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What’s So Great About Catholicism
Catholic Educators ^ | H.W. CROCKER III

Posted on 11/22/2005 7:26:10 AM PST by NYer


With its divine foundation, sanction, and mission, nothing could be more glorious than the Catholic Church. But, of course, many people — even many baptized Catholics — don’t see it that way.

Yet when the sins of men — or secular material progress, or our own self-centeredness — blind us to this, they blind us to everything. The Renaissance, a great Catholic moment, enlightened the world by seeing it afresh with both the light of faith and the light of classical civilization, which was Catholicism’s seedbed. So, too, today, if we look on the world through truly Catholic eyes, we will find that the fog lifts, our perspectives grow deeper, and beauty and truth beckon above the puerility of mass popular culture.

What’s so great about Catholicism? Here are ten things — in countdown order — to which one could easily add hundreds of others.

10. Hope

Classical paganism, as we know, always ended in despair — a noble despair sometimes, but despair nevertheless. Eastern religions don’t offer much in the way of hope, as they are tied to doctrines of fate, cycles of history, and a nirvana of extinction. Reformation Protestantism is pretty despairing, too, with Calvin’s belief that it would have been better for most people if they had never been born, predestined as they are for damnation. Secularism and materialism are no better, as wealthy secular societies tend to have the highest rates of suicide.

But in the Catholic Church, there is hope. Salvation is open to every man willing to take it. And though Jesus warned His apostles that following His way meant enduring inevitable persecution and hatred, He also gave them this promise: The gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. Even outsiders recognize this. Who ever heard of a deathbed conversion to Methodism? Hope comes from the Real Thing.

9. The Inquisition

The Inquisition? Yes, let’s not be shy. The Inquisition is every Catholic-basher’s favorite tool of abuse — though it is one that is very much not in the basher’s favor. There were several Inquisitions. The first in order of importance in Catholic history was the Inquisition against the Albigensians — a heresy that encouraged suicide, euthanasia, abortion, sodomy, fornication, and other modern ideas that were distasteful to the medieval mind. The struggle against the Albigensians erupted into war — and a war that could not be carefully trammeled within crusading boundaries. So Pope Gregory IX entrusted the final excision of the Albigensian heresy to the scalpel of the Inquisition rather than the sword of the Crusader.

Did this Inquisition of the 13th century strike fear into the people of western Europe? No. Its scope was limited; its trials and punishments more lenient to the accused than were those of its secular counterparts. Inquisitional punishment was often no more than the sort of penance — charity, pilgrimage, mortification — that one might be given by a priest in a confessional. If one were fortunate enough to live in England, northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, or, with the exception of Aragon, even, at this time, Spain, the risk that one might be called before an inquisitional trial was virtually zero. The focus of the Inquisition was in the Albigensian districts of southern France; in Germany, where some of the worst abuses occurred; and in those parts of chaotic Italy rife with anticlerical heresy. In all cases, inquisitional courts sat only where Church and state agreed that peace and security were threatened. Nevertheless, the courts were abused. The Church could not modify an ironclad rule of life as true in the 13th century as it is today: Every recourse to law and the courts is a calamity. But the Church then, and people today, seemed to assume it is better than vigilantes and war. There’s no accounting for some tastes.

More famous, certainly, is the Spanish Inquisition. The Spanish Inquisition was a state-run affair, where the Church’s role was to act as a brake of responsibility, fairness, and justice on the royal court’s ferreting out of quislings (who were defined, after centuries of war against the Muslims, as those who were not sincere and orthodox Catholics). Recent scholarship, which has actually examined the meticulous records kept by the Spanish Inquisition, has proven — to take the title of a BBC documentary on the subject — "The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition." We now know, beyond all doubt, that the Monty Python sketch of inquisitors holding an old lady in "the comfy chair" while they tickle her with feather dusters is closer to the truth than images of people impaled within iron maidens. (One of the standard works of scholarship is Henry Kamen’s The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, Yale University Press.) In the course of an average year, the number of executions ordered by the Spanish Inquisition — which covered not only Spain but its vast overseas empire — was less than the number of people put to death annually by the state of Texas. And this at a time when heresy was universally considered a capital crime in Europe. The myth of the Spanish Inquisition comes from forged documents, propagandizing Protestant polemicists, and anti-Spanish Catholics, who were numerous. The fact is, far from being the bloodthirsty tribunals of myth, the courts of the Spanish Inquisition were probably the fairest, most lenient, and most progressive in Europe.

The man who heads up the modern office of the Inquisition, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the Panzer-Kardinal of the Vatican. Would that he would subject the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America to an Inquisition. It needs it. Indeed, here’s a new rallying cry that I’d like to see become popular: "Bring back the Inquisition!"

8. The Crusades

All right, I recognize that this is another problem area for some milquetoast Catholics, but let’s be blunt: Do we believe in reclaiming the world for Christ and His Church, or don’t we? Medieval knights took that responsibility seriously, wore the cross on their capes and tunics, and prayed and understood an incarnational faith that acted in the world. It was these knights’ defensive war — and the defensive war of the Church and its allies up through the 18th century, for a millennium of Western history — that repelled Islamic aggression and kept western Europe free. For that we should be ashamed? No: It is one of the glories that was Christendom that in the Middle Ages the pope could wave his field marshal’s baton and knights from as far away as Norway —not to mention England, France, and Germany — would come to serve. Men were Catholics first in those days.

Today, because of Islamic terror groups, the West is again strapping on its armor. We shouldn’t be ashamed of our predecessors who were compelled to do the same.

7. The Swiss Guards and the French Foreign Legion

Though only one of these institutions is under the direct supervision of the Vatican, both qualify as Catholic institutions that should warm the very cockles of our hearts. Indeed, next time you meet a Protestant who asks you why you are a Catholic, try telling him this: "I’m a Catholic because I believe in the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church as founded by Jesus and His disciples and as led through the power of the Holy Spirit by the pope in Rome who is himself guarded by the Swiss guards of the Vatican whose uniforms were designed, at least some believe, by Michelangelo." If your interlocutor doesn’t immediately seek instruction to convert, you know you’ve met a hard case.

As for La Légion Étrangère, it seems to me that as the product of a Catholic culture, showcasing a Catholic militarism by accepting men of all nations and backgrounds, devoted to one common goal, and by bestowing a sort of secular forgiveness of sins via its traditional offer of anonymity for recruits, it is a good reflection of the Catholic spirit. Indeed, two anecdotes might help illustrate this fact. First, there is the spirit of Catholic realism, perhaps best told in a story from the devotional book, The Paratroopers of the French Foreign Legion: From Vietnam to Bosnia. Here one finds a Catholic chaplain in Bosnia handing out medallions of the Blessed Virgin Mother. He admonishes his legionnaires that the medallion "does not replace good cover and it does not replace armor. I don’t do voodoo here. So be careful." Well said, Father.

If that anecdote affirms Catholic realism and natural law, here’s one that reminds us why fighting men have always respected Catholic chaplains above others. It comes from the morally offensive Catholic writer Christian Jennings, in A Mouthful of Rocks: Modern Adventures in the Foreign Legion: "This was the padre assigned to our unit. He wore full combat kit and a large silver crucifix on a chain, which matched his parachute wings.... A Spanish recruit I had been playing poker against suddenly started making faces and gesturing behind the Padre’s back, when suddenly, without taking his eyes off the Frenchman to whom he had been talking, the priest jerked his elbow backwards into the Spaniard’s face, slamming him against an oven." Charming, n’est-ce pas? And a reminder that for most people, the faith is best taught by action and example rather than by words.

6. Art

Certainly the famous literary Catholics of the English-speaking world — John Henry Cardinal Newman, Hilaire Belloc, G.K. Chesterton, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Siegfried Sassoon (who converted later in life), and Thomas Merton—have all played an enormous part in my own conversion and continuing appreciation of the faith. Even Catholics of an unorthodox stripe (like Greene) have had a powerfully orthodox influence on me.

Writing, of course, is far from the only artistic testimony to the faith. Catholicism has always surrounded itself with beauty, regarding it as the splendor of truth. In the words of the German priest, professor, and theologian Karl Adam, "Art is native to Catholicism, since reverence for the body and for nature is native to it." The Puritan influence is foreign to Catholicism — just as the idea that smashing altars, defacing Madonnas, and breaking stained glass as a religious act is foreign, and indeed heretical, to Catholics. The Catholic Church leaves such Talibanism to the Protestants and iconoclastic heresies. The Catholic Church, instead, offers a celebration of beauty; and beauty, in our world of pierced faces, body tattoos, gangsta rap, and concrete tower blocks, is something we could use much more of.

5. Freedom

Yes, the good old reactionary, repressive Catholic Church has been the most ardent defender of freedom in the history of the world — though it almost never gets credit for it. We live in an age of determinist ideologies — with the fate of nations and individuals supposedly determined by race, economics, history, psychology, genetics, or even — insofar as Protestants have any common doctrinal beliefs — predestination. The Catholic Church stands alone in radical defense of man’s free will.

When the media, Protestants, and dissenters tell practicing Catholics that the impulse to sexual activity is overwhelmingly powerful and can’t be controlled or renounced, Catholics alone say, "No, man is free. All Christians are called to chastity, and what they are called to do, they can do, and some can freely take on celibacy as a sacrifice to better serve God and His Church."

When Maximus in the movie Gladiator rallies his cavalrymen with the words, "What we do in this life echoes in eternity," he is speaking like a Catholic, not like a Reformed Protestant or a Muslim who believes that eternity is already written and that man has no free will.

When skeptics complain that the evidence for God is not clear or that a God who allows suffering and evil is Himself sadistic and evil, the Catholic responds, "Our God has made us free men. True freedom always comes with costs and challenges. You see, ours is not a religion of make-believe where actions have no consequences. Ours is a religion of life as it really is. And life as it really is, is a life of original sin. Catholicism is a religion of pilgrimage, freely accepted, to grow in Christ, to overcome sin."

It is another oft-propounded myth that the Western world didn’t taste of freedom until the Protestant revolt of Martin Luther, which led to the division and state subordination of churches in northern Europe and eventually led, in some countries, to the separation of church and state and the irrelevance of church to state.

But who would blatantly say that the Renaissance — against which Luther revolted — was not free? Who would deny that the great check on state power throughout the entirety of European history, from the conversion of Constantine until the 20th century, was the Catholic Church?

Think of the Roman Emperor Theodosius, commander of all Rome’s legions, stripping himself of all imperial insignia to do penance before an unarmed cleric, St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan. It was the Catholic Church that brought a moral check to bear on the exercise and perquisites of power.

Think of the martyrdom of Sir Thomas Beckett and Sir Thomas More. Think of the Protestant revolt, which argued that the power of the state was scriptural and the power of the papacy — the power of Christ’s Church against the demands of the state — was not.

Think of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Kulturkampf of Bismarck, and later intellectual and political currents, including fascism, communism, and the liberalism of our own time, all of which saw — or see — the state as the essential thing, centralization of state authority as the central task, and state direction as the essential instrument of reform. And what was the roadblock to these "reformers"? The Catholic Church. It was the Church that asserted the independence of "subsidiary institutions." It was the Church that defended the rights of the family against the state. It was the Church that protested, in the words of Pope Pius XI, against the "pagan worship of the state."

The true Catholic is a natural Tory anarchist — someone who believes in loyalty to persons, institutions, and the faith — semper fidelis — and in otherwise letting les bons temps rouler.

4. The Saints

The Catholic is never alone. God is always near. The Catholic remembers Mary. He remembers her saying yes to the Incarnation. He remembers those who have gone before him: the vast parade of saints whose personalities and attributes are so various, so free, and yet so devoted to the singular path that leads to holiness and union with God.

Catholic women — as I noted in my agnostic Anglican days, when I was dating them — had stained-glass minds: an awareness of the romance of the past and of the depth and color of Christian history, even if it was just a velleity, not captured in details or knowledge. Catholics aren’t divorced from history. They are not alone with their Bibles and their consciences. Catholics live history. They are part of the continuum of 2,000 years (or with the Old Testament, even longer) of man’s pilgrimage with God.

In the Apostles’ Creed, the earliest formulary of Christian belief that we have, the Bible is never mentioned. Individual conscience is never mentioned. What is mentioned is history: "born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried." And what is affirmed is belief in God; in the life, resurrection, and coming judgment of Jesus; and then the final litany: "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting."

To the Catholic, life is good; the body is good (which is why it will be resurrected); and it is good for man, if we remember Genesis, not to be alone. In the Catholic Church, he is never alone but lives within the body of Christ, the Church Militant, wherein he receives the sacraments of his earthly pilgrimage; in his prayers for the dead, he remains in prayerful connection with the Church Suffering; and in his emulation of the saints and prayers for their intercession, he looks ahead to the Church Triumphant in heaven.

And what saints there are. "St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle"; the beloved St. Francis, "Lord, make me a channel of Your peace"; the "Dumb Ox" of logic and reason’s call, St. Thomas Aquinas; St. Ignatius Loyola, who showed what miracles of conversion "the Pope’s marines" could achieve when they were all devoted and orthodox (let us hope that they will be again); and on and on in endless panorama. All this belongs to the priceless Catholic heritage. Catholicism does not circumscribe and narrow the truth and practice of religion as all heresies do but celebrates the fullness of humanity and God’s creation.

The saints show us the way. Catholics do not presume that they are saved through faith alone — as do Protestants. Salvation, of course, comes through God’s grace. But as part of our free acceptance of that grace, we are called to become holy: to work, to act, to participate in that constant drama where we struggle to live the life of a saint — to live, that is, the life of Christ. None of us is the elect, predestined to salvation, with the remainder (the majority) predestinedly condemned to hell, as Calvin taught. The Catholic believes he is called to acts of corporal and spiritual mercy and that these help him, by God’s grace, to achieve expiation of sin. Our models and aides in our never-ending effort to achieve sanctity are Jesus, the apostles, and all the saints.

3. Unity

When we affirm the Nicene Creed, we affirm our belief in the "one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church." The Creed does not say "many, reformed, anti-Catholic, Bible-based churches." Nor does it say, "several nation-based, autocephalous, and selectively conciliar churches." The Church is called to be one — one body of Christ, one bride of Christ.

Over the course of 2,000 years, its unity has denied the law of entropy. That it has avoided the most common of temptations — to embrace nationalism or solipsism as the essence of belief — always and everywhere affirming the catholicity of the Church, is proof of its authentic teaching. It is indeed a glory of the Church that it encompasses all men and can use the talents of all nations. The "elasticity, freshness of mind, and sense of form of the Roman combine with the penetration, profundity, and inwardness of the German, and with the sobriety, discretion, and good sense of the Anglo-Saxon. The piety and modesty of the Chinese unite with the subtlety and depth of the Indian, and with the practicality and initiative of the American," as Karl Adam enumerates these qualities in The Spirit of Catholicism.

Objective truth knows no borders. Surely when Paul preached "one Lord, one faith, one baptism," he did not envisage, and would not approve of, the 20,000 or more varieties of Protestant experience. The story of the early Church is the story of the Catholic attempt to maintain Christian unity in accordance with the truth against a sea of heresies — a sea that, as a working out of the Reformation, has now in the popular mind washed away the very idea of heresy. The Reformation marks the entrance of relativism into Christian life, and relativism denies unity. More important, it denies objective truth, and therefore relativism itself can’t be true, however attractive it might be to those who, in the words of St. Irenaeus writing in the second century, are "heretics and evil-thinkers, faction makers, swelled-headed, self-pleasing." Our unity as the "one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic church" is one of the proofs of the verity of the Catholic faith.

That unity is seen in another way, too: namely, in the way that the Church brings together reason and mystery, piety and beauty. It is seen in the way that the Church affirms all positive values — as found anywhere in history or in the world — that are in accordance with natural law and fidelity to the deposit of faith. And it is seen in the way that the Church truly accepts the unity of God’s creation and Christ’s teaching, refusing to let it be parceled up and delimited by nations, philosophers, or pedants who seek to shrink-wrap the faith to their own specifications. The true faith is universal, effulgent, and living.

2. The Sacraments

The sacraments and the visible Church are another proof and nurturer of the faith. I am among the least mystical of men, but I will gladly stump up and affirm the efficacy of the sacraments, sincerely and prayerfully entered into. With Pascal I would affirm that one actually learns the Catholic faith by doing —which is why deracinated, prissy, critical philosophes standing outside will never "get it." The faith of the Catholic is a great drama unfolding before God, and we are the players in it. There is the awesome reality of the Eucharist, God made flesh at every Mass, and our responsibility before Him and in receiving Him. There is the visible alter Christus of the priesthood. Even those sacraments that many Catholics find painful — such as penance — are powerful reminders of the reality of God and of the necessity of both our faith and our good works.

For me, Shakespeare captured this best in Henry V. Before the battle of Agincourt, Henry pleads with God to remember his works — not his faith alone — on behalf of the Church: "Not today, O Lord, / O, not today, think not upon the fault / My father made in compassing the crown! / I Richard’s body have interred new, / And on it have bestow’d more contrite tears / Than from it issued forced drops of blood; / Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay, / Who twice a day their wither’d hands hold up / Toward heaven, to pardon blood; and I have built / Two chantries, where the sad and solemn priests / Sing still for Richard’s soul. More will I do; / Though all that I can do is nothing worth, / Since my penitence comes after all, / Imploring pardon."

It is extremely odd to me that Protestants should take pride in reducing the transmission of God’s grace from the seven sacraments held by the apostolic Catholic Church and Orthodox churches to two. When Protestants say that the celibate priesthood and religious life show a lack of respect for marriage, it’s worth reminding them that to Catholics marriage is a sacrament, an institution of divine grace — something rather more elevated than it is for Protestants. And for Catholics, holy orders is a sacrament, making our priesthood rather more important than a Protestant ministry. For Catholics, religion is not all in the mind. It is tangible, present, and living. In short, it is real.

1. Truth

Nothing else would matter about Catholicism if it weren’t true. But it is our firm belief as Catholics that it is true. And, indeed, I believe that the historical case for the Catholic Church is virtually irrefutable, as irrefutable as it was to Cardinal Newman. And there is something else. We know that the Church affirms that its members and servants are all subject to original sin. But while men might falter, the teaching of the Church does not. That has been our rock, tested through the tempests of centuries and undiminished through time.

Innumerable secular and other forces are against us. Even within our own midst we have been painfully reminded of the work that needs to be done to cleanse and purify our Church. Evil stalks the world. But then, it always has. And the Church has survived, and in the heat of persecution, it has grown in numbers and strength. Let us remember that fact. And let us always keep in mind the immortal words of Auberon Waugh: "There are countless horrible things happening all over the country, and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible."

Amen to that.


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1 posted on 11/22/2005 7:26:12 AM PST by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...

Something to ponder and discuss with family and friends.


2 posted on 11/22/2005 7:27:44 AM PST by NYer (“Socialism is the religion people get when they lose their religion")
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To: Hegewisch Dupa

I would have thought "How the Uniforms Look on Adult Babes" would have been SOMEWHERE on the list...


3 posted on 11/22/2005 7:29:13 AM PST by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: NYer
>What’s So Great About Catholicism


Vatican II NUNS.
Now young Catholic boys want
to come to classes!

4 posted on 11/22/2005 7:33:26 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: theFIRMbss

5 posted on 11/22/2005 7:45:08 AM PST by NYer (“Socialism is the religion people get when they lose their religion")
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To: NYer

Harry Crocker and Father C. John McCloskey did a series on EWTN:

Great Moments in Church History.


6 posted on 11/22/2005 7:49:37 AM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: NYer

bttt


7 posted on 11/22/2005 7:52:11 AM PST by Tax-chick ("Everything is either willed or permitted by God, and nothing can hurt me." Bl. Charles de Foucauld)
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To: NYer; crazykatz; JosephW; lambo; MoJoWork_n; newberger; The_Reader_David; jb6; ...

Ping! This piece is even worse than the last one you posted. I suspect that non Latin Rite Christians could have a grand time jumping on this one! NYer, is there some purpose to this triumphalistic revsionism or is it just posted to get the Orthodox here angry?


8 posted on 11/22/2005 7:58:27 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: NYer

It proves that Jesus is with the Catholic Church until the end of time.


9 posted on 11/22/2005 7:58:41 AM PST by ex-snook ("Come behold the deeds of the Lord, the astounding things he has wrought on earth.")
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To: NYer
I'm reminded of the Catholic and Protestant scene in Monty Python's the Meaning of Life.

(Those interested can read it here:

http://www.geocities.com/knightsaysni/mp/meanlife.txt

Search for THE MIRACLE OF BIRTH PART 2 THE THIRD WORLD

It's hilarious)
10 posted on 11/22/2005 8:02:38 AM PST by x5452
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To: Kolokotronis
It's called "setting the record straight".

We've had enough (and more than enough) of protestant-written history (and worse, communist written history), in which the Catholic Church is made the villain in any and every way conceivable.

11 posted on 11/22/2005 8:06:14 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Kolokotronis

Calm down, I think you're reading too much into this, really it's not much different than those Orthodox Feast postings you put up....aka, meant for a narrowly defined audience.

There are plenty of other posts put up by non-Orthodox, non-Catholics that are designed for a limited audience or specific segment of Christendom.

Really, there is no vast anti-Orthodox conspiracy going on here...or if there is I've never been invited to join.


12 posted on 11/22/2005 8:11:56 AM PST by Cheverus
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To: NYer

"...St. Ignatius Loyola, who showed what miracles of conversion "the Pope’s marines" could achieve when they were all devoted and orthodox (let us hope that they will be again)..."

Amen to that. First order of business must have been the Franciscans at Assisi. Hope that the Jesuits are next on the list.


13 posted on 11/22/2005 8:15:24 AM PST by Nihil Obstat
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To: Kolokotronis
NYer, is there some purpose to this triumphalistic revsionism or is it just posted to get the Orthodox here angry?

Me? I've posted these and pinged catholics to these threads which provide them with some historical perspective, sorely lacking in their lives. They are posted to balance the garbage produced by Discovery, TLC, History, PBS and all those other channels that try to skew history to suit present day mindsets.

I have posted numerous threads on the ecumenical efforts of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Why do you take such offense at these two threads?

14 posted on 11/22/2005 8:28:42 AM PST by NYer (“Socialism is the religion people get when they lose their religion")
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To: Cheverus
You are hereby invited to join the vast, anti-Orthodox conspiracy.

Never mind that this is a pseudonymous forum.

Our operatives know who you really are.

They know when you've been sleeping.

They know when you're awake.

They know when you've been bad or good.

The formal invitation package will be dropped down your chimney some fine evening when you least expect it.

Because nobody ever expects the Spanish Inquisition!

;'}

15 posted on 11/22/2005 8:36:21 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: NYer

" 'Art is native to Catholicism, since reverence for the body and for nature is native to it.' The Puritan influence is foreign to Catholicism — just as the idea that smashing altars, defacing Madonnas, and breaking stained glass as a religious act is foreign, and indeed heretical, to Catholics. The Catholic Church leaves such Talibanism to the Protestants and iconoclastic heresies. The Catholic Church, instead, offers a celebration of beauty; and beauty, in our world of pierced faces, body tattoos, gangsta rap, and concrete tower blocks, is something we could use much more of."

Tell that to the modernists destroying (renovating) our great old churches. They are completing the work started by Henry VIII.


16 posted on 11/22/2005 8:38:45 AM PST by Cavalcabo (Sancte Michael, defende nos in proelio, contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.)
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To: NYer

I'd much rather see an article entitled,

"What’s So Great About Jesus Christ."


To me, articles like this smack of worship-of-the-church rather than worship of God.


17 posted on 11/22/2005 9:43:37 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Cavalcabo; NYer

"The Puritan influence is foreign to Catholicism — just as the idea that smashing altars, defacing Madonnas, and breaking stained glass as a religious act is foreign, and indeed heretical, to Catholics.

Hmmm. Someone's forgetting Jesus in the temple!



"The Catholic Church, instead, offers a celebration of beauty;"

Beauty? How very pagan.


18 posted on 11/22/2005 9:47:36 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Conservative4Life

ping to self for future reading


19 posted on 11/22/2005 9:48:39 AM PST by Conservative4Life (Blaming GUNS for crimes is like Blaming SPOONS for Rosie's morbid obesity....)
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To: Kolokotronis
NYer, is there some purpose to this triumphalistic revsionism or is it just posted to get the Orthodox here angry?

It's not always about you, you know.

20 posted on 11/22/2005 9:50:08 AM PST by Petronski (Cyborg is the greatest blessing I have ever known.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Hmmm. Someone's forgetting Jesus in the temple!

That would be ...

um ...

...

you.

Jesus overturning the moneychangers' tables has nothing to do with iconoclasm, in any of its foul instances.

21 posted on 11/22/2005 9:51:27 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Cavalcabo
The Catholic Church leaves such Talibanism to the Protestants and iconoclastic heresies.

now there is a fine example of catholic bigotry and self delusion. BTW, the article was a nice piece of revisionist history as well.

22 posted on 11/22/2005 9:54:01 AM PST by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
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To: PetroniusMaximus; Salvation; Coleus; NYer; SoothingDave; cyborg; onyx; fortunecookie; ...
Beauty? How very pagan.

God's love for us is beautiful. His sacrifice of His only Son on the cross is beautiful. The Holy Sacraments are beautiful. His promise of Salvation and Everlasting Life is beautiful.

23 posted on 11/22/2005 9:55:32 AM PST by Petronski (Cyborg is the greatest blessing I have ever known.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

"Jesus overturning the moneychangers' tables has nothing to do with iconoclasm, in any of its foul instances."


It illustrates that there is a time and place to cleanse the temple, so to speak. (Now if you could guarantee that everything catholics ever did was totally in line with the will of God then you might be able to argue that your temple was never in need of cleansing.)


24 posted on 11/22/2005 9:57:53 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Petronski

"God's love for us is beautiful. His sacrifice of His only Son on the cross is beautiful. The Holy Sacraments are beautiful. His promise of Salvation and Everlasting Life is beautiful."

Yes, but Christianity is not about the worship of "Beauty" as if it is some disembodied greek goddess.

We worship a God who is beautiful - not the god of "Beauty".


25 posted on 11/22/2005 10:00:38 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
I never said that the temple doesn't need cleansing.

Iconoclasm is not now, and never has been, an instance of such cleansing. Indeed, if I may revise my statement, the results of protestant iconoclasm infiltrating the Catholic Church are an example of the temple pollution that needs to be cleansed. Iconoclasm is ultimately a celebration of ugliness; a rejection of the beauty of God and His creation. If that's what you want, knock yourself out. But don't pretend to be Christian when you're doing it.

26 posted on 11/22/2005 10:04:17 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

I missed the place where the article said anything about worshipping beauty. Can you point that out?


27 posted on 11/22/2005 10:06:29 AM PST by Petronski (Cyborg is the greatest blessing I have ever known.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus
What? Do you worship a god of ugliness? Don't be absurd!

God is Beauty. And Goodness. And Truth. And Wisdom. And Knowledge. And Power. And every other virtue and perfection you could name. And then some you and I can't name.

28 posted on 11/22/2005 10:06:53 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Petronski

"I missed the place where the article said anything about worshipping beauty."




Here is the reference:

"The Catholic Church, instead, offers a celebration of beauty;"


29 posted on 11/22/2005 10:09:51 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: ArrogantBustard

"What? Do you worship a god of ugliness?"

You bring up an interesting point.

For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces.


30 posted on 11/22/2005 10:12:11 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: NYer

Thank you for this article...I am not a Catholic, actually I belong to no organized religion, tho I was raised as a Methodist, many, many years ago...

But I am searching many different religions, and reading my Bible, and trying to see if there is out there, a particular religion which in my heart, rings out loud and clear that it might just be the religion which holds the truth...its a long and often daunting task, but a task well worthwhile...

So altho I rarely ever post anything on a religious thread, but prefer to remain a lurker, still I appreciate any well written articles, and appreciate those posters who post well thought out posts, supplied with plenty of Biblical references, and historical facts...

I have no use for those who just wish to name call and demean those of a religion other than their own...

For me, good articles, ,good posts, will help me in my journey...Bashing just turns me off...

Anyway, thanks for this article, and for your informative posts..


31 posted on 11/22/2005 10:19:27 AM PST by andysandmikesmom
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To: Cavalcabo
Tell that to the modernists destroying (renovating) our great old churches. They are completing the work started by Henry VIII.

Amen to that. And they can't seem to get them all 'modernized' fast enough. In previous generations, we had Churches and Cathedrals taken by invaders or damaged in battles. Today, too many line up for a willing destruction in the name of modernism.

32 posted on 11/22/2005 10:20:30 AM PST by fortunecookie
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To: NYer
I've posted these and pinged catholics to these threads which provide them with some historical perspective, sorely lacking in their lives. They are posted to balance the garbage produced by Discovery, TLC, History, PBS and all those other channels that try to skew history to suit present day mindsets.

So true. And we're pleased to be pinged.

33 posted on 11/22/2005 10:23:24 AM PST by fortunecookie
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To: ArrogantBustard

"Iconoclasm is ultimately a celebration of ugliness; a rejection of the beauty of God and His creation. "


Under the right conditions iconoclasm is certainly permitted.

Exodus 23:24
Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.


34 posted on 11/22/2005 10:24:23 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Cute ... clever, even. But misguided.


Revelation 1:

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

11Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

12And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

14His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

15And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

16And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

17And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

18I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.


Revelation 4:

2And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

3And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

4And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

5And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

6And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

In fact, read the whole book; pay special attention to the description of the Holy City in chapters 21 and 22. You've mistaken the disguise for the real thing.


35 posted on 11/22/2005 10:27:27 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Hmmm. Someone's forgetting Jesus in the temple!

That would be you.

The Temple was a famously beautiful building, but Jesus did not destroy the art or the gold. He did prophesy that the Romans would do so.

What he objected to was the presence of moneychangers in the Court of the Gentiles, which made it impossible for Gentiles to pray within the Temple grounds ... not to the beauty of the structure. There is nothing wrong with dedicating the best we have to the service of God.

36 posted on 11/22/2005 10:28:21 AM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: ArrogantBustard
To be perfectly clear, the beauty which the Catholic Church celebrates is the beauty of the Heavenly City, the New Jerusalem. God whom we worship is the author of that beauty.
37 posted on 11/22/2005 10:29:52 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus; Petronski
I missed the place where the article said anything about worshipping beauty."

Here is the reference:

"The Catholic Church, instead, offers a celebration of beauty;"

People celebrate lots of things. That is different from worship. That's why there are two different words.

SD

38 posted on 11/22/2005 10:33:05 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Celebration is quite different from worship. One can appreciate and celebrate the beauty of a spouse, in children, the beauty found in nature, in art, without worshipping spouse or children or nature or art or putting those in the place of worship for God above all. Yet God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in it and made it good, for us.


39 posted on 11/22/2005 10:34:33 AM PST by fortunecookie
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To: Campion

"That would be you."


You're a little late for your appointment, but we'll be glad to work you in... :)

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1526731/posts?page=24#24


"There is nothing wrong with dedicating the best we have to the service of God."

If God is interested in the "best" then why did He allow His Son to be born in a manger?

Don't you see how supposedly "dedicating the best we have" can quickly become bringing the spirit of the world into the Church? The outward glory, beauty, pomp - all of that God rejects.


40 posted on 11/22/2005 10:39:07 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: SoothingDave; fortunecookie

SD! Always a pleasure!

"People celebrate lots of things."

Not in the Church.


"That is different from worship. That's why there are two different words"

The words are very similar. Worship IS a form of celebration.


41 posted on 11/22/2005 10:42:00 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
You're mistaking idols for icons.

I know the words look similar, but they don't mean the same thing. Once again, we see how protestantism and YOPIOS introduce error into the world.

Sad, really.

42 posted on 11/22/2005 10:42:54 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

If people want to build a beautiful church what's it to you?


43 posted on 11/22/2005 10:43:23 AM PST by Nihil Obstat
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Humpty Dumpty, I presume?


44 posted on 11/22/2005 10:45:04 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Nihil Obstat

What's it to him?

It's to him to falsely blur it or conflate it or smear it with paganism. That's what it is to him.


45 posted on 11/22/2005 10:45:40 AM PST by Petronski (Cyborg is the greatest blessing I have ever known.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus
"There is nothing wrong with dedicating the best we have to the service of God."

If God is interested in the "best" then why did He allow His Son to be born in a manger?

Now you must be pulling out legs. You are refuting the idea now that God wants the best from us?

Do you wear stinky, muddy old jeans to Church service and refuse to wash your hair?

SD

46 posted on 11/22/2005 10:47:12 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: ArrogantBustard

"Cute ... clever, even. But misguided. "

Yes, I am very familiar with the verses describing the glory of Christ.

But you know what, he chose to leave all that behind when he came to earth.

Yet for some reason we think it's ok to pursue glory down here - as long as we do it "for God's sake".


47 posted on 11/22/2005 10:47:25 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: ArrogantBustard

"You're mistaking idols for icons."

IF, if somewhere in this wide world an icon was being misused as an idol - would you say that it would be ok to pull it down.


48 posted on 11/22/2005 10:49:50 AM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
But you know what, he chose to leave all that behind when he came to earth.

I'm quite certain He chose to return to all that when He ascended into Heaven.

49 posted on 11/22/2005 10:50:16 AM PST by Petronski (Cyborg is the greatest blessing I have ever known.)
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To: Petronski; SoothingDave; Campion
I'm done with PM. He's just arguing for argument's sake.

So I'll move on, to the Inquisition:

The Inquisition? Yes, let’s not be shy. The Inquisition is every Catholic-basher’s favorite tool of abuse — though it is one that is very much not in the basher’s favor. There were several Inquisitions. The first in order of importance in Catholic history was the Inquisition against the Albigensians — a heresy that encouraged suicide, euthanasia, abortion, sodomy, fornication, and other modern ideas that were distasteful to the medieval mind. The struggle against the Albigensians erupted into war — and a war that could not be carefully trammeled within crusading boundaries. So Pope Gregory IX entrusted the final excision of the Albigensian heresy to the scalpel of the Inquisition rather than the sword of the Crusader.

Modern American popular culture and Democratic Party politics looks an awful lot like Albigensianism. The more things change ... In many ways, that popular culture of assisted suicide, abortion, sodomy, etc. is infecting parts of the Church (and has overwhelmed many protestant ecclesial communities). By looking at history, we can learn where we need to currently apply our efforts at Temple Cleansing.

50 posted on 11/22/2005 10:51:03 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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