Skip to comments.Inculturation at Papal Masses; next, Poland and St. Faustina
Posted on 08/13/2002 7:22:41 PM PDT by sinkspur
Press coverage of John Pauls July 30-August 1 trip to Mexico turned mostly on his statement of support for the legitimate aspirations of indigenous persons, putting it in the context of the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, as well as inroads among indigenous groups in Latin America by Evangelical Protestants. The media focus was thus political and inter-religious. This is entirely proper, but I confess that my optic was more intra-ecclesial. I was in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe for both the July 31 canonization of Juan Diego, to whom the Virgin of Guadalupe is said to have appeared, and the beatification August 1 of two Zapotec Indians, Juan Bautista and Jacinto de los Angeles, martyred in 1700. What struck me in both cases was the startling degree to which both liturgies were inculturated, meaning that they drew heavily upon the sacred traditions of the native cultures involved.
When the pope pronounced the words of canonization for Juan Diego, conch shells began to blow, and the hundreds of indigenous persons present began to shake rattles they had brought for the occasion. Then native music began to thump out, as 11 dancers in Aztec costume slowly twirled their way down a specially prepared runway. As they snaked their way towards the pope, incense was burned and candles lit, while flower petals were strewn in their path. Finally red confetti was fired over our heads. It was an electrifying moment, and left the people inside the basilica cheering like it was Game Seven of the NBA finals.
As we were filing out to catch the press bus, a colleague from one of the American TV networks, a non-Catholic, said to me: Hell, if they did Mass like this all the time, Id come!
The next day was a repeat performance. The Nahautl, Zapotec and Mixtec languages, all spoken in the martyrs southern hometown of San Francisco Cajonos, were used during the liturgy. When the pope formally beatified Bautista and los Angeles, once again native dancers appeared on the runway, this time accompanied by a welter of indigenous brass bands from Cajonos and other nearby towns. Thousands of indigenous persons clapped, sang and swayed in time, as the dancers made their way toward John Paul.
Perhaps most remarkably, Indian women bearing smoking pots of incense brushed branches of herbs on the pontiff, Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera and other prelates in a limpia, or purification, ceremony. The common Indian blessing is believed to cure spiritual and physical ailments by driving off evil spirits.
Anyone who follows the Vatican knows that one of its most protracted internal tensions is between Bishop Piero Marini, responsible for the papal liturgies, and Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, who runs the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The latter makes the rules; the former sets the tone through what happens when the pope himself celebrates. Medina tends toward a traditionalist, by-the-book stance, while Marini is more reform-minded.
The Mexican celebrations, with their unapologetic embrace of elements of native worship, reflected the Marini imprint. But the $64,000 question is, whose side is John Paul II on? He signs Medinas documents and yet celebrates Marinis liturgies, so some accuse him of trying to have it both ways.
As a general rule, I suspect John Paul tolerates this tension as an exercise in pendulum governance, giving a little bit here and a little bit there, never letting any wing of the church feel too alienated. On this theory, the pope sees not a contradiction but a dialectic.
While such inconsistency can be maddening to observers trying to figure out what the church stands for, I dare say if you look closely, most pontificates embrace seeming contradictions. It was John XXIII, the beloved reformer, whose 1959 Roman synod forbade priests from driving cars or going to the cinema, and who decreed in his 1962 apostolic constitution Veterum sapientia that only Latin be used in seminaries. It was Paul VI, the pope of the council, who gave us both the new Mass as well as HumanaeVitae. How to explain this? John XXIII once quipped that he had to be pope both of those with their foot on the accelerator, and those with their foot on the brake. Such a view of papal responsibilities sometimes makes for a muddled approach to policy, but perhaps also for a kind of balance over time that prevents the whole thing from spinning apart.
On the issue of indigenous elements in Christian worship, however, I have two bits of datum suggesting the popes heart is with Marini one theological, the other anecdotal.
The theological reason is the way John Paul has developed the teaching of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) on other religions. Vatican II for the first time spoke positively of other religions, saying that not infrequently they contain elements of truth and grace. Yet the Council did not resolve the question of how those elements of truth and grace got there. As Karl Rahner wrote, The precise theological value of non-Christian religions was left open.
The question at the close of the council was: Are the truths of other religions simply evidence of a universal human yearning for God, a kind of natural religion? Or are they inspired by Gods Holy Spirit as part of a salvation history more complex than we had previously imagined?
John Paul II has answered this question, defending the second, more progressive hypothesis: that God, through the person of the Holy Spirit, inspires at least some elements of other religions.
Consider this line from a radio address to the peoples of Asia, Manila, Feb. 21, 1981: Even when for some he is the Great Unknown, He nevertheless remains always in reality the same living God. We trust that wherever the human spirit opens itself in prayer to this Unknown God, an echo will be heard of the same Spirit who, knowing the limits and weaknesses of the human person, himself prays in us and on our behalf. Or this, from the popes annual address to the curia on Dec. 22, 1986, this time defending his inter-religious summit in Assisi in October of that year: Every authentic prayer is called forth by the Holy Spirit, who is mysteriously present in the heart of every person.
One could go on multiplying examples (by one count there are at least 50 such statements). As Jesuit theologian Jacques Dupuis writes in his recent book Christianity and the Religions: From Conflict to Encounter: The peculiar contribution of Pope John Paul II to a theology of the religions consists in the emphasis with which he affirms the operative presence of the Spirit of God in the religious life of the non-Christians and in their religious traditions.
Thats the doctrinal reason I believe John Paul liked what he saw in Mexico. He believes those sacred dances, rites and gestures come from the Spirit and hence have a place in Christian worship.
My anecdotal reason?
I had a pair on binoculars with me, and I kept my eyes on John Paul on day two as the native dancers and mariachi bands did their thing. There was little response at first, but as the performance built up a head of steam, I saw the pope smiling broadly and tapping out the rhythm of the music. As papal endorsements go, it was indirect but unmistakable.
* * *
Speaking of the Mexico leg of John Pauls journey, one bit of subtext was whether Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, would be present. Maciel is a Catholic celebrity in Mexico, and on John Pauls four previous journeys he has been a leading actor. This time, however, Maciel faces highly public charges of sexual abuse from several former members of the Legionaries, and there was speculation as to whether he would be exiled from the papal orbit.
On the day of Juan Diegos canonization, I tried asking local organizers if Maciel were present. They had no idea. I asked four Mexican journalists, each one of whom proffered a different opinion. After attempts to spot him through binoculars failed, I tried a different tack, calling a Legionary friend in Rome. He declined to respond.
That night I headed off to a press conference at the Inter-Continental Hotel scheduled for 6:00 p.m., to ask Monsignor Guillermo Ortiz Mondragón, the designated spokesperson for the papal visit. 6:00 p.m. came and went, and no Ortiz. I enlisted the help of several very polite young men who had been stationed in the hotel to help journalists. After a half-hour, one came back with the news that his sister swore she had seen Maciel at the basilica. When I informed him this was not sufficient, he returned to the hunt.
Eventually they produced Ortiz. I put my question to him, and he responded: I have heard nothing about Maciel being here, and Im sure I would have heard if he were. It was a curiously non-definitive response.
The next morning, I rode to Mass in the company of a member of the papal entourage. I asked about Maciel, and he was finally able to resolve the question: Maciel was in the front row yesterday, he said, referring to the Mass for Juan Diego. I said hello to him myself. I then asked if Maciel had greeted the pope, and my source, who was in a position to know, said he had.
However low profile, I believe Maciels presence at the Mass, and his greeting of John Paul, can only be seen as a show of support from the pope.
A major newspaper recently printed a story saying that Maciel was expected to travel in the papal party. I dont know exactly who held this expectation, but I was on the papal plane and Maciel was not there. Just to be sure, I asked Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the Vatican spokesperson, on August 5, and he confirmed that Maciel did not travel with the pope.
Second, about those helpful young men it turns out they were students at Legionary schools. The press operation for the popes trip was run by prominent Mexican members of the lay branch of the Legionaries, called Regnum Christi.
* * *
If you were tuned into the Italian press for coverage of the Mexico trip, you would have been following a dramatic assassination attempt against the pope.
It was certainly a riveting story. The only flaw is that it wasnt true.
What happened is this. A fourteen-year-old Mexican, Erick Angel Hernandez Gomez, fired a BB-pistol out the window of his familys apartment on the afternoon of July 31, along the route John Paul was to take from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the papal nunciature. The shots were fired well before the pope went by. One pellet slightly grazed a Mexican police officer, though it did not cause a wound. The boy was briefly arrested, then released into his parents custody when it became clear he hadnt meant to harm anyone. (The judge called the boys action a stupid joke).
An Italian news agency, however, reported that the pope had been fired upon and that a Vatican security agent had been hit. With that, the chase was on. Italian reporters on the trip got urgent calls from their editors, demanding accounts of panic in Mexico City despite the fact that a couple of steps out the hotel door was enough to prove that there was no such panic.
The lesson is not to be seduced by dramatic news flashes in the middle of a breaking story until confirmation emerges. This time it was the Italians, but its hardly a geographically limited temptation.
* * *
John Pauls next journey outside Italy will take place August 16-19 in Poland. Fans of the papal resignation hypothesis have long been licking their chops over this trip. Why go now? Why for only three days? Could it be to announce John Pauls long-rumored exit from the papal stage, then spirit him off to a monastery?
I seriously doubt it, though events could always prove me wrong.
In fact, there is a precise motive for the visit, with a deep resonance in John Pauls spirituality. He is going to dedicate the new Sanctuary of Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki, outside Krakow. It is named for a devotion to Gods mercy launched in the early 20th century by a Polish nun named Faustina Kowalska, whom the pope canonized on April 30, 2000 (making her the first saint of the new millennium).
Faustina believed that Jesus had appeared to her in 1931with a message of mercy for all humanity. Her spiritual director commissioned an artist to render a painting of Jesus as he appeared in her visions, which has become the well-known image of Jesus with two rays of light streaming from his heart. (The red ray represents the blood that flowed from Christs side when struck with a spear on the cross, the white the water). Her 600-page diary of the visions is known as Divine Mercy in My Soul. She devised various prayers and spiritual acts to support this devotion before dying in 1938.
Faustina has long been an important figure in the life of John Paul II. As an underground seminarian during World War II, he was influenced by Kowalskas diary. When he became archbishop of Krakow, he began the process of her beatification, which he brought to fruition as pope.
John Pauls devotion to Faustina has critics. Some see her quasi-apocalyptic insistence on human unworthiness as excessive. Others object to the way the pope placed the divine mercy feast on the second Sunday after Easter, hence disrupting, according to some liturgists, the Easter season. (Especially given that Easter is supposed to be about the joy of resurrection, not our constant need for mercy). Still others say the pope shouldnt use his office to foist his personal spirituality on the rest of the church.
Those may all be valid points, but I still think theres something to like about the Faustina story.
For almost 20 years, from 1959 to 1978, Faustinas diary and her divine mercy devotion were officially banned by the Holy Office, todays Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Working from what is today recognized as a faulty Italian translation of her diary, the Holy Office decided that Faustinas private revelations were quirky and effectively silenced her movement.
It was thus a minor bit of defiance for Archbishop Karol Wojtyla to open canonization proceedings on October 21, 1965, for someone whose lifework was still officially censored in Rome. The Vaticans ban on Divine Mercy Devotion was finally lifted on April 15, 1978, and in short order Wojtyla became pope. His 1980 encyclical Dives in Misericordia is heavily influenced by Kowalskas thinking, in its own way reminiscent of how certain documents of Vatican II were inspired by figures censured under Pius XII.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has argued that its documents and disciplinary decisions participate in the ordinary and universal magisterium, which over time becomes the infallible teaching of the church. This may be, but as the case of Faustina shows as did that of Padre Pio, also canonized by John Paul after having been disciplined several times during his life by Rome only time can tell whether any given decision of the congregation really reflects that magisterium or not. In other words, even the Holy Office nods.
* * *
Two weeks ago, I described an interview I conducted with Fr. Peter Gumpel, the man responsible for the sainthood cause of Pius XII, about the book The Popes Against the Jews by David Kertzer.
Professor Kertzer was kind enough to respond, and among other points he boiled down the argument of his book into one paragraph. I asked his permission to reproduce it here. Kertzer wrote:
The Nazis were behind the Holocaust, and the Nazis were also anti-Christian and anti-Catholic. But their ability to carry out the Holocaust depended on mass grass-root hostility to the Jews, and as I try to show, the Catholic Church played a significant (though far from exclusive) role in fueling these hatreds.
Stated that way, there perhaps is not as much distance between Kertzer and Gumpel as one might imagine, since Gumpel allowed in our interview that anti-Jewish sentiments expressed in organs such as LOsservatore Romano and Civilità Cattolica may have reinforced prejudices against Jews in early 20th century Europe.
I suppose the real argument (not necessarily between Kertzer and Gumpel, but among students of the issue in general) is not whether the church played a role in shaping anti-Semitism, but whether it has sufficiently acknowledged that role, repented for it, and insured that it does not recur.
The original image, from Krakow. We've 'inculturated' the image a bit in the USA.
This one is from the inside of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It was painted by Maria Gama in 1945.
The other one is from the Monastery Icons company. It was painted by iconographer Photios Kontoglou.
Here's a close up of the bust area from the Kontoglou icon.
I really like Byzantine-style art, actually.
Probably wasting your breath with Sinkspur where Mexicans and Africans are concerned.
In her book -- Divine Mercy In My Soul - Diary, I've seen the "first image" of the original painting and it closely resembles (the face appears thinner in the book) the first painting posted by Pyro. However, probably because of costs, it's in black of white and not as clearly defined as the painting you posted.
Either this remark is meant to imply racism on my part, or it does imply racism on your part.
As far as I'm concerned, inculturation is a settled issue liturgically: native customs are perfectly appropriate for inclusion as long as they don't require mopping the floor afterward.
Chris Ferrara is no reporter. He's a propagandist, whose outrage is the only emotion he has. He spends his life looking to fuel that outrage and it is a grave misfortune that unwitting dupes find him in the least credible.
You mean the "We Protest you to your face" rag edited by Michael Matt? The same little pathetic compendium that advocates a Catholic monarchy as the "ideal" form of government?
Chris Ferrara and Matt are borderline schismatics.
You know, you're ultima ratio with a bad attitude.
Both of you are annoying and, frankly, beside the point.
You sit. On a very sharp stick.
Do you agree with THE REMNANT that a Catholic monarchy would be much better for America than the present Constitutional Republic?
There is simply no other Catholic paper that provides his perspective.
I read the NCR, regularly. Much of it is goofy stuff, but there are usually two or three articles that are worth reading. Allen's is always among those.
It seems the other posters have beat me to the image, so here's an aspect to the Divine Mercy that may or may not be known.
Why would Christ emphasize in our time a doctrine, the Divine Mercy, which has been part of the patrimony of the Faith from the beginning, as well as request new devotional and liturgical expressions of it? In His revelations to St. Faustina Jesus answers this question, connecting it to another doctrine, also sometimes little emphasized, that of His Second Coming. In the Gospel the Lord shows us that His first coming was in humility, as a Servant, to free the world from sin. Yet, He promises to return in glory to judge the world on love, as He makes clear in his discourses on the Kingdom in Matthew chapters 13 and 25. In between these Comings we have the end times or era of the Church, in which the Church ministers reconciliation to the world until the great and terrible Day of the Lord, the Day of Justice. Every Catholic should be familiar with the teaching of the Church on this matter, contained in paragraphs 668 to 679 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Only in the context of public revelation as taught by the Magisterium can we situate the words of private revelation given to Sr. Faustina.
You will prepare the world for My final coming. (Diary 429)
Speak to the world about My mercy ... It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy. (Diary 848)
Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near. (Diary 965).
I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. (Diary 1160)
Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (Diary 1588)
He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice. (Diary 1146).
In addition to these words of Our Lord Sr. Faustina gives us the Words of the Mother of Mercy, the Blessed Virgin,
You have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for granting mercy. (Diary 635).
It is clear that, like the message of Fátima, the urgency here is the urgency of the Gospel, "repent and believe." The exact timing is the Lord's. However, it is also clear that we have reached some critical phase of the end times that began with the birth of the Church. To this fact Pope John Paul II alluded at the consecration in 1981 of the Shrine of Merciful Love in Collevalenaza, Italy, when he noted the "special task" assigned to him by God "in the present situation of man, the Church and the world." In His Encyclical on the Father he urges us "to implore God's mercy for humanity in this hour of history ... to beg for it a this difficult, critical phase of the history of the Church and of the world as we approach the end of the second millennium." (Rich in Mercy
I refuted the claim that Chris Ferrara is a reporter. He described the events at the canonization as "insane", which is a subjective comment, worthy of an editorialist. He is not, nor ever been objective, so to describe him as some kind of journalist with any legitmacy is erroneous, and needed to be pointed out.I suspect you would do the same thing had you noticed.
More generally, facts don't necessarily need to be disputed. What is more pressing is the (in)significance, (lack of)meaning, and (mis)application of facts by some people. Take this fact from Ecclesia Dei:
" In the present circumstances I wish especially to make an appeal both solemn and heartfelt, paternal and fraternal, to all those who until now have been linked in various ways to the movement of Archbishop Lefebvre, that they may fulfil the grave duty of remaining united to the Vicar of Christ in the unity of the Catholic Church, and of ceasing their support in any way for that movement. Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church's law."
I don't need to refute it. It is crystal clear to me what it means. But for some, it means that the authority and primacy of the Vicar of Christ is illegitimate. For others it means the French bishops are really in control. These are the things that need to be refuted.
Instead like your father, the Father of Lies, you attempt to divert attention from the facts, ignore the truth, chip away slowly like all heretical liberals at the Deposit of the Faith, and basically gnash your teeth, rent your garments and generally foam at the mouth in indignation whenever the light of day reveals your nefarious actions.
You don't like my posts.
You've been given a free pass by the real Catholics on this list for much too long. Your tactics with them in every posting are to pressure them to concede as much territory to the right as possible or to separate themselves from brother Catholics. As Pope Pius XI said, there are no enemies on the right.
The political spectrum is circular. The far right, let's say libertarians, can have leftist or liberal tendencies.Drug legalization is one example where leftists and the far right come together. As well, leftists can have fascist qualities. Socialism and communism are leftist philosophies with large doses of totalitarianism. In the case of right wing schismatics in the church, they have moved around the circle to join the Call to Action and We are Church crowd. They all share the same elements of cafeteria Catholicism that puts them in a precarious position. They all reject certain elements of the Magesterium. Yes, the pope is once again right. There are no enemies on the right.
You ignore it as if it didn't exist.
But it cannot undo, and did not undo, Canon Law, which is also the Pope's word. And these canons provide that a State of Necessity can void an excommunication. These were clearly the canons Archbishop Lefebvre knew exonerated him.
Lefebvre was mistaken. It has been shown to you on numerous occaisions how he was mistaken.Your unacceptance of the Church's position can only be attributed to.....well, I don't know the cause. It's very sad though. Your constant repition of your private interpretation of canon law will not change the facts.
But even if they did not exist, the Doctors of the Church themselves have taught that a command to harm the Church is unlawful and must not be obeyed, even if the command were given by a pope.
Nothing the pope has done concerning Lefebvre has been harmful to the church. On the contrary, he acted to protect the primacy of Rome, and the salvation of individual souls.
SSPX is virtually the memory of the Catholic Church. It is Catholicism as it had always been practiced before the post-conciliar debacle. Its Masses and devotions and teachings are what the Church has always prayed and taught. Nor does it reject this Pope. In fact, it prays for him at every Mass....
OK, you point that out every day. I'm glad. He needs all the prayers he can get.
Yet tradition itself is what this modernist Pope and his appointees are now actively dismantling.
Apparantly the prayers the SSPX are saying for the pope are going unheard.
as he did most flagrantly at Assisi
Ah - the Assissi battle cry. ( Yawn )
The recent declaration of the American bishops on our relations with the Jews is only the latest test for this papacy. If Rome either ignores or supports this heretical declaration, it will make utterly clear that John Paul II does not intend to reject apostasy or oppose the forces which oppose the Catholic Faith, as he is bound by the papal oath to do.
I would have thought that it was utterly clear to you already. I doubt that the pope will have anything to say about some obscure committee's ( to you it's all the American bishops)in the hinterland of the Church's frontier, making some meaningless, feel good statement. I suggest you ignore it. I suggest the SSPX continue it's extraorinary efforts in providing missions to convert Jews to Catholicism. You all can continue to hand out Catholic tracts outside synagogues. Defy the pope..er..committee.
Have a blessed Feast of the Assumption.
I understand that you hold the " State of Necessity " clause as Lefebvre's loophole. But, as I have explained before, Lefebvre's loophole can, and was, trumped.This is from Canon Law 1323, the pertinent phrase: An excommunication is null and void if someone acted "by reason of necessity or grave inconvenience, UNLESS, however, the act is intrinsically evil or tends to be harmful to souls; That word "unless" is key here. I'll grant, for argument's sake, that Lefebvre really believed he had a reason of necessity. But that reason of necessity is voided by the "unless" clause. Because, the pope judged Lefevre's reason of necessity to be intrinsically evil, and/or harmful to souls. How do we know this? In Ecclesia Dei the pope wrote:" Everyone should be aware that formal adherence to the schism is a grave offence against God and carries the penalty of excommunication decreed by the Church's law."A grave offense against God is harmful to souls. I hope you would agree with that. Therefore, the state of necessity becomes void.
I am aware that I have explained this before. I regret that I've needed to again. I just want you to be certain that I understand your defense of Lefebvre. You should understand that I don't buy it because of the "unless" clause. That's all.
It's not about what I think. It's what the Church thinks. "Tends to harms souls" is probably more applicable here if you don't like intrinsically evil, although disobedience certainly qualifies as such in some instances.
I've made an exhaustive list of character traits I've found to be caused by SSPX membership on another thread. I believe that the SSPX tends to inculcate a disordered paradigm. I derived my opinion by talking to many SSPXers. They all have the same tendencies. I think many bishops recognize these tendencies as well.
Since the SSPX acknowledges the Pope as the head of the Church and prays for him at every Mass....
LOL I don't know why you feel you need to keep telling me that. Is praying for the pope in mass somehow supposed to mitigate the insults you hurl and contempt you disply for the pope whenever you are not in mass?
The truth is traditionalists who follow the fraternity must put up with a lot of abuse by badly informed Catholics who claim--on the basis of diocesan pundits who demonize the SSPX every chance they get-
I'm still laughing. This is a good example of the hypocrisy the SSPX is known for. You cry demonization when that is all you do to the Catholic church. You despise the mass, the hierarchy, the theology,the councils, the popularity of the pope-all. Yet you expect your movement to be shown respect by those you despise. Believe me, I am being charitable when I describe that as kooky.
This is it for me Ultima. I'm not interested in repeating myself and that's all we seem to be doing. If I don't repond to anything else you might have to say, it's because it's probably been covered before. Thanks for playing. Pax et bonum.
Christmas is celebrated on the 25th because that is the day Jesus was born.
Cite the quote, please. That phrase was proposed to "The Remnant" by one of its supporters years ago. I know because I used to subscribe to The Remnant. The one proposing it was a gentleman from "Keep the Faith," as I recall.
It has been , repeatedly. It makes no difference how many times Patent and Sitetest patiently chased down his misquotes and fabrications and corrected them. He will not abandon his position, for now.
Responding to his ceaseless repitition of the same errors will only encourage him to continue.
I'll have to wait until I get home, but, off the top of my head, there is internal evidence of the Bible and external evidence - well,it used to exist.
I wouldn't leap to the 'definitely" conclusion. Some of the thngs I have lead me to think that 12/25 is DEFINITELY correct :) But, I think this a good oportunity to reconsider that date
Tirade? And to think that I have been consciously exercising restraint. Oh well.
I never accused you of using abusive language, so I'm not going to show you anything.
Yes, I have criticized the Pope--as any Catholic has the right to do for acts which are thoroughly unprecedented and unorthodox--such as praying with voodoo priests and witchdoctors or kissing the Koran. I have done so in a context of extreme adulation of the Pope on the part of some on this site who refuse to attribute to his papacy any responsibility for the systemic wrongs and breakdowns in discipline and doctrine which currently plague the Church.
I was so proud of you when you substituted mullahs for voodoo priests on another post. That attempt at variety/originality was encouraging. But you've reverted back to voodoo priests. Rats! A relapse.
IMHO, if not for this pope things would be far worse in this church. Liberals despise this pope too, Ultima. He's no modernist. Too laid back, maybe, but that is probably a consequence of a profound inner peace. May the peace of Our Lord also be with you.
I was skeptical too. But I decided to use it as a teaching point instead of rightfully questioning it's validity. It does sound a bit fishy.
There is the Limbaugh school of thought, that when a kook calls up you don't need to respond to him, just let him ramble on and let his arguments reveal for themselves their speciousness. I must admit that I am somewhat bored with it though.