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Christian witness 'more credible' in union, writes Pope in letter to Eastern Patriarch
cna ^ | November 30, 2009

Posted on 12/01/2009 6:34:51 AM PST by NYer

Bartholomew I / Pope Benedict

Vatican City, Nov 30, 2009 / 09:55 pm (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI reached out to Bartholomew I and the Eastern Church Monday in his annual letter to the Patriarch celebrating the Feast of St. Andrew. The message encouraged continued ecumenical talks towards unification of the churches of the East and West and "openness to the Holy Spirit" to guide them in the process.  

The letter was delivered to the Ecumenical Patriarch of Istanbul, Bartholomew I, by way of a Papal delegation led by the President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity Cardinal Walter Kasper.  The delegation concelebrated Mass with the Patriarch and gave him the letter in a ceremony afterwards.

The message included words of shared celebration for the Feast of St. Andrew, patron of the Patriarchate of Constantinople

Citing St. Andrew's martyrdom, the Pope wrote "The memory of the holy martyrs compels all Christians to bear witness to their faith before the world. There is an urgency in this call especially in our own day, in which Christianity is faced with increasingly complex challenges. The witness of Christians will surely be all the more credible if all believers in Christ are 'of one heart and soul.'

"Our Churches have committed themselves sincerely over the last decades to pursuing the path towards the re-establishment of full communion, and although we have not yet reached our goal, many steps have been taken that have enabled us to deepen the bonds between us."

Said the Pontiff of this relationship, it "should not be hindered by those who remain bound to the remembrance of historical differences, which impedes their openness to the Holy Spirit who guides the Church and is able to transform all human failings into opportunities for good."

The Pope referenced the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue, which met for the 11th time in a plenary session in Cyprus in October, as progress towards unity. "The meeting was marked by a spirit of solemn purpose and a warm sentiment of closeness."

Pope Benedict XVI chose to reiterate the words that he had used while in Phanar, Turkey in 2006, to express his the Roman Catholic Church's wish for an “ecclesiology of communion” in recognizing the establishment of the Petrine lineage of the Church of Rome.   He wrote, "It is a question of seeking together, inspired by the model of the first millennium, the forms in which the ministry of the Bishop of Rome may accomplish a service of love recognized by one and all."

"Yet even as we make this journey towards full communion," he continued, "we should already offer common witness by working together in the service of humanity, especially in defending the dignity of the human person, in affirming fundamental ethical values, in promoting justice and peace, and in responding to the suffering that continues to afflict our world, particularly hunger, poverty, illiteracy, and the inequitable distribution of resources."


TOPICS: Catholic; Ecumenism; Ministry/Outreach; Orthodox Christian
KEYWORDS: bartholomew1; catholic; christians; patriarch; pope; unity
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1 posted on 12/01/2009 6:34:52 AM PST by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...
The delegation concelebrated Mass with the Patriarch and gave him the letter in a ceremony afterwards.

Probably misreporting.

The Full text of the Pope's message is below. Scroll down for the English translation.

MESSAGGIO DEL SANTO PADRE BENEDETTO XVI A SUA SANTITÀ BARTOLOMEO I, PATRIARCA ECUMENICO, PER LA FESTA DI SANT’ANDREA

2 posted on 12/01/2009 6:36:52 AM PST by NYer ("One Who Prays Is Not Afraid; One Who Prays Is Never Alone" - Benedict XVI)
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To: NYer; Kolokotronis; kosta50
Furthermore, our Churches can work together in drawing attention to humanity’s responsibility for the safeguarding of creation. In this regard, I express once again my appreciation for the many valuable initiatives supported and encouraged by Your Holiness which have borne witness to the gift of creation. The recent international symposium on Religion, Science and the Environment dedicated to the Mississippi River, and your encounters in the United States with distinguished figures from the political, cultural and religious spheres, have exemplified your commitment.

The Ecumenical Patriarch is concerned about the Mississippi?

Nooooooooo!!! Say it aint so, guys.......LOL!!!

I thought it was only us heretics who took our spirituality into the world of science and politics.

3 posted on 12/01/2009 7:13:26 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: marshmallow
His All-Holiness is quite concerned about the Mississippi.

We had an Ecumenical Prayer Service here when Bartholomew I was doing his apostolic visit to the Greek congregations here in the South.

His theme for the service was environmental stewardship. Lots of readings from the Early Church Fathers on same.

Our choir sang, they apparently were happy with us because they invited us back for Dec. 13. Our director is rubbing his hands with glee and figuring out how much medieval and Renaissance polyphony he can deal out to the Greeks.

4 posted on 12/01/2009 7:22:03 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: AnAmericanMother; Kolokotronis; kosta50
I believe you.

I've always suspected that we're closer to the Orthodox than their spokesmen on this forum would have us believe.

5 posted on 12/01/2009 7:29:54 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: marshmallow
The Ecumenical Patriarch is concerned about the Mississippi?

Just wait. Read his two speeches at the conference.

Opening remarks:

It is with great pleasure that we welcome you all to the official opening of Symposium VIII, entitled “The Great Mississippi River”.

This Symposium is in many ways both historical and unique. This river comprises a microcosm of our planet. In its waters, we observe many of the world’s ecological issues. We are humbled in its presence. We have come to listen to its story, to learn from its history.

Let us consider our own presence on this great river.

As the Mississippi links the prairies to the sea, we ourselves form the link between the past and the future. Science has developed a theory to explain the beginning of the Universe almost 14 billion years ago, the beginning of simple life forms some 4 billion years ago and the birth of human beings a mere 160,000 years ago.

Although the time we have been on the planet is insignificant in the context of the life of the planet itself, we have reached a defining moment in our story.

We have expanded our dominion over Nature to the point where absolute limits to our survival are being reached. We have lost half of the great forests of the world to the demand for timber and for conversion to agriculture, without thinking that these giant wet sponges are responsible for the delivery of much of the fresh water.

Irrigation for agriculture takes 70% of global demand for water, and – almost unimaginably – some of the world’s greatest rivers are so depleted by the influence of humans that they no longer flow to the sea; and those that do, carry in their waters all the chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and waste materials they have collected along their course. Desertification is increasing on land at the same time that the fish stocks of the oceans are depleted by over exploitation; and those that remain are being poisoned by toxic materials dumped carelessly in their habitat. Instead of living on income, or the available surplus of the earth, we are consuming environmental capital and destroying its sources as if there is no tomorrow.

The dilemmas we are faced with are the problems created by human beings.

Having struggled for centuries to escape from the tyranny of hunger, disease, and want, the technological advances of the last half century have created the illusion of us being in control of our destiny as never before. We have cracked the code of DNA, we can create life in test tubes, we can genetically modify crops, we can put men upon the moon – but we have lost our balance, externally and within. Wealth generated in the developed world has not put an end to suffering. Technological achievements were not able to contain the wrath of nature witnessed in this area only four years ago. The explosion of knowledge has not been accompanied by an increase in wisdom. Only wisdom could make us realise that the Creation is an interdependent, undivided whole, not an assemblage of isolated, unrelated parts that can be eliminated, replaced or modified as we see fit. Even the smallest human intervention, even the minutest change in the natural order brought about by human action can have – and does have - long term devastating effects on the planet.

In addition to seeking balance between ourselves and our environment, we need to find balance within ourselves, reassessing our values as well as what is valuable. Let us remember that whoever we are, we all have our part to play, our sacred responsibility to the future. And let us remember that our responsibility grows alongside our privileges; we are more accountable the higher we stand on the scale of leadership. Our successes or failures, personal and collective, determine the lives of billions. Our decisions, personal and collective, determine the future of the planet.

As we look at this great river and explore the challenges faced by local communities, let us search for solutions from the perspective of Faith, mindful that we are all in the same fragile boat of life – that we are living defining moments in history, and that we are living them together in Truth, in Love, in Hope and above all, in Responsibility.

And then the closing remarks:

We have come toward the end of our journey on the Great Mississippi. It was a journey that started in Memphis and concluded in New Orleans. A journey that learned from the Native American and from the African Americans. A journey that revealed the promise of the river and also uncovered the betrayal by humans. A journey that described the rich and diverse history of the region, as well as the hospitality and resilience of its people. A journey that started with “soul” and ended with “blues”. A journey with images of beauty and disaster, but also renewal and hope.

We will return to our homes with clearer insight into the damage we have brought to God’s creation – ecological and social. We will come away with a sober reminder about how the deliberate actions of our greed, or the delayed actions of our indifference, destroy natural habitats and human lives. We will carry with us a sense of urgent responsibility for the situation here, as well as globally.

We know now that we can never forget this city! We recognize that we must remember it in our prayers, as in our generosity, as in our pressure on politicians, as in our local or broader efforts for the preservation of this planet – from whatever position each of us holds: as a religious leader and as a scientist, as an elder and as a theologian, as a government official and as an NGO, as a local resident and as a global citizen.

We are profoundly indebted to the extraordinary representatives of renowned scientific organisations and academic institutions, as well as to the leaders of religious groups and secular agencies, for their generous presence and contribution to the success of this, the 8th of our international interfaith, interdisciplinary Ecological Symposia, organised by Religion, Science and the Environment under the exceptional direction and skilful management of Mrs. Maria Becket.

May God bless all of you as you return to your homes and positions. Let us not forget our responsibility toward this city as a microcosm of God’s creation, that is crying out for our gentle care and gracious renewal. Let us no longer be silent as we approach the meeting in Copenhagen. Let us persist and protest about what really matters – namely, the salvation of the soul of this planet.

I, honestly, was not aware that the planet had a soul (Except in Algore's mind)

6 posted on 12/01/2009 7:30:46 AM PST by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: marshmallow; AnAmericanMother; Kolokotronis; kosta50

“I’ve always suspected that we’re closer to the Orthodox than their spokesmen on this forum would have us believe.”

I doubt the Mississippi River is what divides you...but I’m just a Baptist looking on like a dog watching TV.


7 posted on 12/01/2009 7:32:51 AM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: Mr Rogers
I doubt the Mississippi River is what divides you...but I’m just a Baptist looking on like a dog watching TV.

I doubt it too, but the involvement of the Catholic Church in public policy issues such as abortion is a big hangup for our Orthodox brethren around here.

Strange then to see the Patriarch taking up the cause of the environment, of all things.

Surely some mistake.

8 posted on 12/01/2009 7:41:34 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: marshmallow; kosta50
I thought it was only us heretics who took our spirituality into the world of science and politics.

Oh no. Its only you heretics who confuse them and then play cheap American party politics with them.

9 posted on 12/01/2009 8:23:53 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: Kolokotronis
Oh no. Its only you heretics who confuse them and then play cheap American party politics with them.

But of course!!

............*slaps forehead*...........silly me!!

10 posted on 12/01/2009 8:38:04 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: Dr. Eckleburg; Mr Rogers; the_conscience; wmfights
Pope Benedict XVI chose to reiterate the words that he had used while in Phanar, Turkey in 2006, to express his the Roman Catholic Church's wish for an “ecclesiology of communion” in recognizing the establishment of the Petrine lineage of the Church of Rome. He wrote, "It is a question of seeking together, inspired by the model of the first millennium, the forms in which the ministry of the Bishop of Rome may accomplish a service of love recognized by one and all."

"Yet even as we make this journey towards full communion," he continued, "we should already offer common witness by working together in the service of humanity, especially in defending the dignity of the human person, in affirming fundamental ethical values, in promoting justice and peace, and in responding to the suffering that continues to afflict our world, particularly hunger, poverty, illiteracy, and the inequitable distribution of resources."

....move along, people....no socialism to be seen here....move along....

11 posted on 12/01/2009 8:46:39 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" - Job 13:15)
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To: Alex Murphy
That's such a pathetic attempt at a "gotcha", Alex.

If you've ever given money to charity or the poor you're contributing to the "equitable" distribution of resources.

Is that allowed in your religion?

12 posted on 12/01/2009 9:03:28 AM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: AnAmericanMother

no there was a symposium and as a footnote it was dedicated to the river.

(sort of like a movie which is dedicated to somebody...or a book etc.)


13 posted on 12/01/2009 9:09:41 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: NYer; All

A special reminder about the NEED to pray for Christian unity and for all believers in Christ to put aside differences and come together in unity to face the twin dangers of radical liberalism and Islamicfacism.


14 posted on 12/01/2009 9:27:07 AM PST by Biggirl (Throw The Turkeys Out In 2010!=^..^==^..^==^..^==^..^==^..^=)
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To: longtermmemmory
Well, they made a big deal out of it at the prayer service. The homily was in Greek, of which I could catch maybe every tenth word (thanks to 2 years of Classical Greek back in the 70s) but I heard the name go by, it's hard to miss.

Oh, and those of our choir who were brave enough (or foolish enough) were able to sing the Little Doxology of the Theotokos along with the Greek choir at the end of the service. Hurrah! I can still read Greek (my pronunciation was a little off though, my preceptor had some novel theories about the pronunciation of Classical Greek and the meaning of diacritical marks).

15 posted on 12/01/2009 9:30:15 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Alex Murphy

Distribution of resources is FINE so long as the Church and the faithful do it from their own pockets, and don’t hold a gun to somebody’s head to make THEM distribute THEIR resources . . . .


16 posted on 12/01/2009 9:31:17 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Mr Rogers
Hey, my dogs watch TV and actually get it . . . at least if it's a Hunting Retriever program or a dock diving competition.

They've been to church for St. Francis's Day but not at any other time . . . . don't know how much of it they "get" but they like Father Krunk, our Radio Priest.


17 posted on 12/01/2009 9:41:48 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Alex Murphy; Dr. Eckleburg; Mr Rogers; the_conscience; wmfights

He’s definitely old school Romanist. He’s surely pushing for a monopolistic control of rights by the See of Rome.

It’s almost as if he is trying to make up for his part in Vatican II and his thinking has swung radically to the opposite direction.

He’s sucking in the Anglicans and many Lutherans are susceptible. Scary times indeed.


18 posted on 12/01/2009 11:34:09 AM PST by the_conscience (I'm a bigot: Against Jihadists and those who support despotism of any kind.)
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To: the_conscience
He’s surely pushing for a monopolistic control of rights by the See of Rome.

No question. Can't fool you, obviously.

First though, he has to try and figure out how to control American Catholic bishops and priests (not to mention the crazy nuns). When he finally works out how to overcome those minor obstacles, it should be a mere hop and a skip to bringing the entire universe under his thumb.

You're very perceptive.

Have you heard about the "secret handshake"?

Ooops.......later.....here comes Silas.

19 posted on 12/01/2009 12:00:25 PM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: marshmallow

Would you like to see a return to the 12th-16th century when Rome controlled how rights were distrubuted?


20 posted on 12/01/2009 12:11:48 PM PST by the_conscience (I'm a bigot: Against Jihadists and those who support despotism of any kind.)
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To: Alex Murphy
...and the inequitable distribution of resources."

....move along, people....no socialism to be seen here....move along....

I'm confused Alex, are you advocating the inequitable distribution of resources?

21 posted on 12/01/2009 12:16:07 PM PST by conservonator (spill czeck is knot my friend)
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To: the_conscience
Would you like to see a return to the 12th-16th century when Rome controlled how rights were distributed?

Could I open up a tavern where I could smoke cigars and drink beer? would I have to fill out a 15 page "not-a-long-form-census-form"? Would the pope require me to license my dog? would the bishop require a background check and a three day wait before I got to pick up my new long bow?

What we call liberty looks a lot like more serfdom the freedom.

22 posted on 12/01/2009 12:22:38 PM PST by conservonator (spill czeck is knot my friend)
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To: conservonator

You didn’t answer my question.


23 posted on 12/01/2009 12:28:56 PM PST by the_conscience (I'm a bigot: Against Jihadists and those who support despotism of any kind.)
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To: the_conscience

I don’t have to mention the 50 million unborn children that would have been much better off under the thumb of a dastardly pope than under the care of our modern theologically enlightened nation. Makes Geneva in the 16th century look downright welcoming.


24 posted on 12/01/2009 12:29:24 PM PST by conservonator (spill czeck is knot my friend)
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To: the_conscience

Really? couldn’t see the direction I was taking? Must be a Calvinist...Give me the dark ages over the modern age any day. Clear enough?


25 posted on 12/01/2009 12:32:36 PM PST by conservonator (spill czeck is knot my friend)
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To: the_conscience
He’s definitely old school Romanist.

No, he's a Catholic.

He’s surely pushing for a monopolistic control of rights by the See of Rome.

Look behind you, it's a Swiss Guard....BOOO!

26 posted on 12/01/2009 12:38:52 PM PST by Petronski (Global warming is indeed man-made: it was created by man-made manipulation of the data.)
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To: conservonator

I’ll take neither, thanks. I don’t believe I posed the question as an either/or. The context of the question was the 12th-16th century the hayday of equitible distrubution of rights. I realize Romanists have a difficult time dealing with the context in reading so I hope my clarification helps.


27 posted on 12/01/2009 12:38:55 PM PST by the_conscience (I'm a bigot: Against Jihadists and those who support despotism of any kind.)
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To: conservonator

Have you seen the first three words of his tagline?

Quite an admission.


28 posted on 12/01/2009 12:40:45 PM PST by Petronski (Global warming is indeed man-made: it was created by man-made manipulation of the data.)
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To: the_conscience
Would you like to see a return to the 12th-16th century when Rome controlled how rights were distrubuted?

That's exctly what I thought when I read the Pope's letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch! Well spotted!

"This is so cunning", I said to myself........."under the guise of a simple fraternal greeting for the Feast of St. Andrew, we have here a subtle yet ingenious attempt to turn the clock back eight centuries!! This letter is really aimed at distribution of rights."

Are we smart, or what?

29 posted on 12/01/2009 12:41:37 PM PST by marshmallow ("A country which kills its own children has no future" -Mother Teresa of Calcutta)
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To: marshmallow

“This letter is really aimed at distribution of rights.”

Correct. Try to stay on topic and not wander off on some other tangent. Here’s the quote we’re dealing with:

“...and the inequitable distribution of resources.”


30 posted on 12/01/2009 12:50:42 PM PST by the_conscience (I'm a bigot: Against Jihadists and those who support despotism of any kind.)
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To: the_conscience
I’ll take neither, thanks

Well, I guess if your comfortable living with a created religion, I guess you can create your own fantasy time period to live in as well.

I don’t believe I posed the question as an either/or. The context of the question was the 12th-16th century the hayday of equitible distrubution of rights. I realize Romanists have a difficult time dealing with the context in reading so I hope my clarification helps.

You may want to re read both what you wrote and what I wrote. All choices are implicitly either/or at the least, with out options the concept or choice is moot and yes, the "or" can be nothing/no change, which is what was implied in your question. This left poor dumb slobs like me assuming you wanted the context to be a contrast, which is a basis for virtually all choices, between enligntend modernity and the dark, vile, evil, smelly days of the papist monarchey... unless you meant to contrast the 12-16th centuries against the third millennium BC? Was that your context? Clearly I'm out gunned in the smarts department.

You probably spell better than I do too.

31 posted on 12/01/2009 12:56:21 PM PST by conservonator (spill czeck is knot my friend)
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To: conservonator

You still failed to answer the question but instead went on some tangent about your difficulty of reading in context.

Oh well.


32 posted on 12/01/2009 1:01:49 PM PST by the_conscience (I'm a bigot: Against Jihadists and those who support despotism of any kind.)
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To: the_conscience
Rule One: "Rome" is the locus of all evil in the universe.

Rule Two: In case of doubt, see Rule One.

All else is irrelevant.

33 posted on 12/01/2009 1:03:54 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Keep an eye on that one...a real up-and-comer in the world of FR anti-Catholic bigots.


34 posted on 12/01/2009 1:07:38 PM PST by Petronski (Global warming is indeed man-made: it was created by man-made manipulation of the data.)
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To: conservonator

I think were supposed to prefer the global governance models of Calvinists like Woodrow Wilson, America’s first fascist President.


35 posted on 12/01/2009 1:11:57 PM PST by Petronski (Global warming is indeed man-made: it was created by man-made manipulation of the data.)
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To: the_conscience
You still failed to answer the question but instead went on some tangent about your difficulty of reading in context.

Did you miss this?

36 posted on 12/01/2009 1:25:15 PM PST by conservonator (spill czeck is knot my friend)
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To: Petronski

Calvinist seem to worship America or at least the ideals of America like some sort of materially present proof of the validity of their odd religion.


37 posted on 12/01/2009 1:27:49 PM PST by conservonator (spill czeck is knot my friend)
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To: Alex Murphy
and the inequitable distribution of resources

"The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof ..."

Is it the will of God for some to live in grinding poverty, filth, and disease, such as those who live in and pick their way through trash dumps in foreign countries or who are homeless and mentally ill on the streets?

We don't need to be liberals and blame it on capitalism or say the government is the answer to agree that God does wish us to resolve these problems.

38 posted on 12/01/2009 2:15:40 PM PST by Heliand
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To: AnAmericanMother
Distribution of resources is FINE so long as the Church and the faithful do it from their own pockets, and don’t hold a gun to somebody’s head to make THEM distribute THEIR resources . . . .

Careful. You are very close to claiming that the Church errs by supporting the ecclesiastical poll taxes of Europe.

39 posted on 12/01/2009 2:17:59 PM PST by Heliand
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To: the_conscience
many Lutherans are susceptible

Yeah, like those craaaazzzzyyy members of the Nordic Catholic Church. What a loss to Lutheranism they would be if they Poped. (/sarcasm)

40 posted on 12/01/2009 2:19:30 PM PST by Heliand
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To: conservonator; Alex Murphy

Maybe Alex is PRO-poverty.


41 posted on 12/01/2009 2:20:14 PM PST by Heliand
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To: the_conscience

Ah. The old “long arm of Rome”. Always SOOOO effective in the Middle Ages. Especially during that Great Schism thingy, and the Conciliarist crisis, and in all relations with Russia and Constantinople, and of course, how can we forget, Rome’s great success in stopping that Reformation hootenanny?


42 posted on 12/01/2009 2:23:28 PM PST by Heliand
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To: Heliand

Alex is a Calvinist so in the end we’re all just a bunch of meat puppets in the end anyway; what’s a little poverty between your pre and final destination?


43 posted on 12/01/2009 2:23:41 PM PST by conservonator (spill czeck is knot my friend)
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To: conservonator
Alex is a Calvinist so we’re all just a bunch of meat puppets in the end anyway; what’s a little poverty between your pre and final destination?

I should read these before I post...

44 posted on 12/01/2009 2:25:10 PM PST by conservonator (spill czeck is knot my friend)
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To: the_conscience
The context of the question was the 12th-16th century the hayday of equitible distrubution of rights.

Well, even the serfs of the 12th-16th centuries only had to pay a 20% tax, and had far more liberty and holidays than we do. The nobles got stuck with all that icky wars and fighting stuff that lead to things like getting your head chopped off or getting captured by Muslim slavers, while serfs just got to stay home and farm and make the occasional pilgrimage.

Everyone only had wood energy for cooking and heat, everyone ate pretty much the same food stuffs (no luxury imports beyond the occasional spice), houses differed mainly in size, and the Church provided what little medical care and education there was equally. I suppose the rich had linen underwear and the poor had to make do with wool, and the rich got to dye their clothes in fancier colors. How terrible.

45 posted on 12/01/2009 2:30:29 PM PST by Heliand
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To: Heliand
There hasn't been a poll tax to support the Church in England for years. I don't know about anywhere else, given the very anti-clerical nature of many European governments I would be surprised if many countries haven't discontinued the practice, as has England.

That's not charity, though -- that's maintenance, something that's worked out between the secular government and the church. The government decides to support the church, the church is not holding a gun to anybody's head.

And don't tell me they hold the threat of excommunication. That's been shown to be SOOOO effective with CINO politicians!

46 posted on 12/01/2009 2:38:43 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of ye Chasse, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: conservonator

Its God’s will for you to be rich.


47 posted on 12/01/2009 2:41:28 PM PST by Heliand
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To: conservonator

So if you are poor, you must be a sinner.


48 posted on 12/01/2009 2:41:57 PM PST by Heliand
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To: AnAmericanMother

Germany and Switzerland, for two examples have ecclesiastical poll taxes. The only way out from under them is to apostasize, so yes, you are excommunicated. They do far more than support maintenance of the Church - they pay for its social work as well, and go to support the Vatican. This is why the Vatican has been very close to Germany and the US in the past century - these are her two greatest sources of financial support due to the wealth of the Catholic people and their large numbers.


49 posted on 12/01/2009 2:45:06 PM PST by Heliand
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To: Heliand

Sounds like a nice socialistic society.

How many serfs were able to rise above their station?


50 posted on 12/01/2009 2:48:59 PM PST by the_conscience (I'm a bigot: Against Jihadists and those who support despotism of any kind.)
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