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Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain! Catholic History and the Emerald City Protocol
reformation21 ^ | April 2012 | Carl Trueman

Posted on 04/05/2014 5:57:23 AM PDT by Gamecock

Full Title: Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain! Roman Catholic History and the Emerald City Protocol

In the field of Reformation studies, Professor Brad Gregory is somebody for whom I have immense respect.  Those outside the discipline of history are possibly unaware of the ravages which postmodernism brought in its wake, making all narratives negotiable and fuelling a rise in interest in all manner of trivia and marginal weirdness.  Dr. Gregory is trained in both philosophy and history and has done much to place the self-understanding of human agents back at the centre of historical analysis.  Thus, for those of us interested in the Reformation, he has also played an important role in placing religion back into the discussion.  For that, I and many others owe him a great debt of gratitude.

I therefore find myself in the odd and uncomfortable position of writing a very critical review of his latest book, The Unintended Reformation (Belknap Harvard, 2011). The book itself is undoubtedly well-written and deeply learned, with nearly a third of the text devoted to endnotes.  It is brilliant in its scope and execution, addressing issues of philosophy, politics and economics.  Anyone wanting a panoramic view of the individuals, the institutions and the forces which shaped early modern Europe should read this work. Yet for all of its brilliance, the book does not demonstrate its central thesis, that Protestantism must shoulder most of the responsibility for the various things which Dr. Gregory dislikes about modern Western society, from its exaltation of the scientific paradigm to its consumerism to its secular view of knowledge and even to global warming. I am sympathetic with many of Dr. Gregory's gripes about the world of today; but in naming Protestantism as the primary culprit he engages in a rather arbitrary blame game.

Dr. Gregory's book contains arguments about both metaphysics and what we might call empirical social realities. On the grounds that debates about metaphysics, like games of chess, can be great fun for the participants but less than thrilling for the spectators, I will post my thoughts on that aspect of the book in a separate blog entry. In this article, I will focus on the Papacy, persecution and the role of the printing press.  This piece is more of a medieval jousting tournament than a chess game and will, I trust, provide the audience with better spectator sport.

One final preliminary comment: I am confident that my previous writings on Roman Catholicism and Roman Catholics indicate that I am no reincarnation of a nineteenth century 'No popery!' rabble-rouser. I have always tried to write with respect and forbearance on such matters, to the extent that I have even been berated at times by other, hotter sorts of Protestants for being too pacific. In what follows, however, I am deliberately combative.  This is not because I wish to show disrespect to Dr. Gregory or to his Church or to his beliefs; but he has set the tone by writing a very combative book. I like that. I like writers who believe and care about the big questions of life. But here is the rub: those who write in such a way must allow those who respond to them to believe with equal passion in their chosen cause and to care about it deeply and thus to be equally combative in their rejoinders.

A key part of the book's argument is the apparent anarchy created by the Protestant emphasis on the perspicuity of scripture. In this, Dr. Gregory stands with his Notre Dame colleague, Christian Smith, as seeing this as perhaps the single weakest point of Protestantism. He also rejects any attempt to restrict Protestantism to the major confessional traditions (Reformed, Anglican and Lutheran) as he argues that such a restriction would create an artificial delimitation of Protestant diversity. Instead, he insists on also including those groups which scholars typically call radical reformers (essentially all other non-Roman Christian sects which have their origins in the turn to scripture of the Reformation). This creates a very diverse and indeed chaotic picture of Protestantism such that no unifying doctrinal synthesis is possible as a means of categorizing the whole.  

I wonder if I am alone in finding the more stridently confident comments of some Roman Catholics over the issue of perspicuity to be somewhat tiresome and rather overblown. Perspicuity was, after all, a response to a position that had proved to be a failure: the Papacy.  Thus, to criticize it while proposing nothing better than a return to that which had proved so inadequate is scarcely a compelling argument.

Yes, it is true that Protestant interpretive diversity is an empirical fact; but when it comes to selectivity in historical reading as a means of creating a false impression of stability, Roman Catholic approaches to the Papacy provide some excellent examples of such fallacious method.  The ability to ignore or simply dismiss as irrelevant the empirical facts of papal history is quite an impressive feat of historical and theological selectivity. Thus, as all sides need to face empirical facts and the challenges they raise, here are a few we might want to consider, along with what seem to me (as a Protestant outsider) to be the usual Roman Catholic responses:

Empirical fact: The Papacy as an authoritative institution was not there in the early centuries. 
Never mind.  Put together a doctrine of development whereby Christians - or at least some of them, those of whom we choose to approve in retrospect on the grounds we agree with what they say  - eventually come to see the Pope as uniquely authoritative.  

Empirical fact: The Papacy was corrupt in the later Middle Ages, building its power and status on political antics, forged documents and other similar scams. 
Ignore it, excuse it as a momentary aberration and perhaps, if pressed, even offer a quick apology. Then move swiftly on to assure everyone it is all sorted out now and start talking about John Paul II or Benedict XVI.  Whatever you do, there is no need to allow this fact to have any significance for how one understands the theory of papal power in the abstract or in the present.  

Empirical fact: The Papacy was in such a mess at the beginning of the fifteenth century that it needed a council to decide who of the multiple claimants to Peter's seat was the legitimate pope.  
Again, this was merely a momentary aberration but it has no significance for the understanding of papal authority.  After all, it was so long ago and so far away.

Empirical fact: The church failed (once again) to put its administrative, pastoral, moral and doctrinal house in order at the Fifth Lateran Council at the start of the sixteenth century.  
Forget it.  Emphasise instead the vibrant piety of the late medieval church and then blame the ungodly Protestants for their inexplicable protests and thus for the collapse of the medieval social, political and theological structure of Europe.  

Perhaps it is somewhat aggressive to pose these points in such a blunt form. Again, I intend no disrespect but am simply responding with the same forthrightness with which certain writers speak of Protestantism. The problem here is that the context for the Reformation - the failure of the papal system to reform itself, a failure in itself lethal to notions of papal power and authority - seems to have been forgotten in all of the recent aggressive attacks on scriptural perspicuity.  These are all empirical facts and they are all routinely excused, dismissed or simply ignored by Roman Catholic writers. Perspicuity was not the original problem; it was intended as the answer.   One can believe it to be an incorrect, incoherent, inadequate answer; but then one must come up with something better - not simply act as if shouting the original problem louder will make everything all right. Such an approach to history and theology is what I call the Emerald City protocol: when defending the great and powerful Oz, one must simply pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.  

Given the above empirical facts, the medieval Papacy surely has chronological priority over any of the alleged shortcomings of scriptural perspicuity in the history of abject ecclesiastical and theological disasters. To be fair, Dr. Gregory does acknowledge that 'medieval Christendom' was a failure (p. 365) but in choosing such a term he sidesteps the significance of the events of the late medieval period for papal authority. The failure of medieval Christendom was the failure of the Papacy. To say medieval Christendom failed but then to allow such a statement no real ecclesiastical significance is merely an act of throat-clearing before going after the people, the Protestants, who frankly are in the crosshairs simply because it appears one finds them and their sects distasteful. Again, to be fair, one cannot blame Roman Catholics for disliking Protestants: our very existence bears testimony to Roman Catholicism's failure. But that Roman Catholics who know their history apparently believe the Papacy now works just fine seems as arbitrary and selective a theological and historical move as any confessionally driven restriction of what is and is not legitimate Protestantism.  

As Dr. Gregory brings his narrative up to the present, I will do the same. There are things which can be conveniently ignored by North American Roman Catholic intellectuals because they take place in distant lands. Yet many of these are emblematic of contemporary Roman Catholicism in the wider world. Such, for example, are the bits of the real cross and vials of Jesus' blood which continue to be displayed in certain churches, the cult of Padre Pio and the relics of Anthony of Padua and the like (both of whom edged out Jesus and the Virgin Mary in a poll as to who was the most prayed to figure in Italian Catholicism). We Protestants may appear hopelessly confused to the latest generation of North American Roman Catholic polemicists, but at least my own little group of Presbyterian schismatics does not promote the veneration of mountebank stigmatics or the virtues of snake-oil.

Still, for the sake of argument let us accept the fideistic notion that the events of the later Middle Ages do not shatter the theology underlying the Papacy.  What therefore of Roman Catholic theological unity and papal authority today? That is not too rosy either, I am afraid.  The Roman Catholic Church's teaching on birth control is routinely ignored by vast swathes of the laity with absolute impunity; Roman Catholic politicians have been in the vanguard of liberalizing abortion laws and yet still been welcome at Mass and at high table with church dignitaries; leading theologians cannot agree on exactly what papal infallibility means; and there is not even consensus on the meaning and significance of Vatican II relative to previous church teaching. Such a Church is as chaotic and anarchic as anything Protestantism has thrown up. 

Further, if Dr. Gregory wants to include as part of his general concept of Protestantism any and all sixteenth century lunatics who ever claimed the Bible alone as sole authority and thence to draw conclusions about the plausibility of the perspicuity of scripture, then it seems reasonable to insist in response that discussions of Roman Catholicism include not simply the Newmans, Ratzingers and Wotjylas but also the Kungs, Rahners, Schillebeeckxs and the journalists at the National Catholic Reporter.  And why stop there?  We should also throw in the sedevacantists and Lefebvrists for good measure.  They all claim to be good Roman Catholics and find their unity around the Office of the Pope, after all. Let us not exclude them on the dubious grounds that they do not support our own preconceived conclusions of how papal authority should work.  At least Protestantism has the integrity to wear its chaotic divisions on its sleeve.

Moving on from the issue of authority, we find that Dr. Gregory also argues that religious persecution is a poisonous result of the confessionalisation of Europe into warring religious factions. Certainly, the bloodshed along confessional lines in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was terrible, but doctrinal disagreements did not begin with the Reformation. The New Testament makes it clear that serious doctrinal conflict existed within the church even during apostolic times (I hope I am allowed, for the sake of argument, to assume that the New Testament is perspicuous enough for me to state that with a degree of confidence); and the link between church and state which provided the context for bloodshed over matters of theological deviancy was established from at least the time of Priscillian in the late fourth century. It was hardly a Protestant or even a Reformation innovation.

When it comes to the empirical facts of Catholic persecution, Dr. Gregory only mentions the Inquisition twice. That is remarkably light coverage given its rather stellar track record in all that embarrassing auto da fe business. Moreover, he mentions it first only in a Reformation/post-Reformation context. Yet Roman Catholic persecution of those considered deviants was not simply or even primarily a response to Reformation Protestantism but a well-established pattern in the Middle Ages. No doubt the Spanish Jews and Muslims, the Cathars, the Albigensians, the Lollards, the Hussites and many other religious deviants living before the establishment of any Protestant state might have wished that their sufferings had received a more substantial role in the narrative and more significance in the general thesis. Sure, Protestantism broke the Roman Catholic monopoly on persecution and thus played a shameful and ignominious part in its escalation; but it did not establish the precedents, legally, culturally or practically.

Finally, the great lacuna in this book is the printing press. Dr. Gregory has, as I noted above, done brilliant work in putting self-understanding back on the historical agenda and thus of grounding the history of ideas in historical realities rather than metaphysical abstractions. The danger with this, however, is that material factors can come to be somewhat neglected. His thesis - that Protestantism shattered the unified nature and coherence of knowledge and paved the way for its secularization - does not take into account the impact of the easy availability of print. The printed book changed everything: it fuelled literacy rates and it expanded the potential for diversity of opinion. I suspect there is a very plausible alternative, or at least supplementary, narrative to the 'Protestantism shattered the unified nature and coherence of knowledge' thesis: the printing press did it because it made impossible the Church's control of the nature, range, flow and availability of knowledge.

Ironically, the printing press is one of the great success stories of pre-Reformation Catholic Europe. One might argue that it was a technological innovation and thus not particularly 'Catholic' in that sense. That is true; but for some years after it was invented it was unclear whether it would be successful enough to replace medieval book production. In fact, its success was significantly helped by the brisk fifteenth century trade in printed breviaries and missals and the indulgences produced to fund war against the Ottomans. In other words, it was the vibrancy of late medieval Catholic piety, of which Dr. Gregory makes much, that ensured the future of the printing press and thereby the shipwrecking of the old, stable forms of knowledge.

The Roman Catholic Church knew the danger presented by the easy transmission of, and access to, knowledge which the printing press provided. That is why it was so assiduous in burning books in the sixteenth century and why the Index of Prohibited Books remained in place until the 1960s. I well remember being amazed when reading the autobiography of the analytic philosopher and one-time priest, Sir Anthony Kenny, that he had had to obtain special permission from the Church to read David Hume for his doctoral research in the 1950s. At the start of the twenty-first century, Rome may present herself as the friend of engaged religious intellectuals in North America but she took an embarrassingly long time even to allow her people free access to the most basic books of modern Western thought. Women in Britain had the vote, Elvis (in my humble opinion) had already done his best work and The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were starting to churn out hits before Roman Catholics were free to read David Hume without specific permission from the Church.   

Of course, Dr. Gregory knows about the Index; but he seems to see it as a response to Protestantism, not as an extension of the Church's typical manner of handling deviation from its central tenets and practices which stretched back well before the Reformation. And therein lies the ironic, tragic, perplexing flaw of this brilliant and learned book: Dr. Gregory sets out to prove that Protestantism is the source of all, or at least many, of the modern world's ills; but what he actually does is demonstrate in painstaking and compelling detail that medieval Catholicism and the Papacy with which it was inextricably bound up were ultimately inadequate to the task which they set - which they claimed! - for themselves.  Reformation Protestantism, if I can use the singular, was one response to this failure, as conciliarism had been a hundred years before.  One can dispute the adequacy of such responses; but only by an act of historical denial can one dispute the fact that it was the Papacy which failed.

Thanks to the death of medieval Christendom and to the havoc caused by the Reformation and beyond, Dr Gregory is today free to believe (or not) that Protestantism is an utter failure.  Thanks to the printing press, he is also free to express this in a public form. Thanks to the modern world which grew as a response to the failure of Roman Catholicism, he is also free to choose his own solution to the problems of modernity without fear of rack or rope. Yet, having said all that, I for one find it strange indeed that someone would choose as the solution that which was actually the problem in the first place.



TOPICS: General Discusssion; History
KEYWORDS: hornetsnest
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1 posted on 04/05/2014 5:57:23 AM PDT by Gamecock
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To: metmom; daniel1212; Alex Murphy
FRoman Catholics!

Follow your doctrine!

Can. 831 §1. Except for a just and reasonable cause, the Christian faithful are not to write anything for newspapers, magazines, or periodicals which are accustomed to attack openly the Catholic religion or good morals; clerics and members of religious institutes, however, are to do so only with the permission of the local ordinary.

___________________________________________

Don't respond! You are violating church law if you do so!

2 posted on 04/05/2014 5:59:29 AM PDT by Gamecock (If the cross is not foolishness to the lost world then we have misrepresented the cross." S.L.)
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To: Gamecock
Some time ago I recall a Protestant minister saying that the name "Protestant" isn't relevant anymore as "we aren't protesting anything any more."

Sorry, I forgot who it was.

3 posted on 04/05/2014 6:10:07 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: Gamecock
"Except for a just and reasonable cause."

Your lack of reading comprehension is probably a strong contributor to your heresy problem.

4 posted on 04/05/2014 6:13:54 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

Keep reading. Do you have some permission higher than others?


5 posted on 04/05/2014 6:29:16 AM PDT by Gamecock (If the cross is not foolishness to the lost world then we have misrepresented the cross." S.L.)
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To: Gamecock

Game...

If the Catholic Church is an old anachronistic has-been of a religion - why do you have to talk and write about it every chance you get?

you are saved - right?

So why do you care what some old Catholics think or say or do?

What do you call a person who is preoccupied with someone else’s faith ?

I got it - a protestant!

Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam


6 posted on 04/05/2014 6:34:45 AM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam = FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD)
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To: LurkingSince'98
What do you call a person who is preoccupied with someone else’s faith ?

The apostle Paul.

7 posted on 04/05/2014 6:38:05 AM PDT by DungeonMaster (No one can come to me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.)
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To: Gamecock; LurkingSince'98
Empirical fact: The Papacy as an authoritative institution was not there in the early centuries.

That "empirical fact" is not a fact at all, but is open to dispute. Clement's letter to the Corinthians commands their obedience, to him. And the parties in the Quartodeciman controversy turned to Rome to settle it. By the time you get to Chalcedon, the Papacy clearly has some sort of unique authority. The main question is whether that authority is ordinary, or only exercised in extraordinary circumstances.

As for his other "empirical facts," they all sidestep the only question that ought to matter: was the office of the Roman Pontiff instituted and intended by Christ? If it was, what difference does it make that it was occupied by corrupt men at some point in history?

The office of the High Priest was unquestionably instituted by God through Moses. Were all the Jewish High Priests good and righteous men? Hardly, but that didn't invalidate the office at all.

But as Lurking notes, we clearly live rent-free in your head. I'll keep praying for you.

8 posted on 04/05/2014 6:49:13 AM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: cloudmountain
Funny but the entire section was not quoted! (My emphasis)

Can. 831 §1. Except for a just and reasonable cause, the Christian faithful are not to write anything for newspapers, magazines, or periodicals which are accustomed to attack openly the Catholic religion or good morals; clerics and members of religious institutes, however, are to do so only with the permission of the local ordinary.

§2. It is for the conference of bishops to establish norms concerning the requirements for clerics and members of religious institutes to take part on radio or television in dealing with questions of Catholic doctrine or morals.

Can. 832 Members of religious institutes also need permission of their major superior according to the norm of the constitutions in order to publish writings dealing with questions of religion or morals.

 


9 posted on 04/05/2014 6:49:15 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: DungeonMaster

Paul had something concrete to preach, not just a continuing scattershot critique of believers outside his authority.


10 posted on 04/05/2014 6:50:41 AM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: Gamecock

Good thing we have another Freeper Catholic v Protestant thread. What better way to promote the cause of Conservatism?


11 posted on 04/05/2014 6:52:34 AM PDT by strider44
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To: strider44

Well said!


12 posted on 04/05/2014 6:55:07 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: strider44
This is more important than conservatism.
13 posted on 04/05/2014 6:56:27 AM PDT by Gamecock (If the cross is not foolishness to the lost world then we have misrepresented the cross." S.L.)
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To: LurkingSince'98

Cause I fear for their souls.


14 posted on 04/05/2014 6:57:27 AM PDT by Gamecock (If the cross is not foolishness to the lost world then we have misrepresented the cross." S.L.)
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To: Gamecock

Careful ... you’re beginning to sound like our Gloater-in-Chief.


15 posted on 04/05/2014 7:03:17 AM PDT by al_c (Obama's standing in the world has fallen so much that Kenya now claims he was born in America.)
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: strider44

As a Protestant, I can’t stand these Protestants that do this. They even have a creepy ping list for Catholic bashing. It’s embarrassing. Don’t even get me started on the list members that praise themselves for their ability to post scripture in red. They remind me of Ray Stevens’ “Mississippi Squirrel Revival.”


17 posted on 04/05/2014 7:09:32 AM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: Campion
Clement's letter to the Corinthians commands their obedience, to him.

That's not right. You should read the letter yourself. My favorite parts include the phoenix being real and salvation through faith.

The letter offered unsolicited advice. Since no one said he shouldn't have sent it, it is therefore assumed that he had the right to send it. Hence, he was over them and therefore supreme.

18 posted on 04/05/2014 7:16:23 AM PDT by Tao Yin
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To: Gamecock

This is a stain on Free Republic. Wasted band width by people claiming that their way to believe in Jesus better than your way.


19 posted on 04/05/2014 7:30:05 AM PDT by strider44
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To: Gamecock

“Cause I fear for their souls.”

Well that ‘splains it all...Catholics never bring up protestants because we know ‘you are saved’, which is why we never bring up, talk about, strategize over, or otherwise consume our little Catholic brains thinking about anything ‘protestant’.

however, being protestant YMMV.

AMDG


20 posted on 04/05/2014 7:36:16 AM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam = FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD)
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To: Tao Yin

‘unsolicited advice’ is ignored....

however, direction from one in authority is not ignored...

so how did that exactly workout - ignored or not ignored.

AMDG


21 posted on 04/05/2014 7:39:06 AM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam = FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD)
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To: goodwithagun

BTTT and thanks.


22 posted on 04/05/2014 8:23:04 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: goodwithagun

‘mother/daughter’ fights are some of the most brutal
spats one can observe...

For unity sake, many protestant daughters have no problem with their mother’s
-calendar
-sabbath day
-holy days (two at least)
-greco roman latin transliterated name for the messiah of Israel..

Sometimes mothers and daughters dont realize how much alike they really are..
The world’s system of working to a peace is for the parties to focus on what they have in common and build from there.

Certainly those are some foundations to either build on or jump off of.. depending on where one stands...


23 posted on 04/05/2014 8:23:40 AM PDT by delchiante
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To: DungeonMaster

What do you call a person who is preoccupied with someone else’s faith ?

Paul was Evangelizing and his target audience were Gentiles, who were PAGAN.

Whereas SOME protestants on FR never get off the subject of Catholics, which is why I say:

Catholics live rent free in the heads of protestants.

Maybe someone uninvolved can explain it.

AMDG


24 posted on 04/05/2014 8:29:19 AM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam = FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD)
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To: LurkingSince'98

Bless you for understanding the purpose of both this site, and the point of Christianity as well. THe world would be a better place with more brothers and sisters in Christ like you.


25 posted on 04/05/2014 8:31:40 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: goodwithagun
As a Protestant, I can’t stand these Protestants that do this. They even have a creepy ping list for Catholic bashing. It’s embarrassing. Don’t even get me started on the list members that praise themselves for their ability to post scripture in red. They remind me of Ray Stevens’ “Mississippi Squirrel Revival.”

So you as a Protestant are protesting the Protestants...

26 posted on 04/05/2014 8:54:01 AM PDT by Iscool (Ya mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailer park...)
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To: strider44
This is a stain on Free Republic. Wasted band width by people claiming that their way to believe in Jesus better than your way.

And you wanted to get in on the stain...

27 posted on 04/05/2014 8:55:16 AM PDT by Iscool (Ya mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailer park...)
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To: LurkingSince'98
Paul was Evangelizing and his target audience were Gentiles, who were PAGAN.

Aren't you guys Gentiles???

28 posted on 04/05/2014 8:57:20 AM PDT by Iscool (Ya mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailer park...)
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To: LurkingSince'98; Gamecock
Well that ‘splains it all...Catholics never bring up protestants because we know ‘you are saved’, which is why we never bring up, talk about, strategize over, or otherwise consume our little Catholic brains thinking about anything ‘protestant’.

Never is a long time to go without paying rent. This is just in the last seven days:
Shepherds & Kings
Catholic Priests Who Become Non-Catholic Ministers
Poll: Homosexuals are viewed more favorably than evangelical Christians
Pope meets with Queen Elizabeth. Sends gift to little Prince George
The (Rush) Limbaugh Letter, “My Conversation with Bill Donohue” (Catholic League)
The Protestant's Dilemma
Surpassing Sola Scriptura
"The Jesus Film" Celebrating 35 Years - Enhanced Version Just Released
Clergy Should Defy Church's 'Morally Outrageous' Gay Marriage Ban, Says Bishop [Anglican]
The Church of England will mount no more resistance to gay marriage among churchgoers

29 posted on 04/05/2014 9:36:07 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: goodwithagun

Amen. But the Lord’s Word is all-powerful, and His love eventually prevails. It’s why Christians stopped the Klan from spreading their perverted method of saving souls; those who truly understand win out.


30 posted on 04/05/2014 10:00:38 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: Iscool

When I see your posts I think of Miss Maudie from To Kill a Mockingbird when she told Scout that some people are too busy worrying about the next world that they haven’t learned to live in this one.


31 posted on 04/05/2014 10:19:57 AM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: Iscool

Nope. Just trying to say how pointless these threads are. Just utter pointless bickering that does nothing to defeat Democrats. I wish that each Freeper that is about to post another thread that will generate these stupid arguments between Catholics and Protestants would step back and take a breath. Then post an article about the dangers of, say, Islam instead. Then we could all get on board and agree for a change...


32 posted on 04/05/2014 11:19:04 AM PDT by strider44
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To: Iscool

Guess you can’t read

It says Gentiles who were PAGANS


33 posted on 04/05/2014 12:35:17 PM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam = FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD)
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: strider44

Catholicism have been equated to Islam by a number of protestants.

I post to defend my faith and have otherwise never originated a single post especially about my faith.

Speaking of Islam if Catholics specifically Frankish Charles ‘The Hammer’ Martell who was responsible for stopping the spread of Islam at Tours in in 732 and Don Juan of Austria defending the Holy Roman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

Even though the official Catholic Church position is to reconcile with Islam, which i believe will never happen, I believe the next time it gets hot with Islam the Catholic Church will be there to defend our faith.

Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam


35 posted on 04/05/2014 1:54:41 PM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam = FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD)
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To: LurkingSince'98; Gamecock; Iscool
....we have you Gamecock, Iscool and others coming in to pee in the soup. Not just occasionally but every single time, so there is no discussion only name calling. It is amazing the vile anti-Catholic and insulting things you say to Catholics in your posts. It is easy for you to say it because you re anonymous, but I bet not one of you would open your mouth with that vile trash directly to my face - not one of you. You insult my faith, my parents faith and my children’s faith and you do it with impunity since you are hidden. If you did it to my face the next thing you would know is that you would be picking yourself up off the ground.

Says a man(?) whose mother did not name him "LurkingSince'98", whose own posts contain vile and insulting things, as reproduced above.

36 posted on 04/05/2014 2:01:59 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: LurkingSince'98
we have you Gamecock, Iscool and others coming in to pee in the soup. Not just occasionally but every single time, so there is no discussion only name calling. It is amazing the vile anti-Catholic and insulting things you say to Catholics in your posts. It is easy for you to say it because you re anonymous

I forgot to mention it earlier, but your rent is due.

37 posted on 04/05/2014 2:03:16 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: LurkingSince'98; Gamecock; Iscool
like I said Alex someday you may open your mouth to the wrong person, God willing it will be me.

For all you know, it may have already happened. Is it safe to assume that you've served time for assault?

39 posted on 04/05/2014 2:08:30 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: Alex Murphy

We are Growing! Increasing Number of People Coming into the Church this Easter

by Steve Ray on April 1, 2014

Some U.S. dioceses are reporting that 2014 will be an unusually fruitful year, in terms of the number of people welcomed into the Church. By Charlotte Hays

WASHINGTON — Speaking of the prospect of becoming a Catholic at this year’s Easter vigil, Sheila Bidzinski, a 36-year-old mother of two little boys, excitedly admits, “I hope I won’t pass out, but I have told my husband he has to get behind me in case he has to catch me.”

When Bidzinski, who has been studying the Catholic faith with a group at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Derwood, Md., comes into the Church, she will be participating in what one commentator has dubbed “a boom.”

The Archdiocese of Washington, where Bidzinski’s parish is located, will welcome the largest number of candidates and catechumens ever recorded for the archdiocese this Easter. The archdiocese will baptize or confirm 1,311 adults, children and teenagers this Easter.

“What we have seen for the past three years is a steady, incremental increase [in the number of people coming into the Church at Easter],” said Sara Blauvelt, director for catechesis of the Archdiocese of Washington. Blauvelt said that she finds it “particularly exciting” that there has been “a significant increase in the number of catechumens.”

Read the whole article here: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/easter-conversion-boom/#ixzz2xdbXzDnI
- See more at: http://www.catholic-convert.com/#sthash.shAfNExE.dpuf


40 posted on 04/05/2014 2:09:07 PM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam = FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD)
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: Alex Murphy

Need reinforcement that badly?


42 posted on 04/05/2014 2:13:30 PM PDT by Hacksaw (I haven't taken the 30 silvers.)
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To: LurkingSince'98
“What we have seen for the past three years is a steady, incremental increase [in the number of people coming into the Church at Easter],” said Sara Blauvelt, director for catechesis of the Archdiocese of Washington. Blauvelt said that she finds it “particularly exciting” that there has been “a significant increase in the number of catechumens.”

Any increase in the number of trinitarian Christians, Catholic or otherwise, is a good thing in my opinion. Let's hope that we see some genuine changes of character as well, as evidenced by an increase in conservative voting.

43 posted on 04/05/2014 2:34:19 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: Alex Murphy

Agreed.

Atheists

Hindus

Buddhists

Muslims

and anyone fallen away from Christ in any religion

All fare game and not considered poaching.

No Harm No Foul.

AMDG


44 posted on 04/05/2014 2:43:31 PM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam = FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD)
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To: LurkingSince'98
Agreed.

Atheists

Hindus

Buddhists

Muslims

and anyone fallen away from Christ in any religion

All fare game and not considered poaching.

No Harm No Foul.

IMO all faithful Christians (be they Protestant or Catholic) will become conservative voters, as their thought processes grow more biblical-minded and consistent, "taking every thought captive to obey Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5). I don't think you'd disagree with me on that. Where we might disagree is over whether you disagree with Catholic social theory and how it's played out historically at the American ballot box. If you intend to deck me for disagreeing with the American bishops' positions on universal health care and illegal immigration, you might want to rethink what website you're posting on.

45 posted on 04/05/2014 3:18:03 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: strider44
Then post an article about the dangers of, say, Islam instead. Then we could all get on board and agree for a change...

We do...And we post about those religious people who like to have their pictures taken kissing s muzlim Koran...Unity, ya know...

46 posted on 04/05/2014 3:39:54 PM PDT by Iscool (Ya mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailer park...)
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To: Alex Murphy

Also agreed.

However, it is our house and just as I would never presume to enter under your roof and tell you and Mrs Murphy the how and why of cleaning up that attic with bats in the belfry and the old gay uncle that you let live rent free (there it is again, by the same token we don’t need an outside to tell us some of the old bats in the belfry need to be let free.

You really have no idea the struggle that is going on right now for the soul of the Catholic Church. It is being fought in some way in every parish and every Diocese, and almost every faithful Catholic is in some way involved.

We do not discuss it openly especially in this forum, however, it is a battle in every sense of the word.

What you read about and what comes out in the papers is an amazingly narrow snapshot of the totality of the battle.

Regarding the ‘social justice’, ‘liberal voting Catholics’ and CINOs (Catholics In Name Only like Pelosi, Durbin and others) they are being slowly put surely dealt with.

You think the Vatican can just say something is so and it is changed overnight - not so. There is something very big happening as San Diego Catholic that has been found by the Vatican to be morally bankrupt, but it is still ongoing.

This is a fight that faithful Catholics will win because they have not defected, not rolled over and played dead and are not giving up on - no matter how bad it has gotten.

So long term outlook is very good, short term partly cloudy with a chance of meatballs.

BTW, every Catholic from all over could tell you tales of the fight that is going on in their parish and dioceses - but they wont. They are doggedly and determined to see it to the right end.

AMDG


47 posted on 04/05/2014 3:58:01 PM PDT by LurkingSince'98 (Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam = FOR THE GREATER GLORY OF GOD)
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To: LurkingSince'98
If you did it to my face the next thing you would know is that you would be picking yourself up off the ground.

That's how the pharisees reacted to the apostle Paul...And for the same reason...

You insult my faith, my parents faith and my children’s faith and you do it with impunity since you are hidden.

You come on a public forum with who knows how many visitors and push your form of religion to the public...I for one believe your religion left on its own has, is and will send countless numbers of people to hell...

As long as I am given the opportunity I will counter your religion with the truth of the bible...In obscurity or face to face...

48 posted on 04/05/2014 4:02:55 PM PDT by Iscool (Ya mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailer park...)
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To: goodwithagun
When I see your posts I think of Miss Maudie from To Kill a Mockingbird when she told Scout that some people are too busy worrying about the next world that they haven’t learned to live in this one.

I haven't watched that movie in 40 years...I don't even remember a bird let alone Miss Maudie...But Miss Maudie's got it right...

49 posted on 04/05/2014 4:06:04 PM PDT by Iscool (Ya mess with me, you mess with the WHOLE trailer park...)
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To: wideawake; Gamecock; metmom; daniel1212; Alex Murphy; redleghunter; CynicalBear; mitch5501; ...
"Except for a just and reasonable cause."

Which is a clause that can easily be used to justify anything. But looking at history we see much stricter prohibitions.

We furthermore forbid any lay person to engage in dispute, either private or public, concerning the Catholic Faith. Whosoever shall act contrary to this decree, let him be bound in the fetters of excommunication. — Pope Alexander IV (1254-1261) in “Sextus Decretalium”, Lib. V, c. ii:Catholic Encyclopedia, http://oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Religious_Discussions

Commenting on this, the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia states, “This law, like all penal laws, must be very narrowly construed. The terms Catholic Faith and dispute have a technical signification. The former term refers to questions purely theological; the latter to disputations more or less formal, and engrossing the attention of the public....But when there is a question of dogmatic or moral theology, every intelligent layman will concede the propriety of leaving the exposition and defense of it to the clergy. - www.newadvent.org/cathen/05034a.htm

But the clergy are not free to engage in public disputes on religion without due authorization. In the Collectanea S. Cong. de Prop. Fide" (p. 102, n. 294) we find the following decree, issued 8 March, 1625: "The Sacred Congregation has ordered that public discussions shall not be held with heretics, because for the most part, either owing to their loquacity or audacity or to the applause of the audience, error prevails and the truth is crushed. But should it happen that such a discussion is unavoidable, notice must first be given to the S. Congregation, which, after weighing the circumstances of time and persons, will prescribe in detail what is to be done. The Sacred Congregation enforced this decree with such vigour, that the custom of holding public disputes with heretics wellnigh fell into desuetude.

That this legislation is still in force appears from the letter addressed to the bishops of Italy by Cardinal Rampolla in the name of the Cong. for Ecclesiastical Affairs (27 Jan., 1902) in which it is declared that discussions with Socialists are subject to the decrees of the Holy See regarding public disputes with heretics; and, in accordance with the decree of Propaganda, 7 Feb., 1645, such public disputations are not to be permitted unless there is hope of producing greater good and unless the conditions prescribed by theologians are fulfilled. The Holy See, it is added, considering that these discussions often produce no result at all or even result in harm, has frequently forbidden them and ordered ecclesiastical superiors to prevent them; where this cannot be done, care must be taken that the discussions are not held without the authorization of the Apostolic See; and that only those who are well qualified to secure the triumph of Christian truth shall take part therein. It is evident, then, that no Catholic priest is ever permitted to become the aggressor or to issue a challenge to such a debate.

“...the Church forbids the faithful to communicate with those unbelievers who have forsaken the faith they once received, either by corrupting the faith, as heretics, or by entirely renouncing the faith, as apostates, because the Church pronounces sentence of excommunication on both.” St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Article 9, “Whether it is lawful to communicate with unbelievers?”; http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3010.htm

“On the other hand, there are unbelievers who at some time have accepted the faith, and professed it, such as heretics and all apostates: such should be submitted even to bodily compulsion, that they may fulfil what they have promised, and hold what they, at one time, received.” St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Article 8. “Whether unbelievers ought to be compelled to the faith?”

Innocent’s Bull Ad Extirpanda prescribes that captured heretics, being "murderers of souls as well as robbers of God’s sacraments and of the Christian faith, . . . are to be coerced – as are thieves and bandits – into confessing their errors and accusing others, although one must stop short of danger to life or limb." — Bull Ad Extirpanda (Bullarium Romanorum Pontificum, vol. 3 [Turin: Franco, Fory & Dalmazzo, 1858], Lex 25, p. 556a.) The bull conceded to the State a portion of the property to be confiscated from convicted heretics. The State in return assumed the burden of carrying out the penalty, and was to be "admonished and induced and if necessary compelled by ecclesiastical censure" "to the best of their ability to exterminate in the territories subject to their jurisdiction all heretics pointed out by the Church... "— Bull Ad Extirpanda (Bullarium Romanorum Pontificum, vol. 3 [Turin: Franco, Fory & Dalmazzo, 1858], Lex 25, p. 556a. Canons of the Ecumenical Fourth Lateran Council, 1215, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/lateran4.asp)

Is it permitted for Christians to be present at, or to take part in, conventions, gatherings, meetings, or societies of non-Catholics which aim to associate together under a single agreement everyone who, in any way, lays claim to the name of Christian? In the negative! - (Pope Pius XI, Mortalium Animos)

How does a Catholic sin against faith? A Catholic sins against Faith by Apostasy, heresy, indifferentism and by taking part in non-Catholic worship." (Catechism of the Council of Trent, and the Baltimore Catechism)

"If any ecclesiastic or layman shall go into the synagogue of the Jews or to the meeting houses of the heretics to join in prayer with them, let them be deposed and deprived of communion. If any Bishops or Priest or Deacon shall join in prayer with heretics, let him be suspended from Communion" - III Council of Constantinople.

Quinisext Ecumenical Council, Canon 64: It does not befit a layman to dispute or teach publicly, thus claiming for himself authority to teach, but he should yield to the order appointed by the Lord, and to open his ears to those who have received the grace to teach, and be taught by them divine things; for in one Church God has made "different members," according to the word of the Apostle... But if any one be found weakening [disobeying] the present canon, he is to be cut off for forty days. — http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3814.htm

But that was the past, and doing something or not doing something that would excommunicate a RC in one century can be sanctioned in another, and having lost her unscriptural ability to control media, Rome came to encourage Bible reading, while the "just and reasonable cause" clause that allows the RC faithful to write "for newspapers, magazines, or periodicals which are accustomed to attack openly the Catholic religion or good morals," is interpreted to sanction debate with "anti-Catholics," contrary to times past, though the wording does not go that far, but evidently has writing letters and stories in mind.

50 posted on 04/05/2014 4:33:17 PM PDT by daniel1212 (Come to the Lord Jesus as a contrite damned+destitute sinner, trust Him to save you, then live 4 Him)
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