 2007 at 11:39 am

Esquire,
I submit and apologize…you have been an exception.
I suppose Esau’s shouting caused me to generalize too much. I’m sorry.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 11:40 am

Look Going Deaf, if you have something against me, then let’s have it; but don’t just abruptly come in my conversation with DJK, acting as if you’re unbiased when your very comments would suggest otherwise here and elsewhere!
(By the way, you do know that it’s hardly possible to come post here without some sort of IP address trace, right?)
It would actually suit you to know that DJK had made the remark on Mar 2, 2007 2:51:48 PM, saying he DID NOT KNOW ALL THE DETAILS.
Now, tell me, if he DOESN’T KNOW ALL THE DETAILS, how is it that based on several of his statements above, he’s already reached such a negative conclusion concerning the Catholic Church in the matter IN SPITE OF THE FACT he hasn’t even considered all the other evidence that would say otherwise?
And don’t even attempt to DISTACT from my points (as you usually do on other posts of mine); instead, demonstrate exactly where what I’ve just said right now is wrong?
Further, I’ve read various HISTORY BOOKS that have, in fact, EGREGIOUSLY stated biased interpretations of history (even what one may describe as ‘erroneous’ takes on several historical facts) and alluded to what can only be described as believed facts, nothing more!

DJK March 5, 2007 at 11:41 am
Esau March 5, 2007 at 11:42 am

Look Going Deaf, if you have something against me, then let’s have it; but don’t just abruptly come in my conversation with DJK, acting as if you’re unbiased when your very comments would suggest otherwise here and elsewhere!
(By the way, you do know that it’s hardly possible to come post here without some sort of IP address trace, right?)
It would actually suit you to know that DJK had made the remark on Mar 2, 2007 2:51:48 PM, saying he DID NOT KNOW ALL THE DETAILS.
Now, tell me, if he DOESN’T KNOW ALL THE DETAILS, how is it that based on several of his statements above, he’s already reached such a negative conclusion concerning the Catholic Church in the matter IN SPITE OF THE FACT he hasn’t even considered all the other evidence that would say otherwise?
And don’t even attempt to DISTRACT from my points (as you usually do on other posts of mine); instead, demonstrate exactly where what I’ve just said right now is wrong?
Further, I’ve read various HISTORY BOOKS that have, in fact, EGREGIOUSLY stated biased interpretations of history (even what one may describe as ‘erroneous’ takes on several historical facts) and alluded to what can only be described as believed facts, nothing more!

Going Deaf March 5, 2007 at 11:45 am

Esau,
I have nothing against you.
“(By the way, you do know that it’s hardly possible to come post here without some sort of IP address trace, right?)”
Is that a threat of some sort? Why would you say that?

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 11:55 am

DJK,
Point?

Esau March 5, 2007 at 11:56 am

DJK:
About what you say here –
How do you know EVERY detail about the inquisitions? Because you watched a BBC documentary that I STILL have not discredited and that I STILL admit have not seen yet?
Back on you –
You SAY you DO NOT KNOW EVERY DETAIL about the Inquisitions and EVEN ADMIT that you’ve not watched the BBC Documentary; however, in spite of this AND the FACT that YOU’VE NOT EVEN CONSIDERED ALL THE EVIDENCE that have said otherwise regarding the Catholic Church, you STILL INSIST on your NEGATIVE CONCLUSIONS!
Furthermore, regarding the DOGMATIC TEACHING on the MALE PRIESTHOOD:
We clearly see an unbroken tradition regarding the male priesthood. There is every reason to believe that it constitutes part of the dogmatic and infallible deposit of faith.
Still, we must inquire about how a teaching enters the actual deposit of faith, and how this particular teaching is dogmatically taught. This teaching is infallible by virtue of – here is a mouthful -the ordinary universal episcopal Magisterium. The authority of Christ is found in the apostolic succession throughout the Christian centuries. Such an understanding is rooted in a sacramental view of reality that sees the human realm as capable of bearing absolute truth. The apostolic succession consists of human beings specially guided by the Holy Spirit. When we turn to the Magisterium, we are turning to the apostolic succession living in our own time. (For a fuller treatment of the concept of Tradition, see “Tradition: the Presence of Christ Echoing Across Time,” The Catholic Faith, Nov./Dec. 1995).
It is by virtue of the ordinary and universal Magisterium that the doctrine of the male priesthood is infallibly taught. When a) all bishops throughout the world, at any particular time in history, have b) concurred on some matter of faith and morals, c) teach it definitively, and d) in union with the teaching of the Bishop of Rome then that matter is considered to be infallibly taught. Note that it is not defined infallibly, as would be the case if there were an exercise of the extraordinary Magisterium. Whether taught infallibly or defined infallibly, the matter is still just as infallible.
Furthermore:
With Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, we find a clarification on the matter. Consider the final statement of the letter: Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgement is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.
Cardinal Ratzinger made it clear in this brief statement (see below) that the teaching was infallibly taught by the ordinary, universal, episcopal Magisterium.
CARDINAL RATZINGER MADE AN OFFICIAL CLARIFICATION (Responsum ad Dubium) in November of 1995, MAKING IT QUITE CLEAR THAT THE CHURCH HAS TAUGHT INFALLIBLY ON THIS MATTER!
The Action of Jesus
Jesus clearly called only 12 men to be His apostles. Judas abandoned his call; when he was replaced, as described in Acts 1, it is interesting to note that no women were considered for his position, even though there were many women who would have fit the bill as faithful followers. Instead, Matthias was chosen (cf. Inter Insigniores, no. 14).
A Constant Tradition
The second part of the argument from Tradition is that the apostles and their successors throughout history imitated Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions the question of the male priesthood in one article, which articulates the first and second parts of the argument from Tradition:
“Only a baptized man (vir) validly receives sacred ordination.” The Lord Jesus chose men (viri) to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and everactive reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible (no. 1577).
When [the apostles] and Paul went beyond the confines of the Jewish world, the preaching of the Gospel and the Christian life in the Greco-Roman civilization impelled them to break with Mosaic practices, sometimes regretfully. They could therefore have envisaged conferring ordination on women, if they had not been convinced of their duty of fidelity to the Lord on this point. In the Hellenistic world, the cult of a number of pagan divinities was entrusted to priestesses.
Also of import is that fact that the Eastern Catholic Churches have taught unanimously the same points as the Roman Catholic Church. As Inter Insigniores no. 9 notes, “Their unanimity on this point is all the more remarkable since in many other questions their discipline admits of a great diversity.” For instance, priestly celibacy is a disciplinary, not doctrinal matter, in Catholicism. East and West practice differently on this matter. That the East shares the doctrine of male priesthood with us is a signal that the teaching is not in the realm of custom or discipline.
In sum, the Tradition has been so firm throughout the centuries that, as Inter Insigniores no. 8 notes, “the Magisterium has not felt the need to intervene in order to formulate a principle which was not attacked, or to defend a law that was not challenged. … each time that this tradition had the occasion to manifest itself, it witnessed to the Church’s desire to conform to the model left to her by the Lord.” But of course such principles and laws have been challenged in the past thirty years. Hence, the recent Magisterium has had to respond, and it has done so carefully, patiently and firmly. And so, we now turn to the third aspect of the argument from Tradition. (Keep in mind that the arguments presented here simply establish the data about what Tradition has authoritatively taught.)

Esau March 5, 2007 at 12:03 pm

Responsum ad Dubium
Concerning the Teaching Contained in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis
October 28, 1995
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.
Responsum: In the affirmative.
This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.
The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Reply, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.
Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the Feast of the Apostles SS. Simon and Jude, October 28, 1995.
+ Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Prefect
+ Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli, Secretary

Going Deaf March 5, 2007 at 12:06 pm

Esau writes:
“but don’t just abruptly come in my conversation with DJK”
Isn’t this a public forum? My gripe is that it doesn’t seem like much of a conversation — DJK said he doesn’t know all the details, which was his fatal error, for after that, you counter everything that he says with “If, as you say, YOU DON’T KNOW ALL THE DETAILS…”
Esau continues:
“And don’t even attempt to DISTACT from my points (as you usually do on other posts of mine); instead, demonstrate exactly where what I’ve just said right now is wrong?”
What’s wrong is that “YOU DON’T KNOW ALL THE DETAILS” is only a good counter-argument if you then follow it up with the details that he didn’t know.
Now, to your credit, I admit that DJK has done a poor job of backing up many of his statements with sources until recent posts–it wasn’t until the “salon.com controversy” that he started “showing his work”–which allows you or anyone else reading to more easily (and believably) refute him. So, thanks for that!

DJK March 5, 2007 at 12:07 pm

Esau
Why do you ignore that some people are debating if JP II made an infallible statement? It’s clear that you know what the church says, but what about other qualified theologians?
BTW, you STILL haven’t apologized. Man up.

DJK March 5, 2007 at 12:08 pm

BTW, thanks Going Deaf!

Going Deaf March 5, 2007 at 12:11 pm

Don’t thank me, DJK. I’m not in support of or against you. I’m just hoping to read a well-argued debate. Hence my complaints.

DJK March 5, 2007 at 12:13 pm

Yes! A debate is all I was looking for!

Going Deaf March 5, 2007 at 12:19 pm

Esau, this is interesting:
“It is by virtue of the ordinary and universal Magisterium that the doctrine of the male priesthood is infallibly taught. When a) all bishops throughout the world, at any particular time in history, have b) concurred on some matter of faith and morals, c) teach it definitively, and d) in union with the teaching of the Bishop of Rome then that matter is considered to be infallibly taught”
What is the source?

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 12:25 pm

DJK,
Some people are debating the truth of the Resurrection. What does the fact that some are debating it prove?
JP II issued a definitive statement to erase “all doubt.” Pre-XVI issued a statement, with JP II’s approval, that the all-male priesthood is an infallible teaching of the Church.
If you still have doubt, you’re either not paying attention or you have some other agenda.

DJK March 5, 2007 at 12:40 pm

Esquire
Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordinatio_Sacerdotalis
My only issue with all-male priesthood being infallible is that the only reason it is infallible is because all of the bishops agree with the all-male priesthood. Does this mean that in the future, they could just say that it was never infallable since there is no definitive papal/magisterium teaching? This is what the church does with annullments, so, is it possible? I have no agendas in this area, I’m kind of indifferent to the issue.
The resurrection debate proves nothing yet (probably never will). However, assume for a moment, for the sake of argument, that they really did find Jesus’ body, buried with his wife and child. Would it change anything about the faith, except that the bible may not be perfect? Would it make Jesus less divine? Please note Esau that I’m not making a statement or advocating a position.
There is a very common classroom exercise that I can almost guarantee that every Catholic under the age of 25 has done a thousand times in religion classes. They line all of the students up, and wisper a secret to one student. That student tells the student next to him, and he tells the next, until the secret reaches the end. By the time they’re done, the secret is NOTHING like the original. This is supposed to teach us that, because the bible was written by people and passed down by word of mouth, that it may have some inaccuracies. This is somewhat different from what I’ve read about Sacred Scripture though.
BTW Esau, STILL waiting. It’s not very Christian to make FALSE ACCUSATIONS.

Caine March 5, 2007 at 12:41 pm

wow…..
Some of you people need to move away from your computers.
There’s a pin with angels on it someplace. Those guys don’t count themselves, you know!

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 12:58 pm

DJK,
With all due respect, your premises are so screwed up its hard for me to know where even to begin.
My only issue with all-male priesthood being infallible is that the only reason it is infallible is because all of the bishops agree with the all-male priesthood.
Not exactly. It is infallible because the ordinary universal magisterium has taught it to be so, and that teaching has been validated by the Pontiff. Your reductionist argument to a simple bishops’ agreement is faulty.
Does this mean that in the future, they could just say that it was never infallable since there is no definitive papal/magisterium teaching?
No. Infallible teachings are not subject to reversal (ever) just because of the mode in which they are delivered. Infallible teachings are infallible teachings.
This is what the church does with annullments, so, is it possible?
What, pray tell, is your understanding of what the Church does with annulments? But whatever that understanding is, no, it is not possible.
I have no agendas in this area, I’m kind of indifferent to the issue.
Your posts do not reflect indifference.
The resurrection debate proves nothing yet (probably never will). However, assume for a moment, for the sake of argument, that they really did find Jesus’ body, buried with his wife and child. Would it change anything about the faith, except that the bible may not be perfect? Would it make Jesus less divine?
Jusus was not married and has no children. The seductive arguments that he could have — “come on, not everything the Church teaches could be true — are empty and meaningless chaff.
Please note Esau that I’m not making a statement or advocating a position.
With all due respect, you are making a statement and you are advocating a position. You are arguing that the Church is not what she teaches she is, and that we are free to believe what we want about it without peril. That, my friend, is a very dangerous position.
There is a very common classroom exercise that I can almost guarantee that every Catholic under the age of 25 has done a thousand times in religion classes. They line all of the students up, and wisper a secret to one student. That student tells the student next to him, and he tells the next, until the secret reaches the end. By the time they’re done, the secret is NOTHING like the original. This is supposed to teach us that, because the bible was written by people and passed down by word of mouth, that it may have some inaccuracies. This is somewhat different from what I’ve read about Sacred Scripture though.
We call that the telephone game where I come from. It is very useful in teaching children that rumors are not necessarily reliable. Last time I checked, no one was claiming that the passing of secrets in the telephone game was done under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit with a guarantee of inerrancy. And if that’s what they’re teaching in your religion classes, I’d suggest you find a new one.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 1:04 pm

Going Deaf says:
Esau,
I have nothing against you.

Yet, Going Deaf had characterized my comments as immature and, in addition, sought out every opportunity to put me down rather than refuting precisely my various comments here and on other threads — further, he assumes a ‘mocking’ handle just to add insult to injury!
I should change my handle to say ‘going deaf is an idiot’; at the very least, it’s explicit and honest although it may be found highly contemptable — unlike ‘going deaf’ who does so likewise although through surreptitious means.
By the way, the mention of an IP address just goes to address the fact that you may be able to hide your identity from folks here commenting on this blog but NOT to its adminstrators and, above all, to God himself!

Esau March 5, 2007 at 1:12 pm

BTW Esau, STILL waiting. It’s not very Christian to make FALSE ACCUSATIONS.
You mean to say you’ve NOT MADE FALSE ACCUSATIONS in how you’ve CHARACTERIZED the Catholic Church as some HEINOUS MAN-MADE ORGANIZATION FILLED WITH CORRUPT INDIVIDUALS?
Even further, you stated:
My only issue with all-male priesthood being infallible is that the only reason it is infallible is because all of the bishops agree with the all-male priesthood.
However, you have such an IGNORANT knowledge of the Catholic Faith, that you NEGLECT the following Statement from Cardinal Ratzinger himself:
Responsum ad Dubium
Concerning the Teaching Contained in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis
October 28, 1995
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.
Responsum: In the affirmative.
THIS TEACHING REQUIRES DEFINITIVE ASSENT, since, FOUNDED ON THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD, and FROM THE BEGINNING CONSTANTLY PERSERVED and APPLIED IN THE TRADITION OF THE CHURCH, it has been SET FORTH INFALLIBLY by the ORDINARY and UNIVERSAL MAGISTERIUM (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, EXPLICITLY STATING WHAT IS TO BE HELD ALWAYS, EVERYWHERE, AND BY ALL, AS BELONGING TO THE DEPOSIT OF THE FAITH.
The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Reply, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.

Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the Feast of the Apostles SS. Simon and Jude, October 28, 1995.
+ Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Prefect
+ Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli, Secretary
Can the above be made any more clear???

Going Deaf March 5, 2007 at 1:14 pm

Esau,
I probably was overly harsh. I apologize. I never refuted your various comments because I’ve never once claimed that anything you said was wrong or right.
Regarding my ‘mocking’ handle — I guess that was mean in a way, so I apologize. I don’t think it was unexplicit or dishonest though — you obviously know what I meant, and I assume others are intelligent enough to know what I meant as well. So there’s nothing surreptitious about it.
Regarding hiding my identity — why is that even an issue? Why mention God himself? Did I commit some heinous sin by expressing my annoyance at your style of posting? Get over yourself! You don’t include a link to an email address or any identifying information in your posts, so why even bring this issue up?
That said, I apologize for being somewhat mean. It was immature of me. I’ll change my handle to something else.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 1:18 pm

Also, did you even read any of my posts here?
If you had, how can you say:
My only issue with all-male priesthood being infallible is that the only reason it is infallible is because all of the bishops agree with the all-male priesthood.
Please tell me, did Jesus, in fact, have woman Apostles?
All the 12 Apostles of Jesus were, in fact, male!
All the priests in the Old Testament were all male as well!
Now, tell me, if Jesus ordained ONLY male apostles; if the ‘type’ in the Old Testament was likewise; then, why would anybody contradict what Christ Himself had established?

Going Deaf March 5, 2007 at 1:19 pm

By the way,
I really do take offense to:
“‘going deaf is an idiot’; at the very least, it’s explicit and honest
Explicit, yes — but honest? That is rather mean.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Going Deaf:
I wasn’t saying that the comment in the handle was actually true — just that, at the very least, the fact that it reveals the true nature of one’s intention is HONEST; unlike what you’ve done in terms of your ‘mocking’ handle, which, just as you admitted, served a rather ulterior motive which sought only to insult.

DJK March 5, 2007 at 1:26 pm

Esquire
The ordinary and universal magisterium elevates a teaching from the ordinary (non-infallible) teachings to the universal (infallible) teachings when all the bishops agree that a teaching is correct teaching on faith and morals. As far as I can tell, all JP II said was that the all-male priesthood was infallible based on this, however, he did so in a non-ex cathedra statement without any specific statement coming from the magisterium. This is why there is some confusion on the issue.
I bring up annullments because an annullment is the Church stating that a marrage “never happened” or “was not valid to begin with” because one party was acting in bad faith. I am asking if the ambiguitiy of the situation might allow a future Pope/magisterium to overturn the infallibility of the all-male priesthood on similar grounds? In other words, can they say that because the issue does not involve faith or morals, or because the magisterium has not explicitly made it infallible, or because no ex cathedra statement has been released, that this teaching WAS NEVER infallible to begin with? As I stated earlier, the ordination of women is a separate issue.
On the resurrection, I was presenting a hypothetical situation. I am not making the case that Jesus is in the ossuary, that he married and had a family, or anything else. The implication would be that the Bible is written by man, and certain parts may be fallible. None of this would suggest that the Holy Spirit did not guide it’s authors, only that some of the details were confused in translation. I really am not attempting to argue anything here, as I am not prepared to back this up—I leave it as a matter of faith. I only brought it up in comparison to the BBC documentary which some have claimed completely overrules all of the recorded history of the inquisitions.
Esau, does the Church allow making false accusations against people who discuss Church issues? Just write ‘I’m sorry’ or ‘my bad.’ You’ll feel better.

Mary Kay March 5, 2007 at 1:34 pm

Going deaf, thanks for your comments. I wouldn’t say no one seems willing to address anything he says.
As you noted, Esquire has. Closer to the beginning of this thread, I did address his comments on obedience and conscious. Or at least began to address them.
My guess is that your comment about “his character and motivation” are in reference to my saying that he has not said anyhing positive about the Church. (If that’s not correct, tell me.)
I’m not sure where your comment about character came from, but motivation (knowing where someone is coming from) is indeed important when considering what resources and framework I’d use to answer someone’s question.
Besides, it goes both ways. You say we haven’t addressed his questions. But then, neither has he answered my question.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 1:34 pm

DJK:
My bad for what?
READ my posts:

The Responsio:

Post by Esau | Mar 5, 2007 1:12:55 PM

The Apostles of Christ:

Post by: Esau | Mar 5, 2007 1:18:45 PM

If you had read them, how can you say:
“My only issue with all-male priesthood being infallible is that the only reason it is infallible is because all of the bishops agree with the all-male priesthood.”
Please tell me, did Jesus, in fact, have woman Apostles?
All the 12 Apostles of Jesus were, in fact, male!
All the priests in the Old Testament were all male as well!
Now, tell me, if Jesus ordained ONLY male apostles; if the ‘type’ in the Old Testament was likewise; then, why would anybody contradict what Christ Himself had established?

DJK March 5, 2007 at 1:43 pm

For accusing me of writing defamatory lies against the Church, and using left-wing blogs like Salon as a source. You were so certain that I just go trolling around for anti-Catholic information that you found the most rediculous blog where someone else quoted Wikipedia, then you attributed it to me with a full link and long string of personal attacks. That has nothing to do with any other part of the discussion.

Mary Kay March 5, 2007 at 1:48 pm

DJK,
Going Deaf thinks that no one is addressing your questions, so let me make sure I understand what your questions are:
1. What are the parameters of Scripture interpretation.
2. What role does conscience play in one’s spiritual life.
3. What role does God play in what you call the “human organization” of the Church.
4. The levels of teaching authority.
5+ Somehow questions about a male only priesthood and did I read something about the Resurrection above? I have to admit that I haven’t most of the recent posts. Anything else?

DJK March 5, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Mary Kay
That’s pretty much it. The priesthood stuff came up when we were discussing infallibility, and the resurrection stuff came up in comparison to the BBC documentary. I expanded on some of my thoughts from the Jesus tomb show a little bit above, but I am really only discussing hypotheticals in that area.

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 2:03 pm

DJK,
As far as I can tell, all JP II said was that the all-male priesthood was infallible based on this, however, he did so in a non-ex cathedra statement without any specific statement coming from the magisterium. This is why there is some confusion on the issue.
Let’s start here. Name a credible Catholic theologian who is confused on this issue. I simply don’t know of any. Every theologian who is worth anything that I’ve seen says it is clear as day. JP2 said he was erasing “all doubt” and making a “definitive” statement that the Church has no authority. Cardinal Ratzinger said, plain as day, the teaching is infallible. If you still think there’s confusion, perhaps the problem lies in who you’re choosing to give credence to.
I bring up annullments because an annullment is the Church stating that a marrage “never happened” or “was not valid to begin with” because one party was acting in bad faith.
Bad analogy. Really bad analogy. Last time I checked, marriages are not infallibly declared valid. They are presumed valid, as I understand it, but if you rebut the presumption then you are entitled to a declaration of nullity from the Church.
I am asking if the ambiguitiy of the situation might allow a future Pope/magisterium to overturn the infallibility of the all-male priesthood on similar grounds?
No. First, you have failed to demonstrate that the situation is legitimately ambiguous. Second, infallible teachings are just that, infallible. They are not subject to reversal in another time and place. The Church will not teach you that Jesus was not married today, and that he was married tomorrow. Again, it’s a Holy Spirit thing, prevents the Church from definitively teaching error as truth.
In other words, can they say that because the issue does not involve faith or morals, or because the magisterium has not explicitly made it infallible, or because no ex cathedra statement has been released, that this teaching WAS NEVER infallible to begin with?
No. For starters, the magisterium has explicitly recognized the infallibility of the teaching. What you are now demanding is that the Church infallibly declare the infallibility of the teaching. And I’m sure if it did that, someone else would want to know whether the infallible declaration of infallibility was itself infallible. Good grief. Read the darn thing.
As I stated earlier, the ordination of women is a separate issue.
It is a good issue to demonstrate that the fallacious reasoning of those who continue to hold out hope, even for the sake of argument, that the Church might change its mind.
On the resurrection, I was presenting a hypothetical situation. I am not making the case that Jesus is in the ossuary, that he married and had a family, or anything else. The implication would be that the Bible is written by man, and certain parts may be fallible. None of this would suggest that the Holy Spirit did not guide it’s authors, only that some of the details were confused in translation.
I understand that you are not making the case that Jesus was married. You are making the case that he could have been. We just can’t be sure. And in that case, you are wrong. In fact, we can’t really “know” anything that the Church teaches, because science might one day prove it wrong. Wrong again.
I really am not attempting to argue anything here, as I am not prepared to back this up—I leave it as a matter of faith.
Your “matter of faith” sounds nothing like the faith of the Church.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 5, 2007 at 2:04 pm

(I am the artist formerly known as “Going Deaf”. See above for explanation if interested).
Mary Kay,
I shouldn’t have made such a sweeping statement, so I apologize. Further, as I expressed above, I was overly harsh to Esau, so I apologize again to him.
Thank you for bringing some structure back to this discussion with your latest post.
I do have another suggestion. It’s obvious that you, Esau, and others have done much reading; however, a lot (not all, but a lot) of what is printed here is done without reference to sources. Given the gravity of the subject matter, I would think it would be beneficial to provide a source for any statement that one makes that doesn’t fall into 1.) common knowledge or 2.) personal analysis. Otherwise, any statement of “fact” on a blog like this holds exactly zero weight.
Just my 2 cents.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 2:08 pm

DJK:
Did the thought ever cross your mind that the very reason why is due to the fact that you REFUSE to consider any evidence at all that refutes the historical events, as you have claimed them to be?
That is, you INSIST that the Catholic Church is “GUILTY” of this, that and the other thing based on whatever sources you claim as ‘reliable’ (although, it’s somewhat disconcerting that you can actually look up to Wikipedia as some sort of ultimate trustworthy source as it can be editted by almost anybody); however, can you please cite some sources that you’ve consulted that actually places the Catholic Church in a more favorable light?
I just cited the BBC documentary as one example. There are, of course, many others since there have been quite a number of secular historians even who have disputed the events of the Inquiristion and written several works on the matter, citing various historical documentation.
What you fail to acknowledge is the fact that despite all your claims of not actually knowing all the details, you still seem to neglect the fact that you’ve already formed a conclusion on the matter and this conclusion, as demonstrated by your several comments, appears to be one that looks with such disgust on the Church as noted by the several negative comments you’ve made regarding it.
IF you were TRUE to your CLAIM that you DO NOT KNOW ALL THE FACTS and are ATTEMPTING TO EDUCATE YOURSELF ON BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY, wouldn’t it have been rather appropriate to SUSPEND ANY JUDGMENT ON THE MATTER ALTOGETHER (both negative or positive) and simply research several of the available ‘reliable sources’ out there (put forth by notable historians and so forth and not by mere commenters on websites) that look at the events from BOTH SIDES of the matter and remain reticent on the issue until such time the research is concluded?
Yet, have you done that at all?
What do we have instead?
You actually CONDEMNING the Church on several points with such remarks as those you’ve made in the above posts such as:
“If the Church is not a human organization, how do you explain the past transgressions of the Church? Are you suggesting that Christ fully guided the Church to start the inquisitions? ”
“I believe that it is true that the Church did not (usually) directly inflict any physical harm on the victims, however, they facilitated and legitimized the actions of the secular states that held the inquisitions. In other words, the executioners and state officials were “just following orders” from the Church. Also sound familiar?”
“We must acknowedge the things that happened in these days. Alot of this is irrefutable documented history. Even in the best scenario, we MIGHT could say that the Church was only complacent in the crimes by doing nothing to stop them. I would argue that if we, as Catholics, were complacent in any form of evil, we would be sinning against God and the Church. We would need to hit the confessional and do something to make up for our transgressions. So, why does the Church, as a human organization, get a pass?”
Now, for somebody who CLAIMS that he DOES NOT KNOW EVERY DETAIL, there is so much here that rises to the level of INTERPRETIVE COMMENTS THAT CONDEMNS THE CHURCH WHOLESALE! They’re very accusative in nature and, thus, makes me very skeptical in any of your so-called intention to educate yourself about the matter.
Further, your comment below:
“however, the current structure was built only after Rome legalized Christianity.”
This one in particular reflects an anti-Catholic comment of the Reformers of yester years and, therefore, would make me leery of anything you happen to say on the issue as a Catholic would never actually say something as drastically historically contrived as this.
Although, I do know of one anti-Catholic who used to protest against the Church and say things in a similar manner.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 2:17 pm

I do have another suggestion. It’s obvious that you, Esau, and others have done much reading; however, a lot (not all, but a lot) of what is printed here is done without reference to sources. Given the gravity of the subject matter, I would think it would be beneficial to provide a source for any statement that one makes that doesn’t fall into 1.) common knowledge or 2.) personal analysis. Otherwise, any statement of “fact” on a blog like this holds exactly zero weight.
Smokey Mountain Going Deaf:
How is it that when it comes to Mary Kay, myself and others who are refuting DJK’s supposed historical views, you dictate such strict measures regarding documentation; however, you did not seem to require likewise of DJK himself and went on to actually accept his ramblings without any substantial documentation on his part other than to merely accept his Wikipedia reference as a reliable source on the matter?
If I were to edit the entry on Wikipedia, could it still carry the same weight as DJK and you had initially given it?

DJK March 5, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Smoky Mountain Hiker
I agree.
Esquire
Did you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordinatio_Sacerdotalis? It states that Benedict XVI says Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is not infallible, but it’s contents were, by virtue of the ordinary and universal magisterium. When did the magisterium decide to elevate the all-male priesthood teaching to infallible? Did JP II state that the teaching was infallible simply because no one is disagreeing with it? Again, wikipedia is not the most academic of sources, but the level of confusion in this article suggests to me that some people think that there is a possiblity that a future Pope/Church COULD, not WILL or SHOULD, overturn it on the grounds that the teaching was never infallible, or mistaken to be infallible.
My description of an annullment is correct. The teaching is that the Church cannot dissolve a valid marriage, therefore, if the marriage can be found to have been invalid from the beginning, then technically, the couple was never married. This is what I am thinking COULD happen with the all-male priesthood issue. My personal opinion on this issue is irrelevant.
You are correct about Jesus, he COULD have had a wife and kids, and his tomb COULD have just been discovered, but we can never truly know. It is a matter of faith to believe that he was resurrected to heaven.
However, there have been a couple of times where science has provided theories that are directly against the Bible, and appear to be arguably true, for example, the heliocentric universe theory. Evolution is still an unproven theory, but the most likely scientific explaination for creation. Today the Church believes that a Catholic can fully believe in evolution without violating his/her faith.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 5, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Esau,
My goodness you are judgemental!
“How is it that when it comes to Mary Kay, myself and others who are refuting DJK’s supposed historical views, you dictate such strict measures regarding documentation”
Where did I say that I didn’t expect the same from DJK or others? Please show me the quote. I wrote “it would be beneficial to provide a source for any statement that one makes”. If there is a more generic pronoun than “one”, I’m not aware of it.
“however, you did not seem to require likewise of DJK himself and went on to actually accept his ramblings”
Where, in what post of mine, did I accept his “ramblings”?
” without any substantial documentation on his part other than to merely accept his Wikipedia reference as a reliable source on the matter?”
When did I call Wikipedia a reliable source?
“If I were to edit the entry on Wikipedia, could it still carry the same weight as DJK and you had initially given it?”
Of course not — Wikipedia carries essentially no weight in my mind. When say anyting about Wikipedia?
Please don’t put words in my mouth…you’re addressing me with the same arrogant tone that you address DJK with. I don’t understand why, and I don’t appreciate it.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 5, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Typo:
My baby-speak:
“When say anyting about Wikipedia?”
Should have been:
When did I say anything about Wikipedia?

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 2:25 pm

Smoky,
You are right. Unsubstantiated sources should hold exactly zero weight. I stated these earlier, but here are some links to magisterial documents discussing infallibility and levels of assent. (I don’t know how to link to a precise location within the document, so you’ll have to scroll down.)
Lumen Gentium, art. 25. Note among other things that infallible teachings are “irreformable.”
Code of Canon Law, secs. 749, 750 and 752. Note that even non-infallible teachings require religious submission of the intellect and the will.
Donum Veritatis, art. 23 and following.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 2:26 pm

DJK:
How can you say:
It states that Benedict XVI says Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is not infallible
When, in fact, B16 as Cardinal Ratzinger made the following statement:
Responsum ad Dubium
Concerning the Teaching Contained in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis
October 28, 1995
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.
Responsum: In the affirmative.
THIS TEACHING REQUIRES DEFINITIVE ASSENT, since, FOUNDED ON THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD, and FROM THE BEGINNING CONSTANTLY PERSERVED and APPLIED IN THE TRADITION OF THE CHURCH, it has been SET FORTH INFALLIBLY by the ORDINARY and UNIVERSAL MAGISTERIUM (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, EXPLICITLY STATING WHAT IS TO BE HELD ALWAYS, EVERYWHERE, AND BY ALL, AS BELONGING TO THE DEPOSIT OF THE FAITH.
The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Reply, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.
Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the Feast of the Apostles SS. Simon and Jude, October 28, 1995.
+ Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Prefect
+ Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli, Secretary
Can the above be made any more clear???
Also, why do you REFUSE to acknowledge the facts as put forth in several of my posts regarding this issue?
If you had read them, how can you say:
“My only issue with all-male priesthood being infallible is that the only reason it is infallible is because all of the bishops agree with the all-male priesthood.”
Please tell me, did Jesus, in fact, have woman Apostles?
All the 12 Apostles of Jesus were, in fact, male!
All the priests in the Old Testament were all male as well!
Now, tell me, if Jesus ordained ONLY male apostles; if the ‘type’ in the Old Testament was likewise; then, why would anybody contradict what Christ Himself had established?

DJK March 5, 2007 at 2:30 pm

Esau
1) I am, and was born as a Catholic.
2) I have not condemned the Church.
3) You have been putting words in my mouth.
4) Why don’t you name a second source for your claims on the inquisition? I can’t watch the BBC documentary, it doesn’t come on and downloading it would be illegal.
5) If you can name a single falsehood that I have written on any post, I will take it back.
6) You never answered any of my previous questions: Please be honest.
* Does asking these questions make me a heretic?
* Would you support a new inquisition to weed out people like me and other Catholics who have issues with some non-infallible teachings?
7) You STILL haven’t said anything about printing false things about me.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 2:34 pm

DJK:
Please read my two preceding posts above.
It’s amazing that the comments you’ve written doesn’t strike you at all as being such.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 2:35 pm

DJK:
Read the following posts:
1. Esau | Mar 5, 2007 2:08:59 PM
2. Esau | Mar 5, 2007 2:26:47 PM

Esau March 5, 2007 at 2:40 pm

Smokey Mountain Going Deaf:
Esau,
My goodness you are judgemental!

Do you even pay attention to the contents of your posts to me while writing them as well as the arrogance contained in them as well?
In fact, you admitted as much earlier.
As for the requirements you imposed, you had prefaced the requirement by specifying Mary Kay’s name as well as mine which appeared to imply that.

DJK March 5, 2007 at 2:44 pm

Esau
If you’re just going to dish out crap and ignore these issues, again, then I’m just going to ignore you.
4) Why don’t you name a second source for your claims on the inquisition? I can’t watch the BBC documentary, it doesn’t come on and downloading it would be illegal.
5) If you can name a single falsehood that I have written on any post, I will take it back.
6) You never answered any of my previous questions: Please be honest.
* Does asking these questions make me a heretic?
* Would you support a new inquisition to weed out people like me and other Catholics who have issues with some non-infallible teachings?
7) You STILL haven’t said anything about printing false things about me.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 5, 2007 at 2:46 pm

Esau,
I’ve apologized to you twice. I even changed my handle as show of apology (I’m not sure why you’re including “Going Deaf” still in your replies…). I hesitate to write this, but I think you owe me an apology as well.
All I suggested in my post to Mary Kay was that people cite their sources. I don’t think that’s a “strict standard”, given the subject matter. DJK needs to cite his sources too. Another poster agreed with me.

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 2:49 pm

DJK,
Did you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordinatio_Sacerdotalis?
Yes.
It states that Benedict XVI says Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is not infallible, but it’s contents were, by virtue of the ordinary and universal magisterium.
Close enough.
When did the magisterium decide to elevate the all-male priesthood teaching to infallible?
Does it matter? But more to the point, the teaching is infallible because it is true. It is not infallible because it was elevated.
Did JP II state that the teaching was infallible simply because no one is disagreeing with it?
That’s not the way it works. But the answer would be “no,” he did not state the teaching was infallible simply because no one is disagreeing with it.
Again, wikipedia is not the most academic of sources, but the level of confusion in this article suggests to me that some people think that there is a possiblity that a future Pope/Church COULD, not WILL or SHOULD, overturn it on the grounds that the teaching was never infallible, or mistaken to be infallible.
Again, “some people” (Realist, where are you) think there is a possiblity the Resurrection never happened. So what? People who don’t understand the Church are confused? Gasp. Say it ain’t so. That doesn’t mean there’s actually any confusion about what the Church teaches. Why do you continue to ignore that the Holy Father’s express purpose was to eliminate confusion. Listen to what he said.
And why do you keep acting as if I’m making the argument that you’re making the argument that the teaching will change? I have directly stated at least twice above that I understand you’re not making that argument. I have been directly addressing your argument that the teaching on this subject could change, despite the very clear teaching of the Church that it is irreformable.
My description of an annullment is correct. The teaching is that the Church cannot dissolve a valid marriage, therefore, if the marriage can be found to have been invalid from the beginning, then technically, the couple was never married. This is what I am thinking COULD happen with the all-male priesthood issue.
It’s still a bad analogy. You are correct that the Church cannot dissolve a valid marriage. (Note that that teaching will never change either.) But the fact of a valid marriage is not infallibly declared. It is presumed. The fact of an all-male priesthood is not presumed, it is infallibly taught.
My personal opinion on this issue is irrelevant.
Except to the extent you use your personal opinion to lead others into error about what the Church teaches.
You are correct about Jesus, he COULD have had a wife and kids, and his tomb COULD have just been discovered, but we can never truly know.
Please don’t ascribe that ridiculous position to me. He did not have a wife. He did not have a kid. We can know that with certainty. It is the faith of the Church.
It is a matter of faith to believe that he was resurrected to heaven.
Yes, we know with certainty as a matter of faith.
However, there have been a couple of times where science has provided theories that are directly against the Bible, and appear to be arguably true, for example, the heliocentric universe theory. Evolution is still an unproven theory, but the most likely scientific explaination for creation.
Gots a little bit of a problem with the “directly against the Bible” bit. If you’re relying on your Bible for scientific truths, perhaps you’re not reading it with the Church.
Today the Church believes that a Catholic can fully believe in evolution without violating his/her faith.
Absolutely, but that doesn’t include all of the nonsense that is included with atheistic evolutionary theories.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 2:52 pm

DJK:
Ignore these issues???
When you say:
You STILL haven’t said anything about printing false things about me.
as well as for #5 and #6 –
I HAVE said it on my Esau | Mar 5, 2007 2:08:59 PM post.
Now, if you REFUSE to read it; then, let’s be done with it.
Also, if you refuse to read my post regarding the dogmatic teaching of the All-Male priesthood which I re-introduced yet again on my Esau | Mar 5, 2007 2:26:47 PM post; then, I really don’t see how we can continue when all we’re doing is ignoring the other’s posts.

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Esau,
For what it’s worth, I agree with you and I think you should apologize to DJK and Smoky.
But I do love the passion.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 2:59 pm

Smokey Mountain:
All I suggested in my post to Mary Kay was that people cite their sources. I don’t think that’s a “strict standard”, given the subject matter. DJK needs to cite his sources too. Another poster agreed with me.
If that is what you genuinely meant, I do apologize to you and thank you for the gesture.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 3:07 pm

Esquire:
I didn’t see your comment until I finally posted my apology to Smokey Mountain.
I had already meant to apologize to him/her, but was delayed due to certain matters that arose from my end.
Also, I thank you GREATLY for recognizing (unlike a certain others on the blog) that the manner in which my comments are written is one out of PASSION.
I also GREATLY appreciate your comments as well and hope you continue to grace us with your presence here!
The more persons knowledgeable about the Faith who comment here on this blog, the better! You are helping the many of us who aren’t as educated about the Faith to become illumined in it!
God bless you for your fortitude and faith!

DJK March 5, 2007 at 3:15 pm

Esquire
Forgive my excessive use of SHOULD, IF, COULD, etc. I’m just trying to avoid accustaions and confusion from other readers.
When did the magisterium decide to elevate the all-male priesthood teaching to infallible?
It matters alot. Someone, either the Pope or the magisterium, needs to elevate a teaching from the ordinary magisterium to the universal magisterium. When did this happen?
Except to the extent you use your personal opinion to lead others into error about what the Church teaches.
What makes you think I’m trying to spread errors? I’m trying to find the truth. Forgive me if I try to think and understand my faith.
Gots a little bit of a problem with the “directly against the Bible” bit. If you’re relying on your Bible for scientific truths, perhaps you’re not reading it with the Church.
I actually came across a Catholic website that suggests that we live in a geocentric universe because the Bible says so.
Absolutely, but that doesn’t include all of the nonsense that is included with atheistic evolutionary theories.
Darwin doesn’t suggest that God created the universe, only that it happened differently than in Genesis. However, it is still a theory.
You are correct about Jesus, he COULD have had a wife and kids, and his tomb COULD have just been discovered, but we can never truly know.
We agree–it is totally a matter of faith. My only issue is with that telephone game—why does the Church use this throughout every level of Catholic education if it goes against the doctrine of Sacred Scripture? That game suggests to me that it is POSSIBLE that Jesus could have had a wife, and that humans messed up the literal reading of the Bible, but this can’t be correct.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 5, 2007 at 3:23 pm

DJK wrote:
You are correct about Jesus, he COULD have had a wife and kids, and his tomb COULD have just been discovered, but we can never truly know.
We agree–it is totally a matter of faith.”
You appear to quote Esquire, but you’re quoting yourself. Esquire earlier stated firmly and clearly that he disagreed with you on that matter:
Please don’t ascribe that ridiculous position to me. He did not have a wife. He did not have a kid. We can know that with certainty.

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 3:47 pm

DJK,
Forgive my excessive use of SHOULD, IF, COULD, etc. I’m just trying to avoid accustaions and confusion from other readers.
No problem. It was just starting to sound like you weren’t listening to what I was saying. But you have articulated perfectly valid reasons.
It matters alot. Someone, either the Pope or the magisterium, needs to elevate a teaching from the ordinary magisterium to the universal magisterium. When did this happen?
It seems to me that the important question is whether it happened, not when. With most, if not all, infallible teachings, the best you can usually do time-wise is give a date after which you know it is infallibly taught. But even with ex cathedra definitions, there is a recognition that the Church has always taught this, and so that you can say that it was probably regarded as infallible some time before the ex cathedra definition. If you go back in time to the moment before the ex cathedra definition, you might find theologians arguing the infallibility of the point, but my guess is that most would recognize the authoritative nature of the teaching before the ex cathedra definition. But after the ex cathedra definition, there’s clarity, all doubt is removed.
I haven’t studied the question of when before Ordinatio Sacerdotalis the all-male priesthood might have been infallibly taught. I take the Holy Father at his word when he says it has been the constant and universal teaching of the Church. But regardless of when it was first recognized as infallible, I know that after the issuance of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis no doubt remains on the point.
What makes you think I’m trying to spread errors? I’m trying to find the truth. Forgive me if I try to think and understand my faith.
I don’t think you’re trying to spread errors, but I nonetheless think you are when you suggest that what the Church teaches as infallibly true might not be so. That is error, and unless I’m wrong, you’ve been spreading it all over this post. As for your implication that one who follows the Church must not be “thinking,” I’ll leave it to others to examine the posts and see who is thinking or not.
I actually came across a Catholic website that suggests that we live in a geocentric universe because the Bible says so.
Many individuals, organizations and websites claim to be Catholic when they are not, and when they do not accurately reflect what the Church teaches.
Darwin doesn’t suggest that God created the universe, only that it happened differently than in Genesis. However, it is still a theory.
Or differently than some interpretations of Genesis. Again, the basic elements of evolutionary theory square just fine with a Catholic interpretation of Genesis (as do developments in the area of physics and other scientific disciplines).
We agree–it is totally a matter of faith. My only issue is with that telephone game—why does the Church use this throughout every level of Catholic education if it goes against the doctrine of Sacred Scripture?
First, your application of a game to a particular argument says nothing about how others use or used it. I pointed out a perfectly legitimate use of the game (to explain the danger of rumors). That a game has one legitimate application does not make it useful to prove the errancy of Scripture in the face of 2000 years of Catholic Tradition and magisterial teaching to the contrary. Second, individual religious education teachers are not “the Church.” You make the same mistake here that you made repeatedly in discussing John Paul II’s apology. There is a big difference between apologizing for actions of the Church and apologizing for certain actions of members of the Church.
That game suggests to me that it is POSSIBLE that Jesus could have had a wife, and that humans messed up the literal reading of the Bible, but this can’t be correct.
If that game suggests to you that Jesus could have had a wife, or that the Church is mistaken in its teaching on that point, I’d suggest you stop playing that game.

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Thank you Smoky Mountain Hiker for both the impartial and facilitative nature of your comment above!
… And thank you Esquire for calling a Spade, a Spade!

Esau March 5, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Apologies — that was my post!

Mary Kay March 5, 2007 at 4:15 pm

I can’t find the article that listed three levels of the Magisterium’s teaching authority, so I’ll ask Jimmy. The best I can remember was the highest was ex cathedra (infallible), the second was definitive teaching, the third was maybe the deposit of faith. But I’ll have to ask Jimmy. All three required “assent of the faithful.”
For a source, Esquire cited Lumen Gentium 25, which was the main one I found.

bill912 March 5, 2007 at 4:18 pm

The Heliocentric Theory of the Universe, which Galileo taught, was disproven long ago. The sun is not the center of the universe; it is the center (more or less) of the Solar System, but is just one of millions of stars in one of millions of galaxies. Wise of the Church authorities to tell Galileo that he could teach his theory as a theory, but not as fact, wasn’t it? (Not that that stopped him).

Esau March 5, 2007 at 4:24 pm

Please tell me, did Jesus, in fact, have woman Apostles?
All the 12 Apostles of Jesus were, in fact, male!
All the priests in the Old Testament were all male as well!
Now, tell me, if Jesus ordained ONLY male apostles; if the ‘type’ in the Old Testament was likewise; then, why would anybody contradict what Christ Himself had established?
Also, Cardinal Ratzinger had already issued a statement in 1995, clarifying the fact that THIS IS INFALLIBLE TEACHING:
Responsum ad Dubium
Concerning the Teaching Contained in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis
October 28, 1995
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.
Responsum: In the affirmative.
THIS TEACHING REQUIRES DEFINITIVE ASSENT, since, FOUNDED ON THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD, and FROM THE BEGINNING CONSTANTLY PERSERVED and APPLIED IN THE TRADITION OF THE CHURCH, it has been SET FORTH INFALLIBLY by the ORDINARY and UNIVERSAL MAGISTERIUM (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium 25, 2).
Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, EXPLICITLY STATING WHAT IS TO BE HELD ALWAYS, EVERYWHERE, AND BY ALL, AS BELONGING TO THE DEPOSIT OF THE FAITH.
The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Reply, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.
Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the Feast of the Apostles SS. Simon and Jude, October 28, 1995.
+ Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Prefect
+ Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli, Secretary
CAN THE ABOVE BE MADE ANY CLEARER?

Mary Kay March 5, 2007 at 4:31 pm

I asked Jimmy to answer the questions here since he’s the apologist and I’m not and therefore not good for sources.
One thought about women’s ordination and the non-Catholic suggestion of Jesus with kids is that Jesus is the Bridegroom and the Church is the Bride. The marital relationship is uses as a model back in the book of Hosea. There are also New Testament references, but I don’t remember them off the top of head, but Jimmy would know them.
Smokey Mt. Hiker, looks I’ll have to get a little more organized about where I’ve read what.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 4:42 pm

For those who DOUBT the Dogmatic Teaching on Male Priesthood, here’s an EWTN Link concerning the Responsio and, as before, the actual statement regarding the Infallible Teaching:
http://www.ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFRESPO.HTM
COVER LETTER TO BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE PRESIDENTS
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
——————————————————————————–
November 8, 1995
The publication in May 1994 of the apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was followed by a number of problematic and negative statements by certain theologians, organizations of priests and religious, as well as some associations of lay people. These reactions attempted to cast doubt on the definitive character of the letter’s teaching on the inadmissibility of women to the ministerial priesthood and also questioned whether this teaching belonged to the deposit of the faith.
This congregation therefore has judged it necessary to dispel the doubts and reservations that have arisen by issuing a responsum ad dubium, which the Holy Father has approved and ordered to be published (cf. enclosure).
In asking you to bring this responsum to the attention of the bishops of your episcopal conference before its official publication, this dicastery is confident that the conference itself, as well as the individual bishops, will do everything possible to ensure its distribution and favorable reception, taking particular care that, above all on the part of theologians, pastors of souls and religious, ambiguous and contrary positions will not again be proposed.
The text of the responsum is to remain confidential until the date of its publication in L’Osservatore Romano, which is expected to be the 18th of November.
With gratitude for your assistance and with prayerful best wishes I remain,
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
——————————————————————————–
CONCERNING THE TEACHING CONTAINED IN ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS RESPONSUM AD DUBIUM
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
October 28, 1995
Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.
Responsum: In the affirmative.
This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.
The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Reply, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.
Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the Feast of the Apostles SS. Simon and Jude, October 28, 1995.
Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefect
Tarcisio Bertone
Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 5:14 pm

Mary Kay,
I can’t find the article that listed three levels of the Magisterium’s teaching authority, so I’ll ask Jimmy. The best I can remember was the highest was ex cathedra (infallible), the second was definitive teaching, the third was maybe the deposit of faith. But I’ll have to ask Jimmy. All three required “assent of the faithful.”
I’ll give you my understanding, but if Jimmy says something different, I’d trust what he says.
First, you have infallible dogma, which may either be formally taught or defined by the universal magisterium in three different ways: (a) when the Pope exercises the extraordinary papal magisterium and proclaims by a definitive act, ex cathedra, that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held (see CIC 749.1; Donum Veritatis 15); (b) when the college of bishops, acting in concert with the Pope, exercise the extraordinary episcopal magisterium by gatehring together in an ecumenical council and declare for the universal Church that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held definitively (see CIC 749.2; DonVer 15); or (c) when the college of bishops, again acting in communion with the Pope, exercise the ordinary universal episcopal magisterium and agree that a particular teaching (not definition) is to be held defintively (see CIC 749.2; DonVer 16). Notice, of the three ways in which infallible teachings may be handed down, only one is based on ex cathedra papal declarations. Infallible teachings and definitions (which are also “definitive” and “irreformable”) that are divinely revealed require the “assent of divine and Catholic faith” (DonVer 23). Those truths that are not divinely revealed but are proposed definitively as being intimately connected to divine revelation are to be “firmly accepted and held” (DonVer 23).
Second, ordinary teachings on matters of faith and morals such as those typically found in encyclicals and curial documents, are not infallible and do not require the assent of divine and Catholic faith. Rather, they require “religious submission of the intellect and will on the part of the faithful” (DonVer 23; Lumen Gentium 25; CIC 752).
Finally, you have ordinary prudential teachings of the universal magisterium on disciplinary matters — often the application of dogmatic truths to particular or concrete historical situations. This requires a “willing and loyal submission to the teaching of the magisterium” (DonVer 24). Donum Veritatis explains the limited circumstances in which theologians, for good reason, may legitimately raise questions about the timeliness, form or content of this third kind of teaching, but not the first two.
Again, that’s just my understanding of the traditional breakdown, based on those three sources and my notes from moral theology. Hope it helps.

DJK March 5, 2007 at 5:40 pm

Mary
Thank you.
bill912
You’re right. I missed that one.
Esquire
… but I nonetheless think you are [spreading errors] when you suggest that what the Church teaches as infallibly true might not be so.
I’m not trying to suggest that the church would do away with any infallible teaching, only one where the infallible status is ambiguous. For example, a teaching which becomes infallible, or is assumed infallible, through the universal magisterium, but without any real formal declaration of it’s infallibility.
The telephone game
This has been taught in every Catholic school that myself, my parents, my cousins, and my siblings have attended. The point of the game is to show that, because the Bible was passed down by word of mouth for centuries, it may contain additions, omissions, embelishments, etc. I know this is being taught in other Catholic churches across the world. How can multiple Catholic churches teach something that goes directly against the Church?
All
Here is a dissenting opinion on Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. I only present it to give another perspective from someone more knoledgeable than me:
http://isosinfallible.blogspot.com/

Mary Kay March 5, 2007 at 5:59 pm

Esquire, thanks. That sounds similar to what I had.

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 9:35 pm

Greetings
DJK,
I can’t possibly address all of the errors in the analysis by your ex-seminarian, but I will note, for now, that he goes off the tracks in the first paragraph:
The statements in the CDF’s response forced me to review the doctrine of infallibly as taught by the Church. If Pope John II’s statements are to be regarded as an exercise of Papal infallibility, the debate is closed to some extent, though one could argue that there needs to be ongoing development of our understanding of this infallible doctrine. On the other hand, if the doctrine is not to be understood as infallible, than one could argue for continuing to withhold assent, or even outright dissent.
Where does he get the notion that the withholding of assent, “or even outright dissent,” is permitted if Pope John Paul II was wrong, and Cardinal Ratzinger were wrong and it’s really not infallible, or its only temporarily infallible? That, as you can readily ascertain from the links I’ve previously provided, is simply false.

Esquire March 5, 2007 at 9:44 pm

DJK,
I forgot to address your initial statement.
I’m not trying to suggest that the church would do away with any infallible teaching, only one where the infallible status is ambiguous.
You have missed the point. A teaching is not infallible unless it is manifestly evident that it is to be definitively held. (The Canon Law link above has the clearest explanation of this.) There are many different ways that it can be manifestly evident that a teaching is to be definitively held. One is for the Holy Father to say that it is to be definitively held. You seem to want to address everything but what the Holy Father actually said, and what he actually said is simply not ambiguous.
For example, a teaching which becomes infallible, or is assumed infallible, through the universal magisterium, but without any real formal declaration of it’s infallibility.
Formal declaration is not the key. “Manifestly evident” is the key. When the Holy Father expressly states that he is removing all doubt (I’m still confused as to what part of “all doubt” you don’t understand) and the matter is to be “definitively held” as a matter of “divine and catholic faith” it is manifestly evident.
The fact that some who believe that their “conscience” requires them to “withhold assent” or “to even outright dissent” is evidence of nothing more than a poorly formed conscience.
How can multiple Catholic churches teach something that goes directly against the Church?
One need only read your ex-seminarian’s opening paragraph to get a glimpse of the answer to that question, lamentable as it is.

Esau March 5, 2007 at 11:37 pm

Esquire –
I wouldn’t put stock in that ex-seminarian’s opinion.
He admits as much in his blog, as you have rightly alluded to in your above post.
He’s a progressive Catholic/ex-seminarian; an unfortunate product of the teachings of Modernist Theologians whose only agenda is to advance a departure from authentic Church Teaching.
As Cardinal Ratzinger himself noted:
Recognizing this, Ratzinger employed the word “crisis” to describe the situation. The basic crisis, as he interpreted it, is a crisis of trust in dogma as proposed by the Magisterium, a crisis precipitated in part by theologians who have challenged the received.
As he put it: “Broad circles in theology seem to have forgotten that the subject who pursues theology is not the individual scholar but the Catholic community as a whole, the entire Church. From this forgetfulness of theological work as ecclesiastical service derives a theological pluralism that in reality is often a subjectivism and individualism that has little to do with the bases of common tradition. Every theologian now wants to be ‘creative.’ But his proper task is to deepen the common Deposit of the Faith as well as to help in understanding and proclaiming it. In recent years theology has energetically dedicated itself to make faith and the signs of the times accord with each other in order to find new ways for the transmission of Christianity.”

“With the advent of a Vatican II-inspired “openness to the world,” the emphasis shifted from the hard work of mastering the tradition to reconciliation with the world. Dogma came to be viewed as an intolerable straitjacket. This has its effects on catechesis. Ratzinger recognized that since theology no longer transmits a common model for the faith, catechesis is also exposed to dismemberment and constantly changing experiments. The result has been disintegration of the sensus fidei, with consequences in the moral order.

Esquire March 6, 2007 at 6:35 am

DJK,
As I alluded to yesterday, your ex-seminarian’s post is riddled with errors and fallacious reasoning, beginning with the mistaken assumption at the outset that only infallible teachings require assent.
Because it would be impractical to address the entire post in one sitting, I will point out here some of the more apparent specific errors in the post, noting that it also contains several items that I would classify as red herrings (such as the implication that the papal declaration of the assumption has the weight of full papal infallibility, thus implying that other methods of teaching infallibility are partial, or at least somehow less full).
It is also important that the Holy Father addressed Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to the Bishops only. Vatican I specifies that the Holy Father speaks infallibly when addressing the whole Church.
Let’s compare what your ex-seminarian says about Vatican I’s pronouncement on infallibility to the actual text, which you can find here:
9. Therefore, faithfully adhering to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God our savior, for the exaltation of the Catholic religion and for the salvation of the Christian people, with the approval of the Sacred Council, we teach and define as a divinely revealed dogma that when the Roman Pontiff speaks EX CATHEDRA, that is, when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he possesses, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, that infallibility which the divine Redeemer willed his Church to enjoy in defining doctrine concerning faith or morals. Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.
Needless to say, Vatican I does not say what your ex-seminarian says it says.
More imprtantly, the Pope used the words to be definitively held, rather than saying, We define. This point is very important, because it is generally believe the active voice needs to be used if the Pope is to be understood as exercising papal infallibility.
Understood by whom? Here is what canon law has to say on the matter:
The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching when the bishops gathered together in an ecumenical council exercise the magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals who declare for the universal Church that a doctrine of faith or morals is to be held definitively; or when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authentically together with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, they agree that a particular proposition is to be held definitively.
I guess someone forgot to remind the Magisterium about the active voice requirement for infallibility.
Before deciding to give definitive assent to this teaching, I believe that it is fair to ask, is the Pope correct that such a teaching is the teaching of the ordinary universal Magisterium of the Church?
Um, sorry, that’s not how it works.
Since the Pope is admitting that the content of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis rests on the authority of the ordinary universal Magisterium of the Church, the canons that apply to this opinion would be canon 749 numbers 2 and 3. It is therefore reasonable under number 3 for the theological academy, the bishops, and even the laity to ask whether the conditions for infallibility under the ordinary universal Magisterium of the Church have been satisfactorily met.
You and your ex-seminarian may believe that it is “fair” and “reasonable” to question the Holy Father’s judgment on this point, but the Magisterium, see Donum Veritatis (link provided above), disagrees with both of you.
The crux of his problem may be boiled down to this question he asks:
Can ordinary and universal Magisterium ever be infallible in the same sense as extraordinary magisterium?
The extraordinary Magisterium has answered this question in the affirmative. It’s there in plain English, and no amount of sophistry can undo the clear teaching of the Holy Father:
“To remove all doubt…must be definitively held by all the faithful”
Compare those words to those of your ex-seminarian:
It should be clear by now that the debate regarding women’s ordination is not over. However, the tenor of the debate has changed. Now, each theologian who questions the practice of excluding women from ordained ministerial priesthood must defend his or her orthodoxy to some extent. There must be some admission of the possibility that Rome is correct in discerning Christ’s will on this issue. Furthermore, at least a portion of the debate now needs to deal with the infallibility issue that was not always addressed in prior discussions of the subject.
Even under the faulty reasoning he employs, this teaching which he can’t be certain is infallible still requires “religious submission of the mind and will.” Yet he reduces it to a mere possibility of being correct?

Tim J. March 6, 2007 at 7:05 am

“It should be clear by now that the debate regarding women’s ordination is not over”
That should get some kind of award for being out of touch with reality.
It is my experience that dissenters NEVER think that ANY debate is over until they get their way on the issue. Church teaching makes clear, not that the debate is over, but that THERE WAS NEVER ANY LEGITIMATE DEBATE in the first place.
“There must be some admission of the possibility that Rome is correct in discerning Christ’s will on this issue.”
Wow. SOME admission of the POSSIBILITY…
Oh, let’s not be hasty! Perhaps the Church has been all turned around on the issue for the last two millenia. I can see B16 now, slapping his forehead and saying “Gee! Ordaining women! Why didn’t we think of it before?”.
To those without faith, there can never be enough arguments.

DJK March 6, 2007 at 7:28 am

Tim J
You don’t have to be an ass. All I have done here is ask a couple of questions that many faithful Catholics are asking. The men who run the Church are not totally free from error (except in certain infallible issues), to believe otherwise is heresy. Since you are holier than the rest of us “faithless” Catholics, you probably all ready knew that.
Esquire
Thank you giving us an honest analysis without any personal attacks. It gives me something to think about.

bill912 March 6, 2007 at 7:33 am

Yup, Tim. It is not the Church’s responsibility to make sure that all her children get to heaven; that’s our responsibility. It is the responsibility of the Church and her leadership to make sure that, if one morning, one of her children should wake up in hell, he won’t have to wonder how he got there.

Esquire March 6, 2007 at 7:38 am

DJK,
Thanks for the reminder. It is sometimes too easy to turn vigorous debate into a personal attack. I think we have all posted comments we later wish we hadn’t, and sometimes it is better to hit the “delete” button before hitting the “post” button.

Tim J. March 6, 2007 at 8:33 am

DJK-
I didn’t call anyone an ass.
I don’t think I said anything about you, personally. I referenced my experience with the attitudes of dissenters. I expressed honestly my fuddlement at the idea that assent to Church teaching may be withheld until an Ex Cathedra statement by the Pope makes dissent impossible (in practice, Ex Cathedra statements are dissented from as often as any other Church teaching. The dissenters usually begin by questioning the idea of Papal Infallibility. After that, everything is fair game).
I just do not understand this reluctance to accept the teaching authority of the Church until one is painted into a corner by a Pope speaking Ex Cathedra. Is that what faith looks like in the modern age? “What’s the minimum I have to accept?”? Where did this come from?
“All I have done here is ask a couple of questions that many faithful Catholics are asking.”
Catholic teaching is not determined by a straw vote. In terms of doctrine, it just does not matter how many people are “asking questions” about women’s ordination (for instance).
Lastly, I pithily put forward what I believe to be a sound principle of the Faith… that one does not arrive at faith through logical argument alone. If a person is determined to approach the question of Church authority with a hermeneutic of suspicion, then argument will be of only minimal help.
Unless I’m mistaken, I was criticizing the statements of an ex-seminarian, and not your own, unless you happen to agree with him.
I did not say that YOU are without faith. I certainly hope you are not. I’m very curious to know what your definition of faith would be. I always thought it a synonym of “trust”, which seems to be the opposite of the approach taken by the ex-seminarian.
I know submission, humility and obedience are not popular terms in the 21st century West, but how do you trust in Christ if you don’t trust what He did in establishing His Church? And how do you trust the Church while maintaining such suspicion toward her constantly held teaching, giving grudging obedience only to those doctrines that meet your personal test of doctrinal authority?
I am trying to meet your real objections head-on. You believe what many modern Catholics believe, but I don’t think that is necessarily your fault, to this point. The question is, are you open to the possibility that the Catholic faithful are called to embrace the whole of magisterial teaching, and not just the bits of it that meet their approval?
It is the Church that can not err in her doctrines, and the Pope who speaks for the Church. Doctrines are not made infallible by Papal pronouncement, but are infallible by virtue of their being held by the magisterial authority of the Church.

DJK March 6, 2007 at 8:50 am

Tim J
I’m the one who posted that link, and I’m also the only person on this page who has given a dissenting opinion. It is unclear to me if the scarcasm and condemnation in your other post is directed at me, the author of the blog, or both. If you didn’t mean to insinuate that myself or “dissenters” have no faith, then I’m sorry for calling you an ass. Besides, I meant to say that you sounded like one, which is not the same thing as being one.
There are many faithful Catholics (myself included) who believe that if their conscience tells them a teaching is wrong, then they should address it. By confronting controversial issues, our Church will grow stronger. This does not mean that the Church is wrong in their decision. There are others who believe that infallibility lies with the whole Church (including the lay people), not just the magisterium. I need to explore this more, but I believe that Vatican II has something to do with this.
If people are having questions about the Church’s positions, it is because the Church’s positions are poorly taught to the lay people. Further, there is a belief that some of the very controversial issues may one day be changed, as many past controversial issues. The Church has a history of being “behind the times” in changing with society, and many people feel that some changes coming in only a matter of time. This does not make such Catholics “dissidents”.

bill912 March 6, 2007 at 8:58 am

“The Church has a history of being ‘behind the times’ in changing with society…”
Thank God the Church doesn’t change with society. If it did, that would be proof that it wasn’t from God. Nor does the term “behind the times” have any meaning when applied to the Church, as the Church is Eternal, i.e., outside of time.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 9:00 am

Tim J.:
Thanks as always for your HONEST response!
By the way, did you read this bit from DJK’s latest post:
“There are others who believe that infallibility lies with the whole Church (including the lay people), not just the magisterium. I need to explore this more, but I believe that Vatican II has something to do with this.”
as well as:
“Further, there is a belief that some of the very controversial issues may one day be changed, as many past controversial issues. The Church has a history of being “behind the times” in changing with society, and many people feel that some changes coming in only a matter of time.”
In other words, we don’t need the Magisterium of the Catholic Church telling us exactly what’s infallible and what’s not; we should install a Democracy in its place so that the PEOPLE can do so in place of the Magisterium!

DJK March 6, 2007 at 9:10 am

Bill912
I didn’t necessarily say that being “behind the times” was always a bad thing.
Esau
You’re taking my words out of context again. What I said is that SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE these things, and that I NEED TO READ VATICAN II. I have also never said that the magisterium is unneccessary, useless, etc. They clearly have a body of knowledge and expertise that is beyond my, or your, capabilities to judge certain things.
All I have done is reiterate the views of some faithful Catholics, who justify their claims from Vatican II. Perhaps you should read it as well.

bill912 March 6, 2007 at 9:11 am

Good catch, Esau. Our Lord addressed the idea of a democratic church in Matthew 16. “Who do men say that I am?” Take a vote! The results of the vote? “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, or Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” You can’t get Truth by majority vote, so our Lord rejected a democratic church.
He moved on to a church ruled by a Council of Elders: “Who do you(plural) say that I am?” No answer, so He rejected that model for the Church.
Finally, one man spoke up. Peter said: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” Finally the Truth! How? “It was not mortal man that revealed this to thee, but My Father in heaven.” So our Lord chose a monarchic church, to which He gave His Authority.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 9:29 am

Thanks Bill912!
Esquire,
Although I admire some of your points, I couldn’t help but glance at your post which I believe alluded to Tim J.:
“Thanks for the reminder. It is sometimes too easy to turn vigorous debate into a personal attack. I think we have all posted comments we later wish we hadn’t, and sometimes it is better to hit the “delete” button before hitting the “post” button.”
Posted by: Esquire | Mar 6, 2007 7:38:52 AM
Now, let’s be frank here.
If all that the person in question (DJK) wanted is clarification on the matter, then how come his many interpretive comments which, in all likelihood, accuses the Catholic Church in such a negative tone?
Usually, those who were genuinely after such clarification concerning matters on faith that they’re uncertain of, these folks would actually suspend any such judgment on the Church for lack of information on their part.
Yet, DJK hasn’t done this at all.
In fact, despite admitting his IGNORANCE on the issues, he nevertheless made statements that cast such negative impression on the Church, the fact which cannot escape even the casual reader reading a variety of his colored remarks, a certain of which I have referenced repeatedly in my previous posts above.
Simply put, if Tim J. is to be faulted for anything, it is for being frank with his comments and not withholding the truth when the situation demands it.
I cannot see Tim J.’s remarks as being anything but an honest reaction on his part, as a faithful son of the Church.

DJK March 6, 2007 at 9:37 am

Esau
Name one false statement that I have made and I will retract it.

DJK March 6, 2007 at 9:38 am

Esau
BTW, you STILL haven’t retracted the false accustations you made against me yesterday.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 9:47 am

DJK:
I need not retract anything.
Although I’ve already covered such elements evident in your comments in several of my posts; I’ll recommend, again, that you simply read my Mar 5, 2007 2:08:59 PM post.
Simply put, just because you have resorted to mere INNUENDO in order to discredit the Catholic Church doesn’t actually prove that you had NO intention to do so; in fact, it proves just the OPPOSITE!
READ your own statements and SEE for yourself!

Tim J. March 6, 2007 at 9:55 am

“There are many faithful Catholics (myself included) who believe that if their conscience tells them a teaching is wrong, then they should address it.”
Our conscience must be FORMED, it does not come to us fully developed, and the primary way it is formed is through the teaching of the Church (including the Scriptures). If we do not form our conscience in response to the revelation of God through the Scriptures and the Church, then it will be prone to weakness, laxity and error.
The conscience is like an internal compass. Thing is, we are fallen (that is the most basic fact of our moral life), and so our conscience can be defective. Church doctrine is like the North Star. If we notice repeatedly that our compass does not point toward the north, then we ought to assume (having already professed that the North Star is a sure guide) that it is our compass that needs to be adjusted, and not the night sky.
In other words, we check our compass by the stars, not the other way around.
The Church does not ask anyone to act AGAINST their conscience. That’s almost a moot point. The big problem is not that people find Church teaching to be unjust (acting against the conscience), but that they find it too hard (disturbing a conscience that has been sleeping comfortably).
I know from experience that one can happily live a life of sin with hardly a ripple in the conscience. This is, in my experience, what most people mean by “following their conscience” over against Church teaching. It’s not that the Church is asking them to do something that shocks and disturbs their moral sensibilities, but that the Church asks them NOT to do something that their conscience presently has no problem with. They are not troubled by it, and so they don’t see why the Church should poke Her nose in.
Now, clearly, I am talking about Church teaching and not the demands of this or that individual within the Church. Who knows what kind of behavior you might find excused or encouraged by some priest or religious?
What the Church says to us is, calibrate your compass with the stars FIRST, and when in doubt – sit tight – do nothing.
“There are others who believe that infallibility lies with the whole Church (including the lay people), not just the magisterium. ”
Well, by definition, the Church is “all of us”, and so magisterial authority does include the sensus fidelum – the “sense of the faithful”. But that includes ALL the faithful… even the dead ones. The Church takes her cues from the constantly held beliefes of ALL the faithful, since the very beginnings of the faith.
We may feel that we are especially enlightened and clever, and so we can correct past generations, but this is not the case. It is more likely that those closer to the Source (the Deposit of Faith) will have a clearer picture than those farther removed from it, the same way that we trust an eyewitness account from last week more than we would trust hearsay from years after the fact.
The strength of the Church is not in changing with the times (God help us) but in Her miraculous ability to keep returning to this Deposit and make it new to each generation. For this reason (by the grace of God) the Church is the oldest continuing institution on the planet. She has outlived everything else, and always will.
Sorry this is so long. I REALLY need to get to work.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 10:00 am

For the benefit of Smokey Mountain and others, the above comment will be my last to DJK in order to preserve what dialogue is there between him and Esquire.
Although a certain of my comments happen to address DJK’s posts (e.g., the all-male priesthood), as there have been those of mine that focus on the slanted nature of his remarks as well, I will discontinue my direct communication with DJK as I would rather have the Esquire v. DJK dialogue continue for the benefit of those actually seeking clarification on Church Teaching rather than my having to constantly deal with DJK’s own reluctance, time and again, in his actually frankly acknowledging the very nature of his own comments in our futile back-and-forth postings.

DJK March 6, 2007 at 10:01 am

Esau
Read you own posts at Mar 5, 2007 10:12:46 AM and Mar 5, 2007 10:16:00 AM
It doesn’t really matter anyway. You clearly believe that you are holier and more enlightened than the rest of us “faithless”, “dissident” Catholics. If you took the time to set your biases aside, you’d see that I have not condemned the Church in a single post—I have only pointed out a few facts, and asked some questions. I have even stated repeatedly that I don’t know all of the facts. Did it ever occur to you that MAYBE I was looking for outside input to some of these statements?
I guess asking questions about the Church and trying to grow in my faith doesn’t make me a “faithful son of the Church.” Perhaps I should totally disregard all historical facts that shed some bad light on the Church LEADERS because I watched one BBC documentary. I suppose that I should believe that the men who run the Church are incapable of sin or bad judgement. But wait, that would be against Church teachings. But what do I know, I’m only here to “discredit the Church”.
Again Esau, NAME ONE FALSE STATEMENT THAT I HAVE MADE AND I WILL RETRACT IT.

Esquire March 6, 2007 at 10:04 am

Esau,
I reread my post and I fully understand why you would read it that way. I was actually referring to the fact that my post had some unnecessary statements in it that were deleted before I sent it. Without that context, it would appear to any other reader that my comments were directed at Tim. They were not, and I apologize to him for creating that inference.
Tim J. has, from what I have seen, some of the most correct, coherent, and charitable posts here, and I can find nothing in his post that would warrant DJK referring to him in that fashion.

DJK March 6, 2007 at 10:07 am

Esau
That’s even better. You’ve been pretty useless and insulting throughout this post. And you still can’t admit when you are wrong.
Tim J
I will reply back later. Thank you for having a civil dialogue.

Esquire March 6, 2007 at 10:08 am

DJK,
Be patient with us.
I suppose that I should believe that the men who run the Church are incapable of sin or bad judgement.
Nobody here is advocating that. We are merely trying to educate people about what the Church actually teaches in that regard.

bill912 March 6, 2007 at 10:18 am

“If you took the time to set your biases aside…”
“That’s even better.You’ve been pretty useless and insulting throughout this post. And you still can’t admit when you are wrong.”
“Thank you for giving us an honest analysis without any personal attacks.”

Esau March 6, 2007 at 10:22 am

Just one last for DJK:
Again Esau, NAME ONE FALSE STATEMENT THAT I HAVE MADE AND I WILL RETRACT IT.
Merely one example — did you even read my Mar 5, 2007 2:26:47 PM post?
Many more examples, but no matter.
Even Esquire candidly said as much about you in his post:
“I don’t think you’re trying to spread errors, but I nonetheless think you are when you suggest that what the Church teaches as infallibly true might not be so. That is error, and unless I’m wrong, you’ve been spreading it all over this post. As for your implication that one who follows the Church must not be “thinking,” I’ll leave it to others to examine the posts and see who is thinking or not.”
Posted by: Esquire | Mar 5, 2007 3:47:33 PM

Esau March 6, 2007 at 10:29 am

Thanks bill912 for looking out!
In the wise words of Snagglepuss:
“Exit — stage right!”

DJK March 6, 2007 at 10:44 am

bill912
I’ve been attacked by Esau for the last week on this post, so I felt ok in writing that.
tim j
I’ll get to your post later.
esquire
That comment was meant for Esau, based on some of his previous comments. I have been badmouthed by Esau and a couple others who think that they are better than me. All I was looking for is a civil dialogue.
esau
My original statement:
Did you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordinatio_Sacerdotalis? It states that Benedict XVI says Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is not infallible, but it’s contents were, by virtue of the ordinary and universal magisterium. When did the magisterium decide to elevate the all-male priesthood teaching to infallible? Did JP II state that the teaching was infallible simply because no one is disagreeing with it? Again, wikipedia is not the most academic of sources, but the level of confusion in this article suggests to me that some people think that there is a possiblity that a future Pope/Church COULD, not WILL or SHOULD, overturn it on the grounds that the teaching was never infallible, or mistaken to be infallible.
I never said that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was infallible, but that wikipedia stated that B XVI said it was infallible. Then I followed it up with questions that I thought someone might have more knowledge to answer or debate. I also went further and stated that wikipedia is not an academic source.
Be honest Esau, your problem was when I posted the list of things that JP II apologized for, and when I mentioned the list of things that the Church did wrong in the past.
Again, IF YOU CAN NAME ONE FALSE STATEMENT THAT I HAVE MADE, I WILL RETRACT IT.

Mary Kay March 6, 2007 at 10:51 am

then I’m sorry for calling you an ass. Besides, I meant to say that you sounded like one, which is not the same thing as being one
What a non-apology. DJK, you accuse Esau of being insulting. Yet your first post on this thread called others’ views “ignorant” and one of your most recent tells Tim that he “sounds like an ass.” You accuse Esau of having bias, yet act blind to your own bias. Believe in double standards, do you?
Apparently, you expect to be treated with kid gloves, yet there are several instances where you’ve blasted others with sarcasm. It goes both ways.
You say that you’re just asking questions, that you’re simply looking for answers to your questions, as if you were open to all possibility. Yet you have repeatedly and consistently only given credence to one side. And you’re pretty good at trying to silence those who don’t see things your way.
You’re right that you’re looking for debate. Not answers, but debate. Others who have come with questions have taken note of resources and read up on the issue. You don’t do that. You seem determined to be seen as right even as as you admit to not being well-informed.
Several people have mentioned that your posts are so riddled with fallacious logic that it is difficult to know where to begin. Given your own admission that there is much you have not read and that your logic is not impeccable, it seems to me that you might be a little more open to the possiblity that you could maybe learn from the people responding to you.

DJK March 6, 2007 at 10:51 am

bill912
BTW, Esau STILL refuses to admit that he printed at least two posts filled with false information about me and my sources. I should have cited myself, and I thought that after I printed my source he would at least have the integrity to admit he was wrong, but has yet to do so.
His posts are at Mar 5, 2007 10:12:46 AM and Mar 5, 2007 10:16:00 AM
This probably doesn’t totally justify my words, but I’ll atleast admit that.

Mary Kay March 6, 2007 at 10:55 am

“All I was looking for was a civil dialogue.”
Again, you started your discussion here by calling others’ view “ignorant.” You’ve followed up with sarcasm, badmouthing of your own and otherwise uncivil dialogue.
If you want civil dialogue, you could start with yourself.

DJK March 6, 2007 at 11:00 am

Mary Kay
The ignorance comment was made in response to a single poster, and I don’t remember which one it was now. It was due to a comment he/she made about my ignorance and I should have clairified it.
There is a difference in calling someone an ass and saying that they are acting like one. The former insults the person, the latter insults their actions. That statement was made only to clairify my intent.
Others who have come with questions have taken note of resources and read up on the issue. You don’t do that. You seem determined to be seen as right even as as you admit to not being well-informed.
I have been reading several papal documents that are related to the issue. I also have been looking over other websites that disagree with those documents. I can’t give a list now, because it would be long.
Several people have mentioned that your posts are so riddled with fallacious logic that it is difficult to know where to begin. Given your own admission that there is much you have not read and that your logic is not impeccable, it seems to me that you might be a little more open to the possiblity that you could maybe learn from the people responding to you.
Yet few say what the fallacious logic is. There have been some that break things down point-by-point, and I likewise have done the same with their arguments. That is a debate. Also, it’s not that I’m not open to other people’s responses, only that as I read more, I am not further convinced. For every poster’s opinion, I can find a respectable Catholic view that repudiates it. It is also possible that some posters are not open to other views either?
Perhaps I’m wasting my time on this site.

Tim J. March 6, 2007 at 11:06 am

I do get sarcastic, at times. I hope it is in service to the Truth. Sometimes I think this tendency of mine gets in the way, and sometimes I think it cuts through a lot of fluff.
I think some things need to be poked fun at (grammarians, kindly indulge) just in order to demonstrate their absurdity. I don’t know that this always has the desired effect, however.
I do try to lampoon ideas rather than people.
I suggest we all take a couple of deep breaths. If we post on a public forum, we should expect to take our lumps. If you all think this thread is heated, your exposure to blogdom must be somewhat limited. None the less, we ought to assume the best motives for everyone, until proven otherwise.

DJK March 6, 2007 at 11:09 am

Mary Kay
I have been called a liar, anti-Catholic, faithless, a propagandist, and close-minded. Some of my posts have been labeled as rediculous, condemning the Church, and ignorant. This was all started by other posters. I started writing in good faith that I wouldn’t be verbally attacked by Catholics on a Catholic website.

bill912 March 6, 2007 at 11:10 am

Well, most of us are not open to the possibility that black is white, falsity is true. As a posted above, he sounds like the Weston character in C.S. Lewis’ “Perelandra.”

Esau March 6, 2007 at 11:13 am

You say that you’re just asking questions, that you’re simply looking for answers to your questions, as if you were open to all possibility. Yet you have repeatedly and consistently only given credence to one side. And you’re pretty good at trying to silence those who don’t see things your way.
You’re right that you’re looking for debate. Not answers, but debate. Others who have come with questions have taken note of resources and read up on the issue. You don’t do that. You seem determined to be seen as right even as as you admit to not being well-informed.
Several people have mentioned that your posts are so riddled with fallacious logic that it is difficult to know where to begin. Given your own admission that there is much you have not read and that your logic is not impeccable, it seems to me that you might be a little more open to the possiblity that you could maybe learn from the people responding to you.

Mary Kay:
Your astute observational skills come through once again!
You’ve surmised it quite magnificently from the available facts!
I just wished DJK was HONEST in admitting as much.
I wouldn’t mind so much if he genuinely wanted to learn more about the Faith and actual clarification on the matter of Infallibility; it’s just that the statements he’s made on this post appears to indicate otherwise and that it is more likely that there is something else to his expressed motive.
Even Esquire rightly remarked:
“If you still have doubt, you’re either not paying attention or you have some other agenda.”
Posted by: Esquire | Mar 5, 2007 12:25:10 PM

Tim J. March 6, 2007 at 11:17 am

“I have been reading several papal documents that are related to the issue. I also have been looking over other websites that disagree with those documents.”
So, do “other websites” carry equal weight with Papal documents? This is the crux of the whole matter. Trust me, you can find a website that will tell you anything you want to hear. You can find a website, or a book, to dispute every aspect of Catholic teaching. If you are trying to work out whether you agree with the Pope or not, you are already off on the wrong foot.
“For every poster’s opinion, I can find a respectable Catholic view that repudiates it.”
What does “respectable” mean? What does it have to do with Catholic teaching? Read the Catechism. Get it from the horse’s mouth. That is one thing we have that other faiths do not. Position, education and popularity do not equal respectability in regard to Catholic truth. If anyone stands against the teaching of the Church, I would not call them a respectable Catholic in any sense.

Mary Kay March 6, 2007 at 11:21 am

The ignorance comment was made in response to a single poster, and I don’t remember which one it was now. It was due to a comment he/she made about my ignorance and I should have clairified it.
No, I’m referring to your Feb. 25 7:09 post in which you said that referring to Church as parent was “an ignorant view.” You and I even had an exchange about that comment.
The former insults the person, the latter insults their actions.
Maybe you could consider not insulting him at all, neither his words nor his actions. Especially since you keep saying that you want civil dialogue.
I have been reading several papal documents
Good. I hope you continue to read up on the Catholic faith. I find it an ever deepening journey.
Yet few say what the fallacious logic is.
That’s because it is soooo pervasive. Nearly every time someone makes start, you dismiss their comment.
For every poster’s opinion, I can find a respectable Catholic view that repudiates it.
Some of your sources don’t carry the same weight of teaching authority.
It is also possible that some posters are not open to other views either?
Relativism is not an option. I’d suggest (and not for the first time) that you read Veritatis Splendor. btw, it’s not the questioning in itself that is problematic, but your premise and logic.
Perhaps I’m wasting my time on this site.
Don’t give up so easily. If Truth is worth finding, it’s worth some effort.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 11:25 am

Tim J. –
About your remark:
I do get sarcastic, at times. I hope it is in service to the Truth. Sometimes I think this tendency of mine gets in the way, and sometimes I think it cuts through a lot of fluff.
I love that style of yours since it’s HONEST and FRANK!
I highly appreciate the fact that you “TELL IT LIKE IT IS” rather than hide behind some phooney high moral ground that others do merely for strategic reasons (again, I’m not referring to anyone specific on this blog — just people I know in the world who do so for that purpose and have admitted as much).
So, keep on “Telling it like it is”, brutha!

DJK March 6, 2007 at 11:29 am

Tim J
If you are trying to work out whether you agree with the Pope or not, you are already off on the wrong foot.
Maybe you’re right. But I’m not trying to see if I agree with the Pope, I’m just trying to understand fully what the teachings are. I use as much information as I can find to do that–not just papal documents. There are theologians who agree/disagree with papal documents as if they were legal briefs, I think we should at least hear both sides to form a good judgement on some issues. Disagreement with a non-infallible teaching is not always incorrect, if you can truly justify that such a teaching is wrong. For example, slavery was once considered acceptable under natural law by some pope that I don’t remember right now, but it was later removed from teaching only around the 1880′s.
bill912, esau
Thanks for proving my point. Now I’m a liar, a con-artist, and I have a hidden ulterior motive. Very Christian.
Like I said, I’m probably wasting my time here. See ya’ll in hell!

Esau March 6, 2007 at 11:48 am

DJK:
Please don’t consign bill912 and others to hell!
Maybe me perhaps, but not the others here.
Look, if you are sincere in learning about both sides of the issue, than I would suggest you refrain from making any conclusive statements as you have in your previous posts.
Also, look at the following comment of yours:
“I use as much information as I can find to do that–not just papal documents. There are theologians who agree/disagree with papal documents as if they were legal briefs, I think we should at least hear both sides to form a good judgement on some issues. Disagreement with a non-infallible teaching is not always incorrect, if you can truly justify that such a teaching is wrong.”
IF you are seeking dissenters, there will be any number of them that will provide you with such ad infinitum since there are a great number of those who do not want to submit themselves to Church Teaching and Church Authority.
IF that is your purpose, to seek out the dissenters in order to provide justification for your actions so that you need not accept Church Teaching and Church Authority on certain matters, then you have just proven the point.
Plus, you need to re-consider seriously what you had stated on your various comments here on this post.
For example, look at your most recent ones today:
“There are others who believe that infallibility lies with the whole Church (including the lay people), not just the magisterium. I need to explore this more, but I believe that Vatican II has something to do with this.”
as well as:
“Further, there is a belief that some of the very controversial issues may one day be changed, as many past controversial issues. The Church has a history of being “behind the times” in changing with society, and many people feel that some changes coming in only a matter of time.”
How can anybody interpret those comments except to say that the one who made it was actually looking for a means to dissent from Church Teaching and Church Authority and impose some sort of Church DEMOCRACY in place of it?

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 6, 2007 at 11:49 am

I think there are double standards here, on both sides. I think DJK has attacked Esau, and Esau has attacked DJK. I think they both were wrong in doing so, and that Esquire’s example of point-by-point, non-confrontational analysis is the best method of getting Truth across.
Every poster (on both sides!) should ask themselves what their motivation is before posting. Hopefully it is to charitably discuss what is true and what is not.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 6, 2007 at 11:51 am

As a corollary, I fully admit that my motivation for posting has not always been charitable. To which I once again apologize. :)

DJK March 6, 2007 at 11:55 am

Esau
The hell remark was meant against myself as a sarcastic remark. I would never condemn anyone to hell.
I agree with Smoky Mountain Hiker

Esquire March 6, 2007 at 11:59 am

DJK,
You offered to retract any false statements that you have made, so I will give you a chance:
I mentioned the list of things that the Church did wrong in the past.
Assuming that the list is meant to be what John Paul II apologized for, you are incorrectly conflating the Church with members of the Church. Pope John Paul II did not apologize for the Church’s actions. You may think that is a meaningless or too subtle a distinction, but it is an important one.
What I HAVE said is that WE as laypeople have an OBLIGATION to question the non-infallible teachings of the Church when our consciences honestly tell us that something may be wrong.
Will you at least agree that this is not what the Church teaches?
In my limited experience here, what gets the most people worked up the most is not necessarily arguing what should or shouldn’t be, but it is misrepresenting (either willfully or unknowingly) what the Church actually teaches. I and others hvae provided several Magisterial sources on this.

Dr. Eric March 6, 2007 at 12:03 pm

I think Smoky Mountain Hiker should get an award for the most clever pseudonym.
DJK,
About a thousand posts above this one, you misunderstood my post on Fasting. I did not explicitly or implicitly imply that you had any sexual problem. I was only referring to my assessment of the situation that I see on the Catholic Answers Forum. If you took it as an insult to you, I apologize.
I also would like to point out that it is Lent and we should try to tone down the rhetoric. These 40 days are to prepare us for the Feast of all Feasts the Resurrection of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ!
Maranatha!

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 6, 2007 at 12:05 pm

What’s clever about it? If there is anything clever, it was quite unintentional. I simply like to hike in the Smokey Mountains.

DJK March 6, 2007 at 12:06 pm

Esquire
Assuming that the list is meant to be what John Paul II apologized for, you are incorrectly conflating the Church with members of the Church. Pope John Paul II did not apologize for the Church’s actions. You may think that is a meaningless or too subtle a distinction, but it is an important one.
This is true, technically, he only apologized for individual members of the Church. However, what I don’t understand is that there have been periods in Church history where the wrongdoing started with the Pope, and extended to the bottom ranks of the Church. In other words, standard operating procedures of the day called for un-Christian actions. For example, the inquisitions, positions on slavery, there are probably others. Yes, I know that there is some evidence that suggests that the Church is not guilty in the inquisitions, yes, I have not had a chance to explore this yet, no, I can’t find other sources to back this up that are not from conservative Catholics. I would welcome any such information.
Will you at least agree that this is not what the Church teaches?
Yes, this is not officially what the Church teaches. There is another set of teachings that suggest that a person should follow his conscience in some matters. This means that you must educate yourself to understand why the Church disagrees with a position. If your conscience still tells you that something is wrong, I guess you’re supposed to talk to a priest or something. JP II and the Catechism states that a person who “does not follow their conscience is condemned by it.”
I am not misrepresenting anything the Church teaches. I have only answered questions, and perhaps stated my opinion based on what I know. I have also provided sources to back up my conclusions.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 6, 2007 at 12:06 pm

Die terrible ‘e’, die. Smokey <> Smoky.

DJK March 6, 2007 at 12:08 pm

HAHAHA! Dr. Eric, that was a while ago! Apology accepted.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 12:08 pm

Smoky Mountain Hiker:
You neglect to take into consideration the elements in a certain of my posts where I focussed on the very nature of DJK’s remarks; except to simply dismiss them as a mere ‘attack’ on DJK when they were not at all intended to be.
However, I must point out that your various posts concerning me in this as well as on other threads have been, in fact, such an ‘attack’ on a personal level as even your own admission demonstrates.
I reiterate this yet again in order to make the point as it is much germane to the manner of this discussion just as you have, in fact, remarked likewise in your post above.
The very reason why a certain of my posts were focussed on the very nature of DJK’s remarks is that you cannot actually help a person unless you know exactly what it is that person is actually seeking and, furthermore, you cannot help a person if the very actions of that person actually contradicts the very purpose he has, in fact, expressed.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 12:15 pm

The above should have read:
The very reason why a certain of my posts were focussed on the very nature of DJK’s remarks is that you cannot actually help a person unless you know exactly what it is that person is actually seeking help on and, furthermore, you cannot help a person if the very actions of that person actually contradicts the very purpose he has, in fact, expressed.
I think Mary Kay is the only one who had a better grasp on it when she said:
“I’m not sure where your comment about character came from, but motivation (knowing where someone is coming from) is indeed important when considering what resources and framework I’d use to answer someone’s question.
Posted by: Mary Kay | Mar 5, 2007 1:34:54 PM

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 6, 2007 at 12:22 pm

Esau,
You neglect to take into consideration the elements in a certain of my posts where I focussed on the very nature of DJK’s remarks; except to simply dismiss them as a mere ‘attack’ on DJK when they were not at all intended to be.
You did indeed “focus on the very nature of DJK’s remarks” in many of your posts. In my opinion you simultaneously attacked him in many of your posts. DJK also attacked you. I think, in my opinion, we would be best served if attacks of any nature were omitted.
However, I must point out that your various posts concerning me in this as well as on other threads have been, in fact, such an ‘attack’ on a personal level as even your own admission demonstrates.
Oh, I attacked you, you attacked me…didn’t we apologize to each other already? And I don’t think either of us attacked the other on a personal level–I’m sorry if you felt that way.
you cannot help a person if the very actions of that person actually contradicts the very purpose he has, in fact, expressed.
Well, then in my opinion, the most helpful recourse would be to say to yourself “I don’t think his purpose is genuine”, but to publicly simply refute his points.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Esquire, you hit it SPOT-ON!!!
What you said here to DJK can be said to be the CRUX of it all:
“Assuming that the list is meant to be what John Paul II apologized for, you are incorrectly conflating the Church with members of the Church. Pope John Paul II did not apologize for the Church’s actions. You may think that is a meaningless or too subtle a distinction, but it is an important one.”
AND
“Will you at least agree that this is not what the Church teaches?
In my limited experience here, what gets the most people worked up the most is not necessarily arguing what should or shouldn’t be, but it is misrepresenting (either willfully or unknowingly) what the Church actually teaches. I and others hvae provided several Magisterial sources on this.”

Esau March 6, 2007 at 12:33 pm

Smoky Mountain Hiker:
Oh, I attacked you, you attacked me…
I’m sorry, but isn’t the fact of the matter that you’ve attacked me on a personal level both here and on other threads?
Also, how can my justified actions towards your hostile posts be even considered an ‘attack’?
Futhermore, how can you even interpret my posts as an ‘attack’ when I was pointing out in them the conclusions one would actually adhere to and reach if one were to say, as DJK has, that the Catholic Church is but a human organization?
The purpose of those posts of mine were to follow this initial supposition of DJK’s to their appropriate conclusion.
Unlike your multiple posts that sought to actually personally attack me, mine did not carry the same intent against DJK.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 12:36 pm

CORRIGENDUM
Smoky Mountain Hiker:
Oh, I attacked you, you attacked me…
I’m sorry, but isn’t the fact of the matter is that you’ve attacked me on a personal level both here and on other threads without any provocation whatsoever?
Also, how can my justified actions towards your hostile posts against me even be considered an ‘attack’ in turn?
Futhermore, how can you even interpret my posts to DJK as an ‘attack’ when I was merely pointing out in them the conclusions one would actually adhere to and reach if one were to say, just as DJK has, that the Catholic Church is but a human organization?
The purpose of those posts of mine were to follow this initial supposition of DJK’s to their appropriate conclusion.
Unlike your multiple posts that sought to actually personally attack me, mine did not carry the same intent against DJK.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 6, 2007 at 12:44 pm

This is beyond silly.
You took a benign post of mine (Mar 6, 2007 11:49:43 AM) that commented on everyone’s (including my own) need to refrain from attacking eachother, and interpreted it as an attack on you.
It was not.
I’ve also never personally attacked you. I’ve criticized the style and tone of your postings. That’s not a personal attack.
I am drained. Your posting style is too inflammatory, and you look for enemies where there are none. I don’t think I’ll posting here any more.
Peace.

Esquire March 6, 2007 at 12:49 pm

DJK,
I think we should at least hear both sides to form a good judgement on some issues.
This is the kind of thing that gets everyone so worked up. It appears so reasonable and objective. The problem is, you are willing to “hear” what everyone has to say on the issue except the Pope and the Magisterium, and they are the only ones with competence (properly understood) to provide judgment on the issue.
In this regard, let me address (subject to correction by Jimmy and Dr. Peters and anyone else with more expertise in analyzing canon law than me) the ex-seminarian’s reliance on Canon 212.3. He professes to be posting on the basis that he has both the right and the duty to do so under Canon 212.3, and you have made statements that indicate you agree, at least in principle, with that assessment. The entirety of Canon 212 states:
Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.
§2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.
§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

The ex-seminarian seems to read 212.3 as requiring, or certainly allowing, a member of the faithful, whether lay or ordained, to “speak up” and “speak out” whenever he or she disagrees (or seriously disagrees) with Church teaching. Is that a justified reading?
He seems to agree that 212.3 would not give him such a right or duty if the teaching, in his opinion, was made with “full papal infallibility.” I’ll give him that much.
But let’s back up a minute. Canon 212 is in a section that includes Cann. 208-223, entitled “The Obligations and Rights of All the Christian Faithful.” Canon 208 remarks that all the Christian faithful have equal dignity and must cooperate in building the Body of Christ “according to each one’s condition and function.”
Some within the Body of Christ are responsible for determining and teaching what doctrine is, some are responsible for receiving that teaching and making it fruitful in our lives. If you are not part of the Magisterium, your obligation is the latter.
Canon 209, sec. 2 states: “With great diligence they [the Christian faithful] are to fulfill the duties which they owe to the universal Church…”
Canon 212 then begins, in sec. 1, “Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors…declare as teachers of the faith…”
So far so good. The obligations of the faithful are to receive the teaching of the Faith, follow with Christian obedience what the Magisterium declares, diligently making that teaching fruitful in our lives, and thereby building up the Body of Christ “according to one’s own condition and function.”
Moving on to section 3, which the ex-seminarian relies upon, it begins “According to the knowledge, competence and prestige which they possess…”
Neither the ex-seminarian or any other regular member of laity possesses a competence in declaring or defining Church doctrine. The Church reserves competence in such matters to the Magisterium.
Section 3 continues: ..they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals
In concluding SO, the Holy Father made clear that the matter in question was “a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself.” It is a matter of common sense that a position which attacks “the Church’s divine constitution itself” is prejudicial to the integrity of faith and morals.
Canon 212.3 does not authorize anyone who disagrees with the Magisterium to publicly dissent or express their “conscience.” Apart from the straightforward analysis above, that reading would render Canon 218 meaningless, inasmuch as it provides that “Those engaged in sacred disciplines have a just freedom of inquiry and of expressing their opinion prudently on those matters in which they possess expertise, while observing the submission due to the magisterium of the Church.”
Even those engaged in the sacred disciplines — which, as near as I can tell, does not include you or the ex-seminarian — are limited in the expression of their opinion (a) by prudence, (b) to matters within their particular expertise, and (c) the submission due to the magisterium of the Church.
Donum Veritatis expounds on the submission due to the magisterium of the Church, and restricts the foregoing to matters of discipline. With respect to matters that require the “assent of divine and Catholic faith,” “definitive assent,” or “religious submission of the intellect and will,” the “submission due to the magisterium of the Church” does not provide the right (much less the duty) to “speak up” or “speak out.”
On the contrary, canon 750, sec. 2 states that “one who rejects those propositions which are to be held definitively is opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.”
Canon 752 requires — even with non-infallible matters of doctrine — that “the Christian faithful are to take care to avoid those things which do not agree with it.
It does not say, “unless you really, really disagree with it,” or “unless you don’t understand it.”
Finally, Canon 754 states that “All the Christian faithful are obliged to observe the constitutions and decrees which the legitimate authority of the Church issues in order to propose doctrine and to proscibe erroneous opinions, particularly those which the Roman Pontiff … puts forth.”
The stated purpose of the Holy Father in issuing SO was to prescribe the erroneous opinion that not ordaining women was simply a matter of discipline and not a matter which required the definitive assent of the faithful. It is the obligation of those who call themselves Catholic to follow that teaching, not to “speak up” or “speak out” about it.
Any interpretation of Canon 212.3 which tries to argue otherwise is misconstruing the canon and taking it completely out of context.

Tim J. March 6, 2007 at 12:56 pm

“Disagreement with a non-infallible teaching is not always incorrect”
That seems to me to be an awfully low standard to set… “not always incorrect”. Again, are we looking for the bare minimum that we are forced to accept in order to qualify as technically Catholic?
Being a faithful Catholic MUST mean a great deal more than “being faithful to my own personal idea of what it means to be Catholic”. Who couldn’t do that?
One reason I am sure that I have responded to your posts in the way that I have is that I find these views; A) very widespread and, B) completely antithetical to Catholic thought. They are the very exemplar of what our beloved pre-16 referred to as the “tyranny of relativism”.
I would avoid making broad, sweeping statements like “…slavery was once considered acceptable under natural law by some pope that I don’t remember right now, but it was later removed from teaching only around the 1880′s.” in support of your assertions that the Church has reversed controversial doctrines.
For one thing, unless I miss my guess, the Church has never taught that slavery – as we understand it – was “acceptable under natural law”. The Church may have tolerated a spectrum of practices called “slavery” that were pervasive in societies at the time, but not every judgement or action of “some pope” is Church Doctrine, by a long shot.
I highly doubt that the practice of slavery as we know it from our U.S. History books was ever condoned in Church doctrine. There were other common forms of slavery that were tolerated more or less, but not the grisly and inhuman practice that the Civil War abolished here. There are those who would argue that current practices (wage slavery) are not much different than many of the more common forms of “slavery” through history.
The death penalty is similar. The Church maintains that the state has the right (yes) to implement capital punishment, as She has always taught, but our understanding of the practice is heading in the direction of teaching that it is rarely if ever justly used IN OUR MODERN SOCIETY. That is not the same as saying that it was never just at all IN THE SOCIETIES IN WHICH IT WAS PRACTICED HISTORICALLY. We have tools that they did not.
If you can show me a real doctrine of the Church that has ever been reversed, I will eat Jimmy’s hat.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 12:57 pm

Smoky Mountain Hiker –
You stated:
You took a benign post of mine (Mar 6, 2007 11:49:43 AM) that commented on everyone’s (including my own) need to refrain from attacking eachother, and interpreted it as an attack on you.
However, this is not at all the case.
More precisely, I was addressing what you had, in fact, stated explicitly. I was addressing how you’ve characterized (and stated that) my comments to DJK were a personal attack.
Yet, you seem to neglect the very elements in my posts to DJK but simply dismiss them as a mere ‘attack’.
Just as I said previously:
“Futhermore, how can you even interpret my posts to DJK as an ‘attack’ when I was merely pointing out in them the conclusions one would actually adhere to and reach if one were to say, just as DJK has, that the Catholic Church is but a human organization?
The purpose of those posts of mine were to follow this initial supposition of DJK’s to their appropriate conclusion.”

Esquire March 6, 2007 at 1:08 pm

DJK,
However, what I don’t understand is that there have been periods in Church history where the wrongdoing started with the Pope, and extended to the bottom ranks of the Church. In other words, standard operating procedures of the day called for un-Christian actions.
Yes, there have been Popes that have been scoundrels (though probably not as many nor to the extent than the modern day secular media would have us believe), and there have been scandals within the Church throughout its history. While this can be faith-shattering to the unprepared, Christ warned us very clearly that such would be the case. What he also promised is that despite any misgivings, the Church would be preserved from teaching error. (Recall His admonition to those in His day to refrain from doing what those that sit in the Chair of Moses do, but to diligently do as they say.)
For example, the inquisitions, positions on slavery, there are probably others. Yes, I know that there is some evidence that suggests that the Church is not guilty in the inquisitions, yes, I have not had a chance to explore this yet, no, I can’t find other sources to back this up that are not from conservative Catholics. I would welcome any such information.
Understanding why the Church teaches what she does can be difficult at times, I’ll grant you that. That’s why she proposes matter to be definitively held, so that our consciences won’t have to be burdened with sorting it all out. But at the same time, if you are willing to do the work with an open mind (i.e., a mind open to the possibility that the Church might always be right about what she says she is always right about), you will no doubt be rewarded with understanding beyond what you imagined.
The Church’s collected wisdom over 2000+ years is remarkably coherent and consistent, even the teachings on slavery, the death penalty, usury, and every other subject she is wrongly accused of flip-flopping on. But you can’t understand it in sound bites, and you have to pay attention to what she is saying. You can’t approach it with the attitude of the ex-seminarian, who somehow believes that the “removal of all doubt” is meant to cast doubt on all things.

Tim J. March 6, 2007 at 2:00 pm

Incidentally, sorry for my occasional use of ALL CAPS, but I am just too lazy to do the html thing to get italics.

Mary Kay March 6, 2007 at 2:40 pm

Esquire, well said.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Esquire, you have a remarkable knowledge regarding the Faith and provide a great analysis!
By the way, you don’t happen to be Prejean??

Esquire March 6, 2007 at 2:51 pm

Mary Kay and Esau,
Thanks. The only Prejean I know of is Sister Helen of Dead Man Walking fame, and we’re not related.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 3:03 pm

Esquire:
I hope you’ll frequent this blog and continue to provide us with such informative posts about the Catholic Faith!
Also, I greatly appreciate your citations!

DJK March 6, 2007 at 9:29 pm

I also use CAPS because I am sometimes too lazy to use italics.
Esquire and Tim J
Your posts give me alot to think about, but I’m still not convinced that conscience is always a bad thing to use when evaluating certain teachings. I’m not talking about the all-male clergy issue, I am talking about non-infallible teachings only.
I want to be clear here—I am not advocating a democratic Church, or a faith where we can be “cafeteria Catholics”. Specifically, I am talking about a situation where a person has done everything possible to form a good conscience, yet still believes that a non-infallible teaching contains an error.
This has happened in the past, as teachings from the ordinary magisterium are not guaranteed to be error free. For example, ther were moments in Church history where Church leaders condoned or tolerated slavery and even justified it under natural law (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14039a.htm). In all fairness, the Church also had times where it condemned slavery or certain practices of slavery.
Would it have been a sin to dissent against the Church in the times where some leaders taught that slavery was acceptable? Would it have been better to suggest that the teaching was in error because it ultimatly violated God’s will (or the Golden Rule)? Would it be less sinful to simply obey such a teaching, despite the feelings of one’s conscience? I am in total agreement with everything the catechism states about conscience. I also realize that we may interpret the words of canon 212 differently.
Please understand that I am not suggesting the all-male clergy is one of these issues. I am only suggesting that this is the reason why many Catholics dissent against some Church teachings like contraception (I would say that I agree with 90% the official teaching, but this could be a topic for another thread. I can say that I had a FAR MORE GRAPHIC sex-ed class in a Catholic school than I ever had in a public school).

DJK March 6, 2007 at 9:32 pm

I realize that I’m probably not going to win anyone over, or get anyone to agree with even part of my arguments, on this site. So, this is the last time I will bring it up. I feel it is important to say because the Church leaders are not perfect, and do not always produce perfect decisions.

Esau March 6, 2007 at 10:49 pm

I realize that I’m probably not going to win anyone over, or get anyone to agree with even part of my arguments, on this site.
Of course not — we MINDLESS.
We no brain — need people think for us.
We not enlightened enough to think for selves.
We need others do thinking for us.
Yes siree!
We love man-made organization called Katolic Church — they do thinking for us!

Esau March 6, 2007 at 10:56 pm

Esquire:
Could you explain yet again to DJK what exactly is Church Teaching?
Just look at the caluminous statement he’s made once again:
“Would it have been a sin to dissent against the Church in the times where some leaders taught that slavery was acceptable? Would it have been better to suggest that the teaching was in error because it ultimatly violated God’s will (or the Golden Rule)?Would it be less sinful to simply obey such a teaching, despite the feelings of one’s conscience?
Now, if that doesn’t just prove the colorful and slanted nature of his remarks, I don’t know what else will — short of him repeating the same interpretive comments that presents the Catholic Church yet again in such a wretched manner!

Esau March 6, 2007 at 11:09 pm

Folks,
Tell me now –
Considering the comments from DJK since the very beginning of this thread as well as his latest one, are these REALLY the comments of a person who GENUINELY wanted to educate himself about the Catholic Church and what she actually teaches? OR could it be that, from the very nature of ALL his remarks (not just one — but MANY of them) he DOES have an agenda in all this?
Esquire rightly stated previously:
“If you still have doubt, you’re either not paying attention or you have some other agenda.”
Posted by: Esquire | Mar 5, 2007 12:25:10 PM
Mary Kay had surmised it magnificently by stating the following:
“You say that you’re just asking questions, that you’re simply looking for answers to your questions, as if you were open to all possibility. Yet you have repeatedly and consistently only given credence to one side. And you’re pretty good at trying to silence those who don’t see things your way.
You’re right that you’re looking for debate. Not answers, but debate. Others who have come with questions have taken note of resources and read up on the issue. You don’t do that. You seem determined to be seen as right even as as you admit to not being well-informed.”
Just as Mary Kay had astutely surmised above, DJK has FINALLY confirmed all this by stating in his most recent post:
I realize that I’m probably not going to win anyone over, or get anyone to agree with even part of my arguments, on this site.”

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 3:40 am

DJK,
I’m still not convinced that conscience is always a bad thing to use when evaluating certain teachings.
I’m not saying the conscience is a bad thing. What we’re really talking about is how you form a good conscience.
I’m not talking about the all-male clergy issue, I am talking about non-infallible teachings only. I want to be clear here—I am not advocating a democratic Church, or a faith where we can be “cafeteria Catholics”.
A “cafeteria Catholic” is a Catholic who does not assent to some of the teachings that Church teaching requires assent to. You may not like the term, but what you are advocating is, in fact, cafeteria Catholicism.
Specifically, I am talking about a situation where a person has done everything possible to form a good conscience, yet still believes that a non-infallible teaching contains an error.
Part of the answer to this statement is faith. We may take God at his word when He says that we can trust His Church, and in fact we should do so.
One should also understand that assent does not equate to understanding or even intellectual agreement. I may work through a particular problem, using all the tools at my disposal, and come up with “x” for an answer on my own. Say that on a non-infallible teaching which calls for religious submission of the mind and will, the Church comes up with “y.” Even though I don’t understand how it got to “y,” and even though I would still come up with “x” on my own, I know that I can assent to “y” with with a perfectly clean conscience.
This has happened in the past, as teachings from the ordinary magisterium are not guaranteed to be error free.
No, but they are guaranteed to be reliable. On a matter which is not “per se irreformable” the Church may, in different times and different circumstances, come to a clearer understanding on a particular matter. But that does not equate to the Church teaching “y” when the real answer is “not y.” History bears this out, as historical changes to non-infallible teachings have been far more subtle than is generally understood.
For example, ther were moments in Church history where Church leaders condoned or tolerated slavery and even justified it under natural law. In all fairness, the Church also had times where it condemned slavery or certain practices of slavery.
I have not examined your link to the Catholic Encyclopedia entry on slavery (I will later), but in general, you need to keep some principles in mind when evaluating an issue such as this. First, as I think Tim pointed out earlier, you need to understand that “slavery” meant different things at different points in time and history. It is difficult sometimes to avoid projecting your own understanding of the term and the practice — particularly given our history in this country with the slave trade — onto the understanding and practice of a first or second century Christian. Second, there is a difference between condoning and advocating, being silent and teaching. Third, acceptance of slavery as a historical fact that will not change in one’s lifetime does not mean that one is condoning, much less advocating, slavery as a good thing. To teach that a slave owner should treat his slaves (again, whatever that term means) with justice and dignity, does not necessarily equate to teaching that slavery is ok.
Would it have been a sin to dissent against the Church in the times where some leaders taught that slavery was acceptable?
If you are talking about a teaching that required religious submission of the mind and will, the answer would be “yes.” That would be cafeteria Catholicism, which is in fact sinful. But again, consider that you can give full assent to a teaching that slave owners should treat their slaves with justice and dignity. Such a teaching says nothing about whether owning slaves is good or bad, or slavery in a particular context is good or bad.
Would it have been better to suggest that the teaching was in error because it ultimatly violated God’s will (or the Golden Rule)?
This question assumes that you are better able to discern God’s will than the teachers He installed, and is one form of the sin of pride.
Would it be less sinful to simply obey such a teaching, despite the feelings of one’s conscience?
Yes, and you can do so with a perfectly clean conscience.
I am in total agreement with everything the catechism states about conscience. I also realize that we may interpret the words of canon 212 differently.
I’m willing to debate the meaning of canon 212, and I’m willing to agree if shown that I misinterpreted it, but make sure nonetheless that you are not interpreting it in isolation from the other canons.
I am only suggesting that this is the reason why many Catholics dissent against some Church teachings like contraception.
I agree with you that contraception is better left for another thread, but understand that this is another issue in which the ex-seminarian has misrepresented the level of Church teaching and the required assent.

Tim J. March 7, 2007 at 5:38 am

My overall reaction to the thoughts of ex-seminarian are relief and gratitude that he is an EX-seminarian.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 5:58 am

DJK,
I realize that I’m probably not going to win anyone over, or get anyone to agree with even part of my arguments, on this site. So, this is the last time I will bring it up.
To draw on the conversation from another thread, one of the great misconceptions about ecuminism, is the notion that dialogue or debate must produce immediate results for it to be “successful.” The same is true here. If you’re trying to win me (or anyone else) over, and if you’re going to measure “success” in those terms, then you are probably correct, you will not be successful.
If you measure success by gaining access to and a greater appreciation for the truth, which is how the Church measures it in true ecuminism, then results are not always so apparent. I consider this dialogue to have been a success because it has caused at least two people (you, me and probably others) to reflect on the truth of what it means to be Catholic, to be Christian, and to follow Christ in all things. The fruit of reflection is awareness, and the fruit of awareness is conversion (or “renewal”). I certainly don’t approach this from the point of view that I am teaching you about the faith, I am offering you my understanding of what the Church teaches. In the process, and as a direct result of your input and that of others, I obtain a greater awareness of what the Church teaches, of what it means to be Catholic. The result is conversion, not only of you but of me. That is how true dialogue works.
I am convinced that you have been operating in good faith, and that you are truly seeking a greater understanding of these same questions. That’s great.
I feel it is important to say because the Church leaders are not perfect, and do not always produce perfect decisions.
Church leaders are not perfect, but consider carefully what that means. For one thing, it means that as men, they will not necessarily put into practice perfectly everything that they preach. And you are correct in noting that is scandalous. But we have been assured by God that we will have access to His Word from the lips of fallible, sinful men. He recruited 12 of them to start His Church. Reflect seriously on that. He had a spotless virgin at His disposal. He could have chosen the mother that He had created sinless to run His Church. He did not. But His Word assures us that the Church is the pillar of truth, and that the gates of hell will not prevail against it. If I were you, I would do everything in my power to make sure that I am firmly on board with the Church when the gates of hell come crashing, because if you trust Our Lord, that is the safest place to be. Even though He placed it in the hands of fallible, sinful men, He said “trust Me, you may think this is crazy, but I know what I’m doing. Listen to these sinful fallible men. I have put them here for your benefit. Listen to them. I have given them the Words of Eternal Life.”

DJK March 7, 2007 at 7:47 am

Esquire
Thank you for breaking down my arguments and giving your honest opinion without assuming that I have some anti-Catholic agenda, like some other readers. (This really makes no sense anyway, since I have repeated here multiple times that I am a Catholic)
t is difficult sometimes to avoid projecting your own understanding of the term and the practice — particularly given our history in this country with the slave trade — onto the understanding and practice of a first or second century Christian. Second, there is a difference between condoning and advocating, being silent and teaching.
I agree. You cannot judge history outside of the context of it’s time period. I understand that slavery, as was seen in the US, did not (typically?) occur during the days of the early Christians. However, slavery still connotates that a person’s will is being dominated by a “master”, which I cannot see a way to justify.
If you are talking about a teaching that required religious submission of the mind and will,…
No, I am specifically not talking about such teachings. The teacings that require “religious submission” are things like, the resurrection, the assumption, etc. They are things that really are more of a matter of faith than something debatable. To my knowledge, any past teachings of the Church that condoned/tolerated/accepted/(better word here) slavery, any practices during the inquisitions or crusades, and other controversial issues were never in this class of Church teachings.
No, but they [church teachings] are guaranteed to be reliable.
My understanding is that the church is guaranteed to never release a teaching that would prevent someone from going to heaven. If this is true, then why are there non-infallible teachings? Why has the Church made past teachings that bascially say that slavery is not against natural law, but you still must do x, y, and z in order not to sin by owning slaves?
…make sure nonetheless that you are not interpreting [Canon 212] it in isolation from the other canons.
I probably am. I am only a lay person with no knowledge of Canon law, or even it’s implications for lay persons. I have read this passage, the Catechism, and some quotes from JP II’s more recent writings on the matter.
…ex-seminarian has misrepresented the level of Church teaching and the required assent.
Has he really, or do you and/or some other readers just a different interpretation of the wording of things like the Catechism and Canon law? Honestly, some of this stuff reads like legal briefs, where there can be multiple interpretations.
I consider this dialogue to have been a success because it has caused at least two people (you, me and probably others) to reflect on the truth of what it means to be Catholic, to be Christian, and to follow Christ in all things.
I agree.
Also, my previous statement, I realize that I’m probably not going to win anyone over, or get anyone to agree with even part of my arguments, on this site. So, this is the last time I will bring it up., was made because I realize that there is a significant difference of opinion here. We may have to agree to disagree. It was not an insult against anyone.

Mary Kay March 7, 2007 at 9:26 am

Huh. I get my 8 hours of zzz’s and miss a whole bunch of posts.
DJK, as perhaps a note of explanation, Jimmy’s blog gets posts from a variety of people, some of whom did indeed have an agenda.
From what I’ve read of your posts, my impression is that you’re a cradle Catholic who has some questions. Or rather a large question that is prompting a whole bunch of questions. I would have said the one big question was teaching authority, but wonder if your question is more about relativism. Or maybe the two are too interrelated to tease apart.
slavery still connotates that a person’s will is being dominated by a “master” This is enough for a major discussion in itself, so I want to make note of it as something to come back to after you’ve made a dent in the relativism and objective truth.
then why are there non-infallible teachings?
You seem to subscribe to the view of infalliability as a “gold standard” and anything else has a “lesser than” quality, which would be open to debate.
Try thinking of it the other way around, that the floor is that all Church teaching requires assent, and the more definitive teachings are simply “more so.”
I would repeat what Esquire and Time have said – to not do the “sound bite” version and to avoid broad, sweeping generalizations such as “sometime, somewhere, somebody in the Church said slavery was okay.” In fact, unless you can find a specific instance when the Church said that, perhaps you should not use it as an example.
or do you and/or some other readers just a different interpretation of the wording of things like the Catechism and Canon law? Honestly, some of this stuff reads like legal briefs, where there can be multiple interpretations.
There’s that relativism again. Looks like your understanding will be incomplete until you address that also.
Had to smile at your description of legal briefs as Church teaching is indeed as precise as possible. But that comment also brings you back to the “Church as a human organization” view which brings you back to question 3 “What role does God play in the Church.” Right now, it sounds like God doesn’t play any role in how the Church is run. (And no, you’re not alone in that view. But that others share it doesn’t make it correct.)
These are the questions from earlier in this thread:
1. What are the parameters of Scripture interpretation.
2. What role does conscience play in one’s spiritual life.
3. What role does God play in what you call the “human organization” of the Church.
4. The levels of teaching authority
I would add 5. What is the difference between relativism and an objective truth.
Your comment about winning anyone over or getting anyone to agree with your arguments is incongruous with your statemtent that you are looking for answers.
Looking for answers is being open to all possible answers. Trying to win someone over to your side says that you’ve already decided what the answer is.
Since I’ve typed this in between something else, who knows where the discussion has gone to.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 9:34 am

DJK,
However, slavery still connotates that a person’s will is being dominated by a “master”, which I cannot see a way to justify.
Are you sure that the Church justified the domination of another person’s will by a master? Again, just because the Church taught that slaves must be treated justly and humanely does not mean that the Church justified slavery or that it justified the domination of one person’s will by another. When you get down to specifics like this, you often have to examine precisely what was said, rather than popular or common interpretations of it.
My question: If you are talking about a teaching that required religious submission of the mind and will,…
Your answer: No, I am specifically not talking about such teachings. The teacings that require “religious submission” are things like, the resurrection, the assumption, etc. They are things that really are more of a matter of faith than something debatable.

OK, we could use a little more precision in our discussion here. I know that you do not intend to be talking about such teachings, but it does not appear to me that you are comprehending what the Church means here. Matters such as the Resurrection and the Assumption are part of the deposit of faith, and require more than religious submission. They require what is termed “the assent of divine and catholic faith.”
Matters that are not taught as being divinely revealed, but that are nonetheless taught infallibly (because they are so related to the deposit of faith), require more than religious submission. Such truths must be “firmly accepted and held.” (See Donum Veritatis, link above, art. 23.) Examples of such teachings are those on the all-male priesthood and contraception.
In both of the above cases, a Catholic confesses that the doctrine at hand is fully accurate and irreversible as far as it goes (although not necessarily exhaustive of its term nor immune from further development).
We then get to matters which require “religious submission of the intellect and the will.” These are ordinary teachings of the Magisterium on matters which of faith and morals for which there is no “manifest evidence” of infallibility.
To my knowledge, any past teachings of the Church that condoned/tolerated/accepted/(better word here) slavery, any practices during the inquisitions or crusades, and other controversial issues were never in this class of Church teachings.
If they were ordinary teachings of the Magisterium and they related to faith and morals (and not disciplinary matters), yes, they would belong in this category and require religious submission of the intellect and will. But that’s why you have to be careful in defining what the precise teaching is/was. A vague statement such as “the Church accepted slavery” is pretty sloppy and useless in such an analysis.
My understanding is that the church is guaranteed to never release a teaching that would prevent someone from going to heaven.
I don’t recall hearing it phrased quite like that, but instinctively I’d say that seems true to me.
If this is true, then why are there non-infallible teachings?
Because there is not a need at that time for the stamp or guarantee of infallibility. Whether or not there is such a need is exclusively within the competence of the Pope and the Magisterium in consultation with and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. To give you one example, if no one were practicing contraception, there would be no need for an infallible teaching. If there were no controversy over ordaining women, there would be no need for an infallible teaching. If a small controversy erupts, an ordinary teaching may be sufficient to safeguard the truth for the faithful. This may happen in isolated instances throughout the world and throughout history. When it becomes serious enough that the Pope and the Magisterium (again, in consultation) determine that the circumstances warrant a higher level of authoritative teaching, they may make infallible declarations. But they don’t do these things in a vacuum.
Why has the Church made past teachings that bascially say that slavery is not against natural law,…
Perhaps we are at the point that we should examine the particular Church teaching that you are questioning here. I will not agree for the sake of argument that the Church has made such a teaching, but if it has, I will gladly take a look at the text and the context and offer you my thoughts on why such a teaching was made at such a time.
…but you still must do x, y, and z in order not to sin by owning slaves?
Our faith is not a list of do’s and don’ts. (I know that you know that, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of it from time to time.) Let me make up another example (stress “make up” — I am simply envisioning one possible, albeit extreme, scenario that might explain why) to see if I can illustrate.
Suppose there is a group of slave owners who are mutilating their slaves, separating children from parents, killing the weak and disabled, starving the rest and extracting 15 hours a hard day from each of them. Suppose also that you know that the group absolutely will not listen if they are told that they cannot own slaves, and that in fact their response will be to beat the slaves more and work them harder. In fact, if push comes to shove, this group is so depraved that they will kill all of the slaves rather than release them. They might, however, listen if they are told that whatever they do, they must treat their slaves as human beings, they might keep families together, they might beat them less, work them more tolerably.
Your commission, in this example, is to preach the Gospel. Should you work in increments that may improve their condition (and the spiritual condition of the masters) and ultimately lead to a framework in which release might be more tolerable?
Or should you take the action that you are certain will result in the slaughter of innocent slaves?
These are not compromises, they are tough prudential decisions that the Pope and the Magisterium face every day in one form or fashion or another.
Christ did not teach exclusively, or even primarily, with a list of do’s and don’t's, and we should not expect the Church that he founded to teach that way either.
My statement: …ex-seminarian has misrepresented the level of Church teaching and the required assent.
Your question: Has he really, or do you and/or some other readers just a different interpretation of the wording of things like the Catechism and Canon law?

Yes, he really has. I do not offer any opinion on his specific intent or agenda (or lack thereof), but he has without question misrepresented Church teaching and the required level of assent. Honestly, this is not that complicated. The Pope and the Magisterium have said the teaching is infallible and irreformable. The ex-seminarian says it’s not. The Pope says he’s doing what he’s doing to erase all doubt. The ex-seminarian says there’s still doubt. The Magisterium has said that ordinary non-infallible teachings require “religious submission of the intellect and the will.” The ex-seminarian says that if it’s not infallible, he can withhold assent and may actaully dissent.
At some point, reason and common sense kick in and you simply have to evaluate what he says in comparison to what the Church says. As far as that goes, it’s really not that complicated.
Honestly, some of this stuff reads like legal briefs, where there can be multiple interpretations.
When the Pope says he’s erasing all doubt and that the teaching is infallible, there cannot be multiple legitimate interpretations.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 9:37 am

Mary Kay,
Had to smile at your description of legal briefs as Church teaching is indeed as precise as possible.
I had to smile at your suggestion that legal briefs are as precise as possible. Would that it were so!

Esau March 7, 2007 at 9:44 am

Folks:
Let me explain –
The REASON why I have a beef with DJK is the scandalous manner in which he states things; that is, in spite of the fact that he claims IGNORANCE on these matters, he, nevertheless, makes certain statements appear as if they were a MATTER-OF-FACT.
For example, he said:
“Would it have been a sin to dissent against the Church in the times where some leaders taught that slavery was acceptable?
What is actually being said here?
One casually reading this could easily interpret it as meaning that there were Church leaders (and even the Church herself due to how DJK had phrased the statement) who taught that slavery was acceptable.
Yet, what this actually the case?
Here are some facts on the matter:
1. The Catholic Church unhesitatingly condemned racial slavery as soon as it began.
2. In 1435, six decades before Columbus sailed, Pope Eugene IV condemned the enslavement of the black natives of the Canary Islands, and ordered their European masters to manumit the enslaved within 15 days, under pain of excommunication.
3. In 1537, Pope Paul III condemned the enslavement of West Indian and South American natives, and explicitly attributed that evil, “unheard of before now,” to “the enemy of the human race,” Satan.
4. Papal condemnations of slavery were repeated by Popes Gregory XIV (1591), Urban VIII (1639), Innocent XI (1686), Benedict XIV (1741), and Piux VII (1815).
5. In 1839, Pope Gregory XVI wrote:
“We, by apostolic authority, warn and strongly exhort… that no one in the future dare to bother unjustly, despoil of their possessions, or reduce to slavery Indians, Blacks or other such peoples.”
6. Pope Leo XIII (1890), too, condemned slavery, and so did the Second Vatican Council (1965).
Contrary to DJK’s statement, the Catholic Church had actually CONDEMNED slavery time and again!

Mary Kay March 7, 2007 at 9:59 am

Esquire, oops. Obviously I don’t know much about law. But I do manage to entertain :)

DJK March 7, 2007 at 10:14 am

Mary Kay and Esquire
I appreciate your comments, and will give a full reply later today when I get a chance.
In all fairness, there have been many condemnations of slavery by the Church. Perhaps I should have been more clear. However, there is one particular quote from the Congregation for Doctrine (I’m not really sure what that is) that really bothers me–this comes from (http://www.womenpriests.org/phistory.asp). Yes, I realize it comes from a website advocating female priesthood, and we probably don’t need to rehash that argument. I’m sure this quote can be found at a better place, I just don’t have time to look for one at the moment.
20 June 1866: Slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural law or God’s law. There can be several just titles of slavery . . .It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given
The natural law part is what bothers me the most, because it is one of the main arguments the Church uses against another controversial issue, contraception. So, based on this quote, and some of the explainations for the Church’s historical decisions, is it fair to say that the Church leaders, in different points in history, accepted or tolerated the reality of slavery while denouncing the more extreme evils that result from it?

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 10:55 am

DJK,
Putting aside what the Church teaches or has taught for a moment, would you expect any “selling, buying, exchanging or giving of persons” to violate natural law?
If so, great. If not, under what circumstances?

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 7, 2007 at 11:04 am
Smoky Mountain Hiker March 7, 2007 at 11:07 am
Esquire March 7, 2007 at 12:15 pm

DJK,
Congregation for Doctrine (I’m not really sure what that is) that really bothers me–this comes from (http://www.womenpriests.org/phistory.asp).
Since 1965, it has been known as the Sacred Congretation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as explained more completely here.
As for womanpriests.org, I would caution against taking theological advice from them, but you already knew I’d say that.

Mary Kay March 7, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Smoky Mountain Hiker, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the Catholic link.
DJK, this thread has gone around in circles several times. You claim that others are verbally attacking you while innocent you is just looking for answers.
Twice now, however, things have settled down, people all around have okay let’s be civil about this. Let’s take him at his word that he wants to learn more about his Catholic faith. Take his word that he is reading Catholic documents in entirety, not sound bites.
Inevitably, your very next post is to present a dissident source and/or argument. You give no reason to believe that you’ve taken any suggestions of Catholic documents other than a vague comment or so.
THREE TIMES at least by THREE DIFFERENT PEOPLE, you’ve been asked to cite a source where the Catholic Church has approved of slavery in the way you’ve described.
Do you do that? No. You continue with the vague “well I read someplace but I can’t remember where” comments. Oh, but you do have specific links to dissenting sources.
Either you are what you say you are, someone who is trying to sort out what is true. In which case, you’ve demonstrated faulty logic and incredibly poor judgment.
OR… you’re stringing people along with vague comments while you plant specific links to all sorts of dissident views, spreading doubt like the BS it is.
You can say all the words you want about how you’re seriously considering the Catholic perspective, but your actions speak louder than your words.
Until you can cite an authentic and specific Catholic document that backs up what you say, I’m done responding to you.

Mary Kay March 7, 2007 at 12:23 pm

Esquire, that post was just another one of DJK’s vague, “I don’t really know what it is, gee I don’t know really know what the Catholic source is” comments.
It might be too strong to say that DJK is playing the readers here as suckers, stringing them along so he can plant dissident links. Then again, it might not be.
If he’s on the level, he might want to honor the request to come up with a specific Catholic source before continuing with his argument.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Mary Kay,
Thanks, but I’m familiar enough with the 1866 quote DJK refers to to know that it is essentially accurate, so I’ll address it head on. I would like him to answer my earlier question first, however, about the buying, selling, exchanging or giving of persons.

Mary Kay March 7, 2007 at 12:42 pm

Esquire, I suppose it’s a good thing that you recognize it as “essentially accurate” but that doesn’t change the fact that DJK (and others) just plop a quote out of nowhere and expect a discussion around it.
DJK is not the only one who does that, just the most recent. It bugs the heck out of me when people do that.
If someone wants to put something out for discussion, please, please, PLEASE cite your source – and in a case like this, primary source – so that everyone is on the same page for the discussion.
It’s presumptuous for someone to expect others to have to investigate where a quote is from.
Can you tell this really irritates me?
Esquire, if this go into discussion, can you or DJK cite the document being discussed.
Thank you.

DJK March 7, 2007 at 12:44 pm

Mary Kay
I thought I was clear that the womenpriests website was probably not a good source. However, I felt that the quote was probably accurate, since I have seen it on a couple of different sites, although I doubt anyone on this post would consider them good sources. I did clearly state that I have been looking for a more authentic source of the quote to see if it was real or taken out of context. I also clearly stated that it came from a questionable site. Because it appears that the majority of people on this site are highly versed in Church documents, while I am clearly not, I figured someone might be able to at least point to a better source. I never endorsed a single position on that site in the last post. If you can show me anything that endorsed a position on that site, I will take it back–that was not my intention. Before you go condemning me, maybe you should clearly read the words that I wrote. If I really wanted to make a case for female priests, I probably wouldn’t be using this post.
Esquire
…would you expect any “selling, buying, exchanging or giving of persons” to violate natural law?
Absolutley! I can’t see anything in our faith that would ever justify selling, buying, etc. another human being. I also cannot see anything natural about the practice.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 12:49 pm

DJK,
Esquire
My question: would you expect any “selling, buying, exchanging or giving of persons” to violate natural law?
Your answer: Absolutley! I can’t see anything in our faith that would ever justify selling, buying, etc. another human being. I also cannot see anything natural about the practice.

OK, next question. Baseball players, for example, get bought, sold and traded all the time. Does that practice violate the natural law?
(Serious question.)

DJK March 7, 2007 at 12:57 pm

Esquire
HAHA! I thought it might come to this! My answer is no, because baseball players only have an obligation to be bought, sold, or traded if the CHOOSE to continue being professional baseball players. Granted, players do have contractual legal obligations, but there is nothing that can force a player to fulfill his contract. He can choose to break a contract, which will probably cost him financially and professionally, but a sports professional will not lose his life or go to prison over it. He still has the choice to pursue other work.
In addition, any outside obligations on a professional athlete must be accepted by the athlete before he begins to play for a professional team. No one forces athletes to play or to accept the terms of their contracts.
Even the kindest forms of slavery take away this kind of individual choice. In other words, a slave is bound to fulfill obligations that are placed upon him by others.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 1:12 pm

DJK,
You would agree, then, I take it, that indentured servitude does not in and of itself violate natural law?

Mary Kay March 7, 2007 at 1:12 pm

Before you go condemning me, maybe you should clearly read the words that I wrote
Apply that to yourself first.
I thought I was clear that the womenpriests website was probably not a good source.
Why are you wasting my time with something that’s not a good source?
I did clearly state that I have been looking for a more authentic source of the quote to see if it was real or taken out of context. … I figured someone might be able to at least point to a better source.
Why are you expecting others to do your homework? Be a grown-up and do the necessary work if you want others to engage in a discussion with you. It is presumptuous to think that because you have a question, someone else has to drop what they’re doing to dig it up.
You are fortunate that there happened to be someone here who recognized that quote.
I will leave the two of you to your private conversation as neither one of you has provided a source.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 7, 2007 at 1:16 pm

Esquire,
I think there may be a logical step missing.
As I understand it, an indentured servant–though perhaps he initially chose to become one–would not have a choice to prematurely end his servitude. DJK, however, assented to your baseball analogy on the grounds that the baseball player could end his contract prematurely and pursue other work.

Some Day March 7, 2007 at 1:20 pm

I think that is a pointless question.
A baseball player should hardly have the right to complain, as they could be the lowest, perverse people on the planet, and still make millions and bask in terrestial glory.
Sit transit gloria mundi

DJK March 7, 2007 at 1:20 pm

Esquire
If being a professional athlete is indentured servitude, then sign me up! But otherwise, if we are discussing contract labor, then no, I would think that wouldn’t violate natural law. We are not discussing indentured servitude or contract labor.
We are discussing slavery or involunatary servitude, which I still cannot understand any kind of justification.
Mary Kay
Why do you have to be like that? I haven’t tried to mislead anyone and I’ve been honest. If you want to act petty and insinuate that I’m ‘expecting others to do my homework for me’, then back off. It’s a public forum, and you don’t have to respond.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 1:25 pm

Mary Kay,
I’m sorry. I didn’t provide a source because I don’t have a direct source for the quote. I accept it as authentic because every discussion I’ve ever seen of the Church’s position on slavery has acknowledged it as authentic. But I have never seen the document online anywhere.

Some Day March 7, 2007 at 1:26 pm

Oh I forgot, I believe St. Paul says even a slave should be obediant when subjected to servitude, though it is wrong, obediance outweights revolt and chaos.
And slavery is legit, if I grasped the concept correctly, when one voluntarily offers themselves to a superior person, as a proxy to God, as St. Louis de Monfort teaches. The other is when you aquire the right over that persons life, as in war, when you pardon their life, their life is still yours, so you can take them as slaves, assumning it is a legitamate war.

DJK March 7, 2007 at 1:32 pm

Some Day
Thank you for proving my point. Can you justify your position without referencing the Bible? Would you consent to obediance if someone forced you into slavery?

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 7, 2007 at 1:33 pm

obediance outweights revolt and chaos
The object of the obediance certainly has an impact on the veracity of this statement.
I would posit that disobedience to Hitler would outweigh revolt and chaos.
Similarly, I would posit that disobedience to a brutal New World plantation slave owner in the 1800s would outweigh revolt and chaos.

Esau March 7, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Mary Kay,
I’m sorry. I didn’t provide a source because I don’t have a direct source for the quote. I accept it as authentic because every discussion I’ve ever seen of the Church’s position on slavery has acknowledged it as authentic.

Esquire:
How can you actually say this?
You mean to tell me that if enough people acknowledge something as authentic and if you find it enough times as being declared as such, that that would actually make it true?
What then of rumors and lies?

Some Day March 7, 2007 at 1:37 pm

No, because it would constitute a mortal sin.
To give up your liberty other than to God or to another superior to reach Him (Mary) would be to give it to evil. There is good and there is bad.
Only one side at a time. If you give up freedom over yourself ( which is also what happens in hypnotism) someone else can use you for evil. And that is not a good risk to take.
But please, don’t bring baseball players into this. It is like talking about saints and then talking about Anne Hucthinson or Luther.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 1:39 pm

DJK,
We are not discussing indentured servitude or contract labor. We are discussing slavery or involunatary servitude, which I still cannot understand any kind of justification.
As this document, which bears an imprimatur from Bishop Bruskewitz, explains, indentured servitude was considered a form of slavery in biblical times, and later:
…servitude is not always unjust, such as penal servitude for convicted criminals or servitude freely chosen for personal financial reasons. These forms are called just-title servitude….During biblical times, a man could voluntarily sell himself into slavery in order to pay off his debts (Deut. 15:12-18). But such slaves were to be freed on the seventh year or the Jubilee year (Lev. 25:54). The Church tolerated just-title servitude for a time because it is not wrong in itself, though it can be seriously abused. The Popes did, however, consistently oppose racial slavery which completely lacks any moral justification.
If indentured servitude does not violate the natural law, and the definition of slavery I am working with includes indentured servitude, it is axiomatic that slavery does not necessarily violate the natural law.
If my definition of slavery changes over time, such that it becomes synonymous with racial slavery of the type you have described, which is an affront to human dignity, then it would of course be correct to say that slavery violates the natural law. But that wouldn’t make the statement in the last paragraph incorrect either.

Tim J. March 7, 2007 at 1:41 pm

You go, Esquire! I was thinking along these same lines, but you are doing a much more able job of things, so far, than I would have. Besides, I need to keep at my work.
The point is, one man’s “slavery” may be very like another man’s “career”. A person may enter into an employment relationship voluntarily, but afterwards may find himself chained to a Blackberry and pressured into giving up far more of his freedom than he might have bargained for. Economic necessity makes servants, if not slaves, of many millions of people.
That doesn’t make slavery right, but it does mean that the actual wrongness of slavery – as well as a definition of slavery – is something that needs to be teased out rather finely. Not all forms of slavery – so named – will be intrinsically evil. We may have, in modern times, made the breaking of employment contracts a strictly civil matter, rather than criminal, but there is still a great deal of legal, social and economic pressure brought to bear on an individual not to do so. To this extent, his/her freedom is limited.
Am I allowed to sell myself, say as a butler? That might require following the person I am serving at all times, no matter how I feel about it. Could I sell myself this way for a year? Five years? Twenty? Is there some sin taking place on my part or that of the employer, so long as we both go into it with a clear understanding? As long as I am compensated fairly, I can’t really see one. But, boy, are we off-topic!

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 1:45 pm

Esau,
How can you actually say this?
You mean to tell me that if enough people acknowledge something as authentic and if you find it enough times as being declared as such, that that would actually make it true?

No. But I don’t accept something as authentic just because I find it on the internet either. I have a limited amount of time, so if something has enough of an indicia of reliability, I will accept it as true, at least for the sake of argument, rather than wasting a bunch of time trying to track it down. In this particular case, the spectrum of people who have accepted that statement as true is vast (including people I instinctively trust) and no one I’ve seen has challenged it. Because it thus strikes me as likely to be authentic, it is worth addressing, not only because it is likely true, but because a sufficient number of others are likely to regard it as true as well.
But if you think it’s not true, I’m more than willing to hear the arguments.

Mary Kay March 7, 2007 at 1:46 pm

DJK
You can just back off yourself.
You had been asked several times by several people to stop with the vague quotes.
So when people have to repeatedly ask you to provide specific sources, you consider that being petty?
IF you had read my words before rushing to judgment, you would have read that you are not the only one who has failed to source a quote. AND you would have noted that my reason for asking is so that everyone can be on the same page. You DID ask for answers to your questions, didn’t you?
It’s a public forum, and you don’t have to respond.
If you think that has any resemblance to “civil dialogue” you are greatly mistaken. Practice what you preach.
Esquire, DJK should take lessons from you in how to engage in a discussion. I have to leave for the evening, but will ask tomorrow.

Some Day March 7, 2007 at 1:47 pm

Hitler was the visible head of an evil organization. And he did not have truly legitamate power. But if he orders a tax, that does not neccesarily constitute a sin.
To kill a person, even if they deserve it, without being the correct authority is a sin, so there you disobey. The job of every Catholic in the French and I dare say it, the American revolution was to fight against the revolts.
Why? Because these were the legitamate leaders and the legitamate governments. Now let us consider the king of England. He is a protestant, so he should not reign, but you are not going to overthrow the monarchy, which according to Catholic doctrine is the more perfect form of government, you get rid of the SINGLE king, and with the CHURCH’S CONSENT.
Slavery is wrong, but the Church, who is Mother, cannot but a problem of conscience immediately.
Slavery was an old practice. To plant the problem of conscience before time could start problems and not convert the people.
It takes time.
She did it with the priests, slowly making them celibate, with the barbarians who adored trees, which taught them that the trees are not gods, but can represent God, like christmas trees, and then with the indians, who they slowly taught to dress with dignity. It takes time.

DJK March 7, 2007 at 1:48 pm

Some Day
Then how can you justify slavery of others?
Esquire
If indentured servitude does not violate the natural law, and the definition of slavery I am working with includes indentured servitude, it is axiomatic that slavery does not necessarily violate the natural law.
If that is your definition of slavery, then I must agree with you. However, I am speaking of involuntary servitude, which includes racially-motivated slavery. Intentured servitude is something entirely different. I would like to find the original document that the 1866 quotation came from to get the full context of their statement.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 1:54 pm

But, boy, are we off-topic!
I had to go back and look — I couldn’t remember what the original topic even was. Nor did I realize it was three years old!

Some Day March 7, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Racial incited servitude is wrong.
And it is funny since THIS “land of the free” was one of the last ones to have it, and Africa STILL has it. But whatever.
But the involuntary servitude I mentioned in a war context is legitamate.

DJK March 7, 2007 at 1:56 pm

Mary Kay
You can just back off yourself.
If you think that has any resemblance to “civil dialogue” you are greatly mistaken. Practice what you preach.

Don’t start what you can’t finish. I have been civil with you, and you had no cause to be rude to me. I don’t deserve that.
You had been asked several times by several people to stop with the vague quotes.
I specifically stated the actual quotation and the source. I also identified the illegitimacy of the source’s other teachings, only the quotation was probably legitimate, and that I was looking for a better source.
Esquire, DJK should take lessons from you in how to engage in a discussion.
Maybe you should take your own advice as well.
Some Day

* The job of every Catholic in the French and I dare say it, the American revolution was to fight against the revolts.
* …you are not going to overthrow the monarchy, which according to Catholic doctrine is the more perfect form of government…

What?!? I’m going to have to respectfully disagree.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 7, 2007 at 2:02 pm

I have a bottle of chill pills in my cubicle somewhere…perhaps I need to fish them out and pass them around? :)

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 7, 2007 at 2:02 pm

But the involuntary servitude I mentioned in a war context is legitamate.
What is your source for this statement?

DJK March 7, 2007 at 2:03 pm

Esquire
Yes, somehow this has gotten very off topic. Wow, this really is 3 years old. We may have to just agree to disagree because I’m tired of getting accused of things, and I’m tired of tearing into people. Thank you for your input, you have probably been the most helpful person on this post. I’ll probably read if you add anything to this.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 2:06 pm

DJK,
If that is your definition of slavery, then I must agree with you. However, I am speaking of involuntary servitude, which includes racially-motivated slavery. Intentured servitude is something entirely different. I would like to find the original document that the 1866 quotation came from to get the full context of their statement.
I agree it would interesting to find the original document to get the context. But my larger point is this. In a relatively short amount of time, I — who am really not very knowledgeable at all on the history of slavery or the Church’s teaching on it — have been able to provide you with a plausible explanation of how a Church teaching you instinctively took to be in error might be regarded as true.
This is why it is completely rational to assent to a Church teaching that requires assent, for no other reason than that the Church proposes it as true. “I don’t understand it” really says more about me and my own limitations than it does about the Church.

Esau March 7, 2007 at 2:08 pm

No. But I don’t accept something as authentic just because I find it on the internet either.
I don’t believe I said anything about you accepting anything found on the Internet as being authentic. Where did you get that from?
Any fool can post on the Internet various fabricated items and make them have the appearance of truth.
However, one method to verify the authenticity of such things is to search out corroborating documents or similar hard evidence to distinguish between what is false from what is true.
What I was actually addressing in my post is what you had said in yours — that is:
I accept it as authentic because every discussion I’ve ever seen of the Church’s position on slavery has acknowledged it as authentic.
I found it disconcerting because of the fact that many rumors and lies are often touted as the truth and, moreover, most folks would go on to present it as truth to all they encounter.
This has often been the case in history where, as had been mentioned several times (although I’m uncertain of the exact quote) that if you repeat a lie enough times, it can appear as truth.
No doubt, this has been the case with such events in history as that of the Inquisition.
As had been mentioned in the link I had previously provided in one of my earlier posts:
The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition, a 1994 BBC/A&E production . . . is a definite must-see for anyone who wishes to know how historians now evaluate the Spanish Inquisition since the opening of an investigation into the Inquisition’s archives. The special includes commentary from historians whose studies verify that the tale of the darkest hour of the Church was greatly fabricated.
In its brief sixty-minute presentation, The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition provides only an overview of the origins and debunking of the myths of torture and genocide. The documentary definitely succeeds in leaving the viewer hungry to know more. The long-held beliefs of the audience are sufficiently weakened by the testimony of experts and the expose of the making of the myth.
. . . In 1567 a fierce propaganda campaign began with the publication of a Protestant leaflet penned by a supposed Inquisition victim named Montanus. This character (Protestant of course) painted Spaniards as barbarians who ravished women and sodomized young boys. The propagandists soon created “hooded fiends” who tortured their victims in horrible devices like the knife-filled Iron Maiden (which never was used in Spain). The BBC/A&E special plainly states a reason for the war of words: the Protestants fought with words because they could not win on the battlefield.
The Inquisition had a secular character, although the crime was heresy. Inquisitors did not have to be clerics, but they did have to be lawyers. The investigation was rule-based and carefully kept in check. And most significantly, historians have declared fraudulent a supposed Inquisition document claiming the genocide of millions of heretics.
. . . Discrediting the Black Legend brings up the sticky subject of revisionism. Re-investigating history is only invalid if it puts an agenda ahead of reality. The experts – once true believers in the Inquisition myth – were not out to do a feminist canonization of Isabella or claim that Tomas de Torquemada was a Marxist. Henry Kamen of the Higher Council for Scientific Research in Barcelona said on camera that researching the Inquisition’s archives “demolished the previous image all of us (historians) had.”

Some Day March 7, 2007 at 2:14 pm

Hmm. I don’t remember the book that shows how when one pardons an enemies life, his life is yours, as in a slave. But the brutality of protestant slavery hear in the States is defenitely what we are talking about.
It is one like the relationship between
Pierre Toussaint and his owners, like the ones in Latin America, who after being freed, still choose to remain in that home, because they had become like one of the family.
The slavery of natural law is that one, the one where you have a right over their life, but you pardon them, so you still own that right.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 2:15 pm

Esau,
I don’t believe I said anything about you accepting anything found on the Internet as being authentic. Where did you get that from?
Sorry. I have a co-worker who pretty much regards everything he finds on the internet as gospel truth.
I stand by the rest of my explanation, though. I think if you read it you’ll see it doesn’t have much to do with accepting rumors and lies, which I don’t have much time for.

DJK March 7, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Esquire
I agree with you totally–if the Church definition of slavery includes indentured servitude, then the Church did not err. Of course, I do not have the original document, and I cannot put it into context. However, if we have accuratley defined the Church’s definition of slavery, then I would suggest that their definition is wrong, or that their statement is unclear. Thank you again for your help.
Esau
There are many Catholics who would love to rewrite history so that the Church is blameless in everything that they supposedly did wrong. Likewise, there are many non-Catholics who call the Church the ‘whore of Babylon’. I hope you are not in the former.
I am certain that some of the stories were probably blown out of proportion, but we cannot deny that Church leaders did some pretty bad things in the inquisitions in the name of the Church. I would suggest that the real truth probably lies somewhere between both extremes.
You cannot totally dismiss the entire historical record because of one BBC documentary. Again, if one BBC documentary can exonerate the Church from the Inquisitions, then Jesus was just found in an ossuary with his wife and family.

Esau March 7, 2007 at 2:29 pm

Esquire:
I think if you read it you’ll see it doesn’t have much to do with accepting rumors and lies, which I don’t have much time for.
Which is further reason why I was rather startled when you had made that statement.
From your usual posts, you appear a person of rather sound logic and thought; not to mention, a pretty extensive knowledge base!
I leave you back to dealing with DJK. Thanks.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 7, 2007 at 2:33 pm

Some Day writes:
I don’t remember the book that shows how when one pardons an enemies life, his life is yours, as in a slave
Well, from the Catholic Encyclopedia, published way back in 1912(http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14039a.htm):
On the same principle that slavery is a lesser evil than death, captives taken in war, who, according to the ethical ideas of the jus gentium, might lawfully be put to death by the victors, were instead reduced to slavery. Whatever justification this practice may have had in the jus gentium of former ages, none could be found for it now.

Esau March 7, 2007 at 2:37 pm

There are many Catholics who would love to rewrite history so that the Church is blameless in everything that they supposedly did wrong.
Oh, that’s right! The BBC documentary was produced by Catholics!
we cannot deny that Church leaders did some pretty bad things in the inquisitions in the name of the Church.
This coming from somebody who says he doesn’t actually know the entire story!
You cannot totally dismiss the entire historical record because of one BBC documentary.
Dismiss the entire historical record???
Hmmmm… didn’t somebody mention that he was actually willing to know both sides of the story???
OR is it because this documentary (produced by the BBC, by the way, and NOT Catholics) exonerates the Catholic Church on so many levels and doesn’t actually fall in line with the usual calumny DJK aspires to, that it should be dismissed?
Not to mention, the fact that it actually utilizes secular historians in the matter and NOT Catholic clergy, as at one time posited by DJK!
So much for the desire to educate one’s self about BOTH SIDES of the story!

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 2:43 pm

DJK,
Thanks.
if we have accuratley defined the Church’s definition of slavery, then I would suggest that their definition is wrong, or that their statement is unclear.
It may be unclear today, but that does not mean it was unclear at the time it was written. And that is why the Church doesn’t simply rely on a 140 year old articulation on a given point, but continues to clarify and refine points so that they can be understood in their current historical context.
Also, when you use “Church,” “Church leaders” and “Church members” interchangeably, your statements lack the precision necessary to conduct a meaningful dialogue.
My answer would change from “yes” to “no” to the different questions you posed to Esau if any one of those terms is replaced with another of those terms.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 7, 2007 at 2:48 pm

DJK writes:
we cannot deny that Church leaders did some pretty bad things in the inquisitions in the name of the Church … You cannot totally dismiss the entire historical record because of one BBC documentary
I think you are guilty here of a certain vagueness, which is likely at the root of the sometimes heated responses you received.
Rather than refer to “some pretty bad things“, why not explicitly enumerate some, with sources? Rather than reference the “entire historical record“, why not provide some references to bits of that record that support your statements?
I merely propose that unless you provide something concrete that can be addressed and discussed, you will only get heated responses.
You did a good job providing that quote on slavery because at least it gave the discussion a concrete framework for Esquire to work with.

Mary Kay March 7, 2007 at 2:48 pm

Mary Kay
You can just back off yourself.
If you think that has any resemblance to “civil dialogue” you are greatly mistaken. Practice what you preach.
Don’t start what you can’t finish. I have been civil with you, and you had no cause to be rude to me. I don’t deserve that.
You had been asked several times by several people to stop with the vague quotes.
I specifically stated the actual quotation and the source. I also identified the illegitimacy of the source’s other teachings, only the quotation was probably legitimate, and that I was looking for a better source.
Esquire, DJK should take lessons from you in how to engage in a discussion.
Maybe you should take your own advice as well.

Don’t start what you can’t finish?
A phrase heard most often on the playground.
You’re very quick to say that you don’t deserve others’ reactions to you, but then others don’t deserve what you’ve dished out to them. Nor do you see how you provoke others’ reactions to you.
As for the uncited quote. Maybe you’re new to this, but a quote on a website that does not cite a primary source doesn’t count.
I’m taking you at your word that you want a serious discussion. Just pointing out where you are making that discussion unnecessarily difficult.
Now I really have to fly.

DJK March 7, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Esau
You are an embarassment to Catholics everywhere. You are putting words into my mouth and you should be ashamed. Your blind obedience to authority makes you a very dangerous person, not unlike the Nazi’s who marched innocent Jews into the gas chambers, or the clergymen who did nothing while men like Torquemada used Church authority to force innocent people out of Spain.
You don’t know all of the facts either Esau! Instead of doing your own research, you watch a single BBC documentary, and claim that the Church is now blameless, that other people just cooked EVERYTHING up to make us look bad. Have you even bothered to research any other documentation of the history of the Inquisitions? Have you bothered to look at other academic sources? Did you ever think that even if there was some propaganda written against the Chruch, that there might be some truth in the record? Did you ever think that maybe, Catholic leadership could FAIL in a temporal matter? How dare you call yourself a Catholic and a Christian!

DJK March 7, 2007 at 2:51 pm

Everyone else but Esau
I did want a serious discussion, but with the exception of Esquire, I don’t think that’s possible. Thank you for your inputs, but I think we need to just agree to disagree.
God bless (even you Esau)

Esau March 7, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Also, when you use “Church,” “Church leaders” and “Church members” interchangeably, your statements lack the precision necessary to conduct a meaningful dialogue.
My answer would change from “yes” to “no” to the different questions you posed to Esau if any one of those terms is replaced with another of those terms.

Thank you, Esquire, for appreciating the subtleties of this formulation of statements.
I still cannot see how anything rendered by any member of the Church, whether by word or deed, actually becoming that of the entire Catholic Church and, worse, ‘Church Teaching’!
Furthermore, I still cannot see how the actions of a secular state, that merely identifies itself as ‘Catholic’, suddenly being identified (merely due to its label) the ‘Catholic Church’ itself!
There is a distinct difference — however subtle!

Some Day March 7, 2007 at 2:57 pm

Whoa, Esau is one of the decent ones here.
And you are a newcommer aren’t you?
So watch what you say.
And the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ.
Perfect.
Now we the faithful, can be unfaithful.
Now the worst “error”of the Inquisition was ending it.

DJK March 7, 2007 at 3:08 pm

Some Day
Now the worst “error” of the Inquisition was ending it.
How dare you. What are you, some kind of Catholic jihadist? You are an embarassment to the Church and to faithful Catholics everywhere. How dare you call yourself a Catholic! You can justify slavery and the inquisitions?!? I suppose you’d like to have a Catholic like me sit in front of the Grand Inquisitor. I suppose you’d like everyone who isn’t a Catholic be judged by the “just ruling” of a man wearing a collar and robes because he says he works for God. Perhaps wyou would like to replace our democracy with a Taliban-like Catholic state? We can kick everyone out that isn’t a Catholic, and convert the rest. Maybe the state, with absolutley no input from the Church, can have a few executed in the name of Jesus? Thank God that this kind of thinking is limited to a few zealots.

Esau March 7, 2007 at 3:12 pm

You don’t know all of the facts either Esau! Instead of doing your own research, you watch a single BBC documentary…
Is that all I’ve done?
Funny, having been immersed in several anti-Catholic literature and propaganda myself in my college days as I attended Protestant churches and bible studies; I had to do more than simply ‘watch’ a video in order to convince me of the Truths of the Catholic Faith.
You are an embarassment to Catholics everywhere. You are putting words into my mouth and you should be ashamed. Your blind obedience to authority makes you a very dangerous person, not unlike the Nazi’s who marched innocent Jews into the gas chambers, or the clergymen who did nothing while men like Torquemada used Church authority to force innocent people out of Spain.
I didn’t know you knew me so well enough to form such an elaborate judgment about me!
Have you even bothered to research any other documentation of the history of the Inquisitions?
Have you? In fact, have you even bothered to look at the evidence provided by even secular historians on the matter that actually presents evidence exonerating the Catholic Church on various elements of the events?
Or is it because of the very fact that it actually does so, that you can’t accept it as true — never mind that it’s not being presented by Catholics but by the secular world?
Have you bothered to look at other academic sources?
Again, the same question applies to you.
Did you ever think that even if there was some propaganda written against the Chruch, that there might be some truth in the record?
So even in the most vile propaganda, you expect there to be truth contained in it especially when it comes to the Catholic Church?
Also, again, if the evidence presented actually presents the Catholic Church in any positive light, you simply dismiss it as ‘false’ and, futher, as nothing but a mere fabrication produced by Catholics intended to absolve the Catholic Church in the eyes of the public.
In addition, it seems that since a Catholic who is actually faithful to the Church is seen as nothing but a MINDLESS dolt in the eyes of society, you are so very quick to demonstrate such an enlightened mind by refusing anything that would give semblance of such, including believing the worst about the Catholic Church, putting down folks who are actually faithful to the Church and calling them ‘mindless’, perpetuating a rather unjustified negative impression about the Church through innuendo, etc.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 7, 2007 at 3:19 pm

Some Day writes:
Now the worst “error”of the Inquisition was ending it.
It would be helpful if you elaborated, for the Inquisition holds a strong negative connotation in the modern, Western, popular mind. It’s very possible that people reading this blog will mistake your meaning and intention with that statement.

Esau March 7, 2007 at 3:24 pm

How dare you. What are you, some kind of Catholic jihadist? You are an embarassment to the Church and to faithful Catholics everywhere.
Wait a minute –
Now DJK you’re actually identifying yourself as a ‘faithful’ Catholic?
Come on!
Some Day is more of a ‘faithful’ Catholic than you will ever be! He’s devoted his life to God and for the good of the Church whereas you — you’ve made certain to devote yourself to the very things that go against it!
How dare you call yourself a Catholic! You can justify slavery and the inquisitions?!? I suppose you’d like to have a Catholic like me sit in front of the Grand Inquisitor. I suppose you’d like everyone who isn’t a Catholic be judged by the “just ruling” of a man wearing a collar and robes because he says he works for God.
So that’s your actual view of the Inquisition?
My, my… for somebody who claims to be ignorant in that matter, you sure have such a supposed vivid view of the events as they occurred (at least, in your mind)!
Do you know you’ve just revealed in your comments above exactly how you viewed the Inquisition and that you really regard the Catholic Church as such a ‘demon’?
Perhaps wyou would like to replace our democracy with a Taliban-like Catholic state? We can kick everyone out that isn’t a Catholic, and convert the rest. Maybe the state, with absolutley no input from the Church, can have a few executed in the name of Jesus? Thank God that this kind of thinking is limited to a few zealots.
Now, in addition to being ‘mindless’, folks faithful to the Catholic Faith are further reduced to the status of low-life terrorists.
I guess this proves how much you look down on those actually faithful to the Catholic Church!

DJK March 7, 2007 at 3:24 pm

Esau
I don’t know what you are, but you are no Catholic.
Some Day
You know exactly what the inquisition meant in that context.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 7, 2007 at 3:28 pm

I wish someone would start addressing the events of the Inquisition concretely.

Some Day March 7, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Do you like St. Dominic?
St. Francis or St. Ignacio of Loyola?
Cause they liked the Inquisition.
Remember that the victors have wrote history, and the victors have not been very good for a very long time.
But long battles do not determine the winners at the end.
God does.
Love and do as you please.

Esau March 7, 2007 at 3:33 pm

I wish someone would start addressing the events of the Inquisition concretely. Smoky Mountain Hiker:
I would, but the events are so complicated; I don’t know if anybody would be patient enough to bear all the documentation and other such evidence on this thread.
We are dealing here with not just the Catholic Church, as DJK would have you believe, but also with the secular state as well as other significant elements that precepitated in the events of those days such as that of the politics of the time.

Anonymous March 7, 2007 at 3:34 pm

Some Day March 7, 2007 at 3:35 pm

And thank you for the compliment.
ZELO ZELATUS SUM PRO DOMINE DEUS EXERCITUM!
- Omnes Sancti et Sancta

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 3:37 pm

Smoky,
I have a bottle of chill pills in my cubicle somewhere…perhaps I need to fish them out and pass them around? :)
Can you get on that?

Esau March 7, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Some Day:
Where are you learning your Latin?

Some Day March 7, 2007 at 3:45 pm

Pills huh?
Geeze I would not think a person like you Esquire would be one to take pills for the moral-spiritual-psychological problems Americans have?
_______________________________________________
I know you were kiding eh?

Some Day March 7, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Nowhere, why it is that bad?

Esau March 7, 2007 at 3:47 pm

St. Ignacio of Loyola
Actually, Some Day, to be fair; have you read any of Ignatius of Loyola’s biography?
He stood before the Spanish Inquisition and, in fact, his ‘Spiritual Exercises’ was examined.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 7, 2007 at 3:47 pm

moral-spiritual-psychological problems Americans have
Please insert “some” between “problems” and “Americans” and replace “Americans” with “human beings”.
Otherwise you seem quite judgemental.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 3:48 pm

I offer the following quote from Gaudium et Spes, art. 43, as food for thought:
They should always try to enlighten one another through honest discussion, preserving mutual charity and caring above all for the common good. Since they have an active role to play in the whole life of the Church, laymen are not only bound to penetrate the world with a Christian spirit, but are also called to be witnesses to Christ in all things in the midst of human society.

Some Day March 7, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Well, I mean the the grey of America.
You know, immoral, atheist, protestant whatever America.
Not the decent Catholics.
Its just that Catholicism seems so at odds with what America is, that I forget that there is faithful Catholics in the USA.
But the whole worlds is catching up, or passing like Europe.
But their food and drinks almost compensate.
J.K.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 7, 2007 at 3:59 pm

There are decent people who are non-Catholic as well.

Esau March 7, 2007 at 5:01 pm

Esquire:
They should always try to enlighten one another through honest discussion
How can we have an honest discussion when there have been many indications that DJK has been anything but?
On his Mar 2, 2007 2:51:48 PM post, DJK admitted:
I don’t know all the details
However, if he doesn’t know all the details, how can he make such affirmative condemnations of the Church by making such statements as the following:
I ask these questions because the Church is a human organization. Despite all of the good the Church has done in 2000 years, there have been many times in the past where the Church has changed previous teachings, corrected past errors, or outright committed and/or been complacent in evil acts (I name a few below). Posted by: DJK | Feb 27, 2007 9:32:45 PM
If the inquisitions were held today, every humanitarian hippie group on earth would condemn the Church for her actions. We would be held in the same regard as the Taliban or the Iraqi Ba’athists. Frankly, to even think that what was done in the name of our Lord was justified should be a mortal sin. The so-called “heretics” were tortured, beaten, imprisoned, and/or killed. Many of the victims had their property confiscated by the Church.
Posted by: DJK | Feb 28, 2007 6:57:46 PM
We must acknowedge the things that happened in these days. Alot of this is irrefutable documented history.
Posted by: DJK | Mar 1, 2007 6:18:26 AM
Suppose that the Church was only a minor player in the Spanish Inquisition. The Church would still have been complacent in committing terrible crimes in the name of Jesus. At the least, I would say that these crimes would include spreading the faith by force, expulsion of Jews (and maybe others), bringing harm to those who didn’t convert or repent, and silently allowing people to be tortured, imprisioned, and/or killed. I believe that this is the LEAST that the Church would have been guilty of, since the Pope and the Church were involved in different aspects of it. Posted by: DJK | Mar 1, 2007 9:46:10 PM
I am shocked that you deny that our Church played an integral role in the Inquisitions. I am sure that many of those church leaders believed that they were doing things for the “common good” and that they had the best of intentions. The problem is the results were anything but Christian. Like communists, socialists, nazis, islamofacists, etc, people were killed and harmed by the poor decisions made by church leaders made for the “common good”—we cannot deny this. Posted by: DJK | Mar 2, 2007 9:47:55 AM
Name one positive Christian act made by the Church during the Inquisition. Please explain how JESUS CHRIST himself could justify the inquisitions, regardless of what monstrocities did/did not occur. Please tell me where JESUS CHRIST could have founded a tradition where it was acceptable to run the Jews out of Spain and take their property. Posted by: DJK | Mar 2, 2007 12:00:05 PM
However, what I don’t understand is that there have been periods in Church history where the wrongdoing started with the Pope, and extended to the bottom ranks of the Church. In other words, standard operating procedures of the day called for un-Christian actions. For example, the inquisitions, positions on slavery, there are probably others.
Would it have been a sin to dissent against the Church in the times where some leaders taught that slavery was acceptable? Would it have been better to suggest that the teaching was in error because it ultimatly violated God’s will (or the Golden Rule)? Would it be less sinful to simply obey such a teaching, despite the feelings of one’s conscience? Posted by: DJK | Mar 6, 2007 9:29:30 PM
I am certain that some of the stories were probably blown out of proportion, but we cannot deny that Church leaders did some pretty bad things in the inquisitions in the name of the Church. Posted by: DJK | Mar 7, 2007 2:23:51 PM
You can justify slavery and the inquisitions?!? I suppose you’d like to have a Catholic like me sit in front of the Grand Inquisitor. I suppose you’d like everyone who isn’t a Catholic be judged by the “just ruling” of a man wearing a collar and robes because he says he works for God. Posted by: DJK | Mar 7, 2007 3:08:37 PM
How can you actually ignore the nature of his comments above?
In one of DJK’s post, he says:
I only hope that, at least when it comes to history, you can educate yourselves with both sides of the story Posted by: DJK | Mar 2, 2007 9:47:55 AM
Yet, when presented with something that even places the Church in such favorable light, he attempts to discredit it by making such statements as:
There are many Catholics who would love to rewrite history so that the Church is blameless in everything that they supposedly did wrong. Posted by: DJK | Mar 7, 2007 2:23:51 PM
Quite frankly, don’t tell me that there is ZERO POSSIBILITY that the Church, or some errant members, might not attempt to rewrite history. Posted by: DJK | Mar 2, 2007 12:00:05 PM
I did find more information on the Inquisitions–I am disappointed. Assume for a moment that the “revisionist” (not my word) view is correct, that the Church was less involved than history suggests. Even still, it is irrefutable fact that the Church was deeply involved in persecutions and torture of innocent people. Posted by: DJK | Mar 1, 2007 9:46:10 PM
… we cannot deny that Church leaders did some pretty bad things in the inquisitions in the name of the Church … You cannot totally dismiss the entire historical record because of one BBC documentary. Posted by: DJK | Mar 7, 2007 2:23:51 PM
He even fabricates the following conspiracy theory, insinuating that the Church is actually producing false documents in order to rewrite history:
About the inquisition, we must accept that there is a well documented written history that describes what happened in these days at the hands of the Church and local governments. We cannot simply discount that history because the Church reinterprets old documents. I’m not saying that their documents are falsehoods, or even that they are rewriting history– I don’t know all the details. Posted by: DJK | Mar 2, 2007 2:51:48 PM
In light of all this and more, how can you actually treat DJK as blameless in the matter?

DJK March 7, 2007 at 6:18 pm

Esau
This is my final post. I’m getting really tired of the misrepresentations, accusations, and overall bs.
I suppose that in all of the posts you cite, I should have used the phrase Church leaders instead of Church. No one doubts that Church leaders have made serious mistakes in the past, but since the Church includes ALL Catholics, it is hard to say the Church is guilty of anything. I’ll give you that.
Quite frankly, you don’t know me or my intentions. Instead of addressing any of my issues, or even attempting to clairify anything that I may have misstated, you throw out wild accusations that I am some kind of anti-Catholic bigot posing as a Catholic (which doesn’t even make any sense). But you’re not alone, just the worst. Other posters, who will remain nameless, have also thrown out baseless accusations and condemnations of me and my words. What is your problem? Did you a recently convert? I have never met a Catholic in my life that you would have anything in common with, including those who have taken Holy Orders.
You forgot to mention that out of a week of posting stuff about the Inquisition, you only gave out one source of information that supported your position. Then, you demanded that this single source which no one has legal access to on the internet is the true history of the inquisitions, and that something must be wrong with anyone who questions it. In fact, every time I mention anything that you don’t agree with, you accuse me of slandering the Church. You also left out the many times I clearly stated that my intention was not to slander the Church. If I wanted to write a hate-filled progaganda hit piece on the Church, I wouldn’t play word games.
Like it or not, there is a very large body of written history that suggests some Church leaders were, at the least, complicit with the crimes of the inquisition. Much of this written history suggests that the Church and state worked hand-in-hand. It can’t all be lies! Of course, you constantly claim that I’ve totally decided to ignore your one BBC source, but this is a lie as well.
And if that isn’t enough, you STILL never admitted that you posted lies about one of my sources. I gave you multiple opportunities to man up and admit that you were wrong, but instead, you continue to insult me.
Your problem is that you are so blind that you can’t even see where you are wrong. You want so badly to believe that the Church leaders could never do anything wrong, but you know that we have had many historical moments that tell a different story.
What are you afraid of Esau? Are you afraid that maybe we had poor leadership in the Church that did lead some of the faithful astray? Are you afraid that it could happen again one day? I think you’re too afraid to confront the possibility. You’re too afraid to ask a few tough questions because it’s easier to be a follower. It’s too easy to defer to someone else who claims authority. What other aspects of your life are like this?
I do know one thing—God forbid the day should come again, when an inept Church leader, maybe a Pope, chooses to abuse his authority, you will be the first one to follow. You will be the first one to say that to disobey his authority is a sin, and you will lead other faithful Catholics down a dark path. Then one day in the future, when we’re all dead and gone, our children will have to revisit this same topic. They will look at your kind as other spineless people in history who did horrible things because they were ‘just following orders.’
If questioning certain tough parts of our Church is a sin, then I’m guilty. Perhaps you should call for an inquisition. If you paid any attention to any of these posts, you’d see the Catechism says that we should form a conscience and question things. It says we should strive to understand what our Church teaches and why it teaches certain things. If you want to be a mindless drone, that’s your problem.
Before you accuse me of saying anything else, understand that you’re not a mindless drone because you’re a Catholic, you’re a mindless drone because you have more faith in the men who run the Church than you do in the Church and God. You really do believe that you’re holier than the rest of us, or maybe more deserving of being saved. I suggest you read Matthew 8:21-23. In case you’re wondering, I had to look it up in the Bible. Alot of us “faithless” Catholics don’t have it memorized.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 8:55 pm

Esau,
In light of all this and more, how can you actually treat DJK as blameless in the matter?
Can you please point out to me where I have blamed you and not DJK?
Remember, that it is uncharitable to assume the worst intentions in any given situation. Indeed, it is uncharitable to assume anything but the best intentions possible with a given set of facts.
I believe that DJK has been in error in some of his posts, but I think there is a right way and a wrong way to point that out. And I think that some times you have to tone it down, for the greater good.
Frankly, I have found DJK quite willing to listen to reason and consider possibilities that he may never have been presented with before. You don’t know his situation, anymore than I know yours. I don’t expect everyone to get hit with a lightning bolt every time I speak. Yeah, I think what I’m saying is right. Quite passionately in fact. But life doesn’t work that way, and you can’t get all bent out of shape every time someone doesn’t agree with you, or doesn’t respond to your arguments the way you think they should.
But I’ve probably said too much. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I agree with your substance, but sometimes the packaging prevents people from getting to it.

Esquire March 7, 2007 at 8:55 pm

Esau,
In light of all this and more, how can you actually treat DJK as blameless in the matter?
Can you please point out to me where I have blamed you and not DJK?
Remember, that it is uncharitable to assume the worst intentions in any given situation. Indeed, it is uncharitable to assume anything but the best intentions possible with a given set of facts.
I believe that DJK has been in error in some of his posts, but I think there is a right way and a wrong way to point that out. And I think that some times you have to tone it down, for the greater good.
Frankly, I have found DJK quite willing to listen to reason and consider possibilities that he may never have been presented with before. You don’t know his situation, anymore than I know yours. I don’t expect everyone to get hit with a lightning bolt every time I speak. Yeah, I think what I’m saying is right. Quite passionately in fact. But life doesn’t work that way, and you can’t get all bent out of shape every time someone doesn’t agree with you, or doesn’t respond to your arguments the way you think they should.
But I’ve probably said too much. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I agree with your substance, but sometimes the packaging prevents people from getting to it.

Esau March 7, 2007 at 10:28 pm

DJK:
thrown out baseless accusations and condemnations of me and my words
Baseless???
That’s strange — I could’ve sworn that those were your words contained in the above quotes, not mine.
In addition, I was not alone in my opinion of you:
If you still have doubt, you’re either not paying attention or you have some other agenda. Posted by: Esquire | Mar 5, 2007 12:25:10 PM
Except to the extent you use your personal opinion to lead others into error about what the Church teaches. Posted by: Esquire | Mar 5, 2007 2:49:35 PM
Yet you have repeatedly and consistently only given credence to one side… You’re right that you’re looking for debate. Not answers, but debate… Given your own admission that there is much you have not read and that your logic is not impeccable, it seems to me that you might be a little more open to the possiblity that you could maybe learn from the people responding to you. Posted by: Mary Kay | Mar 6, 2007 10:51:18 AM
Going back to your latest post though:
Quite frankly, you don’t know me or my intentions
Actually, your words speak for themselves.
Instead of addressing any of my issues…
Regarding the Infallible teaching on the all-male priesthood, I provided the Responsio and other such documentary evidence which conclusively proved that the teaching was, in fact, infallible.
Further, I pointed to typology on the issue where I pointed out the fact that the ‘type’ in the Old Testament priesthood were all males; the ‘anti-type’ in the New Testament being the Apostles were all males as well; therefore, based on these facts, why would anybody go against what God/Christ Himself had established?
On the subject of Slavery, I presented the following facts (which, by the way, you would have found yourself had you been as interested in discovering them as you were in digging up anything that went against the Catholic Church!)
These included:
1. The Catholic Church unhesitatingly condemned racial slavery as soon as it began.
2. In 1435, six decades before Columbus sailed, Pope Eugene IV condemned the enslavement of the black natives of the Canary Islands, and ordered their European masters to manumit the enslaved within 15 days, under pain of excommunication.
3. In 1537, Pope Paul III condemned the enslavement of West Indian and South American natives, and explicitly attributed that evil, “unheard of before now,” to “the enemy of the human race,” Satan.
4. Papal condemnations of slavery were repeated by Popes Gregory XIV (1591), Urban VIII (1639), Innocent XI (1686), Benedict XIV (1741), and Piux VII (1815).
5. In 1839, Pope Gregory XVI wrote:
“We, by apostolic authority, warn and strongly exhort… that no one in the future dare to bother unjustly, despoil of their possessions, or reduce to slavery Indians, Blacks or other such peoples.”
6. Pope Leo XIII (1890), too, condemned slavery, and so did the Second Vatican Council (1965).
Now, where could you have found these facts???
MANY, MANY PLACES — had you actually been interested in knowing BOTH SIDES of the story!
http://cfpeople.org/Apologetics/page51a003.html
http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/2006/03/gibson_vs_bruml.html
http://catholictradition.blogspot.com/2004_07_01_archive.html
Going back to your most recent post yet again:
or even attempting to clairify anything that I may have misstated
Uhhh… I believe I had attempted that several times. The nth attempt was in my Mar 5, 2007 2:08:59 PM post.
I have never met a Catholic in my life that you would have anything in common with…
You might actually be talking to a mirror — that is, in addition to the quotes from your own posts above, look at what else you wrote:
You still fail to see the relevant point—that the Church heirarchy, structure, and traditions are created by us! Jesus did found this Church on Peter, however, the current structure was built only after Rome legalized Christianity. Actually, the faith was spread in Rome by the sword. Posted by: DJK | Feb 26, 2007 8:21:10 AM
Now, I, myself, have NEVER heard a Catholic actually speak in this manner. Although I do know many anti-Catholics who use the same exact words as you have here. The only thing lacking, which I found rather surprising given what you just said, is that you didn’t actually go on to introduce the Donation of Constantine!
… including those who have taken Holy Orders.
Please don’t tell me you actually have folks who think as you do who actually became priests?
The last thing we need in addition to the mess already out there in the Church is somebody having the same thoughts as you do.
You forgot to mention that out of a week of posting stuff about the Inquisition, you only gave out one source of information that supported your position.
That’s strange… I thought you were actually interested in educating yourself about BOTH SIDES of the story since YOU DON’T KNOW ALL THE DETAILS!
Then, you demanded that this single source which no one has legal access to on the internet is the true history of the inquisitions, and that something must be wrong with anyone who questions it.
Actually, if you were REALLY interested in what it had to say, you could’ve easily watched it on EWTN or even purchased the program from A&E.
But, hey, why would you ever want to cast DOUBTS on your already magnificent opinion of the Catholic Church as the EVIL man-made organization that it is?
Just like you said:
“If the Church is not a human organization, how do you explain the past transgressions of the Church? Are you suggesting that Christ fully guided the Church to start the inquisitions? Do you believe that God wanted his Church to fight nine major wars over a few pieces of land and old buildings, some of which we can only speculate had a connection to Jesus? By not admitting that humans run the Church, you imply that God has demanded his Church to do things in the past that are un-Christian.” Posted by: DJK | Feb 28, 2007 6:02:39 AM
In fact, every time I mention anything that you don’t agree with, you accuse me of slandering the Church.
Actually, it’s not that you said things that I disagreed with — it’s how you spared no expense at purposely not giving the Catholic Church a fair shake and at each instance, condemned the Church even in spite of your so-called ignorance of knowing all the facts in the matter!
You also left out the many times I clearly stated that my intention was not to slander the Church.
That’s like my telling a person with an obesity problem: “Hey, I don’t mean to insult you, but you sure are FAT!”
If I wanted to write a hate-filled progaganda hit piece on the Church, I wouldn’t play word games.
Of course not — you would actually rely on INNUENDO — the very TRADE of an anti-Catholic!
(Mind you, when I say ‘anti-Catholic’, I don’t actually mean ‘Protestant’. They’re certainly NOT interchangeable since there are Protestants out there that are NOT anti-Catholic and there are actually anti-Catholics who are NOT Protestant!)
Like it or not, there is a very large body of written history that suggests some Church leaders were, at the least, complicit with the crimes of the inquisition.
For somebody who doesn’t know all the details, you sure know ENOUGH to make such affirmative conclusions and condemned the Catholic Church outright!
As Smoky Mountain had rightly commented:

DJK writes:
we cannot deny that Church leaders did some pretty bad things in the inquisitions in the name of the Church … You cannot totally dismiss the entire historical record because of one BBC documentary
I think you are guilty here of a certain vagueness, which is likely at the root of the sometimes heated responses you received.
Rather than refer to “some pretty bad things”, why not explicitly enumerate some, with sources? Rather than reference the “entire historical record”, why not provide some references to bits of that record that support your statements?
I merely propose that unless you provide something concrete that can be addressed and discussed, you will only get heated responses.
You did a good job providing that quote on slavery because at least it gave the discussion a concrete framework for Esquire to work with.
Posted by: Smoky Mountain Hiker | Mar 7, 2007 2:48:10 PM

Like it or not, there is a very large body of written history that suggests some Church leaders were, at the least, complicit with the crimes of the inquisition. Much of this written history suggests that the Church and state worked hand-in-hand. It can’t all be lies!
As Smoky had suggested in the above, it would help to have documentation on this in the form of citations and the like.
… you know that we have had many historical moments that tell a different story.
Again, sources? citations? documentation?
I can easily state such things as well but they would mean nothing without some form of corroboration.
What are you afraid of Esau? Are you afraid that maybe we had poor leadership in the Church that did lead some of the faithful astray?
You’ve already decided that for yourself since, in your view, the Catholic Church is nothing but a man-made organization, full of corrupt individuals who’ve done many evils, regardless of any evidence that would prove the contrary.
Are you afraid that it could happen again one day? I think you’re too afraid to confront the possibility.
Confront the possibility? As long there are people like you, there’ll always be that possibility.
You’re too afraid to ask a few tough questions because it’s easier to be a follower.
Really?
Hmmm… if this were actually the case, my road back across the Tiber would’ve been a much easier journey. Besides, considering the bulk of my friends were actually Protestant at the time, if I was only interested in being a follower, I would’ve stayed where I was.
Besides, what’s so easy about it?
It takes GUTS to be a TRUE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST in this world; there’s NOTHING EASY about it. Not only are there people LIKE YOU calling them ‘MINDLESS’ just because they faithfully CHOOSE to follow the Church and CHURCH TEACHING (as Christ had taught) rather than SURRENDER themselves to the SECULAR WORLD; but they also endure other forms of PERSECUTION because of their FAITH and the fact that they actually FOLLOW IT!
It’s too easy to defer to someone else who claims authority.
Claims authority?
I could’ve sworn Matthew 16:18 has something to do with it and the FACT that Jesus gave it to Peter and his successors!
Of course, just as you’ve said time and again, the Catholic Church is but a man-made organization and so for all I know, the Pope holds NO authority at all except that which came from Constantine!
What were your words again? … the current structure was built only after Rome legalized Christianity.
I do know one thing—God forbid the day should come again, when an inept Church leader, maybe a Pope, chooses to abuse his authority, you will be the first one to follow.
An INEPT Church Leader???
You mean like Saint Peter???
He was quite INEPT — yet, it’s amazing what God can do with someone so imperfect and terribly human!
You will be the first one to say that to disobey his authority is a sin, and you will lead other faithful Catholics down a dark path.
Of course, since the Catholic Church is, as you’ve taken every opportunity to imply, such an EVIL man-made organization!
They will look at your kind as other spineless people in history who did horrible things because they were ‘just following orders.’
Again, your horrible opinion about the Catholic Church shines in your comments once again!
It says we should strive to understand what our Church teaches and why it teaches certain things.
Strive to understand?
Is that really what you wanted to do?
As said previously, if truly all you wanted to do is simply learn, you would have withheld any opinion and suspended forming any conclusions on the matter until you’ve come to learn the subject matter in more detail from BOTH SIDES of the story since you, as you’ve said before, don’t know all the details.
Going back, you said in your most recent post:
you’re a mindless drone because you have more faith in the men who run the Church than you do in the Church and God.
You’ve got that ALL WRONG –
I have FAITH in the AUTHORITY of the Pope AND the Council of Bishops due to the very fact that I place my very FAITH & TRUST in GOD ALONE who, in fact, said:
Matthew 16:18-19
18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.
IF placing my FAITH in the very things Christ (GOD) Himself had PROMISED us makes me a MINDLESS DRONE, then I am the BIGGEST MINDLESS DRONE THERE IS!
IF I were back in my Protestant College days, I would’ve said:
A—-MEN!!! H-A-L-L-E-L-U-J-A-H!
You really do believe that you’re holier than the rest of us, or maybe more deserving of being saved.
If that were the case, I wouldn’t be here in the first place.

DJK March 8, 2007 at 9:59 am

Esau
It takes GUTS to be a TRUE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST in this world; there’s NOTHING EASY about it. Not only are there people LIKE YOU calling them ‘MINDLESS’ just because they faithfully CHOOSE to follow the Church and CHURCH TEACHING (as Christ had taught) rather than SURRENDER themselves to the SECULAR WORLD; but they also endure other forms of PERSECUTION because of their FAITH and the fact that they actually FOLLOW IT!
Wow, you really are an arrogant ass!

Mary Kay March 8, 2007 at 10:03 am

Esau, please don’t respond to the troll in sheep’s clothing.
He’s shown his true colors.

Esau March 8, 2007 at 10:11 am

What’s arrogant about it?
Which is easier?
1. FAITHFULLY following the Teachings of Christ?
2. Giving into the Secular World?
I’d argue that #2 is the EASIER choice since in addition to AVOIDING PERSECUTION by the WORLD from folks LIKE YOU, there are the CONVENIENCES that the SECULAR WORLD offers, such as contraception, abortion and the like.
You see, just as the LIVES OF THE SAINTS & MARTYRS prove, it takes MORE to FAITHFULLY FOLLOW the very TEACHINGS OF CHRIST, than merely to label one’s self as CHRISTIAN, as even Scripture itself says!
Matthew 5:11-12
11 Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:
12 Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
John 15:19
19 If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

DJK March 8, 2007 at 10:12 am

Mary Kay
I guess you’re holier than everyone else too. I guess it’s ok for Esau to totally misrepresent my words, and I can’t call him out for it. You and him have been far uglier to me than I have to either of you–if you even bothered to read any of the above posts, you’d see that anytime I got ugly it was in response to an arrogant verbal attack. Maybe that doesn’t make it right, but I really don’t care anymore. As far as I’m concerned, you showed your true colors on Mar 7, 2007 12:17:54 PM and Mar 7, 2007 12:23:18 PM I really need to quit posting on this site because people like you and Esau are too arrogant to be helpful.

bill912 March 8, 2007 at 10:18 am

Good advice, Mary Kay. Ignore Professor Weston.

Esau March 8, 2007 at 10:22 am

Just as I stated previously (in Benkovic fashion):
It takes GUTS to be a TRUE FOLLOWER OF CHRIST in this world; there’s NOTHING EASY about it. Not only are there people LIKE YOU calling them ‘MINDLESS’ just because they faithfully CHOOSE to follow the Church and CHURCH TEACHING (as Christ had taught) rather than SURRENDER themselves to the SECULAR WORLD; but they also endure other forms of PERSECUTION because of their FAITH and the fact that they actually FOLLOW IT!
Which is easier?
1. FAITHFULLY following the Teachings of Christ?
2. Giving into the Secular World?
I’d argue that #2 is the EASIER choice since in addition to AVOIDING PERSECUTION by the WORLD from folks LIKE YOU, there are the CONVENIENCES that the SECULAR WORLD offers, such as contraception, abortion and the like.
Just as the LIVES OF THE SAINTS & MARTYRS prove, it takes MORE to FAITHFULLY FOLLOW the very TEACHINGS OF CHRIST, than merely to label one’s self as CHRISTIAN, as even Scripture itself says!
1 John 2:3-6
3 ¶ And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He who saith that he knoweth him and keepeth not his commandments is a liar: and the truth is not in him.
5 But he that keepeth his word, in him in very deed the charity of God is perfected. And by this we know that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk even as he walked.
As for you perscuting those who actually FAITHFULLY follow the Teachings of Christ as ‘MINDLESS’ — Our Master, who is the Lord, told us to expect such things from those of the World:
Matthew 5:11-12
11 Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:
12 Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
John 15:19
19 If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

DJK March 8, 2007 at 10:30 am

Esau
As for you perscuting those who actually FAITHFULLY follow the Teachings of Christ
I AM ONE OF THOSE WHO FAITHFULLY FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH YOU RULE 1 VIOLATION DELETED.
bill912
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Professor_Weston
That’s not right. That’s probably the coldest thing I’ve been called so far. You’re as arrogant as the rest.
You see this Mary Kay? I guess it’s acceptable to compare someone to this guy now.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 8, 2007 at 11:26 am

Chill Pills! Chill Pills!
Everyone seems to respect Esquire, and yet no one paid attention to his eloquent post:
Posted by: Esquire | Mar 7, 2007 8:55:10 PM
Please everyone read and consider.

Jimmy Akin March 8, 2007 at 11:34 am

Everyone needs to settle down immediately.
The next person who uses offensive language will be judged in violation of Rule 1.

DJK March 8, 2007 at 11:42 am

Don’t worry Jimmy, as I said earlier, I should have stopped posting earlier. Thanks again Esquire for your help. And thank you Smoky Mountain Hiker for not assuming that I’m just some troll with nothing better to do than tick people off.
I just hope that some of you, Esau, Mary Kay, bill912, and probably others, would put more faith in the Church than in the people who run the Church (which is a sin). God forbid if a faithful Catholic should try to get some answers on this issue.
DJK

Esau March 8, 2007 at 12:16 pm

Esquire & Smoky Mountain:
About the following:
Remember, that it is uncharitable to assume the worst intentions in any given situation.
If you were to inspect any earlier post on this thread from Mary Kay, bill912, as well as myself — not one of us assumed the ‘worst intention’ that you’ve ascribed; in fact, we were more than willing to help DJK.
However, if you insist on ignoring the very nature of DJK’s many posts — even his most recent ones (which, by the way, in spite of our having brought his attention to it countless times by our many posts, continues to harp on the same calumnious theme about the Catholic Church); that is, of course, your choosing and right.
Yet, it is not at all uncharitable to point out to your brother when he is bad-mouthing without any actual justification your parents, which is the Church in this regard.
Smoky:
Need I remind you of what you wrote (quite rightly, I might add):

DJK writes:
we cannot deny that Church leaders did some pretty bad things in the inquisitions in the name of the Church … You cannot totally dismiss the entire historical record because of one BBC documentary
I think you are guilty here of a certain vagueness, which is likely at the root of the sometimes heated responses you received.
Rather than refer to “some pretty bad things”, why not explicitly enumerate some, with sources? Rather than reference the “entire historical record”, why not provide some references to bits of that record that support your statements?
I merely propose that unless you provide something concrete that can be addressed and discussed, you will only get heated responses.
You did a good job providing that quote on slavery because at least it gave the discussion a concrete framework for Esquire to work with.
Posted by: Smoky Mountain Hiker | Mar 7, 2007 2:48:10 PM

Yet, had DJK ceased making such blasted statements about the Church in this hazy manner?
In spite of Mary Kay’s and my posts which have called DJK’s attention to the vile innuendo contained in his writing, he has nevertheless continued in this manner, knowing already full well, I might add (as Mary Kay and I have already made reference to it), the vile nature of such posts.
Esquire:
You said: Frankly, I have found DJK quite willing to listen to reason…
Then, if that were the case, why does he continue, even in his most recent posts, (unhesitatingly, I might add and already knowing full well the effect of such caluminous statements not only on us but on the Church as well) to make such affirmative condemnations about the Catholic Church in spite of his admitted ignorance about the history concerning the Catholic Church?

Esquire March 8, 2007 at 12:35 pm

Esau,
You have repeatedly characterized statements of DJK’s as caluminous, which means that they are not only erroneous, but calculated to cause damage to the reputation of the subject.
Not all erroneous opinions or statements are caluminous, and it is frequently counter-productive to allege that they are.
I don’t have time for a point-by-point of this nature, but one could go back through this thread alone and find numerous instances where DJK has changed his mind when presented with reasonable evidence, and frankly stated a willingness to consider other evidence. I take him at his word. He didn’t say that he was all of a sudden going to agree with everything we say. These are difficult concepts to get your arms around sometimes, and as I’ve said before, you simply can’t assume that everyone else has had the catechesis that you obviously have had.

Steve B March 8, 2007 at 1:39 pm

Wow, This is a seriously old post. Its kind of a good one though. As a newbie to the Church, its rules like this that really grate with me. The arbitrary rules that mess me about in my free time.
The one quote from the bible that makes me want to follow them though, is Matt. 19.21; the story of the rich young man.
He was already following the laws of morality before he met Christ (we should all be so good!) and Christ asked more from him. That he give up the things that he owned. I’m not quite ready for that yet, but if I accept the Church in Persona Christi (sp?) then I can make a start by not eating meat on Fridays. Its not a life of poverty but it does at least show me the right way to treat God, and it normally shows me that giving up things isnt as bad as I tend to think it will be.
A Mortal Sin? Well maybe it doesnt hurt God if I eat meat on Friday, and perhaps fasting isnt beneficial for everyone. But if I trivialise the rule by ignoring it, then perhaps I will be failing to present that challenge from Christ to the people around me, who might be the people it would benefit. If we block off God to the people around us, I’m pretty sure that it becomes a mortal sin.

Some Day March 8, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Tres bien Steve!
It is better to obey and not understand, than to stay ignorant and still be disobediant.
Remember, if the Church authorities mandate it, it is not a sin, then do it.

Mike Petrik March 8, 2007 at 2:19 pm

I agree with Some Day’s last post.

Mary Kay March 8, 2007 at 2:33 pm

Esquire, yes there have been untoward statements made more than occasionally on this thread.
I’m not exonerating Esau, whose very passionate style does indeed get in the say sometimes.
However, DJK came out of the gate insulting others. (his first post contained a generalized insult followed shortly by a post directly insulting an individual)
When I looked for the “numerous times” you said DJK was willing to listen, that happened only after it was observed that he dismissed what was others said.
I don’t expect that anyone would suddenly do a 180. But I also keep in mind the lurkers who read this blog. Just recently Jimmy had a reader ask for clarification for an quote with source uncited that had caused confusion.
Similarly, DJK was presenting himself as a faithful Catholic giving equal weight to dissident sources, as if the dissident information was acceptable, when of course, it’s not. DJK might or might not resolve his question. However, I’m not going to stand by and allow dissident sources to be portrayed as acceptable Church teaching. (And yes, I did notice that you commented on faulty logic.)

David B. March 8, 2007 at 2:37 pm

“I just hope that some of you….would put more faith in the Church than in the people who run the Church (which is a sin). ”
DJK,
To clarify, Jesus “runs” the church.

Mary Kay March 8, 2007 at 2:47 pm

Bravo Steve! Yes, I’ve found that understanding does sometimes come later.
Esquire, as long as we’re doing a decompressing of sorts on this thread…
I do have my reasons for being such an extreme stickler on sourcing quotes. Avoiding potential unnecessary confusion is one. The vague “I read it somewhere” is useless for discussion. Even the 1866 quote which you alone recognized wasn’t helpful. I’ll skip some of the reasons mentioned in an earlier post, but another Internet site doesn’t count as “reliable” to me. I want to know the document itself. For all I knew, that 1866 quote was a sound bite, and would sound very different when read in its full context, much like your discussion of Canon 212 (or whichever one it was).

Esau March 8, 2007 at 2:50 pm

Esquire:
While I admit I have a certain admiration for your comments , this one comment of yours I have trouble with:
You have repeatedly characterized statements of DJK’s as caluminous, which means that they are not only erroneous, but calculated to cause damage to the reputation of the subject.
If you were to actually inspect my initial posts to DJK early on this thread, not only will you find the absence of the ‘assumption of the worst intention’ that you had ascribed to me but also you would see that it was not until DJK had consistently made even further abominable remarks actually convicting the Church of such abhorrent evil acts, even in spite of his admission that he didn’t know all the details.
My Mar 7, 2007 5:01:41 PM post features a collection of such remarks that were consistenly made all throughout this thread.
Moreover, I was not alone in bringing to DJK’s attention the calumnious nature of his comments, but Mary Kay (and even in the end, Smoky) had as well.
Even bill912, based on his comment above, seemed to have thought so.
Now, please tell me –
If DJK’s purpose was actually not calumny, then he would have ceased from making such statements at the exact point when it was initially brought to his attention.
In a way, the posts that came from folks (not only from me, mind you) would serve as ‘warnings’ — similar to somebody actually saying:
“Do you know that if you continue to say this particular thing, then you are grossly commiting an act of calumny?”
Our posts to him concerning his comments may have not been explicit to that extent, but the fact that we brought to his attention (through many of our posts which addressed exactly this) the calumnious nature of the comments in his posts, should have actually given him reason enough to cease from making such comments in his future ones, had his intentions been genuine.
However, even after subsequent notifications from several of our posts to him (even the one from Smoky above), he continued making such comments, knowing full well their calumnious nature.
And just what is calumny?
The act of uttering false charges or misrepresentations maliciously calculated to harm another’s reputation
My taking statements of DJK’s as caluminous was not an assumption I began with.
You neglect the fact that there is a history of his comments that has proven thus:

In addition, if he doesn’t know all the details, how can he make such affirmative condemnations of the Church by making such statements as the following:
I ask these questions because the Church is a human organization. Despite all of the good the Church has done in 2000 years, there have been many times in the past where the Church has changed previous teachings, corrected past errors, or outright committed and/or been complacent in evil acts (I name a few below). Posted by: DJK | Feb 27, 2007 9:32:45 PM
If the inquisitions were held today, every humanitarian hippie group on earth would condemn the Church for her actions. We would be held in the same regard as the Taliban or the Iraqi Ba’athists. Frankly, to even think that what was done in the name of our Lord was justified should be a mortal sin. The so-called “heretics” were tortured, beaten, imprisoned, and/or killed. Many of the victims had their property confiscated by the Church.
Posted by: DJK | Feb 28, 2007 6:57:46 PM
We must acknowedge the things that happened in these days. Alot of this is irrefutable documented history.
Posted by: DJK | Mar 1, 2007 6:18:26 AM
Suppose that the Church was only a minor player in the Spanish Inquisition. The Church would still have been complacent in committing terrible crimes in the name of Jesus. At the least, I would say that these crimes would include spreading the faith by force, expulsion of Jews (and maybe others), bringing harm to those who didn’t convert or repent, and silently allowing people to be tortured, imprisioned, and/or killed. I believe that this is the LEAST that the Church would have been guilty of, since the Pope and the Church were involved in different aspects of it. Posted by: DJK | Mar 1, 2007 9:46:10 PM
I am shocked that you deny that our Church played an integral role in the Inquisitions. I am sure that many of those church leaders believed that they were doing things for the “common good” and that they had the best of intentions. The problem is the results were anything but Christian. Like communists, socialists, nazis, islamofacists, etc, people were killed and harmed by the poor decisions made by church leaders made for the “common good”—we cannot deny this. Posted by: DJK | Mar 2, 2007 9:47:55 AM
Name one positive Christian act made by the Church during the Inquisition. Please explain how JESUS CHRIST himself could justify the inquisitions, regardless of what monstrocities did/did not occur. Please tell me where JESUS CHRIST could have founded a tradition where it was acceptable to run the Jews out of Spain and take their property. Posted by: DJK | Mar 2, 2007 12:00:05 PM
However, what I don’t understand is that there have been periods in Church history where the wrongdoing started with the Pope, and extended to the bottom ranks of the Church. In other words, standard operating procedures of the day called for un-Christian actions. For example, the inquisitions, positions on slavery, there are probably others.
Would it have been a sin to dissent against the Church in the times where some leaders taught that slavery was acceptable? Would it have been better to suggest that the teaching was in error because it ultimatly violated God’s will (or the Golden Rule)? Would it be less sinful to simply obey such a teaching, despite the feelings of one’s conscience? Posted by: DJK | Mar 6, 2007 9:29:30 PM
I am certain that some of the stories were probably blown out of proportion, but we cannot deny that Church leaders did some pretty bad things in the inquisitions in the name of the Church. Posted by: DJK | Mar 7, 2007 2:23:51 PM
When presented with something that even places the Church in such favorable light, he attempted to discredit it by making such statements as:
There are many Catholics who would love to rewrite history so that the Church is blameless in everything that they supposedly did wrong. Posted by: DJK | Mar 7, 2007 2:23:51 PM
Quite frankly, don’t tell me that there is ZERO POSSIBILITY that the Church, or some errant members, might not attempt to rewrite history. Posted by: DJK | Mar 2, 2007 12:00:05 PM
I did find more information on the Inquisitions–I am disappointed. Assume for a moment that the “revisionist” (not my word) view is correct, that the Church was less involved than history suggests. Even still, it is irrefutable fact that the Church was deeply involved in persecutions and torture of innocent people. Posted by: DJK | Mar 1, 2007 9:46:10 PM

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 8, 2007 at 3:23 pm

Moreover, I was not alone in bringing to DJK’s attention the calumnious nature of his comments, but Mary Kay (and even in the end, Smoky)
Please don’t put words in my mouth. I think you’re referring to my Mar 7, 2007 2:48:10 PM post where I refer to DJK’s “vagueness”. I did not mention his intentions. My comment was intended to bring structure to the discussion by calmly pointing out to DJK why he was eliciting certain responses. I was hoping that someone would mention a specific event that could be examined.
Unfortunately, I think that many of the vague, sweeping, negative statements that DJK made about the Church are common perceptions in the modern, Western mind. That DJK repeated them doesn’t mean he had negative intentions — it could simply be that the ideas are quite engrained in his mind, and, as Esquire stated:
I don’t expect everyone to get hit with a lightning bolt every time I speak
If DJK’s general assumption of wrongdoing in Church history is the result of a lifetime of popular misconceptions–those misconceptions nevertheless could be engrained quite deeply.
Think about yourself: you are obviously well-versed in Church doctrine and history. But what about other subject matters? I don’t know you, so I can’t pick one well, but let’s take science. Perhaps you have the idea that the Earth revolves around the Sun. You’ve never proven it yourself, but most of the people you encounter seem to believe this, and you were taught this in school, so you take it as a given. You would have a hard time shaking loose that paradigm if you were suddenly presented, on a blog, with several people who said you have always been mistaken.
It takes time to convince someone that a long-held, long-taken-for-granted belief is incorrect. It’s probably best achieved in a patient, gentle, civil manner.

Esquire March 8, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Esau,
Even if an attack is caluminous (I will continue to disagree with you that there is sufficient evidence to firmly establish calumny), you are not required to assert as much repeatedly, particularly where there are more effective ways of getting your point across. In this case, I believe that there were more effective ways of getting the point across. You are not required to share that belief.
Mary Kay,
I agree with you, completely, on being a stickler for sources. In this case, I was (and remain) completely convinced that the quote was genuine. Not because I have seen it in a lot of sources, but because I have seen it in a lot of sources that I trust. And those sources have every reason — not to mention a much greater ability –to challenge the authenticity of the quote than I do. None of them did or have that I have seen. That is overwhelming evidence to me of the legitimacy of the quote.
But while I recognize that is sufficient for me, I also recognize that in this case I am talking about information you did not have. You have no reason to accept that information, because you don’t have the same comfort level as to the reliability that I did. That’s ok.
Besides, DJK did provide the ultimate source for the quote: the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (although he didn’t get the name exactly right), and he provided the precise date of the quote. I don’t expect everyone to provide a link to the source (although it is helpful). He certainly provided enough information for someone to go back and call him on the accuracy of the quote if it was wrong.
At that point, I’ve got two options, knowing that DJK has identified a quote that gives plenty of people problems, and that there is a reasonable answer even if the quote is legitimate.
(a) I can choose to do nothing until he provides me something that he probably will not be able to provide, and never give him the information that may ease his conscience on this point.
Or
(b) I can proceed as if the quote is legitimate, and explain to him why it should not be a problem anyway.
I believed (b) was the more prudent course. And in the end, that was one instance in which DJK agreed that there was at least a potentially reasonable explanation as to how the quote might be accurate.
But again, you are not required to agree with me that DJK has been reasonable. As for allowing dissident sources to be portrayed as acceptable for learning what the Church teaches, I agree wholeheartedly with you. That was basically the point of my entire discussion with DJK.

Esau March 8, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Smoky Mountain Hiker:
Thank you for that great post!
That really helped to explain things.
If we were, in fact, caught in the times where the ptolemaic universe was the dominant and widely held belief of the day, perhaps many would staunchly hold onto such beliefs, even in light of primitive vestiges of a Copernican system.
(As you can tell, I’m not too well versed in Astronomy so I hope you forgive me for my shortcomings as I am definitely out of my element here but was merely attempting to relate to your analogy based on what I knew from high school.)
I appreciate your patience with me and, from the perspective you’ve just offered, can better understand the circumstances from that viewpoint.
God bless you for weathering through my many comments and providing me with a change of paradigm as you have insightly put forth here!
I am very grateful for it!

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 8, 2007 at 3:41 pm

Smoky wrote:
Given the gravity of the subject matter, I would think it would be beneficial to provide a source for any statement that one makes that doesn’t fall into 1.) common knowledge or 2.) personal analysis. Otherwise, any statement of “fact” on a blog like this holds exactly zero weight.
Mary Kay wrote:
I do have my reasons for being such an extreme stickler on sourcing quotes. Avoiding potential unnecessary confusion is one. The vague “I read it somewhere” is useless for discussion.
Esquire wrote:
I agree with you, completely, on being a stickler for sources
I throw my lot into this pot once again.
Because in my book, we’re all liars and cheats until we show our text. ;)

Anonymous March 8, 2007 at 3:47 pm

So,
Being from the Mid-West, if I were to go to my local “Red Lobster” on a Lenten Friday, and order the Admiral’s Feast (Lobster, Crab, Shrimp), and drop $30 on the meal, then despite eating to the hilt, I’ve technically violated no Lenten laws. But…
If, on a Lenten Friday, I were to pop into a gas station, purchase and consume a few bites of a Slim Jim, and fail to make the appropriate act of contrition, then I’m bound for Hell?
No wonder the Church is losing people in droves to the evangelicals and other less silly minded folks, I mean -
Priest SEXUALLY ASSAULTS a child, and that same authoritative church, with the same authoritative, infallible leaders who rule-in about “major” issues like eating meat on Fridays, are the same authoritative leaders who keep quiet about the pervert priest who likes to fondle little children, and who then infallibly ship the pervert off to his next parrish to abuse more children.
-or-
An exceptionally large percentage of priests, including many bishops and other high level folks are homosexual, yet preach an agenda against homosexuality and gay marriage, all the while living out their gay lives under a Roman collar.
Do Catholics actually believe that the irony and hipocracy of the Church is lost on those who are considering membership, or who are catholic but languishing in the Double-Standard that is the Church today. It strikes me that the Church in it’s silly lenten practices is asking its parishioners to funtion as though they are a bunch of mindless-automatons – simply following commands with no consideration of the purpose behind the command.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 8, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Just when I thought this thread was drawing to a happy close.

Esau March 8, 2007 at 3:53 pm

Silly Minded, ANON?
You seem to neglect that the Apostles, the Early Christians, and Christ Himself, in fact, observed such practices as that of fasting and abstinence!
Also, the very purpose of the Lenten practices of fasting and abstinence is supposed to teach us to place the things that are of God (and, by so doing, God Himself) over the things of this world — even human nourishment!
As even Jesus said in Luke 4:4 –
And Jesus answered him: is written that Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Lent is supposed to be a time of learning to desire God over the things of this world.
The entire meaning of Lent is to instill in us the selfless desire for God over the World and the things of the Flesh; to overcome the ‘self’ and learn self-detachment, self-denial and, above all, self-less devotion to God over temporal and worldly things.

Mary Kay March 8, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Besides, DJK did provide the ultimate source for the quote: the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (although he didn’t get the name exactly right
Aha. But then I would have to have known what the correct name was to know that. (We were posting at the same time, so I didn’t see your post before writing.)
A link itself might not be necessary, but it’s not unreasonable to specify chapter and verse, or enough information for someone to find it fairly quickly. It’s also happened here that someone states a specific quote and then cites only the title of a mammoth document.
Other than those points, your posts have been most informative. There are a few I want to go back to.
Smoky Mt, sounds like a consensus to me :)

Anonymous March 8, 2007 at 3:57 pm

Mary Kay March 8, 2007 at 3:58 pm

oops. was that me?

Esau March 8, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Actually, Smoky, even with sources that are supposed to be respectable, authoritative, and, above all, responsible in the information they present, you can actually discover certain misinformation.
For example, the following is found in a history textbook:
“For 2 centuries after the Crucifixion of Jesus, there was no central authority for the fledgling church. Rather, individual communities selected their own supervisors known as bishops who oversaw priests and governed their jurisdiction according to their own best understanding of Christian doctrine. As a result, until the emergence of Rome as the principle seat of authority in the 3rd Century, Christians held doctrinal views and followed practices that varied considerably from one community to another. For example, some communities forbade women from playing active public roles in the church while others allowed women to be priests.”
Now, anyone who’s read the writings of the Early Church Fathers and about the early Christian Church would discover that many of the things said above is actually untrue.
The person who wrote this textbook is presenting matters in a rather distorted manner.
It’s true that during the age of persecutions, Rome couldn’t communicate as effectively with local churches as it does now. It was, after all, a time of persecution for the church and, therefore, was an underground organization.
As such, it inevitably suffered communication problems.
A lot of local churches had to, by the nature of this situation, act in a fairly autonomous manner. That didn’t mean that they did NOT recognize the authority that the Bishop of Rome had.
In fact, they did. Again, the writings from the Early Church Fathers actually prove this.
We see that right from the first century when the Corinthians who, in an act of rebellion, kicked out the leadership of their church, actually wrote to Rome, to Pope Clement, to find out what should be done. He told them they had to re-instate their clergy.
So, there was a recognition of the special role of Rome even in ages when it wasn’t possible for various reasons for Rome to exercise its authority in the way it does today.
The passage in this history textbook is trying to make it sound like the Church has developed in a way that it hasn’t.
It’s trying to flatten out the authority of Rome and, furthermore, trying to sow confusion on the question of whether the Church has always had a position against the ordination of women.
There were individual groups of heretics who supported women priests, just like there are people who do so today — but they did not speak for the Church.
This was not an accepted view and they were condemned by their contemporaries in the very same way that advocates of woman priests are today and, furthermore, repudiated by official Catholic Teaching as it was back then.
The Church always has and people who have gone against that in early ages are no different than those people who have gone against that today.

Mary Kay March 8, 2007 at 4:37 pm

Smoky Mt, that’s why I usually don’t respond to anonymous posters. If they’re unwilling to sign a name, they’re usually more interested in throwing bombs than a discussion.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 8, 2007 at 4:44 pm

In regards to the anonymous poster, I think the heart of the issue is this:
Why is a given act immoral?
A common paradigm, which I suspect the poster is operating under, is that the degree of suffering that an action causes determines its morality.
Hence the conclusion: eating beef jerky hurts no one, therefore is cannot be immoral.
I think that the Catholic answer is along the lines that an action is immoral because it is disobedient to God.
Reconciling the two seems to be the challenge presented.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 8, 2007 at 4:44 pm

In regards to the anonymous poster, I think the heart of the issue is this:
Why is a given act immoral?
A common paradigm, which I suspect the poster is operating under, is that the degree of suffering that an action causes determines its morality.
Hence the conclusion: eating beef jerky hurts no one, therefore is cannot be immoral.
I think that the Catholic answer is along the lines that an action is immoral because it is disobedient to God.
Reconciling the two seems to be the challenge presented.

Esau March 8, 2007 at 4:58 pm

I think that the Catholic answer is along the lines that an action is immoral because it is disobedient to God.
Reconciling the two seems to be the challenge presented.

That’s just it, Smoky.
It’s not so much that you chose to eat meat –
It’s the very fact that you chose to disobey.
This act, in itself, is the heart of the issue.
Fasting and abstinence has always been, from the very time of the Old Testament, a practice that had been observed — even by Christ — and, consequently, by the Apostles and many of the saints of the Church.
As I’ve mentioned — to overcome the ‘self’ and learn self-detachment, self-denial and, above all, self-less devotion to God over temporal and worldly things is the very core of the Lenten practices.

DJK March 8, 2007 at 6:19 pm

You’re probably not going to listen to me, and you’ll probably call me anti-Catholic bigot again, or that I’m posing as a Catholic and using innuendo, but that’s fine. For all those others who believe that the Church leaders can NEVER do anything wrong, I found the following link, titled “The Myth of the Inquisition”:
http://www.catholic.net/RCC/Periodicals/Dossier/1112-96/article4.html
It talks about your A&E video, which was made in ’94, and to my knowledge, hasn’t been re-aired since ’96. Here’s a few quotes:
…provides only an overview of the origins and debunking of the myths of torture and genocide.
Fair enough…
Afraid that laws commanding the exile or conversion of Jews were thwarted by conversos, i.e. synagogue-going “Catholics,” Ferdinand and Isabella commissioned an investigation or Inquisition. They began the Inquisition hoping that religious unity would foster political unity, and other heads of state heralded Spain’s labors for the advent of a unified Christendom.
Sounds pretty evil so far, but only the secular government is involved so far…
The Inquisition had a secular character, although the crime was heresy. Inquisitors did not have to be clerics, but they did have to be lawyers. The investigation was rule-based and carefully kept in check. And most significantly, historians have declared fraudulent a supposed Inquisition document claiming the genocide of millions of heretics.
OK, so it’s only secular, ALTHOUGH the crime is heresy. Heresy against who? It can’t be the secular government, because the secular equivalent of heresy is treason, which is a different crime. Granted, inquisitors weren’t always clerics, but did they need to be lawyers in civil or canon law?
What is documented is that 3000 to 5000 people died during the Inquisition’s 350 year history. Also documented are the “Acts of Faith,” public sentencings of heretics in town squares. But the grand myth of thought control by sinister fiends has been debunked by the archival evidence. The inquisitors enjoyed a powerful position in the towns, but it was one constantly jostled by other power brokers. In the outlying areas, they were understaffed – in those days it was nearly impossible for 1 or 2 inquisitors to cover the thousand-mile territory allotted to each team. In the outlying areas no one cared and no one spoke to them. As the program documents, the 3,000 to 5,000 documented executions of the Inquisition pale in comparison to the 150,000 documented witch burnings elsewhere in Europe over the same centuries.
So, only 3,000 to 5,000 people were killed instead of 150,000. People were publicly sentenced, and inquisitors, both clerics and/or lawyers, held high positions of near-absolute power.
The approach is purely historical, and therefore does not delve into ecclesial issues surrounding religious freedom. But perhaps this is proper. Because the crime was heresy, the Church is implicated, but the facts show it was a secular event.
Assuming that the secular authorities did all of the dirty work, the Church is still implicated!!!! What does this mean? It means that Church leaders share the guilt for the deaths of 3,000 to 5,000 “heretics”. How many of these people really deserved to die? How many were “heretics” because they were Jews? How many were actual heretics? Of course, this doesn’t mention anything about the mass exodus of Jews from Spain who fled to Africa. I will leave you to find information on your own (hint: read the Alhambra decree, esp. the part where it’s signed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ).
The special may be disturbing to young children. There are scenes of poor souls burning at the stake, and close-ups of the alleged torture devices.
Assuming only the secular authorities took part in this, isn’t it still fair to say that elements within the Church enabled the secular authorities to do these things? After all, the crime was heresy.
Discrediting the Black Legend brings up the sticky subject of revisionism. Re-investigating history is only invalid if it puts an agenda ahead of reality.
That’s a worthy goal. It’s important that we know if only 3-5,000 died instead of 150,000. But it doesn’t exonerate the Church or the state for the deaths of the 3-5,000!
Our 20th century crisis of man playing God – usurping power over conception, life, and death – leaves us with no alternative but to qualify our demythologization of the Inquisition with a reminder: 3,000 to 5,000 victims are 3,000 to 5,000 too many.
The articles words, not mine.
Why am I bothering to write this? Because of the comments posted earlier today, for example:
It is better to obey and not understand, than to stay ignorant and still be disobediant.
Remember, if the Church authorities mandate it, it is not a sin, then do it.

Or even worse,
I agree [to the above comment]….
According to this article, this video accuses the Church of exactly the same thing I have accused them of—enabling the secular authories to terrorize the population through their complacency and willing participation. Don’t tell me that I’m making things up—this is Esau’s video.
But really, the most important reason I’ve come back is because Esau has used this video as his proof that the Church leaders can do no wrong. He, and probably others here, can happily suggest that because the Church didn’t actually kill anybody, then the inquisitions were ok. Or in the words of a previous poster the inquisitions were justified and that the only error committed by the Church was that the inquisitions ended!
As a faithful Catholic, (no, I’m not a troll posing as a Catholic), I feel an obligation to come back and state these historical facts to the small group of zealots on this site. Understand that this time period is only one example of Church leadership FAILING the faithful Catholic people and God. Understand that fallible human beings run the day-to-day temporal issues of the Church, and that they can and have made mistakes in the past.
None of this makes the Catholic Church an evil organization. Probably every secular state and world religion has dark points in history. What it means is that the clergymen do not always know what’s going on, and that blind obedience to them is worshipping the men who run the Church and not God. If God had intended for us to be a bunch of sheeple, then he wouldn’t have given us brains and consciences.
Instead of attacking me for pointing these things out, you should stop pretending that the Church leaders were innocent, or that they were doing something for the greater good. Ask yourself a couple of questions,
* If the Church brought back the inquisitions today, would you take part in them?
* If the Church could justify inquisitions to forcibly convert “dissident” Catholics, Jews, Muslims, etc, would you support them?

DJK March 8, 2007 at 6:36 pm

I will leave you with one last thought: we live in a society today where the vast majority of Catholics (at least in the West) dissent against the Church’s sexual teachings. The Church strongly condemns the practices and claims that Church teachings on these issues cannot be changed or challenged because they come from God, not the clergy.
* Would you support a new inquisition?
* Why has the Church not started another inquisition, or taken stronger measures to counteract current thought?
* During the inquisitions, why did the Church not condemn barbaric practices used by the secular state, like burning at the stake or torture in the same manner as they condemn contraception today?

Some Day March 8, 2007 at 7:57 pm

All in due time DJK.
All in due time.
You need a Catholic country, one who is ruled by the Gospels, who’s leaders reign in the name of Christ the King, who is submisive to the Church and the Pope.
But before even have that, we need a “Great Flood” to purify the Earth.
And Our Lady in Fatima promised one,where whole nations would be anihalated, but most importantly,
She promised after Her Immaculate Heart will triumph.
Then in the Reign of Mary, as St. Louis de Monfort puts it, we can continue to what Paradise should have been, which began in the Middle Ages, and has had a 500 year delay.
Amen Veni Domina!

Tim J. March 8, 2007 at 8:03 pm

“But really, the most important reason I’ve come back is because Esau has used this video as his proof that the Church leaders can do no wrong.”
When, exactly, did Esau make this rash generalization? Or did you make that up?
I’m dying to know… on what basis do you accept the teaching authority of past Catholic clergy? How do you know they weren’t mistaken about the Real Presence? After all, they tolerated slavery. How, in fact, do you know they were not mistaken on the issue of Papal infallibility?
Let me ask YOU a question, DJK; Would you support a new Reformation? Seems like that is precisely where you are heading.

Anonymous March 8, 2007 at 8:09 pm

D J L
u a u
m c t
b k h
a e
s r
s a
n

Anonymous March 8, 2007 at 8:11 pm

D J L
u a u
m c t
b k h
-a e
-s r
-s a
-n

Anonymous March 8, 2007 at 8:12 pm

aw I give up.

Esau March 8, 2007 at 8:19 pm

hasn’t been re-aired since ’96
That’s strange — I could’ve sworn it was shown on EWTN several times:
Saturday, Jan. 11, 7 p.m., EWTN (cable) – “Timewatch: Myth of the Spanish Inquisition.” This program shows how historians now evaluate the Spanish Inquisition since the opening of an investigation into the Inquisition’s archives; it also includes commentary from historians whose studies verify that the tale of the darkest hour of the Catholic Church was greatly fabricated. Repeats 2 a.m. Jan. 14 and noon Jan. 16.
TIMEWATCH: MYTH OF THE SPANISH INQUISITION
This program shows how historians now evaluate the Spanish Inquisition
since the opening of an investigation into the Inquisition’s archives; it also includes commentary from historians whose studies verify that the tale of the darkest hour of the Church was greatly fabricated.
18-Nov-06 8:00 PM
19-Nov-06 2:00 AM
23-Nov-06 1:00 PM
Also, A&E sells the video as well as, I believe, EWTN!
They began the Inquisition hoping that religious unity would foster political unity, and other heads of state heralded Spain’s labors for the advent of a unified Christendom.
Sounds pretty evil so far, but only the secular government is involved so far…

Evil? And how did you arrive at this?
Because you read this with your ‘gloss’ — with the very intention of finding something — no matter how trivial — to condemn the Church as a man-made institution that had committed evil acts!
OK, so it’s only secular, ALTHOUGH the crime is heresy. Heresy against who? It can’t be the secular government, because the secular equivalent of heresy is treason, which is a different crime. Granted, inquisitors weren’t always clerics, but did they need to be lawyers in civil or canon law?
WOW! So just because the secular government used ‘CATHOLIC’ terms, it makes it an act of the Catholic Church?
What marvelous reasoning you have!
I suppose that since certain Protestants also use ‘CATHOLIC’ terms such as ‘Communion’ and ‘priest’, that would also make them ‘CATHOLIC’?
Some Protestants I know would beg to differ!
The approach is purely historical, and therefore does not delve into ecclesial issues surrounding religious freedom. But perhaps this is proper. Because the crime was heresy, the Church is implicated, but the facts show it was a secular event. (DJK’s quote from the article)
DJK responds:
Assuming that the secular authorities did all of the dirty work, the Church is still implicated!!!! What does this mean? It means that Church leaders share the guilt for the deaths of 3,000 to 5,000 “heretics”. How many of these people really deserved to die? How many were “heretics” because they were Jews? How many were actual heretics? Of course, this doesn’t mention anything about the mass exodus of Jews from Spain who fled to Africa. I will leave you to find information on your own (hint: read the Alhambra decree, esp. the part where it’s signed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ).

So, due to the secular state having used the term ‘heretic’ (which you keep harping on), and in spite of the fact that the article explicitly said that it was a ‘secular’ event, you continue to interpret the document according to your usual ‘gloss’, which purpose is to render it the very judgment you had given it in the first place, which is that you believe the Church is an evil man-made insitution filled with corrupt people who committed such evil acts!
Never mind that you only read about the program in an article without having even watched it — you actually think that that in itself suffices?
I suppose that if I read the cover of a book, that that would actually mean I’ve read it!
Plus, did it ever occur to you that Spain was a Catholic Nation?
Since Spain was a Catholic Nation at the time, it could not help but adopt ‘Catholic’ terms and such within the framework of its government. However, that, in itself, does not mean that merely because they had done so in that regard, that whatever acts they committed was actually done in the name of the Catholic Church or that it was actually the Catholic Church that had committed the acts!
For example, can all the ACTS of the GOVERNMENT OF GREAT BRITAIN be construed as acts of the CHURCH OF ENGLAND?
Assuming only the secular authorities took part in this, isn’t it still fair to say that elements within the Church enabled the secular authorities to do these things? After all, the crime was heresy.
Again, the very nature of your assumption here further demonstrates the fact that you do hold malicious intentions to convict the Catholic Church regardless of whatever evidence that might prove the contrary.
Perhaps that is the very reason for your reluctance to actually get the video and watch it!
Yet, maybe if it were a video that actually features sensational footage that shows just what kind of evil man-made institution the Church is, you’d be more willing to obtain it — as you have those sources of yours which speak such terrible things about the Church and its teachings!
Need I point out that you hadn’t even watched the BBC documentary and are only forming baseless conclusions with a pre-existing prejudice against the Church?
And if you should deny the prejudice, the very assumptions you’ve formed here (as in past comments) speaks volumes of it!
The very fact that the baseless conclusion you’ve formed here once again points to convicting the Catholic Church as this evil man-made institution that had committed several heinous and evil acts (regardless of the fact you’ve yet to examine evidence — not only this documentary, mind you — that would prove the contrary); by this repeated act, you show yet again further your determination in this sole crusade to expose the Church as the past ‘demon’ you’ve deemed it to be!
Although, Esquire might conveniently ignore this, I do not, however, ignore the history of such comments from you.
That is, unlike Esquire, I refuse to call ‘bad’ ‘good’!
That’s a worthy goal. It’s important that we know if only 3-5,000 died instead of 150,000. But it doesn’t exonerate the Church or the state for the deaths of the 3-5,000!
And where did it say exactly that it was the Catholic Church that was actually responsible for this?
Did the article say this?
Did the secular historians in the BBC documentary state/demonstrate this?
Oh yeah, I forgot, you haven’t watched it!
Why am I bothering to write this? Because of the comments posted earlier today, for example: It is better to obey and not understand, than to stay ignorant and still be disobediant.
And you accuse me of putting words!
I can’t even recall ever saying this!
According to this article, this video accuses the Church of exactly the same thing I have accused them of—enabling the secular authories to terrorize the population through their complacency and willing participation. Don’t tell me that I’m making things up—this is Esau’s video.
You’re not making things up???
Again, where was this said/demonstrated in the BBC documentary exactly?
But really, the most important reason I’ve come back is because Esau has used this video as his proof that the Church leaders can do no wrong.
And, yet, you accuse me of putting words in your mouth?
At least, in my posts concerning you, all of those words I posted there about you came from actual comments from you! Again, those were your words I posted in my posts, not mine.
Also, the BBC documentary (which you haven’t watched) wasn’t my only proof — there are others out there.
If you were as determined in finding such positive evidence for the Catholic Church as you were in obtaining anything that sought to condemn it, perhaps you’d find such materials!
As a faithful Catholic, (no, I’m not a troll posing as a Catholic), I feel an obligation to come back and state these historical facts to the small group of zealots on this site.
Historical facts?
So far, what you’ve just done was, instead of actually watching the BBC documentary, you merely read a few paragraphs about it from an article that had a short brief on it and interpreted its few comments with your usual prejudicial ‘gloss’ against the Catholic Church!
For example, look at this ‘historical fact’ from you:
example #1 / ‘historical fact’ from DJK:
Assuming only the secular authorities took part in this, isn’t it still fair to say that elements within the Church enabled the secular authorities to do these things? After all, the crime was heresy.
example #2 / ‘historical fact’ from DJK:
That’s a worthy goal. It’s important that we know if only 3-5,000 died instead of 150,000. But it doesn’t exonerate the Church or the state for the deaths of the 3-5,000!
Now, the above is a ‘prime’ example of your ‘calumny’.
You’ve ‘positively’ stated here that ‘it doesn’t exonerate the Church’.
However, where exactly in the documentary was the statement made that it was actually the Catholic Church responsible for the deaths of these thousands of lives?
From what’s been said even in your article, it was the actions of the secular state!
How, then, can the things you’ve said even be considered historical facts when most of the things you’ve mentioned here were your usual abhorrent assumptions (which you’ve repeated time and again) about the evil man-made organization called the Catholic Church which, when seen from your lense — absent, I might add, of even examining any actual evidence in the process — committed all these horrible evils that you have accused it of and are, in fact, determined to do so, even if it means distorting the facts here!
None of this makes the Catholic Church an evil organization.
Your very comments have stated otherwise.

Tim J. March 8, 2007 at 8:20 pm

Promise?

Tim J. March 8, 2007 at 8:24 pm

That last was in response to our inept anonymous poster, above.

Some Day March 8, 2007 at 8:25 pm

The problem is that if you view Church and State as two completely separate entities, and not the latter fruit of the first, then you are looking at it wrong. The State executed the heretics (as a last resort!) because since the official religion was Catholicism and the laws reflected the Gospels, and being a heretic transgressed those laws, the State was at risk because the laws that the State adopted were modeled after the ones being broken by the heretics.
And there is the principle of one abyss leads to another.
If you attack God, what about the infinitely lesser creatures?

Anonymous March 8, 2007 at 8:26 pm

Well on editing it, and using risky language.
But you have to admit it is on point as to the subject.

Esquire March 8, 2007 at 9:12 pm

Esau,
That is, unlike Esquire, I refuse to call ‘bad’ ‘good’!
Source please?

Anonymous March 8, 2007 at 9:58 pm

Robots, robots everywhere, and not a soul among them. Didn’t think there would be many takers on the pedophile priests doubling as moral authority figures argument. What’s the matter robots, doesn’t compute – difficult to reconcile conflicted moral positions with the Catechism?
Here’s one for you Catechism Robots to run through your processors – With whom would Jesus rather dine – the white washed bones of the pseudo-intellectual pharisesque Catechist on this blog, or the Lenten Friday Big-Mac eating Catholic sinner, who loves his Lord with all his heart (if that’s possible) – talk amongst yourselves.

DJK March 8, 2007 at 9:59 pm

Anonymous
You can’t even finish? Who’s the @*(#(@#&@($& now?
And don’t insult Lutherans–you may believe that they’re destined for hell, but they’re good people. They do not advocate building a Catholic theocracy and restarting the inquisitions like some others on this site.
Tim J
Esau has been insinuating this point for a while now, and others have said it bluntly.
We don’t need another reformation–perhaps I haven’t been clear. I have not questioned papal infallibility (although Pope Pius IX was so un-Christian to the Jews in Rome that I can’t help but wonder if infallibility was a power-grab, but I honestly do believe the doctrine is sound). Somehow, this whole mess started with the question–”is eating meat on a Friday during Lent a mortal sin” (lets please not rehash this). I said no, because I think the tradition is outdated and has lost it’s meaning. Others said yes because we are showing obedience to the Church, therefore showing obedience to God. The whole thing spiraled out of control.
The inquisitions were a temporal matter, therefore, an area where the Church leaders can be fallible. Furthermore, the Church teaching authority issues out non-infallible teachings that CAN change. My opinion, is that if the Church is the WHOLE Church, not just the magisterium, then isn’t it POSSIBLE that if Catholics can form a good conscience, based on Church teachings, that they could find that a non-infallible teaching is in error? This is how the slavery and contraception issues came up. I don’t even think the inquisitions fall into this, because that seems like a pope using his temporal authority, which is non-infallible.
Some Day
You are a very dangerous person, and I will pray for you. We have enough problems in this world with islamofascists, the last thing we need is catholofascists. No true Catholic wants to set up your Taliban-like Catholic state. We’ve moved past that dark chapter in history, I suggest you catch up with the rest of us.
You should take a trip to some beautiful theocratic dictatorship like Saudi Arabia. Do you really want to build the Catholic version of Iran?
I don’t know how you even set foot in a Church with a good conscience. People like you prove my point, and are the reason why I had to write one more post.
Esau
Why do you constantly cherry-pick my posts and that article? I guess it’s because I’m “bad” now.
It’s pretty obvoius that I can’t go back in time to watch the video, and I can’t see it on the internet. If I order it, I won’t get it for like 2 months, so, I’m limited to seeing any historical information that I can find on the internet. Alot of what I’m reading backs up most of what you’re said. If you bothered to read my posts, you’d notice that I haven’t disputed the facts from your video. In fact, I’ve pretty much assumed that the video is telling the truth. What you constantly gloss over is the fact that I have constantly stated that the Church was a party to the atrocities not that they were the party committing the atrocities. In other words, the Church acted like an accessory to the crime, by allowing the Church to be used as a legal mechanism to try and condemn men for the “crime” of heresy (ie. being Jewish). The Church helped to facilitate a mass exodus of people from Spain in the name of God. Today, we would call that ethnic cleansing, which is why I am so dumbfounded how any intelligent person can deny this much. Even the many websites that promote this video make the same claim! Why can you not accept that?
Never mind that I clearly have stated (and you have ignored):
None of this makes the Catholic Church an evil organization. Probably every secular state and world religion has dark points in history.
The two quotes I put from posters came from other people, not you. So if I made it sound like they were your words, it was a mistake. But if you look before my post, those were someone’s exact words.
Let me quote that article again for you:
Because the crime was heresy, the Church is implicated,…
Our 20th century crisis of man playing God – usurping power over conception, life, and death – leaves us with no alternative but to qualify our demythologization of the Inquisition with a reminder: 3,000 to 5,000 victims are 3,000 to 5,000 too many.
You also fail to realize that Spain was NOT a Catholic nation before the Inquisitions—it’s leadership was Catholic. Had the nation been Catholic, there would never had been a need for an inquisition, so, the inquisitions helped to make the nation Catholic.
My purpose which you also glossed over is to find the truth. Frankly, I’m still going to be looking when I’m done with this post, I only hope you actually start.
This is also why I write questions–I’m looking for answers. Instead of trying to tackle a tough question, you point to it and call me an anti-Catholic bigot. I wish that you would actually name one assumption or one falsehood that I’ve written.
It’s clear to me that when you watched this video, you convienently ignore anything that makes the Church look bad because it would conflict too much with your worldview. That’s fine, you can be ignorant if you like. Just remember that it’s a sin to lie. If you really are as learned as you claim to be, then you know you are lying about our involvement in the inquisitions.
But I really don’t want to rehash this with you anymore, because it’s a waste of both of our time. We can’t have a dialogue because you want to call me names when I ask a tough question. You’re too blind to accept the possibility that you’re wrong, and I’m too smart to listen to a self-righteous zealot, especially when his facts are wrong.
BTW, one of your posts on another part of this site mentioned a Pope Alexander or someone, who you claimed was not a good Pope–something about he was evil. How could that be?

Esquire March 8, 2007 at 10:07 pm

DJK,
BTW, one of your posts on another part of this site mentioned a Pope Alexander or someone, who you claimed was not a good Pope–something about he was evil. How could that be?
Sometimes I think you’re listening, and sometimes I think you’re not. Who here said Popes could not be bad?
The point most of us are trying to make is that we are still obligated to follow what they teach, not necessarily what they do.

DJK March 8, 2007 at 10:19 pm

Esquire
It was Esau. I know, I should find the post again.
The point most of us are trying to make is that we are still obligated to follow what they teach, not necessarily what they do.
That’s my point—what if they teach, either officially or by example, that it’s ok to drive the Jews out of Spain, like what happened during the Inquisitions? Is there officially a limit to obedience?

DJK March 8, 2007 at 10:22 pm

Anonymous
My guess is the latter, but you don’t have to insult anyone on the blog. They haven’t verbally attacked you yet.

Some Day March 8, 2007 at 10:33 pm

DJK,
Your an idiot. Simple.
What is so dark about having Catholic Kings?
I have never heard of St. So and so, president of so and so. I have heard of St. Louis IX of France.
So tell me what is wrong? Huh cite the Church document that condemns the Catholic monarchies.
I can cite ones that say it is the more perfect form of government.
As for the Inquisition, there is a long list of saints whose orders where the lance point of the Inquisition. St. Dominic? DJK, when you insult a Catholic who has not said a SINGLE thing contrary to Church doctrine and then speak well of those whose primary doctorine and conception consist of odium papae there is no better phrase than
..stultorum infinitus est numerus… Ecclesiastes 1:15

Anonymous March 8, 2007 at 10:43 pm

Was Jesus being insulting when he described the pharisees, DJK? I can see from your posts that like me you are Catholic, and like me you love the tax collectors, prostitutes, and beggars just as much as the priests – perhaps even more. Esau and his scary ilk though, should not get an automatic free pass when they fail the Milgram experiment, nor should they be allowed to attack unchecked the authentic dialogue of those serious seekers discussing on this blog. It’s like he perches himself here waiting for a non-catechetically correct comment, in his view, to poke it’s head out of it’s hole, and then he swoops in and flips out the talons. Note though how he avoids the difficult questions – if it’s not in the Cathechism or a simple slam-dunk for him, then HE just attacks – one wonders why anonymity makes better sense sometimes.

Esau March 8, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Esquire,
I was referring to the following comments in two of your posts:
Frankly, I have found DJK quite willing to listen to reason and consider possibilities that he may never have been presented with before.
Posted by: Esquire | Mar 7, 2007 8:55:10 PM
I don’t have time for a point-by-point of this nature, but one could go back through this thread alone and find numerous instances where DJK has changed his mind when presented with reasonable evidence, and frankly stated a willingness to consider other evidence.
Posted by: Esquire | Mar 8, 2007 12:35:22 PM
Yet, as the evidence on this thread shows, not only from DJK’s past comments but in even in his most recent ones, he has made every effort to condemn the Catholic Church.
Not only was this my impression of the facts, but this is also shared by many others.
DJK’s latest post above shows clear indication that his intentions were to commit acts of calumny.
If you were to actually examine his latest post, you would see there the same dogged determination he had demonstrated quite similarly in many of his other posts.
Look at how he had taken comments from a brief article that merely reviewed the BBC documentary and went on to distort statements it made about the film in order to make it fit his twisted version of reality.
He went on to state:
I feel an obligation to come back and state these historical facts
But what actual historical facts did he introduce, really?
One great example:
Assuming only the secular authorities took part in this, isn’t it still fair to say that elements within the Church enabled the secular authorities to do these things? After all, the crime was heresy.
Even further, he states:
According to this article, this video accuses the Church of exactly the same thing I have accused them of—enabling the secular authories to terrorize the population through their complacency and willing participation. Don’t tell me that I’m making things up—this is Esau’s video.
Yet, did he actually watch the BBC documentary to make such affirmative statements about it? To actually come to this conclusion?
Did the article even say the things that he says (with such certainty and confidence, I might add) it stated?
Go to the website that DJK cites.
Here are some of the things it actually says:
1. The special includes commentary from historians whose studies verify that the tale of the darkest hour of the Church was greatly fabricated.
2. In its brief sixty-minute presentation, “The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition” provides only an overview of the origins and debunking of the myths of torture and genocide.
3. Afraid that laws commanding the exile or conversion of Jews were thwarted by conversos, i.e. synagogue-going “Catholics,” Ferdinand and Isabella commissioned an investigation or Inquisition. They began the Inquisition hoping that religious unity would foster political unity, and other heads of state heralded Spain’s labors for the advent of a unified Christendom.
4. The Inquisition Myth, which Spaniards call “The Black Legend,” did not arise in 1480. It began almost 100 years later, and exactly one year after the Protestant defeat at the Battle of Mühlberg at the hands of Ferdinand’s grandson, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. In 1567 a fierce propaganda campaign began with the publication of a Protestant leaflet penned by a supposed Inquisition victim named Montanus. This character (Protestant of course) painted Spaniards as barbarians who ravished women and sodomized young boys. The propagandists soon created “hooded fiends” who tortured their victims in horrible devices like the knife-filled Iron Maiden (which never was used in Spain). The BBC/A&E special plainly states a reason for the war of words: the Protestants fought with words because they could not win on the battlefield.
5. The Inquisition had a secular character, although the crime was heresy.
6. Because the crime was heresy, the Church is implicated, but the facts show it was a secular event.
Now, go back to DJK’s actual post above and see if whether or not what he claims the articles says actually agrees with what the article actually said.
If you read DJK’s latest post above and don’t actually arrive at the conclusion that DJK purposefully distorted what the article actually said in order to twist it to promote his ulterior agenda; that is, to convict the Church as the evil man-made organization that actually committed these heinous acts, then I am at a lost.
Mind you, not only did he merely read an article about the film (not to mention, distort what it said), but he did not even actually watch the BBC documentary to form his conclusions here.
So, when DJK says: Don’t tell me that I’m making things up—
At the very least, this would be the only thing he said in his most recent post that had any semblance of truth.

Some Day March 8, 2007 at 10:54 pm

Tis late I say,
bon soir

Anonymous March 8, 2007 at 10:55 pm

- and look at Someday’s post above – the usual wierdo mysticism rubbage combined with dead-language anecdotes, and silly prattling-on about kings, and fairies, and trolls – the only place she can appear reasonably well-informed is in the blogosphere. Take her goofy ramblings with a grain of salt as you picture her sitting sans humana in her one room apartment with herself and her dogs and cats dressed up like 14th century nobility. Not worth the fight!

DJK March 8, 2007 at 11:02 pm

Anonymous
Perhaps we should start our own blog! Of course, I STILL have no idea what an apologist is, or who CS Lewis is (they all seem to love him). I am just a simple layperson who doesn’t think eating a hamburger on friday is a mortal sin. I should have stopped 2 weeks ago, but it’s hard when you see a few self-righteous people who are, in my opinion, an embarassment to religious people of any faith. But I think you should put a name on everything you write–stand by it if you mean it and let them know who you are.
Some Day
I pray to God that you’re not an American. Too many good men have died to give you the freedom to be an ignoramous. You can cite whatever you want, monarchy is one of the WORST forms of government. It is absolute rule by one man and his family. Wonder why true monarchies don’t exist in Christian nations anymore?
Your latin doesn’t impress me. Most real Catholics don’t speak it anymore. I think you are more like a Pharisee than a Christian. If you don’t like it, prove me wrong?
Again, I will pray for you, and I will thank God that your kind are few in number.
Esau
What is your agenda? I copied and pasted those quotes directly, as you did. Like I said earlier, what’s the point with arguing with a self-righteous zealot?

DJK March 8, 2007 at 11:07 pm

Anonymous
Just curious, are you a cradle Catholic too?

Esau March 8, 2007 at 11:12 pm

Robots, robots everywhere, and not a soul among them. Didn’t think there would be many takers on the pedophile priests doubling as moral authority figures argument. What’s the matter robots, doesn’t compute – difficult to reconcile conflicted moral positions with the Catechism?
You really don’t read the bible, do you, Anon?
Take a look at 1 Samuel Chapters 1 and 2, you’ll see that at the time the high priests – a man named Eli was very indulgent of the priests (who happened to be his sons back in that day because they had a hereditary priesthood) and he was very indulgent of his sons who would engage in a variety of different things that could be classified as embezzlement, sexual harassment of the women who served at the Temple (I mean, it says that they slept with the women who served at the Temple).
Did the presence of such morally depraved priests automatically invalidate the genuine nature of the priesthood then? Of even the Jewish religion?
Also, what of Judas in the New Testament?
You want to make it appear that due to the presence of a few morally depraved priests, this automatically invalidates the Catholic priesthood, even the Catholic Church itself!
However, you fail to grasp the fact that it was the Catholic Church that Christ Himself founded!

Esau March 8, 2007 at 11:18 pm

Note though how he avoids the difficult questions – if it’s not in the Cathechism or a simple slam-dunk for him, then HE just attacks – one wonders why anonymity makes better sense sometimes.
Examples?

Esau March 8, 2007 at 11:20 pm

Esau
What is your agenda? I copied and pasted those quotes directly, as you did.

Did you even read my post?
It was your distortion of what it actually said that was the heart of the issue.

Anonymous March 8, 2007 at 11:22 pm

Nope – fairly new, but not willing to sacrifice the mind and heart God gave me to follow a ship of fools who beleive they speak for our Church. I believe Jesus’ message was that above all else, we should love him with our whole hearts, and love our neighbors as ourselves. If folks get too wrapped up in the rules, they lose sight of those most important principles, and like Esau and Someday, start inventing little imaginary kingdoms for themselves to rule in. The scary thing is so many here seem so willing to blindly follow the more outlandish “papal kingdom” type stuff, suggesting that those concepts somehow comport with Catholic faith practices because they’ve cross-referenced something in the Catechism and it sounds good.
And I do frequently post with my name – when it makes sense to do so

Esau March 8, 2007 at 11:35 pm

Anon wrote:
“- and look at Someday’s post above – the usual wierdo mysticism rubbage combined with dead-language anecdotes, and silly prattling-on about kings, and fairies, and trolls – the only place she can appear reasonably well-informed is in the blogosphere. Take her goofy ramblings with a grain of salt as you picture her sitting sans humana in her one room apartment with herself and her dogs and cats dressed up like 14th century nobility. Not worth the fight!
Posted by: | Mar 8, 2007 10:55:21 PM
To which DJK replied:
“Anonymous
Perhaps we should start our own blog! Of course, I STILL have no idea what an apologist is, or who CS Lewis is (they all seem to love him). I am just a simple layperson who doesn’t think eating a hamburger on friday is a mortal sin. I should have stopped 2 weeks ago, but it’s hard when you see a few self-righteous people who are, in my opinion, an embarassment to religious people of any faith. But I think you should put a name on everything you write–stand by it if you mean it and let them know who you are.”
And what did you say to me DJK?
I AM ONE OF THOSE WHO FAITHFULLY FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH YOU IGNORANT A___!
Posted by: DJK | Mar 8, 2007 10:30:30 AM

From your above post to Anon, you have just proven the opposite!
Now, you not only consider those who actually faithfully follow the Catholic Church as ‘MINDLESS’, but now, in addition to this, call them an ‘embarassment to religious people of any faith’.
So much easier to surrender yourself to the secular world for FEAR of being looked upon as a ‘MINDLESS ROBOT’?
You even went so far as to call those who FAITHFULLY follow the Teachings of the Church as an ‘embarassment to religious people of any faith’.
Never mind that the Apostles, the Early Christians, and Christ Himself, in fact, observed such practices as that of fasting and abstinence!
1 John 2:6
6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk even as he walked.
But I thank you, DJK, and ANON for PERSECUTING me and others who follow the TEACHINGS of the CHURCH ever so FAITHFULLY! For even the SAINTS & MARTYRS of the CHURCH were PERSECUTED LIKEWISE! Even our Master, Our Lord & Saviour, JESUS CHRIST, said the very same thing!
Matthew 5:11-12
11 Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:
12 Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
John 15:19
19 If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Anonymous March 8, 2007 at 11:38 pm

Esau,
If you wish to argue with, me how about a few BETTER examples – 1 and 2 Samuel – I had to read your comments twice to make sure you weren’t joking – you think Eli and his crew validate the decrepit acts of many contemporary priests and bishops – boy you have a way with persuasive argument, I’ve gotta give you that. And I never stated or even suggested that the priesthood or the larger Church is invalidated by the acts of several hundred of its ordained clergy, but it certainly does cast suspicion on the concept of blind obedience and unquestioned authority. You of course may do what you wish, but if some priest behaves a little bit peculiar around my children, I’m not waiting for my child to file an adult suit against the diocese before I get involved, question that priest, and take appropriate steps to prevent a tragedy. That’s just common sense.

Esau March 8, 2007 at 11:52 pm

And I do frequently post with my name – when it makes sense to do so
Posted by: | Mar 8, 2007 11:22:39 PM
Yes — I do know — the very style of your comments, in fact, betray you!
You still don’t seem to get it –
You ignore the fact that the Apostles, the Early Christians, and Christ Himself, in fact, observed such practices as that of fasting and abstinence!
The very purpose of the Lenten practices of fasting and abstinence is supposed to teach us to place the things that are of God (and, by so doing, God Himself) over the things of this world — even human nourishment!
As even Jesus said in Luke 4:4 –
And Jesus answered him: is written that Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Lent is supposed to be a time of learning to desire God over the things of this world.
The entire meaning of Lent is to instill in us the selfless desire for God over the World and the things of the Flesh; to overcome the ‘self’ and learn self-detachment, self-denial and, above all, self-less devotion to God over temporal and worldly things.
Furthermore, you state in your post:
Nope – fairly new, but not willing to sacrifice the mind and heart God gave me to follow a ship of fools who beleive they speak for our Church. I believe Jesus’ message was that above all else, we should love him with our whole hearts, and love our neighbors as ourselves.
If folks get too wrapped up in the rules, they lose sight of those most important principles, and like Esau and Someday, start inventing little imaginary kingdoms for themselves to rule in. The scary thing is so many here seem so willing to blindly follow the more outlandish “papal kingdom” type stuff, suggesting that those concepts somehow comport with Catholic faith practices because they’ve cross-referenced something in the Catechism and it sounds good.
And I do frequently post with my name – when it makes sense to do so
Posted by: | Mar 8, 2007 11:22:39 PM
AMAZING!
You stated:
I believe Jesus’ message was that above all else, we should love him with our whole hearts, and love our neighbors as ourselves.
But the very things you said right afterwards would appear to contradict this!
Where is the so-called ‘love of neighbor’ in your subsequent statement:
If folks get too wrapped up in the rules, they lose sight of those most important principles, and like Esau and Someday, start inventing little imaginary kingdoms for themselves to rule in.
Also, what exactly makes what you and DJK believe actually ‘Catholic’?

Esau March 9, 2007 at 12:10 am

If you wish to argue with, me how about a few BETTER examples – 1 and 2 Samuel – I had to read your comments twice to make sure you weren’t joking – you think Eli and his crew validate the decrepit acts of many contemporary priests and bishops – boy you have a way with persuasive argument, I’ve gotta give you that.
Where did I actually state that what was done in 1 Samuel Chapters 1 & 2 actually validates such things?
You want to twist my words, go ahead.
Even the Father of Lies does the same.
Why are you ‘Catholic’?
It’s not like somebody is actually forcing you to be one.
I believe in both the authority of the Pope and the Council of Bishops due to the very promise given by Christ Himself.
Such is the foundation of the Catholic Church as established by Christ upon the Apostles and handed on down to their successors.
If you should believe that the Catholic Church is nothing but an organization of pedophiles, then run away from it!
Who knows how evil the Catholic Church really is and the dark secrets it harbors not only in the rectories but also in all their seminaries as well!
This is what you and DJK would have us believe –
That every single priest out there is nothing but a pedophile!
Even if that means condemning wholesale ALL the Catholic priests out there — I mean, who cares if there are actually the many innocent priests out there whose only intention is to serve the Lord and do His Will!

Mary Kay March 9, 2007 at 3:19 am

Esau and Someday, God gave you stewardship of your time. You’ll have to decide how much time you want to spend getting provoked by people who are more interested in insulting others than in discussion.

Tim J. March 9, 2007 at 5:44 am

Anonymous,
“Oh I love you with all my heart, Lord… just not enough to give up this hamburger!
… or these condoms… ”

bill912 March 9, 2007 at 6:22 am

Right, as always, Mary Kay. Cowardly, anonymous trolls are best ignored.

DJK March 9, 2007 at 6:53 am

Esau
But I thank you, DJK, and ANON for PERSECUTING me and others who follow the TEACHINGS of the CHURCH ever so FAITHFULLY! For even the SAINTS & MARTYRS of the CHURCH were PERSECUTED LIKEWISE! Even our Master, Our Lord & Saviour, JESUS CHRIST, said the very same thing!
Don’t even try to put yourself at the same level as real martyrs. They were people who gave their lives in defense of God and his teachings. Read John 15:13. You really must have a big ego.
In my opinion, you are not a Catholic—you worship the men in white robes more than the God who built the Church that ALL of the faithful represent. Furthermore, as a lifelong Catholic, I don’t even know how you can think like you do and call yourself a faithful Catholic. Again, how can anyone have a dialogue with a self-righteous zealot who constantly distorts reality?
Mary Kay
God gave you stewardship of your time. You’ll have to decide how much time you want to spend getting provoked by people who are more interested in insulting others than in discussion.
Who’s insulting now? I’ll admit, I’ve thrown out a couple, but I certainly wasn’t the one who started calling people names. That doesn’t make it right, but I’m not going to be called:
* anti-Catholic
* non-Catholic
* a troll
* a coward
* a Lutheran (which isn’t even an insult)
* a dumb@*^#$*@
* an idiot
* a sexual deviant
* a liar
* a historical revisionist
* a propagandist
* ignorant
If you’ve got something positive to contribute, I’d love to see it, otherwise, just stop. I’ve tried to somewhat “gracefully” leave this post at least twice, but it’s very hard when I see a so-called Catholic suggest we need to establish a Catholic theocracy to bring back inquisitions.
bill912
We all share some anonymity here–I know your momma didn’t name you “bill912″. Even if I knew your name, like Mary Kay or Tim J., I still couldn’t point you out on the street. We don’t even know where the other posters are at.

Esquire March 9, 2007 at 6:56 am

DJK,

That’s my point—what if they teach, either officially or by example, that it’s ok to drive the Jews out of Spain, like what happened during the Inquisitions? Is there officially a limit to obedience?

Let’s break that down.
“By example.” Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Pope Benedict XVI starts driving Jews out of Spain, but says not a word about what you should do. Would that not be an example of “Do as he says, not as he does”? Again, I harken back to what Jesus said about those who sat in the Chair of Moses in Jesus’ day.
But the fact is, we have been blessed with great witnesses to Christ occupying the Seat of Peter in our lifetime. You will not go wrong following their example.
“Officially.” Let’s deal with the implications here first. By using the example of driving Jews out of Spain, I assume that you are beginning with the premise that driving Jews out of Spain is immoral. So the real question is, what if the Pope officially teaches something that is immoral? And that, precisely, is what the Holy Spirit protects the Church, the Pope and the Magisterium from doing.

I am just a simple layperson who doesn’t think eating a hamburger on friday is a mortal sin. I should have stopped 2 weeks ago.

Yes. You should have stopped eating meat on Friday two weeks ago. :)
But here is the point. You seem to be using the possibility, in your mind, that the Pope could officially teach something that is immoral, to justify disregarding other teachings that indisputably are not immoral, simply because you have determined that they are not necessary. You have substituted your will on such matters for the will of the Church. The question is, which would God have you follow?

Is there officially a limit to obedience?

Yes. You are not bound to obey the Holy Father on things outside his sphere of competence, which is faith and morals. On matters of discipline, you are not bound to assent to things you do not agree with, but you are nonetheless bound to willingly and loyally submit to them. (If you are a theologian, you may in certain cases and circumstances, as spelled out in Donum Veritatis, art. 24, raise questions regarding the timeliness, form or contents of such disciplinary teachings, but there are limits there as well.)
You might start here. Ask yourself if what the Church is asking you specifically to do is immoral, not whether it’s really necessary. If it is not immoral — and so far you have raised nothing that the Church requires of you that you consider to be immoral — and the Church says that it is required, what is the point of substituting your will for the will of the Church?
And I suspect that if Christ were asked if there were a limit to obedience, he might give much the same answer that he gave to Peter when asked what limits there are on forgiveness.

Esquire March 9, 2007 at 7:05 am

And to follow on my last comment, I believe that there are enough opportunities for forgiveness on this thread to go around.
We’ve all been insulted here. Bear them gracefully. I know that those directed at me (which admittedly have been only the slightest) have been made with the best of intentions, motivated by a passionate love of the truth.
Don’t let an insult, or a perceived insult, get in the way of the truth.

Some Day March 9, 2007 at 7:14 am

I agree, I can’t even remember the last post that did not end up or contain a fight.
And no offense, you who question everything about the Church, go blog on some small c catholc blog. The people that frequent here are seemingly moral and rect Catholics, which opinions may differ, but ultimately never cross the line into progressivism, modernism or the other isms.

DJK March 9, 2007 at 7:18 am

Esquire
Would that not be an example of “Do as he says, not as he does”?
I see your point here.
So the real question is, what if the Pope officially teaches something that is immoral? And that, precisely, is what the Holy Spirit protects the Church, the Pope and the Magisterium from doing.
This is true in regards with teaching. Although I still don’t like the thought of a Pope using his authority in an immoral way. I think we agree here too.
You should have stopped eating meat on Friday two weeks ago
I actually have, although I don’t consider it a sacrifice. My only arguments against the practice are:
* Alot of people (myself included) love fish–growing up it was a delicacy in my house.
* Churches have huge social fish fries every day of abstinence for fellowship–again, doesn’t sound like a sacrifice.
* It would be a HUGE sacrifice for me to give something else up on Friday (like Coke, or those chocolate cream-filled eggs that only come out at Easter)
* Since I “fast” everyday by watching what I eat, Friday is just another day that I have to remind myself I’m fasting for God and not myself. Therefore, would I sacrifice more if I really overdo it, like by downing an entire box of fired fishsticks and hush puppies–something I would never typically do?
If it is not immoral — and so far you have raised nothing that the Church requires of you that you consider to be immoral — and the Church says that it is required, what is the point of substituting your will for the will of the Church?
Maybe this is where we might disagree. Suppose there is a teaching that is not immoral, but is considered a non-infallible teaching. My reading at http://www.catholicplanet.com/CMA/heresy-infallibility.htm and other places suggests that ordinary teachings are not infallible, and can be altered or thrown out altogether. Knowing that an ordinary teaching MAY be incorrect, I think that I would have an obligation to understand why the teaching exists. If I do my homework, and still feel like the teaching could be wrong, why should I follow it?

Tim J. March 9, 2007 at 7:25 am

“Ask yourself if what the Church is asking you specifically to do is immoral, not whether it’s really necessary. If it is not immoral — and so far you have raised nothing that the Church requires of you that you consider to be immoral — and the Church says that it is required, what is the point of substituting your will for the will of the Church?”
Exactly. Bingo. Thanks, Esquire.
Asking “But how much, exactly, do I really, truly HAVE to obey?” is just completely, 180 degrees, starting in the wrong direction, and can not arrive at the truth.
I thank GOD for the lenten fast.

Esquire March 9, 2007 at 7:36 am

DJK,

Suppose there is a teaching that is not immoral, but is considered a non-infallible teaching. My reading at http://www.catholicplanet.com/CMA/heresy-infallibility.htm and other places suggests that ordinary teachings are not infallible, and can be altered or thrown out altogether. Knowing that an ordinary teaching MAY be incorrect, I think that I would have an obligation to understand why the teaching exists. If I do my homework, and still feel like the teaching could be wrong, why should I follow it?

Ordinary teachings are not infallible, that much is correct. It is the implications of non-infallible teachings that we are working with.
But we seem to be ignoring the elephant in the room. The whole point of obedience is that you are doing it because someone with authority has told you to do it. You are willingly submitting to there authority. Obedience only with those things you agree with is not obedience. (Reminds me of Christ teaching something to the effect that loving only those that love you is not all that meritorious.) Obedience only with those things you agree with is, by definition, “cafeteria Catholicism.”
Non-infallible teachings are still reliable.
“The willingness to submit loyally to the teaching of the Magisterium on matters per se not irreformable must be the rule.” Donum Veritatis, 23.
As far as doing your homework, why would you refuse to obey (hypothetically speaking) a teaching that could be wrong, but is not immoral? The shepherd Christ himself has asked you to do it, and you agree it’s not immoral. Apart from the fact that he has the guidance of the Holy Spirit for your sake, it is almost certain that he has done far more “homework” than you, and that he is far more capable of getting it right. Basic humility would have us acknowledge as much.

Tim J. March 9, 2007 at 7:36 am

DJK, it seems to me that your objections to the lenten abstinence rules are based on the way many people abuse them. How does that make sense? If it troubles you that so many keep the letter of the law, but neglect the spirit, is the problem really with the law?
How about keeping the lenten fast in a faithful and spiritual way? Isn’t that the answer? So, if these all-you-can-eat fish fries bother you… don’t go. Don’t pig out at Red Lobster on Friday. Don’t stuff on creme eggs. Offer to Jesus a sincere, heartfelt, sacrifice by taking command of your appetites in His name. Show us all how it’s done. That would be an example that people could benefit from!
Do you really suppose that those who simply blow-off the fast are in any better moral shape than those who keep the letter of the law, but make an end run around the spirit? Sounds like twins seperated at birth, to me.

Esquire March 9, 2007 at 7:40 am

Tim J.,

Sounds like twins seperated at birth, to me.

Love it.

DJK March 9, 2007 at 8:06 am

Esquire
The whole point of obedience is that you are doing it because someone with authority has told you to do it. You are willingly submitting to there authority. Obedience only with those things you agree with is not obedience. (Reminds me of Christ teaching something to the effect that loving only those that love you is not all that meritorious.) Obedience only with those things you agree with is, by definition, “cafeteria Catholicism.”
This is the issue. Continuing below…
Non-infallible teachings are still reliable.
My understanding is that non-infallible teachins are reliable in the sense that they do not teach anything that would damn someone to hell. If that is your understanding as well, then I agree with your statement.
As far as doing your homework, why would you refuse to obey (hypothetically speaking) a teaching that could be wrong, but is not immoral?
Because it could be wrong. I’m thinking that if your conscience is a dialogue between yourself and God, and you fully educate yourself on an issue, and the Church’s position and reasoning, yet you still find a problem with the teaching, then perhaps something is wrong with the teaching.
Consider the contraception issue (please let’s not go into the morality of the issue, but I’m pretty certain that this falls under the non-infallible teachings). A significant number of Catholics dissent from the Church’s view. I’m not talking about those who sleep around, I’m talking ONLY about married couples who see artificial contraception as another means of doing natural family planning. Is it POSSIBLE that the massive amount of dissent among laypeople could be God’s way of providing a POTENTIAL truth to the magisterium on a teaching? Of course, it’s also POSSIBLE that I’m wrong on this…
Apart from the fact that he has the guidance of the Holy Spirit for your sake, it is almost certain that he has done far more “homework” than you, and that he is far more capable of getting it right. Basic humility would have us acknowledge as much.
I don’t doubt Christ has much more knowledge than I do, or that he divinely guides the Church. My doubts only fall on the human judgement of the ordinary magisterium on some issues.
Tim J
I am basically suggesting that perhaps instead of imposing a mandatory abstinence of no-meat on all Catholics under pain of mortal sin, the Church should impose a mandatory abstinence of something meaningful to each individual Catholic (if imposing anything on anyone is the correct way of doing things).
For example, I’ve gotten myself used to eating probably one solid meal a day, with a couple smaller ones. This is the current definition of a fast, from what I’ve read, so technically, I don’t have to do anything different on a fasting day than what I normally do, except abstain from meat.
Do you realize how bad one chocolate cream egg is for a person? How about a whole box of 4 eggs? What if I decided, for God, that I would eat 2 dozen chocolate cream eggs on Friday, as a way to “suffer” for God? Plus, I can’t work out that day, so I have to let my body pile everything on as fat. Sure, it wouldn’t be suffering while I’m eating them, and I could always enjoy a break. But on Saturday, my pants will fit a little tighter, and I will have to work the extra junk off. Maybe this example is a little absurd.
What if I’m a vegetarian (I’m not), and I decide to abstain from veggies and fish for God? In other words, what if I must force myself to eat a good BBQ brisket sandwich since it would be outside my norm?

DJK March 9, 2007 at 8:29 am

Tim J
How about keeping the lenten fast in a faithful and spiritual way? Isn’t that the answer? So, if these all-you-can-eat fish fries bother you… don’t go. Don’t pig out at Red Lobster on Friday. Don’t stuff on creme eggs. Offer to Jesus a sincere, heartfelt, sacrifice by taking command of your appetites in His name. Show us all how it’s done. That would be an example that people could benefit from!
I think we at least agree on the idea, but not necessarily the way to go about it.

Tim J. March 9, 2007 at 8:34 am

“What if I decided, for God, that I would eat 2 dozen chocolate cream eggs on Friday, as a way to “suffer” for God? Plus, I can’t work out that day, so I have to let my body pile everything on as fat. Sure, it wouldn’t be suffering while I’m eating them, and I could always enjoy a break. But on Saturday, my pants will fit a little tighter, and I will have to work the extra junk off. Maybe this example is a little absurd.
What if I’m a vegetarian (I’m not), and I decide to abstain from veggies and fish for God? In other words, what if I must force myself to eat a good BBQ brisket sandwich since it would be outside my norm?”
The point of the lenten fast is not to suffer, but to gain control of our appetites, to submit our will to the will of God, to discipline ourselves. How the above examples do any of that is beyond me.
But I’m done… I’m just done playing Whack-a-Mole.

DJK March 9, 2007 at 8:48 am

Tim J
I’m just done playing Whack-a-Mole.
What’s that supposed to mean? I thought we were having an intelligent discussion.
From my post:
“What if I decided, for God, that I would eat 2 dozen chocolate cream eggs on Friday, as a way to “suffer” for God? Plus, I can’t work out that day, so I have to let my body pile everything on as fat. Sure, it wouldn’t be suffering while I’m eating them, and I could always enjoy a break. But on Saturday, my pants will fit a little tighter, and I will have to work the extra junk off. Maybe this example is a little absurd.
1) This would make you physically ill.
2) According to http://www.calorie-count.com/calories/item/100092.html
1 egg has 170 calories, 6g of fat (9% of what a person should eat in a day), and 3.5g of saturated fat, or animal fat (17% of your daily intake)
Also, where I’m at, 1 box of 4 eggs costs about $2.
Hypothetically, if I decided to go through with this, I would immediatley be out $12 that I could have spent on something else. That aside, with eggs alone I would intake 4,080 calories, 144g of fat (216% of daily intake) and 84g of saturated fat (408% of daily intake). The typical adult male only needs 2,500 calories in a day, so, in one horrible sitting, I would eat enough calories for 2 days in junk food, plus, I wouldn’t work it off, so all of that would be stored as fat. I wouldn’t suggest this type of “penance” for just anyone, I’m only saying that if you’re typically a healthy-minded person, this WOULD be a sacrifice far more painful than giving up fish for a day.
What if I’m a vegetarian (I’m not), and I decide to abstain from veggies and fish for God? In other words, what if I must force myself to eat a good BBQ brisket sandwich since it would be outside my norm?
If a person is a committed vegitarian, their body no longer processes meat in the same way as a normal person would. So, eating meat, or anything derived from meat, could be a physically painful experience.

DJK March 9, 2007 at 9:15 am

Tim J
The point of the lenten fast is not to suffer, but to gain control of our appetites…
In the egg scenario, the appetite that you would be controlling is the urge to NOT overindulge yourself (if you have built this urge up over time, otherwise it wouldn’t work). In the vegetarian scenario, you really would be making a huge sacrifice.
I just realized that with this logic, one could justify drinking heavily as a sacrifice for the Lord, perhaps for a recovering alcoholic. In other words, a person who normally should always abstain from alcohol could choose to put himself through a difficult situation that might cause him to rebound into a bad habit. I am NOT advocating this as an acceptable penance in any circumstances!!! But clearly, there may be some flaws to my logic, as I think I see some flaws with abstinence from meat.

Smoky Mountain Hiker March 9, 2007 at 9:42 am
DJK March 9, 2007 at 9:54 am

Smoky Mountain Hiker
Thanks for the link. I feel that it’s probably fairly accurate, although the end appears to justify running the Jews and other non-Catholics out of Spain.
There are a couple of quotes I’d like to point out to some posters who constantly attack my position on the Church and the inquisitions:
* The Church has nothing to fear from the truth. No account of foolishness, misguided zeal, or cruelty by Catholics can undo the divine foundation of the Church, though, admittedly, these things are stumbling blocks to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
* What must be grasped is that the Church contains within itself all sorts of sinners and knaves, and some of them obtain positions of responsibility. Paul and Christ himself warned us that there would be a few ravenous wolves among Church leaders (Acts 20:29; Matt. 7:15).
* A few Catholic writers, particularly those less interested in digging for truth than in diffusing a criticism of the Church, have glossed over incontrovertible facts and tried to whitewash the Inquisition. This is as much a disservice to the truth as an exaggeration of the Inquisition’s bad points. These well-intentioned, but misguided, apologists are, in one respect, much like Lea, Coulton, and contemporary Fundamentalist writers. They fear, while the others hope, that the facts about the Inquisition might prove the illegitimacy of the Catholic Church.
* Ultimately, it may be a waste of time arguing about statistics. Instead, ask Fundamentalists just what they think the existence of the Inquisition demonstrates. They would not bring it up in the first place unless they thought it proves something about the Catholic Church. And what is that something? That Catholics are sinners? Guilty as charged. That at times people in positions of authority have used poor judgment? Ditto. That otherwise good Catholics, afire with zeal, sometimes lose their balance? All true, but such charges could be made even if the Inquisition had never existed and perhaps could be made of some Fundamentalists.
* The crucial thing for Catholics, once they have obtained some appreciation of the history of the Inquisition, is to explain how such an institution could have been associated with a divinely established Church and why it is not proper to conclude, from the existence of the Inquisition, that the Catholic Church is not the Church of Christ.

Tim J. March 9, 2007 at 9:54 am

What I mean by whack-a-mole is that, no, in my opinion, responding to an endless string of “what ifs” does not equal an intelligent discussion.
WHAT IF your conscience is wrong? What if “A significant number of Catholics” are wrong in their dissent against clear Church teaching (technically infallible, or not)? What if they are just a bunch of whiny babies?
As I have said, I think it is sad – and sadly typical – when the proposal under discussion is “exactly how much do we really, truly have to believe and obey in order to be technically not in open rebellion against Church authority and still be considered Catholic?”… or in other words, “what is the absolute minimum of obedience we can get away with?”
I just do not see that there is any avenue for fruitful discussion along these lines, therefore I am done.

Thaddeus March 9, 2007 at 10:04 am

DJK:
You wrote:
“My only arguments against the practice are:
* Alot of people (myself included) love fish–growing up it was a delicacy in my house.
* Churches have huge social fish fries every day of abstinence for fellowship–again, doesn’t sound like a sacrifice.
* It would be a HUGE sacrifice for me to give something else up on Friday (like Coke, or those chocolate cream-filled eggs that only come out at Easter)
* Since I “fast” everyday by watching what I eat, Friday is just another day that I have to remind myself I’m fasting for God and not myself. Therefore, would I sacrifice more if I really overdo it, like by downing an entire box of fired fishsticks and hush puppies–something I would never typically do?”
According to Canon 1249, Catholics are obliged do penance. It is clear in that canon (at least to me) that the practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays and Ash Wednesday is a prescribed way for Catholics to show solidarity with one another, to show that they are Catholic:
Can. 1249 All Christ’s faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe. (emphasis added)
It would be commendable for a Catholic to sacrifice something else as an additional act of penance (e.g. giving up something for Lent), but abstaining from meat is one of the ways we can show that we are Catholic, and join our “sacrifices” with other Catholics.
Also, as my mother always says, “if you want to belong to the club, you have to follow the rules.”
Thaddeus.

Esquire March 9, 2007 at 10:06 am

DJK,
I will address the rest of your comments later, no time at the moment. But you said:

Consider the contraception issue (please let’s not go into the morality of the issue, but I’m pretty certain that this falls under the non-infallible teachings).

Let me ask you a question. The magisterium has stated the following with respect to abortion:

Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children.

Would you agree with me that the Church teaches infallibly that abortion is morally excluded?

DJK March 9, 2007 at 10:07 am

Tim J
That’s fine. We’ll just have to agree to disagree. I just wish you’d at least answer my questions instead of calling a large number of Catholics “whiny babies”.
I believe that God is far more creative than you give him credit for, and I also believe that the following is an intelligent question:
Is it POSSIBLE that the massive amount of dissent among laypeople could be God’s way of providing a POTENTIAL truth to the magisterium on a [non-infallible] teaching?
Yes, my conscience could be wrong, but it could also be right. According to the catechism, we are all supposed to follow our consciences and form them appropriatly.

Mary Kay March 9, 2007 at 10:09 am

Tim, welcome to the now crowded group.
Smoky Mt, thanks for the link.
DJK, dear Determined Jot by jot to arrive at Knowldege, please restrain your knee jerk reaction that I’m being mean to you. That’s first.
Second, you think the Catholic Answers article supports you and I saw it just the opposite.
Third, Wooo Hoooo! at But clearly, there may be some flaws to my logic Light glimmers at the end of the tunnel! No, I’m not making fun of you, just glad to see you beginning to see your way out of this tangle.
Rats, my time just evaporated.

Esquire March 9, 2007 at 10:16 am

DJK,
One more, then I really have to go.

In other words, a person who normally should always abstain from alcohol could choose to put himself through a difficult situation that might cause him to rebound into a bad habit.

Putting oneself in danger of sin is itself sinful. One is obligated to avoid the near occasion of sin. If one “should” abstain from alcohol because he has an addiction, or it otherwise causes him health problems, there is no situation in which he should put himself or herself through that. One should not deliberately put oneself into a “difficult” situation, if by that you mean a situation in which they will be tempted.
Your logic is faulty in this sense. Lent — indeed penance in general — is not about doing the opposite of what you normally do. It is about conversion. Turning away from something. But in the inestimable words of Dom Hubert van Zeller, conversion away from something isn’t worth much unless it is also conversion to Something, namely God.
We should not underestimate the value of giving up our attachments to little things on the path to God.

DJK March 9, 2007 at 10:40 am

Esquire
Would you agree with me that the Church teaches infallibly that abortion is morally excluded?
I don’t know if your quote can be interpreted as a definition of infallability, but it is my understanding that the Church has declared infallibly that abortion is a mortal sin, on pain of automatic excommunication. I do not dispute this. When I mentioned contraception, I was specifically only talking about some artifical birth control methods, to be used by a married couple as an alternative and/or suppliment to natural family planning. I should have been more clear.
Your logic is faulty in this sense.
I know—I had a feeling that an alcholol-related argument might spring up.
…conversion away from something isn’t worth much unless it is also conversion to Something, namely God.
This is my point—if you already eat lightly during your typical daily routine and you love fish, is it really a sacrifice? I still abstain (and I give up my chocolate eggs on Friday to at least feel like I’m doing something), but I’ll admit it’s more for the fish.
Mary Kay
I’m glad we can talk again.
…you think the Catholic Answers article supports you and I saw it just the opposite.
Those quotes were pulled straight from the article. It does support my claims. The article doesn’t fully exonerate the Church, but it does acknowledge that the Church was involved. It does support your claims that Church leaders weren’t torturing/killing people (at least not as policy).
The way I see it, the Church was an accessory to the atrocities. They enabled the secular state to use religion as a weapon of conversion. The article does not dispute this.
Thaddeus
Can. 1249 All Christ’s faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.
I don’t dispute this. What I am suggesting is that abstinence from meat is not always the best way to observe penance.

Esau March 9, 2007 at 11:02 am

DJK wrote:
For example, I’ve gotten myself used to eating probably one solid meal a day, with a couple smaller ones. This is the current definition of a fast, from what I’ve read, so technically, I don’t have to do anything different on a fasting day than what I normally do, except abstain from meat.
As I stated in another thread way back when regarding someone who was dieting during the Lenten season:
You may need to remember that Lent is supposed to be a time of learning to desire God over the things of this world. If Lent suddenly becomes merely a “self-improvement” thing (e.g., fasting just to loose weight in order to improve one’s self-image), then it defeats the entire meaning of Lent (i.e., to instill in us the selfless desire for God over the World and the things of the Flesh) and such activities can become one of selfish intent rather than that of self-detachment, self-denial and, above all, self-less devotion to God over temporal and worldly things.
Dieting is, itself, not a bad thing. But, if you are fasting during Lent merely to loose weight, the message of Lent is entirely lost.”
Posted by: Esau | Feb 22, 2007 2:56:35 PM
Again, it’s all in the intention and purpose of the act.
DJK also writes:
Who’s insulting now? I’ll admit, I’ve thrown out a couple, but I certainly wasn’t the one who started calling people names. That doesn’t make it right, but I’m not going to be called:
* anti-Catholic
* non-Catholic
* a troll
* a coward
* a Lutheran (which isn’t even an insult)
* a dumb@*^#$*@
* an idiot
* a sexual deviant
* a liar
* a historical revisionist
* a propagandist
* ignorant

Yet, where exactly have people explicitly stated these insults? There are insults he listed that weren’t even actually explicitly stated by folks here.
Could it have possibly been perceived through innuendo?
If DJK seeks to justify his comment that because such things were implied from various posts and, therefore, it was the same as folks explicitly stating such things; then, the very same reasoning can certainly apply to the vile innuendo judged from DJK’s comments!
On a separate note —
THADDEUS, THANK YOU for that great citation!
Can. 1249 All Christ’s faithful are obliged by divine law, each in his or her own way, to do penance. However, so that all may be joined together in a certain common practice of penance, days of penance are prescribed. On these days the faithful are in a special manner to devote themselves to prayer, to engage in works of piety and charity, and to deny themselves, by fulfilling their obligations more faithfully and especially by observing the fast and abstinence which the following canons prescribe.
The saints, martyrs, the Apostles, the Old Testament patriarchs as well and, most significantly, even Christ Himself observed the practice of Fasting and Abstinence!
The WHOLE POINT is the DESIRE for HOLINESS and GOD (to DENY our very ‘self’) over the things of this World!
Lk:4:4: And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

DJK March 9, 2007 at 12:57 pm

Esau
“You may need to remember that Lent is supposed to be a time of learning to desire God over the things of this world. If Lent suddenly becomes merely a “self-improvement” thing (e.g., fasting just to loose weight in order to improve one’s self-image), then it defeats the entire meaning of Lent (i.e., to instill in us the selfless desire for God over the World and the things of the Flesh) and such activities can become one of selfish intent rather than that of self-detachment, self-denial and, above all, self-less devotion to God over temporal and worldly things.
Dieting is, itself, not a bad thing. But, if you are fasting during Lent merely to loose weight, the message of Lent is entirely lost.”

We agree. That is the point of my posts on this subject.
Yet, where exactly have people explicitly stated these insults? There are insults he listed that weren’t even actually explicitly stated by folks here.
Could it have possibly been perceived through innuendo?

The record speaks for itself, anyone can go through it and rehash this, but I don’t have the time or care for it. I probably missed a few.
If DJK seeks to justify his comment that because such things were implied from various posts and, therefore, it was the same as folks explicitly stating such things; then, the very same reasoning can certainly apply to the vile innuendo judged from DJK’s comments!
Too bad you missed my explicit statements that state extactly the opposite of most of your claims. Again, the record speaks for itself.

Esau March 9, 2007 at 1:28 pm

DJK:
You IGNORE the fact that many of the insults you’ve listed may have been implied by people’s post here and so, therefore, subject to your interpretation of the facts; but that doesn’t mean that they had actually stated such insults.
For example, in one of your posts (there are others but I’ll just cite one), you said:
You’re probably not going to listen to me, and you’ll probably call me anti-Catholic bigot again Posted by: DJK | Mar 8, 2007 6:19:34 PM
However, where exactly can you find somebody here actually having called you an anti-Catholic bigot?
Furthermore, although the insults you’ve listed may have merely been implied by people’s posts concerning you — your personal insults, on the other hand, weren’t implied and, in fact, QUITE EXPLICIT!
Here are just a FEW examples:
I AM ONE OF THOSE WHO FAITHFULLY FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH YOU IGNORANT A _ _ _ _ _ _ Posted by: DJK | Mar 8, 2007 10:30:30 AM
Wow, you really are an arrogant ass!
Posted by: DJK | Mar 8, 2007 9:59:54 AM
… it’s hard when you see a few self-righteous people who are, in my opinion, an embarassment to religious people of any faith.
Posted by: DJK | Mar 8, 2007 11:02:12 PM
Though, I do agree with one thing you’ve said so far:
Again, the record speaks for itself.

DJK March 9, 2007 at 2:05 pm

Esau
I haven’t denied any insults I’ve through out. In fact, unless I’ve apologized to someone, I stand by each and every one of them. Once again, you’re dodging the facts that work against your position—my insults came after yours! I’ve tried very hard to be civil, but it’s difficult when people like you are baselessly questioning my motives and making judgements about things you know nothing about. At least I gave you the honest courtesy to call you out. Right now, you’re being very petty. For the record, ‘bigot’ is my word, but it was your intention to call me that, after constantly condemning everything I said as coming from a person with a ‘hidden agenda’. You have repeatedly stated that I want posters on this blog to believe that the Church is evil (your word) when I have repeatedly stated that I am a practicing Catholic. Why do you gloss over the explicit statements I make to interpret things to fit your twisted view of me and my words?
It’s really a shame–I thought that perhaps we might be able to have one day without hurling insults at each other. But if you feel the need to use innuendo again, just flat out say what’s on your mind.

Esau March 9, 2007 at 2:34 pm

DJK:
If you inspected my earlier posts from you, you would find that no such ‘assumption of the worst intention’ was made on my part.
For example:

DJK:
Didn’t Jesus observe fasting and abstinence? Also, didn’t the Apostles as well as the Early Christians?
You seem to neglect that despite your argument that there are so many ways to interpret Scripture, that the Apostles, the Early Christians, and Christ Himself have interpreted the passages in Scripture as such and, in fact, observed such practices! Also, the very purpose of the Lenten practices of fasting and abstinence is supposed to teach us to place the things that are of God (and, by so doing, God Himself) over the things of this world — even human nourishment! As even Jesus said in Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him: is written that Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Posted by: Esau | Feb 25, 2007 10:14:26 PM

AND

DJK:
It is evident in your posts that you have not ready anything regarding the early Christian church.
Read the Didiche.
It talks about the importance of baptism, fasting, prayer and the Eucharist in the lives of the early Christians.
In fact, the Didiche and 1 Clement are oldest church documents on church order.
Posted by: Esau | Feb 26, 2007 9:30:18 AM

It wasn’t until in March that based on the history of your comments, I brought to your attention the manner of your comments which, by the way, I was not even alone in my opinion. Others, in fact, pointed to the same nature in your comments.
Now, if you did not actually mean what those comments said about the Catholic Church (mind you, many of us kept bringing these comments of yours to your attention by many of our posts), you would have ceased from making such comments.
The fact of the matter is that even though we kept informing you how your comments were coming across to us, and how these comments of yours made the Church appear as some evil man-made institution that committed such evil acts in the past (which were not only implied, in some respects); you demonstrated that you were so determined to keep making such comments in spite of all this by the very fact that you continued to make them even in your most recent posts.
Also, how is that even in spite of my many detailed posts to you in recent days, you fail to see why you’ve come across the way you do?
Even in my post to you regarding your article, which only merely talked about the BBC documentary ever so briefly; I showed you, in line-by-line fashion, in fact, how your words did not match up to what the article was actually stating and, in fact, many times, you took liberties in shaping the facts to fit the baseless conclusion you were so doggedly determined to make about the Catholic Church having committed such evil acts when, on the contrary, the article itself stated that the acts were committed by the secular state.
However, as this is all past and the topic has clearly run its course many times over, it is ultimately your decision to do what you want, believe as you want, accept what you want and regard that as ‘Catholic’.
Did it even occur to you that the reason why folks such as myself, Mary Kay, bill912 and others even devoted such great time and effort in writing our posts to you and bring such things to your attention was because we actually cared? That is, didn’t it ever even hit you that all this effort of ours might suggest a certain care on our part for the well-being of your soul?
Of course, in the end, you can go on believing/stating (as you have) that folks such as me are nothing but a bunch of — well, you know — you’ve already said it before.

DJK March 9, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Esau
It wasn’t until in March that based on the history of your comments, I brought to your attention the manner of your comments which, by the way, I was not even alone in my opinion. Others, in fact, pointed to the same nature in your comments.
That may be true, but things didn’t get ugly on my end until you started accusing me of things.
The fact of the matter is that even though we kept informing you how your comments were coming across to us, and how these comments of yours made the Church appear as some evil man-made institution that committed such evil acts in the past (which were not only implied, in some respects); you demonstrated that you were so determined to keep making such comments in spite of all this by the very fact that you continued to make them even in your most recent posts.
I don’t feel like I’ve said anything wrong or defamatory towards the Church, only stating historical realities. I realize that some of the Inquisition history has been exaggerated by non-Catholics for their own purposes. I’ve seen websites that claim the inquisitions were a genocide, that millions were slaughtered, but I haven’t stated these things here. If I really wanted to blame the Church for every single thing that went wrong then, I could have. If I wanted to call the Church the ‘whore of babylon’ like I’ve seen all over the internet, I could have written a big hate-filled post. But I didnt.
The worst that I have said about the Church is that during the inquisitions, Church leaders abused their authority by being complicit in giving the secular authorities the Church’s blessing. They legitimized the secular government’s crimes by played a role in sentencing people to their deaths, and in the mass exodus of non-Catholics in the name of our Lord. As I see the facts today, I stand by this assertion. Believe me, if I could find some facts that say something to the contrary, I would consider them.
Both of the mentioned articles say nothing worse about the Church than I have stated here. But they do acknowledge that the Church did play a negative role. Although I haven’t seen the video yet, I’m guessing that it too says something similar.
Why is this so offensive? I have stated repeatedly (and you have ignored repeatedly) that my aim is not to discredit the Church. My point in bringing up the inquisitions was to show that Church leaders can err in SOME matters.
Even in my post to you regarding your article, which only merely talked about the BBC documentary ever so briefly; I showed you, in line-by-line fashion, in fact, how your words did not match up to what the article was actually stating and, in fact, many times, you took liberties in shaping the facts to fit the baseless conclusion you were so doggedly determined to make about the Catholic Church having committed such evil acts when, on the contrary, the article itself stated that the acts were committed by the secular state.
I felt that I analyzed that article, also line-for-line, cut-copy-and-paste, as fairly as possible. I also stated (and you ignored) that the secular authorities did the majority of the atrocities. What the article clearly states, (and you left out) is that the Church was implicated (their word) in the crimes.
However, as this is all past and the topic has clearly run its course many times over, it is ultimately your decision to do what you want, believe as you want, accept what you want and regard that as ‘Catholic’.
It is your decision too.
Did it even occur to you that the reason why folks such as myself, Mary Kay, bill912 and others even devoted such great time and effort in writing our posts to you and bring such things to your attention was because we actually cared? That is, didn’t it ever even hit you that all this effort of ours might suggest a certain care on our part for the well-being of your soul?
Did it even occur to you that the reason why I’ve spent two weeks writing on a blog is because I cared about your souls? Granted, I’m a sinner, I need God’s mercy as much as anyone else. But I also know that it is a sin to blindly follow the Church in everything–to believe the clergy are truly infallible in all things. I get the impression from some people on this site (not necessarily any you’ve mentioned) that if the Pope called for a crusade or an inquisition today, more than one person on this post would be leading the charge. That’s a shame, because I thought we moved on from those dark days.
Of course, in the end, you can go on believing/stating (as you have) that folks such as me are nothing but a bunch of — well, you know — you’ve already said it before.
You said far worse about me without cause.
It’s a shame we had to get off like this, especially on a historical issue like the inquisition. I’m still doing my homework on this issue, because I do believe that some numbers and facts have been altered by both sides (also in the article). I hope you do you homework too.
Try to answer this question (believe me, I’m looking for an answer too):
Why did the Church not condemn the secular government’s evil practices? Why did they not outright condemn the many acts of the secular government that today would be called ‘ethnic cleansing’?(I don’t use the term lightly)
Why did the Church not condemn these things with the same certainty that they condemn artificial contraception for married couples (not abortion) today?
‘The Church is evil‘ is the wrong answer.

Some Day March 9, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Look, all the past behind, search your heart and think why is it wrong to protect the Truth?
Remember Our Lord says there is no middle.
Yes, Yes or No, No.
Truth or Lies.
You can only love and fight for one.

Esquire March 9, 2007 at 3:56 pm

DJK,

Did it even occur to you that the reason why I’ve spent two weeks writing on a blog is because I cared about your souls?

Yes. Thank you.

Granted, I’m a sinner, I need God’s mercy as much as anyone else.

We all do.

But I also know that it is a sin to blindly follow the Church in everything–to believe the clergy are truly infallible in all things.

First problem. There is an implication in this sentence (as there has been in other posts you have made), that the only way to follow the Church in everything is to do so “blindly.” One should follow the Church in everything, but with one’s eyes wide open. The whole part about submitting your will to God is that you do so unconditionally, but voluntarily as well. To be voluntary, you have to know what you’re doing.
It’s actually very reasonable. The most reasonable position, I would submit.
Second problem. You apparently believe that to follow the Church in everything, one must believe that “clergy are infallible in all things.” That would not be following the Church, and you are misrepresenting (intentionally or not) what the Church teaches when you say that.
You should know by now that that is a false accusation.

I get the impression from some people on this site (not necessarily any you’ve mentioned) that if the Pope called for a crusade or an inquisition today, more than one person on this post would be leading the charge. That’s a shame, because I thought we moved on from those dark days.

Amen brother! I’d be leading the charge! Actually, because I’m something of a coward, I’d probably be following the charge, but if Pope Benedict XVI asked me to lead a crusade or an inquisition, I would be honored to serve.
You fail to acknowledge that if those were “dark days” it was not because of the fact of the crusades or the inquisition, it was because of the abuses that took place in their name. You do realize, I’m sure, that great saints like St. Bernard of Clairvaux (and many, many others) preached the Crusades. If you think they were inherently evil or bad, you’re going to find yourself on the opposite of the aisle from a great number of Catholic saints, with none that I know of on your side of the aisle.
Awfully lonely place to be, if you ask me.

bill912 March 9, 2007 at 4:07 pm

I’m with you Esquire. I’d proudly march with St. Louis and his cousin, San Fernando.

Esau March 9, 2007 at 4:51 pm

DJK:
One thing that might help you to understand, which I found very helpful, is the following from someone who used to post here:

Excerpts from Jonathan Prejean’s Posts:
Medievals get short shrift, but they were so much more concerned about people’s souls than we are today. When you get in this modern mindset we have that creature comforts are the purpose of life, it’s very hard to identify with that perspective in which serious pain here could actually save your soul. It’s kind of funny to think that the fact that we don’t torture today is actually an expression of more cynicism about humanity; we don’t think there is enough good in people for it to do any good! People are so motivated by being comfortable and have such seared consciences that it would be unlikely to produce anything but a facile conversion.

Here’s something that might be helpful. When speaking of intent and circumstances, these refer to consequences of the act and not the act itself. The object, on the other hand, which is something like the purpose for which the act is performed, does not deal with consequences of the act, but with the act itself. The physical nature of the act specifies the sort of objects it can have (note: physical nature can really be interpreted more broadly than simply material; mental acts can have a physical nature as well). For example, the physical nature of using a scalpel means that choosing to use a scalpel can be for several objects (to perform surgery, to inflict pain, etc.). But there are only so many possible objects, and every performance of the act is going to involve one of them. With respect to acts performed for the deliberate purpose of inflicting pain, there are very few legitimate objects: to discipline, to punish, and to assist a conflicted soul in the manner described. Any other object involving the deliberate infliction of pain appears to be simply wrong. So if your purpose is to inflict pain for none of those purposes, then it is simply wrong, no matter what consequences you might intend or obtain. Or you could have some purpose in which the infliction of pain has no part in the object (performing surgery, for example), but infliction of pain is simply an unintended consequence.

DJK March 9, 2007 at 7:48 pm

Some Day
It’s only the truth because we believe in it—it’s faith. We can’t prove or disprove it. If we could prove our faith, it would no longer be faith, it would be fact.
We live in a world today where people are allowed to believe whatever they want. Is that so bad?
Esquire
First problem. There is an implication in this sentence
OK, I see it in this sentence. But the keyword that I used was “everything”–meaning all of the infallible, non-infallible, and temporal teachings (plus any I’ve forgotten). Perhaps I should have been more clear.
The whole part about submitting your will to God is that you do so unconditionally, but voluntarily as well.
Some of these posts sound like it is better to follow unconditionally but not voluntarily.
Second problem. You apparently believe that to follow the Church in everything, one must believe that “clergy are infallible in all things.” That would not be following the Church, and you are misrepresenting (intentionally or not) what the Church teaches when you say that.
No, I actually have been trying to prove this point. Again, some of the posts appear to suggest this is the true teaching. I think we agree here.
You fail to acknowledge that if those were “dark days” it was not because of the fact of the crusades or the inquisition, it was because of the abuses that took place in their name.
I believe it’s a little of both. In my opinion, the inquisitions were never justified, and the crusades were somewhat mixed. But yes, there were some awful things that happened, on all sides involved.
I’m sure, that great saints like St. Bernard of Clairvaux (and many, many others) preached the Crusades.
I know nothing of these saints yet, but I will look into their lives.
Esau
It’s kind of funny to think that the fact that we don’t torture today is actually an expression of more cynicism about humanity; we don’t think there is enough good in people for it to do any good! People are so motivated by being comfortable and have such seared consciences that it would be unlikely to produce anything but a facile conversion.
I’m not sure what this means.
With respect to acts performed for the deliberate purpose of inflicting pain, there are very few legitimate objects: to discipline, to punish, and to assist a conflicted soul in the manner described. Any other object involving the deliberate infliction of pain appears to be simply wrong.
I am not certain what you are saying here, so please clarify if I am misinterpreting you. I am not trying to pick a fight here…
Are you suggesting that inflicting pain on a “conflicted soul” is legitimate because the consequences of the act, not the act itself, justify the means?
What is a “conflicted soul” in this context? I am assuming the “object” is the intended purpose?

Esau March 9, 2007 at 8:12 pm

DJK:
I’m glad you asked!
It might be best if you consulted with somebody who’s more expert in the matter.
However, when you say:
Are you suggesting that inflicting pain on a “conflicted soul” is legitimate because the consequences of the act, not the act itself, justify the means?
You’ve already taken this out of context.
You’ve already twisted it to say: “The Ends Justifies the Means”, which is not what the quotes say at all.
This kind of reasoning would seek to justify the terrible actions of those who purposely torture suspected terrorists — that so long as the end result is a confession obtained from them, the fact that they were visciously tortured does not matter.
This is NOT what the quotes are saying at all.
Since it is evident even by your remark above that you intend to perhaps manipulate the argument in that manner, perhaps we should cease communication right here (though perhaps some would have preferred it terminated sooner).

DJK March 9, 2007 at 8:30 pm

Esau
Since it is evident even by your remark above that you intend to perhaps manipulate the argument in that manner, perhaps we should cease communication right here
No, that’s just how I am interpreting it. I thought that I was clear that I truly wanted to understand your meaning, and I would like for you to clarify.
Since it is evident even by your remark above that you intend to perhaps manipulate the argument in that manner, perhaps we should cease communication right here (though perhaps some would have preferred it terminated sooner).
That’s your decision.

Esquire March 9, 2007 at 9:14 pm

DJK,

OK, I see it in this sentence. But the keyword that I used was “everything”–meaning all of the infallible, non-infallible, and temporal teachings (plus any I’ve forgotten). Perhaps I should have been more clear.

You didn’t need to be more clear. I understood everything to be everything.
But everything may not mean what you think it means, because the Church is actually quite reasonable. Pope Benedict XVI is not going to tell me I need to believe that the earth is flat, that 2+2=5, or that the moon is made of green cheese. He’s not going to tell me I need to believe in anything that isn’t a matter of faith and morals. But when he tells me that something is a matter of faith and morals, I’m going to listen to him. And when he says jump in that respect, I will jump as high as I can, because that is the most reasonable thing to do.
When you read the lives of the saints, the one thing that often sets them apart from everyone else, is the virtue of obedience.

It’s only the truth because we believe in it—it’s faith.

I’m not sure what you mean here, so I’m going to tread lightly. Taken literally, “it’s only the truth because we believe in it” is simply false. That’s relativism. But I’m not convinced that’s actually what you mean, so you might clarify.
In the meantime, the truth is the truth because it’s the truth. Objectively. Whether we believe it or not, it’s true. It doesn’t change.

We can’t prove or disprove it. If we could prove our faith, it would no longer be faith, it would be fact.

True.

We live in a world today where people are allowed to believe whatever they want. Is that so bad?

Yes and no. No, it’s not bad because nobody should be forced to believe anything. This is in the Catechism section on conscience that you have alluded to previously. This is (I’m guessing) why you object to the inquisition, because you think it was only about forcing people to believe something at the point of a sword.
It’s bad in the sense that people believe whatever they want to believe. This is held out as a virtue in society, when in fact it is a hideous vice. The only thing that is “good” for people to believe in is the truth.

Anonymous March 9, 2007 at 9:16 pm

DJK March 9, 2007 at 11:18 pm

Esquire
But when he tells me that something is a matter of faith and morals, I’m going to listen to him. And when he says jump in that respect, I will jump as high as I can, because that is the most reasonable thing to do.
I can respect this, but I’m not totally convinced that this is always right in non-infallible matters. We may need to agree to disagree here. It’s not that I lack faith in God, or even the Church, but I do lack faith in man. People who claim this kind of authority, religious or secular, can and have abused their power in the past. Perhaps I need to work on it, perhaps I’m right.
When you read the lives of the saints, the one thing that often sets them apart from everyone else, is the virtue of obedience.
I have read up a little on St. Bernard, and I actually have mixed feelings on the guy. This has actually never happened to me before with a Saint. He did alot of good things: established monasteries, he was a peacemaker, and he did lead the charge on the second crusade (it’s a mixed bag, but I give him a pass because this crusade sounds more like a just war than the first). I admired the fact that he defended the Jews from fanatical Catholics, however, there are statements that claim he felt that it was better to “disperse” the Jews rather than kill them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_of_Clairvaux
The following quote from the same article bothers me too:
As for heretics, “the little foxes that spoil the vines should be taken, not by force of arms, but by force of argument.” However, if any heretic refused to be thus taken, he considered “that he should be driven away, or even a restraint put upon his liberty, rather than that he should be allowed to spoil the vines” (Serm. lxiv).
Is a heretic in this context also a Jew or a Protestant? There were legitimate heritics in his day, but were they any worse than Protestants, at least in their beliefs and public practices?
He was a very influential clergyman, and was canonized only 20 years after his death. Part of me thinks that some politics could have been involved here (the Church was much more political in this time period than today), but he is a Saint, and I really don’t want to go there.
Granted, we’re all human, and I don’t want to judge the man outside of his time, but this is very confusing to me.
Taken literally, “it’s only the truth because we believe in it” is simply false. That’s relativism.
This isn’t exactly the meaning of my previous statement, so I will elaborate.
Technically, everything we believe as Catholics and Christians is theory. I can’t point to a map of the stars and say “here is heaven”. I can’t prove that bread and wine actually become Christ. I can’t prove papal infallibility, Jesus as the Son of God, the Holy Trinity, etc.
In short, I cannot objectively prove a single aspect of my faith to an outsider as truth. Likewise, no Jew, Muslim, Hindu, athiest, etc. can prove their beliefs as truth to me.
But the keyword here is believe. We can believe these things are true, but we can’t prove them as indistiguishable fact.
If I could prove my faith is the absolute truth, I would no longer have a theory–it would become a proven fact. Church teachings would be elevated from a religion to a science. At this point, to deny our truth would be similar to saying “the world is flat.” In other words, even the most hardened critic would have to accept it.
But the fact is, we can’t prove our faith, but we can have faith.
Does that mean our truth is only the truth because we “think” it’s the truth? I say no, because then “truth” would only exist in our heads. At some other spiritual level, independent of our opinions, our faith is either true or false. (Of course, I’ll bet on true, otherwise, there’s no point in being Catholic)
That’s way too deep for this late.
It’s bad in the sense that people believe whatever they want to believe. This is held out as a virtue in society, when in fact it is a hideous vice.
I really have to disagree here. Historically, trying to maintain a single faith within a nation has always proven to be a disaster. The inquisitions (regardless of who started them), and to a lesser extent, the crusades, were partially motivated to achieve this goal. Both Catholics and Protestants were guilty of massacres against each other.
Today, we see the Muslims rehashing this same issue in their ultra religious nations. For example, in Iraq, Sunnis and Shias have been killing each other for hundreds of years because they disagree on which Imam was the 4th or 5th Imam or something. In addition, the borders of much of the Muslim world appear to be hotspots of religiously-motivated violence (ex: Sudan, Kashmir, China, Indonesia, India, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq, Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Waziristan, Pakistan, Israel, the Balkans, Chechnya, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, etc.)
I would even suggest that communism is like a religion, and we know that countless millions have died and suffered worldwide from this ideology.
I don’t know where you’re from, but here in America, my neighbor can believe in whatever he wants, and it doesn’t have to affect me. Likewise, my beliefs don’t have to affect him.
Besides, his beliefs are probably as engrained in is mind as yours and mine are in our minds. How do you get someone to renounce everything they know and understand about their faith to accept our faith?

Esquire March 10, 2007 at 6:13 am

DJK,
Here in America, what your neighbor believes does affect you, and it is almost inconceivable to think it doesn’t. Let’s start with the obvious, if enough of your neighbors believe that it’s a good thing to [insert vice, kill babies, for example] they’ll pass a law that says we can start [killing babies].
You may not be able to see the bottom line every time in every case, at least not immediately, but what your neighbor believes most certainly affects you.
As for the lives of the saints, if you are troubled by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (you may have picked up on this, but he is one of 33 “Doctors of the Church,” which means that in addition to living day-in and day-out the heroic virtue required for sainthood, his teaching is considered exceptionally reliable and useful by the Church), you will be really troubled by a host of other saints and what they had to say about heresy.
There are two types of responses you can have to things like that. You can look at yourself, and you can set yourself next to a canonized saint and Doctor of the Church.

Granted, we’re all human, and I don’t want to judge the man outside of his time, but this is very confusing to me.

Forgive me in advance if this sounds a little harsh. BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO JUDGE THE MAN! ARE YOU BLIND? (Done shouting now.) But I mean that as a serious question and not an insult (even though I recognize you will be insulted by it.) Listen to yourself. One of the greatest saints in the history of the Church, one of the greatest teachers in the history of the Church, and you don’t want to judge him, you think he might be too political, maybe if he’d just lived in a more enlightened time like our own he’d get it?
Those statements betray a lack of humility that is frightening.
It is not your duty to judge the Church and its saints. It is your duty to learn from them.
I believe, DJK, that you are seriously well-intentioned, but seriously mis-informed.

Besides, his beliefs are probably as engrained in is mind as yours and mine are in our minds. How do you get someone to renounce everything they know and understand about their faith to accept our faith?

By living your faith to the fullest. By following St. Bernard and St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John of the Cross and St. Therese of Lisieux, by submitting completely to the will of God which does mean submitting completely to the will of His Church. Simply put, by paying attention to the signposts that God places in your life, telling you as plain as day what he wants you to do.

DJK March 10, 2007 at 9:07 am

Esquire
Here in America, what your neighbor believes does affect you, and it is almost inconceivable to think it doesn’t.
What my neighbor does only affects me if I allow it to.
…if enough of your neighbors believe that it’s a good thing to [insert vice, kill babies, for example] they’ll pass a law that says we can start [killing babies].
Unfortunatly, my neighbors already have passed a law to kill babies. However, I don’t have to accept that. I can vote for pro-life candidates, and lobby congressmen.
As for the lives of the saints, if you are troubled by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (you may have picked up on this, but he is one of 33 “Doctors of the Church,” which means that in addition to living day-in and day-out the heroic virtue required for sainthood, his teaching is considered exceptionally reliable and useful by the Church), you will be really troubled by a host of other saints and what they had to say about heresy.
I understand, but when he speaks of heresy, is he talking about other faiths, like Jews or Protestants, or does he mean Catholics who are twisting doctrine around?
BUT YOU DON’T NEED TO JUDGE THE MAN! ARE YOU BLIND?
I am not insulted, I kind of expected a response like this from someone. This thought has crossed my mind as well.
One of the greatest saints in the history of the Church, one of the greatest teachers in the history of the Church, and you don’t want to judge him, you think he might be too political, maybe if he’d just lived in a more enlightened time like our own he’d get it?
We do not live in an enlightened time. Did you see my list of Muslim hotspots?
It is not your duty to judge the Church and its saints. It is your duty to learn from them.
I agree. But I can’t ignore his statements about dispersing the Jews from Europe. It doesn’t take away from the good things he did, it just shows that he was human. When I mean ‘judge’ I mean that I can’t evaluate his decisions on the same set of rules that apply today. Because he lived nearly 1000 years ago, he lived in a very different place and time that you or I can comprehend.
By living your faith to the fullest. By following St. Bernard and St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas and St. John of the Cross and St. Therese of Lisieux, by submitting completely to the will of God which does mean submitting completely to the will of His Church. Simply put, by paying attention to the signposts that God places in your life, telling you as plain as day what he wants you to do.
But even this is a personal thing. I do not disagree with you here.
Esquire, I appreciate your time, but I do believe that we have some fundamental differences in thought. I have a few things I need to work on (as I said, I have very little faith in people), but I think that you do too (in regards to a separation of church and state).
I think we probably have to agree to disagree on some things. Thank you again for your time. You and others have given me alot to think about, I hope that I may have said something here that can give you something to think about too.
God bless!

Mike April 6, 2007 at 10:40 pm

This is an amazing conversation. I came here looking for an answer to the question “Why can’t Catholics eat meat on Friday?” And there is no answer, other than (to paraphrase the stereotypical parent): “Because I said so.”
This obligation (sin or not) was always presented, to my memory, as a “sacrifice.” Obviously, not eating or not eating very much (fasting) is a sacrifice. Jews fast on Yom Kippur, sundown to sundown. That’s a sacrifice.
But how that notion ever devolved into “no meat on Friday” is still completely unclear. If you like fish, or pizza, or linguine in white clam sauce, skipping meat for a day is no big deal. If you’re already a vegetarian, it’s not a sacrifice at all. It’s just another day.
If we can’t figure out exactly where a rule came from, it’s difficult to judge its validity. If you were to learn that the “no meat on Friday” proscription came out of an unholy alliance between the Pope, Mrs. Paul and the Gorton’s Fisherman, would it still seem like an appropriate limitation?
So–does anyone out there in fact know the answer? Putting aside the historically verifiable tradition of fasting, what is the genesis of the “no meat” part of current Catholic dogma?
P.S.: To date, the best answer I have found is a quote from St. Thomas Aquinas to the effect that eating meat generated more “seminal fluid,” and thus made meat-eaters improperly “lustful.” And I always thought it was oysters (okay to eat on Fridays) that did that.

bill912 April 7, 2007 at 6:50 am

No meat on Fridays of Lent is not dogma. It is discipline. The Church asks us to do something sacrificial, small as that sacrifice may seem, like eating of any of the trees in the garden except the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Since our Mother, the Church, commands it, we obey.

Tim J. April 7, 2007 at 8:25 am

Red meat is a symbol of the flesh of Christ’s body, given for us on a Friday (Good Friday). I thought that was fairly obvious.
Christ made the ultimate sacrifice, giving up his flesh to torture and death for the sins of the world. In honor of His sacrifice, and to remember it, we give up the eating of flesh – meat – on Fridays.
In addition, the Fish represents Christ in a different way. Many of his early followers were fishermen, some of his most signal miracles involved fish, and the fish was a secret sign of being a disciple of Christ in the early persecutions of the Church. The fish is identified with Christ, therefore, but not with his death on the cross.
In Our Lord’s time, fish was a plain and common food, while red meat was more expensive and special, involving, as it did, the slaughter of a stock animal, a precious commodity (kill the fatted calf, and all that).
Most of us eat more red meat than fish. We take red meat for granted most days. Eating fish might involve a little more inconvenience, planning and expense. Or maybe not. But staying away from red meat can be a challenge when it is so pervasive in our diet, and so it does ionvolve a kind of sacrifice, for most people.
But, the thing is, if you are a vegetarian, do some other sacrifice, if you want. If you like fish, well, count your blessings, and eat only what you need, don’t pig out… or eat only vegetables… or bread, or nothing.
There is nothing to keep a vegetarian from performing a meaningful sacrifice on their own, but abstaining from meat is still an appropriate and valid devotion, and is commanded by the Church, whom Christ invested with his own authority.

Patrick April 7, 2007 at 9:08 am

And on the same line, what happened to all those (Catholics) who were sent to hell for eating meat on Fridays?

Tim J. April 7, 2007 at 9:19 am

‘Scuse me?
What’s your question? If anyone was ever went to hell, they are in hell.
Do you have a real question, or are you just blowing smoke?

bill912 April 7, 2007 at 10:20 am

Besides, no one is ever “sent” to hell. Hell is God’s respect for our freedom of choice. Some choose disobedience, a form of hatred(“He who loves Me obeys my commands”). Everyone in hell has chosen to be there, because they can’t stand the sight of God. They hate being there, but they would hate heaven even more.

Dr. Eric April 7, 2007 at 10:46 am

In the earliest days of Christianity, fasting meant just that, no food at all; usually from sun up to 3:00pm or sun down.
The Monks of the desert were doing this, yet the laity obviously couldn’t (for the most part) handle this extreme asceticism. So after a while it was determined that no back boned/red-blooded animals were allowed to be eaten on Wednesdays and Fridays and during certain periods, ie Lent. This was to simulate the effects of the very strict monastic fast.
Remember that in the early days Christianity was pretty much confined to the Mediterranean area. So many of the people ate shellfish instead for protein. Also included in the diet for the laity was a restriction against dairy and eggs as they were animal by products, sometimes wine and olive oil were also forbidden. These restrictions were only laid upon those who had a holy and valid Spiritual Father/Mother who knew them intimately and could prescribe the proper asceticism for the spiritual sickness that the lay person was afflicted with.
As East and West drifted further apart, certain cultural changes had taken place. The Eastern Churches kept to the rules that they still use to this day, but the West changed the Wednesday fast to a Saturday fast. In the north eventually fish was permitted on fast days for protein as was dairy, I’m assuming because shellfish weren’t available or weren’t culturally appetizing.
So now you have the reasons why the abstinence/fasting rules were laid out. As far as why in the West it is a mortal sin, I couldn’t tell you why. It probably has something to do with the centralization of Papal Power that has consolidated over the last 1000 years.

David B. April 7, 2007 at 11:39 am

“If you like fish, or pizza, or linguine in white clam sauce, skipping meat for a day is no big deal. If you’re already a vegetarian, it’s not a sacrifice at all. It’s just another day.”
It shouldn’t be just another day. if that is the case, offer up something else. We abstain from meat because (among other reasons) we rely mainly on meat for sustainance

Littlestorms April 7, 2007 at 12:16 pm

It’s not easy for us. Under pain of sin, yes, we must listen to the Church Who was created by the Shepherd (whom we know and Who knows us, because He went to prepare a place for us, that where He was going, we may also go, for He wants us there with Him), because it is now She who holds the fullness of the Truth. He left a vicar to hold His place until He returns in glory, to teach and guard us in His name, and with a multi-faceted college of brothers with that one Vicar, but the Supreme Pontiff overseeing all, lest each suddenly think themselves authentic appointees as the agent of the Kingdom. A direct line to Him and His original Twelve, aka capital T Tradition.
We have committed, have been Confirmed, sealed! in going to that prepared Place via His Way. His Way is obedience to God’s will. A direct shunning of Lucifer’s way. So, yes, it’s hard going to follow His way, we must pray and offer not only for self, but sacrifice for others, even and especially for those who persecute His followers. Indeed, we must surrender to humility in deference to a real God actively running the joint, and accept that the Church might think better than we do. Whatever we had planned, we must end up caring for our neighbor as our self, must forego a great many very fun but dangerous-to-soul things. A great number of us end up martyrs, simply for refusing to follow any other way.
But The Place is worth it. It is worth fasting and abstaining, it is worth carrying others’ burdens, it is worth inviting unto.
Even if the Church did not prescribe/order it, I would fast and abstain not only on Good Friday, but on every Friday. That day, my (your) eternal Friend/Brother/Other/Atoner — my saver from Hell, the only one there is — took on my (your) dark-gray lot, and gave me (you) His magnificent bow in not just the sky, but in my (your) eternal heart. I will take what He gives me, rather than what I can get from the world.
The Church is the last bastion of decency for all mankind, and if one needed proof of how much satan hates it (because it is so much God’s own plan), one need only check out art exhibits planned for Lent — or the “blockbuster” movie. Dear God, it’s all so predictable. So obscene.
We may argue all we like with the Church’s rules and regulations. But the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her. It is not an easy place to be, if one is looking to satisfy every human craving with what Lucifer would call good. She has a Mission.. carved in rock.
So what she, stronger in Him than both death and hell, already sealed in His Victory, says, goes. Her adoption of me is far more than I deserve, and I will honor the House rules until she ships me Home.

Carl April 7, 2007 at 12:47 pm

Besides, no one is ever “sent” to hell. Hell is God’s respect for our freedom of choice.
Was it the free choice of the people to forbid eating meat?

David B. April 7, 2007 at 12:49 pm

” It shouldn’t be just another day. if that is the case, offer up something else. We abstain from meat because (among other reasons) we rely mainly on meat for sustainance ”
I was not suggesting that anyone should not give up meat on friday.

Tom April 7, 2007 at 12:58 pm

We abstain from meat because (among other reasons) we rely mainly on meat for sustainance
Junk food has replaced meat. You must keep up.

Martha April 7, 2007 at 1:03 pm

Meat was a good thing. With no meat on Fridays, a good thing has been replaced with junk food in many people’s diet. It’s not fasting. It’s substitution.

Dr. Eric April 7, 2007 at 1:32 pm

Was it the free choice of the people to forbid eating meat?
It may very well have been. People were much more pious after Ephesus.

David B. April 7, 2007 at 3:35 pm

“With no meat on Fridays, a good thing has been replaced with junk food in many people’s diet. ”
But abstaining from meat doesn’t force anyone to eat junk food.
“It’s not fasting. It’s substitution.”
It isn’t fasting. It’s abstaining.

Martha April 7, 2007 at 3:47 pm

Like I said, it’s not fasting.
It’s substitution. They’re still eating, just not meat. Instead of meat, some might eat fish, some eat junk food.

David B. April 7, 2007 at 3:51 pm

It is abstaining.

Martha April 7, 2007 at 4:02 pm

Sure you abstain. As you substitute meat with something else.

Dr. Eric April 7, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Martha,
Go and read the Apostolic Constitutions.
Also read the Desert Fathers.

Martha April 7, 2007 at 5:36 pm

I don’t need to read any of that. When I serve dinners on Friday, everyone eats what’s served. No one abstains from anything. Unless they don’t like my meat substitutes.

Dr. Eric April 7, 2007 at 5:59 pm

I disagree that you don’t have to read the above texts.
If you serve meat substitutes, good for you!

Martha April 7, 2007 at 6:11 pm

You’re welcome to disagree all you want.

Rick Randall May 29, 2007 at 11:42 am

For DLK:
Way back when (Feb 25, 2007 7:09:43 PM), you posted:
“As a Catholic, I find it disturbing that not observing Friday abstinence is considered a mortal sin because it shows disobedience to Church authority. The Pope is only infallible in matters of dogma, and lenten fasting is not a dogmatic teaching. It is a tradition which has evolved over hundreds of years.”
You have just confused the difference between MORTAL SIN and HERESY. (ALternatively, you belive the only mortal sin IS heresy. . . )
Opposing DOGMA (i.e., those beliefs that separate “Catholics” from “Everyone else”) is HERESY. Heresy is a mortal sin — but far from the ONLY mortal sin. Heresy is also an automatic schism. (“If you don’t believe what the rest of us believe is CORE to our faith, you ain’t one of us.”
Refusing to believe in Lenten fasting, abstinence, and the permutations thereof ARE NOT “heresy” — this is NOT a rejection of “dogma”.
Obstinate temporal rebellion against the DISCIPLINE of the Church is ALSO a mortal sin. Taken far enough, it is SCHISM. (It is possible to be schismatic and NOT heretical. Witness the Orthodox/Catholic divide.) Choosing to be schismatic is ALSO a mortal sin — just a different one.
Blowing off your Lenten fasting, abstinence, etc., AS REQUIRED BY CANON AUTHORITY, is a temporal rebellion againt Church authority. It is a (albeit MARGINALLY) schismatic act, in that you don’t want to play by the same rules (i.e., obey the Church) the rest of us do. (And the nature of the act, in an of itself, may be a mortal sin — but is still a far cry from a full break with teh Church that most people identify as a schism. “Schimatic act” does not automatically equal “schism” — but you’re on the first step of the path to schism.)

MJG December 12, 2007 at 5:35 pm

Judging from history and the teachings found in the catechism I feel it’s safe to say that the gates of hell have not overcome the catholic church. The organization has walked right through on their own. The general interpretation is quite comical seeing as how I’ve never seen a gate try to attack someone as they’re walking their dog. (Yes, I see the intended meaning). That however is not my point.
1 Timothy 4:3 seems very interesting in light of the doctrines presented.

Tim J. December 12, 2007 at 5:52 pm

“Judging from history and the teachings found in the catechism I feel it’s safe to say that the gates of hell have not overcome the catholic church. The organization has walked right through on their own.”
Care to argue an actual example, MJG? Are you a serious anti-Catholic bigot or are you just a drive-by anti-Catholic bigot? Stand and deliver, man!

David B. December 12, 2007 at 6:22 pm

The general interpretation is quite comical seeing as how I’ve never seen a gate try to attack someone as they’re walking their dog. (Yes, I see the intended meaning).
First you say that we Catholics misinterpret the scriptures, then you say that you see the intended meaning. Freudian slip?
Jesus said the Gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church (not his fellowship, or community). You’re calling Him a liar.

David B. December 12, 2007 at 6:24 pm

MJG: Me Jerky (anti-Catholic) Guy.
I couldn’t resist.

Mary Kay December 12, 2007 at 7:55 pm

Care to argue an actual example, MJG?
Tim, of course he can’t. He’s a drive-by and besides, airy generalities are much more fun because he can’t be pinned down.

bill912 December 13, 2007 at 4:20 am

Airy generalities don’t require thinking, either, which is awfully strenuous.

MJG December 16, 2007 at 6:27 pm

Hello again. I would like to apologize for my previous post. I sometimes get angry when reading about the Catholic doctrine. It was quite an ungodly way to begin and I’m sorry.
I do however reassert the only sentence worth keeping, the last one. How can the Vatican advocate abstaining from meat as MANDATORY in light of 1 Timothy 4:3? We know from Peters trip to Cornelius that meat is not “unclean” or “common.” And if it’s mandatory it would seem to lose any significance.

The Others December 16, 2007 at 6:55 pm

MJG,
The chapter and verse escape me, but I’m sure you remember when Jesus’ followers were rebuked for not fasting, when John’s followers did. Jesus said that, while the ‘Bride Groom’ is here, there is no fasting. He then went on to say that the time for fasting would come after the Groom had gone. This is just one biblical example which supports abstinance from certain foods.
Several of the reasons Catholics fast from meat on friday are: in order to remind themselves of the shortness of life and of the importance of the spiritual life over the material, as a reminder of their dependence upon God, and as a means of removing attachment to worldly pleasures.

bill912 December 16, 2007 at 7:21 pm

“I sometimes get angry when reading about Catholic doctrine.”
What doctrine(s) are you angry about?

MJG December 17, 2007 at 5:02 am

The Others,
1 Timothy 4:1-3
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be recieved with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.”
“and commanding” is in italics, so was added for “clarification,” but it doesn’t change the message.
Abstaining from certain things, even meat, as a voluntary reaction to the grace of God is good. Fasting, praying, and spiritual growth in general is commanded by God. It’s the requirement of an institution that a certain tradition be followed or else you go to hell that is the problem and unbiblical.
Bill912
There are many doctrines come out of the Vatican that I take issue with. I guess I’ll start with article 95, on page 29, of the Catechism of the Catholoic Church. “It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Magesterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others.” This was a quote from a previous version, I suppose, and the footnote was: DV 10 § 3.
The Word of God, it seems to imply, is unable to accomplish it’s work, is powerless, and dependent on the leaders of the Catholic Church and, specifically, the Pope???

Mary Kay December 17, 2007 at 8:41 am

MJG, glad you returned.
Fasting, praying, and spiritual growth in general is commanded by God. It’s the requirement of an institution that a certain tradition be followed or else you go to hell that is the problem and unbiblical.
Yes, abstaining from meat is a tradtion, little “t” that the Church requires. As stated several times above (this thread is incredibly long), the crucial thing is obedience to the authority of the Church, which is the church Jesus founded (Mt 16:18).
You said just now that “spiritual growth in general is commanded by God.” If someone has difficulty with the small matter of Lenten Friday abstinence, how can God trust him with larger matters? See Luke 16:1o (and 11): “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”
Your response to Bill requires a longer response which I’ll start but others may finish. (Council of Elrond, anyone?)
Two responses occur to me. To take your interpretation that the Word of God is unable to accomplish its work and is dependent on others, then if so, it’s because God planned it that way. God does depend on us to fulfill His plan. He depended on Mary saying Yes, just as He depends on us to do our part. See Colossians 1:24: “in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.”
The second response is that even the Trinity – Father, Son, Spirit – are a community, interdependent. You don’t have one without the other two. In a similar way, Scripture, Tradition and the Magesterium are interwoven.

David B. December 17, 2007 at 1:42 pm

Saint Paul, et al, commanded those to whom they wrote to obey their commandments. That was not a violation of God’s authority, because they taught at the command of God. The same applies to those who are the successors of the Apostles.

MJG December 30, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Mary Kay,
The church that the Lord founded was the body of believers, the body of Christ.
Ephesians 1:22,23 “And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, Which is His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.”
(“things” and “to be” added).
While I do not personally speak Greek I’ve asked, and looked, around and the Greek syntax disallows the application of “Pope” on Peter. The words petra and petros don’t refer to the same thing. The church was to be built upon Peters statement that Jesus was the Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:11 “For other foundation can no man lay that that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Peter was a pebble that made the statement. The statement was a huge friggin rock/cliff.
The expression that “being faithful in little” is going to be different from person to person. Let’s say a persons a vegitarian. Abstaining from meat would mean nothing to them. Do they still get to say that they were faithful in the matter? Ultimately it’s not my, or anyone elses, position to determine how a person should perform penance/abstinence. That’s a matter of the heart and it’s between that person and God.
I was unable to find anything on the “Council of Elrond.” Could you suggest something?
Second, it’s incorrect to say that there was anything lacking in Christ’s redemptive work. This is why He specifically said, “it is finished.” John 19:30. Also Hebrews 1:3, 9:26, etc.. What the apostle seems to be stating is that he is receiving the same persecutions that Jesus had. As Paul had not yet been martyred he’d not filled up his own afflictions to par with Christ.
I fail to see how God depends on anyone. He used His foreknowledge and power to select Mary for her purpose. If Mary had said no would that have meant that all of mankind would still be under the law? God could have used someone else but Mary found favor with God. The Bible doesn’t say exactly why she found favor with Him but she undoubtedly had a heart for God.
How can something that spirit breathed be interwoven with the traditions and direction of falable men? I would suggest the 2nd Chapter of Colossians. Especially versus 20-22. And we must not forget, “As it is written there is none righteous, no, not one.” Romans 3:10.
Also verse 20 seems quite pertinent. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (“is” added).
David B.,
We are supposed to listen to and obey those individuals who are more mature in Christ than ourselves. We have authorities for a reason. However, when those individuals direct us contrary to the Lord and His Word, even if they hold some religious title, we are not obligated to listen to them nor should we. “To err is human…” (I know, I know, that’s not in the Bible.) Also, as you probably guessed, I don’t ascribe to the apostolic succession in the sense used today. Claiming that anyman receives a gift of infallability when he gets a new title is tough to swallow and unbiblical. I could refer to Romans 3:10 again.

Mary Kay December 31, 2007 at 12:51 pm

MJG, hope you had a blessed Christmas.
I was unable to find anything on the “Council of Elrond.” Could you suggest something?
Er, um, actually it was an off-topic reference to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, a personal favorite long before Peter Jackson thought of it as an action movie. At the Council of Elrond in the first third of the story, Elrond says that he will start the tale though others will finish it. I meant that I would start to answer your question, but since apologetics isn’t my strong point – there are others here far better – that they might jump into the discussion.
They might not with the holidays, so I looked up the entry at Catholic.com, specifically
http://www.catholic.com/library/Peter_the_Rock.asp
Karl Keating gives a nice explanation, even if it is mixed in with “Then he said, then I said, then…”
Bottom line, he says that the difference you mention was found only in Attic Greek but the New Testament was written in Koine Greek. Furthermore, he says that Jesus and company spoke in Aramaic and gives examples. It’s definitely worth the read.
on to part 2

Mary Kay December 31, 2007 at 1:30 pm

The expression that “being faithful in little” is going to be different from person to person. … Do they still get to say that they were faithful in the matter? (if vegetarian)
Yes, it does differ from person to person, but abstaining from meat on Lenten Fridays (and Ash Wednesday) is a minimum. If is already abstaining from meat, then they’d do something in addition. They’re still observing the minimum that the Church requires.
Ultimately it’s not my, or anyone elses, position to determine how a person should perform penance/abstinence. That’s a matter of the heart and it’s between that person and God.
That’s a basic difference between your understanding, that things are between the person and God, and the Catholic Church, which has the sacraments, grace through a priest or as in marriage.
Still on the law/regulation aspect, your questions sound like “how close to the line can I get before being called out of bounds?” OTOH, I think of Church law/regulations as a support in very much the same way steel girders support a building.
I’ll have to come back at a later time for the rest of your post.

Mary January 1, 2008 at 10:59 am

While I do not personally speak Greek I’ve asked, and looked, around and the Greek syntax disallows the application of “Pope” on Peter. The words petra and petros don’t refer to the same thing. The church was to be built upon Peters statement that Jesus was the Christ.
Except that Jesus did not speak Greek.
He spoke Aramiac.
That is why Peter is sometimes called “Cephas” — the Aramiac for rock.
True, this was translated into Greek as “Petros” not “Petra” — but that’s because “Petra” is a girl’s name.
The rock is Peter.

Mary January 1, 2008 at 11:03 am

How can something that spirit breathed be interwoven with the traditions and direction of falable men?
So how can we possibly trust the canon of the Bible? We don’t have an inspired table of contents. You accept the traditions and directions of men you call falliable when you accept the Bible.

MJG January 1, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Mary, and may the Lord our God bless you this coming year.
True, petra is feminine usage. But it also denotes something entirely different from petros. If one takes the stance that what was recorded is not exactly what was said/intended, then we do in fact lead into your second post. How do we know that the Bible is actually accurate? Seeing as how omissions, additions, and/or changes to very slight degrees can change the meaning of an entire verse how do we know we got the real mccoy?
Well the people/apostles that the Lord chose to start His church, little “c”, revealed to us what they were lead to by the Holy Spirit. The exact books that are present were picked because of their authors, subject matter, and consistent portrayal of God. When it comes down to it faith does admittedly come in. Can we say that God would deny His Holy Spirit in the leading of it’s construction? You may think that we can just transpose that exact rational onto the Catholic Church seeing as how many people are under it. But it’s the diversions that are the problem and disqualify it. Back where we started.

bill912 January 7, 2008 at 3:07 am

“True, petra is feminine usage. But it also denotes something entirely different from petros.”
As Mary Kay pointed out, that difference is found only in the Attic Greek dialect of about 500 BC. In the Koine Greek dialect of the first century AD, petros and petra mean the same thing.
“The exact books that are present were picked because of their authors, subject matter, and consistent portrayal of God.”
The question is: Who did the picking and on what authority?

MJG January 8, 2008 at 6:49 pm

bill912 and Mary,
I would enjoy some back up for the ascertion that petros and petra mean the same thing even in the Koine Greek dialect. As of yet I’ve not found evidence to support your claim. Various lexicons, based on the Greek in the New Testament, consistently and clearly show a difference.
Bill912,
For all who are truly saved our Lord has promised us His Holy Spirit to guide us. For something as important as putting together the inspired works I don’t hesistate to think that He would not be present. This picking was done with the “books” already generally accepted by the church, i.e. the body of Christ.(Evidence for Christianity – McDowell. Page 44).

MJG January 8, 2008 at 6:52 pm

typo correction – “I don’t hesitate to think that He would …. be present.” Obviously meant He would be there. Oops.

Maxine January 8, 2008 at 6:54 pm

“Petra” is a girl’s name.
So is Faith. And upon this girl’s name, I will build my church.

MJG January 8, 2008 at 6:58 pm

1 Peter 2:8
1 Corinthians 10:4
Romans 9:33

bill912 January 8, 2008 at 7:08 pm

So who did the picking?

bill912 January 8, 2008 at 7:13 pm

“I would enjoy some backup for the assertion that petros and petra mean the same thing…”
Mary Kay provided it above, on 12/31/07, at 12:51 PM.

Maxine January 8, 2008 at 7:25 pm

So who did the picking?
1 Peter 2:8 says it was Destiny, another female name.

Elijah January 8, 2008 at 8:47 pm

In case it’s not clear, I think that the reason that it was pointed out that ‘petra’ is a feminine word was to show that it would be inappropriate to call Peter, a man, by a feminine name. So, the fact that faith or destiny can be used as names for women seems irrelevant unless I’m mistaken.

Maxine January 8, 2008 at 11:22 pm

The relevancy was to the oft heard claim that Jesus built his church not on Peter but on Faith.

A Lutheran January 14, 2008 at 3:33 pm

1 Corinthians 8:
Food Sacrificed to Idols:
“So then, about food sacrificed to idols, We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and there is no God but one…But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way…you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.”
Come on guys! Look to your consciences! That’s what God gave them for! If you are queasy about eating meat on fridays during Lent, Then DON’T! But if you know that God does not send us to Hell because of what we eat, but if we love each other as Christ would, then go ahead! But don’t lead your brother astray! Don’t scoff at his scruples just because you think they are silly! “Knowledge puffs up, but Love builds up”

Vesa January 14, 2008 at 3:47 pm

But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
It’s no wonder that people of the Old Testament and the New practiced such things as fasting –
And to think even Our Lord & Saviour did as well!

Esquire January 14, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Look to your consciences…

By all means, look to your consciences, and you will not sin in following your conscience. But, at the same time, you do have an obligation to properly inform your conscience, and you may sin in failing to do that.
In other words if you are a Catholic and your conscience tells you to disregard the Church and eat meat on Fridays during Lent, then you will not sin by eating meat on Fridays. But if you are at all culpable for having formed a conscience that tells you to disregard the Church (and note, the real sin is disregarding the Church, not eating meat), then you will have sinned in that regard.
And for what it is worth, obedience is not a scruple.

deusdonat January 14, 2008 at 4:09 pm

To eccho Karen’s post, I think Catholic Answers definitely needs new blood…and orthdox Catholicism.
To reiterate what Karen says, BASED ENTIRELY ON CANON LAW: Canon 1251
Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Why do people here calling themselves Catholic overlook this? Why hasn’t Catholic Answers made more of a big deal about this? Is it because of Karl’s particular…er….tendencies?
When asked what the church feels about vegetarianism, Karl laughingly dismissed it as new-age nonesense. He simply did not have either the knowledge or the understanding to realize vegetarianism has been part of Christianity since the time of the earliest monastic communities. And fasting practices went beyond simply abstaining from meat, but from ALL dairy and egg as well.

David B. January 14, 2008 at 4:11 pm

But don’t lead your brother astray!
Actually, Paul said the same thing, but he was telling Jewish Christians to avoid eating ‘unclean’ meats, in order to avoid scandalizing their fellows. I think you’re turning the line on its head.

MJG January 21, 2008 at 4:55 am

bill192,
The books recognized as inspired Scripture were just that…recognized. In general they were already in use by the church community and were recognized as such. The procolomation of church councils, particularly the council of Hippo, was just a formal acknowledgement. Because they “chose” them didn’t make them inspired. They were recognized because they were inspired.
And the link that was posted above supposedly giving evidence that petra and petros mean the same thing is extremely weak at its very best. Look up a concordance and the dialects they use then take a gander at the various words.
To the other subject,
Abstaining from meats, or whatever a person feels led to give up, or if not particularly led then willing to give up something they find particularly enjoyable, is great. Giving things up to show your dependance on the Lord and acknowledging that He is the center of your life and not some object/food can never be spoken against, atleast not rationally. However, it is the commands of any group saying you have to follow their exact law to the t or you’ll go to Hell that is in error. The Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the law. “Those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.”

Tim J. January 21, 2008 at 8:13 am

“it is the commands of any group saying you have to follow their exact law to the t or you’ll go to Hell that is in error”
Any group?
What about “He who hears you hears me, and he who hears me hears Him that sent me”?.
Or,
“What you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. What you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”?
Or,
“…stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”
Not to mention 1 Thessalonians 4
“Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus… Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.”
The Apostles taught with the authority of Jesus Christ, because He passed this authority on to them (an authority that NO man can merit or claim on his own). They, in turn passed this authority on to those they prepared to receive it;
“Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.”
Paul also said, “…I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
The laying on of hands was the way in which apostolic succession was accomplished. Timothy had authority – Christ’s authority – over those he taught because Paul and others passed this authority on to him through the laying on of hands – what we Catholics now call Ordination, or Holy Orders.
Jesus didn’t write a book, He founded a Church… a living, visible, universal Church. I obey their instruction for the same reason that I would obey the instruction of Timothy… because I love Jesus Christ and this is what Christ commanded.
Do you maintain that Timothy – because he was not one of the Apostles – did not have this authority?

Vesa January 21, 2008 at 9:11 am

bill192,
The books recognized as inspired Scripture were just that…recognized. In general they were already in use by the church community and were recognized as such.

MJG,
You seem to be unaware of the fact that there was no such uniform recognition of the books of Scripture, particularly those of the New Testament that we acknowledge today.
For example, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1,2,3 John, Jude and Revelation were not considered canonical (i.e., “recognized”).
It wasn’t until the 4th century in the meeting of the councils that disputes were resolved and the matter decided which books exactly were to be “recognized” as inspired Scripture.

deusdonat January 21, 2008 at 11:56 am

MJG hello. Mary’s comments above regarding Petra and Petros are right on the money. When the NT was written in Koine Greek, “Petros” was a masculine play-on-words, referring to the word “Petra”, which means rock and is feminine (same in latin-based romance languages: pietra in Italian is “rock” while “Pietro” is a man’s name = Peter). But Greek and Latin speakers knew exactly what was being referred to here.

Kell February 20, 2009 at 8:58 am

“It also indicates that you really have no knowledge of the true extent of the Pharisaical laws of Jesus’ time. They were simply unbelievably numerous, intrusive and difficult. Church law is VERY small potatoes by comparison.”
Exactly. (I usually keep some sort of additional devotion on all Fridays, and through Lent specifically so I can be making some sort of observance that I actually *notice*.)
Orthodox Jewish Law: 613 mitzvot that require extraordinary study and devotion to observe, and which impact all areas of life. (And, just try finding a Kosher butcher in Northern California… Most of the Orthodox Jews in town own freezers because they have to buy meat from out-of-town.)
Catholic “Fasting”: “Thou shalt eat ‘only’ one full meal a day and two smaller meals (unless you live in war-torn and/or drought-impacted areas of the undeveloped world, in which case, you’ll be lucky to be eating *anything*, kids), to be taken whilst sitting in the comfy chair wearing your fuzzy slippers and watching your favorite TV show. On the day following the “fast”, the Archdiocese will distribute free mallomars. Oh, the suffering…

Marian April 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm

I failed GOD…

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