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The Catholic Position [why the Church is blamed for everything]
LewRockwell.com ^ | April 20, 2002 | Joseph Sobran

Posted on 04/20/2002 5:56:22 AM PDT by heyheyhey

The Catholic Position

by Joseph Sobran

A few weeks ago I tried, in my feeble way, to express why I fell in love with the Catholic Church. I received many gracious and grateful responses from others who felt the same way, some of them converts like me.

Inevitably, there were also a few jeers, directed not so much against me as against the Church. Some dredged up old scandals of wicked popes, or supposedly shocking utterances of Catholic saints, or mere clichés of traditional anti-Catholic polemics. Most of these were meant to embarrass, not to persuade; the usual ahistorical nuggets.

What is startling is the perpetual passion of anti-Catholicism. You’d think that by now people who reject Catholicism would calmly ignore its teachings as old and irrelevant superstitions. After all, the Church has none of her old political power, adherence is now totally voluntary, and she has enough trouble getting her own children to listen to her.

But Catholicism still has a strange moral authority, and many people are unable to achieve a calm and assured disbelief. They are still driven to discredit the Church - perhaps for the same reason so many of us believe in her.

Catholicism offers a complete and comprehensive morality, one which most of us still recognize as the faith of our fathers. Bit by bit, the world, including other churches, has abandoned much of this morality; the Church continues to teach it, even when some of her own priests scandalously violate it.

A few generations ago, nearly all Christians shared the same sexual morality. They abhorred artificial birth control, for example. Many state laws banning the sale of contraceptive devices in this country were passed by Protestant majorities while Catholics were politically weak.

Gradually, however, Protestants ceased to oppose contraception, and Catholicism almost alone continued to condemn it. What had long been a consensus became censured as a "Catholic position." We now see the same process well under way with abortion and homosexuality.

If cannibalism ever becomes popular, and the rest of the world, led by its progressive-minded intellectuals, decides that anthropophagy is a basic constitutional right, opposing cannibalism will become a "Catholic position" too. Catholics will once more be accused of wanting to "impose" their "views" on everyone else (even when they are far too weak to do so), and the reformers will cry, "Let’s keep government out of the kitchen!"

I don’t defend the Church’s morality because I am a Catholic. I became and remain a Catholic because the Church maintains a consistent morality - while the rest of the world keeps veering off into moral fads. My conviction that she is right is only strengthened by the world’s strident demand that she change along with it, as if it were a sort of moral duty to change one’s principles, like underwear, with reasonable frequency.

"The world" includes many nominal Catholics who side with the secular world against their own Church. These are the Catholics you are most likely to see in the major media. They deny the Church’s authority to keep teaching what she has always taught, yet they can’t rest until she approves their pet vices - contraception, sodomy, same-sex marriage, and all the rest.

Notice that the proposed reforms usually have to do with sex. When the Church refuses to change, she is accused of being "obsessed" with sex, when it’s really her critics who are obsessed with it. Catholic morality recognizes seven deadly sins, of which lust is only one; but this happens to be the one the modern world can’t stop thinking about. Nobody demands that the Church "change its outdated teachings against sloth."

At any rate, the Church can’t change. She can no more change her teaching about lust than her equally emphatic teachings about pride, gluttony, and sloth, because God has made the world as it is and no human will can repeal its moral order. These aren’t the Pope’s personal opinions; they are objective truths.

Powerless, hardly able to keep her own flock in line, and betrayed by many of her shepherds, the Church is still treated as a threat. All she really threatens is the false comfort of the dormant conscience; but this is enough to make bitter enemies.

After all, her Founder warned her not to expect gratitude from men for trying to save their souls. She is the mother of Western civilization, and to this day, all too often, she is blamed for everything and thanked for nothing.


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: catholiclist
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Another great article by Joe Sobran is "My Two Conversions"
1 posted on 04/20/2002 5:56:23 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: heyheyhey
I like Joseph Sobran but he needs to take a truthful honest look at the problems in the Catholic church and quit attempting to give it a pass ..

Trying to point the finger at others as some have done saying things like 'they clergy in other churches have just as many _______ (fill in the blank with: pedophiles, gays, etc. etc.) is just as bad as those Bishops who covered up their 'sins' for years. Thousands of children have been at the mercy of those who were supposed to protect them and they failed their parishoners and God miserably.

3 posted on 04/20/2002 6:06:50 AM PDT by Zipporah
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To: heyheyhey
It's proof the Devil is alive and strong, waging war for souls as he has done throughout human history. This time on the battlegounds of contraception, abortion, homosexuality in the priesthood, same-sex marriage, and man-boy love, he has pushed the Catholic Church nearest to the abyss. The Devil now sees the light at the end of the tunnel - the end game, to bring down the final obstacle to his total domination of humanity through evil. Only goodness can save us if the Church falls.
4 posted on 04/20/2002 6:11:02 AM PDT by NetValue
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To: Zipporah
...he needs to take a truthful honest look at the problems in the Catholic church and quit attempting to give it a pass
The problem of sodomite criminals trying to destroy both the Church and those entrusted to her care hurts every Catholic.
At the same time we witness a hypocritical, vicious, un-proportionate attack against the whole Church. If you read the article carefully you will agree with me... and with Sobran :-)
5 posted on 04/20/2002 6:17:09 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: Zipporah
Sobran is right and so are you, Zipporah.
6 posted on 04/20/2002 6:17:55 AM PDT by glorygirl
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To: Zipporah
Thousands of children have been at the mercy of those who were supposed to protect them and they failed their parishoners and God miserably.

The problem is that when you have a billion catholics, some are sinners.

If you notice, most of the "scandals" are twenty years old. There are 40 000 priests now, but if you count the number who have served over the last 20-30 years, the number goes above 100 000. If one percent are pedophiles, you get 1000 pedophiles. I am not counting sex with consenting teens, which is a major sin, but is common in not only clergy but in doctors, of course you get a higher number.

Now, back in the 1970's, such cases were treated as a sin, which can be forgiven, and as a psychological failing, which could be treated.

Nowadays, as a reaction to all the cases, the public has gotten angry.

So the Church is rightly censored.

But you notice at the same time, the Supreme court allows child pornography, and young children are being indoctrinated that promiscuous sex is normal, and gay sex should be celbrated.

But in the last ten years, the Catholic church is reviving, i.e. going back to their Christian roots. There is a real danger of it becoming the enemy of political correctness.

Voila: pedophile scandals, mostly from the time when weak bishops allowed weakening of the sexual morality and weakening of screening of practicing gays from seminaries. (not to mention those like Mahoney weakening the doctrinal beliefs of the church)

We need prayer at this time that the scandals are repented for. Alas, too many bishops are embroiled in politics.

However, the church will survive.

7 posted on 04/20/2002 6:20:21 AM PDT by LadyDoc
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To: heyheyhey
Yes, we know the Catholic Church is a great insitution with a long history of moral authority.Bah, bah, bah

BUT, it needs to deal with it's current moral failures.

This article reminds me of the story about the 1,000 attaboys, one screw up and there all gone.

Moral authority is based on being moral, the Catholic Church is quickly loses it's ability to sing that tune.

8 posted on 04/20/2002 6:20:33 AM PDT by JZoback
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To: JZoback
You need to look at my reply #5 to Zipporah :-)

Bless your heart.

9 posted on 04/20/2002 6:23:15 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: heyheyhey
I do not believe that the 'sodomite criminals' are out to destroy the Catholic church. The Catholic church gave gays and pedophiles a safe place to operate AND be respected.

I was yesterday speaking to a former priest about this issue and he said that a particular family he knows whose child was abused left the church not due to what happened to their son but due to the way the Bishop dealt with it. They told the Bishop IF they didn't do something with the abusive priest (who had been abusing kids for years at several parishes with the full knowledge of the Bishop) then they would go to the press. The Bishop refused and the family took the story to the press. That is why some of this is in the press now..not the EVIL press trying to destroy the Church but an EVIL Bishop not protecting the children but protecting and EVIL priest.

10 posted on 04/20/2002 6:24:48 AM PDT by Zipporah
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To: NetValue
Only goodness can save us if the Church falls.

Only prayer, sincere repentance for sin and the knowledge that Christ Himself said:

"The gates of hell shall not prevail against it (His church)."

11 posted on 04/20/2002 6:26:05 AM PDT by NYer
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To: heyheyhey
The problem of sodomite criminals trying to destroy both the Church and those entrusted to her care hurts every Catholic.

I would agree with your statement 100%

My problem is, the Church is NOT dealing with these people (preverted criminals).

Until it does in an open and honest way, the attacks will continue.

They can no longer hide behind the Church door anymore and pay out money for silence.

12 posted on 04/20/2002 6:29:25 AM PDT by JZoback
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To: LadyDoc
Well the truth of the matter is that we are ALL sinners.. what I find interesting is that by criticizing those who have failed then it is an attack on the church as a whole. I am not saying that at all. But by you saying that this all happened YEARS ago.. then you just brush it under the rug. The problem isn't as much the abuse but the Bishops hiding it.. with full knowledge of what was happening. THAT is the problem. People fail .. we all do.. priests are just men.. but when they DO fail and the very ones entrusted to oversee the Diocese cover it up. That is a HUGE problem.
13 posted on 04/20/2002 6:32:11 AM PDT by Zipporah
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To: JZoback
My problem is, the Church is NOT dealing with these people (preverted criminals).
Probably not dealing whatever way YOU would like to see it being done.
Again, I suggest you read Sobran's article and you will agree 100% :-)
14 posted on 04/20/2002 6:37:56 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: Zipporah
Oh really? Funny I do recall Jesus saying in Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? [there is] none good but one, God.....
15 posted on 04/20/2002 6:38:46 AM PDT by Zipporah
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To: Zipporah
I do not believe that the 'sodomite criminals' are out to destroy the Catholic church.
You surely are NOT a Boy Scout of America :-)
16 posted on 04/20/2002 6:40:05 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: heyheyhey
Oh brother.. so the gays are entering the priesthood to destroy it? Okay.. if that makes sense to you and makes it easier to deal with.. great.
17 posted on 04/20/2002 6:43:14 AM PDT by Zipporah
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To: Zipporah
Yes.. the name Zipporah means little bird.
18 posted on 04/20/2002 6:43:55 AM PDT by Zipporah
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To: heyheyhey
Probably not dealing whatever way YOU would like to see it being done.

Tried and convicted (if guilty) and sent to prison for a long time.

Every single one of them.

19 posted on 04/20/2002 6:53:34 AM PDT by JZoback
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To: Zipporah
Thousands of children have been at the mercy of those who were supposed to protect them and they failed their parishoners and God miserably.

A sentiment which can be echoed for Protestant denominations as well. Every institution that has allowed moral relativism and tolerance of abhorrence to gain a foothold needs to clean up its act.

20 posted on 04/20/2002 6:54:13 AM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: Zipporah
I was yesterday speaking to a former priest about this issue and he said that a particular family he knows whose child was abused left the church not due to what happened to their son but due to the way the Bishop dealt with it.

Using that logic we all should have renounced our citizenship and left the country when those cowards in the Senate failed to convict Clinton. Sounds like they placed their faith in men rather than in God.

21 posted on 04/20/2002 6:58:16 AM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Oh for crying out loud.. can't you see that by pointing the finger at other religions that you are just watering down the church you are attempting to defend? Just keep closing your eyes and putting your fingers in your ears and it will ALL go away.. Problem is what will go away is the Roman Catholic Church.
22 posted on 04/20/2002 7:02:42 AM PDT by Zipporah
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To: heyheyhey
Excellent article.
23 posted on 04/20/2002 7:06:45 AM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: JZoback
Tried and convicted (if guilty) and sent to prison for a long time.
Every single one of them.
No one in the right mind would question that. But you be careful not to fall for what the massmedia want you to fall, to create in your mind a new criminal category: the Roman Catholic Church :-)
24 posted on 04/20/2002 7:07:47 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Catholicism still has a strange moral authority, and many people are unable to achieve a calm and assured disbelief. They are still driven to discredit the Church - perhaps for the same reason so many of us believe in her.
Joseph Sobran

25 posted on 04/20/2002 7:16:15 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: heyheyhey
Beautifully written. Some nice zingers.

Nobody demands that the Church "change its outdated teachings against sloth."

26 posted on 04/20/2002 7:23:46 AM PDT by Cicero
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To: heyheyhey
This whole thing with the catholic church is just an excuse to attack organized religion.
27 posted on 04/20/2002 7:31:04 AM PDT by INSENSITIVE GUY
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To: heyheyhey
At any rate, the Church can’t change.

SNORT...How many Catholics still don't eat meat on Friday?

The Church had better change its postion on how to deal with pedophiles within its ranks before it becomes a modern Sodom & Gomorrah.

28 posted on 04/20/2002 7:37:35 AM PDT by Drango
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To: heyheyhey
At any rate, the Church can’t change. She can no more change her teaching about lust than her equally emphatic teachings about pride, gluttony, and sloth, because God has made the world as it is and no human will can repeal its moral order. These aren’t the Pope’s personal opinions; they are objective truths.

The RC church must change. If homosexuality is a sin and there is punishment for committing a crime than the RC Church doesn't believe in objective truth. It knowingly has a huge contingent of homosexual priests. Far too many of these priest prey on adolesents and then the crime is covered up in the name of forgiveness.

The objective truth of this matter is that the RC Church has lost much of the moral authority it claimed to have.

29 posted on 04/20/2002 7:49:29 AM PDT by Fzob
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To: Drango
How many Catholics still don't eat meat on Friday?
In fact, many of us don't. The meatless Friday requirement was limited to the time of Lent. On any other Friday it is replaced by a deed of Christian charity.
...before it becomes a modern Sodom & Gomorrah
There is a blessing in the old scandals' hype; the more "conservative" Bishops who denied admissions of sodomites to the priesthood are being reinforced in their convictions, and the sodomite-friendly ones are (hopefully) becoming less sodomite-friendly.
30 posted on 04/20/2002 7:54:53 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: heyheyhey
Many state laws banning the sale of contraceptive devices in this country were passed by Protestant majorities while Catholics were politically weak.

My, my, do I detect a bit of Protestant bashing?

31 posted on 04/20/2002 7:59:17 AM PDT by VOYAGER
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To: Fzob
If homosexuality is a sin and there is punishment for committing a crime
I'm sure you realize the difference between "sin" and "crime." The "sin" category is fairly universal, it never changes, the "crime" category changes constantly. Only sometimes these two overlap.
In our massmedia for example, it slowly becomes a "crime" to be a Catholic, but there is nothing wrong with homosexuality :-)
32 posted on 04/20/2002 8:06:01 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: heyheyhey
I'm sure you realize the difference between "sin" and "crime."

Of course there is difference. The point I was trying to make is that; if the RC church considers homosexuality to be a sin and somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of the priests (numbers from priests themselves) are in fact homosexual it raises the question as to why these priest are tolerated in the first place. Moral authority implies a certain level of consistency between your dogma and real life, otherwise you get the label of hypocrite.

As far as crimes go; again if one is claimimg moral authority yet does not turn in these predators they lose said authority. The fact that forgiveness is an important issue does not allow these predator off the hook. They can be forgiven in or outside of a jailhouse.

33 posted on 04/20/2002 8:21:55 AM PDT by Fzob
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To: Fzob
somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of the priests are homosexual
Far out! I've been a Catholic since I was 1 month old, I got to know many priests and your numbers do NOT match my experience, not even remotely :-)
34 posted on 04/20/2002 8:52:51 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: heyheyhey
Re:
The meatless Friday requirement was limited to the time of Lent in POST #30.

It should say "requirement was limited in the recent years."

35 posted on 04/20/2002 8:58:20 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: heyheyhey
Far out! I've been a Catholic since I was 1 month old, I got to know many priests and your numbers do NOT match my experience, not even remotely :-)

Well, I doubt the priest are actually letting the flock know they are homosexuals. Do you? The number of 30 to 50 percent is a number that was stated by a RC priest that wrote an opinion piece in the wake of the troubles in Boston. I thought the number was very high as well, but who am I to argue with someone in the know?

BTW, how many homosexual as a percentage of priests does your experiance indicate there are? If the doctrine of the RC church is that homosexual activity is sinful, why does the church not defrock these men and tell them are unfit for ministry after it have become clear that these men have not merely backslide but are in fact indulging in this sin as a practice.

36 posted on 04/20/2002 9:31:21 AM PDT by Fzob
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To: Fzob
Well, I doubt the priest are actually letting the flock know they are homosexuals.
I can smell one from a good distance :-)
how many homosexual as a percentage of priests does your experiance indicate there are?
Very, very few from my experience. It may depend upon a particular diocese, and it REALLY SHOULDN'T. On another thread I read the following,
For Father John Canary, rector of the University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, outside Chicago, homosexual "orientation" does not necessarily exclude a candidate. But Father John Folda, rector of St. Gregory the Great Seminary of the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., said simply, "We don't take homosexual candidates." The reason, he said, is the same as that given by the Holy See. "Because of the way of life a priest lives, there would be a great deal of temptation for someone like that," he said. "You'd be calling a man to something unsuitable for his circumstances."

I am looking forward, with a great hope, to the outcome of the media-orgy. I think it will be, in the end, v. good for the Church :-)
37 posted on 04/20/2002 9:46:55 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: Cullowhee
welcome to freerepublic
40 posted on 04/20/2002 9:55:17 AM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: heyheyhey
A few weeks ago I tried, in my feeble way, to express why I fell in love with the Catholic Church

First, fall in love with Christ.

41 posted on 04/20/2002 9:58:08 AM PDT by Neenah
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To: JZoback
Moral authority is based on being moral

You'd better hope not, because if so, there's no moral authority in this world.

I'm not attacking you, but upon reconsideration I hope you'll see what a diabolical lie this is: the notion that since man is irredeemably depraved, he might as well give up. This spiritual despair is what's meant by the "slavery of sin."

42 posted on 04/20/2002 10:04:34 AM PDT by Romulus
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To: Neenah
First, fall in love with Christ.

Did you ever read this,

[Saul] fell to the ground and at the same time heard a voice saying, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" "Who are you, sir?" he asked. The voice answered, "I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting."
Acts 22:7-8

Do you believe in the seperation of Christ and His Church?

43 posted on 04/20/2002 10:06:08 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: Fzob
The number of 30 to 50 percent is a number that was stated by a RC priest that wrote an opinion piece in the wake of the troubles in Boston.

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus (of First Things) writes that he has heard estimates of from 2% to 40%; he himself estimates 10%. He also wrote, though, that there has never been a reliable study of the question (i.e., anyone can take his own number and plug it in). I would assume the figure varies widely by diocese since the various dioceses are uneven (to put it mildly) in their enforcement of the official ban on homosexuals in the priesthood.

44 posted on 04/20/2002 10:12:02 AM PDT by maryz
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To: heyheyhey
I am looking forward, with a great hope, to the outcome of the media-orgy. I think it will be, in the end, v. good for the Church :-)

I agree. Shedding light into darkness is always a good thing. My whole point with this article is that any institution that has allowed, by covering it up, this type of activity has little moral authority in my view. The article tries to make the case that the church still has a moral authority in light of this scandal. I disagree. (I have never thought any church has any moral authority, but that's another story)

In fact this lapse in leadership will have huge repercussions in the RC church as once faith in the church is shaken it is not easily recovered.

45 posted on 04/20/2002 10:25:57 AM PDT by Fzob
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This thread has been moved from the NEWS/CULTURE section into the RELIGION section.

How and why did this happen? Does anyone know?

46 posted on 04/20/2002 10:31:05 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: Cullowhee
So you have been in a system of idolatry for a long time...praying for Mary to intercede...ask any Orthodox Rabbi and he will tell you that it is idolatry...

I'm not Catholic so I have never prayed to Mary to do anything in my life. As for asking a Othodox Rabbi if it's idolatry, I don't need to. The work of God is very clear on this issue. BTW, I am a Jew turned Christian that discovered the Messiah has risen.

47 posted on 04/20/2002 10:31:39 AM PDT by Fzob
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To: Fzob
work=word

duh

48 posted on 04/20/2002 10:34:04 AM PDT by Fzob
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This thread has been moved into the RELIGION section.

How and why did this happen? Does anyone know?

49 posted on 04/20/2002 10:39:10 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: pollwatcher; 3catsanadog; mdittmar; verboten; braDíS GRAMMA; IM2PHAT4U; LARRYLIED; CAGEY...
What is startling is the perpetual passion of anti-Catholicism. You’d think that by now people who reject Catholicism would calmly ignore its teachings as old and irrelevant superstitions. After all, the Church has none of her old political power, adherence is now totally voluntary, and she has enough trouble getting her own children to listen to her.

But Catholicism still has a strange moral authority, and many people are unable to achieve a calm and assured disbelief. They are still driven to discredit the Church - perhaps for the same reason so many of us believe in her.

A gem from Joe Sobran.

50 posted on 04/20/2002 10:40:08 AM PDT by Diago
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