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Bishop of San Jose Denies Historicity of Gospels in Response to "Passion" Film
Lifesite ^ | Monday February 23, 2004

Posted on 02/24/2004 6:57:17 PM PST by nickcarraway

McGrath criticized by local Catholics for supporting pro-homosexual organizations

SAN JOSE February 23, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Roman Catholic bishop of San Jose California has written an editorial for the local paper in which he denies the historical truth of the Gospels. In response to the accusations of anti-semitism which have been made against the film, "The Passion of the Christ," Bishop Patrick J. McGrath wrote in The Mercury News on February 18, that the charge of anti-Semitism cannot be leveled against Catholicism since Catholics do not adhere to the literal, historical truth of Scripture.

Without commenting directly on the film, which he says he has not seen, the bishop wrote, "While the primary source material of the film is attributed to the four gospels, these sacred books are not historical accounts of the historical events that they narrate. They are theological reflections upon the events that form the core of Christian faith and belief."

However Bishop McGrath's statement that the Gospel accounts of the Passion of Christ are mere "theological reflections" contradicts Church teaching.

For example, the Second Vatican Council document Dei Verbum states, "Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy held, and continues to hold, that the four Gospels…whose historical character the Church unhesitatingly asserts, faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught…"

Bishop McGrath has been criticized by local Catholic groups for his support of pro-homosexual organizations and his exclusion of the Christian group Courage, a support group for homosexuals who try to live according to Christian morality.

Bishop McGrath's editorial: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercuryne ws/entertainment/special_packages/passio n_of_christ/7985930.htm


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: bible; catholic; catholiclist; entertainment; hollywood; movies; religion; thepassion
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1 posted on 02/24/2004 6:57:17 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: Lady In Blue; Canticle_of_Deborah; Desdemona; Salvation; NYer; narses; Flying Circus; Chesterton
ping
2 posted on 02/24/2004 6:58:30 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
Why do people feel the need to comment on something they haven't seen? And why did the bishop feel the need to write the article he did?
3 posted on 02/24/2004 7:00:38 PM PST by Lawgvr1955 (What's that? Pizza with no anchovies? You've got the wrong man. I spell my name "Danger")
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To: nickcarraway
And the wheat continues to be separated from the chaff...
4 posted on 02/24/2004 7:00:47 PM PST by TomServo ("What a day. I invented Gainesburgers and I didn't even mean to!")
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To: nickcarraway
BWA HAW HAW HAW!!!!!!!!!

This is what 'church tradition' and papal infalibility will get ya.
5 posted on 02/24/2004 7:02:05 PM PST by mercy
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To: Lawgvr1955
well, he actually does explain that part in the article.
6 posted on 02/24/2004 7:04:22 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
I was flicking around the TV channels today and came across a Jesuit priest "talking head" who appeared to be dissing The Passion, claiming it was not adhering to the Gospels. I clicked on.

I wondered if this priest was a supporter of liberal causes. Can't remember his name..
7 posted on 02/24/2004 7:07:26 PM PST by demnomo
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To: nickcarraway
No gift for you bishop. Have an empty envelope instead.
8 posted on 02/24/2004 7:07:36 PM PST by evolved_rage (All your base are belong to us.)
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To: nickcarraway
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 126:

The Church holds firmly that the four Gospels, "whose historicity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while he lived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation, until the day when he was taken up."

The Bishop is in error.

9 posted on 02/24/2004 7:08:17 PM PST by Unam Sanctam
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To: nickcarraway
The Catholic church has a rich history in telling the peasants what they should and shouldn't think about the Bible. One need only study the 'dark ages' period to realize that this is nothing new.

If the Bible isn't the word of God and the guidebook for humanity, perhaps this Bishop should explain what he's now fronting in it's place.
10 posted on 02/24/2004 7:09:40 PM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: nickcarraway
that the charge of anti-Semitism cannot be leveled against Catholicism since Catholics do not adhere to the literal, historical truth of Scripture.

Well this Catholic does and I accuse the bishop of apostasy

11 posted on 02/24/2004 7:10:17 PM PST by pgkdan
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To: nickcarraway
The Roman Catholic bishop of San Jose California has written an editorial for the local paper in which he denies the historical truth of the Gospels.

Then this man is NOT a christian.

12 posted on 02/24/2004 7:12:31 PM PST by GeronL (http://www.ArmorforCongress.com......................Send a Freeper to Congress!)
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To: nickcarraway
"...homosexuals who try to live according to Christian morality."

Strange. I always thought that being homosexual is actually in itself against Christian morality.
13 posted on 02/24/2004 7:14:55 PM PST by JackTom
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To: nickcarraway
I would think he would like to see the film before commenting.
14 posted on 02/24/2004 7:15:13 PM PST by freekitty
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To: TomServo; Victoria Delsoul; Alamo-Girl; ALOHA RONNIE; kattracks
And the wheat continues to be separated from the chaff...

Bump. Yet another GOAT is found pretending to be a sheep....

15 posted on 02/24/2004 7:16:03 PM PST by Paul Ross ("A country that cannot control its borders isn't really a country any more."-President Ronald Reagan)
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To: nickcarraway
There is a difference between holding the Bible to be accurate and to be -literal-. It is true that the Catholic Church does not cite that every last word in the Bible must be taken in an extreme literalist perspective - for example, the Catholic Church does not maintain that the Universe was created in 144 hours. It -does- maintain, however, that the Bible and particularly the accounts of Jesus's life are -accurate- in that it depicts actual events and does not contain tacit errors.

There's a difference between accuracy and literalism. One need only watch the way liberals attempt to interpret the Constitution to see the difference at play.

Qwinn
16 posted on 02/24/2004 7:18:10 PM PST by Qwinn
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To: DoughtyOne
I believe the priests were the only folks who had any education in, particularly, remote villages. They were considered to be the wisemen. I came from a small town & the barber was the town wiseman - he had attended some college & a gift of wit/gab.
17 posted on 02/24/2004 7:22:10 PM PST by NutmegDevil
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To: nickcarraway
It is my understanding that the gospels differ in certain chronological aspects, among other things. So as literal history they would be wrong in certain respects, though not in any fundemental way.

I don't know what the bish was trying to impart with his statement; either he's just wrong or he's right but should have been more clear, since a different shade of meaning can have major theological consequences.

18 posted on 02/24/2004 7:32:31 PM PST by JohnnyZ (People don't just bump into each other and have sex. This isn't Cinemax! -- Jerry)
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To: nickcarraway
I see Bishop McGrath is giving Mahony a run for the "top apostate bishop of California" award.
19 posted on 02/24/2004 7:32:41 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: All
I just have to add this to this discussion - so -

The Bible is the INSPIRED Word of God. 2Timothy 3:16

All Scripture in inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

The word INSPIRED in the greek means literally
God Breathed.

God breathed out these word into the minds of man to be written down just as God wanted them written. SO

The Literal Word of God.

20 posted on 02/24/2004 7:33:21 PM PST by Esther Ruth (Choose this day - whom you will serve!)
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To: mercy
This is what 'church tradition' and papal infalibility will get ya.

Just the opposite. He's directly contradicting the official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.

The word is apostasy.

21 posted on 02/24/2004 7:34:30 PM PST by Petronski (John Kerry looks like . . . like . . . weakness.)
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To: Land of the Irish; autopsy; ultima ratio
Ping
22 posted on 02/24/2004 7:34:49 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: mercy
BWA HAW HAW HAW!!!!!!!!! This is what 'church tradition' and papal infalibility will get ya.

Considering the fact that the "higher criticism" of the Gospels and the Bible started with Protestant clergyman in the 19th century, and the Catholic Church held the fort on Biblical Innerrancy for a century after the higher critics did their damage in Protestant circles, you really have no room at all to laugh.

23 posted on 02/24/2004 7:37:41 PM PST by Clintons a commie
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To: DoughtyOne
The Catholic church has a rich history in telling the peasants what they should and shouldn't think about the Bible

Unlike, of course, Martin Luther (loved the Peasant Revolt...), John Calvin (Christian Totalitarianism anyone?), Jacobus Arminius, John Wesley, any post Millenialist church, any Pre-Millenialist Church, any post trib-church, any pre-trib church, any Baptist minister, and Dispensationalist, and any of the 57 varieties of learned variations on eschotology, each and everyone founded in the only true literal reading of the Bible.

Thank God all you have to do is open the Book and read it for yourself - it's all so clear /sarcasm

The bishop in question is willfully wrong about Church teaching. Catholic church and Protestant. I think that we can agree on that

24 posted on 02/24/2004 7:38:56 PM PST by jscd3
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To: nickcarraway; GatorGirl; maryz; *Catholic_list; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; ...
The CRISIS exemplified.
25 posted on 02/24/2004 7:39:46 PM PST by narses (If you want OFF or ON my Ping list, please email me.)
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To: Clintons a commie
Thanks Pal, I liked that
26 posted on 02/24/2004 7:40:25 PM PST by jscd3
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To: nickcarraway
Many wrongly assume that Mel Gibson is Roman Catholic. He is not. He is Old Catholic.

The Old Catholics broke away from the Roman church several hundred years ago. They consider themselves Catholic and will call themselves that.

There are doctrinal differences. Not sure which ones might apply here, but maybe that is what this argument involving the San Jose RC bishop is about.
27 posted on 02/24/2004 7:46:37 PM PST by rogueleader
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To: mercy
This is what 'church tradition' and papal infalibility will get ya

Yea, that and a bunch of dead babies hidden in the catacombs bore by nuns impregnated by priests, right?

28 posted on 02/24/2004 7:48:52 PM PST by Captiva (DVC)
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To: Qwinn
A very well-made point. The various gospels differ in some details, as any eyewitness accounts will. They were written by men, not God, and we are only human.

The differences in the minutiae, however, don't mean the events they claim to have witnessed did not occur. To fixate on the details as a "literalist", however, is to miss the forest for the trees.

Better to focus on the message, rather than the messengers.
29 posted on 02/24/2004 7:51:11 PM PST by Imal (Misunderstanding of the Constitution is poor grounds for amending it.)
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To: Clintons a commie
Not interested in ancient history. Thanks to Luther and Calvin the situation is now reversed and this is more relevant don't you think?
30 posted on 02/24/2004 7:52:13 PM PST by mercy
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To: rogueleader
Many wrongly assume that Mel Gibson is Roman Catholic. He is not. He is Old Catholic. Actually, the Old Catholics were a group that left the Catholic Church after the 1st Vatican Council and its proclamation on Papal Infallibility. Gibson belongs to the Traditionalist Movement, a group within Catholicism that wants the Church's liturgy to be restored to it's pre Vatican II state, and also rejects the ecumenism of the modern Papacies(but not the Papacy itself).
31 posted on 02/24/2004 7:53:13 PM PST by Clintons a commie
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To: Canticle_of_Deborah; Esther Ruth; Petronski
Matthew places the healing of the centurion's servant before the disciples' controversial plucking of grain on the Sabbath and Jesus' healing of the man's withered hand. Luke, however, places the healing of the centurion's servant after these same events. Matthew places the clearing of the temple immediately following the triumphal entry, before the cursing of the fig tree. Mark places the clearing of the temple on the day after the triumphal entry and after the cursing of the fig tree.

Now, look. I know y'all have already jumped all over the bishop, but clearly the gospels differ as a historical account. The chronology is different in many places, which means they can't be taken as an exact historical rendering. And obviously the Church doesn't teach that.

The bishop's statement was kinda vague but I don't see that he was trying to contradict church teaching. Accuse him of poor wording when it's important, as a shepherd, to be scrupulously accurate, but to blast him for one sentence in an article is not fair.

(Before you jump on ME, remember that I'm no theologian and MY wording may not have the correct shade of meaning -- suffice it to say that I believe the gospels are true, and the events happened, and the chronological differences are not really material.)

32 posted on 02/24/2004 7:56:53 PM PST by JohnnyZ (People don't just bump into each other and have sex. This isn't Cinemax! -- Jerry)
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To: Esther Ruth
1. The Truth of the Christian faith has existed since the earthly life of the Lord.

2. But the Bible was not codified until the 4th Century AD.

3. Therefore, the Bible cannot be the sole source of Christian Truth.

****

1. In the 4th Century AD, the Canon of Scripture (i.e. the contents of Bible) were recognized as being divinely inspired according to Tradition received from the early Fathers of the Church.

2. Thus, the Bible itself is the product of Tradition.

3. Therefore, without Tradition, the Bible would not exist.

****

Conclusion 1: Since the Truth of Christianity preceded the existence of Scripture, then the Bible cannot be the sole source of Christian Truth.

Conclusion 2. Since the Canon of Scripture was determined by the Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, anyone who accepts the Bible as divinely inspired also accepts the infallibility of the Church.

No infallible Church, no Bible. No Tradition, no Scripture. ”Bible Christianity” / sola scriptura are invalid.

QED

33 posted on 02/24/2004 7:57:26 PM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: nickcarraway
Sounds like another Mahoney phony....
34 posted on 02/24/2004 7:58:24 PM PST by Antoninus (Federal Marriage Amendment NOW!)
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To: rogueleader
Mel Gibson is not Old Catholic. He disagrees with the Church at the point of VII.
35 posted on 02/24/2004 7:58:27 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: mercy
Not interested in ancient history. Thanks to Luther and Calvin the situation is now reversed and this is more relevant don't you think? Considering the fact that Luther and Calvin's revolt against authority is what led to the idea that one could "demythologize" the Scriptures and find their "plain meaning" on one's own, I don't think it's ancient history at all. And Protestant "scholars" are still at the forefront of trashing the Bible. But I do applaud the Protestants who stand up for Scripture, like Josh McDowell and Lee Stroebel.
36 posted on 02/24/2004 7:59:42 PM PST by Clintons a commie
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To: demnomo
I was flicking around the TV channels today and came across a Jesuit priest "talking head" who appeared to be dissing The Passion, claiming it was not adhering to the Gospels. I clicked on. I wondered if this priest was a supporter of liberal causes.

The media runs to find the most liberal "Catholic" priests (or ex-priests) whenever they want to present the "Catholic" view point. The best thing to do is ignore them. They don't speak for anyone. If you want to know what the Catholic Church really teaches about something, you need to watch EWTN.
37 posted on 02/24/2004 8:00:39 PM PST by Antoninus (Federal Marriage Amendment NOW!)
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To: Paul Ross
Bump. Yet another GOAT is found pretending to be a sheep....

This bishop is more likely to be a WOLF pretending to be a sheep...
38 posted on 02/24/2004 8:01:49 PM PST by Antoninus (Federal Marriage Amendment NOW!)
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To: B-Chan
I don't even need the New Testament to be a Christian. The Christ cited many Old Testament scriptures. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were unearthed they were found to agree nearly 100% mith manuscripts from the third and fourth century AD. To me this proves the Old Testament is inerrant and that work prophesied The Christ. I need NO tradition to prove my faith.
39 posted on 02/24/2004 8:05:32 PM PST by mercy
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To: JackTom
""...homosexuals who try to live according to Christian morality."

Strange. I always thought that being homosexual is actually in itself against Christian morality."

It depends on what is meant by "being homosexual". Is a celibate person who has same-sex desires but fights them living outside Christian morality? I think not.

40 posted on 02/24/2004 8:06:11 PM PST by walden
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To: nickcarraway
Why the church puts up with these heretics is beyond me

I guess for the same reason Catholic politicians in favor of abortion go unscathed and so called Catholic colleges are the way they are

Church might as well fold its tent since it is nothing but a pack of wimps
41 posted on 02/24/2004 8:07:00 PM PST by uncbob
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To: Antoninus
EWTN? What does that stand for? Is it available on cable?
42 posted on 02/24/2004 8:08:39 PM PST by demnomo
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To: nickcarraway
Bet this guy is a jesuit. The homosexual pedephiles of the RC church.
43 posted on 02/24/2004 8:09:06 PM PST by mercy
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To: Lawgvr1955
Because the San Jose Diocese is infiltrated by communists who are pushing social justice and many other radical agendas.

44 posted on 02/24/2004 8:13:01 PM PST by hedgetrimmer
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To: jscd3
LOL, nice try.
45 posted on 02/24/2004 8:15:33 PM PST by DoughtyOne
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To: nickcarraway
Having actually read the linked article, there is only one line which speaks to the issue of the historical accuracy of the Gospels.

Not to stick up for this guy, since I don't know his record at all, I do think his comment may have been an acknowledgement that the Gospels were not written contemporaneously with the life of Jesus Christ, but some time after. Perhaps his wording was inartful.

That said, I asked my priest if he had seen the Passion at the special clergy screening held last night. He said he did, and he really didn't like it that much. He criticized it for not being true to the Gospels, while on the other hand criticizing it for depicting Christ falling five times "when he only fell three times". Well, duh! Technically, he did not fall at all if we look only to the Gospels, but you'd think a Catholic priest would recognize the inclusion of the Stations of the Cross!

I think the guy leans liberal, like many priests of his generation. I think the best priests are really old, really young or foreign! Those who went to the seminaries in the 70s and 80s were done a huge disservice, as were those of us who grew up Catholic in the 70s and 80s.
46 posted on 02/24/2004 8:15:44 PM PST by MiniCooperChick
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To: rogueleader
He's not Old Catholic. "His" church practices the Pre-Vatican II Tridentine rite, which is perfectly acceptable to the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, I occasionally attend a Tridentine rite Mass myself.
47 posted on 02/24/2004 8:18:40 PM PST by MiniCooperChick
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To: rogueleader
Wrong. Mel is a devout Roman Catholic. He is NOT part of the heretical "Old Catholic" group.
48 posted on 02/24/2004 8:18:40 PM PST by narses (If you want OFF or ON my Ping list, please email me.)
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To: mercy
I'm surprised, mercy, I thought you'd say that ALL the priests are homosexual pedephiles (sic), not just the Jesuits!
49 posted on 02/24/2004 8:21:08 PM PST by MiniCooperChick
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To: Qwinn
I am not a Catholic and this is not the first time I have been told by practicing Catholics that the Bible is not literal.

This comes from the mouth of a Bishop. So what is going on how could this man be a member of a church and claim this and still continue to be a member of a church?

What exactly is he talking about?
50 posted on 02/24/2004 8:22:23 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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