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The Gospel of Life According to Pope Francis
Columbia Magazine ^ | 01.01.14 | Columbia staff

Posted on 01/18/2014 8:13:09 PM PST by Coleus

Throughout his ministry as archbishop and pope, the Holy Father has issued a clarion call to affirm life

by Columbia staff

Throughout his ministry as archbishop and pope, the Holy Father has issued a clarion call to affirm life
Pope Francis kisses a child as he arrives to lead his weekly audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican May 8, 2013. (CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters)

During his 15 years as archbishop of Buenos Aires and his 10 months as Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio has consistently defended the dignity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death. In the face of what Pope Francis has called the “throwaway culture” of our times, a recurring theme in his teaching has been concern for the most vulnerable and defenseless human beings, including children — born and unborn — the disabled, and the elderly. While he made it clear in a widely publicized interview that “it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” it is equally clear that Pope Francis has not hesitated to speak out time and again about the crucial task of building a culture of life.


In the following pages, Columbia presents excerpts from some key pro-life statements by Cardinal Bergoglio-Pope Francis.

CRYING OUT TO THE LORD

The Holy Father [John Paul II] warns us that “nowadays a model of society appears to be emerging in which the powerful predominate, setting aside and even eliminating the powerless: I am thinking here of unborn children, helpless victims of abortion; the elderly and incurably ill, subjected at times to euthanasia; and the many other people relegated to the margins of society by consumerism and materialism. … This model of society bears the stamp of the culture of death, and is therefore in opposition to the Gospel message. Faced with this distressing reality, the Church community intends to commit itself all the more to the defense of the culture of life” (Ecclesia in America, 63). ...

We are like Peter that night on the lake: On the one hand, the presence of the Lord encourages us to accept and face the waves of these challenges; on the other hand, the environment of self-sufficiency and arrogance — pure pride — that this culture of death is creating threatens us, and we are afraid of sinking in the midst of the storm. The Lord is there: We believe it with the certainty that the power of the Holy Spirit gives to us. And, in defiance of the Lord, there is the muffled scream of countless unborn children: this daily genocide, silent and protected. There is also the cry of the dying ones who have been abandoned and who are begging for a tender caress that this culture of death cannot give. And there is the multitude of families reduced to shreds by the proposals of consumerism and materialism. In the midst of this conflict and in the presence of Jesus Christ in glory, united today as the faithful people of God, we cry like Peter did when he began to sink, “Lord, save me” (Mt 14:30), and we stretch out our hand to grasp the only One who can give true meaning to our going into the waves.

— Meeting of Latin American politicians and legislators, Aug. 3, 1999.

THE MORAL COMPASS

When a civilization loses its orientation, the compass goes crazy and starts to spin. It points in all directions; anything goes. But in this crazy compass we find two key signs, two signs of a profound existential disorientation. In a civilization that relativizes life, always (it is a constant) the children and the elderly become objects of experimentation.

— Homily at Mass for Education in the Metropolitan Cathedral, April 10, 2002.

PUBLIC RESPONSIBILITY

The [Aparecida] document asks governments, regulators and health care providers to defend the inalienable value of life, and to encourage conscientious objection in the face of laws or government regulations that are unjust in the light of faith and reason. This is a matter of “eucharistic consistency,” which means “to be conscious that they cannot receive holy Communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia and other grave crimes against life and the family are encouraged. This responsibility weighs particularly over legislators, heads of governments and health professionals” (436). …

I want to focus in particular on two stages of life that I consider essential for the growth in peace of different generations: childhood and old age. They are the two extremes of life, and they are the most vulnerable and the most forgotten. A society that abandons its children and eliminates its elderly is mortgaging its future. …

I would like us to make our own the concluding prayer of the Aparecida Document, praying especially for our families, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph:

“Remain in our families, enlighten them in their doubts, sustain them in their difficulties, console them in their sufferings and daily struggles, when around them shadows build up which threaten their unity and their natural identity. You are Life: remain in our homes, so that they may continue to be nests where human life is generously born, where it is welcomed, loved and respected from conception to natural death.”

— Article titled “The Family in the Light of the Aparecida Document” (Familia et Vita, 2008).

SIGNS OF HOPE

We are aware that the tragedy of our time is the split between the Gospel and culture. Families, institutions and society in general are unable to find new ways of sustaining themselves and growing. In our country, we are faced with the loss of values that are at the root of our identity, with the resulting risk of the unraveling of our social fabric. …

In spite of such social fragmentation, fundamental values endure in our homeland: the battle for life from conception to natural death; the defense of human dignity; the ability to appreciate freedom, constancy and concern for the demands of justice; the effort to educate children well; esteem for the family, friendship and affection; and a sense of celebration and popular creativity that does not give up but seeks to firmly resolve difficult situations in daily life. All these are signs of hope that encourage us to proclaim Jesus Christ as we seek new ways to transmit the faith, a transmission so battered by the crisis described above.

— Address during the “Ad Limina” Visit to His Holiness Benedict XVI, March 14, 2009.

ON EUTHANASIA AND ABORTION

Our morality also says that one has to do what is necessary and ordinary, in those cases where the end is foreseeable. Quality of life must be ensured. The strength of medicine, in terminal cases, is not so much about making someone live another three days or three months, but rather in making sure the body suffers as little as possible. One is not obligated to conserve life with extraordinary methods, which at times can go against the dignity of the person. But active euthanasia is different — this is killing. I believe that today there is covert euthanasia: Our social security pays up until a certain amount of treatment and then says, “may God help you.” The elderly are not taken care of as they should be, but rather are treated like discarded material. Sometimes they are deprived of medicine and ordinary care, and little by little this kills them. …

The moral problem with abortion is of a pre-religious nature because the genetic code of the person is present at the moment of conception. This means that a human being already exists. I separate the issue of abortion from any religious concept. It is a scientific problem. To not allow further progress in the development of a being that already has the entire genetic code of a human being is not ethical. The right to life is the first human right. Abortion means killing someone who cannot defend himself.

— Book of conversations in 2010 between Cardinal Bergoglio and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, titled Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra (On Heaven and Earth).

Throughout his ministry as archbishop and pope, the Holy Father has issued a clarion call to affirm life
Pope Francis greets pilgrims with disabilities and senior citizens after celebrating Mass for “Evangelium Vitae” Day June 16, 2013. The day called attention to care for the aged, the unborn, the sick and those with disabilities. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

THE BATTLE FOR LIFE

I consider that [the battle against abortion] to be part of the battle in favor of life from the moment of conception until a dignified, natural death. This includes care of the mother during pregnancy, the existence of laws to protect the mother postpartum, and the need to ensure that children receive enough food, as well as providing health care throughout the whole length of life, taking good care of our grandparents, and not resorting to euthanasia. Nor should we perpetrate a kind of killing through insufficient food or a nonexistent or deficient education, which are ways of depriving a person of a full life. If there is a conception for us to respect, there is a life for us to take care of. …

A pregnant woman isn’t carrying a toothbrush in her stomach, or a tumor. Science has taught us that from the moment of conception, the new being has its entire genetic code. It’s impressive. Therefore, it’s not a religious issue but, rather, a clear moral issue with a scientific basis, because we are in the presence of a human being.

— Book of conversations with Cardinal Bergoglio titled Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words by Francesca Ambrogetti and Sergio Rubin (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2013). Originally published as El Jesuita: Conversaciones con Jorge Bergoglio (2010).

SAVING TWO LIVES

With respect to the [veto of the] non-punishable abortion law in Buenos Aires, we sense once again that we are deliberately moving toward the limitation and elimination of the supreme value of life and ignoring the rights of unborn children. When talking about a pregnant mother, we are talking about two lives. Both must be preserved and respected, because life has an absolute value. …

Abortion is never a solution. For our part, we must listen, support and understand in order to save two lives: to respect the smallest and most defenseless human being, to adopt measures to preserve his life, to allow him to be born and then to be creative in finding ways that will lead to his full development.

— Message regarding the approval of the law on non-punishable abortions, Sept. 9, 2012.

SAYING “YES” TO LIFE

All too often, as we know from experience, people do not choose life, they do not accept the “Gospel of Life” but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others. It is the eternal dream of wanting to build the city of man without God, without God’s life and love — a new Tower of Babel. ...

Dear brothers and sisters, let us look to God as the God of Life, let us look to his law, to the Gospel message, as the way to freedom and life.… Let us say “Yes” to life and not death. Let us say “Yes” to freedom and not enslavement to the many idols of our time. In a word, let us say “Yes” to the God who is love, life and freedom, and who never disappoints. … Let us ask Mary, Mother of Life, to help us receive and bear constant witness to the “Gospel of Life.”

— Homily for “Evangelium Vitae” Day, June 16, 2013.

CALLED TO BE WITNESSES

A widespread mentality of the useful, the “throwaway culture” that today enslaves the hearts and minds of so many, comes at a very high cost: It asks for the elimination of human beings, especially if they are physically or socially weaker. Our response to this mentality is a decisive and unreserved “yes” to life. … Things have a price and can be sold, but people have dignity; they are worth more than things and are above price. So often we find ourselves in situations where we see that what is valued the least is life. That is why concern for human life in its totality has become in recent years a real priority for the Church’s Magisterium, especially for the most defenseless (i.e., the disabled, the sick, the newborn, children, the elderly, those whose lives are most defenseless).

In a frail human being, each one of us is invited to recognize the face of the Lord, who in his human flesh experienced the indifference and solitude to which we so often condemn the poorest of the poor, whether in developing countries or in wealthy societies. Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection. … And every elderly person, even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the “throwaway culture” suggests! They cannot be thrown away! …

Be witnesses and diffusers of the “culture of life.” Your being Catholic entails a greater responsibility: first of all to yourselves, through a commitment consistent with your Christian vocation; and then to contemporary culture, by contributing to recognizing the transcendent dimension of human life, the imprint of God’s creative work, from the first moment of its conception. This is a task of the new evangelization that often requires going against the tide and paying for it personally. The Lord is also counting on you to spread the “Gospel of Life.”

— Address to the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, Sept. 20, 2013.

THE FOUNDATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offense against the creator of the individual” (Christifideles Laici, 37).

Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations.” It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?

— Apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Nov. 24, 2013.

Pope Francis’ statements during his time as archbishop were drawn from a special fall 2013 issue of Familia et Vita titled The Teachings of Jorge Mario Bergoglio-Pope Francis on the Family and Life (1999-2013). The issue was prepared by the Pontifical Council for the Family and published in Spanish and Italian by Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Excerpts from the Holy Father’s pontificate are from the Vatican website. All excerpts are used with permission.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: columbiamagazine; popefrancis; prolife
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1 posted on 01/18/2014 8:13:09 PM PST by Coleus
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To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...
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2 posted on 01/18/2014 8:15:29 PM PST by Coleus (Vivat Jesus!)
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To: Coleus

“Never fear the final judgment, because Christ will always be at our side.”
-Pope Francis

So, how does that compare with the what the Holy Bible says:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A good understanding to all that do it: His praise continueth for ever and ever.”
-Psalm 110:10

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is prudence.”
-Proverbs 9:10

Yep, I thought so. Pope Francis, the disarming Jesuit.


3 posted on 01/18/2014 8:24:35 PM PST by SatinDoll (A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN IS BORN IN THE USA OF USA CITIZEN PARENTS)
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To: Coleus

This excerpted collection sounds pretty good.

I am no papist, but exhorting Catholics to respect life at both ends is admirable. I didn’t catch anything about contraception but I am sure he includes it somewhere in his ramblings.

I accept him as the head of the Catholics, but not as the Head of the Church.

Colossians 1:18 KJV “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

Ephesians 5:23 KJV “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”

And then there’s this problem: “Let us ask Mary, Mother of Life, to help us receive and bear constant witness to the “Gospel of Life.”

I don’t subscribe to adoration of the saints. Mary included.

Show me in scripture where I should.


4 posted on 01/18/2014 8:48:57 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: One Name

Where in the cited prayer is “adoration” of Mary expressed?

Do you know the meaning of the word “adoration”?

Do you have a mother? Did you ever ask your mother to pray for you? If you did, were you “adoring” your mother?


5 posted on 01/18/2014 8:53:30 PM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: SatinDoll

You got it. Sister, if I may be so bold...


6 posted on 01/18/2014 8:56:54 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: Coleus

I don’t like the Pope’s attribution of abortion to a “throwaway culture.”

I think it trivializes abortion. It makes it sound like littering, or wasting food. Or maybe, abortion is something like using too many plastic bottles rather than glass. It sounds as though abortion is the result of capitalism!

Abortion is Satan-worship. Abortion is worship of death. Abortion is the seeking of absolute power. Abortion is the result of fornication and adultery, which weaken one’s character to the point where one cannot shoulder responsibilities. Abortion is, of course, murder.

“Throwaway culture” is just too weak an expression to convey the roots of, and the evil of, abortion.


7 posted on 01/18/2014 8:57:55 PM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: Arthur McGowan; SatinDoll

Do you pray to Mary?

Do you pray to any other saints or deceased believers, in hopes that they may intercede with God on your behalf?

Christ is the Intercessor; the Veil of the Temple was rent. once and for all.

I adore my mother, if she goes before me I will not ask her to intercede..


8 posted on 01/18/2014 9:02:02 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: One Name

If you adore your mother, you are an idolater. That’s just the point.

Nobody adores Mary. Nobody.

Why is it that a person can pray for other people before he dies, but the moment he dies, he is powerless to pray for other people?

Why would a Christian, the moment he dies, suddenly have NO LOVE for other Christians still living on earth?


9 posted on 01/18/2014 9:07:27 PM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: One Name

My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,
et exsultávit spíritus meus
in Deo salvatóre meo,
quia respéxit humilitátem
ancíllæ suæ.

Ecce enim ex hoc beátam
me dicent omnes generatiónes,
quia fecit mihi magna,
qui potens est,
et sanctum nomen eius,
et misericórdia eius in progénies
et progénies timéntibus eum.
Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo,
dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui;
depósuit poténtes de sede
et exaltávit húmiles.
Esuriéntes implévit bonis
et dívites dimísit inánes.
Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum,
recordátus misericórdiæ,
sicut locútus est ad patres nostros,
Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula.

Glória Patri et Fílio
et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio,
et nunc et semper,
et in sæcula sæculórum.

Amen.

She became the Mother of God, in which work so many and such great good things are bestowed on her as pass man’s understanding. For on this there follows all honor, all blessedness, and her unique place in the whole of mankind, among which she has no equal, namely, that she had a child by the Father in heaven, and such a Child . . . Hence men have crowded all her glory into a single word, calling her the Mother of God . . . None can say of her nor announce to her greater things, even though he had as many tongues as the earth possesses flowers and blades of grass: the sky, stars; and the sea, grains of sand. It needs to be pondered in the heart what it means to be the Mother of God.

(Commentary on the Magnificat, 1521; in Luther’s Works, Pelikan et al, vol. 21, 326)


10 posted on 01/18/2014 9:08:41 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: Coleus; UnRuley1; mlizzy; Arthur McGowan; mc5cents; RichInOC; Prince of Space; JoeFromSidney; ...

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem;
Creatorem caeli et terrae.

Et in Jesum Christum,
Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum;
qui conceptus est
de Spiritu Sancto,
natus ex Maria virgine;
passus sub Pontio Pilato,
crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus;
descendit ad inferos;
tertia die resurrexit a mortuis;
ascendit ad caelos;
sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis;
inde venturus est
iudicare vivos et mortuos.

Credo in Spiritum Sanctum;
sanctam ecclesiam catholicam;
sanctorum communionem;
remissionem peccatorum;
carnis resurrectionem;
vitam aeternam. Amen.

In English:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
and born of the Virgin Mary,
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
he will come again
to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen


11 posted on 01/18/2014 9:09:59 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: One Name

BTW: Why, in the Old and the New Testaments, do angels appear not only with messages, but with the power to render real assistance to people on earth, such as freeing people from prison?

Why would the angels be able to do such things, but deceased Christians totally powerless to do them?

Again: Why is it reasonable to believe that deceased Christians have NO LOVE for Christians on earth?


12 posted on 01/18/2014 9:16:57 PM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: Arthur McGowan

Not quite following you...

Mary’s been dead awhile, now.

What’s a Hail Mary all about?

Is she is Heaven, Limbo, or sleeping until the Resurrection?

1 Thessalonians 4:14-17

New King James Version (NKJV)

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.[a]

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.


13 posted on 01/18/2014 9:21:28 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: One Name

How did Elijah get to heaven?

How did Enoch get to heaven?

Where is Mary’s body or tomb?

Have you read any of the Early Church Fathers that knew the Apostles? If you had, you might know the answers to your own questions!!


14 posted on 01/18/2014 9:24:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: One Name

Why not think about my questions and give some answer?


15 posted on 01/18/2014 9:25:16 PM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: narses

Ok; the scripture part of your response I agree with- we will call Mary blessed.

Where does it say we should pray to her, that she might intercede with God?

Is Jesus too busy to help us?


16 posted on 01/18/2014 9:27:02 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: One Name

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem;
Creatorem caeli et terrae.

Et in Jesum Christum,
Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum;
qui conceptus est
de Spiritu Sancto,
natus ex Maria virgine;
passus sub Pontio Pilato,
crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus;
descendit ad inferos;
tertia die resurrexit a mortuis;
ascendit ad caelos;
sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis;
inde venturus est
iudicare vivos et mortuos.

Credo in Spiritum Sanctum;
sanctam ecclesiam catholicam;
sanctorum communionem;
remissionem peccatorum;
carnis resurrectionem;
vitam aeternam. Amen.

In English:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
and born of the Virgin Mary,
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
he will come again
to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen


17 posted on 01/18/2014 9:28:52 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: One Name

Do you have Luke 1:26 and onward in your Bible? What does it say?

Mine talks the Angel Gabriel addressing Mary in this way, “Hail Mary, full of grace.”

The Elizabeth at the Visitation greets Mary, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

The word Jesus was added later......so straight from the Bible we have the first half of the Hail Mary.

The second half,
Holy Mary is our greeting toward her.
“Mother of God”
Again, Elizabeth filled with the Holy Spirit says to Mary, “And how is this that the mother of my Lord should visit me.”

So we get the second line, Mothr of God,

The last two lines are a simple petition because she is alive in heaven, “Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”

Did that help?


18 posted on 01/18/2014 9:30:05 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: One Name

* Paragraph 5. The Communion of Saints

946 After confessing “the holy catholic Church,” the Apostles’ Creed adds “the communion of saints.” In a certain sense this article is a further explanation of the preceding: “What is the Church if not the assembly of all the saints?”479 The communion of saints is the Church.

947 “Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others. . . . We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head. . . . Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments.”480 “As this Church is governed by one and the same Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common fund.”481

948 The term “communion of saints” therefore has two closely linked meanings: communion in holy things (sancta)” and “among holy persons (sancti).”

Sancta sanctis! (”God’s holy gifts for God’s holy people”) is proclaimed by the celebrant in most Eastern liturgies during the elevation of the holy Gifts before the distribution of communion. The faithful (sancti) are fed by Christ’s holy body and blood (sancta) to grow in the communion of the Holy Spirit (koinonia) and to communicate it to the world.
I. COMMUNION IN SPIRITUAL GOODS

949 In the primitive community of Jerusalem, the disciples “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers.”482

Communion in the faith. The faith of the faithful is the faith of the Church, received from the apostles. Faith is a treasure of life which is enriched by being shared.

950 Communion of the sacraments. “The fruit of all the sacraments belongs to all the faithful. All the sacraments are sacred links uniting the faithful with one another and binding them to Jesus Christ, and above all Baptism, the gate by which we enter into the Church. The communion of saints must be understood as the communion of the sacraments. . . . The name ‘communion’ can be applied to all of them, for they unite us to God. . . . But this name is better suited to the Eucharist than to any other, because it is primarily the Eucharist that brings this communion about.”483

951 Communion of charisms. Within the communion of the Church, the Holy Spirit “distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank” for the building up of the Church.484 Now, “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”485

952 “They had everything in common.”486 “Everything the true Christian has is to be regarded as a good possessed in common with everyone else. All Christians should be ready and eager to come to the help of the needy . . . and of their neighbors in want.”487 A Christian is a steward of the Lord’s goods.488

953 Communion in charity. In the sanctorum communio, “None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.”489 “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.”490 “Charity does not insist on its own way.”491 In this solidarity with all men, living or dead, which is founded on the communion of saints, the least of our acts done in charity redounds to the profit of all. Every sin harms this communion.

II. THE COMMUNION OF THE CHURCH OF HEAVEN AND EARTH

954 The three states of the Church. “When the Lord comes in glory, and all his angels with him, death will be no more and all things will be subject to him. But at the present time some of his disciples are pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being purified, while still others are in glory, contemplating ‘in full light, God himself triune and one, exactly as he is”’:492

All of us, however, in varying degrees and in different ways share in the same charity towards God and our neighbors, and we all sing the one hymn of glory to our God. All, indeed, who are of Christ and who have his Spirit form one Church and in Christ cleave together.493
955 “So it is that the union of the wayfarers with the brethren who sleep in the peace of Christ is in no way interrupted, but on the contrary, according to the constant faith of the Church, this union is reinforced by an exchange of spiritual goods.”494

956 The intercession of the saints. “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. . . . They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus . . . . So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.”495

Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.496
I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.497

957 Communion with the saints. “It is not merely by the title of example that we cherish the memory of those in heaven; we seek, rather, that by this devotion to the exercise of fraternal charity the union of the whole Church in the Spirit may be strengthened. Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace, and the life of the People of God itself”498:

We worship Christ as God’s Son; we love the martyrs as the Lord’s disciples and imitators, and rightly so because of their matchless devotion towards their king and master. May we also be their companions and fellow disciples!499
958 Communion with the dead. “In full consciousness of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church in its pilgrim members, from the very earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead; and ‘because it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins’ she offers her suffrages for them.”500 Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective.

959 In the one family of God. “For if we continue to love one another and to join in praising the Most Holy Trinity - all of us who are sons of God and form one family in Christ - we will be faithful to the deepest vocation of the Church.”501

IN BRIEF

960 The Church is a “communion of saints”: this expression refers first to the “holy things” (sancta), above all the Eucharist, by which “the unity of believers, who form one body in Christ, is both represented and brought about” (LG 3).

961 The term “communion of saints” refers also to the communion of “holy persons” (sancti) in Christ who “died for all,” so that what each one does or suffers in and for Christ bears fruit for all.

962 “We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion, the merciful love of God and his saints is always [attentive] to our prayers” (Paul VI, CPG § 30).

479 Nicetas, Expl. Symb., 10:PL 52:871B.
480 St. Thomas Aquinas, Symb., 10.
481 Roman Catechism I, 10,24.
482 Acts 2:42.
483 Roman Catechism I, 10,24.
484 LG 12 § 2.
485 1 Cor 12:7.
486 Acts 4:32.
487 Roman Catechism I, 10,27.
488 Cf. Lk 16:1, 3.
489 Rom 14:7.
490 1 Cor 12:26-27.
491 1 Cor 13:5; cf. 10:24.
492 LG 49; cf. Mt 25:31; 1 Cor 15:26-27; Council of Florence (1439):DS 1305.
493 LG 49; cf. Eph 4:16.
494 LG 49.
495 LG 49; cf. 1 Tim 2:5.
496 St. Dominic, dying, to his brothers.
497 St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Final Conversations, tr. John Clarke (Washington: ICS, 1977), 102.
498 LG 50; cf. Eph 4:1-6.
499 Martyrium Polycarpi, 17:Apostolic Fathers II/3,396.
500 LG 50; cf. 2 Macc 12:45.
501 LG 51; cf. Heb 3:6.


19 posted on 01/18/2014 9:31:04 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: One Name

Who was the first person to intercede with Christ? Hint: It happened at the Wedding at Cana.

And what are Mary’s last words in the Bible? “Do whatever he tells you.” from the Wedding of Cana story.


20 posted on 01/18/2014 9:31:53 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

So, as I asked another on this thread...

Is Mary in Heaven, Limbo, Purgatory (oh wait. she like Christ was without sin??) or sleeping with the rest of the saints in Christ until the Resurrection?

Why pray to her? Does Jesus need her help getting everything done?


21 posted on 01/18/2014 9:35:57 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: One Name

Mary was assumed into heaven. The Early Church Fathers wrote about what happened. It’s also called The Dormition of Mary by the Orthodox Church.


22 posted on 01/18/2014 9:45:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: narses; Salvation

Jesus Himself taught us how to pray.

The Veil of the Temple was rent.

There is now no need for a priest, or a saint, or Mother Mary.

We have direct access to God, through Jesus Christ. He is the sacrifice, and the High Priest.

Anything else misses the whole point.... He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Law.

No need to invent a structure beyond that...Apprehend the Truth of the Gospel!

God Bless!


23 posted on 01/18/2014 9:46:55 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: One Name

“Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?”

Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.

For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.

This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum
Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”

Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?

What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.
And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”

Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you twelve? Yet is not one of you a devil?”

He was referring to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot; it was he who would betray him, one of the Twelve.” [John 6: 49-71]


24 posted on 01/18/2014 9:47:37 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: Salvation

Didn’t make it into the New Testament, though.

You’d a thought John might have mentioned it while he was busy watching the end of the world in his Revelation.

Sorry. Extra-Scriptural stuff doesn’t count for doctrine.

Kinda like saying what the Constitutional Convention really meant was....except we’re talking about God and Eternity.


25 posted on 01/18/2014 9:52:50 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: One Name

“Didn’t make it into the New Testament, though.”

This did:

“Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.’ And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ “


26 posted on 01/18/2014 9:55:16 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
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To: narses

That’s cool.

I don’t consider you my enemy. I’m a Protestant. You’re a Catholic.

We have bigger fish to fry in the USA, at present.

All will be revealed at some time hence. Until then, my FRiend I wish you well, and may God Bless you and your family!


27 posted on 01/18/2014 10:04:56 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: SatinDoll

The Everyone Gets A Trophy Pope. It’s distressing how many are fooled.


28 posted on 01/18/2014 11:24:43 PM PST by WhistlingPastTheGraveyard (If you don't stand up, you don't stand a chance.)
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To: One Name

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

That’s the “Hail, Mary.”

What about it is a problem?


29 posted on 01/19/2014 1:29:42 AM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: Arthur McGowan

In the past I have come across a mass on the Catholic channel where it appears to be a group of nuns being led by a priest to say this prayer. Only they “chanted” it, repeatedly. Didn’t sit well with my spirit, so to speak. Possibly because I know that the Holy Bible instructs us NOT to pray in vein repitition. Also, nowhere can I find where we are instructed TO pray to Jesus’ earthly mother or anyone else who is alive or deceased, save for the Lord himself.


30 posted on 01/19/2014 2:48:44 AM PST by kelly4c (http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/post?id=2900389%2C41#help)
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To: Arthur McGowan

Also Jesus is my saviour. He’s all powerful. He’s the intercessor between God and man. Why would I need to pray to anyone else but Him??


31 posted on 01/19/2014 2:51:48 AM PST by kelly4c (http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/post?id=2900389%2C41#help)
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To: kelly4c

1 Timothy 2:5

” For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,”


32 posted on 01/19/2014 4:38:15 AM PST by swampfox101 (l)
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To: kelly4c

No one says it is necessary to pray to anyone but Jesus.

The question is: Is it reasonable to believe that God would refuse to allow the blessed in heaven to share in the joy of assisting Christians on earth? What would be God’s reason for denying them this happiness?


33 posted on 01/19/2014 5:24:01 AM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: Arthur McGowan
Why would the angels be able to do such things, but deceased Christians totally powerless to do them?

Humans (souls) are not angels. They are not us and we are not them. But as for prayer, if I am redeemed and go to Heaven, I will surely pray for those on Earth. I don't think free will ends at death.

34 posted on 01/19/2014 5:32:20 AM PST by Sirius Lee (All that is required for evil to advance is for government to do "something")
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To: Coleus
The oldest baby-boomers are just on the threshold of turning 70. In a few years, the number of septagenerians and octogenarians will really peak!

Forget about surgeries and procedures to prolong life, I think many will be seeking a way to slough off this mortal coil.

My concern (fear actually) is that this generation, which drove the direction of our culture simply through overwhelming numbers, will have one final and lasting impact as they reach the end of life.

35 posted on 01/19/2014 6:07:58 AM PST by Oratam
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To: Sirius Lee

Of course angels are not deceased people. I remind people of this fairly often.

My aunt died four years ago. About six months after she died, an old boyfriend of hers, who was 92, fell on the ice outside his house, and was unable to get up. He said aloud, “Who is going to help me now?”

At that moment, he saw my aunt. She said, “I’ll get help for you.”

His wife, who had Alzheimer’s so bad she no longer recognized him, saw him from the back door, went to the phone, dialed 911, and summoned help.


36 posted on 01/19/2014 6:27:20 AM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: kelly4c

My aunt died four years ago. About six months after she died, an old boyfriend of hers, who was 92, fell on the ice outside his house, and was unable to get up. He said aloud, “Who is going to help me now?”

At that moment, he saw my aunt. She said, “I’ll get help for you.”

His wife, who had Alzheimer’s so bad she no longer recognized him, saw him from the back door, went to the phone, dialed 911, and summoned help.


37 posted on 01/19/2014 6:28:53 AM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: Arthur McGowan
Nobody adores Mary. Nobody.

Here in Kansas, you can identify Catholic households because the have shrines to the Virgin Mary in the front yard.
38 posted on 01/19/2014 7:39:45 AM PST by Old Yeller
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To: Arthur McGowan

Amazing story.


39 posted on 01/19/2014 9:00:38 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: One Name
Is Mary in Heaven, Limbo, Purgatory (oh wait. she like Christ was without sin??) or sleeping with the rest of the saints in Christ until the Resurrection?

Mary is the Queen of Heaven. Does that help?

40 posted on 01/19/2014 10:32:47 AM PST by ebb tide
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To: One Name

Show me in scripture where I should. >>>

why should i care what you think and what you believe, why should i show you anything. by me posting this thread, do you actually think i was trying to convert or proselytize anyone, you are sadly mistaken.


41 posted on 01/20/2014 9:27:04 AM PST by Coleus (Vivat Jesus!)
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To: Arthur McGowan

Here is my issue, and tonight my motive is not to start a war- but this is common to us Prots...

Why should we ask, in prayer, for Mary or any of the deceased saints to “pray for us sinners”?

Christ is the Intercessor, Intermediary, High Priest, etc.

His sacrifice purchased our redemption. I fail to see where prayer and homage to other lesser beings, who may or may not be in a conscious state ; ie.; “those who sleep in Christ” are in a position to help us sinners.

Why would I do that? You are not my enemy, but the Gospel leads me to question such doctrine/tradition.


42 posted on 01/24/2014 8:58:08 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: Coleus

You laid it out there-

I questioned the Scriptural legitimacy of his position.

I didn’t accuse you of proselytizing.

You shouldn’t care what I said or think; you will do quite well by ignoring it..


43 posted on 01/24/2014 9:03:40 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: One Name

Because the Catholic belief is that those who have died still love us on earth, still care about us, and are allowed by God to exercise that charity.

I’m not aware that any Christians deny that those on earth can pray for each other. Why is this NOT in conflict with the belief that only Jesus intercedes for us with the Father, while asking those who are in heaven to do the same thing, IS?

Aside from that question, there are, quite simply, countless occasions when the love and care of the blessed in Heaven has been made known.

My aunt Eileen died in 2010. A couple of months after her death, an old beau, and lifelong friend, Johnny C., aged 92, slipped and fell on ice behind his house, taking out the trash. He was unable to get up.

At that moment, he saw Eileen. She said, “Someone will help you.”

His wife, a woman with Alzheimer’s so advanced that she know longer knew who he was, saw him on the ice from the kitchen door. She went to the telephone, dialed 911, and got help.


44 posted on 01/24/2014 10:18:16 PM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: Old Yeller

So? Do you see anybody adoring Mary?

Do you have a picture of your wife and children?

Do you adore them? (I mean in the proper, full sense of the word.)


45 posted on 01/24/2014 10:21:16 PM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: Arthur McGowan

I thank you for the example of prayer for one another, which is clearly encouraged by Scripture, and is powerful.

What we Protestants have difficulty with is prayer to those Saints who have clearly deceased.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

Are some saints asleep and others awake?

If so, from where does that derive in Scripture?

I’m not your enemy, I’m your brother.


46 posted on 01/24/2014 10:41:26 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: One Name

When someone is dead and his body lying in a grave, it is natural to refer to him as “asleep.”

But is it justified, philosophically and theologically, to assert that their SOUL is literally “asleep”?

Was it St. Paul’s intention to make that assertion? Is there any evidence that St. Paul held to the proposition that the SOULS of the dead are as inert and inactive as their bodies?


47 posted on 01/24/2014 11:16:49 PM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: Arthur McGowan

It’s not clear to me that he indicated anything other than that they were ‘asleep”.

This is further evidenced by a complete dearth of mention that there was anything to be gained by prayer to the deceased in the Epistles of Paul.

Surely he would have exhorted Believers to do so, were there spiritual benefits to be derived...

You all can do as you wish; I don’t pray to the dead.


48 posted on 01/24/2014 11:29:52 PM PST by One Name (Ultimately, the TRUTH is a razor's edge and no man can sit astride it.)
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To: One Name

Or, surely he would not have bothered to mention it, if it was something they all took for granted.


49 posted on 01/25/2014 2:50:37 AM PST by Arthur McGowan
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To: One Name

I questioned the Scriptural legitimacy of his position. >>

then go ask him.


50 posted on 01/25/2014 6:31:05 PM PST by Coleus
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