April 02, 2005
Il Papa e morto

Pope John Paul (Karol Wojtyla)died today, around 9:00 a.m. this morning. The world mourns, incessantly, and the media is transfixed. John Paul was 84.

PopeJP2.jpg
Pope John Paul

So, do we mourn the Pope, or the man? In the light of recent commentary on death and dying, we are free, if not obligated, to ask, What is it that we mourn? The office of the Pope is unfathomable. Any man in the position is usually rather remarkable. The man, Karol Wojtyla, is what is most fascinating. I doubt that his influence in the world was any more or any less significant than any other Pope serving 26 years, in a very tumultuous time of modern history. Let's make sure we give Karol the same rigorous evaluation that critics are so anxious to give people like Ronald Reagan, George Bush, or even George Washington. Let's not be naive or unfaithful about our renowned media analysis here. Let's not be so completely fake about all this that we insult the reality of the man, Karol Wojtyla.

Ah, but, we like to mourn. We have a lot to be sad about, a lot to be disappointed, frustrated, and angry about. Mourning seems to help wash it all away. We must mourn.

Yet, remember the deaths of the Indian students at Red Lake; the death of Terri Schiavo, the death of Johnny Cochran, the death of soldiers and civilians in Iraq, and all concurrent deaths of note, are all different, happening at different times for different reasons. Each of the people involved are widely, almost incomprehensibly different.

Is this why our mourning differs as well, in terms of intensity, media coverage, commentary, etc?

Indeed, mourning is for the living, not the dead. Mourning comforts the living. Usually. But the ancient Jewish king, David, so often a remarkable innovator, once displayed a completely unexpected response to a death. When his son of adultery was born, it immediately became sick. David prostated himself, face on the ground, for seven days. (2 Sam. 12:14-18.) He ate neither food nor drank water, beseeching the Lord to spare the infant.

The moment David understood that the child died, he got up, washed his face, changed his clothes, and to the utter dismay of the royal household, observed no funeral. He did not mourn. "While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now the child is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall to to him, but he shall not return to me."

Cicero (Marcus Tullious,106-43 BC), the gentle Roman philosophical commentator wrote (in an essay called On Friendship): (on the death of his friend Scipio) "I have been bereaved of a friend such as the world will never see again... But I am in no need of panaceas; I am quite capable of consoling myself, and I am particularly comforted by the fact that I am free of that error which in most men is the usual cause of anguish and the passing of friends. I do not feel that Scipioi has suffered any misfortune; I am the one who has suffered misfortune, if any has occurred. But to be crushed by grief at one's own misforutnes is the act not of a man who loves his friends, but of one who loves himself."

Well, we all have the right to mourn, for whatever reasons. What we face to day, however, are the distortions of the media, and the marketing emphasis on what death story sells, and what one doesn't.

We have been mislead and confused. We mourn according to the significance of the person, in our lives or thoughts, and not the real value of the person dying. This affects our estimation of crime, as well. When Sirhan B. Sirhan allegedly shot Robert Kennedy, this was considered as outrageous as possible. Why? Because of whom he allegedly shot. But when a drunk Indian stabs another drunk Indian, or a black man shots another black man in the ghetto, or when a Mexican wipes out another Mexican in an illegal border crossing, society hardly notices, or thinks nothing of it. It doesn't affect the society as a whole, and that's why.

But publicity doesn't define the significance of the crime, nor place the true value on the person's life who has died.

And there's the matter of self-deception when it comes to mourning. Sometimes, the heart assumes a certain moral advantage, a certain cleansing, in the process. In fact, in his attempt to classify "love," Soren Kierkegaard actually uses the example of loving a dead person, who cannot respond. Manipulation is absent. The love is pure, etc. Works of Love (Harper, 1962).

Well, I'd rather listen to Dolly Parton talk about love, but, I cite the sages (in my own background) only to point out how easily mislead the human heart can be. This is an age of mass media. Everything is evaluated by press coverage. This is very dangerous. We are ripe for a complete propaganda program, if it hasn't already happened.

I say, admire the man, Karol Wojtyla, and also be critical of him, just as we would any other man. Let's not fool ourselves here. Let's give him full respect. Let's not cheat him in our personal mourning process.

Posted by David Yeagley at April 02, 2005 05:50 PM
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-- B

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" (Tiresome and soporific is redundant.)"

Not in this sentence:

"Your monomaniacal anti-Catholic diatribe has progressed beyond tiresome and has become soporific."

See, if I'd said "Your monomaniacal anti-Catholic diatribe has become tiresome AND soporific"---that would have been redundant.

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It is becoming rather soporific, no? (Tiresome and soporific is redundant.)

Talking and talking here is like chopping and chopping and not seeing any chips flying. There's some revealed wisdom in this regard:

11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.

1 Corinthians 2:11-15 (ESV)

When speaking to pagans, who are people of this world, natural people, subjects of the fellow elsewhere described as the "King of the Air", one won't see chips flying. Wisdom is folly to them.

Thanks. I'm out.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 8, 2005 02:47 PM

Bodvar, you're a good guy and so I know you won't tear my head off for butting in at this point, but perhaps consider that it may be a good idea to let go. The points and details you have countered with have been good but it seems apparent they aren't going to penetrate this armadillo. The exchanges in this blog have brought out the heart of the matter, but like I said before, they cannot see what's wrong because of the darkness of their hearts. And since it is evident they will never be able to answer the challenges that have been leveled, the argument is for all practical purposes over.

If this isn't your baby, it's not your responsibility to make it stop squalling. Notice how even after she admired the Scripture I brought out, romanreb's style of communicating has continued in the same vein. That means romanreb is not at all serious about spiritual things, because every serious Christian reaches the point where the Spirit of God must rule over will and pride, or there is no satisfaction and peace.

Let them stew in their own juice; just a suggestion--I won't interfere anymore if you want to continue, because they might just listen.

Posted by: Wendy Johnson on April 8, 2005 01:03 PM

"Soporific" isn't really a big word, Bodvar. It's just a small word with which you are apparently unfamiliar.

Stop blaspheming.

Posted by: romanreb on April 8, 2005 11:36 AM

Reb,

Is this the way you discuss? Is this the extent of your intellect? As someone who disagrees with you comes in view, you begin insulting, spitting and kicking your feet like a brat?

You can save parading words like soporific. An infant with a two dollar vocabulary is still an infant.

So far, neither you nor Pat have met the challenge of simply discussing the points raised. You've regurgitated Roman apologetics -- excuses, more like -- without apparent understanding of the matters being raised.

You've actually proven one of the points I raised to which you took such exception: Roman Catholicism doesn't play well with others.

Look up the word "unity" in the Catholic Encyclopedia (www.newadvent.org). In effect, they make another of my points, which you have been restating all along, that the Roman church is the "only true church". The Orthodox are "schismatics", and the Protestants just don't understand. If you control the language of your own understanding, redefining things at will, rather than use commonly understood theological and social terms, I'm sure that you will feel as if you're right and everyone else is wrong.

This is paranoia and neurosis on a global religious scale, made more personal each time an individual Roman Catholic apologists begins to rant. It's rather like you're the representative of a dying aristocracy -- dying for 500 years, more like -- which can't understand what's happening to it, won't accept help, but would rather strike out than change.

Well, have fun celebrating your pagan ways. Put your latest overlord in his box, and "elect" another, waiting for the excuse to declare him a demigod. Then, as "Saint" John Paul, you can "venerate" him, as an incessor with Mary, who intercedes with Christ, who probably wonders what of the back-handed, back-alley praying is all about. Why not add "Saint Mithras", "Saint Jupiter" and "Saint Odin" to your pantheon. It would be more honest.

And, the next time you or any of your ilk say that you don't "pray" to Mary, check out what they have to say about that at Lourdes.

Yes, I blaspheme. I blaspheme your priests, your "sainted" and "blessed" godlets, your idolatry and your error.

I am anti-Catholic. I wasn't before this thread began, but you've convinced. me.

Pagan.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 8, 2005 11:19 AM

Bodvar! I apologize--I forgot you were there. Your monomaniacal anti-Catholic diatribe has progressed beyond tiresome and has become soporific.

Stop blashpheming.

Posted by: romanreb on April 8, 2005 08:03 AM

Pat, I have no idea what Catholic church you attend that you have never seen a word written of Prayer to Mary for her Specific intercession with Her Son ..Jesus. I suppose you've never seen a PRAYER to St. Jude to INTERCEDE for ones hopeless cause. These prayers are said ALL the time.

BTW,what is the origin/tradition of that skull cap the pope wears ?
Dom

Posted by: Dom Palumbo on April 7, 2005 09:31 PM

Dr. Y---you are 100% right. Faith is a gift, not a virtue. Thanks for the reality check--didn't realize how I sounded.

But I will say this, and you knew I would. Prayers prayed out of obedience to a God we choose to believe in even though we don't "feel" faith are precious to him because the are so hard.

I also share your disappointment regarding the "New and Improved Warm Fuzzy Big Umbrella Catholic Church" image. Although it does nothing to change the Faith itself, it endangers many by affirming their sin. And when we affirm another's sin, we bear responsibility for it...

Posted by: romanreb on April 7, 2005 05:06 PM

[Wendy], Aye, and a bright broker she be!

Reb, there's no joy in intellectualism, for me, not when it comes to theology. I hate theology. Now, objectivity isn't really intellectualism. That's something else.

When I was singing for the cathedral here in OKC (Our Lady of Perpetual Help), I became curious about the fact that there was never any special acknowledgement of Mary; just routine Catholicisms, now and then. Even when the visions of Mary were happening all over the world (most recently in the mid '90's?), there was nothing at Our Help.

I mentioned this to the Minister of Music. "I don't understand. This is a CATHEDRAL, and I don't hear a thing about the blessed virgin's revelations..."

"Oh you won't! No, no. That's the wonderful thing about the catholic church. We have room for intellectuals, folklorists, populists..."

This, as if to say, the RCC is large enough, old enough, broad enough, that there is room for all types.

Well, this I find extremely disappointing. Is this why Pope John Paul II like to entertain Rock Stars, Hollywood stars, break dancers, and other RANK and DEFIANT SINNERS? because there's room for them too?

His audience to them SANCTIONED them, in the permissive sense. Giant public gestures like that never induce Christian conversion. Not real conversion. There was no immitation of Christ in this. The gesture was too "broad." There was no rebuke of sin. Jesus said, "Go and sin no more," to the sinners he "accepted."

But these "blessed" entertainers walked away in the sins, in the delusion of being blessed.

And, about faith, I'm sure Lucifer himself was required to "believe," or, to have faith. It is the nature of a created being. You cannot witness your own creation. You have to take another's word for it. Let's not give ourselves credit where we don't deserve it.

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 7, 2005 03:10 PM

"...God assembled it by his 'hand' through the Holy Catholic Church, which finalized and fixed the canon officially for all the world to either embrace or reject."

...let's be precise here. Better stated, God assembled it (the Bible, in Testaments Old and New) by his "hand" through the catholic church (meaning the universal church), which worked as God's instrument to finalize and fix the canon.

This way, this ONE CHURCH does not claim credit all the time...again, as if it invented Christianity and was, still, synonymous with it, all others being pale reflections of it.

That said, I'd hope that it wasn't "for all the world to either embrace or reject", sort of as one of your pontiff's sons once required, "Cesare or nothing, the die is cast".

Furthermore, you're still clinging to that Apocrypha thing. More take it or leave it.

Finally...the canon was set BEFORE the Roman church had the widespread authority to do anything. It was codified by the church in the East, with the bishop Rome as a minor player.

"Much as you may desire to think so, the Holy Spirit did not assume the form of a dove and flutter down with a leather-bound, gilt-edged KJV clutched in his little talons"

Actually, I prefer the English Standard Version. We've learned a lot about Scripture since 1611. Read McGrath's "In the Beginning" or Bobrick's "Wide as the Waters". McGrath's is more fun to read, and Bobrick's has more about the differences between early versions. What is more, either book will clue one in on the politics which went into the Authorized Version's translation. "God's silly vassal", James the VI and I, self-styled intellectual, ordered produced a better product than he had any right to claim. Still, as I said, we've learned a lot since 1611.

As to early versions, I prefer the Geneva Bible of Whittington. I have a 1560 facsimilie, and love the language. Still, one doesn't read Scripture as literature, but to see God reveal himself. For that reason, I like the ESV.

By the way, the KJV-only crowd irritate me, as well.

"'Go back to your holy eunuchs.' Do not blaspheme, Protestant."

...blaspheme means "to speak impiously or irreverently of (God or sacred things)". Are your holy eunuchs sacred now? Sacerdotal, but not sacred, surely.

Or, like Mary, are they little gods now?

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 7, 2005 03:08 PM

"You've just made my point. With this, you claim that Roman Catholicism invented, or at least codified, Christianity."

I think "codified" is probably fair, though you lie when you use the term "invent".

"In short, God finalized the canon. It was inspired writing, assembled by the hand of the author."

Yes. Since Our Lord had already ascended into heaven before the Gospels were written, and therefore there was no physical hand of God to gather up said documents, we know that God assembled it by his "hand" through the Holy Catholic Church, which finalized and fixed the canon officially for all the world to either embrace or reject. Much as you may desire to think so, the Holy Spirit did not assume the form of a dove and flutter down with a leather-bound, gilt-edged KJV clutched in his little talons.

"Go back to your holy eunuchs."

Do not blaspheme, Protestant.


To Dr. Yeagley,

Much as I hate to do or say anything which might lead Wendy to assume I'm complimenting her, her latest post, taken strictly as written, is very good and you should read and re-read it and stop this rather dangerous intellectual exercise of attempting to determine "who brokers the goods".
It is this line of thinking which leads to "What EXACTLY do I have to do, what is the LEAST I can get by with." It comes from isolating the intellect from the rest of the Man. It fails to recognize that man is NOT "pure intellect" and that no good is accomplished by shattering the whole. We must believe in order to understand, not demand understanding in order to believe. A leap of Faith is just that: A leap of "logic" and "will" based on faith in the hopes that God will reveal to us that which we desire to understand. If we already understood it, it would not be Faith anymore. There is no Faith in Heaven, but we are not there yet. And none of us will get there by swaggering up to God and asking for inside tips to the fast track.

Your desire for intellectual stimulation regarding Religion, which I sometimes think, based on your writings, you perceive as an indifferent end in itself [but then, if you truly embraced indifference, you wouldn't be asking "who's got the goods", unless you were totally corrupt, which I don't think you are] aside, the truly sacred ought to be approached with a sense of humility and filial fear. I am often critical of St Thomas Aquinus based on the writings of "Thomists". Even though he wasn't a Thomist any more than Fr. Feeney was a Feeneyite, the perhaps idle musings of his giant intellect have led many into confusion. As he said after his Beatific Vision: "All that I have written is as so much straw."

Just don't sacrifice yourself, or anyone else, to an intellectual joy ride.

Sincerely,

Posted by: romanreb on April 7, 2005 12:58 PM

"We don't have to show you in the scriptures. And by the way, WE determined which writings were to be incorporated into the New Testament. We determined the canon."

You've just made my point. With this, you claim that Roman Catholicism invented, or at least codified, Christianity.

The Hebrew canon was decided long before Christ walked among us. The New Testament canon was arrived at by general usage, church councils merely giving their assent to what was already a decided matter...in spite of the gnostics of Rome and their "hidden gospels".

In short, God finalized the canon. It was inspired writing, assembled by the hand of the author.

This is pathetic.

Go back to your holy eunuchs.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 7, 2005 10:31 AM

Dr. Yeagley, it is not to the glory of God to leave this blog in a state where both sides are expressing themselves acrimoniously to each other, with no resolve. To this end, I have attempted to prepare the following quotations and accompanying notes, so that both those who have participated in the blog and those who had no desire to do so on this subject may see what I have been referring to when I spoke about the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice. I chose to start with I and II Peter, but I would like to go into the other books, as it is all over Scripture (if that can be posted at this site).

I Peter 1:3-5

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”

We are BORN AGAIN by the same God that raised Jesus Christ from the dead.

“to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,”

In Christ, our inheritance is INDESTRUCTIBLE.

“who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Through faith, by God’s power, we are KEPT--our works do not accomplish or help our salvation along.

II Peter 1:1-9

“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, To them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:”

Through faith in Jesus Christ, God subtracts our sin and adds His righteousness; our works do not enter in.

“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.”

Through faith, we obtain the GRACE of God, necessary before we can have PEACE with God.

“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”

Through faith we may LIVE in Christ and for Christ, and become like Him.

“whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

Through faith, we obtain REST in Jesus Christ.

“And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge;

“and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness;

“and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.”

Also see: Galations 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Through faith, we must give these things the priority in our Christian living, because:

“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

It is vital for GROWTH.

“But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”

When a Christian lacks these things in his life, it is possible for him to be UNSURE of his salvation, even though he has obtained SECURITY through faith.

According to Scripture, our works are not required and would not be accepted by God as a means of reconciliation and cleansing from sin, either by themselves or in the spirit of adding to Christ’s work on the cross. We can rest in Him and rely on Him to keep us saved toward our indestructible inheritance reserved for us in heaven. Thank you, Lord Jesus.

Posted by: Wendy Johnson on April 7, 2005 09:21 AM

No wonder there have always been wars over religion! The devil has a grand old time while we try to whittle away at each other's beliefs. Such a difference in religion and spirituality. They are totally unequal. Christ views each of us as worthy, but why? We cannot begin to repay our debts, we cannot with an ounce of humility even listen to our fellow human beings! I'd like to think that JP II was a man of God, not a god. Let's allow him that, at least, for he has passed.

Posted by: Sheila on April 6, 2005 11:28 PM

I'm absolutely serious. Christ is delivered into the hands of sinners. "We have this treasure in earthen vessels," Paul said. After Christ's ascension, every believer is such as the result of a fellow human being's testimony.

It is the authority of personal witness. And there's that word: authority. Dealership.

And we speak of authentic, authoritative dealership, for there be many false Christs gone out into the world.

I think it is a perfectly legitimate question: who has the authentic line? Who's brokering the real deal? It certainly appears that there is a competition. Perhaps that is just a sociological illusion, however. Where Christ is preached, there is Christ.

An Irish drunk one time told me about his Irish drunk father (deceased): he said his father told him, "It's all about who has the strongest ego."

That was his idea of dealership. He was Catholic, of course, critizing protestant evangelists trying to win converts.

But the same is true in all religions. It is a matter of authority, either by coercion, persuasion, or inducement.

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 6, 2005 10:47 PM

"Eternal life. Who deals it? Who brokers it?"

Are you serious?

GOD is in charge of eternal life. He always has been. He was made man, suffered and died for OUR SINS, DIED, HORRIBLY on the Cross for OUR SINS, and you can ASK THIS?

Eternal life has been BROKERED, Dr. Yeagley.

YES, it IS CONDITIONAL! "Not all who say Lord,Lord, but he who does the will of my Father." "If you love me, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS."
"Your sins are forgiven--go and SIN NO MORE!"

Is the conditional nature of the gift of ETERNAL LIFE what bugs you?

Are you serious?

Are you perhaps looking for a magic formula? There's no magic formula. As CS Lewis said: "Every day is just the Terrible Choice."

Posted by: romanreb on April 6, 2005 08:51 PM

Well, now, there's not a shred of evidence, from the 'Old Testament,' that there was ever supposed to be a 'New Testament," in terms of canon. In fact, the generation of the Jewish canon itself is mysterious. It started with the Pentateuch (first five books of Moses).

If you really get into deeply, the entire Bible is an unfathomable story itself, just its own history and coming into being.

The history of interpretation of canon (scripture) is another category of study altogether.

Canon does have to do with authority.

These are as simple and general terms as I can muster.

People have tried to destroy the Bible, at all its different stages of development, to deny it, contradict it, to burn it, to outlaw it (--there was a time when the RCC actually forbid the Bible to congregates), and to market it. The Bible simply comes with "authority" issues.

Why? The goods. Eternal life. Who deals it? Who brokers it?

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 6, 2005 08:22 PM

Just as an aside and addition to what Romanreb wrote...

Martin Luther stated that any nine year old could read and understand the Bible, but then, due to what he started, complained that every scullery maid in Germany thought herself a Biblical scholar! He even called the Bible the heretics handbook as there were all of a sudden hundreds if not thousands of people claiming the Holy Spirit and attaching to the Bible all sorts of weird and wild notions. he called Calvin and the other 'Protestant' founders heretics because they did not parrot what he said! In fact, one reason the 'pilgrims' left Holand for the New World was because of Lutheran persecution (the Catholic Church defended them btw).

So that today, there are some 3,000 different Protestant churches, and denominations with many different 'sects' (how many different Synods, for example, are in the Lutheran Church? How many different types of Baptists are there? Each claiming the Bible as their own source of faith, all claiming personal interpretation via the Holy Spirit, yet all of them coming up with different interpretations.) And noew we have these 'Christian' churches saying that the Bible allows abortion, euthenasia, homosexuality, gay marriage, etc. And you dare trash the Catholic Church?

Catholics aren't perfect.....the Church is Holy, the people IN her aren't necessarily so.

Along with Jesus, among His Apostles, there was Judas....by your standards, I guess we should trash Jesus as well huh!

Posted by: Pat on April 6, 2005 07:59 PM

"You could have made a lot of headway to reparations..." LOL---it had to happen eventually! Now the Prots want "reparations".

Bodvar accuses the Catholics of not playing well with others because they refuse to be held to his arbitrary rules for a debate he started by highjacking the topic of this discussion.

Bodvar: We don't have to show you in the scriptures. And by the way, WE determined which writings were to be incorporated into the New Testament. We determined the canon. We determined which writings were, and were not, the Inspired Word of Almighty God, in order to protect believers from false "gospels" and false teachings. You're welcome. And yes, we've read them. Unlike you, we do not learn by rote the passages we THINK disprove another religion. We read it in context. Unlike you, our Pastors do not preach on a favorite text, week after week after week. We cover the entire Bible over the course of three years, then we go back and cover it again. Don't tell us about the Bible. You're out of your depth here.

Unlike the Holy Catholic Church, which was instituted by Jesus himself and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, the beginning of every Protestant sect is a matter of history. Unlike what you love to pretend, with the exception of a few weird little sects, there was no great parallel non-Catholic Church. Wishing, lying, and rewriting history will not make it so. Until the split between the Catholic Church in Rome, and the Church in the East, there was unity. And we, the Catholic Christians of Europe repelled the Islamic hordes, and that's why you women don't wear Burkhas. Again, you're welcome. Your movement was started by a Jew-hating little Catholic monk in Germany and acheived success because the king of England wanted a new wife. Thus serial adultery and protestantism sprang forth from the same vile womb. Poor old Calvin, who was not a Calvinist and might have acheived greatness had he sought to right the wrongs of the temporal church instead of arrogantly starting his own would be whirling in his grave to see what an irksome dungeon you people have made from his shining city.

So, no. We don't have to follow your rules for debate. And we don't even have to debate.

But I for one am tired of your trash-talking about the Church. I am not a timid, flinching, compromising Catholic. I am an Ivanhoe Catholic. As God is my witness, I will take a bullet for you or any other of His children, but when you blaspheme, I will verbally slap you down.

Posted by: romanreb on April 6, 2005 07:36 PM

Let's be frank here Wendy. God commands us to 'honor our Fathers and mothers right? Who was (is) mother? Mary. We honor Mary (or should) because Jesus and God honored her, or don't you read your Bible?

"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, * the Lord is with you!" (Lk. 1:26-28) Full of Grace is telling....only God could bless her to be full of grace...she hasn't said yes to God yet btw...

"When discussing the Immaculate Conception, an implicit reference may be found in the angel’s greeting to Mary. The angel Gabriel said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you" (Luke 1:28). The phrase "full of grace" is a translation of the Greek word kecharitomene. It therefore expresses a characteristic quality of Mary.

The traditional translation, "full of grace," is better than the one found in many recent versions of the New Testament, which give something along the lines of "highly favored daughter." Mary was indeed a highly favored daughter of God, but the Greek implies more than that (and it never mentions the word for "daughter"). The grace given to Mary is at once permanent and of a unique kind. Kecharitomene is a perfect passive participle of charitoo, meaning "to fill or endow with grace." Since this term is in the perfect tense, it indicates that Mary was graced in the past but with continuing effects in the present. So, the grace Mary enjoyed was not a result of the angel’s visit. In fact, Catholics hold, it extended over the whole of her life, from conception onward. She was in a state of sanctifying grace from the first moment of her existence." http://www.catholic.com/library/Immaculate_Conception_and_Assum.asp

Is this a 'new' concept? Nope! In fact, even Martin Luther agrees with this. Betcha didn't know that!

Elizabeth honors Mary..."Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42* and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk. 1:41-42) Elizabeth is acknowledging Mary as the Theotokos, the God bearer, the Mother of God (Jesus s God isn't He?)

And it's 'through' Mary that what the angel told
Zechariah comes about...

"he will be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb." (Lk. 1:15)

" For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy." (Lk. 1:44)

Let's not forget that at Cana, Jesus performed His first public miracle at her request, even though his time had not yet come!

"When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." 4* And Jesus said to her, "O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come." 5 His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." (Jn. 2:3-5)

And let's not forget what Mary herself said...

"My soul magnifies the Lord, 47* and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; 49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name." (Lk. 1:46-49)

Mary doesn't take away from Christ, no more than love you have for someone here on earth does. (It's a different love) Or do you say to your parents "I must hate you so I can love God!"

No, Mary MAGNIFIES HIM! She leads us to her Son. She helps us 'Do whatever He tells us."

All I've seen from you are empty accusations, slander and hate. No Catholic sees mary as equal to God, obviously you do. No Catholic sees Mary as a substitute for God, obviously you do.

When a Catholic prays to Mary asking for her intercession to Jesus, they're not doing anything more than what was done at Cana (and seen in Scripture)

BTW, doctrines such as Sola Scripture (Scripture alone) Sola Fide (faith alone...did you know Luther ADDED alone to Romans because he felt that's what St. Paul meant to say?) and personal interpretation are all non-Scriptural doctrines? Scripture tells us that the Church, NOT Scripture, is the pillar and bulwark of truth.
ref. 1 Tim. 3:15)

Scripture tells us that Scripture is USEFUL in teaching, etc, but not that it's the ONLY thing.
(2 Tim. 3:16)

Scripture tells us to hold fast to EVERYTHING taught by the Apostles, wether by letter OR word of mouth (Oral, Sacred Tradition)
(2 Thess. 2:15)

And to beware of those of do personal interpretations. (2 Peter 3:15-16)

And James tells us that faith alone is dead!
(And why Martin Luther called it a 'straw epistle' because it refuted his theology.

" So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead" (James 2:17)

"But some one will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder. 20 Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? 21* Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, 23* and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25* And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead." (James 2:18-26)

Care to tackle Purgatory? The Real Presence?

The Papacy and the Hierarchy of the Church?

Care to find out that the ONLY reason we even have the Bible is because of the Catholic Church? The canon of the Bible was set by the Catholic Church at the Council of Hippo circa 396 AD, then later confirmed at the Council of Carthage circa 397.

So, whereas Protestant churches are 'churches of the Bible'...the Bible IS the boook of the Catholic Church!

Posted by: Pat on April 6, 2005 05:32 PM

Poor Bodvar, a rebel without a clue, a scarecrow without a brain.

"So, people with whom you disagree are ignorant. They raise points which don't agree with your understanding, and it's a misperception on THEIR part, or they're being willfully ignorant."

Well Bodvar, if the show fits. You trash the Church, call all it sorts of erroneous things which any one willing to take the time, could see are wrong, but you insist that what you say about the Church is right (though you know NADA about the Catholic Church) Then, are so bold to say, after dragging the Catholic Church through the mud, say it isn't attack on the Catholic Church.

Saying you're ignorant is kindness, if you know what you're saying are lies, it's far worse!

But I guess I shouldn't confuse the issue for you with facts. As I said before, the name calling didn't start with me.

What's really sad is that this thread began about Pope John Paul II, and that hsi death is no less tragic, or less so since he was infirmed, than the murder of Terri Schiavo and those like her. But what is really sad, and missed by you morons, is that the Pope not only showed the world how to die, but showed the value of life, even an infirmed one!

But no, you'd rather post endless diatribes aganst the Catholic Church of which you know nothing about. I have no problem with Protestants who disagree with what the Church teaches and beleives...that's how they were raised and taught. Both Catholics and Protestants beleive Jesus is Lord and head of the Church (the Pope being only the visible head of the Church on earth). We say essentially the same prayers. But while Catholics regard Protestants as brothers and sisters, you call the Catholic Church and Catholics idolators and apostates! Yes, you're ignorant!

Posted by: Pat on April 6, 2005 04:56 PM

Pat,

After all that you have just posted, you STILL haven't come up with a quotation from INSPIRED Scripture to prove the validity of the RCC/CC's claim to fame--worship of Mary; refutation of the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Christ. I'm only asking two things, but you can't supply it. Your estimation of Peter as the leading apostle--he would rebuke you sharply. Read your scripture, since you are a practicer of apologetics. It's in your approved catholic bible, as well as the Protestant collection of Scripture.

As to hating the Catholic Church, I can only say with king David "I hate them that hate Thee." In Revelation it states that "everyone who loveth and maketh a lie" will be cast into the lake of fire [this is after the Great Tribulation, where people will have followed a false prophet who promoted the antichrist]. I know, based on Scripture, that I'm not lying. So if you call God a liar by saying His provision is not sufficient, is that the turnabout way of saying you have faith in Him? Doesn't that mean you hate Him, instead? That would fit in with the contempt you have for others who differ with you which you have been spewing freely about in this blog.

romanreb, all I can say is, I've never heard such crying as has come from you two these past few days. We all question, challenge and disbelieve one another here. The simple fact is, neither of you have been convincing, and it's not because we just wandered out of the woods.

As a matter of fact, I have been able to have thought provoking exchanges with disbelievers and questioners here and I have learned from them as well, simply because we have respected each other better than you two have demonstrated. And you just haven't picked up on it, despite my assertion earlier. You could have made a lot of headway to reparations regarding your incessant complaints of how you're perceived, talked about, treated, and misunderstood. But you have chosen an inferior way to communicate, in addition to the fact that neither of you just don't have the goods to answer my fair question.

I am in no danger; we have the security of the believer, and you have rejected that. Now, THAT is sad. But, you're already crying anyway.

Posted by: Wendy Johnson on April 6, 2005 04:49 PM

From Pat: "Oh brother! So many misperceptions, so many erros, so little time. I guess ignorance is bliss."

So, people with whom you disagree are ignorant. They raise points which don't agree with your understanding, and it's a misperception on THEIR part, or they're being willfully ignorant.

...and...

"I suggest you get your head out of anal defilade and stop talking about something you know nothing about."

As if one has to be a committed Roman apologist, swallowing whole the terms you use them as you define them, and Scripture as you parse it, to be correct?

This demonstrates the weakness of ecumenism with some Romans. They froth at the mouth too easily.

I'm surprisingly well read on Catholicism for a Protestant. What is more, I'm read up on Christianity, which, once again, ISN'T synonymous with Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholicism isn't even synonymous with Catholicism, as the Greek and Russian Orthodox, Ukrainians Maronites, Ethiopians and Copts'll inform you.

From Reb:

"I guess you're just not highly skilled at the art of conversation, Bodvar, for all your best intentions to have gang so far aglee..."

...while your responses, barren of facts and the Scripture proofs Wendy alluded to, are skilled?

Once again, I must say it: "Roman Catholics don't play well with others".

It's sad, really. You'd think that, with almost 2000 years -- 1600 or so, if you just date from Leo I, who I seem to remember was the first real "I'm Christ's representative on earth" sort of "my way or the highway" pontiff -- you'd acquire some people skills. At least, one might hope that individual Roman Catholics would.

Look at Dom's reasoning. He seems a man one can talk to and reason with. That, and the spirit of childish competition, is what fraternal church relations demand.

Hope springs eternal.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 6, 2005 04:15 PM

"Remember, none of this was meant as an ATTACK on Roman Catholicism, but as an opportunity to DISCUSS Roman Catholicism."

I guess you're just not highly skilled at the art of conversation, Bodvar, for all your best intentions to have gang so far aglee...

Posted by: romanreb on April 6, 2005 03:21 PM

Okay. That's enough. I turned the other cheek when you told me: "you have a heart problem: darkened, and dead to God" but that was only directed against me, personally.

I apologize for not responding immediately to this direct attack, Wendy: "In general, it is also unpersuasive to ridicule elements of the Protestant way (romanreb, your classy comment about an Olympic-sized -- what now, did you say? -- )."

I considered ignoring it simply because my code of conduct forbids attacking an unarmed foe, but occasionally one is forced to repel people or creatures one would prefer to simply leave alone and observe from a distance, if at all. So, I'm replying, and I'm using very small words so that you can understand and avoid mistaking it for either "ridiculing elements of the Protestant Way" (such a double standard, Wendy--tsk) or a "compliment".

What I said was: "...sad for those who would hate the Catholic Church even if the next pontiff installed an Olympic sized baptismal pool in the Sistine Chapel, started serving grape juice and crackers instead of the Eucharist, and discarded his Papal robes for a gray business suit and started calling himself "Reverend". Just sad."

Let me simplify: "an Olympic sized baptismal pool in the Sistine Chapel" is a reference to the frequent Protestant ridicule of the Catholic practice of baptising infants by pouring water over their heads, rather than submerging them. I haven't measured, but the Sistine Chapel is pretty big and if the entire floor were converted into a baptismal pool, I suppose it would be at least near Olympic sized.

"started serving grape juice and crackers instead of the Eucharist" refers to the frequent practice by some Protestant sects of ridiculing the Catholics for using wine for our celebration of what you might call "communion" or "the Lord's supper". (I must confess I really don't know or care what you call it.) They have determined that wine is a sin, you know, regardless of the fact that the Scriptures describe wine being used by Our Lord. Therefore, they ridicule us for using it in what Dr. Yeagley fabulously and falsely refers to as "The priest" having "the power to create God in the mass [sic]".

"discarded his Papal robes for a gray business suit and started calling himself "Reverend" refers to the frequent protestant pracice of ridiculing the vestments of the priest and shrieking about how we call priests "Father".

So, to sum up, my initial paragraph copied above was my attempt at saying that even if the Catholic Church made every possible concession to all the people who object to her, people like you would still hate us. Your degree of hatred, your very zeal for hatred, is affecting not only your mind, but, when you start to attack Christ by attacking his Bride, the Holy Catholic Church, it endangers your soul.

I hope this clears it up for you, and thank you for proving my point so abundantly. I wish I could thank you for referring to my comment as "classy", but frankly I doubt your sincerity, nor do I accept compliments from blaspheming heretics.

Most sincerely,

Posted by: romanreb on April 6, 2005 03:08 PM

PS Dom, read your Scripture....it was Peter who was told to go to and baptise Cornelius, the Gentile, so his commision was NOT only for Jerusalem and the Jews.

50 NEW TESTAMENT PROOFS FOR PETRINE PRIMACY AND THE PAPACY

The Catholic doctrine of the papacy is biblically-based, and is derived from the evident primacy of St. Peter among the apostles. Like all Christian doctrines, it has undergone development through the centuries, but it hasn't departed from the essential components already existing in the leadership and prerogatives of St. Peter. These were given to him by our Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledged by his contemporaries, and accepted by the early Church. The biblical Petrine data is quite strong and convincing, by virtue of its cumulative weight, especially for those who are not hostile to the notion of the papacy from the outset. This is especially made clear with the assistance of biblical commentaries. The evidence of Holy Scripture (RSV) follows:

1. Matthew 16:18: "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church; and the powers of death shall not prevail against it."

The rock (Greek, petra) referred to here is St. Peter himself, not his faith or Jesus Christ. Christ appears here not as the foundation, but as the architect who "builds." The Church is built, not on confessions, but on confessors - living men (see, e.g., 1 Pet 2:5). Today, the overwhelming consensus of the great majority of all biblical scholars and commentators is in favor of the traditional Catholic understanding. Here St. Peter is spoken of as the foundation-stone of the Church, making him head and superior of the family of God (i.e., the seed of the doctrine of the papacy). Moreover, Rock embodies a metaphor applied to him by Christ in a sense analogous to the suffering and despised Messiah (1 Pet 2:4-8; cf. Mt 21:42). Without a solid foundation a house falls. St. Peter is the foundation, but not founder of the Church, administrator, but not Lord of the Church. The Good Shepherd (John 10:11) gives us other shepherds as well (Eph 4:11).

2. Matthew 16:19 "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . ."

The "power of the keys" has to do with ecclesiastical discipline and administrative authority with regard to the requirements of the faith, as in Isaiah 22:22 (cf. Is 9:6; Job 12:14; Rev 3:7). From this power flows the use of censures, excommunication, absolution, baptismal discipline, the imposition of penances, and legislative powers. In the Old Testament a steward, or prime minister is a man who is "over a house" (Gen 41:40; 43:19; 44:4; 1 Ki 4:6; 16:9; 18:3; 2 Ki 10:5; 15:5; 18:18; Is 22:15,20-21).

3. Matthew 16:19 ". . . whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

"Binding" and "loosing" were technical rabbinical terms, which meant to "forbid" and "permit" with reference to the interpretation of the law, and secondarily to "condemn" or "place under the ban" or "acquit." Thus, St. Peter and the popes are given the authority to determine the rules for doctrine and life, by virtue of revelation and the Spirit's leading (Jn 16:13), and to demand obedience from the Church. "Binding and loosing" represent the legislative and judicial powers of the papacy and the bishops (Mt 18:17-18; Jn 20:23). St. Peter, however, is the only apostle who receives these powers by name and in the singular, making him preeminent.

4. Peter's name occurs first in all lists of apostles (Mt 10:2; Mk 3:16; Lk 6:14; Acts 1:13). Matthew even calls him the "first" (10:2). Judas Iscariot is invariably mentioned last.

5. Peter is almost without exception named first whenever he appears with anyone else. In one (only?) example to the contrary, Galatians 2:9, where he ("Cephas") is listed after James and before John, he is clearly preeminent in the entire context (e.g., 1:18-19; 2:7-8).

6. Peter alone among the apostles receives a new name, Rock, solemnly conferred (Jn 1:42; Mt 16:18).

7. Likewise, Peter is regarded by Jesus as the Chief Shepherd after Himself (Jn 21:15-17), singularly by name, and over the universal Church, even though others have a similar but subordinate role (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:2). ...

http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ112.HTM

Yeah, I know, pearls before swine....rocks would be more receptive.

Posted by: Pat on April 6, 2005 03:02 PM

Oh brother! So many misperceptions, so many erros, so little time. I guess ignorance is bliss.

"Peters commission was to Jerusalem and to the Jew only. How'd he end up with that Rome gig?"

Well Dom as a Catholic you ought to know better. James was the Bishop of Jerusalem. Peter helped establish the Church in Antioch then established his in Rome. Even Protestant historians acknowledge that.

You should also know that adoration isn't quite the same as worship. No Catholic worships Mary as an equal to God, nor asks her intercession as though she were equal to God. I must presume that either you aren't a Catholic and only say you are OR you weren't correctly taught the faith (a distinct possibility).

"Pat is explaining how the Roman church has redefined what they do, when what they're observed doing is at issue. They wiggle about on the words, denying that they're worshipping Mary as an example, while their actions show that they build chapels to her, carve images of her, then PRAY TO HER as an intercessor to God; maintain bits and pieces of dead Catholics to "venerate"; and still assign "saints" parts of the arena of human endeavor as "patrons". The Roman chuch, therefore, hasn't moved far from immediately pre-Christian Roman worship of the Olympian pantheon, save that they've substituted Christian martyrs for sexually avaricious Roman deities -- sort of a "holy bait and switch"......Remember, none of this was meant as an ATTACK on Roman Catholicism"

Gee, so I guess I can say that Protestantism is a man made religion with beliefs as fickle as the person doing their own personal interpreation to fit their whims and desires and say that wouldn't be an attack on Protestantism huh?

Bodvar, don't pee on me or my Church and try to say it's rain! I suggest you get your head out of anal defilade and stop talking about something you know nothing about.

EVERY teaching and practice can be shown to go back to day 1. From the office of the Papacy, to the Real Presence in the Eucharist, to the communion of saints, etc. It's easy to confirm. Read any of the Early Church Fathers? St. Ignatius of Antioch? St. Jerome? Justin Martyr, etc? Of course not, that would destroy your ignorance and blind hatred of things you know nothing about.

Yours go only as far back as M. Luther, some 500 years only!

Interesting, the Catholic Church embraces you as brothers and sisters in Christ....you on the other hand, are and act like ignorant bigots. In fact, you act like the liberals you often chastise on this site! I guess you and liberals have that in common, hatred of the Catholic Church!

Posted by: Pat on April 6, 2005 02:56 PM

Pat,

Peters commission was to Jerusalem and to the Jew only. How'd he end up with that Rome gig?

Being Catholic myself, I can say for certain that the Church uses the phrase "Adoration of the Blessed Virgin" time and time again. If you don't see what they are doing with that, you should step back and ponder the last 25 years. Why do we PRAY to St. Jude, ? St. Christopher? etc.

The Catholic Church is a Corporation.The C.E.O. resides in Rome. Sometimes corporations change their products or enhance lesser products to increase sales.Believe me ..you don't have a vote on it, it's just bi'ness.

Dom

Posted by: Dom Palumbo on April 6, 2005 02:02 PM

This thread is beginning to lose its edge.

Pat is explaining how the Roman church has redefined what they do, when what they're observed doing is at issue. They wiggle about on the words, denying that they're worshipping Mary as an example, while their actions show that they build chapels to her, carve images of her, then PRAY TO HER as an intercessor to God; maintain bits and pieces of dead Catholics to "venerate"; and still assign "saints" parts of the arena of human endeavor as "patrons". The Roman chuch, therefore, hasn't moved far from immediately pre-Christian Roman worship of the Olympian pantheon, save that they've substituted Christian martyrs for sexually avaricious Roman deities -- sort of a "holy bait and switch".

As Wendy said, when Christ on the cross said "It is finished", that was it. Christianity is what Scripture reveals it to be, not what human tradition tells us that it is. Remember what Augustine of Hippo -- a Catholic bishop, no less -- says of the human tendency to sin. Since the fall, we've been "not able not to sin". That would mean that human tradition, even human church tradition, is suspect. Scripture is not.

Like others here, having spoken or simply taking it all in, I'm waiting to hear something of substance besides the well-rehearsed "you just don't understand" ploys. Something of substance, por favor.

Remember, none of this was meant as an ATTACK on Roman Catholicism, but as an opportunity to DISCUSS Roman Catholicism. So far, there's not been any discussion. It's almost as if we're talking to ourselves, not to eachother.

This would be an opportunity missed.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 6, 2005 02:00 PM

Pat,

I really get the feeling you don’t take any of this seriously; and your contempt for others is outstanding, telling, and typical.

No, I’m not going to go to a link I have no interest in. From a young age, I was aware of church members who left for another faith, whether to the RCC or the-pleasures-of-this-world faith.

The bulk of the questions and statements in your initial and later responses to me are not having to do with what I said: with respect to the charges of idolatry and apostasy (which are indeed practiced by the RCC in the form of praying to Mary [who is not God and has nothing to do with our salvation--and Pat, the RCC does advocate that, along with praying to “Saints” accorded respective functions, as did this deceased Pope--I understand there are differences of opinion about that within the RCC, but the Pope most definitely advocated that] and denying the sufficiency of Christ’s work at Calvary [Christ declared on the cross “it is finished!” and did not add “…pending the later works of those who believe on Me”]), you have NOT shown what INSPIRED Scripture instructs or commands us to do that. All that other stuff, have you heard me once broach it? So cut the fat, and answer me.

Posted by: Wendy Johnson on April 6, 2005 12:51 PM

"you have no scriptural answers to the charges of idolatry and apostasy that I and others in this blog have leveled at the RCC"

BTW, there is no idolatry or apostasy in the Catholic Church (ever notice that anti-catholic bigots like using the term 'Roman' Catholic Church?) We don't pray TO statues, etc. It suits the bigots to make to appear so. Is God guilty of idolatry for telling the Hebrews to place statues of two angels on the Ark? Or put a bronze serpent on a pole so that those who gaze upon it may be healed? Using your defintion of idolatry, can't Protestants be said to be idolaters for their 'worship' of the Bible?

"The Conversion Center of Havertown, Pennsylvania, puts out some of the more amusing anti-Catholic leaflets, though none is supposed to be taken humorously. One is called 10 Reasons Why I Am Not a Roman Catholic. Although written some years ago and never updated, it still makes the rounds. Here are a few of the reasons given by the anonymous author.

"1. The papacy is a hoax. Peter never claimed to be pope. He was never in Rome."

It is true that Peter could not have used the term "pope" to describe himself, since the title was not conferred on the bishops of Rome during the earliest years of the Church. (Neither does the Bible claim to be "the Bible," for that term had not been invented yet; it simply claimed to be God’s inspired word.) But that is hardly the point, since the question is not the title used, but the existence of the office of pope, which has been united to the office of the bishop of Rome on the basis that Peter went to Rome and died there. It follows that if Peter never went to Rome (this is the real question), then he could hardly have been its bishop, and the present bishop of Rome could hardly be his successor.

Although the Bible has no unmistakable evidence that he was there (though 1 Peter 5:13 does imply it), early Christian writers such as Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Lactantius are unanimous in saying that he went to Rome, presided over the Church there, and was martyred during the Emperor Nero’s persecution.

There was no early writer who claimed that Peter never went to Rome and died elsewhere, and no other ancient city ever claimed to be the place of his death or to have his remains—which makes sense, since in this century it has been demonstrated that his bones lay beneath the high altar of St. Peter’s Basilica.

A popular account of the archaeological excavations conducted from 1939 to 1968, at which time Pope Paul VI confirmed that Peter’s bones had been scientifically and historically identified, may be found in John E. Walsh’s book The Bones of St. Peter.

"2. Maryolatry [sic] is a hoax."

Quite true. "Mariolatry" means the worship of Mary, giving her the kind of honor due only to God (Greek: latria). Since Catholics justifiably give her greater honor than they give other saints, but less than they give to God (and not just less, but a fundamentally different kind of honor), Mariolatry does not exist in Catholic piety. In fact, the Catholic Church forbids Mariolatry because it forbids us to worship anyone other than God himself: "Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God. . . . Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God" (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2113, cf. 2110–2112, 2114).

But what the author means, of course, is that any honor given to Mary constitutes Mariolatry. He is unable to distinguish mere honor from adoration. One wonders if he thinks people adore as God the judges whom they call "Your Honor," or whether God decrees "parent-olatry" when he commands, "Honor your father and your mother" (Ex. 20:12).

"3. Purgatory is a hoax. It is a money-making scheme."

If it is, it is one of the least efficient schemes ever devised by man. It is indeed customary to give a priest a small stipend for celebrating a memorial Mass. The usual amount is five dollars, though there is no obligation to give anything, and many people, out of poverty or ignorance, give nothing. A priest clever enough to operate a scheme for making money would surely be clever enough to choose something that generated a better income, especially since nobody gets rich off of five dollars a day (priests are permitted to accept only one stipend per day). But as far as the Bible is concerned, it’s entirely reasonable for a priest to receive some small stipend for guest preaching, baptisms, weddings, and other ministerial functions.

The practice of remunerating ministers for their services, which is certainly not unique to the Catholic Church, is thoroughly biblical. Paul said, "Let the presbyters [priests] who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching; for the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer deserves his wages’" (1 Tim. 5:17–18; cf. Matt. 10:10; Luke 10:7)."

http://www.catholic.com/library/anti_catholicism.asp

Posted by: Pat on April 6, 2005 10:54 AM

Wendy, I wasn't aware that this was the purpose of the forum. If one wants to point fingers, neither have you or anyone else used Scripture to defend what you claim regarding the Church.

All I've seen are accusations based on old, tired, disproven fables by anti-Catholics.

St. Paul speaks of the servant of God being celibate, yet we hear the Catholic Church condemned for the discipline of religious celibacy! Christ lost a large number followers because he said they had to eat His flesh and drink His blood...and St. Paul says that anyone who eats the bread and drinks the blood (bread and wine) without recognizing the Body is condemned....etc. Scripture tells us that those who die in Christ are alive with him and we should pray for one another....ergo..asking for the intercession of the saints is Scriptural.

Do you say the Our Father only once for fear of being repetative? Do you call your father Ned? (or wahtever his name is?) Do you refrain from calling your teachers teacher?

Please!!! My mother used to say that when one points their finger at someone, three more are pointing back at them. Your 'pointing' that I'm not using Scripture to defend the Catholic Church (on a forum not set up to do that) while at the same time doing the same yourself is...well, hypocritcal.

Have fun with this link....it's by a fellow who converted to Catholicism from Evangelical Protestantism. Though I'd betcha you won't look it over.

http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZINDEX.HTM

Posted by: Pat on April 6, 2005 10:46 AM

Alligator, I have heard assertions many times that there are Catholics who have genuinely put their faith in Christ. I hope that is so, in spades, just as I hope that many in the Protestant divisions have done the same. I would only urge these believers to be willing to listen to what would then be the Spirit of God in their lives and not vex their souls remaining in an organization or congregation that perpetrates a lie through traditional false doctrine or a new influx of liberal watering down of the sufficiency of Christ.

Pat, for someone who has claimed to be an apologist for the RCC, I have not seen actual reasoning and showing being done on your part to support that claim. Certainly, you have not used any Scripture, even after you claimed one point would be "too easy" to refute. You have, however, have rather been defensive and that is not effective or persuasive. Scripture is for "doctrine, reproof ...", but you have no scriptural answers to the charges of idolatry and apostasy that I and others in this blog have leveled at the RCC. Since the RCC has no authority OVER the Scriptures, simply stating that people are ignorant of the actual inner workings and minutia of that which intrigues the RCC is not apologetics.

In general, it is also unpersuasive to ridicule elements of the Protestant way (romanreb, your classy comment about an Olympic-sized -- what now, did you say? -- ).

You have plenty of RCC doctrine, but your positions have no merit.

Posted by: Wendy Johnson on April 6, 2005 09:32 AM

""The United States is one of the few places on earth where the Church has not been overtly persecuted."

Well, this is only partly true. Overtly being the operative word. Ya know, slams like Romanists, Papists, etc. Maryland was set up as a Catholic colony because no one wanted 'them' next to them! 'Mary's land?

Stories about Catholics handing over the US to the Pope! The KKK, the No Nothing Party, the Black Legion! ALL anti-Catholic! We won't get into present day Jack Chick, Tony Alamo, etc.

BTW, the vestments worn by Catholic priests are (were) common garb worn in the early Church. Each piece has a meaning. No one here seems to have a hard time with Judges wearing 'mediavel' garb while on the bench!

Sheesh!

Posted by: Pat on April 6, 2005 08:10 AM

"In fact, they were early persecuted, by Romanists." Wrong again!

This is simply amazing! This reminds me of a (ancient) Roman saying about someone who never set foot in Britian telling people all about it.

To use as a an example, it's like a white writer who never left New York city telling people all about the Comanches!

Can anyone tell me what the difference is betwen what's being said here about the Catholic Church and what Ward Churchill said about the victims of 9/11, white Americans, etc?

Posted by: Pat on April 6, 2005 08:04 AM

"The United States is one of the few places on earth where the Church has not been overtly persecuted."

...therein may be the rub. Roman Catholicism was the defacto, unquestioned church of France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and it became bigoted and fat. Puritanism in the opposition was noble, but under the Protectorate was, again, bigoted and fat. Under a benign Uncle Sam, more of the worst "me-centered" foolishness has bubbled up than I care to think about. Revivalism, Mormonism, the subsumation of New England Calvinist Congregationalism to Unitarianism, Christian Science, Jehovah's Witness-ism, and the Aimee Semple McPherson join primitive Baptist snake handlers, store-front charlatans and, again, televangelists as unique American oddities or outrages.

In America, why worry about heaven in the next life. With all its faults, America comes closer to heaven than any society in history since Eden, whether you're rich or poor.

Maybe, just maybe, Christianity NEEDS persecution. If that's the case, thanks to those wacky homosexuals and their agendas, we may just be in for a spiritual shot-in-the-arm.

Maybe, just maybe, Christians need a little persecution, too. Maybe they need to be reminded what it is to "take up your cross". Maybe then they'll think less of "fulfillment" and "growth" and more about service, charity and salvation.

As the Marines say, "blood makes the grass grow".

"If I don't make sense, I'm tired. This would be easier to express face to face and with a cup of coffee! :)"

...no, as usual, you make perfect sense. I look forward to a cup and a good chin-wag one day.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 5, 2005 11:33 PM

Bodvar sez, "They need to find and stick to Christ. That means Protestants AS WELL AS Roman Catholics, period. Protestantism is RIFE with liberalism which sells the Gospel cheap."

Bodvar, I'm actually on board with you here. I was exposed to some of that Ecumenical movement stuff in my college days...'watered down' was the nice way of expressing the results of the movement. An ecuminical movement born of human invention won't work.

I actually believe the Body of Christ transcends all the denominations and sects of the 'faith'. I have met Catholics who I have no doubt were indeed clinging to Christ. I genuinely think this Pope and Mother Teresa were clinging to Christ. Others are obviously clinging to the priest, Pope or ritual, etc. instead of Christ.

I've met Southern Baptists & Assembly of God who were born again, compassionate and gentle souls and others that I simply said, "Why do you waste your time pretending to be a Christian." They could be harsh and legalistic to a dangerous degree or simply were one thing in Church on sunday and quite another outside of Church the rest of the week. I knew one guy who was a deacon, made a big deal of it but his lifestyle made me ask "why do you waste your time pretending to be a Christian?" The BTK killer in Wichita is another example. And the list goes on. As you pointed out, some of the televangelists are wayward and found wanting and I think some charismatics are too.

The early church did not have all the ceremonial trappings and garb that have since evolved, especially during the Middle Ages. The first couple of centuries of church were simple, rooted solely in the Gospel and though many would not care to admit it, and much more identifiable with its roots of Judaism. Once Constantine made it the "official" religion of Rome, the church as whole began a trend of being influenced by society, instead of the other way around.

The United States is one of the few places on earth where the Church has not been overtly persecuted. I see the seeds for such being sown, even if unknowingly, by people professing a "liberal" world view. There are movers and shakers among secular society who know full well what they are doing. Darkness is gathering, and it may be that this will seperate the wheat from the chaff.

Mine was a perhaps a feeble clarion call to stay mindful of the big picture, and while we certainly have issues with doctrine, it matters not to our common enemy. There are some who simply don't have a clue as to what is out on the horizon.

If I don't make sense, I'm tired. This would be easier to express face to face and with a cup of coffee! :)

Posted by: Alligator on April 5, 2005 10:52 PM

Don,

Thoughtful and VERY well written. Kudos.

"God, no matter your particular view, makes truth claims, not just poetry."

Let me go you one better. Jehovah is the author of truth. They aren't claims. Perhaps in a philosophy classroom, where He's competing with Kant and Hegel, he's making claims. By now, both Kant and Hegel know a bit more about the God about whom they speculated. I hope that the lesson was gentle.

Speaking of "comfort", try this on for size:

"Then Jesus told his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.' Matthew 16:23-25 (ESV)

What's comfortable about that?

What's comfortable about being "born again"? I don't mean that trendy, social gospel, happy-clappy sort of politico-religious muddle we see at the mega-churches, acres of parking lot and stadium seating but no talk of sin. That's one feature of Protestantism for which I wish to apologize for my Roman Catholic neighbors for unleashing on society. No, birth is a traumatic process, painful and messy, and involves, spiritually speaking, a lot of equally messy and painful self-examination and repentance.

Christianity is actually fairly simple. It's just not easy.

Then, there's that bit about the young lord, all decked out probably in the 1st Century Hellenic Imperial version of Armani, asking the Savior what besides the observance of Mosaic Law, which he's been scrupulously observing, that he needs to do to ensure eternal life. When told that he needs to sell all his gear, he does what I've been told nobody else in the Gospels does when Christ asks him to follow him: he walks away. He was asked to LEAVE his comfort and rough it.

Then, there's that whole martyrdom thing. First a disciple, then an apostle, then a martyr, for 10 out of the first 12, throwing in Stephen to boot.

Religion, certainly NOT Christianity, is not about comfort. There is comfort in the reassurance of Christ and salvation, but it's essentially a charge of duty, which, Scripture teaches us, cost the lives of just about everyone who wrote the Gospels and Epistles (except John, I believe) their lives.

That's why the Protestants here are taking the Roman church to task, I believe, and why the Roman Catholics are right to return fire. This is the MOST IMPORTANT human activity there is. It's more important than family, tribe, nation, market, demographic or allegiance to one's favorite baseball or soccer team. Christianity is about the very crux of human life, our role in the universe, meaning our role as creatures of the Living God. It is an arena of passion.

Christianity has enough homework to keep even the most voracious intellectual occupied. Luther and Calvin were aces intellectually and legalistically. Theology can rival any scientific discipline for complexity, if done right. It's also a great comfor to the poor, the oppressed, the old, the defenseless...if we're making an effort, those of us who can be of service, to actually BE Christians.

But, the purpose of Christianity is, I firmly believe, what my church maintains is the "chief end of man"...something we're told that lamas in g-strings squatting in the Himalayas all try to figure out:

"Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever."

Not only to serve, worship and try (always imperfectly) to understand their duty to God, but to "...enjoy him forever". Enjoying the Lord of Hosts, the Author of Human Joy, the Living God. There's the upside.

Glory to God in the highest.

The blessings of peace upon those who esteemed Karol Wojtyla.

Amen.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 5, 2005 09:54 PM

Yikes.

Well, I must admit, while I was still living in New Haven, I knew two different Catholic girls, one a social worker, the other a philosopher and scholar (from Chandler, OK, it turned out). They each had a curious angle: one said that the primary sources of Catholic dogma needed to be subjected to the same rigorous academic methodologies of criticism as any other form of literature. The other one said the same of Catholic secondary literature. They didn't know each other, either. I thought this was refreshing and curious. The Chandler girl teaches at Vanderbilt, I'm pretty sure.

Some of this is fan-ism. We're fans of what we love, we promote it talk it up, and love sharing it. I think that's all perfectly natural.

The RCC has a aura of history, dominating civilized Europe, that the protestants simply don't have, mostly because they were never main stream in Europe. In fact, they were early persecuted, by Romanists.

Europe is replete with hundreds of small, ancient "prostant" denomination, that have long since passed way. There are a few which have remained. Bogomilism, from Bogomil (friend of God) the Bulgarian, was as protestant as any protestant could ever dream of being. He lived in the 10th century, I believe.

There have always been groups who existed before Romanism, and never joined. Small in number, indeed, but always there. They just don't get any glory. They seem to have had no effect, at least not until the Reformation...

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 5, 2005 09:53 PM

...except, Alligator, that, historically, whenever the Roman church participated in ecumenism, it did so on it's own terms, meaning that the anathemas of the Council of Trent were firmly in place.

They've been apologizing to all and sundry for various of the Inquisitions, for the whole "Jews killed Christ" thing, and feel reeeeeally bad about the whole "black legend" thing, burning all those codecies. Well, just show a little more neighborliness and come out of the 16th Century.

The death of this prelate and the attention given it is allowing the Roman Catholic Church to celebrate itself in what is being called "the largest media even in history" (saying that being a hyping of the media's own hyping of a church hyping itself).

They are, to their credit, taking the opportunity to evangelize, and maybe a few of their faithful will go to chuch once or twice (until the hype dies out). With only 8% of French catholics, for instance, going to church regularly, that's necessary for survival.

On the other hand, they're also celebrating THEMSELVES, the church as an institution, a form of authority, and along with that goes its doctrine, heresies, idolatry and all.

The Roman church seems to think itself the wellspring of Christianity, as if it came first. Historically and doctrinally, that's demonstrably incorrect. Ecumenism with them, for all of the last pontiff's smiles and drippy apologies, is impossible without kissing someone's ring.

My points are these:

1) The Roman Catholic Church, since it's claiming other people's attention, might want to turn its attention on itself and, FINALLY, reform a little bit. Crack a Bible once in a while, and not as a book of quotation.

2) They need to play well with others, which they don't currently. That includes, but is not limited to, holding their employees accountable, for one thing, not bouncing them around from legal jurisdiction to legal jurisdiction when they are suspected (usually with pretty strong proof) of "pulling a Michael Jackson" with their alter attendants.

3) That also includes taking criticism on board, not IMMEDIATELY going onto the defensive and quoting Chesterton, rolling out failed Protestants-turned-Catholic (how many Wiccans are failed Catholics, after all?), and, in general, getting all huffy. Criticism is how you learn. It is another set of eyes taking a look at you, letting you know that you might not see a problem.

Christians don't need to "stick together". They need to find and stick to Christ. That means Protestants AS WELL AS Roman Catholics, period. Protestantism is RIFE with liberalism which sells the Gospel cheap. Liberal Catholics make noises about "inclusiveness", meaning "let's make nice with homosexuals" (no doubt to make much of their own clergy feel more comfortable). Still, we need to remember that the Episcopals actually made one a bishop, the Anglicans probably did as well, the Methodists are slipping, and the Presbyterian Church (USA) especially is gone off the deep end.

Added to that, most of those squirrelly televangelists, "non-denominationals" (which is another way of saying "our minister is untrained and might be untrainable") and some of the more creepy fundamentalists are anti-social, anti-intellectual, and -- in the case of guys like Benny Hinn -- are only nomimally Christian.

It's a muddle.

So, it's best not to rush into any "circle the wagons" situation. Christ doesn't need "the best we can do". He needs us to do what he and his Father have told us to do.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 5, 2005 09:33 PM

Very, good, Alligator. Very good.

I wrote a piece for FrontPageMagazine called:
Where's Dracula When You Need Him? It was after the 9-ll terrorism, and tried to draw lessons from the Islamic invasion of Europe, in Medieval times. I say, even though I don't believe the church should in any way be a temporal power, were it not for the Catholics, in temporal power, we'd all be speaking Arabic, and all women would wear the hajib. That's history, to all appearances, anyway.

God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 5, 2005 07:16 PM

Yo. Catholic and Protestant friends. We need to time out and learn from the example of our American Indian friends.

In 1763, Ottawa Chief Pontiac tried to unify Indian tribes and get them to overlook past differences because he saw a greater threat coming.

In 1810 Shawnee Chief Tecumseh tried the same thing. He saw a greater threat coming. Both men came close to achieving their goal, but it was just too hard for many individuals and tribes to get past old feuds and animosities.

We can disagree on points of our individual doctrine. We do need to speak the truth to one another in love about our differneces.

But in the meantime, there is a godless, humanistic, secularist element of society that wants to crush all vesitages of Christianity in the world be it Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Charismatic, non-denominational or whatever. They don't care. Any association with Christ, the Bible, Judeo-Christian ethics is enough for them. They are in universities, they are in the media, they are in Hollywood, they are in the courts, they are in the political system, they are in the UN. They are working like termites to undermine American society, and they view (rightfully so) the Chrisitan Church as part of the tradition that must be undermined.

Even now, the press which was so lamenting the death of the Pope is shifting gears and starting to revile him. The New York Times is taking the lead in this change.

Personally, I think just about every denomination or sect of the Christian faith has some baggage that will burn like dross on judgement. But in the meantime, the secularists don't care. They are at work.

Posted by: Alligator on April 5, 2005 07:08 PM

Lewis and Schaeffer have also written regarding the points made in Dom's excellent post.

Posted by: romanreb on April 5, 2005 06:41 PM

David, The following got my attention.

-----
Well, my point is, I think we believe what we believe because it comforts us, it feels comforting, anyway. I don't think we're all that mascochistic. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm just saying that belief is an act of the will. What one believes is not the verdict of logic. That's something else.

Belief is about will, not intellect. Two different realms.
-----


I believe that this 2-realm view of faith and intellect, one being the realm of comfort and one being the realm of truth and intellect is almost a perfect distillation of the dilemma
facing us today.

If we accept that, we then have no basis to think that our faith represents anything, well, real. Faith becomes then an act of the individual heroic will howling into the empty universe it's belief.

It is to accept faith, as Joseph Campbell would say, as comforting myth-making, poetry and story telling, and not much else.

The results of this view, have, IMO been a complete disaster, both for Christians and for the culture at large.

God, no matter your particular view, makes truth claims,
not just poetry. We believe Jesus was who He said he was, and did what he said He did, and that the universe was created and we are fallen.

The "two realms" of faith and reason, (or fact and belief as Stephen Jay Gould would put it) reduce faith to anything that happens to comfort you, and hence to nothing universal and transcendant at all.

I don't need comfort, and I must say that being a Christian has been far from comforting, considering how much of my true nature the Spirit has revealed to me in recent years....

Not comforting in the least.

There's an excellent new book on this subject from Nancy Pearcey; Total Truth.

http://www.gnpcb.org/sites/total.truth/

I recommend it highly.

Don

Posted by: Don Cicchetti on April 5, 2005 05:25 PM

Dr. Yeagley

It is a given that God is the judge of the individual; how does this disannul His judgment of our sins on the cross? It does not negate the gospel (the Resurrection), which is His doing, and His message, and His directive to spread the same to all people.

We are to examine ourselves, to see whether we are in the faith (and not that false faith of a liar who denies the sufficiency of the sacrifice). As Christians, there is no point in trying the spirits if we refuse to recognize what we hear: we have no obligation to listen to or fear the person or organization perpetrating the falsehoods of lying spirits.

Error can point to a lack of salvation. Thank God, we don't have to possess all knowledge of God and spiritual things before we can be saved. Our error comes from turning from God to idols. We need to turn to God from idols. Whether our respective backgrounds and cultures worship reverenced people, animals, or a pantheon of spirits, we need to turn to God from idols.

We are responsible, regardless. My failing here is that I can't get the entire quote from my brain, but it ends with "they are without excuse."

How do you know? I remember a fervent Catholic once telling me (one very interested in last things as well), that she would pray and pray in church, but she didn't feel forgiven. In contrast, when I pray, I know I'm forgiven, not because of background or what I've done, but because I can rely on His Word that He is just to forgive my sins and cleanse from all unrighteousness, because I put on His righteousness, not my own. This is not judgment of another person, it is a vital point.

Regarding the quote in Zechariah, I believe this is when Jesus is reigning on earth in Jerusalem, after the Great Tribulation. There will be people born during that time, and they will have plenty of questions. God graciously reconciles with His people, the Jews. All will still need to believe on Him.

You're right: "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentence." I did quote before, "judgement is His strange work." I think I have been emphasizing His great love for us. However, I will resist an attempt by a non-Christian to assert an imagined claim such as the Roman Catholic church teaches, because to the unregenerate or unaware person, the false teaching SOUNDS like it could be the same as genuine faith. It's not, and it's worth bringing out.

Posted by: Wendy Johnson on April 5, 2005 04:47 PM

Sorry, had to throw my two cents in (which may be all it's worth given everyone else's much deeper understanding of this than mine). I agree with what Dr. Y said "If one is unaware of one's ignorance, one cannot be held responsible for not knowing. But, if one has every opportunity to know, and neglects knowing, then we're in trouble." I expect to see a lot of Protestants and Catholics (and some heathens) in heaven because of this. I'm no theologian and think we will have to agree to disagree. I find this discussion very interesting as I'm sure do most checking out these posts. As a Protestant, from the outside, offering prayers to Mary and the saints does seem like idol worship to me. Again, I say that as an outsider having not been brought up Catholic.

I've been reading an interesting site (NewAdvent.org). Lots of good information on the history of the church, other divisions and religions, etc. Check out their discussion of Protestantism in their online encyclopedia and it will be clear that the Catholics hold as much distain for Protestants as Protestants sometimes show towards Catholics. They basically blame Protestantism for setting the stage for secularism in Europe now. As Bodvar mentioned, we Protestants have our share of disgraces preaching from the pulpits, but at least we can leave a church not preaching the truth and let it die as it should.

Posted by: Richbo on April 5, 2005 03:43 PM

Wendy, I'm sure that there are many people in the world who have gone their graves with mistaken ideas, about God, about Christ, about religion. God is the judge of the individual. I think we are obligated to "try the spirits," but not to judge the heart. (I know you know this. I'm just saying openly...)

I don't think error necessarily precludes sincerety or even salvation. If one is unaware of one's ignorance, one cannot be held responsible for not knowing. But, if one has every opportunity to know, and neglects knowing, then we're in trouble.

My father onced said, "How do you know when you know?"

I understand that some people will the story of Jesus for the first time-- in heaven! "What are these wounds in thine hands?" they ask Him. Zecharia 13:6

I believe with all my heart that the Almighty shall have spared no effort, no effort, to save each human being. He's trying to get us in, not keep us out.

But, I suppose this is the rub: we are warned that wrong thinking, and wrong values, can keep us out. Therefore, we are concerned.

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 5, 2005 02:58 PM

"Wendy,
The "compliments" (observations really) stand, like the Holy Catholic Faith, independent of your approval.

Dominus vobis cum."

Romanreb, the "Holy Catholic Faith" (sic) will certainly stand alone, finally forsaken, in the lake of fire, along with the antichrist and the false prophet.

Cosa significa?

There's going to be a lot of people standing before the Lord Jesus saying "Lord ... [I've] done many wonderful works ..." and He'll have to tell them "I never knew you, depart from Me, ye that work INIQUITY." (emphasis mine) You CANNOT bring your works alone, or as an addendum to your supposed faith in His work on our behalf on the cross. He does not accept that. From Cain, indeed, from Adam and Eve, he never did. He always make the sole provision, and is the one who prescribes the offering. It does not include our works. This is the apostasy of the Roman Catholic Church, whatever else it may stand for, morph into, or protest to be. The same goes for the Protestant churches: if they want to downplay the work of Christ and our need for Him alone, then they are guilty of false teaching as well.

But thank God, the living church is still effective for preaching, teaching, and living the Christian life through the power of the Holy Spirit, and not at the sufferance of an apostate cult such as the Roman Catholic Church that puts its teachings above the inspired Word of God.

Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me." That means, contrary to a claim made a while back, no born again believer could stomach remaining within the confines or tolerating to the point of acceptance the absolutely demonic teachings of the Roman Catholic church. At some point, they are going to say to themselves, "I will arise, and go to my Father" ... and they won't be referring to what you blasphemously call the "Holy Father."

Posted by: Wendy Johnson on April 5, 2005 01:47 PM

Belief is about faith.

Posted by: Sheila on April 5, 2005 12:22 PM

Vsha! Good to see you again! Chiming in at the climax of the chorus, eh? Letting others do all the sweating, eh? while you ride the crest of the wave! Ha, ha. (Seriously, Gee, it's good to see your words, and at such a time.)

Reb, you're allowed to get mad...

You're right, in that there is probably no point in you're defending specifics. The history of the western world was created by those who differed.

Let me ask you one thing, though: what do you do, personally, when you discover you're completely wrong about something? What is your method of dealing with that? I'd be curious.

Myself, I've handled it one of two ways:
1) retreat to some larger scope, some more inclusive persepctive that can include my error
2) change a detail, without changing the structure of its context.

I have a Master of Divinity, from Yale. I've heard a lot. Every notion in my head was challenged, if not ridiculed or scoffed. Have you heard of the ethicist, Sister Margaret Farely? How about Father Cavanaugh? (deceased now). Lots of Catholic presence there. Although it wasn't really them that made open appeals or challenges. It was the good ol' American protestants.

Well, my point is, I think we believe what we believe because it comforts us, it feels comforting, anyway. I don't think we're all that mascochistic. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm just saying that belief is an act of the will. What one believes is not the verdict of logic. That's something else.

Belief is about will, not intellect. Two different realms.

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 5, 2005 11:47 AM

You know what it's like when all the parts of the symphony are playing together-the strings soaring high and dipping low; the brass instruments peppering the melody with polished counterpoints, the woodwinds adding both their lilts and laments, the percussion pounding out the rhythm and surprising with an occasional ring-off or sound effect.
It's beautiful.

But not because one section is drowning out another. Not because the violins are a little more musical than the flute or the flugelhorn.

The reason it is beautiful is because it takes all of them to create a complete musical experience.

And perhaps, it takes all of God's people, offering up all kinds of different musical styles and languages, to make God truly happy on a typical morning.


As long as He is praised for His gifts and made welcome, we should be willing to play and feel at home in His symphony.

Perhaps.

*I have learned much from you all.

Many blessings and thank you.

Posted by: Vsha on April 5, 2005 11:01 AM

Wendy,
The "compliments" (observations really) stand, like the Holy Catholic Faith, independent of your approval.

Dominus vobis cum.

Posted by: romanreb on April 5, 2005 09:40 AM

I need to read all these responses more thoroughly later, but having glanced I will just say this in general to the RC responders: we all are very emphatic about what we believe here, and I do not accept compliments (that sound insincere to me, despite how you phrase them) at the expense of others whose opinions and statements I take into consideration as we go. Please refrain from that. If you are impressed with my overall conduct, then listen to what I say and perhaps be ready admit that you may be consummately wrong, rather than picked on. Bobvar and Dr. Yeagley and other souls on this site express themselves quite well, so cut them some slack, and maybe you'll learn something that doesn't feed your pride.

Another thing, the intellectual plea is an old chestnut that a religious unbeliever uses when backed into a corner. If you think you can out-think the Lord who made you and everything else all the while ignoring and contradicting His Word, then your condition is evident: you have a heart problem: darkened, and dead to God.

Posted by: Wendy Johnson on April 5, 2005 09:09 AM

Interesting discussion? Not really. Do you imagine that this is the first time we've had our Faith challenged? Or that someone else, far more knowledgeable in their own faith AND Catholicism hasn't done a much better job than you're doing now? When I want to discuss the validity of the Catholic Faith, Bodvar, I'll kick back with a few beers and my dear Missouri Synod Lutheran Pastor friend who's actually STUDIED the Faith, and knows it. That way I won't have to spend fruitless hours reinventing the wheel for him and can address really GOOD questions---a few of which I honestly have no answers for: I just take em on Faith.

Our Protestant friends have, as they always will do, highjacked the discussion from what it was purported to be--the impact of John Paul II's death and the media feeding frenzy and overcoverage--to an attempted dissection and refutation of the Catholic Faith. The validity of the Catholic Faith really has nothing to do with the death of the Pope, unless one wants to make an arbitrary statement regarding his eternal destination. I hope no one is that crass or hubristic.

I fall for it every time, because I think perhaps there are a few incidental questions that have popped into someone's mind, but that's never the case. People who really want to know the answer to questions about any religion go, quite properly, to research tools. I don't come on this forum or any other to proselytize. No white christian savior woman, me. Neither am I afraid to state my beliefs when they pertain to MY points and MY posts, because my beliefs are all that explain who I am. Nor do I mount an immediate challenge regarding anyone else's statement of THEIR beliefs, no matter how idiotic I know them to be--and please don't tell me that anti-Catholic rhetoric is at the heart of your belief system or you merely prove my point for me.

There is a HUGE difference in courageously stating one's absolute rejection of and hostility toward the Faith, as did Wendy, and in doing what you two are doing. Wendy good, Bodvar and Yeagley bad. It's the quality and purity of combat that matters. Wendy is Cincinnatus. You two are Alcibiades.

If I'd known this was going to rapidly degenerate into yet another round of "Enlighten the po'r Cat'lics" (thank you, Jimmy Swaggart) I'd have found more productive use for my time.
Sorry to have wasted yours.

One more thing: If you honestly desire the answers to all those questions, then I urge you to seek them out. I'm not responsible, but you are.

Posted by: romanreb on April 5, 2005 08:24 AM

Interesting discussion. Our Catholic friends seem to think all objections are based on false information. I think this highly unlikely at this point in history. However, it is important to note that our sincere Catholic friends do take this position: protestants do not know what Catholicism is. This is the first line of defense, or the first move in the conversation. I think this is noteworthy.

Now, We have started a discussion under the Religion Forum, which hasn't gotten anywhere near the place these comments have, but, I just want everyone to know it's there, and will no doubt continue.

No one has addressed the catechism issue I raised.

Of course the Lord can resurrect anyone He pleases, at any time. Apparently He resurrected Moses, and Elijah was translated, without even experiencing death. Mary was 'deified' in Ephesus, the female-flouting fanatics of the age. Diana was the current name of the goddess, before it was change to Mary. This was, what, 431 AD? (Council of Ephesus).

Alexis de Salo, in An Admirabgle Method to Love, Serve, and Honor The Blessed Virgin Mary

http://www.alibris.com/search/search.cfm?S=R&wauth=Alexis+de+Salo&siteID=PmFI5OlCKw4-nENMr5ShpUb0ZP9swLjF6Q

wrote: "Hail our Hope, and Our Advocate..." and he quotes St. Augustine as writing, "You are the only hope of sinners, and from you, O Glorious Virgin, we expect pardon of our sins, and recompense of our good works." pp.240,241. (De Salo's work was translated in to English, in 1639. I cannot varify the exact date of the Latin text.)

There is no question that this is deification. Any other interpretation is utter dissembling.

I guess the question we should ask is this: does it really matter what we believe, beyound the vicarious atonement of the Lamb of God? Wars have been fought over Christian beliefs. Don't think the Muslims aren't quick to point that out.

Then the issue becomes authority. What KIND of authority does the church of Jesus wield? "My kingdom is not of this world," he said, when asked about it. John 18: 36. I think there is a lot to be learned from meditating on this text.

At any rate, I think these are wonderful discussions! I hope everyone is as titillated as I am! (Don't mean to sound like Dr. Chillingsworth, in the Scarlett Letter...)

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 4, 2005 10:47 PM

Thank you SamReynolds. "into this world we're thrown". but not without tools..

Dom

Posted by: Dom Palumbo on April 4, 2005 10:34 PM

One last post then I'm done. It seems many hee are more interested in trashing the Catholic Church for what they THINK it is rather than finding out for themselves...

"A thinking man can think himself deeper and deeper into Catholicism, and not deeper and deeper into difficulties about Catholicism . . . Conversion is the beginning of an active, fruitful, progressive and even adventurous life of the intellect . . . To exalt the Mass is to enter into a magnificent world of metaphysical ideas, illuminating all the relations of matter and mind, of flesh and spirit, of the most impersonal abstractions as well as the most personal affections . . . It is precisely the dogmas that are living, that are inspiring, that are intellectually interesting." (G.K. Chesterton, a convert from Anglicanism)

Another Anglican set out to prove that the Catholic Church was NOT the one true Church....today you may know him better as John Cardinal Newman.

A Presbyterian minister/theologian, very anti-Catholic, kept discovering that every insight I found in the Scriptures, the Catholic Church had 'been there, done that'. Today he teaches at the Franciscan University at Steubenville...Scott Hahn....and there are many other such people.

But go ahead, live with your head in the sand, trash what you know nothing about and pat yourself on the back for your 'enlightenment'. Dr. Yeagley, I expected far mroe from you given your history with liberal 'intellectuals'.

Posted by: Pat on April 4, 2005 09:02 PM

"There is not one remote hint of evidence that Mary was resurrected or ascended to heaven."

Very good Dr. Yeagley, you're correct. In fact, there's no way she could have since only God can resurrect or ascend. Now, be assumed into heaven? That's a different matter! Haven't you read your Scripture? Doesn't the Old Testament speak of one being taken bodily into heaven? Doesn't St. Paul refer to him in his Epistles? So God can do it can't He? I won't go into why God did this for Mary, you wouldn't believe me anyway.

Secondly, every city who had the burial place of a saint, especially the 'biggies' spoke of it loudly....Rome for Peter and Paul, Jerusalem for James, Ephesus for John, etc.....not one city EVER claimed to have the tomb of Mary. Odd ain't it? Even female saints were commemorated this way...but nothing on Mary!

As for the field of buffalo droppings concerning the Catholic bishops rallying to oppose authorities...guess again....most of the Bishop were very open...oh, I guess in this case you're gonna take the liberal media's word for it!

You may not heard of Lorraine Boettner, but I'd bet you dollars to donuts a lot of the fables being spouted about the Catholic Church here and other places, came form Loraine Boettner's book "Catholicism", otherwise known as the anti-catholic bible.

"Let that be deemed a proper(18) Eucharist, which is[administered] either even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church." (St. Ignatius of Antioch; Letter to the Smyrnaens; Chap 8) St. Ignatius was a disciple of the Apostle John...he died circa 110 AD. So before 110 AD he's calling the Christian Church the Catholic Church! Now, dontcha feel silly?

Were do you guys think the Bible as we have it came from? You think it dropped into someone's lap? Let me give you a hint.

"What would say to one who did believe the Gospels? I myself would not beleive but the authority of the Catholic Church compells me." (St. Augustine)

amazing, people who know squat about Catholicism telling a Catholic what they believe and do!

Posted by: Pat on April 4, 2005 08:46 PM

Good Easter, Orthomom. He is risen indeed!

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 4, 2005 06:44 PM

"Hey, y'all--listen up! I'm not on trial here, and neither is my Faith!"

No, absolutely not!

Consider something, though: if there are problems in a church and believers AREN'T arguing about it, trying to fix things, however loudly, what does that look like among the reprobate and unbelieving? I'm not talking about image, I'm talking about our mission according to Matthew 28:18-20. We're supposed to be out there making disciples of all nations and baptizing them. That doesn't mean that we have to make them all Roman Catholic or Orthodox or Presbyterian disciples, but we do have to make them Christians. That's hard to do NOT when we're arguing about essentials, but it IS when we won't argue about them and won't fix things when they're broken.

Look around. We see pedophilia, the hierarchy closing ranks against authorities in connection with pedophilia, number of priests down, attempts to unbiblically liberalize the church in Roman Catholicism. Meanwhile, among Protestants (sometimes styled evangelicals), you also see sexual scandals, diamond-studded hypocrites rampant, liberalizing to the point of the denial of Scripture's relevance, and the scourge of televangelism.

We need to get busy.

"Then OKAY! You most likely can't help being Protestants, the truth is readily available to you, you already believe the chief truths taught by Catholicism, and I JUST DON'T CARE!"

No, I can't help it, thanks be to the Lord of Hosts!

It could be said, then, that you believe the essential truths of Protestantism...just tarted up a bit, all baroque and foreign. That's what we've come to expect of the Roman church.

Again, it's not a matter of style. We're talking about salvation and how we walk with God. That's a very serious matter. We should have strong feelings.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 4, 2005 06:43 PM

May you have a very Holy Lent and Easter, Orthomom!

Posted by: romanreb on April 4, 2005 06:02 PM

I do not want to get into "discussion central" here as I am an Orthodox Christian and smack dab in the middle of Lent. It would be antithetical to the whole purpose of Lent for me to got hot under the collar with people I do not know from Adam's housecat.

I would however, like to let everyone know that Bishop Kallistos Ware's book _The Orthodox Church_ is now online and can be found here. If you are interested in early Church history, this would be an invaluable resource. It's hard for me to believe it is now online and so easily accessible. It's companion is _The Orthodox Way_, and is also an excellent book. Both were instrumental for me in my conversion from "mainline evangelical church" to Orthodoxy.

I will now, happily, retreat back to lurk mode....

God be with you all...

P.S. This commenting program wouldn't accept my code for underlining the book titles. Please forgive the "-" stuff....

Posted by: Orthomom on April 4, 2005 05:59 PM

LOL!

Bodvar and Yeagley! Hey, y'all--listen up! I'm not on trial here, and neither is my Faith! If you actually wanted the answers to these questions, I could tell you where to find them on the 'net! But you don't! Let me put your collective minds at ease: I'm not an ignorant idol worshiper, so I don't need you to attempt my salvation! Please note that I have not challenged any Prot errors, not because I don't know they are there, but because it would be pointless and I am not only secure in my own Faith, but I am not fearful regarding your salvation!

Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, who made heaven and earth?

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, Our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate? was crucified, died and was buried? descended into "hell" and on the third day rose again and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty?

Do you believe he will come to judge the living and the dead?

Do you believe in the Holy Ghost? The holy catholic (universal)Church? the communion of saints? The resurrection of the body? the life everlasting?

Then OKAY! You most likely can't help being Protestants, the truth is readily available to you, you already believe the chief truths taught by Catholicism, and I JUST DON'T CARE! I'm sorry that your heterodoxy does not define my existance, but there it is! You believe the most important things, and the rest is YOUR responsiblity, not mine.

Have a blessed day,

Posted by: romanreb on April 4, 2005 05:56 PM

I think that we've reached the irreducible minimum of this discussion. For instance, I don't know who Lorraine Boettner is, but reckon that you don't hold her or folks who read her in high esteme.

But, this might be profitable:

"Well, that is one theory, but it's wrong. The Church was founded on the rock-kepha-petros Peter, who eventually established his see in Rome....

"Wow. So we're talking strictly about first-generation prior to Peter establishing his see in Rome here? Okay then. It's all in Acts."

...James, the brother of Jesus, was the head of the church at first. That's in Acts, too. Rome a poor home for church-growth until Constantines time, at which time it was becoming the backwater it was to remain for over 1000 years thereafter.

The whole "shoes of the fisherman" has worked handily for nearly 2000 years, but only served to build a church with a capital "C", Catholic with a capital "C", not the successor of Peter but a seceeder from the orthodoxy of the East. Then, full of itself, it elevated its own tradition, derived by men and their exegesis and eisegesis from Scripture (those who actually referred to it), to the same level as Scripture.

Remember, as perhaps impolitely as this was all presented, it was presented as criticism from someone wishing to see Roman Catholicism get on better in the world. It needs help. It's in trouble at present.

Old Aunt Priscilla is wearing fishnets...

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 4, 2005 05:55 PM

I read from that link you supplied about prayers to Mary and the holy corpses, and supply this snippet for the peeps here, for clarity's sake.

"When many Protestants hear the word 'prayer' it means to them something almost like 'worship.'"

...OK so far...prayer = worship...continue....

"It is my belief that this stems from the fact that Protestants have abandoned the mass and consequently the Eucharist, the Real Presence of our Lord. Because of that, the highest form of worship in their services is prayer."

...Whoa, cowboy...let's not get started on transubstantiation...it'll put folks to sleep.

...and, the "highest form of worship" part? We don't really assess and grade our worship...there aren't any 2 gallon rites and 5 gallon rites. That, and proclaiming the Gospel, which means preaching from Scripture, would be the "highest form of worship" among my circle....


"Since they also have abandoned the intercession of the saints, and no longer pray to them, the only one that they pray to is God."

...in a queer way, this is true...because THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD. Don't believe me, ask the Jews. They had him first, after all.

"So 'prayer' and 'worship' have become (perhaps unconsciously) intertwined in their mindset. We say, 'pray to Mary' and they hear, 'worship Mary.'

"Catholics, on the other hand, understand that prayer is merely a means to communicate with someone in heaven."

So, "prayer" to you is sort of like ing up the holy cellphone, asking Saint Dunstin to go to bat for you? It's a redefinition of the word, however you "understand" it.

Can you see my point?

By the way, we still use the "communion of saints" in my church, as well, but don't capitalize it (again with the capitals). By that, we have a "as we understand it" explanation: we mean fellowship with the saints, defined here as fellow believers in the church.

But, trust Dr. Y to set us straight:

"If someone says, 'You're beliefs are wrong!', that doesn't necessarily mean 'You're not going to heaven!' The person that says You're beliefs are wrong, doesn't necessarily mean to imply moral fault in the accused at all. So, we needn't misunderstand each other on that."

Well...it's more like this: the Roman Catholic Church wields a lot of oomph, seeming to me to sometimes think itself synonymous with "Christianity". For that reason, "your way of doing things needs fixin'" doesn't dismiss all Roman Catholics to Sheol by any means. After all, none of us in Paul's world of the flesh has enough backside in his britches to be able to damn anyone.

No, it just means "your way of doing things is appears broke, and needs fixin', to may way of thinkin'". You'd say that to a guy one of whose car tires was going flat. It's pointing out something maybe the guy wasn't aware of.

This isn't a discussion of style. When discussing redemption and salvation, one must walk carefully, and find the right side of the Almighty and try to stay there. The Council of Trent aside, we do that by faith alone, through no merit of our own...and once we've spotted the way, it's only good manners to point it out to others.

In the end, the God revealed to us in Scripture, and his cricified Son, as well as their "insubstantial friend" the Holy Spirit, who are the REALLY important thing.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 4, 2005 05:45 PM

"As one writer I read recently pointed out, she was described as being blessed AMONG women, not above them. She wasn't described as being above anyone. She was a mortal woman. The whole rather pagan business of deifying Mary is quite troubling."

Well, it sure WOULD be, if it were true! But it isn't. You need to expand your reading beyond Lorraine Boettner. :)


"You contend that the man didn't defend the church as he might've, and I agree. He would have been better sorting it out, from the very beginning, but wasn't that kind of man."

What would "sorting it out from the very beginning" entail for you?


"Reb: "As you realize, demonstrating the 'errors of Catholicism' is the most important thing to most non-Catholic Christians because, without it, they cannot justify their raison d'etre. If the Catholic Church is not wrong, and evil, then they themselves are in error for embracing the denominations which seceded from the Church."

"Well, then, how do we explain the Roman church's "seceeding" from the Eastern Church, WHERE FORMAL CHRISTIANITY STARTED."

Well, that is one theory, but it's wrong. The Church was founded on the rock-kepha-petros Peter, who eventually established his see in Rome.

"The early church wasn't Roman at all."

Wow. So we're talking strictly about first-generation prior to Peter establishing his see in Rome here? Okay then. It's all in Acts.

"The Reformers rediscovered the Bible, long held as a "magical" document which the church took credit for canonizing, placing Roman church tradition on an EQUAL footing with Scripture."

ROFL! With all the new comic book movies coming out this year, do you think Chick Publications will make it to the big screen anytime soon?

"The "raison d'etre" for non-Roman Christians is Christ, not fighting Rome."

Well, I wish that were so, Bodvar. Unfortunately, on this website and others, I find most non-Catholic Christians to be far more hostile toward Catholicism than they are toward non-Christian faiths, including paganism and secular humanism.

"Christ -- not Mary, not Saint Whozits, not some other mortal with creeping divinity"

Don't blame the Church for your misconceptions. :)

"-- should be the raison d'etre for Roman Catholics, as well."

Yes! Christ is all. That's why it's very important that you shun all houses of worship and especially "teachers" who claim to be able to teach his word. Do not trust them. Do not rely on the fellowship of others, do not send your mother a mother's day card, and most of all, never, ever ask another person to pray for you. If you do any of these things, you are creeping toward Catholicism. The Sacred Monkeys await. :)

Posted by: romanreb on April 4, 2005 05:35 PM

I'm crestfallen. The pithy last sentence of my snoozer of earlier ran afoul of a failter, and the pithiest bit was lost.

It should read:

"Old Aunt Pricilla won't ever know that she dresses like a (*OMITTED BIT*, so let's say LADY OF EASY VIRTUE) until someone stops being polite and levels with her."

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 4, 2005 05:13 PM

This is all a matter of visual aids, emotional props, and general accessibility of "the faith." Some call this idolatry. Others iconography.

There are certain thing that you just can't get around. The Catholic catechism has a different set of commandments than found in Exodus 20. Check it out. Moses came down with a commanement against the use of images. That commendment, No.2, is absent from the Catholic catechisms. (They keep the number 10 by dividing the 10th commandment into two commandments.) I'll call this tampering, wouldn't you?

Now, here's the meat of the matter: the love of Jesus, the sincere appreciation for what happened in Gethsemane, and on Calvary, is between each individual soul and the Almighty. We cannot judge one another's sincerety.

If someone says, "You're beliefs are wrong!", that doesn't necessarily mean "You're not going to heaven!" The person that says You're beliefs are wrong, doesn't necessarily mean to imply moral fault in the accused at all. So, we needn't misunderstand each other on that.

(Wow, if some of the things I believed were known...)

Peter said David was not ascended to heaven. (Acts 2:29). There is not one remote hint of evidence that Mary was resurrected or ascended to heaven. This is pure tradition, and rather late tradition, by the way.

So RomReb, what do you want us to do with these facts? The scriptures you site are not doctrine. Marianism is dogma, not doctrine.

Mary is an extraordinary character, indeed. But there is no injunction for institutionalized attention or emphasis.

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 4, 2005 05:08 PM

Reb,

I can see some merit in your citation of Luke 1:46-48, but being called "blessed" is not the same as worship, or even "veneration", which is, frankly, a semantic dodge.

I cited Luke 1:42 in my essay. I'm not sure where you intended to go with Luke 19:27.

Try Matthew 12:48.

While you're at it, on the subject of "veneration", cults of mortals, wells of merit and Tradition with a capital "T" vis-a-vis Scripture (always with a capital "S"), try out Matthew 15:8-9.

"...veneration is NOT worship."

Once again, kneeling to her images, praying to her, building chapels to her (as was the fashion in the 14th Century, I believe it was), and teaching that Mary and the saints intercede with Jesus is worship in my book, call it what you will. I'm not redefining the WORD, I'm saying that the word being used doesn't mesh with the ACTION the word in common use among Roman Catholics describes.

Looks like a duck....

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 4, 2005 05:08 PM

Our attitude toward the Mother of Jesus:

Luke 1:28
Luke 1:42
Luke 1:46-48
Luke 19:27

For intercessory prayer, if you really are sincerely asking, there's a fairly concise scriptural reference at:
http://www.turrisfortis.com/saints.html

"Using words like "venerate" when you go down on your knees to the dessicated body parts of "saints" (as the word is used in Rome), and praying to them for intercession is worship. Worship presupposes divinity."

I'm not Pat, but veneration is NOT worship! The dictionary defines it thus: 1 : to regard with reverential respect or with admiring deference
2 : to honor (as an icon or a relic) with a ritual act of devotion
You OUGHT to venerate your mother. Shame on you if you don't. LOL. Insisting on arbitrarily defining words before you allow your debating opponent to answer looks like a stacked deck to me.

Now, please don't ask me about the Sacred Vatican Monkeys, because some information is just too secret to share. You'll have to read Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited" to find out about those.

Posted by: romanreb on April 4, 2005 04:30 PM

Reb: "'There isn't one Catholic teaching, doctrine, or dogma that doesn't come from Scripture or is supported by Scripture. -- AMEN"

OK, I'll bite.

'Splain to me the Scriptual foundation of the cult of Mary and the cult and intercession of Saints. After that, try the "Treasury" or "Well of Merit".

I'm honestly asking. I've looked and haven't found 'em.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 4, 2005 03:55 PM

Pat: "Ah me, so many misconcpetions, so little time or space. No Catholic EVER viewed the Pope, John Paul II or any other, as divine."

...and...

Pat: "PS....I do a lot of Apologetics (defense of the faith) but never thought I'd have to do so here!"

...well, then, Pat, here's something more to consider:

Using words like "venerate" when you go down on your knees to the dessicated body parts of "saints" (as the word is used in Rome), and praying to them for intercession is worship. Worship presupposes divinity.

Pat: "The Papacy was never a pagan office."

No, but "vicar" was. Reread the original screed.

Pat: "JP II didn't promote himself, but Christ."

Mr. Wojtyla WAS a good man, as Reb points out, and a good Roman Catholic. Nobody denies the first point. It's the second that's in question. It's the "good Catholic" part that's the rub. It's not that he wasn't a good Roman Catholic, but that being a good Roman Catholic is the problem.

...and, while "promoting" Christ, he also "promoted" Mary, which is widely seen as idolatry and unbiblical. He was devoted to Mary.

As one writer I read recently pointed out, she was described as being blessed AMONG women, not above them. She wasn't described as being above anyone. She was a mortal woman. The whole rather pagan business of deifying Mary is quite troubling.

Reb: "But Pat, who cares if the Evangelicals think or say that the Holy Father was proclaiming Christ? All that means is that they inferred from the Holy Father that it really didn't matter whether or not one is Catholic---an EASY thing to infer, I might add. Pat, that's why Bodvar's post just gobsmacked me..."

...honest response, and on target.

You contend that the man didn't defend the church as he might've, and I agree. He would have been better sorting it out, from the very beginning, but wasn't that kind of man. Once again, he was a good man and a good Roman Catholic. That he was the first makes the second all the more lamentable.

Reb: "As you realize, demonstrating the 'errors of Catholicism' is the most important thing to most non-Catholic Christians because, without it, they cannot justify their raison d'etre. If the Catholic Church is not wrong, and evil, then they themselves are in error for embracing the denominations which seceded from the Church."

Well, then, how do we explain the Roman church's "seceeding" from the Eastern Church, WHERE FORMAL CHRISTIANITY STARTED. The early church wasn't Roman at all. It was resecued in Nicea and Constantinople, intellectualized in Alexandria, and founded on what was left of the hierarchy in Jerusalem, those having moved to Antioch, Ephesus and Athens. The early church was basically an eastern phenomenon.

The Reformers rediscovered the Bible, long held as a "magical" document which the church took credit for canonizing, placing Roman church tradition on an EQUAL footing with Scripture.

The "raison d'etre" for non-Roman Christians is Christ, not fighting Rome. Christ -- not Mary, not Saint Whozits, not some other mortal with creeping divinity -- should be the raison d'etre for Roman Catholics, as well.

That's the whole point.

Now, before we go any further, and as we've openned the door to mentioning Protestants/"non-Catholics" and "anti-Catholics", let me just say that there's plenty of error, heresy and fundamental foolishness, unbiblical behavior and just plain evil going on among Evangelicals, as well. One has to go no further than TWBN, all awash in Joel Osteen and Benny Hinn, to feel good that, as a Catholic, you dodged a big bullet there.

There CERTAINLY is no problem with expecting Catholic priests receive training in Catholic seminaries. For your church's sake, I hope that you find more to cover the shortfall the Roman church is experiencing in "new hires". At least, unlike the dripping-in-earthly-treasure televangelists, liberal "social gospel" and "self-help" pastors and other airheads parading about as shepherds of the saints, Catholic priests are TRAINED! I saw an interview with Joel Osteen on a news show, done without doubt to flog his new book, in which he said that he'd not been to seminary but was ordained. Well...there is no substitute for a good, orthodox grasp of theology in a minister, be he a priest or pastor. Ministry isn't all counselling and cookie sales, "how to save your marriage" and social gospel. It's helping the believer find God.

That's the crux of all of this blather (on my part, anyway): I want the Roman Catholic Church to succeed. In support of this, I offer observations -- some of them pointed -- from the outside...a fresh set of eyes. The Roman church was offered the same in the 16th Century, and attitudes on both sides necessitated the split which ensued.

Now, with the Roman church the center of attention during the current news cycle, this would would be a good time for non-Catholics to come to their Roman neighbors with criticism, hoping that it would be, in this time of scandal and trial as well as mourning, accepted as constructive, the better for the Roman church to do its job as it sees it: bring man to God through Christ.

Now, as a Calvinist, I have to repeat "bring man to God through Christ", not bring man to God through Christ by way of the Roman church, take it or leave it...I add this not to be more of a jerk but to observe to you that this is often the way it's seen from our angle.

Churches are human institutions, often forgetting their mandates, intimately intertwined with the nationalities and cultures of the people who make up those churches. That's why the Greek Orthodox Church is overwhelmingly Greek, the Russian Orthodox Church is overwhelmingly slavic, the Serbian Orthodox Church is a keystone of Serbian identity, and why Presbyterians long spoke with Scots burrs.

Therein is the rub: God is not a big respector of nationality. He seeks righteousness, and renders judgment, regardless of birth or station.

For many, Roman Catholicism is simply foreign. It isn't , overbearing, full of error or heresy, it's just odd and unfamiliar. For some, depending on the region, it's the religion of the poorer, newer residents of town, living on the poorer, darker side of the tracks. That was the case here in the US for a looooong time. For others, it's inextricably tied up in history, as in Northern Ireland, which bleeds over to today's politics: to Orangemen, it's the Magdelen Laundries, priests and nuns getting by with in the Irish Republic.

For others, it's a matter of focus:

1) Among many liberal evangelicals, the church worships the congregation. The church is all about welcoming, singing happy songs, and partying with that Jesus guy, who is presented as accepting EVERYTHING without qualification, and never judging anyone. This also goes for the less socially liberal mega-churches out around the beltway of many towns today. It takes it's lead from the concept that "man is basically good", which certainly isn't biblical.

2) The Roman church is seen by many as a church worshiping itself, its traditions and its history. It's as uncomfortable to hear as it is to say, but there it is. This, with adjustments for windage, go for the Eastern and Russian Orthodox churches, as well. They take their lead from a mandate they feel they received, according to their exegesis of the Gospels, from Christ to a mortal man, Peter. In this case, lineage and tradition is key.

3) Mighty few churches, maybe none, have managed to settle on the purpose of a congregation of Christians: (as my church's cathecism puts it) "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever"). It's contrary to human nature to worship anything beside oneself. Calvin called the human mind an "idol factory". Still, some churches grope toward God by means of worship...not happy-clappy singing, relevance, diversity, or modernity. Here, Christ is the key.

There's no "one true church", as BOTH sides contending during the 16th and 17th Centuries maintained of themselves. We're humans, awash in sin and lost. We need A church. Let me repeat that for emphasis: WE NEED **A** CHURCH. We need the guidance of pastors (maybe even of priests) and the fellowship of believers. Christ said it, Paul said it, Calvin said it, and it even makes sense to me.

In addition to that, from the parishioners perspective, what they respond to and what the human heart needs is something GENUINE. If that is Roman Catholicism for a Roman Catholic, then it means GENUINE Roman Catholicism. It means a church dedicated to the honor and glory of God, not man, and defending proven and biblically sound doctrine in the face of the present rush to be "relevant" to the "diversity" the church-growers figure will stroll in the door once the hymns leave out uncomfortable words like "sin" and "wrath".

So, I'm with you there: change and reform don't mean liberalize. If anything, it means go back to Scripture. Be the church which Catholics need, not what some among them say that they want...and lose some of the demi-gods.

So...there's something to chew on. I don't think that I answered a single question posed. I was hoping to bring up points the Roman church might want to discuss among their family, when they've stopped celebrating their church.

...and, it IS a feature of that church, and our times, that the funeral is and will continue to be a bit garish. That's the point.

Old Aunt Pricilla won't ever know that she dresses like a until someone stops being polite and levels with her.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 4, 2005 03:52 PM

personally, I do not see any great achivements done by this man( the "vicar" of Christ )

He was in the papal office for twenty some years,
and what are his contributions?
But please take into consideration his job description.

George Bush is more active in his duties that J.P.2 ever was.

A Saint? far from it.
If the Pope was under the same scrutiny like many of other political figures.
If the media were allowed to follow his day to day activities, we would have a different picture
of J.P.2 right now.


Posted by: brian CANADA on April 4, 2005 03:41 PM

I just wanted to add, I use a link to your "It's a Warrior thing..." on my e-mail signature. Having spent 10 years in the Army (enlisted infanty and a Cavalry officer) you can imagine I won't back down if someone throws down the gauntlet. As you pointed out in one of your articles, Jesus was no wimp and never intended us to be floor mats!

Posted by: Pat on April 4, 2005 02:29 PM

"There isn't one Catholic teaching, doctrine, or dogma that doesn't come from Scripture or is supported by Scripture."

AMEN

Posted by: romanreb on April 4, 2005 02:28 PM

Dr. Yeagley, I just want to say I admire you and love your articles. My 'arguement', if you will, is a misperception of Catholicism in general and the Papacy in particular.

Firstly as for "Even the priest has power to create 'God' in the sanctification of the host." I can assure that the priest has no such power. It isn't as though the priest has some magic power to drag God outta heaven in stick Him inna wafer! BTW, FYI, the term Hocus Pocus came about from an anti-Catholic slam of the Catholic words of consecration "Hoc est Corpus" (This is my body....a VERY Biblical term. I'm old enough to remember the Latin Mass and we still have it btw)

As for the office v the man....Catholics will tell you that infallibility has nothing to do with impeccability. I'll be the first to tell your the Church had some real rotters as Popes! The Borgia Pope (Alexander V is memory serves me right)was a real scoundrel!

When John XXIII, or Paul VI, or JP I died, there were mourners, and since they were big figures in the world, got media coverage. But this was indeed unique! Not only Catholics, but non-Catholics and non-Christians are feeling a loss. Was the Pope perfect? I'll be the first to say I'm sure he wasn't....I just wonder why some take such delight in trashing someone who did nothing but serve and try to teach us how to live?

Btw, if I were to get into apologetics here, I'd need far more than this little box. There isn't one Catholic teaching, doctrine, or dogma that doesn't come from Scripture or is supported by Scripture. We may disagree, and that's fine...but one thing Christians (and yes, Catholics are Christians) can agree on is Christ. Pity some 'Christians' seem it's God's will to trash others of faith!

"I love your Christ, it's your Christians I could do without." (Ghandi)

Posted by: Pat on April 4, 2005 02:19 PM

As I've said, only the finest come to BadEagle.com.

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 4, 2005 02:05 PM

Dear Wendy,

You wrote:
"To RomanReb[el?], I do think the pope promulgated the Roman Catholic faith--especially when he concentrates on American priests by organizing a special school just for their training."

Thanks for responding to my question. It helped clarify for me what you meant when you said "he taught and headed this error, and endeavored to lead many to do the same."

However, I must admit that I don't see how insisting that Catholic priests attend Catholic seminaries is offensive. Is this considered oppressive perhaps? Since I'm not that familiar with how many Protestant Ministers are trained, I have to ask if they are required to go to a seminary sponsored by the denomination to which they intend to minister? or does it matter which special school they go to for their training? I know Lutherans have to go to a Lutheran Seminary in order to assure that they come out Lutheran, and I think the same is true for Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Baptists, but contrary to Christ's prayer in John 17:22, the Body of Christ is so splintered at this point, I find it difficult to keep up...

[I apologize. That was a hateful dig, and I am a vicious old heifer. And as you are no doubt reminding yourself, based on your previous posts, "The devil can quote scripture". I'm sorry--it's just the way I am. Wendy, I'm glad you're not afraid to speak out what you believe to be truth. Most people would rather say "oh, I think everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and yours are just as valid as mine!" That just makes me sick. They might as well not even HAVE any beliefs. The trouble here is that parts of our belief systems--yours and mine-- are diametrically opposed, and they can't both be true, and there's no way around it except to say so. Thank you for your honesty.---and yes, Romanreb(el) is correct. Roman for Catholic, and Rebel for the Confederate states of America.]

Posted by: romanreb on April 4, 2005 01:45 PM

I have absolutely no intention of dissecting the Roman Catholic Church for every point and claim that is being made in defense of it here. I will simply affirm what I have said before--it is a false faith based on what Scripture shows throughout. It was founded several hundred years after the gospel began to go out into the world. With its Madonna and Child icon, the irony is that the mother-and-child cult has its roots in Nimrod, the founder of Babylon. A popular saying is that when the Devil could not destroy the living church from the outside (through unbelieving Jews and the Roman Empire), he joined it.

To RomanReb[el?], I do think the pope promulgated the Roman Catholic faith--especially when he concentrates on American priests by organizing a special school just for their training.

Whatever is considered divine, the office or the person occupying same, it's still blasphemy and idolatry, what it/he stands for and practices.

I'm leaving early today, and cannot reply any more, but I will be able to read completely everyone's responses thus far on the way home.

Posted by: Wendy Johnson on April 4, 2005 12:37 PM

a true beliver should not mourn as he is now with god.

Posted by: YOCHANAN on April 4, 2005 12:08 PM

Dear Pat,

"Traditionalist Catholics didn't like him because he didn't revoke Vatican II."

Okay, mea culpa---although that is a shamefully simplistic assessment of my attitude.

But my main point here is that the non-Catholics insist on blaming the two-thousand year old Church for the fact that a pontiff's funeral coverage is out of control. And I find so much of what's being said to be so inconsistant! Yes, they are anti-Catholic. As long as they are intellectually honest with themselves, I can live with that. Mainly because I believe that when they start being intellectually honest, they'll see the error in their thinking.

But Pat, who cares if the Evangelicals think or say that the Holy Father was proclaiming Christ? All that means is that they inferred from the Holy Father that it really didn't matter whether or not one is Catholic---an EASY thing to infer, I might add. Pat, that's why Bodvar's post just gobsmacked me, as well as Wendy's. I honestly can't see that the Holy Father defended the Church in any way during his pontificate. Of COURSE he held the line on contraception, abortion and women's ordination, but those are Doctrinal points which can't be changed...when did he ever do anything but attempt to pacify and glorify OTHER religions? And yet, as we see, all that indifference wasn't enough---These people are beating him with the wrong stick, and that is unjust.

But I really don't think we will ever see a time when the emotions evoked by the word "Catholic" no longer dominate our discussion of such things.

As you realize, demonstrating the "errors of Catholicism" is the most important thing to most non-Catholic Christians because, without it, they cannot justify their raison d'etre. If the Catholic Church is not wrong, and evil, then they themselves are in error for embracing the denominations which seceded from the Church.

Unfortunately, a similar attitude can be seen in many Catholics who believe that if the Holy Father (any current Holy Father) is not absolutely correct in every thought that enters his head, he cannot possibly be the Pope at all. Thus do they fulfill the accusations of the Protestants, and thus do they mangle and misinterpret Papal Infallibility.

Please understand that I am not in any way attacking you. I very much appreciate your dedication to apologetics. I just see things a bit differently. Small wonder. When the shepherds turn wolf, the sheep are apt to be confused.

Posted by: romanreb on April 4, 2005 11:49 AM

Pat, whatever you're made of, you end up 'defending' it here! (smile)

Personally, I've reacted to the issue that was dramatized by Bill Clinton, and the office of the President of the United States. Clinton was the lowest white trash ever to stink up Washington DC. But, the office of the president was a pre-packaged deal. If you're in the office, you are in a historical position. You will make history. You will seem 'great,' one way or another. The people seem to need this position, to focus, to honor it, to love it. It is supposed to represent us.

When Bush came into office, he tried to "restore the dignity of the office."

So, that issue, man vs. office, this is what was on my mind. I said it is an archetype. It is the same thing with the pope: man vs. office.

The office is considered divine. The powers are divine. Even the priest has power to create 'God' in the sanctification of the host.

That is the office. I think Wendy is saying that the office itself is blasphemous. This is a doctrinal matter for Christians, a matter of dogmatics for Catholics, I presume.

It all comes down to transubstantiation. Are the wine and bread the actual blood and body of Christ, or are they just emblems, or symbols. The difference here is the difference between Catholics and Protestants.

If you believe in transubstantiation, the miracle of changing the earthly into the actually divine, then you are Catholic. If you don't, you aren't.

I wonder if I should start a discussion about this under the Religion Forum?

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 4, 2005 11:03 AM

PS....I do a lot of Apologetics (defense of the faith) but never thought I'd have to do so here!

Posted by: Pat on April 4, 2005 10:21 AM

Ah me, so many misconcpetions, so little time or space. No Catholic EVER viewed the Pope, John Paul II or any other, as divine.

"Catholics, I need not say, are about as likely to call the Pope God as to call a grasshopper the Pope." (G.K. Chesterton)

The Papacy was never a pagan office. You're mistaking the title Pontiff with the Roman Emperor's title as Pontifex Maximus....two entirely different things.

"this faith is actually a non-faith, an absolute lie in the face of what the gospels, indeed the whole of Scripture plainly show"...Careful, it would be way too easy to expose that error, but thank you for showing that anti-Catholicism is alive and well (and the politically correct prejudice)

JP II didn't promote himself, but Christ. Even evangelicals acknowledge that! Ok, Traditionalist Catholics didn't like him because he didn't revoke Vatican II, and liberals didn't like him because, according to them, he didn't make the Church some democratic, opinion driven church. Sheesh!

"I had no more idea of becoming a Catholic than of becoming a cannibal. I imagined that I was merely pointing out that justice should be done even to cannibals . . . [but] it is impossible to be just to the Catholic Church. The moment men cease to pull against it they feel a tug towards it. The moment they cease to shout it down they begin to listen to it with pleasure. The moment they try to be fair to it they begin to be fond of it . . . " (G.K. Chesterton)

Posted by: Pat on April 4, 2005 10:18 AM

Dear Wendy,

While, as a Catholic, I obviously disagree with your first paragraph, I think there are some interesting points in the rest of your post.

I must ask you, because I really want to know and you are a forthright Christian: Do you really think John Paul II promulgated the Catholic Faith---other than being a high-profile Catholic?

Secondly, I'm glad you posted the following: "Another telling example of the mindset of some Roman Catholics came through Saturday as I was watching an interview of a Church man who had written a book about popes in history and made the comment, as near as I can quote it, that "even non-believers [non-Roman Catholics] tend to regard the Pope as ... almost divine."

Yes! That's TRUE! It IS the mindset of some Catholics, as well as, apparently, a lot of OTHER PEOPLE! I find it as appalling as you do, if not more so, for it reflects upon The Church. My supreme regret about John Paul II is that he seems to have promoted himself, rather than Christ. That's what I've been trying to say, but you said it better. Regardless of the fact that you and I draw very differenct conclusions from this fact, at least we can agree on the fact itself, so thank you.

Posted by: romanreb on April 4, 2005 09:58 AM

Dr. Yeagley, I appreciate all the thoughts put into this article; however, the main thing about this man is what I cannot mourn at his passing. Once again, with all due respect to our Roman Catholic friends and acquaintances, this faith is actually a non-faith, an absolute lie in the face of what the gospels, indeed the whole of Scripture plainly show, that Jesus Christ's work alone on our behalf is sufficient. The Roman Catholic Church's teaching remains against this, despite some assertions lately to the contrary. What is tragic here and worthy of mourning is the fact that he taught and headed this error, and endeavored to lead many to do the same.

Another telling example of the mindset of some Roman Catholics came through Saturday as I was watching an interview of a Church man who had written a book about popes in history and made the comment, as near as I can quote it, that "even non-believers [non-Roman Catholics] tend to regard the Pope as ... almost divine."

I can only really speak for myself, but no, "we" do not!

Posted by: Wendy Johnson on April 4, 2005 08:57 AM

"It's a simple fact: the Roman Catholic Church does NOT play well with others."

That's sad, isn't it, since playing well with others seems to have been the main focus of John Paul II's pontificate...How very tragic. He reluctantly held the line on doctrine while expending all his energy in one long, embarassing, apology to every group he ever came in contact with: The Jews, the Muslims, the Protestants, the Buddhists--virtually everyone except those Catholics who "have an emotional attachment to the Tridentine Mass"---and yet after over a quarter of a century of interdenominational kissing-up, Bodvar opines "The Catholic Church does not play well with others."

There has to be a lesson in there somewhere.

It IS sad. Sad for all of us. Sad for those who saw JPII as a "living saint" and sad for those who would hate the Catholic Church even if the next pontiff installed an Olympic sized baptismal pool in the Sistine Chapel, started serving grape juice and crackers instead of the Eucharist, and discarded his Papal robes for a gray business suit and started calling himself "Reverend". Just sad.

Karol Wotyla was a good man, and probably a good Catholic. In my opinion, he was a lousy pope, but one thing he surely did was to "play well with others".

I am left wondering what, exactly, "The Church" would have to do in order to avoid such statements of contempt. The answer is simple: The Church would have to cease to exist. Nothing else would satisfy.

I'm not angry as I write this, and I feel like I need to say that as this post SOUNDS angry. It isn't. And I certainly feel no malice toward Bodvar or anyone else. I guess I just don't know how else to express myself.

Posted by: romanreb on April 3, 2005 11:37 PM

"It was a pagan Roman office, the head of a diocese, one of the subdivisions of the post-Christian empire..."

Just caught an error: that should read "pre-Christian empire", and the late pre-Christian empire at that.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 3, 2005 10:15 PM

One final thing:

My family and I were in Britain when Princess Diana died. I remember vividly the paroxysms of grief rolled out for the cameras at that time. It was very "un-British". It wasn't that they sholdn't've shown respect, but they seemed to compete with eachother for air time, crying on cue whenever the news cameras were turned their way.

Up until weeks, certainly months until she died, Princess Di wasn't regarded by the rank and file British as "The English Rose". People either resented or laughed up their sleeves at her as a quirky, spoiled "Sloane". "Sloane ranger", a privileged woman who shopped in the exclusive and expensive area of Sloane Square. The whole AIDS and landmine thing were, in some quarters, looked at as efforts to offset her image as an over-exposed drama queen...er, princess....

Since then, it's become quite the fashion to emote more, not less, sort of to show off, when some celebrity or other dies.

I mention this because, along with the GENUINE grief we'll see in the next nine-days-minus-one until his funeral becomes his successor's selection, we'll see, and probably have seen, plastic grief, volume knob turned all the way up to "11", for the benefit of those who, the grievers feel, just don't understand how special the grievers feel they are for grieving for such a special guy.

The man's achievements aren't going anywhere. They're solid. They bear discussion, widely. We'll see if, in the 24 hour news cycle, they are.

As I said before: there will be some among those who mourn the man's passing who will be noticing if and when the Roman church celebrates itself along with, or in place of, its former boss. Some might think that this remark springs up from a well of disdain for things Roman Catholic. Rather, it comes from a lifetime of observing this church in the public arena and of studying its track record.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 3, 2005 10:13 PM

"But now I mostly hear the liberal rhetoric that the next Pope has to change Church teaching vis a vis sexual morality, women priest (and issue that's done), i.e. become more like the world."

That was not the intention of my remark about changing AT ALL!

If anything, the late pontiff's stands on this sort of thing has been commendable. The Episcopal Church will suffer vis-a-vis the world Anglican communion for Bishop Griswold's decision. The United Church of Christ, which is actively promoting a "socially diverse" agenda flies in the face of some VERY clear commandments on homosexuality, for one thing.

At least Mr. Wojtyla kept his a church, as opposed to a religiously-themed Sunday club. Kudos.

Still, church officials in the US have been dragging their feet in dealing with pedophiles in their midst, in some cases playing on the loyalty of their parishioners and those who remember Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald in dog collars. They have obstructed investigations, and have LONG moved troublesome priests from place to place to avoid trouble, and are now reaping what's been sown in court judgments. It's happening in Austria, as well, and who knows where else?

Looking at it from the outside, it would seem that some among the bishops who met not long ago to deal with the issue of pedophile clerics thought themselves members of a drably-dressed labor union, loathe to give up anyone from middle-management to the authorities. This is in the face of some rather heinous allegations and some really solid proof.

That was the basis of the remark. The Roman church under this last pontiff, if anything, closed ranks and got even more uncooperative. It must be reminded that there IS disagreement as to whether it is "The" church, and that it is, still, a human institution answerable to human scrutiny. It's management isn't infallible, despite its own traditions, or even very savvy sometimes.

This has got to change. If it can do this, its pastoral mission can only benefit.

You see, some of us who offer criticism do so in hopes that the institution will IMPROVE, and do its job better. I, for one, would wish to remain on the outside looking in, but would celebrate in my own poor way to see the Roman church a success, both in maintaining Scriptual integrity AND social and legal integrity.

Reform which isn't to please men but to clean up abuse is as necessary today, to restate my earlier thesis, as it was when Mr. Luther made his observations. Had the Roman church THEN listened and considered some of the criticism it received then I'd've just returned from Mass a while ago, not from a presbyterian church.

I'd like to celebrate along with the folks in Rome, but Mr. Wojtyla left too much behind him to which he never seemed willing to attend. That's my point.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 3, 2005 09:59 PM

Two things:

"Nor should it since it's based, not on what man wants, but what Christ taught. I know many may not accept that, but that's the way it is. Truth doesn't change, it's just ignored or forgotten."

...and...

"I remember my mother and I getting into a discussion where she siad that anti-Catholicism was a thing of the past, I told her she was wrong...thank you for confirming that for me."

To be clear, CHRISTIANITY was based upon the teachings and the charge of duty of Christ. The Catholic Church is another matter. Rereading the post to which you replied, I did in fact say "his church", meaning the Roman Catholic Church, of which the he of "his" was in charge.

In the creeds of other churches, "one catholic and apostolic church" is expressed with both adjectives meaning what those adjectives mean according to the dictionary, in lower case. By that, I mean that we are called to be members of one catholic church, a church of all faithful believers; not one Catholic Church. See the difference?

I say this not to stick a broomstick into a hornet's nest, but to state my assessment that, for all of his achievements -- and I'm not taking anything away from him -- he AND his church, the church which is as much celebrating itself as him today, have a long way to go to be the organization they purport to be.

It's a simple fact: the Roman Catholic Church does NOT play well with others.

That said, evangelicals have a LOT of work to do. They are leaving Christ in the dust, either liberalizing or politicizing the truths of the Gospel into irrelevance. The pentacostal, fundamentalist and socially activist churches of the right have published litums test after litmus test of Christian propriety which would have Christ echoing Pilate in asking "what happened to MY truth?!"

This is not a condemnation of the Roman Church. It is criticism, certainly, and bringing criticism on board and applying solutions where that criticism proves to be valid is a fundamental process in growth.

By the way, a vicar isn't a shepherd. It was a pagan Roman office, the head of a diocese, one of the subdivisions of the post-Christian empire. The post was created by Diocletian, a vigorous persecutor of Christians. The Roman Church assimilated a lot of the trappings of Rome into the early church, later cast off as unbiblical by later reforming churches, from the vestments based on Roman pagan priests to titles to other things.

One cannot discuss Mr. Wojtyla's legacy uncritically, nor can one discuss that legacy without discussing the church for which he was responsible and for which he was the human face. NO human institution is above criticism, and some institutions are more human than others.

In the rush to make those institutions either powerful, "pure" or "relevant", Christ often gets lost in his own churches. That is unfortunate.

A study of the issues which gave rise to the Reformation would not go amiss here.

That said, let us watch and see how the man'll be succeeded. He appointed, I've heard, all but three of the men who'll be electing his successor. It should be interesting.

-- B

PS, there's a bit of difference between speaking of a queen's "majesty", meaning that she's sovereign (she has that job description, but without any power to be so) and royal (which she is) and saying that a man is a "holy father". "Holy" is in another catagory altogether. We won't, by the way, get into the whole "infallible" thing. Life's too short.

Posted by: Bodvar on April 3, 2005 09:41 PM

"Much of the power of the Roman Church derives from the idea that it can 'market,' or 'manage,' or 'deal' the holy."

"I see him more of a puppet, following an agenda of their organisation."

"Thus, the homosexual, preditor priests of the American RCC got off easy."

"The media says,"Oh, most of the Christians in the world are Catholic. We have to follow this story, and every aspect of it." That is motive No.1. THat it gives them an opportunity to indulge themeselves in vapid harangues about the significance of the Pope, or Karol, is a little side dish provided by the devil, I suppose. It is definitely delusional."

I remember my mother and I getting into a discussion where she siad that anti-Catholicism was a thing of the past, I told her she was wrong...thank you for confirming that for me.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen once said, "There isn't one in a thousand who hate the Catholic Church...there are thousands who hate what they 'think' is the Catholic Church."

I wonder Dr. Yeagley how you'd feel if I, or anyone called all American Indians brutal murders for what 'some' did? (Just we see whites benig called such for the actions of 'some')

A Vicar is a representative....the Pope is the successor of St. Peter who Christ, if you read your Scripture, called to be the good shephard of His flock on earth (ref. Jn 21; Mt. 19, His 'representative' on earth...ergo, the Vicar of Christ!

One reason the networks covered this is because this Pope was loved and respected world wide, even by non-Catholics. I've heard Dr. Graham speak well of him, Dr. Dobson, Rabbi's, etc.

But now I mostly hear the liberal rhetoric that the next Pope has to change Church teaching vis a vis sexual morality, women priest (and issue that's done), i.e. become more like the world. The very thing I thought Dr. Yeagley was speaking out against!

When Napolean occupied Italy he told a Cardinal that he was going to destroy the Catholic Church. The Cardinal laughed..."With the bad Popes, Bishops, priests, etc, weve had and we;'re still here, I'm not worried about you."

But I guess you guys can join with the leftist liberals in your attacks on the Catholic Church.

Posted by: Pat on April 3, 2005 08:06 PM

I'm currently enrolled in "Late Night Catechism," at ASU. The foci are "Experimental design, Program evaluation, and Writing a literature review."

9 Graduate credits, and work full-time +. It's a fine example of one who is "devout."

Posted by: ajibik on April 3, 2005 06:29 PM

Ajibik, what a surprising set of lyrics. Guess those old Anglican catechisms have a lasting effect, eh? (I admit, I don't know rock lyrics, but this strikes me as a bit stunning...)

RomReb, it's that intuitive righteousness, that group thing, that works all the ills. Falling in with the pack, indeed. You don't have to think about it to be guilty of it, or to be affected by it.

I sincerely share with you my concern here. I am embarrassed for all. The media says,"Oh, most of the Christians in the world are Catholic. We have to follow this story, and every aspect of it." That is motive No.1. THat it gives them an opportunity to indulge themeselves in vapid harangues about the significance of the Pope, or Karol, is a little side dish provided by the devil, I suppose. It is definitely delusional.

I really don't know what Catholics think about the coverage, or if they've even been asked...in terms of quantity or quality.


Posted by: David Yeagley on April 3, 2005 05:49 PM

After Forever (Osbourne, 1971)

Have you ever thought about your soul - can it be saved?
Or perhaps you think that when you’re dead you just stay in your grave
Is God just a thought within your head or is he a part of you?
Is christ just a name that you read in a book when you were in school?

When you think about death do you lose your breath or
Do you keep your cool?
Would you like to see the pope on the end of a rope
Do you think he’s a fool?
Well I have seen the truth, yes I’ve seen the light and I’ve changed my ways
And I’ll be prepared when you’re lonely and scared at the end of our days

Could it be you’re afraid of what your friends might say
If they knew you believe in God above?
They should realize before they criticize
That God is the only way to love

Is your mind so small that you have to fall
In with the pack wherever they run
Will you still sneer when death is near
And say they may as well worship the sun?

I think it was true it was people like you that crucified christ
I think it is sad the opinion you had was the only one voiced
Will you be so sure when your day is near, say you don’t believe?
You had the chance but you turned it down, now you can’t retrieve

Perhaps you’ll think before you say that God is dead and gone
Open your eyes, just realize that he’s the one
The only one who can save you now from all this sin and hate
Or will you still jeer at all you hear? yes! I think it’s too late.

Black Sabbath, from the album Master of Reality, 1971

Posted by: ajibik on April 3, 2005 04:18 PM

Dr. Yeagley, I don't think the concept of righteousness has ever crossed those people's minds. You are givin' em too much credit.

"I think there is an archetype in all this office vs. person, an archetype of all that makes humanity what it is: profession, reality; the ideal, and the actual. This is why we are in motion at all. We move, toward the ideal."
I think that's true in all those venues, Dr. Yeagley...I think that's why Paul addresses the "Saints" in his epistles---because that is the ideal he wants them to move toward.

Brian, from Canada, if I weren't Catholic, the "Vicar of Christ" title would probably make me mad, too.

But, I am.

Posted by: romanreb on April 3, 2005 01:25 PM

Anyone who has been personally involved in a event that was extensively covered by the news media knows how quickly and profoundly the nature of the event is changed. What we know to be true, what we consider to be important, is instantly, if not lost, then completely altered.

I have witnessed this myself, so David, I agree with your assessment of this event, yet remind you that behind it all, we witness the loss of a great man, who given the power of the Borgias, chose to live, as best he could, as Christ would have lived.

Since he could very well be replaced with someone without this commitment, and the church holds such power, his loss is our loss, in a way that is larger and more influential than a thousand other losses today.

Those losses are also important, as Karol would have pointed out.

Personally, I think he's having a chat with Terri, now that she is done having a good cry with our Lord.

Best Wishes

Posted by: Don Cicchetti on April 3, 2005 01:24 PM

I think this media thing is a grotesque debacle of social dissembling. RomReb, I think it's precisely the media's indulgence in self-righteousness, as if talking about the Pope, or Karol, has anything to with their (the media's) own condition. It's all just talk! Everyone is indulging himself and his own empty-word-based righteousness. Talking about the Pope means you're holy. That's what I see everyone doing. It is pitiable, and a bit boring at this point.

Merceau Eliade, in The Sacred and the Profane, does see the sacred as a brokerage, though that's my term. Holiness, for logistical negotiation. This is a philosophical take, granted, but, that's where I am on this subject.

I think there is an archetype in all this office vs. person, an archetype of all that makes humanity what it is: profession, reality; the ideal, and the actual. This is why we are in motion at all. We move, toward the ideal.

brianCANADA, we're just exploring ideas here. Welcome to BadEagle, certainly. This is a most peculiar moment!

Talking about the Pope does not make one righteous! That's my protest to the media coverage--and to anyone else.

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 3, 2005 12:39 PM

I kinda a doubt that catholic church would elect a POPE a give him all kinds of power.
I see him more of a puppet, following an agenda of
their organisation.

Who is really in charge in the Vatican?

The Catholic church would like to unite the worlds
religions and christian faiths into one,
but the head of it to be the Catholic church.

Also, why would all these people cry when they see him. He had no supernatural powers. He did not heal anyone, and was himself a very sick person.

They call him a VICAR OF CHRIST!!!

meaning "IN PLACE OF " ???
And no one says anything!!
And "HOLY FATHER" but there is nothing HOLY about
him other then the appereance of the WHITE ROBE.


Posted by: brian CANADA on April 3, 2005 12:05 PM

Dr. Yeagley! Dear! Sometimes (well, USUALLY), our most ardent attempts at objectivity fail miserably. This doesn't bother me, since I have never, as far as I know, claimed objectivity. But I get the feeling you would LIKE to be objective...but "Much of the power of the Roman Church derives from the idea that it can 'market,' or 'manage,' or 'deal' the holy"? my goodness. Well, I SUPPOSE the fact that we are the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church instituted by Christ COULD be expressed in that way, but it certainly doesn't sound like an objective point of view...well, that's not really important.
I could not be more aggrieved myself at the over-exposure of the Holy Father's demise. The media hysteria is ridiculous. But surely even someone who has an intense albeit undefined and probably unconscious agenda against the Catholic Church can see that this is a result of the secular and political popularity of the man Karol Wotyla, not the death of the Vicar of Christ. If this pope had been another Pius X, do you really think the world would have given a hoot? John Paul II was not in the business of spreading Catholicism. His mission, as he saw it, was to be an unqualified pacifist and to use his influence as a high profile public figure to bring about Peace and champion the poor and downtrodden. That is what he's being remembered for, and if he had been the head of any state other than the Vatican, you wouldn't have such a problem with it. Now, I love you to death, and I'm not trying to attack you, but all that I've said has been most sincere and from my heart. The media is celebrating the man Karol Wotyla, who happened to be the Bishop of Rome.

Regarding the shame of the child molester priests being let off easy, YES! IT IS HORRIBLE! but it is a reflection NOT upon the Catholic Faith, but on the pontiff who was not able to temper mercy with justice and upon the American Bishops, all appointed by the same pontiff, who were in the business of looking compassionate rather than BEING compassionate! It is a reflection upon a hierarchy to which Tolerance is more important than adhering to the systematic principles of the Faith they profess to uphold.

Posted by: romanreb on April 3, 2005 11:17 AM

Much of the power of the Roman Church derives from the idea that it can 'market,' or 'manage,' or 'deal' the holy. Concepts of holiness are quite critical in understanding this.

I'm working on a small book manuscript now, entitled, "The State of the Holy/The logistics of the sacred."

I think media is on some self-enflaming, self-aggrandizing spree, everyone trying to talk about greatness, holiness, and of course, the media is the last to understand, and furthest from understanding. They think fame is fact, and notoriety is the measure of significance.

I think we're experiencing a delusive curse about now. Not Karol's fault, of course, but, just the way things are set up.

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 3, 2005 10:11 AM

This is a most careful discussion! I'm happy to see it. The "dichotomy" I have raised here, the office vs. the man, in ecclesiastical context, originates early in the Roman way. It is related to the transubstantiation dogma. The priest is believed to have the power to "create God" in the mass (something Protestants abhor in Romanism), but the question would be, what if the priest happens to fall into sin, personally? Can he still sanctify the host? The question was early answered in the 1st Council of Nicea, 325 AD. The office is infallable. The man is not. The office of the priest stands, even if the man falls.

The Church is infallible. The leaders and people are not. This is a magical sort of mysticism, which perpetuates this dichotomy between man and office.

Thus, the homosexual, preditor priests of the American RCC got off easy. In all the eulogizing going on right now in behalf of the John Paul, there is the only bit of criticism I've heard. He did not make a strong enough show against these perverts.

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 3, 2005 10:07 AM

pat said: "Just to explain, yes, you'll hear the word holy bantied about. Not just because he was a holy man, but his office was Holy. Established, as Catholics believe, by Christ Himself. Don't 'let it go', or think of it as a trap, understand what the Church means when it says "Holy" in this context."

Thanks, Pat. I'm glad you addressed that. I assume folks don't inwardly debate whether or not Elizabeth II is "majestic".

It's always interesting to see some people regretting that the Pope didn't Protestantize the Church, while other fear that he did, or at least, failed to stop the process. It all depends on what you want, I suppose.

You are certainly correct--the fundamentals of Catholicism, the Faith itself, has thankfully not changed, whatever external trends or disciplines may come and go--since Fr. Martin Luther, and, more to the point, 15 centuries before Luther was born.

Posted by: romanreb on April 3, 2005 08:50 AM

"It has not fundamentally changed since Mr. Luther posted his theses,"

Nor should it since it's based, not on what man wants, but what Christ taught. I know many may not accept that, but that's the way it is. Truth doesn't change, it's just ignored or forgotten. If truth is relative then there is no truth, and Pilate's question, "What is truth?" becomes the norm instead of what Christ said. On a greater scale there is no 'liberal' or 'conservative' truth, there's only truth.....the rest is either untruths, errors, or distortions.

Just to explain, yes, you'll hear the word holy bantied about. Not just because he was a holy man, but his office was Holy. Established, as Catholics believe, by Christ Himself. Don't 'let it go', or think of it as a trap, understand what the Church means when it says "Holy" in this context.

Posted by: Pat on April 3, 2005 07:58 AM

Excellent essay. The reference to Cicero was particularly enlightening and apt.

Mourn the man we Karol Wojtyla to be. Pray for those who esteemed him. Pray also for those who did not, that they can put any animosity away with his bones.

The media will be sure to show us the weeping masses. Weeping up to a point is healthy. We've fallen into weeping on camera, as folks did for Diana. That is not mourning the dead. That is celebrating oneself.

This man was afforded by God the opportunity to serve. He served us well in the secular realm in a critical time. We said -- some of us -- of Mr. Reagan at his passing, and will when Mrs. Thatcher is called home, may that be many years yet. They were all significant in the time they shared.

To forget our disagreements with any of them would be to reduce them to cyphers of themselves. They were people, powerful people, alive and active in heady times. They made mistakes.

We'll hardly forget his man. He achieved a great deal in the world.

It's a pity that he didn't achieve more for his church. It is still in such throes in the US and elsewhere, and is just as prone as ever to resist change, scrutiny and amendment. It has not fundamentally changed since Mr. Luther posted his theses, save that it a slight bit more media savvy. Mr. Wojtyla was not only a man of his times, he was a man of his church.

One note: many of us will here him called "holy" over the next nine days, and cringe. It was an unfortunate feature of his church and of his profession to fall into such traps. We should let it pass, and remember the man.

Soon there'll be a new bishop in Rome. We'll what happens next.

-- B

Posted by: Bodvar on April 2, 2005 10:23 PM

Viva il Papa. I'm sad, mourning the loss of this great man. The other deaths are no less significant, but I mourn because I (we'll) miss him. He was the personification of hope. 'Be not afraid'....those words gave his fellow Poles the hope and courage they needed to rise up against their Communist/Soviet masters, leading to the end of the Soviet Union. He knew when to encourage and when to rebuke. He stood as a guiding light for the world to truth. A truth many pundits are going overboard in trying to ridicule..."He was a modern Pope, but not 'modern' enough'. (And then we'd generally hear some liberal rant!)

Yes we mourn, but we also rejoice. Even in death, he taught us of the dignity of mankind, of lfe. His last words, looking out his apartment window..."Amen". We rejoice because God's good and faithful servant is home.

Wish I had the pic when he was with American Indians, it was so profound. ALL were his children, and like children, we often don't listen or learn.

Posted by: Pat on April 2, 2005 08:53 PM

The headlines read: Pope dies, world mourns.

"Mourn" in the sense of feeling debilitating grief, may be too strong a word, but I feel that all men of good will are saddened, for whatever reason, by the passing of John Paul II.

Dr. Yeagley wrote: I doubt that his influence in the world was any more or any less significant than any other Pope serving 26 years, in a very tumultuous time of modern history.

I disagree. The Holy Father has changed the face of the papacy. This was his choice, and his methods were very effective. If one reads the old encyclicals and contrasts the authoratative tone of past Vicars of Christ with that of the Pope whose remains are now being prepared to lie in state, it is easy to see why he is almost universally approved of.

The Holy Father has made effective use of modern communications technology to familiarize everyone with his personality, and has reenforced that feeling of intimacy with a grueling schedule of pastoral visits which would have been difficult for any man.

In the last few years, it has seemed, at least to me, that the Holy Father believed he could, by sheer force of his considerable charisma, bring the people of the world together in unity of peace and tolerance.

Where previous popes saw their role as guardians of the Catholic Faith, the Holy Father appears to have envisioned his role as that of the world's Ambassador of Peace.

Whether or not one approves of the position he assumed, the Holy Father has certainly had an exceptional influence on the course of history, and an even more profound influence on the Catholic Church.

Requiem eternam dona ei, Domine, Et lux perpetua luceat ei. Anima ejus, et animae omnium fidelium defunctorum per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace.

Posted by: romanreb on April 2, 2005 08:25 PM

"I think the individual man, Karol, is probably a lot greater, as a man, than hardly anyone realizes."

I would agree. He has a remarkable story as 20 year old man in Poland facing the Nazis then the communist Russians. Although I am not a Catholic, I do respect his memory. He was an influential man of Christ in world affairs and often would comment on issues that politicians would cower and shrink from. I believe he lived his faith as best he could and that, not his office, was what made him a great man.

Take care of yourself DR. Y. That stuff hit me and my family too. Don't be afraid to see the doctor and cancel some activities so you can get over it.

Posted by: Alligator on April 2, 2005 08:19 PM

Thank, you Sam, and welcome again to BadEagle. I must confess, I am deeply sick right now, with headache, cough, flue, chest congestion--crashing from the trip to UMass, not being able to sleep because of my neighbors dogs, etc.

I perhaps should not have tried to comment on such a profound matter as the passing of the Pope, but, I felt compelled.

I think the individual man, Karol, is probably a lot greater, as a man, than hardly anyone realizes. His office as Pope is a pre-packaged deal. Any man in that position has all kinds of power. This isn't what makes Karol interesting!

Thank you again for your encouragement.

Posted by: David Yeagley on April 2, 2005 07:23 PM

You are a man of faith, David Yeagley, and so was the man Wojtyla. Persons you trust may betray you, your loyalty may be abused by the leaders of the causes you favor, but you both have encouraged us to see beyond persons and ideas, beyond trust and loyalty, and beyond betrayal and abuse. You both have encouraged us to praise God for what he has left us to work with ..... and expected us to keep on working. I do both, every morning and every evening, but the encouragement I sometimes get from others helps. That's why I will miss Wojtyla.

Our Christian faith can put us in the presence of God no matter our race, our language, our social life, our cultural background, our national pride. But those are the things God has left us to work with. They are our tools and weapons. What do we need to achieve with these things? That question is where the arguments begin. Individual vision, sustained by faith, is essential, but clarification by means of thoughtful discussion is mighty handy. It really is. That's why I read the badeagle.com forums. The thing I like the best about David Yeagley, at this web-site, is that he doesn't try to tell me how he's a real Indian and I'm not. There's plenty of that at most other Indian web-sites. This one is meant for the future, and aimed outward.

Thank you.

Posted by: samreynolds on April 2, 2005 06:41 PM
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