Features

This year, Catholic conservatives are ready for Pope Francis

His Synod on the Family may not be the big reforming step he expects

10 October 2015

9:00 AM

10 October 2015

9:00 AM

Pope Francis’s three-week Synod on the Family began on Sunday. Most of the 279 ‘Synod Fathers’ are senior bishops, many of them cardinals. They have no authority to change any aspect of Catholic teaching or pastoral practice. They are discussing the ‘hot button’ issues of communion for the divorced and remarried and the spiritual care of gay Catholics — but, once the meeting is over, power will rest entirely in the hands of the Pope.

Conservative Catholics aren’t happy. Last year, at a preparatory ‘extraordinary’ synod, officials hand-picked by Francis announced in the middle of the proceedings that the Fathers favoured a more relaxed approach to gay relationships and second marriages. Senior cardinals exploded with rage, because most Fathers favoured no such thing. The liberal synod organisers — Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the synod, and Archbishop Bruno Forte, its ‘special secretary’ — were forced to drop their claims. The whole thing was a car crash and obviously their fault.

Yet Francis stuck by them. As a result, once again the synod working papers are stuffed with sociological waffle. Worse, Baldisseri and Forte are sitting on the commission that will draft the final report that goes to the Pope. This time round, however, the conservatives are alert to the dangers. On Monday morning they struck first.

Cardinal Péter Erdö is Primate of Hungary and a much-admired canon lawyer who received his red hat at the age of 51. He’s still only 63. As ‘general relator’ of the 2014 and 2015 synods, it has been his job to deliver an opening address setting out their goals. Though emollient in manner, he is unquestionably a conservative — but, last year, his speech was full of liberal platitudes. What went wrong? The journalist Edward Pentin claims in his book The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? that Erdö had his arm twisted by Baldisseri, who forced him to rewrite his 2014 address to make it more Francis-friendly. ‘Baldisseri wanted a lot of mercy, less truth,’ says Pentin’s source.

This week, by contrast, Erdö gave the opening address that conservatives were longing to hear. To quote the Vaticanologist John Allen, ‘He seemed determined to close a series of doors that many people believed the last synod had left open — beginning with the controversial proposal of German Cardinal Walter Kasper to allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to return to communion.’ That ban, said, Erdö, was ‘intrinsic’ to the nature of marriage.

Kasper, an old foe of Benedict XVI whose career has been resurrected by Francis, did not join in the applause at the end of the speech. But it was interesting to see how many supposedly liberal cardinals clapped vigorously.


That was because it was a masterful speech. Erdö wove scripture, moral philosophy, canon law, the teachings of St John Paul II and anthropological theory — including a startling reference to internet pornography — into a subtle and humane defence of traditional doctrine. He also quoted from the writings of Pope Francis, perhaps suppressing a wince at the clunky prose.

These are early days, but it looks as if the Pope has backed himself into a corner. Having put the Kasper plan on the table, he has found so little support for any version of it that he has allowed the general relator to trash it, albeit elegantly, in front of all the Synod Fathers.

One highly placed source thinks Francis was expecting a different sort of synod. ‘He reckoned this was going to be another Vatican II, and it isn’t,’ he says.

If so, the Pope has only himself to blame. He has made sure that developing countries are heavily represented among the Synod Fathers. That’s fair enough. But Catholic bishops from Africa and Asia, while applauding Francis’s tirades against ‘economic imperialism’, take a dim view of divorce and an even dimmer one of gays. Like Erdö, they want last year’s doors slammed shut.

It’s possible, too, that Pope Francis has overestimated the liberalism of practising Catholics in the West. Last year the bishops of England and Wales sent out a questionnaire to ‘facilitate’ reflections on the 2014 synod. The ‘summary of responses’ bears the fingerprints of lefty pressure groups — moaning about lack of funding for ‘justice and peace’ stunts and nostalgia for trendy liturgies. This may be the sort of thing Baldisseri and Forte want to read; but as a snapshot of parish life it is useless — and adds to the synod’s air of inauthenticity.

There’s also a lot of confusion. Many Synod Fathers are steering clear of factions because they want to stay loyal to the Pope. Yet they can’t work out what he really thinks. They like him but don’t know if they trust his judgment.

One decision really bothers them. Why did Francis ask Cardinal Godfried Danneels, a retired Belgian archbishop, to join the assembly? Danneels maintains that the church ‘has never opposed the fact that there should exist a sort of “marriage” between homosexuals’. No other cardinal holds this batty view.

But that’s not the problem. In 2010, a man confided in Danneels that he had been abused by a bishop, Roger Vangheluwe. The cardinal, who didn’t know he was being tape-recorded, told him to shut up until after the bishop retired.

The victim was Bishop Vangheluwe’s nephew. And now the cardinal who tried to cover up the abuse has been invited by the Pope to a synod on the family. Also, very unhelpfully, he has just written a book claiming credit for getting Bergoglio elected. ‘The Danneels thing is the most troubling aspect of the synod,’ says a respected Catholic writer. ‘If the scandal breaks properly, it could blow the whole thing apart.’

Fortunately for Pope Francis, the media aren’t interested in breaking his pontificate, which they realise is more fragile than it seems. Nor are most conservatives, who are mindful of his popularity in their home dioceses — and, despite everything, can’t help warming to the old boy. But they look at his date of birth and think: whether he retires or dies, we’re probably in the latter half of his reign.

The synod is their opportunity to identify a cardinal around whom they can unite, something they failed to do in the papal conclave of 2013 — preferably a younger man who can preserve the deposit of faith without coming across as a bigot, and certainly someone who, when he’s excited, doesn’t say the first thing that comes into his head. As of last Monday, all eyes are on Péter Erdö.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • Woman In White

    They are discussing the ‘hot button’ issues of communion for the divorced and remarried and the spiritual care of gay Catholics

    I’ve no idea why these journalists keep on pushing this line, in face of the abundance of the evidence that the focus of the Synod Fathers is somewhere else entirely, to wit : on the family.

    Pastoral care for the divorced and remarried is nothing more than a secondary question, whereas it’s quite uncertain that homosexuality is even on the agenda, no matter how many gays keep on trying to claim it as a central issue.

    • EditorCT

      The abundance of evidence is that, led by Pope Francis, there is a group of cardinals who ARE pushing the idea that the synod is there to liberalize marriage. By the back door of “pastoral care”.

      Contrary to what you say, pastoral care for those manifest public sinners such as the divorced and “remarried” is NOT a secondary matter. Doctrine and pastoral care are inextricably linked. And there are leading cardinals who are battling to have same-sex unions recognised by the Church. Don’t let’s ignore these elephants in the room just because they have been reported by some journalists. Inside information, such as that contained in Edward Pentin’s book on the Rigging of a Synod, make it very clear that the enemies within the Church are doing a much better job of attacking the Church than any journalist – including Damian Thompson.

      One cardinal revealed not too long ago that in a letter to him from Sister Lucia (Fatima seer) she said that the Devil’s final attack on the Church would be through marriage and the family. She died in 2005, so can’t be accused of trying to muddy the Synod waters. And even further back, in the 17th century, Our Lady revealed to the nun Mother Marianna, (Quito, Ecuador) that the Church and world would undergo a major crisis in the 20th century when marriage and morals would be under severe attack.

      We think nothing of naming and shaming bad popes from the past. Why Catholics just refuse to face the truth about this horrendous pope (and his not much better immediate predecessors in the 20th century) is a mystery to me. Pope Francis has made it clear that he has no problem with homosexual activity, even telephoning a homosexual couple to arrange to meet with them during his USA visit because he wanted “a hug”. Crackers. He is easily the worst ever pontiff in the history of the Church and the damage he is doing, not least by calling this entirely unnecessary synod, is incalculable – at least in this world. Pray for him, but don’t defend him. He’s a bad pope. With bells on.

      • Woman In White

        Contrary to what you say, pastoral care for those manifest public sinners such as the divorced and “remarried” is NOT a secondary matter

        A willful misreading ?

        I obviously meant “in this Synod” — whose primary matter is the pastoral care for the married.

        Furthermore a secondary matter in this Synod is *still* a matter for this Synod — I never said that it was off the agenda.

        All that I said was that those who treat it as the central work of the Bishops are wrong.

        OTOH it seems obvious from various interventions prior even to the start of the Synod that admission to Communion of divorced-remarried who are living in a perpetual state of mortal sin simply isn’t going to happen. Contrary to your claims that those Bishops who desire this sort of heresy are “led” by the Pope is supported by no real evidence, but only by some mutually supporting claims of those who dislike the Pope, and have a negative bias against him.

        Pope Francis : As regards these people – as you have said – the Church loves them, but it is important they should see and feel this love. I see here a great task for a parish, a Catholic community, to do whatever is possible to help them to feel loved and accepted, to feel that they are not “excluded” even though they cannot receive absolution or the Eucharist

        • WalterSEllis

          Oh dear, oh Lord! If there was a God, He would find you painful to listen to. Lighten up, Patricia. Can you imagine Christ saying any of of this?

          • Andrea

            I can. As evidenced by Matthew 19 were Jesus, in response to a question about marriage, defines it between a man and a woman and this is directly followed by statements about children. Funnily enough he didn’t say that our response by such question was lighten up.

            Matthew 19New International Version (NIV)

            Divorce
            19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

            3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

            4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

            7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

            8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

            10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

            11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

            The Little Children and Jesus
            13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.

            14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.

            The Rich and the Kingdom of God
            16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

            17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

            18 “Which ones?” he inquired.

            Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”

          • WalterSEllis

            Fair do’s. I have made a rod for my own back. I note, though, that he allowed a loophole for adultery – surely the most common cause of divorce – and, as part of the followup, that he didn’t expect “eunuchs” to marry, including (if I get his drift) priests. I can’t speak for the eunuchs, but a strict prohibition on divorce based on the above text seems to me to be the height of madness. We all make mistakes and most of us are hypocrites.

          • Andrea

            That’s why the church has an annulment process – those repeatedly committing adultery can be said by their spouse not to have entered into a marriage. As for the hypocrites yes, this is true. However the church isn’t reflecting a moral judgement but an objective reality.

          • Hamburger

            True enough, it is however, for normal people a tortuous process and could, should be simplified.

          • jeremy Morfey

            And rightly so, have been through the mill myself.

            Contrary to modern normality, one of the reasons I became a Catholic was to resolve this very issue in my own life, and my support, arrived at through an agnostic upbringing and a religiously sceptical youth, for the Catholic position on the sanctity and permanence of marriage.

            Compared to the civil divorce procedure, I found the Catholic annulment very much more thorough, more thoughtful, more positive and left me with hope, rather than despair for the future. Secular efforts to keep me alone in life have been relentless and ongoing over several decades, particularly from the feminist lobby which believes marriage is demeaning to women, and all attempted forms of male courtship is a type of “male violence” abuse, with no indication that women are prepared to take the initiative to court men.

            The model offered by the Catholic Church, and the rigour the Church is prepared to defend this model is very attractive to me, and those who will not enter into the cold and sterile alternative.

          • Woman In White

            those repeatedly committing adultery can be said by their spouse not to have entered into a marriage

            Nope, and that’s a doctrine that has been formally condemned as being heretical just FYI

          • Andrea

            @WomanInWhite it might be best if you explain further or add a link when making a statement like this as I have doubts you’re right (but I’m willing to be corrected).
            As far as I’m aware adultery in and of itself is not sufficient to allow divorce but results from a mistranslation of the bible – adultery is mistranslated for the narrower definition of fornication i.e. someone who was bigamously married as their second marriage would be null.
            However if someone was having affairs continually or if they were having an affair before and preceding the marriage with another person it could be said that this person had not not consented as they had not accepted that the vow of fidelity within marriage. Let me be clear I’m not saying adultery in and of itself is grounds, but where it can be demonstrated that one person has not gone into the marriage commiting to fidelity.

          • Woman In White

            To answer your question, Trent, 24th session :

            Can. 7. If anyone says that the Church errs in that she taught and teaches that in accordance with evangelical and apostolic doctrine the bond of matrimony cannot be dissolved by reason of adultery on the part of one of the parties, and that both, or even the innocent party who gave no occasion for adultery, cannot contract another marriage during the lifetime of the other, and that he is guilty of adultery who, having put away the adulteress, shall marry another, and she also who, having put away the adulterer, shall marry another, let him be anathema.

            But thank you for your clarification — if a person should enter into a bond of matrimony but wishing to engage in extra-marital sexual congress during that marriage, then yes that’s grounds for annulment.

          • Andrea

            Thank you for the citation. It’s logical as the alternative would be for someone to end a unwanted marriage would be to have a divorce, hence the methods of those wanting to exit civil marriage in the earlier part of the twentieth century.

          • jeremy Morfey

            Not necessarily. When I went to Australia for a month to visit my brother there, I made a flippant joke to my wife “I expect you’ve had lots of lovers since I’ve been away”. She replied “No, only one”. Three weeks after I got back, after a night in a Travelodge, she was carrying his child.

            When I had the marriage annulled sixteen years later, the question whether both parties fully appreciated the undertaking of marriage at the time of the wedding. My then-wife’s answer was that she was, at 20, too young to make such an undertaking, and I was, at 28, insufficiently set up in a career to support a marriage. The adultery was a symptom of a wedding that should never have taken place; it was not in itself the justification for terminating the marriage. I was conditionally pronounced free to marry by the Church.

            The civil authorities terminated the marriage two years after the adultery on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown as a consequence of my unreasonable behaviour – that I was socially isolated and depressed – and that this was something she found impossible to live with. My legal advice was that it was futile for a man to fight a divorce petition, that I was on a hiding to nothing, and had to man up, live with it, and move on. The politicians argued that it was a woman’s right to have a divorce, and that I should move with the times. I have since been permanently estranged from my two children (I had upset their mother by taking her to court), and have not married since. I have precious little confidence left in women from my culture, and the immigration rules pushed by Labour and toughened up by the Coalition prevent me from marrying someone abroad unless I myself go into exile or become a Muslim.

            Which do you consider to be the more just in its judgements – the Catholic Tribunal or the Civil Family Court?

            I do think it quite right and overdue that the whole question of the stability of marriage and the family was revisited by the Church in the light of some pretty revolutionary changes during my lifetime.

          • hobspawn

            Jeremy, it is painful to read your story, and in my prayers tonight I will wish you courage, hope, and faith.

          • Woman In White

            Not necessarily

            Your story is painful, and I pray for you — but I stand exactly by what I said.

            The doctrine is unchangeable.

            But individual persons and situations are not made of doctrine, and examinations of individual cases focus on the individuals, not on generalities.

            It is very lucid of you to understand that “the adultery was a symptom of a wedding that should never have taken place”, and that “it was not in itself the justification for terminating the marriage”.

            Your ex-wife very clearly *still* has no understanding of the sacramental nature of Holy Matrimony, which alone is IMO sufficient to demonstrate the invalidity of her marriage vows — she clearly did not intend what the Church intends in Matrimony.

            Which do you consider to be the more just in its judgements – the Catholic Tribunal or the Civil Family Court?

            The Church Court attempted to give you a pathway back to some measure of healing ; the civil court and the politicians have clearly tried to push you even further down.

          • Ringstone

            Considering that the gospel of Matthew was not written till 70 or 80 years after the event there’s a surprising amount of direct speach there; could it be that someone put words into the mouth of Jesus to suit their own political and doctrinal ends under the pressures of the day…surely not!
            In the proper Christian response to those who have been unfortunate enough to have a relationship break down in the modern world we actually live in, not the tribal world of the bible writers, can I refer you to something we know was written by someone with direct involvement with Jesus, as a basis for reinterpreting eternal truths:
            And so abide, Faith, Hope and Charity, these three; but the greatest of these is Charity.

          • Andrea

            You obviously haven’t worked in the public sector to say such comments, or looked at statistics properly, if you believe that the proper Christian response is to support divorce.
            Secondly if you are going to doubt the bible to this extent then, effectively, the faith is null and void as you can’t trust anything in it and your left with your subjective judgement to decide what is moral.
            Additionally if you are going to recommend a quote to me please site the reference. I believe this is from Paul, not Jesus. As a result, based on your premise, it has even less authority.

          • Ringstone

            Yes, we know it’s from Paul and we know he knew Jesus. Neither the author of Matthew or his relation, if any, to Jesus is known. The bible is, demonstrably, not the revealed word of Jesus contemporaniously recorded; the gospels were all committed to paper some time after the event. Which would you rather base your judgement on, which writing gives you a more direct link to what the man thought and passed on to his disciples? As for quoting the source, I assumed you’d be familiar with the quote from Corinthians, it’s hardly obscure.

          • Woman In White

            Not sure why some people seem to think that Protestant theology should be the focus of comments concerning Catholic commentary.

          • Ringstone

            What part of Paul’s letters or the provenance of the gospels is Protestant?

          • Woman In White

            Not the content of your interweb post, anyway …

          • Ringstone

            Seems the Pope might fall more to Charity than condemnation though…..

          • Andrea

            “can I refer you to something we know was written by someone with direct involvement with Jesus, as a basis for reinterpreting eternal truths:
            And so abide, Faith, Hope and Charity, these three; but the greatest of these is Charity.”
            Paul didn’t have ‘direct involvement in Jesus’. He didn’t have an encounter with Jesus until after his death hence his persecution of Christians before.
            “The bible is, demonstrably, not the revealed word of Jesus contemporaniously recorded; the gospels were all committed to paper some time after the event. Which would you rather base your judgement on, which writing gives you a more direct link to what the man thought and passed on to his disciples? ”
            There isn’t a direct link between Paul and Jesus. Also the earliest theory on the writing of Matthew was AD 40, whereas Paul’s is in AD50. Therefore Matthew is mor direct in every sense.
            I knew where the quote was from, hence my statement that I believed it was from Paul. My as in for asking you was to show that the quote you are using to substantiate your claim that it was mor relevant than a quite attributed to Jesus which directly relates to Jesus’ teaching about the subject in question, marriage and therefore the complimentary natur of the sexes, was nonsense. I think you know this which is why you’ve become belligerent in your tone with your sarcastic response to my bible knowledge.
            Again, even the vague quote you’ve mentioned to try and substantiate your argument rests on the assumption that the most charitable thing to do is allow adults to do what they want because it feels good. This has huge ramifications of children and society. I notice you skated over this point though.

          • EditorCT

            Er… yes. I’m only saying it because HE said it first! Gimme the proverbial break!

        • EditorCT

          Wilful”? Really, that is very uncharitable. Whether you meant “in the synod” or generally, the answer is still the same: doctrinal and pastoral care are inextricably linked. But don’t apologise. I believe you meant well.
          As for the ridiculous idea that Catholics who are deeply concerned about this pontiff are so only because of a “dislike” of him and a “negative bias against him” – you gotta be kidding me. You see no real evidence that the Pope is leading this drive to change the teaching on marriage (and adultery and sodomy) by the back door of “pastoral care”? You kidding? The evidence is all around the place. Here’s but ONE wee morsel for your perusal:

          “For 18 months, since Pope Francis invited Cardinal Walter Kasper to address the February 2014 consistory of cardinals, the question of whether the divorced and civilly remarried can receive the sacraments has been front and centre. Every time the “Kasper proposal” has been rejected, Pope Francis has kept the discussion going, to the extent that it will now dominate the synod on the family to be held in October.

          Francis did not express himself directly on the question during months of debate, leaving Catholics to speculate on what he thought. In his general audience on August 5 he address­ed it head on. And what he did not say in his address might well indicate that he thinks Cardinal Kasper is right.

          http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/issues/august-21st-2015/does-francis-think-cardinal-kasper-is-right/
          Again, no need to apologise. I am quite sure you mean well…

          • Woman In White

            doctrinal and pastoral care are inextricably linked

            Obviously, but pastoral care for the divorced-remarried is but one part of the agenda for this Synod, not its central concern.

            Every time the “Kasper proposal” has been rejected, Pope Francis has kept the discussion going, to the extent that it will now dominate the synod on the family to be held in October.

            False premise > false conclusion.

            No, it won’t.

      • Ken

        Your third paragraph, abouyt Fatima etc, suggests you are a superstitious crank – what is a “Fatima seer”? Why should anyone take any notice of her? Did OL really reveal something to the nun in Ecuador or was she just an hysteric? It is always entertaining to read the view of RC fundamentalists – their ferocity recalls that of the extreme left or the gun toting Republicans in the US. Let’s hope Pope Francis lives to be 99 and doesn’t retire…. And you don’t even like Benedict? What do you want? Maybe you should set up a new sect?

    • BFS

      Agreed. This is another nice piece of total fantasy produced by Thompson, with no link whatsoever with the reality. The Catholic Church has not changed it’s doctrine in 2,000 years. It takes this doctrine as the truth. The Church is profoundly independent and it is refreshing to know that an institution can be free and not subject to the changes of times, fashion or media wishes. Thompson is clearly outside the church but keeps trying to spit on her with neither strenght nor direction.

  • WalterSEllis

    The bloody Pope again. Jesus!

    • EditorCT

      If you can’t express a view without blaspheming the Holy Name of Our Lord, then clearly you have nothing to say.
      But here’s an idea I tend to put to those who choose to insult Christ by using His name as a profanity. Muhammed isn’t divine. He never claimed to be God. Muslims don’t believe he’s God. If you want to use a “religious” name to express your frustration or anger, why not use his name? What’s that? You want to wake up in the morning? You know Catholics are a soft touch. Just as I thought. Coward.

      • WalterSEllis

        I’m sick of religion. I want it to end. And I can’t offend God because God doesn’t exist. I’m sorry, though, if I offended you.

        • EditorCT

          First, If you don’t like the blogging convention of usernames, don’t blog.
          In any event, my identity is very easy to discover if it’s that important to you. Editor, CT – Editor, Catholic Truth (get it?) And yes, I do consider it cowardly by those who claim not to believe in God, to insult God the Son, Christ, while taking great care NOT to offend Muslims, who do not believe that their prophet was divine.

          As for atheism, that brainless non-philosophy – here are a couple of meditations for you since my policy is to never try to persuade an atheist that God exists. It’s about as much a waste of time as getting them to use the name of Muhammed as a profanity, instead of insulting Christ, since Islam insists that Muhammed was not divine, a mere human being like the rest of us, while Christ is God. The following quotes were posted on the Catholic Truth blog a couple of days ago

          “Atheism – The belief that there was Nothing, and Nothing happened to Nothing and then Nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything, and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason whatsoever into self –replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.” (Anonymous)

          And it’s hard to beat G K Chesterton:

          To an atheist, the universe isthe most exquisite masterpiece ever constructed by nobody.”

          As I said: a totally brainless philosophy.

          • WalterSEllis

            So your name again is … ?

          • EditorCT

            Since it seems to be so important to you, can’t think why (that “coward” really hit home, didn’t it. Good) then try Googling “Patricia, Editor, Catholic Truth” – you’ll see that I was once nominated for the Stonewall Bigot of the Year award. Yip. that “tolerant-diversity-equality- blah blah” bunch of hypocrites who give awards to anyone who dares to hold a different view, once nominated my humble self for their daft award.

            The same bunch who used “outing” tactics, naming and shaming celebrities, churchmen, you name it, to get where they are today, nominated ME for a Bigot award merely for naming priests and church workers who were already KNOWN to be involved with the homosexual “community”. Truly, you couldn’t make it up.

            Now, I caught the Disquis alert to your post just as I was closing down and couldn’t resist calling your bluff. I’m now off and leave you to your “Ah, I knew it! She’s a bad ‘un” etc etc.

            See if I care. (if I knew how to post a smiley face on Disquis, I’d post one here!)

          • WalterSEllis

            Patricia? From Scotland. Well, thanks for that. So the way to find your name is to Google it in the first place.

            You really are a tosser. As it happens, you don’t believe in women priests, so unless you’ve had a sex-change there’s no chance of your becoming Pope. We should be thankful for small mercies.

            But I’ll leave the last word to you. It’s what Jesus would have wanted.

          • WalterSEllis

            Touché.

          • EditorCT

            Shucks. And here was me thinking you didn’t like me! If you’re ever in Scotland, keep going. You’ll reach Norway in no time! (smiley face here…!)

        • Fulgentian

          “God doesn’t exist”
          What a ridiculous statement to make. How can you possibly know that?

          • WalterSEllis

            I take it you know that he DOES.

          • Fulgentian

            Wait a sec, don’t dodge the question. You said ‘God doesn’t exist’. How do you know that statement is true?

          • WalterSEllis

            I BELIEVE it to be true. I have faith. Don’t you? God is a human construct. Societies all over the world have made up Gods for thousands of years. You, presumably, believe that all the non-monotheistic religions are not founded in truth. Indeed, if you didn’t, you would be breaking the First Commandment. It is possible, however, that you respect the fact that believers in other Gods at least acknowledge something greater than themselves. I do not. I believe we are on our own and will die into darkness. If you are right, I will have some explaining to do; if I am right, you will never know that you were wrong. So at least you have that over me.

          • Fulgentian

            Once again you have given no reasons to believe that God does not exist apart from the assertion “God is a human construct.” The problem is:

            1) This is arguing in a circle – you would only believe God is a human construct if you already assume atheism is true.

            2) What reasons do you have to believe that God is a human construct? The fact that societies all over the world have perceived the existence of God is good evidence he might exist, not that he doesn’t!

          • WalterSEllis

            I didn’t know you two had met.

            But enough, already. One flippant remark and I’m lost in the Catholic vortex. It must be like this for Damian most days of the week.

          • Fulgentian

            I’m not a Catholic. I’m just a Christian who wants to show atheism to be untenable in a world that thinks that atheists are the intelligent, well-educated ones and the Christians the fanatical idiots.

          • EditorCT

            Well said. You should be a Catholic though; you’d be a really good one – get reading over at http://www.catholictruthscotland.com
            As for the quotes I put about atheism, I should have put this one and am going to put it here before you tell me you have no “plans” to become a Catholic…
            An old Mexican (I think) saying…
            “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans” !

          • Fulgentian

            I’m flattered that you think I should be a Catholic! I am a massive fan of Tommy A…
            I think one of the best things about being a Protestant is that one can joyfully accept that a Christian of any denomination, as long as they have truly put their trust in Jesus, is part of his Body. So may God bless the ministry of your blog…

          • Andrea

            We joyfully accept other denominations as well – as we do Judaism – and refer to them as our separated bretheran. However we believe that these ecclesiastical communities are not THE Church, but church like communities.

          • Hamburger

            Please don’t confuse knowledge with belief. It is very dangerous.

          • WalterSEllis

            Belief has caused no end of problems in the world. Most wars down the centuries have been caused by Christian or Muslim or Christian/Muslim conflict. Believe me, we’d be far better off without it.

          • Hamburger

            It is those who confuse belief with knowledge who are dangerous. They know that they are right and act accordingly.

          • WalterSEllis

            Ask God to get in touch with me. I promise I won’t be rude.

          • Hamburger

            You miss the point.

          • Fulgentian

            Woah! You said above you BELIEVE there is no God! Why is your atheistic belief any less dangerous than theistic belief?

            “Most wars down the centuries have been caused by Christian or Muslim or Christian/Muslim conflict. Believe me, we’d be far better off without it.”

            Now come on! Really you know that isn’t true. I think if we had a list of the wars of the last 200 years, they’d mainly be about territory, with some about succession rights etc. To crowbar religion into the equasion would be cynical beyond belief and would highlight the prejudices of the one who asserts such a thing more than some real historical truth.

          • WalterSEllis

            Cynical beyond belief? Religion has been the greatest single cause of war in Europe and across the world for a thousand years. Untold millions have died as a direct result of their religious conviction. It is true that over the last 200 years – during which time most religious questions appeared to have been settled – nationalism (another discredited belief system ) took over as the main focus of conflict. But now, in our own time, religion is back back with a vengeance.

            I’m off to bed now and will not be returning to this subject tomorrow. I do actually have other things to do. I’m sure you do as well.

          • Woman In White

            Religion has been the greatest single cause of war in Europe and across the world for a thousand years.

            Really ? I thought that the greatest single cause of war was territorial expansionism. How foolish of me !!!

          • WalterSEllis

            Foolish, indeed.

          • Fulgentian

            I looked at this:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_1000%E2%80%931499

            …a list of wars between 1000 and 1499. The only ones which could be ostensibly linked to religion are the Crusades. And I would argue that religion was not the only cause, and not even the primary cause of the Crusades (that being Frankish expansionism).

            The rest (and the majority) are clearly nothing to do with religion, e.g. Cnut the Great’s conquest of England 1016, Norman invasion of Ireland 1169, War of the Succession of Champagne 1216 etc. etc.

            So your statement “Religion has been the greatest single cause of war in Europe” is demonstrably false.

        • carl jacobs

          I can’t offend God because God doesn’t exist.

          Be sure to tell Him that. He’ll be amused.

          • WalterSEllis

            Tell who?

          • carl jacobs

            I wouldn’t worry about it. You’ll know when the time comes.

        • Hamburger

          How do you know?

        • jeremy Morfey

          It all depends how you define God. A bearded fairy on a cloud, maybe?

          My definition of God is the sum total of all that has ever existed, all that ever will exist, and the forces that order existence throughout eternity. The Trinity.

          God therefore exists, or I wouldn’t be able to write this.

          What’s your definition?

        • hobspawn

           “God doesn’t exist”

          How can you be sure that you are not god?

  • Ken

    The Church is far too obsessed by what goes on in the bedroom. One of the greatest disasters in its recent history was Paul VI’s misguided De Humanae Vitae. Pope Francis has focussed on more important issues, rattling right-wingers like Thompson, but winning over many sceptics. This Synod will not derail his papacy, which has done a great deal to restore the moral status of the Church. Like Our Lord and the great saints, Francis is not a left winger or a right winger but someone who preaches the Gospel of charity and forgiveness – the crabbed conservatives obviously don’t warm to that message. To be a good Catholic you need to be a faithful Christian.

    • EditorCT

      Such confusion! To take just your final sentence, there can be no such thing as a “faithful Christian” outside of Catholicism. Every other so-called Christian dismisses whole chunks of the very book – the Bible – which they claim to take literally. They dismiss those verses which would make them Catholics! Gimme strength!

      • Fulgentian

        “They dismiss those verses which would make them Catholics!”
        Like what?

        • EditorCT

          Like Chapter 6 of St John’s Gospel and the Petrine verses (Matthew 16) – among others, they spring to mind. (“Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you cannot have life in you…” John 6… and “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church” Matthew 16…)

          Time is short, I’ve had a busy day, am neglecting our own Catholic Truth blog to sort out you lot, so to save a bit of time, I’m taking the liberty of posting an article which explains clearly why Protestantism is founded on sand (with all due respect to my Protestant family members and friends.) It’s available to buy in short booklet pamphlet form. Highly recommended. http://www.catholicapologetics.info/apologetics/protestantism/sola.htm

      • mike gallagher57′

        Yes love does create confusion for hard-earned,constipated,lovers of Canon Law. A doctorate in that subject is equivalent to an LPN in nursing as far as academic content. Please immerse yourselves in the writings of Bernard Ha`ring and Charles Curran immediately and quickly relay these truths to your caucus at the synod. If you are worried about losing the 99,while going after the 1 lost sheep,you are really I’ll informed,since the situation is in reverse-you have the equivalent of one group in the fold and 99 scattered hither and yon and rapidly increasing their distance. The latter group has grown spiritually in love and mercy and abhor HARDHEARTEDNESS.

        • EditorCT

          Immerse myself in the writings of heretic? Really?
          You’re not winning the lost sheep by condemning him or her to eternity in Hell which is precisely the destination of the unrepentant adulterers and sodomites, as I believe the Gospel specifies. There’s nothing merciful about telling somebody what they want to hear if that is taking them to Hell. Christ’s teaching on obeying the natural law, is merciful, not those false prophets like Kasper who preach sin and Hell.

    • Fulgentian

      ” restore the moral status”
      According to whose standard?

    • The World: Sex…Sex, sex, sex, sexety-sex, sex, sex!
      The Church: No. Mercy, redemption, conversion, the poor, the widowed, the orphaned, the prisoners, fidelity…and you’re wrong about sex.
      The World: All you ever talk about is sex!

    • Jacobi

      It is secular society that is obsessed with sex. Just look around you. The Telly, non- stop sex, advertising on TV, street posters, the way women and even schoolgirls dress. There is a school near by me and 15 year old girls go to school dressed in a way quite appropriate for an evening in a “knocking shop”.
      No the problem at present with the Catholic Church is that it is leaning to a very dangerous extent towards Secularism with its current absolute obsession with sex and hedonism.

    • samton909

      I am suspicious of a Pope that leftists, and dictators, seem to like.

  • EditorCT

    Damian Thompson is a scream. He tries so hard to portray himself as a sort of “traditional” Catholic by seeming to favour the Traditional Latin Mass, but he’s not. Here we have him using the political terms to describe Catholics who can only be one of two things: faithful to Christ’s teaching, to what we call the Deposit of Faith, or unfaithful. Not “conservative” or “liberal” (unless these coined terms are placed in inverted commas to show that they are political, not religious terms.)

    Poor old DT. As I said on his blog expressing his ridiculous views about the SSPX, he really shouldn’t be presenting himself as qualified to write on Catholic issues. And, as I also said on that blog (where, last time I looked, I am the only commentator) the person who told him he IS qualified to write on Catholic issues should be shot at dawn. Yesterday.

    For, anyone who writes that the next pope should be “a younger man who can preserve the deposit of faith without coming across as a bigot” is labelling Christ Himself as a “bigot”. Ignorance, ignorance, thy name is Damian Thompson…

    • whatever name

      “The terms “liberal” and “conservative” have no relevance when discussing the Catholic Church.”

      The reforms during and after Vatican II, like religious liberty, indifferentism, were already condemned under the title “Liberal Errors” by earlier popes like Pius IX.

      Of course the reforms are interpreted in secular terms, as “liberal”. That is what happens if you “open the windows of the Church to the world”, “adapt to the new social reality” and basically scrap Catholic teaching to adopt the latest secular trends.

      Vatican II was already condemned in detail by previous popes. Eg.

      http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9syll.htm

      X. ERRORS HAVING REFERENCE TO MODERN LIBERALISM

      77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship. — Allocution “Nemo vestrum,” July 26, 1855.

      78. Hence it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship. — Allocution “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852.

      79. Moreover, it is false that the civil liberty of every form of worship, and the full power, given to all, of overtly and publicly manifesting any opinions whatsoever and thoughts, conduce more easily to corrupt the morals and minds of the people, and to propagate the pest of indifferentism. — Allocution “Nunquam fore,” Dec. 15, 1856.

      80. The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with progress, liberalism and modern civilization.- -Allocution “Jamdudum cernimus,” March 18, 1861.

      • EditorCT

        For the avoidance of misunderstanding, all of the propositions which you list are condemned by Pope Pius X – I know that you know that, but to the casual reader, it may not be clear.

  • prompteetsincere

    “Like Erdo, they want last year’s doors slammed shut”:
    that has to include ‘Out At St. Paul’s’ in New Yaawk?
    For every Danneels there is a Dolan.

  • John Hobson

    Clearly written by a Catholic who does not want the present policy changed.

    • EditorCT

      Written by a Catholic who knows we’re not talking about “policy” but about truths revealed by God. And no, they cannot be changed The same Christ who said “I have not come to change one jot or tittle of the Law” also said “If you love Me you will keep my commandments” .

  • pobjoy

    The supposedly Protestant denominations have attempted to liberalise biblical code (and paid a hefty price), because they have the advantage of being based on Scripture— officially. So if an Anglican cleric favours ‘ordained’ women, he can say, “Well, it’s a modern, updated view of the Bible,” thus preserving, apparently, his authority. But, while there is strong and widespread public opinion that the Vatican represents a concept as fabulous as any Greek myth, bearing very little perceived relationship to the church of the New Testament, conservatives in its organisation will cling to biblical moral code, because it has very little else to give it credibility and authority.

    The true arbiter of biblical truth is the real church, that is not, like currency, measured in denominations. It is like the wind, that blows wherever it pleases. We hear its sound, but we cannot tell where it comes from, or where it is going. But, for all that, it does not change anything of the New Testament.

    • ardenjm

      “We hear its sound, but we cannot tell where it comes from, or where it is going.”

      You forgot to add: “But I know that I belong to it and that anyone who disagrees with me – especially the Catholic Church which I really, REALLY hate – does not.”
      You might also revile against the Protestants, pobjoy, but you’re as protestant as they come – carrying about with you your own infallible magisterium that makes you right and anyone who disagrees with you wrong. THAT’S ultimately why you loathe the Catholic Church – it calls you to task for your pontifical pretensions and reminds you that YOUR interpretation of Revelation and Scripture isn’t – and never can be – the definitive one.
      It aint complicated what you’ve fallen into – it’s called pride.

      • pobjoy

        Not once in five hundred years has a Catholic been able to point out where Protestantism is in disobedience of the Bible: those 66 books that the Vatican describes as ‘Sacred Scripture’.

        • Woman In White

          Funny how Protestantism shows no disobedience to Scripture by editing seven entire books out of its Bibles.

          • pobjoy

            Which books are those?

          • ardenjm

            Well, to be fair to Martin Luther, not the Letter of James which he WANTED to get rid of as an Epistle of Straw (God’s Word disagreed with Dr Luther, see, and he wanted to apply his pontifically infallible magisterium in a protestant way to Scripture itself.) Instead of that, though, he made sure he followed the post-Christian Jewish canon of the Old Testament because it allowed him to get rid of the scriptural references to prayers for the dead in Maccabees and thus the support for intercession for the souls of the faithful departed.

            As for Protestantism being in disobedience to the Bible… John Chapter 6 passim comes to mind – do YOU eat Christ’s flesh and drink his blood for eternal life, pobjoy. As does Luke chapter 1 vs 42-43: do YOU call Mary blessed amongst women and the Mother of God, pobjoy? Likewise Acts chapter 15: Does YOUR churchlet meet in council with apostolic authority to decide what Scripture means, what the Holy Spirit is guiding the Church into doing and then, in full confidence of that leadership of the Holy Spirit teach with the authority that Christ has given it to do? Likewise Acts chapter 19 verse 12 – do YOU believe in the power of relics to communicate God’s saving grace to those who have Faith? I’d be very surprised if you did. Most Protestants don’t – unlike Scripture itself.

            And lastly: my criticisms were of YOUR pride, pobjoy, there in your protestant churchlet of you-alone: which is where protestantism fractures inevitably – setting up every believer as their own personal magisterium. This is why, when it suits you, you look down on the protestants you disagree with – but when your anti-catholic bigotry comes to the fore, you reclaim the ‘protestant’ label as if there were some kind of unity in protestantism. There isn’t. Just a coalition of consensus and convenience. And this is what you call the ‘real church’ which is as real as Plato’s Realm of Forms i.e. entirely ‘spritualised’ and ‘interior’ as if the Incarnation of Our Lord in a visible, tangible body, in a place, in a time as He founded a Church – visible, tangible in a place, in a time down through history to be his Bride, his Body of which he is the head. For sure – the full parameters of the membership of that Church is known to God alone. But it is a reality incarnated in the world all the same. The incarnation of Christ requires that that be so.

          • pobjoy

            John Chapter 6 passim comes to mind

            So Jesus said that people must eat his body. He can have had only two meanings, at that time. One was that he should literally be eaten, an absurd option that the weak disciples used as an excuse. The other was that they should trust Jesus, who had just told them that trusting him was what they lacked. Protestants say that they could not have supposed that Jesus meant that they should literally eat bread, because the Last Supper was well into the future. So Protestants take faith as the means of ‘eating’ and ‘drinking’, in the sense that Jesus used elsewhere.

            do YOU call Mary blessed amongst women and the Mother of God

            Protestants consider that Mary was blessed, or ‘lucky’, to have Jesus as a family member, but was no more deserving, more virtuous, than anyone else, as is biblical precedent. Jesus is said to have been ‘born of a woman’ to show that he had no advantages. The Bible nowhere describes Mary as ‘the Mother of God’.

            meet in council with apostolic authority

            True Protestant churches meet with apostolic authority, that is found in the letters of the New Testament; just as the authority of the prophets is found in the Old Testament. They consider that each member is a saint, who has ‘the mind of Christ’, as this is apostolic teaching .

            Acts chapter 19 verse 12

            Protestants do not discount such events (which were nothing to do with relics) today, and some believe that, in like conditions to that of Paul, Christians have had similar effects in the modern age. But they consider that what applied when the gospel was new may not be the divine will now, in line with what Jesus said about future miracles. They also take note that ‘many’ would counterfeit Christian behaviour, and ignore any claims of institutions that discredit Christ, because Satan can do miracles, too.

          • ardenjm

            I notice you just ignore the other substantial criticisms in my post. That’s par for the course. You always just sidestep whatever puts you in a difficult position. You have no integrity. Just opportunism. Spewing your bile whenever you get the chance.

            Still – even in this limited response you are in error.

            Firstly – your commentary on John 6 is a series of evasions and equivocations. The Greek is clear – and the Church’s teaching also: OF COURSE the Eucharist isn’t lumps of literal flesh, dripping with literal blood. But it is, miraculously, the REAL flesh and Jesus: Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. You choose not to accept that teaching. And thus you are amongst those followers of Jesus who choose to no longer follow Him on this. That’s your choice. I’ll pray for you as you give an account of yourself on the Day of Judgement.

            Secondly – your ignorance of what the founders of Protestantism believed about Mary is embarassing. Luther continued calling Mary the Mother of God throughout all his years as a heretic. He accepted the Church Councils and doctrine on this matter. And rightly so. If Elizabeth calls Mary the Mother of her Lord in the Gospel, it’s very odd that Christians do not. Mary is the Mother of Jesus who is true God and true Man. She is therefore Mother of the one who is God. She is not the eternal mother of the divinity – but she is rightly called Mother of God. St Elizabeth could make the act of faith. You, apparently, can not. Belonging to the tribe of Jesus, however, brings no advantages which explains both the perpetual virginity of Mary and Our Lord’s own lack of a wife. There is no ‘closer’ family to Jesus that could claim special privileges. This, also, was believed by Luther and Calvin. Most Protestants, slipping inevitably into further heresy after the founders of their churches now deny these truths. The Catholic Church maintains them.

            Thirdly – on councils – more evasion. What on earth do you mean? “True Protestant churches meet with apostolic authority” uh huh. Give me an example. Do you mean meeting in the church hall on a sunday to talk about church cleaning duties? Who ARE these “true protestant churches” WHEN do they meet? WHAT have they said?

            Fourthly – I’m afraid these are, indeed, relics. They are, in Catholic Church discipline understood to be third class relics – as objects touched by a saint. I’m so, so sorry for you that this was a feature of the Church’s life witnessed to by Sacred Scripture. You have clearly decided to ignore this – one more example of your selective sola scriptura – par for the course for the protestant heresy since it’s modus operandi is to make every person pontifically infallible. More demonic pride, alas. As for counterfeit miracles – yes indeed – but be honest: you’d rather air-brush the incovenient facts that true believers received graces through third order relics touched by apostles and that scripture witnesses to this than change your thinking. You exemplify the word of Our Lord perfectly: “Because you say that you see, you are blind… when the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” Ultimately, pobjoy, you run the risk of thinking you give glory to God when you persecute the Church. Our Lord warned us of people like you.
            I’ll entrust you to Our Lady’s maternal intercession, as at Cana: You are without the wine of God’s good grace on so many fundamental questions.

          • jeremy Morfey

            The Apocrypha:
            Tobit
            Judith
            Esther (part)
            Maccabees 1
            Maccabees 2
            Wisdom
            Ecclesiasticus
            Baruch
            Daniel (part)

          • pobjoy

            The Apocrypha

            Books of ‘doubtful authority, spurious, fabulous’ (Chambers Dict.).

          • jeremy Morfey

            I take it that the authors of Chambers are not Catholics.

          • pobjoy

            Nor any other dictionary, afaik. Far too risky.

          • Woman In White

            Bad definition — Apocrypha means “non-canonical scriptures”, which itself means books not included in the Canon of the Bible as it was defined in the 4th century.

            It does not mean “writings disliked by Martin Luther”.

          • pobjoy

            Apocrypha means “non-canonical scriptures”

            In which case, jeremy Morfey agrees that Protestantism shows no disobedience to Scripture by editing seven entire non-canonical books out of the ‘Bibles’ of others.

          • Woman In White

            How can works included in the Canon be “non-canonical” ?

            That’s like saying that white can be non-white, up can be located downwards, or that sin can be non-sinful.

            Protestantism is, from what you claim, based on irrationality.

          • pobjoy

            How can works included in the Canon be “non-canonical” ?

            Did anyone say that they can?

          • Woman In White

            Did anyone say that they can?

            You just did, by claiming that certain canonical works are “non-canonical” and can be “edited out” — and my, HOW many days did it take you to admit that Protestants have distorted the text by editing out certain sections of Scripture that they dislike ?

          • pobjoy

            You just did

            If you read more carefully, you will note that I wrote that Protestants removed non-canonical books from the ‘Bibles’ of others. The ” marks indicate that they did not accept those canons as genuine.

          • ardenjm

            The Reformers conveniently accepted the Jewish Canon of the Old Testament that was decided upon AFTER Christ and the Church has already written the New Testament!
            This innovation suited the Reformers because it allowed them to remove Maccabees from the Canon – and thus prayers for the repose of the souls of the departed.
            It was for entirely expedient financial reasons also, of course. Much like Henry VIII’s land grab in the 16th century. The money his cronies got was immense. The poor and sick who had been fed by the monasteries, however, were just ignored.

          • pobjoy

            The Reformers conveniently accepted the Jewish Canon of the Old
            Testament that was decided upon AFTER Christ and the Church has already
            written the New Testament!

            Irritating though Catholics find it, nobody takes what the Reformers thought as any more authoritative than what the papist killers thought. Protestant Bibles are of 66 books because those are the books that people personally think is of divine origin, having read all of the claimants, Old Testament and New.

            Now the only way that they can be persuaded that they are wrong is if books they call apocryphal were regarded as canon by the NT writers. And until that proof is provided, no Catholic can accuse a Protestant of disobeying the Bible.

            So get onto it.

          • ardenjm

            Ah, there you go again with your own papal magisterium a.k.a the devil’s Non Serviam:

            “those are the books that people personally think is of divine origin”

            on what authority? On YOURS pobjoy?

            Give me a break. What churchlet are you talking about?

            “were regarded as canon by the NT writers”

            The word ‘canon’ is an ecclesiastical word brought to you by the Catholic Church. Much like the dates for Easter. Presumably you DO celebrate Easter, yes? You celebrate the day of Our Lord’s Resurrection every year? When do you do that? Does it not stick in your throat that you follow the Gregorian calendar – you know, after Pope Gregory? Or maybe you stick with the Orthodox calendar – the Julian calendar – you know, after Julius Caesar? Or maybe, like the Jehovah Witnesses and various other heretical groups that protestantism inevitably fractured into in the 19th century – along with Mormonism, Unitarianism and the like – you follow the present Jewish calender and ignore the Church’s authority on this, prefering instead, Judaism’s authority. Or perhaps, knowing you, you just do what you like on your own authority. Amazing what sola scriptura can give you the license to do, eh.

          • pobjoy

            The word ‘canon’ is an ecclesiastical word brought to you by the Catholic Church.

            Not so. It is a simple Greek word, not Latin, and it was doubtless used by Greek-speaking Jews of the books of the Tanakh. So get busy and prove that those books listed made theological contribution to the NT.

          • Woman In White

            So get busy and prove that those books listed made theological contribution to the NT.

            He already did — but you’re ignoring every voice except the paranoid one that’s swimming round inside your own brain.

          • ardenjm

            “It is a simple Greek word, not Latin”

            The Catholic Church used Greek in the liturgy for centuries. In fact, one of the last places to make the switch to Latin was in the Churches of the Diocese of Rome – in the 10th century! Centuries after the rest of the nations around them were using Latin in the liturgy. Rome was conservative and also inclusive. This is why, even today, there are Catholics of a whole range of liturgical and canon law disciplines – Maronites, Melkites, Syriac. All are in union with the See of Peter. But they are not Latin-rite Catholics.

            As for your criteria: ‘show how the apocrypha made a theological contribution to the NT (or else I’ll not accept their authority)’ – where does that criteria come from? Talk about a circular argument! It certainly does NOT come from Scripture. The New Testament says NOWHERE: These are the books which are canonical – and these are those that are not. So you introduce another – ecclesial (i.e. your own judgement) criterion in order to rationalise the inconvenient fact that the Church decides the Canon of Scripture. That the Church has that authority is testified throughout the New Testament, as you well know, but refuse to accept. Non serviam. Yet again.

          • pobjoy

            The Catholic Church used Greek

            Easy to explain why it stopped using it, eh. The minor point is that it’s not an ‘ecclesiastical’ word, it’s a simple word that was used well beyond religion; and long before there was a papist cult, too. Not that it matters much. The concept of non-permitted books was expressed in a Hebrew phrase with literal meaning, “books that are outside.” Which roughly approximates to ‘apocrypha’.

            where does that criteria come from?

            You are surely not a complete idiot? Oh I forgot, you’re a Catholic. Well, curiously enough, Protestants actually read the Bible, and note that NT writers frequently quoted OT writers in support of their teaching. Matthew, Paul, James, they’re terrible offenders in that respect. So you’ve got these sola Scriptura dudes by the short and curlies if you can find NT quotes from Tobit etc., haven’t you. So get on with it!

          • ardenjm

            Come come – you and I both know that the New Testament does not quote all of the books of the Old Testament – even your truncated version, let alone the version the Church established as canonical. It doesn’t even make ALLUSION to all of the books of your version of the Old Testament. Don’t be disingenuous. (A big ask, I appreciate, since you’re still carefully avoiding answering any of my questions. Come back to me on Luther and Calvin on the Divine Maternity of Mary and her perpetual virginity some time. And the churchlet you belong to. And, exactly how it exercises authority…)

            Moreover, as you know full well, certain books of the NEW Testament were debated as canonical or not well into the Christian era – the book of the Apocalypse almost didn’t make it in.

            That said – Hebrews 11vs35 is almost certainly a reference to the story of 2 Maccabees 7 – the mother who encourages her sons to offer their limbs to their persecutors on view to the resurrection of the just.

            As for all the other allusions and references:

            http://jimmyakin.com/deuterocanonical-references-in-the-new-testament

            So, pobjoy, right.back.at.ya.
            Jack Chick didn’t cover these bases for you, did he…

          • pobjoy

            you and I both know that the New Testament does not quote all of the books of the Old Testament

            Who told you that?

            Then exclude the unquoted books from your careful investigations.

            certain books of the NEW Testament were debated as canonical or not well into the Christian era

            Not by Christians, sheep who recognise ‘their master’s voice’ within seconds. That the papist cultists were was discussing this centuries after Christians knew what was what only shows that they were hopelessly pagan cultists.

          • ardenjm

            I’ve provided you with a reference to 2 Maccabees in the Letter to the Hebrews.

            Suck it up, chap. You’re the sola scriptura guy, not me.
            Oh hang on, sola scriptura isn’t ACTUALLY what you believe in. What you believe in is YOUR interpretation of scripture as and how you see fit. In other words – YOU’RE the papist cultist here – you’re just your own pope with infallible authority. This is what allows you to shift the goal posts – which I now fully expect you to do below this post in order to ignore the reference to a deutero-canonical book in the New Testament.

            You, sir, are a piece of work and your anti-Catholic animus, nourished as it has been on decades of ideological indoctrination and, manifestly, a bitter malice, makes me worry for the salvation of your soul. I entrust you to Our Lady’s maternal pity.

            (And you’re still avoiding my questions…)

          • ardenjm

            This Protestant site lists 10 books from the Protestant re-invented canon that are not directly quoted in the New Testament.

            Allusions might be made from these books. But if you accept allusions from those books you have to accept allusions from the deutero-canonical books also.

            http://www.knowableword.com/2013/03/27/11-old-testament-books-never-quoted-in-the-new-testament/

            Suck it up, pobjoy. Even on YOUR terms, you lose the argument.

          • pobjoy

            Allusions might be made from these books.

            Indeed. But allusions do not theology make.

            Keep a-lookin’.

          • Woman In White

            But allusions do not theology make

            Following that to it’s logical conclusion, you’ve then said nothing of any theological value.

            Still, you probably don’t even know what the word “allusion” means, exactly.

            Carry on goalpost-shifting …

          • ardenjm

            Oh, okay, I tell you what pobjoy, why don’t you tell us what EXACTLY you mean by ‘theology’ because clearly it has a super special personal meaning which shifts and changes whenever you feel like you’ve lost an argument.
            And give us an example of an Old Testament quotation and allusion that is made in the New Testament and applies to this extra special meaning of Theology that you’ve come up with.

            I guarantee you that whatever example you give is similarly fulfilled by those I give concerning the deutero-canonical texts.

            Oh, and by the way, those 10 books in your Old Testament that are NOT quoted in the New Testament – this is what YOU say should be done: “Then exclude the unquoted books.”

            Much like Martin Luther before you – you set yourself up as the ecclesial authority that determines what books should be in the canon of scripture.
            ALL of the things you accuse the Catholic Church of being: a power-hungry, self-serving, arbitrary decision making apparatus – are EXACTLY the failings you exhibit on a personal level. You RESENT the Church because she corrects you and calls you to conversion and gives you a guilty conscience. You are like the dog in the manger in Aesop’s fable – you can do nothing within the place you have made for yourself spiritually – it’s full of contradictions, wilful blinkeredness, blind lashings-out at the Church – but you are not prepared to leave it because it is YOURS. Non serviam!

          • pobjoy

            give us an example of an Old Testament quotation

            ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘Every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ Isaiah 45:23

            and allusion that is made in the New Testament

            ‘We will all stand before God’s judgment seat.’ Romans 14:10

            give us an example of an Old Testament quotation

            “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle
            and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ” Zech 9:9

            and allusion that is made in the New Testament

            ‘This took place to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet’ Matthew 21:4 (NIV)

            Hebrews 11vs35 is almost certainly a reference to the story of 2 Maccabees 7

            The national lore of that period was still comparatively fresh in the memories of all Jews, as is Waterloo in the minds of British people. There is no need to cite 2 Maccabees.

          • ardenjm

            Answer the question pobjoy: You’re banging on about theology this and that. What do you mean when you say it.

          • Woman In White

            Every knee will bow before me

            Except, apparently, the knee of pobjoy

          • pobjoy

            Hebrews 11vs35 is almost certainly a reference to the story of 2
            Maccabees 7 – the mother who encourages her sons to offer their limbs to
            their persecutors on view to the resurrection of the just.

            How does that affect NT theology?

          • ardenjm

            LOL as I rightly predicted below a few minutes ago – which you have demonstrated with this latest offering – you change the goal-posts. What intellectual dishonesty…

            “I’ve provided you with a reference to 2 Maccabees in the Letter to the Hebrews.

            Suck it up, chap. You’re the sola scriptura guy, not me.
            Oh hang on, sola scriptura isn’t ACTUALLY what you believe in. What you believe in is YOUR interpretation of scripture as and how you see fit. In other words – YOU’RE the papist cultist here – you’re just your own pope with infallible authority. This is what allows you to shift the goal posts – which I now fully expect you to do below this post in order to ignore the reference to a deutero-canonical book in the New Testament.”

            And there you go – asking how it affects the THEOLOGY of the NT.
            10 minutes ago you denied the possibility of a reference.
            When I supplied you with one (of many as it happens) you now require it to ‘affect NT theology’ – whatever that’s supposed to mean. Christian theology is done from Revelation. So if it’s in revelation, theology issues from it – not the other way round.

            Face it, pobjoy, you’re hoisted on the petard of your own self-righteous making.

          • pobjoy

            So the example of those women of faith, along with many others of faith, has no effect whatever on theology. As is very obvious.

            Thank you for admitting it, even if you were long-winded about it.

          • ardenjm

            You fail to understand that Revelation is given, as Scripture teaches us, so that, “You may believe, and in believing have life in His name” John 20, 31.

            An example of Faith helps us make an act of Faith.

            And that is far more significant than ‘theology’ – which is the study of God’s revelation, important, but second to the Faith that revelation inspires.
            You seem to have confused Faith with Theology which is a pity.

            Since “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” shame on you for dismissing this part of scripture with your ODD assertion that “it has no effect whatever on theology”. Perhaps not on YOUR strange personal quasi-protestant theology – and manifestly not on your Faith either (since you just ignore anything that doesn’t agree with your prejudice) but let me remind you:

            THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU ARGUED INITIALLY.
            So vainglorious and pompously self-righteous were you that the New Testament contained NO REFERENCE to any of those books that you scorn as apocryphal – that you made that apparent ‘absence’ and THIS ALONE as your criteria for ignoring them as canonical. You just dismissed them as irrelevant because no-where found in the New Testament. When a reference was supplied to you in Hebrews – with its echo of 2 Maccabees – what did you do? You started down this odd little path of ‘theological’ relevance. You abandonned your original criteria of canonical inclusion on the grounds of reference in the New Testament and came up with a new criteria instead.

            You remind me of those strange fundamentalists who predicted the End of the World last week. No doubt there will still be some credulous fools who accept their authority to predict another date at some point in the near future…
            But the sad truth of the matter is – by this point – with your shifting goal posts, your equivocations, evasions and manifest bad faith – the only person you are fooling is yourself. You don’t have to answer to me, pobjoy. But one day you have to give an account of yourself to Our Lord. (As we all do, Kyrie eleison).

            Allow me then, on the evidence of nearly all of your posts – to pity you.

          • Woman In White

            The existence of women of faith is irrelevant to the preposterous nature of your false claims.

          • Woman In White

            But the very reason why the Canon is “canonical” is because it is established by the canons of the Law, as they were decreed in the 4th century.

            The meaning of these words does not change simply on Martin Luther’s say-so.

          • pobjoy

            Matthew’s Gospel is a later Greek rewrite of an older Aramaic one

            That’s a very predictable Catholic rumour that they hope gets them round the embarrassment of the Greek of Mt 16:18.

          • Woman In White

            That’s a very predictable Catholic rumour that they hope gets them round the embarrassment of the Greek of Mt 16:18.

            What “embarrassment” ?

            Greek was the lingua franca of 1st Century Palestine, spoken alongside Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin. Plus numerous dialects.

          • pobjoy

            Greek was the lingua franca of 1st Century Palestine

            True.

          • Woman In White

            there was a Gospel according to Judas

            A 3rd or 4th century Gnostic text.

            Matthew’s Gospel is a later Greek rewrite of an older Aramaic one

            No — there’s evidence of a Hebrew text that was different in some respects to the Greek (St Jerome reports having consulted it in Alexandria), but given its non-survival, there are multiple theories regarding the relationship between the two.

            If what we have is the second edition, that would help explain the old tradition that Matthew is the oldest of the Gospels, but it’s still just one theory among many.

    • samton909

      Boy, you are the kag1982 of the spectator.

  • whatever name

    Yesterday Erdő’s report and position were seriously undermined after an intervention of Pope Francis indicated to the synod fathers that the question of Holy Communion for the “divorced and remarried” was still open. Cardinal Erdő was also undermined by remarks made by synod fathers invited to a press conference organised by Holy See press spokesman Fr Lombardi S.J.

    Yesterday Erdő’s report and position were seriously undermined after an intervention of Pope Francis indicated to the synod fathers that the question of Holy Communion for the “divorced and remarried” was still open. Cardinal Erdő was also undermined by remarks made by synod fathers invited to a press conference organised by Holy See press spokesman Fr Lombardi S.J.

    Yesterday Erdő’s report and position were seriously undermined after an intervention of Pope Francis indicated to the synod fathers that the question of Holy Communion for the “divorced and remarried” was still open. Cardinal Erdő was also undermined by remarks made by synod fathers invited to a press conference organised by Holy See press spokesman Fr Lombardi S.J.

    Yesterday Erdő’s report and position were seriously undermined after an intervention of Pope Francis indicated to the synod fathers that the question of Holy Communion for the “divorced and remarried” was still open. Cardinal Erdő was also undermined by remarks made by synod fathers invited to a press conference organised by Holy See press spokesman Fr Lombardi S.J.

  • whatever name

    Pope Francis is obviously an ultra-liberal who wants to push through reforms that would totally discredit the Catholic Church. (There is little point in pretending otherwise because of deference.) Many liberal reforms against Catholic doctrine were pushed through during and after Vatican II in the 1960s, and a lot of people noticed that and they reacted, but the masses did not. Sexual morality is for some reason different.

    If Francis changes sexual morality then everyone is going to notice and many more will react, not just traditionalists but conservatives too. If Francis has his way then everyone will see that Catholic teaching has changed, however Francis might try to disguise it as just pastoral changes. If Francis has his way then the Catholic Church is about to fall. Anglicanism is set to totally disappear in Britain within a generation, so much for liberal reforms. The RC Church will go the same way.

    People will conclude that Catholicism is just a make-it-up-as-you-go-along religion that has no authority beyond the latest social fashions. If people take Catholic sacraments to have their own life-style justified, even sanctified, then they will have no need for the sacraments thereafter. The sacraments will be abandoned as useless, the vernacular masses will be abandoned, the parishes left empty and the RC Church will in effect cease to exist in the West. If there is no set morality, then there is no need for forgiveness or guidance, no need for the Church. Liberalism will destroy Christianity.

    • EditorCT

      The teaching CANNOT change on marriage and these dissident prelates know it. But they can muddy the waters and make it seem like the teaching has changed by permitting adulterers and those in same-sex unions to receive Holy Communion, thus adding sacrilege to their sexual sins.

      One correction, if you don’t mind, to your naming of the Church as RC – that is a Protestant coinage which was introduced to give the impression that there are different branches of the Catholic Church – a condemned heresy. Here’s a very good, brief history of the facts https://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/churb3.htm

      • whatever name

        Well, popes have adopted the phrase. Pius XI wrote that “This follows of necessity because in the City of God, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, a good citizen and an upright man are absolutely one and the same thing.”

        Pius XII wrote in Humani Generis that “the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing”.

        Paul VI and JPII used the phrase multiple times, Benedict XVI twice.

        • Woman In White

          All of the post-Vatican II popes adopted the heresy that schismatic churches are true Christian churches

          That is a false statement.

          • pobjoy

            The current Catholic Catechism (ed. J. Ratzinger) states that properly baptised persons have every right to be called Christians. Despite the (predictable!) attempt to patronise, that’s confirmation of the statement under scrutiny.

            I’d still like a list of those seven ‘edited’ books, please.

          • Woman In White

            I did not expect you to understand the distinction between Churches as such, churches, and ecclesial communities — this does not mean that members of ecclesial communities outside the Church cannot be Christians.

          • pobjoy

            Come to lie, again?

            ======================================================

            The Vatican’s Catechism does not make any qualification, other than that of ‘properly baptised’, which criterion all mainstream denominations satisfy. Some Catholics have belatedly admitted that this was a mistake.

          • Woman In White

            Your mendacity is demonic — I pray to the Saints and Angels to ask the Lord for your deliverance from the evil influence that you are subjected to, and to God for the protection of your Soul against concupiscence into mortal sin against His Will.

          • pobjoy

            🙂 It’s the mad ‘Man in Black’ back in a new guise.

          • Woman In White

            Your hatred is quite despicable.

        • EditorCT

          I knew that Pius XII used it and usually point that out, noting that he is a recent pope. Slipped my mind this time. Didn’t know that the post Vatican II popes used it but since they all departed from Catholic Tradition in so many ways, not least by their embracing of the ecumenical movement, that is hardly surprising, but no proof of anything except their own Modernism. The article speaks for itself on the history of this misnomer and even as a young girl I knew it didn’t make sense to say that I was a Scots RC. Nonsense.

          It’s not accurate to call the post-Vatican II popes “anti popes” – they were validly elected popes, as, so far as we know, is the present pontiff, but all of them Modernists and all of them one day will have their errors corrected by a future pope and General Council.

  • rtj1211

    Don’t you find it somewhat extraordinary that an aged bunch of male virgins, none of whom have ever got married, much less created a family, should be agonising over the tribulations of those whose life path they have never followed?

    If I wanted advice about marriage, I’d like it from someone who had been successfully married…….

    If I wanted advice about divorce, I’d like advice from someone who found happiness after it.

    If I wanted advice about remarriage, I’d like advice from someone whose second marriage was successful….particularly if any children from the first marriage adjusted well to it, respected it and retained close relations with the parent who remarried…….

    • Woman In White

      You haven’t the faintest idea of the virginity or not of any of these men.

      If I wanted advice about divorce, I’d like advice from someone who found happiness after it.

      That’s like asking a bulimic for nutritional advice.

      • Darbeet

        It really is nothing like asking a person with an eating disorder for nutritional advice, on any level whatsoever, now is it

        • Woman In White

          You see no parallel with asking those with disordered relationships for advice about relationships ?

          LOL

          • Darbeet

            Read again- the subject is advice about divorce, not relationships. You’re welcome. Not Laughing Out Loud….NLOL etc

          • Woman In White

            ah sorry — I see that I mistook your stupidity for immaturity

          • Darbeet

            It’s ok to make a mistake- such as equating asking a bulimic person about nutrition with asking a divorced person about their divorce experience, which you have done, in writing, there’s no more to say. I sincerely wish you well.

        • hobspawn

           “If I wanted advice about divorce, I’d like advice from someone who found happiness after it.”

          If I wanted advice about divorce, I’d like advice from someone who found corrupt family relationships, loneliness, despair, and regret after it. And his children.

    • pobjoy

      Don’t you find it somewhat extraordinary that an aged bunch of male virgins, none of whom have ever got married, much less created a family

      There is an explanation. To successfully promote the notion of a caste of men who create God with their hands in every village, you have to give an impression of superiority, of beings beyond the reach of the trials of life, with its indignities, its muck, its relationships that may reveal the weaknesses common to mankind. When, in the thirteenth century, the Vatican claimed that bread was turned into Jesus at ‘Mass’, it simultaneously barred its clerics from marriage, because it knew that their wives and children would talk to villagers, and the desired illusion would soon disappear, because those clerics would soon be seen as just like everyone else. So when Mr Bergoglio collects his fellows together to talk about family life, they too are just like everyone else, but, as you say, without any first-hand experience.

      • ardenjm

        “When, in the thirteenth century, the Vatican claimed that bread was turned into Jesus at ‘Mass’, it simultaneously barred its clerics from marriage”

        Yet more wilful ignorance from our resident anti-Catholic. Still, since enmity is placed between the serpent’s offspring (Satan, the Father of Lies and all those who take him for a father) and the woman’s offspring (Eve, Israel, Mary, Church) it’s good to repudiate your lies:

        Clerical Celibacy – apart from the Apostles themselves saying to Our Lord that they had left their families to follow Him, and St Paul talking of his unmarried state as an advantage to his apostolic office – is testified from the earliest times in the Church. Now, since you’ll find everything and its opposite in those centuries I’ll spare you the numerous Church Fathers who talk about it and who practiced it because you don’t accept their authority nor the fact that they belonged to the Catholic Church. So I’ll just limit myself to Church Councils. You know- like the Council in Jerusalem in Acts 15 that you ignore so blithely. Sola scriptura when it suits you, clearly. Such is always the way with Protestantism: you are your own magisterium. You decide what you want to follow and when and how. It’s called pride. Diabolical pride. Non serviam.

        Clerical Celibacy is not a 13th century invention within the Church’s discipline as evidenced by even a cursory knowledge of Church history:

        Council of Illiberi 4th century:
        “…It is decided that marriage be altogether prohibited to bishops, priests, and deacons, or to all clerics placed in the ministry, and that they keep away from their wives and not beget children; whoever does this, shall be deprived of the honor of the clerical office….”

        Council of Constantinople 381:
        Therefore also the Lord Jesus, when He had enlightened us by His coming, testifies in the Gospel, that he came to fulfill the Law, not to destroy it (Mt 5,17). And so He has wished the beauty of the Church, whose spouse He is, to radiate with the splendor of chastity, so that on the day of judgment, when He will have come again, He may be able to find her without spot or wrinkle (Ep 5,27) as He instituted her through His Apostle. All priests and levites are bound by the indissoluble law of these sanctions, so that from the day of our ordination, we give up both our hearts and our bodies to continence and chastity, provided only that through all things we may please our God in these sacrifices which we daily offer. “But those who are in the flesh,”as the vessel of election says, “cannot please God” (Rm 8,8).

        As for the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist – well, this was so universally accepted by practically all true Christians for the first 1000 years of the Church that you’ll find no Church pronouncement on the matter until it first gets thrown into question by Berengarius in the 11th century. Still, 200 years before your “13th century” fabrication. The words of his reconciliation to the Church’s teaching are moving so let’s quote them:

        “I, Berengarius, believe in my heart and openly profess that the bread and wine that are placed on the altar are through the mystery of the sacred prayer and the words of our Redeemer substantially changed into the true and proper life-giving flesh and blood of Jesus Christ our Lord; and that after the consecration is the true body of Christ, which was born of the Virgin, as an offering for the salvation of the world hung on the cross, and sits at the right hand of the Father; and (is) the true blood of Christ which flowed from his side; not only through the sign and power of the sacrament but in his proper nature and true substance; as it is set down in this summary and as I read it and you understand it. Thus I believe, and I will not teach any more against this faith. So help me God and this holy Gospel of God.”

        I appreciate that for you, the Gospel only got re-established with Martin Luther and John Calvin (both of whom called Mary the Mother of God, by the way, because, unlike you, they’d been properly educated in the Faith before they became heretics, so they understood what St Elizabeth meant when she said to Our Lady, “How is it that the Mother of my LORD comes to me?”) but it rather begs the question of what you think the Holy Spirit had been doing for 1500 years. Oh, I remember, that’s it: there had been “real” “spiritual” Christians all that time who had nothing to do with the visible Church. In which case, why did those “real” Christians all of a sudden establish themselves into visible churchlets at the Protestant Reformation. Weird that.

        • pobjoy

          Yet more historically ignorance

          🙂 Good ‘ere.

          It’s a matter of fact that, in the thirteenth century, the Vatican claimed that bread was turned into Jesus at ‘Mass’, and simultaneously barred its clerics from marriage. Now the alert reader has no doubt been pondering why the hell the Vatican took so many damn long centuries to figure out that its clerics shoud be celibate, and that they could turn bread into God. Well, I’ll tell you, dear heart; and you won’t be one bit surprised. It was because of greed! Pure, unalloyed greed! You see, Northern Europe was getting quite wealthy. The hitherto puny cult of the Vatican, that had all but disappeared in the eighth century, was not going to miss out on the easy pelf of the twelfth. Having theretofore been a mere puppet of Rome, and then of European monarchs, it decided it would be an earthly kingdom, just like those monarchs. Even bigger, in fact. So mystical ‘priests’ with magical abilities were its grand plan.

          It didn’t work, though. The blighters were too greedy, and monarchs told them what they could do with their papal bulls and legates. The Vatican wrung its hands, and made threats, but in the end, their friars, bshops and priests did for them, because the power of magic had gone to their heads. The Reformation stripped them of their influence, which is declining still. Those children and others who have suffered from abuses can trace their terrors back to the day the greedy Vatican, in the thirteenth century, claimed that bread was turned into Jesus at ‘Mass’, and simultaneously barred its clerics from marriage.

          • ardenjm

            Oh I don’t doubt that the Church regularly reinforced her discipline in these questions – and extended said discipline as she saw fit.
            But you know, pobjoy, just REPEATING your prejudice doesn’t make it any truer than the first time you promulgated it. I know you get your ‘facts’ from Jack Chick’s “literature” but unfortunately, the historical documents rather get in the way. Quite how you square the 13th century with the 4th century is beyond me. But then, so many of your ‘facts’ are nothing other than your bigotry – so I guess 900 years can be easily ignored when you’ve constructed a whole narrative in your head.
            Just out of interest: what churchlet do you belong to – is it one you invented yourself?

          • pobjoy

            Oh I don’t doubt that the Church regularly reinforced her discipline in these questions

            So Simon Peter, the Rock on which the Church was built, declared that celibacy was required of his leaders? Show me where that was.

          • ardenjm

            In today’s Gospel at Mass we read St Peter asking Our Lord:

            Then Peter said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?”

            That’s where it started, pobjoy. Or rather, it started with Our Lord Himself – who was unmarried and who stated unequivocally in Luke 14 the cost of discipleship included making sacrifices of that kind. That some of these disciples were set apart for service of God – to the exclusion of married life – is testified by St Paul – who recommended that state in life AS AN APOSTLE. This explains why Bishops were required to be celibate and priests also – very early on in the Church’s life – as the Councils I quoted to you show. And lastly, although less clearly, we have a reference to the unmarried and their special vocation in the Church in Revelation chapter 14 (though we do not know who these men are in terms of their role in the Church – we know they were consecrated to God even in their sexuality) :

            “And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless.”

          • pobjoy

            we have left everything

            ‘We’ including wives?

          • ardenjm

            Yep. As Our Lord Himself reminds them in Luke chapter 14.
            If you’d bothered to check the reference.

            But thanks all the same for tacitly acknowledging that I am right on this.

            I’ll give you this, pobjoy, you’re chutzpah is limitless.
            Shame your desire for truth isn’t.

          • pobjoy

            Yep.

            Then some of the disciples were married, and wives were part of Jesus’ entourage.

          • ardenjm

            “We have left everything” suggests to me that, umm, the wives were left behind, pobjoy. You know, it’s kinda implied in the word, “everything.” LOL.

            You’re having a hard time squaring the circle.
            Try again.

            And, whilst you’re at it – perhaps you’d care to comment on Our Lord’s unmarried status and what that means for the Church.
            Strewth! You really do resist anything that might do you good.

          • pobjoy

            “We have left everything” suggests to me that, umm, the wives were left behind

            Not if ‘we’ included wives. You must improve your literacy level under stress.

            Jesus’ unmarried status was of course sensible for one who was going to leave the earth before parenthood would have been complete. That much is obvious, surely. It is also clear that Jesus did not abandon his family when he began his ministry, so there is no reason to believe that his disciples did so. “We have left everything” must therefore refer to fishing boats and the like.

          • ardenjm

            “Not if ‘we’ included wives.”

            Good grief! You’ve got to be kidding me.

            Listen to your own logic:

            ‘We’ve left everything’ doesn’t include wives. Ergo it doesn’t include children and other dependents either. Ergo, it doesn’t mean ‘everything’ at all.

            How about you take everything to mean everything as implied by the fact that there is NO MENTION OF THE WIVES BEING WITH THE 12 AT ANY POINT. On the contrary the only implication is that Jesus and the disciples visit at one point Simon Peter’s Mother in Law WHERE SHE IS. And that’s it. That’s the only mention of a marital life. The Mother of the Sons of Zebedee puts in an appearance. The ‘women’ following Jesus are mentioned – and some names are listed (and none of them are ever described as wives of the 12 although one of the Mary’s IS described as wife of Clopas – therefore, it is more than reasonable to expect a wife of one of the 12 to be referred to as such.)

            But instead of that – YOU, Pontifex Pobjoy, have infallibly decreed that this ‘we’ includes the wives.

            You couldn’t make it up. It’s beyond parody.

            You are winding me up. You’re not a serious (if twisted) independent-baptisty type person at all. You’re just a wind-up merchant.

          • pobjoy

            So Catholics are not required to be celibate. They are required to abandon their children. The Vicariate of Christ has had it wrong, all along.

            What an outfit to run a discussion on ‘the family’, eh.

          • ardenjm

            Catholics are not required to be celibate.
            Priests however are – and this since the 4th century at least – but based on earlier disciplines – including the example of St Paul and of Our Lord.

            I’m glad you’ve abandoned your earlier ’13th century’ nonsense.

            As for the outfit that are the human members of the Church – I FULLY agree. The Church shouldn’t, by rights, have lasted longer than 2 weeks. It’s full, totally full of sinners. Some of whom are VERY GRAVE hypocrites, Judases even, in charge, like one of the Apostles, of very important responsibilities. I fear for their salvation.
            The Church, however, has survived, and will survive.
            Because she is Christ’s Bride and He gave His Life for her – and His Life is Divine and Eternal and therefore the gates of Hell cannot prevail against her.

            Remind me of the churchlet you belong to, pobjoy. You’re remarkably evasive on that question. You’ve never answered it. Is it because you don’t want to lie – because the churchlet you did once belong to you no longer frequent and you belong to the church of you alone – which in the late hours of the night, doesn’t even convince you that this is what Christ meant when He spoke about building His Church on the Rock that is Peter… Not even your ‘spiritual’ Church with your mistaken attribution of a verse about the Holy Spirit to the reality that is the Church ‘blowing where it wills’ is what you said about the Church. Oddly. Not even THAT argument really convinces you, does it…

          • pobjoy

            Catholics are not required to be celibate.
            Priests however are

            ‘Priests’ are Catholics, aren’t they? (Not that either category is any more than fantasy.) Though neither Peter nor Paul nor any other apostle could direct elders to be celibates, because the facts never supported the idea. Jesus’ celibacy is irrelevant, for obvious reasons, and there is not one command for celibacy for anyone in the gospels; it’s an entirely voluntary state, for any saint of God. There was never any caste of superior people, anyway; elders, or bishops, were ordinary people, wearing ordinary clothes, with ordinary titles, with no recognition from any civil state. A bishop today is a man who looks like any other on the street. Certainly not the clowns on view when papalist phonies meet! Indeed, it is only the most desperate phonies who need all that paraphernalia! ‘Protestant’ phonies have far more intelligence. Though even they are usually easily spotted.

            Most of the apostles took their wives on their mission journeys, and Paul actually specified that bishops should have (no more than) one wife— along with possessing many moral qualities that Catholic clerics have infamously also lacked, and with total impunity. As common observation confirms, a Catholic is one who finds occasionally eating a bit of bread far easier than the spiritual life. Common, carnal sense, really!

            So when, after the long centuries between Constantine and the Lateran Council, the greed of the Vatican overtook its intelligence, it started the process that was to be its downfall. That was bringing in notions that it knew were arrant lies, like making bread into God, and forcing men whom it absurdly called sacerdotes to be celibates. Because the muck-spreading and the mucky sprogs of married life would have given the whole, thieving game away.

          • Woman In White

            there is not one command for celibacy for anyone

            Matthew : {19:12} For there are chaste persons who were born so from their mother’s womb, and there are chaste persons who have been made so by men, and there are chaste persons who have made themselves chaste for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever is able to grasp this, let him grasp it.

            1 Corinthians : {7:27} Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be freed. Are you free of a wife? Do not seek a wife.

            {7:38} And so, he who joins with his virgin in matrimony does well, and he who does not join with her does better

            Most of the apostles took their wives on their mission journeys

            Where does this completely unscriptural claim come from, Mister “sola scriptura” ?

            Where are the imaginary wives of Thomas, Mark, Philip, James, Bartholomew, and Thaddeus described in Scripture ?

            neither Peter nor Paul nor any other apostle could direct elders to be celibates

            Where is this to be found in Scripture ?

            elders, or bishops, were ordinary people, wearing ordinary clothes, with ordinary titles
            Where is this to be found in Scripture ?

          • ardenjm

            “Most of the apostles took their wives on their mission journeys”
            For a man who claims ‘sola scriptura’ as his guide – you do love to invent pure fantasy.
            You can’t have it both ways, pobjoy:
            Either the Church was corrupt because she didn’t correct the irregular moral and financial situation of priests and bishops with wife, concubines and children or she’s corrupt for requiring them to follow the example of Jesus, St Paul and the other Apostles, in leaving behind all family concerns for the sake of the Kingdom – you know, those “eunuchs for the Kingdom” that Jesus talks about in the Gospel.
            She can’t be corrupt for doing both.
            UNLESS – you are you and the Church can’t do anything godly at all, ever. But then, that’s no longer any connection with reality that you’re after, just the opportunity to treat this blog as your own personal Hyde Park Corner.

          • pobjoy

            you do love to invent pure fantasy

            ‘Don’t we have the right to be accompanied by a Christian wife like the other apostles, the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas?’ 1 Cor 9:5 (HCSB)

            ‘An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, not
            addicted to wine, not a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome, not greedy— one who manages his own household competently, having his children under control with all dignity. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own
            household, how will he take care of God’s church?)’ 1 Timothy 3:2-5 (HCSB)

            Well, quite. How indeed.

          • ardenjm

            Since you’ve refused to answer the question what protestant churchlet you belong to (or belonged to, since I suspect you’ve gone off and done your own thing because you’ll have not accepted correction from anyone who disagrees with you) it’s good to see that you quote from the HCSB and thus we see the Southern Baptist affiliation somewhere in there.
            Result for me – I correctly spoke of you coming from some kind of Baptist background. As for the religious content of your post – Woman in White has covered all the bases below.

          • Woman In White

            Catholics … are required to abandon their children

            Why do you keep on inventing these preposterous lies ?

          • Woman In White

            Your account is completely paranoid.

          • samton909

            You are possibly the worst informed person ever to utter a sentence about the Church.

          • pobjoy

            So we agree on all points.

      • samton909

        Too bad you get so many fundamental facts wrong.

    • samton909

      And you would be a fool, because even those who have been successfully married are not experts on how to do it, divorcees lie all the time about how happy they are now, even as they cry themselves to sleep, etc. No, your rather short sighted dismissiveness does not do you great credit. Most intelligent people want good advice, from whatever quarter it comes from. And people who have made it their lives work to help others along in the marriages, are well placed to know a thing or two. So much for your cheap shots.

  • jeffersonian

    One of the many reasons I love Damian’s articles is that they read like Malachi Martin. Madness and genius in an eternal struggle. Good and evil. And the thing we can’t escape is that they have a kernel of Truth. And then we’re treated to: ‘And now the cardinal who tried to cover up the abuse has been invited by the Pope to a synod on the family.’ I mean really. This is a plot twist that a superb fiction/faction-writer like Martin would struggle to eclipse. Hugely enjoyable.

    The Roman Catholic Church sometimes makes think of a great magnificent oak-tree. Enormous trunk, glorious crown, two millennia’s worth of adoration, and money, and political power – however, due to centuries of rot, the great tree is but a shell, it’s insides eaten away. And the chances of it surviving the next Great (civilisational) Storm seem slim. Sadly. I love oaks.

    • Fulgentian

      What has rotted the insides?

      • jeffersonian

        That’s the million dollar question.

        • Fulgentian

          Badgers?

      • pobjoy

        Literacy, the Bible, education, democracy, travel and communications.

        • hobspawn

          And a philosophy of satisfaction of personal desire at any cost. Happiness is the purpose of life now, not doing right. For evidence, look what people do to their children.

          • pobjoy

            And a philosophy of satisfaction of personal desire at any cost.

            That cannot be so, because democracy regulated by the rule of law places serious limits on satisfying personal desire at any cost. Unless one is a banker.

            The bankers of medievalism were cardinals, bishops, friars and even popes, who used legal immunites to get away with ‘murder’, sometimes literally. It is too often forgotten that the Reformation had two causes. One was of course the rediscovery of the vernacular Bible. The other was the deep dissatisfaction, over all Europe, among all classes of people, with the hierarchies of the Vatican, that acted as if they owned everything and everyone. Even loyal Catholics were scandalised.

            For evidence, look what people do to their children.

            If you mean that they organise sex abuse groups, they do nothing worse than the Vatican, that still seems to have a medieval immunity about it.

          • hobspawn

            It may surprise you to hear that I was not thinking of paedophilia, since it is a relatively rare occurrence. The only figures I have been able to find suggest that incidences of sexual encounters with minors occur in 2-5% of priests, 8% in the general population, and 8.4% amongst teachers. My guess is that teachers are actually much more active than that. The only paedos I’ve encountered were all teachers.

            However, I was actually thinking of the damage done to children by under-breeding, abortion, divorce, contraception (free to minors), parents’ acceptance of their children’s pre-marital sexual relationships, and the general separation of sex from its essential function. It is very hard to devote your life to your spouse and children when you are constantly being told by society that your own day-to-day happiness is paramount. Many of the most valuable things in life come as a result of suffering and sacrifice.

            The Church is one of the last defenders in the West of the traditional enduring family structure.

          • pobjoy

            Actually, it may surprise you to hear that I was not thinking of paedophilia, since it is a relatively rare occurrence.

            Catholics very rarely surprise. It does not surprise anyone that you write of ‘paedophilia’, when, as any properly educated Catholic knows, the correct term is ‘paederasty’. It is also very drearily predictable that a Catholic would talk about paederasty rather than its organisation; and the Vatican seems to have been the greatest exponent of that sort of crime for the longest time. How long? In the fourteenth century, there were complaints that celibacy introduced sodomy ‘in holy church’. So, who knows.

            It’s no surprise whatever that the demonic practice of internet Catholics is displayed when they claim that they represent the one, holy church yet excuse themselves with comparisons with the worst pagan criminals! But then, Constantine, Theodosius and the rest of those stooge dull-wits represented those among the most infamously carnal people in history. Even the Persian rulers despised the Roman patricians.

            I was actually thinking of the damage done to children by
            under-breeding, abortion, divorce, contraception (free to minors),
            parents’ acceptance of their children’s pre-marital sexual
            relationships, and the general separation of sex from its essential
            function.

            So you were thinking about the Vatican’s main method of staying in existence, which was never evangelisation. Getting duped people to marry and raise brainwashed, ‘baptised’ children, that’s almost the only papalist strategy left, because literacy, the Bible, education, democracy, travel and communications have made it so.

            Thank you for your sincere support.

          • Woman In White

            One is not surprised to discover this latest example of your hatred.

          • pobjoy

            Could you be loving and kind enough to provide that list of seven books, please.

          • Woman In White

            Is your general knowledge regarding that fake religion you adhere to really so incomplete ?

            Have you no access to Google ?

          • pobjoy

            It’s the hard-won knowledge of the slipperiness of internet Catholics that is complete. 🙂 But I’ll take this as reluctant admission that the books known as ‘Deuterocanonical’ are those referred to.

            Of course, the very term ‘deutero’ applied to ‘canon’ raises logical questions. Surely, a rule is a rule is a rule? So why do Catholics not have the courage of their convictions, and promote these books to protocanonical status? After all, they now mingle them with the protocanonical books, so that Catholics who read their Bibles cannot readily tell one sort from another.

            So to say that Protestants ‘edited’ these books out seems at least unreasonable. Surely, their action looks like appropriate conservatism, rather than hazardous adventurism. It is at least as reasonable to say that others have added to Scripture, rather than that Protestants excised it. That is of course the view of all Protestants, even if they treat what they call ‘Apocrypha’ as of valuable historical interest.

          • Woman In White

            Your proddie jargon lacks meaning.

            The desire of Martin Luther to remove seven entire books plus multiple sections from others does not magically cause the Church Fathers to have “added” anything at all — especially given that the Old Testament Canon typically in use in 1st Century Palestine had been in use among the Jews for centuries, frequently in its Septuagint translation which was the text in use among the earliest Christians.

          • pobjoy

            the Church Fathers

            Paul, John, Peter, James and Jude. Is there evidence that they used these seven books to define doctrine?

            Septuagint translation which was the text in use among the earliest Christians.

            Greek-speakers used the LXX, but that does not mean that they recognised all that happened to be translated as Scripture.

          • Woman In White

            I’d advise you to open your palms, and count how many straws you’ve just clutched. But do take care to secure your footing, I’d not want you to fall …

            Koine Greek was the Lingua Franca of ordinary usage among the inhabitants of the Middle East of 2000 years ago.

            Your list of Church Fathers is woefully incomplete.

          • pobjoy

            The poster realises that Greek-speakers used the LXX, but that this does not mean that they recognised as Scripture all that happened to be translated. Yet she evades this decisive issue. So she is a malicious, contemptible liar who is not worth reading, ever.

            But for information, for decent, respectable readers, the following may prove interesting.

            Koine Greek was the Lingua Franca

            It was the lingua franca, actually. (One can always tell when posters are trying to claim authority they know they don’t possess. 🙂 ) But this was so well beyond the ME. It was the lingua franca of N Africa, home to many Jews, and the lingua franca of Babylonia, home to yet more Jews, and the same in Anatolia. It was the language of trade and commerce all around the Mediterraean. But this had not been so before Alexander’s Conquest (that’s where we can use caps legitimately). So koine had been in use for 250 years or so before Jesus. But the last word of the last prophet had been penned long before Alexander, in Hebrew or Aramaic. Now, on his jolly jaunt, Alexander had taken in ‘Galilee of the Gentiles’, home for Jesus and eleven of twelve disciples, which region was a busy trading area, so Greek was essential for Galilean traders. Orthodox but poorer Judea, otoh, retained Mishnaic Hebrew and Aramaic (though Greek was still used in Jesus’ day). So the Jerusalem Sanhedrin, whose validity Jesus at least recognised, even if he called them vipers, accepted only the precious Hebrew and Aramaic copies of autographs in their own possession, and would never have even contemplated using a good translation, let alone the uneven and entirely unofficial foreign production that was the LXX. So the NT got written in Greek; but nobody should be fooled by that, because, when Jesus validated the OT, it was the Hebrew/Aramaic original, with its great wealth of subtle meaning, that he validated, for Christians. That linguistic factor is one of the crucial criteria of Protestants; as indeed it is of Jews, and in more matters than canon, for both.

            Your list of Church Fathers is woefully incomplete.

            If a man is a church father, his work must be worth canonising. So maybe someone will let us know when the Catholic protocanon has been amended.

            Maybe Sr. Bergoglio has other things on his mind, though. 🙂

          • Woman In White

            this does not mean that they recognised as Scripture all that happened to be translated

            There is a blatantly clear lack of evidence otherwise.

            So she is a malicious, contemptible liar

            He.

            Your contemptible accusation is utterly vile in every respect.

            One can always tell when posters are trying to claim authority they know they don’t possess

            Do at least *try* and not be such a prat ?

            So the Jerusalem Sanhedrin, whose validity Jesus at least recognised, even if he called them vipers, accepted only the precious Hebrew and Aramaic copies of autographs in their own possession, and would never have even contemplated using a goodtranslation, let alone the uneven and entirely unofficial foreign production that was the LXX

            That is a complete and utter pole-dancing ludicrous cr*p-fest.

            You are projecting some modern notions invented over the past 500 years into the heads of men who lived 2.300 years ago.

            Whereas in reality, the Septuagint was THE officially sanctioned and recognised Greek translation approved by the Temple for the religious use of the Hellenic Jews, who were the majority in that religion during those centuries.

            I don’t suppose you’ll even realise the deep irony of your double-standard’d hypocrisy in __denouncing__ that ancient translation of Scripture into Vernacular.

            You have exactly ZERO evidence that the Sanhedrin “accepted only the precious Hebrew and Aramaic copies of autographs in their own possession”, because no material evidence whatsoever exists given that the Temple and Jerusalem itself were utterly destroyed, razed to the ground, with nothing remaining of anything at all by the Roman Army in AD 70.

            And “autographs” ??? SERIOUSLY ?????!!???!!??? Where did you get THAT particular fantasy from, that all original authors’ OT manuscripts were in existence in Jerusalem 2000 years ago ? That Martin Luther 1600 years later was able to determine, without ever engaging in any archaeological work and with no access to the extremely hypothetical manuscripts that you suggest, that this or that needed to be edited out of the Bible ?

            Like every other proddy, you just make things up as you go along, and then expect everyone to think that your personal fantasies are universal truths.

            Pathetic.

          • pobjoy

            There is a blatantly clear lack of evidence otherwise.

            There has to be clear evidence that the seven books were considered canonical, if your accusation of Protestants is to be acceptable. So, unless you can do what more intelligent Catholics have attempted to do for years, show that these books were used in creating NT theology, and evidently you cannot, whatever else you write merely demonstrates you unfitness to breathe, let alone post. You are a malicious liar in everything you write, and wonderful proof that, if there is no hell, there damn well ought to be one!

          • Woman In White

            There has to be clear evidence that the seven books were considered canonical

            Well duh, they were included into the Canon by the Ancient Hebrews over 2.300 years ago, and the anti-Catholic opinions of apostates and heretics born 1.800 years or more after the fact are of very little meaningful value.

          • pobjoy

            they were included into the Canon by the Ancient Hebrews over 2.300 years ago

            Ancient Hebrews? So Abraham and Isaac included Tobit and Judith in the canon.

            Make an appointment, Monday, first thing.

          • Woman In White

            Your “logic” is as risible as your mind is ignorant.

          • pobjoy

            So you are really saying that you have seen Hebrew copies of Tobit and Judith?

          • Woman In White

            Not personally, and I take note of your risible attempt to claim my argument as yours, but the Canon is still not to be determined by whichever internet trolls thousands of years after the fact.

            Scripture was written in three languages.

          • pobjoy

            Not personally

            So you don’t know that Tobit and Judith were not written in Greek, and translated into Hebrew to make them look orthodox. You talk about ‘Ancient Hebrews’ because the people you actually refer to would never have been recognised as Israelites by any Israelite of Moses’ day, David’s day, or even Hezekiah’s day. They were the sort of people Jesus called ‘a nest of vipers’. 🙂

            There’s only one way you can justify your interruption, and that is by showing Protestants that the New Testament, that your own outfit claims to have ‘written’, laughingly enough, contains theology that is based on your seven books. Many have attempted to do that, and failed. It is absurdly circular to castigate Protestants for not accepting your ‘Fathers’.

            Otherwise your claim falls. Not that any intelligent, law-abiding person is going to take any notice of an egregiously criminal outfit, in any case; not just Protestants.

          • Woman In White

            So you don’t know that Tobit and Judith were not written in Greek, and translated into Hebrew to make them look orthodox

            Indeed I do not “know”, given that it’s simply A theory of provenance, certainly not established fact.

            There’s only one way you can justify your interruption, and that is by showing Protestants that the New Testament, that your own outfit claims to have ‘written’, laughingly enough, contains theology that is based on your seven books.

            That is a ludicrously biased statement.

            an egregiously criminal outfit

            That would be the tens of thousands of Protestant “churches”.

          • pobjoy

            Indeed I do not “know”

            Then shut up until you do. Though it won’t mean that you are immune from prosecution for inciting crime.

          • Woman In White

            Then shut up until you do

            YOU are the one who started ranting about it.

            I merely pointed out that Martin Luther decided to reject the Canon by editing out seven entire books of Scripture. I have suggested no claims of provenance, other than to point out that the texts are of demonstrably Ancient Jewish origin.

          • pobjoy

            YOU are the one who started ranting about it.

            ‘Not once in five hundred years has a Catholic been able to point out
            where Protestantism is in disobedience of the Bible: those 66 books that
            the Vatican describes as ‘Sacred Scripture’.’

            does not seem like a rant.

            The Book of Judith is a literary masterpiece

            So is Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

          • Woman In White

            Ranting is endemic to your posting style — and your worldly comparison is horridly typical of your Scriptural faithlessness.

          • pobjoy

            🙂

          • hobspawn

             “‘Not once in five hundred years has a Catholic been able to point out where Protestantism is in disobedience of the Bible: those 66 books that the Vatican describes as ‘Sacred Scripture’.'”

            Without spending much time on it, the apostolic succession of the Protestant Church of England in the 17th century springs to mind. As I understand it, it became a commonplace for the Crown to appoint bishops who had not even taken holy orders. The English Church became a secular extension of the monarchical power structure. I’m not sure the treatment of the monasteries was exactly what Christ intended either.

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that the Catholic Church is blameless. I just don’t buy the suggestion that the Protestants fixed the problem of Satan infiltrating human institutions.

            But we are Christians. Let’s argue in a more friendly and neighbourly style, with faith, forgiveness, and friendship.

          • pobjoy

            Without spending much time on it

            So Mr Hit ‘n Run has come to town, eh.

            the apostolic succession of the Protestant Church of England

            The CoE has never claimed such a ridiculous idea as ‘apostolic succession’, that is ridiculous and demonic in its very concept. Let alone in historic terms; unanimously, Anglican archbishops and bishops of the Reformation joined every other Reformation leader in condemning the Vatican as antichrist. How this poster imagines that anyone in his right mind would want succession from Satan is for readers to decide. 🙂

            A 19th century Anglican archbishop and scholar warned a faction of fantasising, self-important clerics, ‘There is not one person alive who can claim apostolic succession.’ The CoE has always claimed that Presbyterian polity is its own option (as it still is today); indeed, it was probably only the insistence of James I, “No bishops, no king,” that the decision was taken to adopt diocesan control, a decision that contributed very greatly to the Civil Wars and their awful consequences, that resonated into the 20th century. Now diocesan control is sourced to the pagan Roman Empire, not the Bible, that supports democratic polity from start to finish. So it’s no wonder that our cute, affectionate poster opens by saying,

            Without spending much time on it

            🙂

          • hobspawn

            Actually, Apostolic succession has mattered quite a lot to many clerics in the English Church through the last four centuries. Some Anglican clerics have said it doesn’t exist or matter, while others have clung to it against all historical evidence. What qualifies a priest to ministry without it? Some Anglicans have even decided to join the Catholic Church in order to gain it.

            Certainly Christ charged his apostles with a duty to build a church and be fishers of men. It’s not clear that he intended the New Testament itself to be the only means of achieving that.

          • pobjoy

            Actually

            Any bumptious, overpaid, childish half-wit with broadband can write ‘actually’ while lecturing properly educated adults with what they treat as givens. Of course many Anglicans are called ‘Anglo-Catholics’, and there was a prolonged furore when they started that deceit. Are you unaware of that, actually? Are you unaware that Catholic emancipation was achieved only by threat of Catholic violence? Or are you here only because your posts are the spawn of hobgoblins, ‘things taught by demons’? If you don’t at least realise that, if thuggish people call themselves ‘Anglo-Catholics’, they can hardly be Protestants, you must be too dense to post; or too dishonest. Which is it?

            Readers will doubtless be left to draw their own conclusions about that. But they should each realise that this troll poster is not dealing with the given challenge, that is, to show Protestants, real ones, whom Catholics severely censure for believing in sola Scriptura, that they fail to obey their Bible, every word of which the Vatican claims to be valid, Sacred Scripture!

            What qualifies a priest to ministry without it?

            Nothing qualifies a sacerdotal human being even to breathe. If every Catholic ‘priest’ was crucified by due process of law, not one Catholic could claim injustice.

            There are no sacerdotal humans in the CoE, even if some of them like to pretend that they are such. (The Thirty-Nine Articles, in original Latin, confirms this.) In the CoE there are presbyters, which name was shortened to ‘prester’, then ‘priest’; but ‘presbyter’ means no more than ‘elder’, and elders were merely the older men of Israel, life’s natural, un-‘ordained’ leaders. So, where ‘two or three’ are gathered together, the older males get to be the elders. Plural.

            So, ‘hobspawn’, get out that dusty old Bible, and prove that Christians have human priests, rather than that unredeemed pagans have them. You’ll have to find, in the appropriate context, the word sacerdoti if you use your Vulgate, or ἱερεύς, if you dare use Greek, if you are to succeed. Don’t darken the door before you have it. Bin voyage!

          • Woman In White

            Any bumptious, overpaid, childish half-wit with broadband can write ‘actually’

            As is demonstrated by your own use of that word.

            Meanwhile, it is the hypocrisy of the doctrine of so-called sola scriptura that Catholics tend to ridicule, given that Luther ripped out huge chunks of content out of the Scripture, rewrote a whole bunch of others, and that neither his own theses nor your reverently worshipped 39 articles are to be found in Scripture in the first place, nor is the now huge body of Protestant theology and doctrine.

            Quite apart from the fact that Protestant familiarity with Scripture is no greater than Catholic — indeed it is frequently smaller given the poorly edited texts that circulate amongst them instead of the canonical Bible.

          • pobjoy

            it is the hypocrisy of the doctrine of so-called sola scriptura that Catholics tend to ridicule

            What hypocrisy? The statement was made that, ‘Not once in five hundred years has a Catholic been able to point out where Protestantism is in disobedience of the Bible.’ So demonstrate this hypocrisy before making this allegation, that otherwise looks spurious. Be the very first. Be famous!

          • Woman In White

            The statement was made that, ‘Not once in five hundred years has a Catholic been able to point out where Protestantism is in disobedience of the Bible.’

            It is a false statement. The disobedience of Protestants to Scripture has been pointed out countless times in both past and present.

            Romans 3,28 :

            Arbitramur enim iustificari hominem per fidem sine operibus legis.

            For we judge a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law.

            The Greek simply says: — λογιζομεθα (We reckon) ουν (therefore) πιστει (by faith) δικαιουσθαι (to be justified) ανθρωπον (a man) χωρις (apart from) εργων (works of) νομου (law)

            Luther deliberately added the word “alone” after “faith”, thereby directly denaturing the Scripture, and therefrom creating his own man-made doctrine of justification contrary to the teachings of Christianity through the Bible — and that’s just one example of his denaturing of the Scripture for the purpose of justifying, not men, but his own unchristian and unbiblical teachings, contrary to the Faith.

            See for example here http://www.protestanterrors.com/ at numbers 6-9, which show the extent to which Protestants disobey Scripture itself, and which demonstrate the direct falsehood of your claim that no Catholic in 500 years has “been able to point out where Protestantism is in disobedience of the Bible”, whereas it is clearly the case that this task has been accomplished multiple times.

          • pobjoy

            we judge a man to be justified by faith

            Faith in what?

          • hobspawn

             “we judge a man to be justified by faith

            Faith in what?”

            For a start, faith in John 6 which you yourself cited. It is pretty clear that while you’re happy to cite passages from the Gospels, you’re not prepared to follow the simple instructions in them. I doubt that you are a Christian at all. I wonder if you just like the label as a cover for appeals to authority on internet fora.

          • pobjoy

            For a start, faith in John 6

            Protestants believe in Jn 6; yet, another poster claimed that Protestants disobey Scripture. So in what do Catholics have faith?

          • hobspawn

             “Protestants believe in Jn 6; yet, another poster claimed that Protestants disobey Scripture. So in what do Catholics have faith?”

            Quit the hermeneutics. “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” Stop sitting on the fence, put technical squabbling behind you, and join Christ. The Gospels leave no room for doubt.

          • pobjoy

            So two Catholics refuse to say what Catholics have faith in.

            But that’s no surprise at all, because Catholics have never answered that question.

          • pobjoy

            it is the hypocrisy of the doctrine of so-called sola scriptura that Catholics tend to ridicule

            What hypocrisy? The statement was made that, ‘Not once in five hundred years has a Catholic been able to point out where Protestantism is in disobedience of the Bible.’ So demonstrate this hypocrisy before making this allegation, that otherwise looks spurious. Be the very first. Be famous!

          • hobspawn

            How could the early Christians obey the New Testament when it did not yet exist? When Christ said “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me”, was his intention that the Apostles should then take a hiatus until the New Testament was written? If Moses delivered the tablets, why couldn’t Christ have handed over the New Testament. In triplicate. Why did the Gospel writers not mention this critical windfall? Your idolatry of the Book rather than the truth which caused it, overlooks what it states plainly in the Book: that Christ charged his disciples with a duty to be fishers of men, and provided a sacred ritual by which they could access Him. It is a shame that the Church of England continues to struggle with this contradiction, to the extent that a kind of pantomime communion is both carried out, and abhorred within its ranks. It is an absurdity to suggest that God sent his only son in order to found a purely human church. The divinity must lie in the central ritual of the Church, first and foremost, because Christ did not hand over a book.

          • pobjoy

            How could the early Christians obey the New Testament when it did not yet exist?

            They could not. They had the actual presence of the apostles, whose words, one must suppose, were no different from those found in the NT. Very soon after Jesus said “This is my body,” his disciples took note:

            ‘Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts’ Acts 2:46 (NIV).

            So this is a nugatory, and rather pointless, objection. Protestants say that the disciples could not have supposed that this physical eating was at all the same as eating Jesus’ body; and no Catholic or anyone else can say that they are incorrect.

            Now the challenge is to find where Protestants (who include far more people than the CoE) disobey the NT, and nothing other than the NT. Using circular argument, by reference to ‘ritual’ before it has been demonstrated to be biblical, is a method not worth reading.

            Except to show that it cannot be a Christian method. It may deceive casual readers, of course.

          • hobspawn

            You seem to have accepted that the Bible was not essential to Christian worship. You seem to have implied that when Christ said “this is my body”, it was a once-in-history anomaly with no continuation, and that “do this in memory of me” meant “do something not quite the same in memory of me”. I want your faith to make sense to me, because you are my Christian brother, but I can’t see the logic in it. I don’t think this conversation will bear much further fruit so let’s end it in friendship. Cheers!

          • pobjoy

            You seem to have accepted that the Bible was not essential to Christian worship.

            Correct. There were Christians in the USSR (and I don’t mean the Orthodox) who had few or no Bibles, yet they withstood awful persecution. What matters is the keys of the kingdom, that is, the Holy Spirit, who guides into all truth. Those who claim to have an earthly ‘Father’ are incapable of knowing that experience.

            You seem to have implied that when Christ said “this is my body”, it was a once-in-history anomaly with no continuation

            Incorrect. Very soon after Jesus said, “This is my body,” his disciples took note:

            ‘Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They
            broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere
            hearts’ Acts 2:46 (NIV).

            Protestants say that the disciples could not have supposed that this
            physical eating was at all the same as eating Jesus’ body; and no
            Catholic or anyone else can show that they are incorrect, and in five hundred years, no Catholic ever has.

          • hobspawn

             “Protestants say that the disciples could not have supposed that this physical eating was at all the same as eating Jesus’ body; and no Catholic or anyone else can show that they are incorrect, and in five hundred years, no Catholic ever has.”

            You conjure for me a vision of Christ at the last supper chopping his fingers off with a meat cleaver and passing them round for lengthy mastication. Clearly, when Christ broke bread, shared it with his disciples and said “this is my body”, he was doing something more miraculous than that. The Gospels are clear. Do this in memory of me so that sins may be forgiven. The miracle was to be available as long as Christ’s memory, and so it is. A Christian must submit to this mystery, if no other. That is why Catholic priests return to the altar after mass to collect any fallen crumb, and treat it with the reverence it deserves. You ask for an example of Bible Christians disobeying the Bible: you ignore therein the simplest and most significant instructions uttered by Christ himself.

          • pobjoy

            Do this in memory of me so that sins may be forgiven.

            In which Gospel is that found? The Gospel according to Hallucinations? Or the Gospel according to Hobgoblins?

          • hobspawn

             “Do this in memory of me so that sins may be forgiven.

            In which Gospel is that found? The Gospel according to Hallucinations? Or the Gospel according to Hobgoblins?”

            A desperate attempt at diversion. Please answer the point. He said “do this in memory of me”, yet Protestants don’t.

          • pobjoy

            He said “do this in memory of me”, yet Protestants don’t.

            That’s exactly what they do. They don’t do it in order that sins may be forgiven, which is your own invention. They do it because sins have been forgiven. Hence the ‘glad and sincere hearts’.

          • hobspawn

             “He said “do this in memory of me”, yet Protestants don’t.That’s exactly what they do. They don’t do it in order that sins may be forgiven, which is your own invention. They do it because sins have been forgiven. Hence the ‘glad and sincere hearts’.”

            My experience is that mostly they don’t do it, and when they do, they do not accept Christ’s claim that “this is my body”. They seem to think that he did not really mean that bit.

          • pobjoy

            They don’t agree that Jesus is a fifty billion megawatt lamp when he says he’s the Light of the World, either. Presumably Catholics do.

          • hobspawn

             “They don’t agree that Jesus is a fifty billion megawatt lamp when he says he’s the Light of the World, either. Presumably Catholics do.”

            Another attempt at diversion.

            The last supper is very important. Time was short. Jesus spoke unambiguously. Following him through his more challenging teachings isn’t a question of saying ‘he did not really mean that, he meant the opposite’. He was not a madman. Why did he say something as extraordinary as ‘this is my body’ when passing round bread he had blessed?

          • pobjoy

            Jesus spoke unambiguously.

            True. He had already established in Jn 6 that to ‘eat my body’ is to trust him, not literal eating. He did not contradict himself.

            Why did he say something as extraordinary as ‘this is my body’?

            Because faith was as essential for spiritual life as bread was for physical life. So, whenever his disciples ate bread, they remembered Jesus’ sacrifice.

          • hobspawn

            Quite the reverse: “The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”

            Faith means accepting “this is my body” without some contorted hermeneutic escape chute.

          • pobjoy

            So Jesus said that people must eat his body. He can have had only two
            meanings, at that time. One was that he should literally be eaten, an
            absurd option that the weak disciples used as an excuse. The other was
            that they should trust Jesus, who had just told them that trusting him
            was what they lacked. Protestants say that they could not have supposed
            that Jesus meant that they should literally eat bread, because the Last
            Supper was well into the future. So Protestants take faith as the means
            of ‘eating’ and ‘drinking’, in the sense that Jesus used elsewhere.

            Don’t tell me you didn’t read that when it was first written, hobgoblin.

          • Woman In White

            And here, at last, is your profession of Heresy.

          • hobspawn

             “The other was that they should trust Jesus, who had just told them that trusting him was what they lacked. Protestants say that they could not have supposed that Jesus meant that they should literally eat bread, because the Last Supper was well into the future. So Protestants take faith as the means of ‘eating’ and ‘drinking’, in the sense that Jesus used elsewhere.”

            Where is your trust and faith? Do you not believe him capable of the miracle? You search for some ordinary explanation for his extraordinary and unequivocal instructions, an explanation which is consistent with a world abandoned by God. Trust Him. It is His body. Do not be scared that people will laugh at you.

          • pobjoy

            Do you not believe him capable of the miracle?

            When the internet began, some spent many, many hours explaining to skeptics that Christians have nothing whatever to do with the infamies of the so-called Catholic Church, a phenomenon that astonished ordinary folk who dialled up to log on. If the true deity is the one represented by this perennial evil, it really is far more morally respectable, and sensible, to be atheist.

            As Jesus said would occur, we know people by their results.

          • hobspawn

            You are looking at an account statement which only reports the debits. You ignore what our history would have been without the enormous positive results of the Church. Nobody finds the history of charitable success remotely interesting. Instead our books are full of atrocities. Who congratulates priests for achieving half the average child sex abuse rates? The standard by which the Church is judged is not improvement, but perfection. In chat fora people are more likely to inveigh the Spanish Inquisition than the atheist Mao. Yet the Inquisition slaughtered 2000, and Mao 200,000,000. “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

          • pobjoy

            You are looking at an account statement which only reports the debits.

            The atheists and other skeptics never knew about any credit side. That’s because they couldn’t believe one that was credible.

            enormous positive results

            Millions of Catholics are on $2 a day. Bergoglio is trying it on in the USA to get American Catholics to stump up for them, and they don’t want to know. No surprise, there, eh. So there may be reason to believe that men in frocks change bread into God when there are no Catholics in poverty. There’s your necessary miracle.

            You have not found one chink in the armour of Protestantism, so now you change the subject. Why? Because there is only one purpose in Romanism, and it is nothing to do with the presentation of eternal truth. It is to suppress Christianity, which, for outsiders, actually is the presentation of eternal truth, founded on the prophets and apostles. Suppression, just as Constantine and Theodosius intended, and as ‘Vicars of Christ’ agreed to implement.

          • hobspawn

             “…enormous positive results

            Millions of Catholics are on $2 a day.”

            You seem to think that Jesus founded his Church in order to make his followers rich. Do Protestants earn more?

            You still haven’t answered my question about the eucharist: why do you lack the faith to do the one thing that Jesus instructed us to do in order to remain in him, and he in us? You have already explained that you don’t believe he meant it, that you “suppose” this or you “take it to mean” that. Why not just do as he says and trust in him? Perhaps, like a moslem, you see him as just another prophet.

          • pobjoy

            Constantine founded his cult in order to keep fat people fat, and thin people thin. So it was in medieval times, when hovels surrounded a vast stone and stained glass edifice. Nothing much has changed today.

          • Woman In White

            Yet another failure to answer a direct question.

          • Woman In White

            So here you are, avoiding questions again, and responding with hatred instead.

            Is this your “spiritual life” ? To spread hatred about you ?

            There is no true Christian life that is not centred on the Eucharist, which is the very locus of the Divine entering into the mundane. And with nothing of the Divine, Christianity is reduced to just another man-made philosophy, just as your Protestantism has become.

            To reject the Eucharist as “absurd”, as you have done, is to reject Christ, and to set up your own mind as the supreme judge of everything.

          • hobspawn

             “It is also very drearily predictable that a Catholic would talk about paederasty rather than its organisation; and the Vatican seems to have been the greatest exponent of that sort of crime for the longest time.”

            As I said, best current stats suggest that priests are much less inclined to this than the average. What evidence do you have that this was not the case in the 14th century? All you have is prurient gossip masquerading as history. Will Heath ever escape the accusations of child sex murder? No, regardless of the total lack of any reliable evidence. Meanwhile our government spends tax on providing free contraceptives to 13-year-old girls, and turns a blind eye to some of the most primitive practices in the moslem ‘community’. Your witch-hunt is a smokescreen. No institution is perfect, but some have done better than others. No mention is ever made of what the Church achieves in preventing every kind of abuse. The Church’s ignominious cover-ups are not proof that our religion is broken.

             “So you were thinking about the Vatican’s main method of staying in existence, which was never evangelisation. Getting duped people to marry and raise brainwashed, ‘baptised’ children, that’s almost the only papalist strategy left, because literacy, the Bible, education, democracy, travel and communications have made it so.”

            Family life is good, as are the ten commandments, forgiveness, thanksgiving, stoical pacifism, and free will. Stop hating and cheer up! Peace be with you.

          • pobjoy

            ignominious cover-ups are not proof

            They are proof to many who have abandoned the Vatican’s cult. Nothing is ever proof to those convicted of the truth of the gospel, but prefer to remain as they are.

            ‘The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.’ 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (NIV)

            Family life is good

            Not for celibate ‘clerics’!

            as are the ten commandments

            ‘”You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.”‘ Matthew 5:21-22 (ANIV)

            The good is the enemy of the best.

          • hobspawn

             “Family life is good

            Not for celibate ‘clerics’!”

            Ah yes, because, those monsters have neither parents, nor siblings, nor nephews nor nieces, I suppose. They are human, you know.

          • pobjoy

            Humans, and nothing more. Humans, and reprobate humanists.

          • hobspawn

            You are generous. They will be thrilled.

            Seriously, do you think they claim to me more than humans? Crazy name, crazeee guy!!!

          • pobjoy

            do you think they claim to me more than humans?

            They surely claim to be temples of the Holy Spirit? Or is that only the Great Leader? But if they rely on mere biological means of transmitting their influence, they are merely carnal; pagan temples, iow.

    • Jacobi

      What is this “Roman Catholic” church I keep coming across.
      Me, I am a Catholic. Not a drop of Roman or Italian blood in me – as far as I know mark you!

  • Jacobi

    The Catholic Church cannot change its established teaching.

    Marriage is indissoluble. Divorced and re-married Catholics are living in what we Catholics call mortal sin and therefore cannot receive what we call Holy Communion without incurring further grave mortal sin. It’s all really quite simple, and as to why we have got to this absurd stage, I really don’t know, and in any case would not speculate until after the Synod.

    Equally, active-homosexuality is mortally sinful and cannot be otherwise. As to why it has “crept” into a discussion on Family which it has nothing at all to do with, well we all have our little theories.

    But it is inherently mortally sinful, as we Catholics would put it, and nothing can change that.

    Mark you, there are other opinions expressed, but they are not Catholic.

    No one has to be a Catholic you know. Plenty of other “churches” out there!

    • pobjoy

      Plenty of other “churches” out there!

      Should that be permitted?

      • Jacobi

        Most certainly. Redemption is a matter of choice. It is not forced on us.

        • pobjoy

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edict_of_Thessalonica

          EMPERORS GRATIAN, VALENTINIAN AND THEODOSIUS AUGUSTI. EDICT TO THE PEOPLE OF CONSTANTINOPLE.

          It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our
          Clemency and Moderation, should continue to profess that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition, and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one deity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title of Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since, in our judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give to their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of the divine condemnation and in the second the punishment of our authority which in accordance with the will of Heaven we shall decide to inflict.

          GIVEN IN THESSALONICA ON THE THIRD DAY FROM THE CALENDS OF MARCH, DURING THE FIFTH CONSULATE OF GRATIAN AUGUSTUS AND FIRST OF THEODOSIUS AUGUSTUS

          — Codex Theodosianus, xvi.1.2

          • Jacobi

            Yes, the emperors “desired” , “authorised”, and so on but they did not and could not command or enforce Salvation. That is a matter of choice.
            But I agree with the emperors that those who do not choose Salvation are heretics and will suffer hell, and possibly any other second punishment which the emperors are in a position to administer.

          • pobjoy

            The emperors commanded that all profess to be Christians. Was that the will of God?

          • ardenjm

            Indeed it wasn’t – which is why, when Charlemagne enforced Catholic Christianity on the Saxon Pagans, his religious advisor, Alcuin, Catholic monk and later Saint, told him exactly what Catholic monk, saint, doctor of the Church and contemporary Bede also taught:
            “Faith is a free act of the will, not a forced act. We must appeal to the conscience, not compel it by violence. You can force people to be baptised, but you cannot force them to believe.” His arguments seem to have prevailed – Charlemagne abolished the death penalty for paganism in 797.

          • pobjoy

            it wasn’t

            So, if the institution of the Vatican was not the will of God, can the religion of the Vatican with certainty be described as Christian?

          • whatever name

            “Faith is a free act of the will, not a forced act. We must appeal to the conscience, not compel it by violence. You can force people to be baptised, but you cannot force them to believe.”

            The law of the RC Church throughout the Middle Ages took the line that people were not to be forced to baptism, but anyone who is baptised is a subject of the Church and may be forced to believe.

            Remember, this topic started about whether Catholics should be allowed to abandon Catholicism and to go to other churches. The Catholic answer was definitely “no”. Other churches were totally suppressed and anyone who had been baptised was forced to believe and to practice Catholicism.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced_conversion#Christianity

            Pope Innocent III, 1201

            [Anyone who has been forced to be baptised]…does receive the impress of Christianity and may be forced to observe the Christian Faith as one who expressed a conditional willingness though, absolutely speaking, he was unwilling. … [For] the grace of Baptism had been received, and they had been anointed with the sacred oil, and had participated in the body of the Lord, they might properly be forced to hold to the faith which they had accepted perforce, lest the name of the Lord be blasphemed, and lest they hold in contempt and consider vile the faith they had joined.[6]

            See also his contemporary, the doctor Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Whether heretics ought to be tolerated? He taught that all heretics should be exterminated. which was the RC position throughout the Middle Ages and prior to the Reformation. All of the baptised were forced to believe and practice Catholicism.

            http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3011.htm#article3

            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.

            On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but “after the first and second admonition,” as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. For Jerome commenting on Galatians 5:9, “A little leaven,” says: “Cut off the decayed flesh, expel the mangy sheep from the fold, lest the whole house, the whole paste, the whole body, the whole flock, burn, perish, rot, die. Arius was but one spark in Alexandria, but as that spark was not at once put out, the whole earth was laid waste by its flame.”

          • Woman In White

            You’re misinterpreting Aquinas — he does not “teach” that all heretics should be exterminated, but he’s saying that given the nature and the extent of the death penalty laws in his times, that it was not illegal to subject heretics to that penalty, and that heretics cannot pretend to be protected from this punishment by the Church as if they were Catholics.

            The translation is fairly imperfect, too — Aquinas did NOT write that heretics “deserve” to die. He wrote that some people were of the opinion that they should be put to death, which as a matter of fact was a common opinion in those times.

            Aquinas’ own opinion on the matter is : Consequently we should consider what they directly intend, and expel them, rather than what is beside their intention, and so, tolerate them. — the penalty that he proposes for heresy is excommunication.

          • whatever name

            Stop your lies!

            Aquinas gives his own answer as that all heretics should be exterminated. Everyone knows how the Summa Theologica works. First he wrote about the opinions of other people and then he gives his own answer.

            Don’t you know that it is a sin to lie? Your adherence to Roman Catholicism does not give you some free pass to lie.

            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

            “On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but “after the first and second admonition,” as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death.”

            LIAR!

          • Woman In White

            Aquinas gives his own answer as that all heretics should be exterminated

            False.

            Respondeo dicendum quod circa haereticos duo sunt consideranda, unum quidem ex parte ipsorum; aliud ex parte Ecclesiae. Ex parte quidem ipsorum est peccatum per quod meruerunt non solum ab Ecclesia per excommunicationem separari, sed etiam per mortem a mundo excludi.

            He’s actually saying that it is an opinion of heretics that all heretics should be killed.

            Everyone knows how the Summa Theologica works

            Evidently not, given that you lack this knowledge.

            Admittedly it’s not your fault that the instruction of Classical Pro et Contra Rhetoric is these days repressed … 🙁

            et ulterius relinquit eum iudicio saeculari a mundo exterminandum per mortem does NOT mean “and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death” — you’re failing to read the context properly, as did the translator. It means that the Church, in his time, abandoned those canonically convicted of Heresy to the secular judgement which condemned such persons into extermination.

            He describes a state of affairs whereby people were put to death by either heretics or by civil judgement — there is no form of approval of this practice included in his description thereof.

            Aquinas recommends excommunication for heretics, but he goes no further than not condemning the death penalty for such persons, but at no point in his analysis, unless you read it in poor translation, does he *support* it.

          • whatever name

            LIAR!

            Yes I do read Latin and yes everyone knows how the Summa works and yes the Dominican fathers were quite capable, better than you, of translating the Summa.

          • pobjoy

            It seems that ‘Woman in White’ is a poster called ‘Man in Black’ who withdrew after being demonstrated to be a liar.

          • whatever name

            S/he would make a good Jesuit. She is a shameless liar.

          • Woman In White

            He.

            You lack decency and honour.

          • whatever name

            And that is coming from the transsexual Jesuit liar!

            Charmed I’m sure.

          • Woman In White

            transsexual Jesuit liar

            A more moronic claim would be hard to find.

          • Woman In White

            OK; just did.

            Your turn to take the shard out of yours.

          • Woman In White

            It seems that pobjoy is an internet troll who loves to invent slander to fill the gap inside his brain.

          • Woman In White

            Given the gross errors that are evident in the translation that you linked to, I do not share your appraisal of their translation skills.

            I also grow weary of your gratuitous accusations against my honour and honesty.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            However, he did claim to be able levitate.

          • Woman In White

            Do you comprehend the distinction between claims made about a person, and claims made by a person ?

          • Jacobi

            The emperors had what we would now call civil jurisdiction. “Command” they might have done. In their judgement it was the will of God. But they had no divine authority. Only Christ and his Church have that.
            Now don’t get me wrong. I would have no doubt thought the emperors were right and I would probably happily have gone along with their “command”.
            Neverthe less Aatghority lies witgh Christ and his

          • whatever name

            Also the Edict of Constantine suppressing paganism and heresy, recorded in Eusabius, The Life of Constantine, ch. LXV

            http://st-takla.org/books/en/ecf/201/2010584.html

            THE HERETICS ARE DEPRIVED OF THEIR PLACES OF ASSEMBLY,
            AND THEIR MEETINGS SUPPRESSED.

            “Forasmuch, then, as it is no longer possible to bear with your pernicious errors, we give warning by this present statute that none of you henceforth presume to assemble yourselves together. We have directed, accordingly, that you be deprived of all the houses in which you are accustomed to hold your assemblies: and our care in this respect extends so far as to forbid the holding of your superstitious and senseless meetings, not in public merely, but in any private house or place whatsoever. Let those of you, therefore, who are desirous of embracing the true and pure religion, take the far better course of entering the catholic Church, and uniting with it in holy fellowship, whereby you will be enabled to arrive at the knowledge of the truth.

            In any case, the delusions of your perverted understandings must entirely cease to mingle with and mar the felicity of our present times; I mean the impious and wretched double-mindedness of heretics and schismatics. For it is an object worthy of that prosperity which we enjoy through the favour of God, to endeavour to bring back those who in time past were living in the hope of future blessing, from all irregularity and error to the right path, from darkness to light, from vanity to truth, from death to salvation.

            And in order that this remedy may be applied with effectual power, we have commanded (as before said), that you be positively deprived of every gathering point for your superstitious meetings, I mean all the houses of prayer (if such be worthy of the name) which belong to heretics, and that these be made over without delay to the catholic Church; that any other places be confiscated to the public service, and no facility whatever be left for any future gathering; in order that from this day forward none of your unlawful assemblies may presume to appear in any public or private place. Let this edict be made public.”

  • Chant

    I’m left wondering if this Synod less focused on results and more of a temperature check so that PF more clearly understands the “employees”. A reasonable first step in the process of change management.

  • carl jacobs

    If this Synod breaks the wrong way, a whole lot of Catholics are suddenly going to start sounding verrrrry Protestant.

    Just sayin …

  • Darbeet

    I would simply request that there be a general decline in the discussion of any and all religious topics – as if anyone who has been forced to deal with the real world on a daily basis can tolerate these indulgent, fantastical and bigoted musings which are a short cut to thinking and a sickening substitute for real love and goodness, which can be accessed and delivered as a human default.

    • Woman In White

      Your commentary contains nothing of value, though one takes note of your juvenile insults.

      • Darbeet

        Merry Christmas everyone! I was not aware that a request for more sanity would be interpreted as insulting…but that says something about something, I am almost positive.

        • hobspawn

          The words “indulgent, fantastical and bigoted” are not a “request for more sanity”, they are provocation, no matter how many merry Christmasses you offer. Or juvenile insults, as WiW called them. Turning the other cheek doesn’t always mean refraining from speaking the truth. Merry Christmas!

          • Darbeet

            They are the words that describe the impact of religion on many people, in my opinion. I don’t see that it is a juvenile insult to offer that many problems arise from the bigoted, indulgent, fantastical beliefs which religious people choose. Unless history is insulting…still not sure about use of the word juvenile…but then I am 4

          • hobspawn

            It is juvenile to call someone fantastical and bigoted just because he has religious beliefs.

          • Darbeet

            It’s likely to be accurate

          • Woman In White

            Is that your own atheistic bigotry speaking ?

          • Darbeet

            I’m agnostic, so no, it’s my experience talking

          • Woman In White

            Your bigoted hostility towards religion is not a characteristic of agnosticism.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Sad to find women supporting organised religion. Like a slave supporting slavery or a serf supporting the class system.

          • Woman In White

            No doubt you imagine that women are “liberated” by being brainwashed into the ritualistic cult of blood sacrifice of their babies on the altar of material desire and sexual obsession that your political overlords have decreed to be “best” for them ?

            Our youths have been brainwashed over the past 2-3 generations into a belief that the totalitarian political-philosophical system of relativist-modernist so-called “liberalism” constitutes “freedom”, whereas it’s nothing other than enslavement to hedonistic consumerism and nihilistic self-centredness.

          • pobjoy

            ‘Woman in White’ is probably the old ‘Man in Black’ who ran away in shame.

          • Woman In White

            How you love to show your hatred of others.

            Matthew, 7:20 : Igitur ex fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos.

          • pobjoy

            But you claim to be male. Now is there a link between matriarchalism and paederasty? It can surely be said that the enemies of natural society would value the dogma and practices of the cult of the Vatican.

          • Woman In White

            Now is there a link between matriarchalism and paederasty?

            ???????????

            The notions that flit round the interior of your skull are extraordinarily bizarre.

          • pobjoy

            Nothing as loud as guilt.

          • Woman In White

            No loudmouth as obnoxious as an indoctrinated anti-Catholic.

          • pobjoy

            So, a link between matriarchalism and paederasty was recognised before now; and the very strange presentation of the poster, and the aggression also on display therefrom, only confirms it.

          • Woman In White

            You seem to be in possession of some very addled brain cells.

          • pobjoy

            addled

            That’s rich, from a male posing as female. Or is it mere guilty projection?

          • Woman In White

            I’ve no lessons to receive from someone posing as a parrot.

            Particularly when the “lessons” are so obviously loony.

          • pobjoy

            More double confirmation of the link recognised between matriarchalism and paederasty. It would hardly be surprising if the ‘men in black’ of the Vatican’s cult have isues of gender identity, anyway.

          • Woman In White

            Your commentary is becoming more and more demented.

          • pobjoy

            As it is impossible for a sane and honest person to believe that the Vatican’s cult actually represents Jesus, that is rather tardy compliment. It’s very reasonable to take it as confirmation that the ‘men in black’ of the Vatican’s cult have isues of gender identity, anyway.

          • Woman In White

            One can instantly see that rational logic is not an ability of yours, but the actual degree of your stark raving irrationality is curious to behold.

          • pobjoy

            It is impossible for a sane and honest person to believe that the Vatican’s cult actually represents Jesus. Indeedd, it is far more responsible to be an atheist than believe that deity has anything to do with the Vatican; except to totally destroy it, in the fullness of time.

          • Woman In White

            Atheism and protestantism certainly have denial of the Faith in common.

            Nevertheless, your bizarre notion that Vatican City State forms any part of Catholic Theology is just plain old weird — FYI, “the Vatican” is not mentioned even ONCE in the text of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

          • pobjoy

            Vatican City State

            Oh yes, the gift of a fascist. Now we’re getting somewhere. The Nazis did not think much of trans-genderism, did they.

          • ardenjm

            Just listen to yourself, pobjoy.
            Do you REALLY think this is the way Our Lord would speak? To say nothing of Our Lady? What would your own Mother think of this talk.

            It demeans you and the Gospel you claim to represent. Rein it in, man!

          • samton909

            Or a troll in the comments section.

          • hobspawn

             “I’m agnostic, so no, it’s my experience talking”

            I hope your agnosticism enables you to experience divine revelation soon. Because you’re worth it.

          • ItwasBlairwotdunnit

            Divine revelation? Usually accomplished after copious quantities of Shiraz.

          • hobspawn

            The Gospels did not specify which fruit of the vine was favoured, so take your pick.

          • samton909

            Said the bigot, absolutely sure hers were the very best prejudices that one could posess.

          • samton909

            “In my opinion” – the usual cop out.

    • samton909

      Its fumy how people who are arrogant, fantastical and bigoted think everyone else is.

  • Demetra Mills Cordova

    We need that Authoritarian Pope Francis now. He is Pope and He can affect the change he wants!

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    You know, if the Pope wore a suit like regular politicians, perhaps he couldn’t get away with this “infallibility” routine.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Not bloody Thompson again. Get back to the Catholic Daily Telegraph.

    • Ringstone

      They sacked him for being a monomaniac – don’t want him back!

  • Darbeet

    Interesting. I trust that the widespread raping of children has been sorted out.

  • snowshooze

    Francis seemed to miss the point that the 10 commandments were chiseled in stone…
    There is no evolution of them.

    • Owi Wowi

      I know, there has been absolutely no movement on the graven images issue, Catholic Churches are as bare today as they were 2000 years ago

  • Never bend over to pick up the soap in a Papist seminary.

  • mikewaller

    All this puts me in mind of is Gandhi’s memorable saying: “I like your Jesus Christ, but I do not like your Christians”; or put, more succinctly, “We would all be Christians if it weren’t for the Christians”. For people supposedly living their lives in imitation of Christ, conservative Catholics seem to have a pretty strange idea of what the guy was on about!

    • pobjoy

      All this puts me in mind of is Gandhi’s memorable saying: “I like your Jesus Christ, but I do not like your Christians”

      The cunning old devil got it the wrong way round.

Close