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Ratzinger gives reason for resigning: “God told me to”
vaticaninsider ^ | August 21, 2013 | Andrea Tornielli

Posted on 08/21/2013 6:05:38 AM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM

08/21/2013 

Ratzinger gives reason for resigning: “God told me to”

During the course of a private meeting Benedict XVI said that a mystical experience led him to resign

Andrea Tornielli

vatican city

 

“God told me to.” This was Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s reason for stepping down from the pontificate. An anonymous individual who visited Ratzinger about a week ago gave a statement recounting what was said during the private meeting, Catholic news agency Zenit reports.

 

Ratzinger’s decision to stay out of the limelight still raises many questions, six months after the shock announcement of his resignation, Zenit says. One person was lucky enough to hear the reasons for this decision from Ratzinger’s very lips. Although the Pope Emeritus lives a cloistered life, he does very occasionally accept highly private visits in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican which is his current residence.
 

During these meetings, the former Pope does not comment, reveal secrets or make any statements that may weigh on the new pontificate as “the words that were said by the other Pope.” He is as discreet as he has always been. At most, all he does is observe the wonders that the Holy Spirit is doing through his successor, or he talks about himself and about how his decision to resign was the result of divine inspiration.
 

When asked why he stepped down from the Throne of Peter, the Pope Emeritus said “God told me to.” Ratzinger then apparently added that there was no apparition or any phenomenon of this kind. It was a “mystical experience”. The Lord planted the seed of an “absolute desire” in his heart “to remain alone with him, secluded in prayer." According to the source, this mystical experience has lasted throughout all of these past months, increasing his longing for a unique and direct relationship with the Lord. The more the ope Emeritus observes the "charisma" of his successor, Pope Francis, the more he realizes that his decision to resign the papacy was "the will of God," Zenit reports.

 

So it seems that not only is Ratzinger more convinced than ever about the prudence of his decision which sparked controversy among his closest collaborators, but he is also happy with his successor's achievements so far. In a previous interview with a German academic, Benedict XVI spoke about how he and Francis were in tune in theological terms. It is also worth noting that Francis never misses a chance to publicly praise his predecessor, whose advice he treasures.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: ratzinger

1 posted on 08/21/2013 6:05:38 AM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Brian Kopp DPM
Gosh. An anonymous source quoted in an ecclesiastical gossip sheet. It must be true.
2 posted on 08/21/2013 6:12:07 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: All
When asked why he stepped down from the Throne of Peter, the Pope Emeritus said “God told me to.” Ratzinger then apparently added that there was no apparition or any phenomenon of this kind. It was a “mystical experience”. The Lord planted the seed of an “absolute desire” in his heart “to remain alone with him, secluded in prayer." According to the source, this mystical experience has lasted throughout all of these past months, increasing his longing for a unique and direct relationship with the Lord.

Ping for later

3 posted on 08/21/2013 6:18:07 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Just a common, ordinary, simple savior of America's destiny.)
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To: Brian Kopp DPM

I have no doubt that this is absolutely true.

I pray for the Pope Emeritus to continue being blessed in his remaining years.


4 posted on 08/21/2013 6:38:23 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Dittos.

Amen.


5 posted on 08/21/2013 6:44:27 AM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Mr. Lucky
The story originated in the Italian language version of Zenit, a well respected semi-official Vatican news outlet.

Benedict XVI says 'God told me' to resign: report

Published August 21, 2013

| AFP

Benedict XVI has said God told him to resign as pope and that his successor's "charisma" reflected this divine inspiration, Catholic news agency Zenit has reported.

"God told me" to step down, the pope emeritus was quoted as saying by a visitor who met him recently, Zenit said in a report in Italian media on Wednesday.

The 86-year-old Benedict XVI, who has retained his papal name, now lives in a former monastery inside the Vatican walls and has made no public appearances.

He only very rarely meets with visitors, Zenit said.

Benedict shocked the world with his resignation announcement on February 11, when he said he was stepping down because he felt his weak physical and mental state no longer let him fulfil his duties.

Rumours of a serious illness were quickly denied by the Vatican, as was speculation that a far-reaching scandal over a series of leaks revealing intrigue in the Vatican had forced him to leave.

But Benedict was quoted by Zenit as saying he had a "mystical experience" in which he received a divine message that fostered the "absolute desire" to be with God in private prayer.

He was also quoted as saying that the "charisma" shown by successor Pope Francis showed that the resignation was indeed "God's will".

Benedict on Sunday visited the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo for a short walk in its sprawling grounds but usually lives in virtual seclusion.

Francis has said Benedict is like "a live-in grandfather" and informed sources say he regularly consults his predecessor.

6 posted on 08/21/2013 6:50:01 AM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Brian Kopp DPM

I wonder why God told him to resign.


7 posted on 08/21/2013 7:13:13 AM PDT by piusv
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To: piusv

Why did God tell him to resign?

Because he needed to rest and prepare for going home to the Lord? Because his prayers for the Church were really needed and were, at this point, the best contribution he could make? Because God had a good idea He didn’t consult the rest of us about?


8 posted on 08/21/2013 7:29:00 AM PDT by married21
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To: Brian Kopp DPM
His sudden departure was unexpected to an observer like me, but that God would speak or appear to him isn't surprising at all. That part is totally expected by an observer like me.

I wondered if this quote from Pope electors told of ‘Smoke of Satan’ in Vatican contains a clue:

“It is another thing when what is said about us is the truth, as has happened in many of the accusations of pedophilia. Then we must humble ourselves before God and men, and seek to uproot the evil at all costs, as did, to his great regret, Benedict XVI."

Fr. O'Connor and Fr. Martin both encountered and tangled with some ‘Smoke of Satan’ in the Church hierarchy and the messages in True Life in God also speak to this infiltration and it being overcome.

Interesting times times infinity!

9 posted on 08/21/2013 7:43:47 AM PDT by GBA (Our obamanation: Romans 1:18-32)
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To: Mr. Lucky

Do you understand the word “mystical?”


10 posted on 08/21/2013 7:46:18 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: married21

Yup, only God knows.


11 posted on 08/21/2013 8:10:09 AM PDT by piusv
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To: Brian Kopp DPM
I miss BXVI...

Good to hear from him...
12 posted on 08/21/2013 9:56:52 AM PDT by mlizzy (If people spent an hour a week in Eucharistic adoration, abortion would be ended. --Mother Teresa)
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To: Alex Murphy
increasing his longing for a unique and direct relationship with the Lord.

Then there will be no more confession to a 'man', no more 'Mary worship', no more following false doctrine and 'remembrance' at communion time. Eventually, he'll have to come out publicly to those he deceived telling them of false doctrine - IF he is having a direct relationship with The Lord.

13 posted on 08/21/2013 11:01:28 AM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: piusv

Because ‘popes’ are ‘man’s creation’ and not from God.


14 posted on 08/21/2013 11:04:04 AM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: Salvation

God mystically answers the prayers of all Christians. That he should answer Ratzinger’s prayers doesn’t seem all that headline worthy. That was my only point.


15 posted on 08/21/2013 11:09:43 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: presently no screen name
I refrain from saying this is a string of lies, only because I suppose you believe them, no-name, and thus you intend no falsehood.

However, your comment is a string of untruths: you are seriously misled, and in a way that is frightening. You are starting to attribute to demons the works of the Holy Spirit, and to attribute to the Holy Spirit the works of the demons.

16 posted on 08/21/2013 11:33:42 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("The Holy Catholic Church: the more Holy she is, the more Catholic she is.")
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To: GBA

bookmark


17 posted on 08/21/2013 12:27:11 PM PDT by smvoice (Better Buck up, Buttercup. The wailing and gnashing are for an eternity..)
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


18 posted on 08/21/2013 3:41:04 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

YUP that works for me LOL!


19 posted on 08/21/2013 4:08:31 PM PDT by SevenofNine (We are Freepers, all your media bases belong to us ,resistance is futile)
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To: Mr. Lucky

MYSTICISM
The supernatural state of soul in which God is known in a way that no human effort or exertion could ever succeed in producing. There is an immediate, personal experience of God that is truly extraordinary, not only in intensity and degree, but in kind. It is always the result of a special, totally unmerited grace of God. christian mysticism differs essentially from the non-Christian mysticism of the Oriental world. It always recognizes that the reality to which it penetrates simply transcends the soul and the cosmos; there is no confusion between I and thou, but always a profound humility before the infinite Majesty of God. And in Christian mysticism all union between the soul and God is a moral union of love, in doing his will even at great sacrifice to self; there is no hint of losing one’s being in God or absorption of one’s personality into the divine.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.


20 posted on 08/21/2013 4:27:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Brian Kopp DPM

If this was Pat Robinson saying this, the Catholic reaction would be totally different.


21 posted on 08/21/2013 5:13:25 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Don’t say what I am ‘intending’ - that’s mind reading and against the rules. Sarcasm reigns with the subjects of the counterfeit church - so no one could expect anything more from you.

I post what I mean, I don’t skirt the issue. When someone has a relationship with The Lord - he would be shown the truth. So it’s obvious and well known catholics don’t know what happens when the Holy Spirit is involved.


22 posted on 08/21/2013 5:51:10 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: presently no screen name
Dear one, I only assumed you were intending to tell the truth. If that offends you--- there's nothing more I can say.

So....


23 posted on 08/21/2013 5:55:21 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Point of Information)
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To: HarleyD

Pat Robertson? The guy who doesn’t think Appalacian married couples should have any more ‘ragamuffins’? That Pat Robertson? The guy who doesn’t have a problem with sex change operations? That Pat Robertson? The one who supports China’s coercive one child policy? That Pat Robertson?

Yeah, I think you’re right. Catholics do think some other spirit is speaking to him.


24 posted on 08/21/2013 6:20:38 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Brian Kopp DPM; HarleyD
Pat Robertson, the guy who said that if that woman you married "til death do us part" has Alzheimer's, you should divorce her because she's no use to you as a wife anymore? That Pat Robertson?

Well said, Brian.

25 posted on 08/22/2013 5:17:05 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Pray.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; HarleyD
One more thing. Evangelical preachers are always saying, "The Lord told me this," or "God told me that..."

Popes never say, "God told me..." anything. So its also a case of the "Boy who cried wolf." Since popes never say, "God told me..." the Faithful listen when Benedict XVI said this.

On the other hand...

About 157,000 results (0.26 seconds) 

26 posted on 08/22/2013 7:15:28 AM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: HarleyD

Pat Robertson has been a real jerk.

If he said to the world, “God told me to live the rest of my life in seclusion and contemplative prayer”, I might actually believe him, because I can absolutely believe God is whispering in his ear as much as possible, “Knock it off!”


27 posted on 08/22/2013 7:53:10 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: FourtySeven; Brian Kopp DPM; Mrs. Don-o

Yep, that same Pat Robinson.

Perhaps the issue isn’t what’s wrong with Rev Robinson as much as what is wrong with Ratzinger. How do any of you know that he isn’t as loony and Robinson? Yet you certainly fawn all over the Pope while criticizing Rev Robinson.


28 posted on 08/22/2013 5:10:03 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD; FourtySeven; Brian Kopp DPM
Oh, Lordy, HarleyD.

Ratziner had the longest paper trail of anybody elected Pope in our lifetimes. He's got a huge list of published works, and anybody who's dipped into it even a little bit can see that he's a person of wide-ranging learning, great wisdom, and immense personal goodness.

This is not something one an say about all popes. Twentieth-century popes had sometimes the smarts but not the courage; sometimes courage but not knowledge; sometimes goodness but not prudence. Ratzinger has good portions of All That. What a blessing to have him in the papacy for even the few years we had him.

The people in the American Evangelical world I respect most --- like Al Mohler --- have a sincere regard for Joseph Ratzinger --- and he appreciates them, too.

Plus, the man is humble. You'll notice, if you read this story closely, that he didn't call a press conference or get on the Vatican Radio or call CNN to announce he'd had a word from God. Far from it. He has been leading a silent, almost cloistered life in the 6 months since he stepped down as pope. Some anonymous individual who visited him gleaned this from him in what was supposed to be a private meeting. I am *sure* he did not intend this blabbermouth to run to Zenit or to this Tornielli person and launch it into global orbit.

Since I know you are a person of prayer, I hope you will pray for him and for Francis, just or the sake of the Christian family as a whole. I will pray for you and yours.

Thank you.

29 posted on 08/22/2013 6:45:39 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Pray.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; FourtySeven; Brian Kopp DPM

The point isn’t the pope’s works or accomplishments. It is whether God actually “told” him to do it. How was it done? Did he hear an “inner voice”? Did angels appear from heaven to deliver the message? And then there is the response by other Christians. Why do Christians believe some people see visions and accept their from God while rejecting others? Why are we willing to accept the pope’s statement on face value and not others? Is it because of our prejudice?

I have nothing against Joseph Ratzinger just like I have nothing against Pat Robinson. My point is that Christians cannot rely upon the testimony of some that what they’ve encounter was God talking to them and reject others. We can only say “Hmmmm....that’s interesting.” or “OKay.....” but that is about where we have to leave it. In the end we have to look at the scriptures.

Personally, I think Ratzinger made the right and courageous decision. This sounds more like regrets and excuses. But that’s understandable. If the Pope had said, “I’ve prayed about it and felt God was leading me to resign for the betterment of the Church.”, then that’s fine. Ratzinger would never and could not have resigned if it was not for the will of God-whether he was told by an angel or not.


30 posted on 08/23/2013 2:11:45 AM PDT by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD; FourtySeven; Brian Kopp DPM
The article itself answers your question. According to this "anonymous source," Ratzinger said there was no angel or vision or audible voice. He says here was "no phenomenon."

As to the inner certainty he evidently felt, two questions arise: do you believe Ratzinger, and do you believe the anonymous source? In the case of Ratzginer: yes, sure I do. And the anonymous source? Anonymous sources are by definition impossible to verify: I mentally put a big red parenthesis around anthing alleged by a person who won't give their name, with a footnote that says, "Pending further verification."

I suspect we all do more or less the same thing. Or should, anyhow.

The Church smackdab refuses to promote unverified mystical phenmomena. The most recent was a series of alleged visions at a town in what is now Croatia, starting over 30 years ago. All the bishops of the Diocese of Mostar have ruled the claims groundless, but public interest has persisted, and he place continues to draw millions of pilgrims. The Bishop has nevertheless prohibited "official" pilgrimages, so thse excusions can't be sponsored by parishes or diocese. They obviously can't prohibit individuals and private groups from traveling there: anybody can travel anywhere they want.

However, the priest who, from the first, was the main publicizer of the (ongoing) visionaries, was laicized and ordered not to have anything to do with it anymore. This, despite the fact that, for over 30 years, millions of people -- and by no means all of them Catholic --- have flocked to this village, Medjugorje (Link).

Which effectively illustrates the non-committal or outright skeptical point of view the official Church takes, unless there's a stack of verifiable evidence.

31 posted on 08/23/2013 10:50:51 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Pray.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o; FourtySeven; Brian Kopp DPM
I'm not sure how one knows "God told me to". We simply weigh the circumstances, we pray about it, and then move forward trusting God to guide our steps. Sometimes we make good decisions. Sometimes bad. But they're all from God who loves us enough to guide us into situations for our benefit or to His glory.

Every decision we make is from the Lord. Good or bad. He guides our footsteps. Why we need to tout "God told me to" is beyond me. Instead we should be asking ourselves whether our hearts are deceiving us. But even in our self-inflicted deception our loving Father will teach us something from it.

I suppose I could understand this if Ratzinger had simply said, "I felt this was what was best for the Church, I prayed about it, and I felt peace from God on my decision. Now I'm trusting God that He will grant His grace and mercy to those who are affect by my decision."

32 posted on 08/23/2013 5:43:56 PM PDT by HarleyD
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To: presently no screen name

Why don’t you talk to the guys on your team about what the Lord told them, such people as Harold Camping and the Crouch couple?


33 posted on 08/23/2013 5:46:53 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: HarleyD
First, we don't know what Ratzinger "simply said," because there's not a direct quote in the whole account. It could have been said ---as simply as you said!

Second, if Ratzinger really did feel an extraordinary grace and peace, understood as a call from the Lord to seek Him alone in deeper and more intimate prayer --- what can we do but rejoice? No shrugging or belittling for us, which might be hints of skepticism or envy: we are just glad that that this good old man, in his 87th year, has the call, and the opportunity, to devote himself to prayer in such a simple and all-absorbing way.

Blessed be God!

34 posted on 08/23/2013 5:53:25 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (God is so good.)
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To: Revolting cat!

So now you don’t want a Yoko II -it’s more of ‘your talk’ which means nothing.


35 posted on 08/23/2013 6:00:46 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: presently no screen name

Yoko II was in reference to the article about creating a John Lennon II from a tube. It was over the head of some or too complicated that referring to Yoko II was referring to a Yoko created from a test tube as well and not to a descendant of the current Yoko. Oh, well.


36 posted on 08/23/2013 6:03:52 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: presently no screen name

It must be fun to be a cafeteria Christian.


37 posted on 08/23/2013 6:10:48 PM PDT by Solson (The Voters stole the election! And the establishment wants it back.)
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To: Solson

There is no such thing. Catholics talk about cafeteria catholics, though - check with them to see if it’s fun so you can fulfill your passion for it.


38 posted on 08/23/2013 6:44:20 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: presently no screen name

I have known many cafeteria Christians. People have long thought you could pick and choose what tenets or doctrines to support and ignore the rest. Hardly something limited to Catholics.


39 posted on 08/23/2013 8:56:13 PM PDT by cothrige
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To: presently no screen name

So help me, people like you claim to have the Holy Spirit talking in YOUR ear when you are doing no more than parroting what others have said.


40 posted on 08/23/2013 9:15:31 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: presently no screen name

Sure there is and you prove it. You simply choose what you want.


41 posted on 08/24/2013 3:21:13 AM PDT by Solson (The Voters stole the election! And the establishment wants it back.)
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To: cothrige

I can’t help you with who you know and what name you give them. Christians believe and obey the entire word; otherwise they aren’t Christians.

Catholics have their own man made teachings and are the ones who pick and choose to fit their man made teachings. Catholics do not understand God’s Word because it is spiritually discerned. They are a worldly group.


42 posted on 08/24/2013 6:03:19 AM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: Solson

It’s not what I choose but the way it is. It’s like you telling me Romney is a conservative and I say he isn’t.

Anyone can say they are Christian - anyone NOT ‘hearing and obeying’ HIS WORD which is the will of the Father - is not Christian. God’s WORD is a Christian’s final authority.


43 posted on 08/24/2013 6:31:47 AM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: RobbyS

Wrong. Keep it honest, I never said that - the Holy Spirit doesn’t talk to the ear.


44 posted on 08/24/2013 7:21:20 AM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: presently no screen name

Your “inner ear,” of course:what no one else can hear.


45 posted on 08/24/2013 5:37:06 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: presently no screen name

You have your own “man-made doctrines.” One is sola scriptura.


46 posted on 08/24/2013 5:39:13 PM PDT by RobbyS
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To: RobbyS

Never said ‘inner ear’ either.


47 posted on 08/24/2013 5:42:42 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: RobbyS

There is ONLY ONE Jesus - Jesus is THE WORD. A bit over the top for cathoics to get for they are a worldly group taught by worldly men with worldly teachings.


48 posted on 08/24/2013 5:45:49 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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To: presently no screen name

I don’t see much real value in such a designation as you seem to be promoting. There are many Christians in the world who fall from perfection in accepting everything they should, or following through on living that out, and yet they are still Christians. Language just doesn’t work the way you wish it did. Christians come in many forms, from the nearly perfect to the very flawed, and there is no indication that they stop being Christian because of their failure. Bad Christians may be, but Christian still.


49 posted on 08/25/2013 2:48:32 PM PDT by cothrige
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To: cothrige

Think the way you want. When the time comes - it’s too late.
Some simply refuse to be taught.


50 posted on 08/25/2013 4:14:07 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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