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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
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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To: Zipporah
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?

Sit up a little higher so the point doesn't sail so far over your head. Documented cases of clergy abuse are greater in Protestant denominations than in the Catholic Church, yet the media doesn't devote segments on Nightline or Dateline or 20/20 to that fact and we all know why. How many members of the mainstream media have reported that these cases are predominantly homosexual in nature? Almost exclusively they say pedophilia not homosexual. Why didn't Dateline run their report on Thursday night just prior to airing Will and Grace instead of before Law and Order? Diane Sawyer this past week did a lengthy story on Rosie O'Donnell's perverted homosexual lifestyle. Did she raise the issue of homosexual abuse?

If you had been paying attention you'd know that I am not watering down the Church I am defending; I've repeatedly called for Law, as well as others, to be indicted, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced. Perversion is rampant in the world and perverts seek out occupations and opportunities where they will be able to prey on victims. Every Church needs to clean up it's act, not just mine.

51 posted on 04/20/2002 10:40:42 AM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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This thread has been moved into the RELIGION section.

How and why did this happen? Is it because Sobran makes sense?

52 posted on 04/20/2002 10:45:08 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: heyheyhey
This thread has been moved into the RELIGION section.

How and why did this happen? Does anyone know?

My understanding is that articles blaming and attacking the Catholic Church belong in the much read news section. Articles defending the Catholic Church belong in the little read Religion section. I hope this helps.

53 posted on 04/20/2002 10:45:48 AM PDT by Diago
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To: Romulus
Moral authority is based on being moral

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

Of course you are correct.

Let me restate

If you are going to claim being moral authority, you better at least act like you are, or you are a hypocrite

What moral authority does the Catholic Church claim it is principled from?

54 posted on 04/20/2002 10:47:55 AM PDT by JZoback
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To: Diago
articles blaming and attacking the Catholic Church belong in the much read news section. Articles defending the Catholic Church belong in the little read Religion section.
Thank you sir. Your explanation makes sense.
55 posted on 04/20/2002 10:49:33 AM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: heyheyhey; dr. brian kopp;
Of course, articles like Guy Cars and Chick Cars: Do They Really Exist? also belong in the main news section. Perhaps we can somehow tie in a defense of the Church with a discussion of why chicks like some types of cheese while dudes prefer other brands of cheese.

I would also note that there are about 10,000 articles in the main news section defending the Jewish Faith.

56 posted on 04/20/2002 11:02:43 AM PDT by Diago
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To: JZoback
What moral authority does the Catholic Church claim it is principled from?

You freepmailed me back that the better phrasing is

'What moral authority does the Catholic Church claim its principles from?'

A partial answer: in St John 17:18, St Luke 22:29-30.
57 posted on 04/20/2002 11:23:02 AM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: Diago; heyheyhey
You just don't understand; we were moved to the Religion ghetto because more room was needed in News/Activism for the vital Saturday Car Talk threads: "Guy Cars vs Girl Cars"; and "Conservative cars vs. Liberal Cars".
58 posted on 04/20/2002 11:28:33 AM PDT by Romulus
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To: Mike Fieschko
'What moral authority does the Catholic Church claim its principles from?'

St John 17:18, St Luke 22:29-30.

I don't think the Catholic Church would agree.

59 posted on 04/20/2002 11:37:07 AM PDT by JZoback
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To: JZoback
'What moral authority does the Catholic Church claim its principles from?'

St John 17:18, St Luke 22:29-30

I don't think the Catholic Church would agree.

The first is from the Lord's prayer to the Father, where He refers to the apostles: 'I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world' (verse 6). Verse 18 is 'As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them [the apostles] into the world.' The apostles have the Lord's authority.

The second is when the Lord says 'And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel'. This is, of course, at the Last Supper.

Would you elaborate on why the Catholic Church would not agree?

(Using the KJV here. I could post other translations, if you want.)
60 posted on 04/20/2002 11:57:40 AM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: Romulus;Diago
The massmedia work so hard to obliterate the good image of the Catholic Church. It costs them enormous amounts of dollars and countless hours of propaganda work. Imagine the painstaking task of bringing out all of the allegations from the 1960's and on against any messed up Catholic priest across the country to create an image of a totally corrupt Church, when someone, like Joe Sobran, writes a few sentences and all their meticulous misinformation spin is wasted!
61 posted on 04/20/2002 12:18:35 PM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: VOYAGER
Indeed.....next thing we know Algore will attack the white Protestant male patriarchy for such evil laws....
62 posted on 04/20/2002 12:32:56 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: heyheyhey
Sobran's take is beyond rational criticism. Not one of the points he makes is refutable.

Yet an orgy of the Church's enemies is always bound to arrive at a thread that highlights the reality that the Church is perennially the moral beacon of the world. Somehow the orgy always involves spitting on an institution whose earthly leaders are men because these men are somehow "exposed" as sinners. Gasp. Horror. Shocking. As if that were some sort of surprise.

63 posted on 04/20/2002 12:38:28 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Neenah
People come to know and love Christ because they come to know and love those who know and love Him. One does not evangelize oneself. Men evangelize other men - and loving the other man is the first step to evangelizing him. This is my experience and what the bible asks of us.
64 posted on 04/20/2002 12:43:32 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: heyheyhey
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.

I think Sobran has unwittingly admitted here the problem that exists concerning the Catholic Church's moral authority, or lack thereof. The fact that adherence to the Church's teachings once was not voluntary serves to validate the argument of those who claim that the Church cannot possibly be of God. When murder, torture and other barbarities are employed to produce conversions, albeit in the distant past, by an institution claiming to represent a loving God on Earth, the public skepticism that will meet it is more than understandable. This current sex scandal is only the latest, and not even the worst, of the stains the Catholic Church carries. If people no longer look to the Church for moral guidance, perhaps it's because the Church has not been very moral itself throughout history. And if it claims to be the divinely guided true Church of God, then it shouldn't complain when people bring up it's past (or current) actions and demand that those actions be reconciled with this claimed divine guidance. To do so is only reasonable, after all.

65 posted on 04/20/2002 12:54:07 PM PDT by helmsman
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To: helmsman
Ditch the anachronistic rose-colored glasses. In centuries past, all institutions demanded adherance to the rules. The idea that such aherance is optional is very very novel, historically speaking. Thank you.
66 posted on 04/20/2002 12:59:26 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Notwithstanding
Ditch the anachronistic rose-colored glasses. In centuries past, all institutions demanded adherance to the rules.

So, since Catholicism is now voluntary, that must mean God's Church has changed with the world and the times, is that right?

67 posted on 04/20/2002 1:04:59 PM PDT by helmsman
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To: helmsman
adherence to the Church's teachings once was not voluntary serves to validate the argument of those who claim that the Church cannot possibly be of God
See Notwithstanding in #63,
Sobran's take is beyond rational criticism. Not one of the points he makes is refutable.
This current sex scandal is only the latest, and not even the worst...
While NO ONE child or teenager should ever be sexually targeted by a Catholic clergymen, I would need to be convinced there is an ONGOING problem of such abuse in the Church. "News" from 20 years ago do not convince me. Meanwhile a lot of criminal abuses take place elsewhere as we post on FR.
68 posted on 04/20/2002 1:08:41 PM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: Mike Fieschko
I am well aware of the passages

"The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."[47] This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.

LINK

To the Catholic Church the interpretation of the Word of God is not by the Holy Spirit, but by man.

The Popes are not very good at playing God.

I'll take my personal revelation from the Holy Spirit, thank you.

Not knocking the Catholic Church as an insitution, but if it gets it's moral authority from the Pope rather than the Word of God, no wonder it can't clean it's own house.

69 posted on 04/20/2002 1:15:56 PM PDT by JZoback
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To: JZoback
The Popes are not very good at playing God.
Why don't you just stick to YOUR religion for the time being.
70 posted on 04/20/2002 1:17:51 PM PDT by heyheyhey
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To: helmsman
"So, since Catholicism is now voluntary, that must mean God's Church has changed with the world and the times, is that right?"

The Church has no use for the "wisdom of the age" when it contradicts what I will call the "Wisdom of the Ages" (God's eternal truth). Happily, the Church gradually accepts the "wisdom of the age" if and only if it comports with the "Wisdom of the Ages". Thankfully the Church's habit is to avoid doing so hastily.

Doctrine has never mandated that all or any persons be forced to "believe". Any such forced conversions were imprudent, rather than signs of a Church whose doctrine was in error.

Catholics do not believe in men - we believe in the Truth's of God which He reveals through His Church. Truth does not depend on the bearer of the message. It is the message that is the Truth.

71 posted on 04/20/2002 1:24:10 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: JZoback
"I'll take my personal revelation from the Holy Spirit, thank you." - Pope JZoback I
72 posted on 04/20/2002 1:27:05 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: JZoback
To the Catholic Church the interpretation of the Word of God is not by the Holy Spirit, but by man.

Since the link you insert is to the Catechism, to be honest, at the least you need to include the paragraphs which precede what you inserted:

81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."[42] "And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."[43]

82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."[44]

And, what follows what you cite:

86 "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."[48]

Before you cited the Catechism, you stated that the Catholic Church would not agree that St John 17:18 and St Luke 22:29-30 were partial bases for the source of moral authority. Again I ask, why?
73 posted on 04/20/2002 1:35:38 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: JZoback
Catholics are asked to humble themselves and accept that their own interpretation might actually be selfish, rather than in-Spired, and that the authoritative UNIFYING interpreation of the Church will be protected from error and in-Spired.

If we are all individaully inspired, nothing can logicallyy prevent the situation we have today in which homosexuality is biblically fine some and not with others. Funny how you would think that YOUR inspired interpretation has to be right - just as much as Rosie O'Donnel thinks hers is right.

74 posted on 04/20/2002 2:15:27 PM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Mike Fieschko
Before you cited the Catechism, you stated that the Catholic Church would not agree that St John 17:18 and St Luke 22:29-30 were partial bases for the source of moral authority. Again I ask, why?

If the source of the Churches moral authority is based on the Pope's opinion of the Word of God, and not on the Word itself, I see that as a problem

What if the Pope decided St John 17:18 and St Luke 22:29-30 were no longer part of the Word, he is the final authority?

75 posted on 04/20/2002 2:29:46 PM PDT by JZoback
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Sit up a little higher so the point doesn't sail so far over your head.

Very interesting.. you know Pro 16:18 Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

When I said you were watering down the Church by what you were saying.. apparently that went WAY over your head bud.

76 posted on 04/20/2002 2:47:07 PM PDT by Zipporah
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To: JZoback
What if the Pope decided St John 17:18 and St Luke 22:29-30 were no longer part of the Word, he is the final authority?

I repeat this from my post 73, since it responds to the hypothetical:

86 "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."[48]

As for someone deciding what's in and what's not, there is 1 John 5:7 in the KJV, the 'authorized' version.

If you want to discuss how the Holy Spirit protects the Magisterium from teaching error, I'll be able to in about 2 hours, as I have to step away from the keyboard now.
77 posted on 04/20/2002 2:53:06 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: JZoback
"If the Church gets its moral authority from the Pope rather than the word of God, no wonder it can't clean its own house"

You need a little history lesson, my friend. The Church existed long before the first letter of the first gospel or first epistle was written. Just where was its moral authority coming from during the period before and during the writing of the gospels, the last of which was not even completed until after 90 A.D. And who do you think determined that the Gospel of John was inspired and that the apochryphal Gospel of Thomas, for example, was not. I will tell you where the Church gets its moral authority: From the lips of Jesus Christ himself: Take a good look at Matthew 16:18-19. "You are Peter and upon this Rock I will build my Church....What you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven, what you declare loosed on earth shall beloosed in heaven." Your personal revelation, as you call it, is just that. It has absolutely no assurance of moral rectitude in the sight of God. The Church declared which books of the Bible were divinely inspired and you, in the face of Christ's clear instruction, deny it the right to interpret the scripture and contend it lacks moral authority, because the authority reposes, by Christ's command, in His vicar on earth. So be it.

The point that you and many others fail to understand is that the Church, as an institution, is both divine and human. Because it is human, its followers will sin. This does not lessen its moral authority, because this authority comes from Christ and is not dependent on whether you or the Gallup Poll or any other human being judges it to be hypocritical. If you don't agree with its teachings, you are free to reject it. But don't use the argument that the Church is composed of sinners as an excuse for doing so.

As I said, the Church is both Divine(Jesus)and human(His followers). It is thus a blend of light and darkness. It radiates enough light for those who want to see and enough darkness for those who don't.

78 posted on 04/20/2002 2:55:44 PM PDT by Brices Crossroads
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To: Diago
I'm not quite certain why you've pinged me to this thread.

I really try to abstain from bickering about religion so please remove my name from your ping list. In the meantime, have a nice day!

79 posted on 04/20/2002 4:19:32 PM PDT by Humidston
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To: Notwithstanding
Yet an orgy of the Church's enemies is always bound to arrive at a thread that highlights the reality that the Church is perennially the moral beacon of the world. Somehow the orgy always involves spitting on an institution whose earthly leaders are men because these men are somehow "exposed" as sinners. Gasp. Horror. Shocking. As if that were some sort of surprise.

When these men who are exposed as sinners (as all men are) did not have to face the consequences of their actions in a criminal court, because the church protected them, and then claim to be the "moral beacon of the world," has some answering to do. Answers that thus far seem to be along the lines of "mistakes happen, get over it." The issue is that the church leadership covered up these mens crimes, and then to make matters worse they just sent the predators off to another parish to ply their trade on some other unsuspecting member of the flock.

Most that you classify as enemies are merely pointing out than ANY institution that acted as the RC Church leadership has cannot play the victim, nor can they claim a moral authority, as Sobren and others seems to be claiming.

80 posted on 04/20/2002 4:54:30 PM PDT by Fzob
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To: heyheyhey
Satan knows the right address, that's for sure.
81 posted on 04/20/2002 5:25:34 PM PDT by Proud2BAmerican
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To: Fzob
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.

I think you hit on the key concept, and one which has been ignored by the American seminaries: that is, that there should be absolutely ZERO toleration of any kind of homosexual practice by the priests. I've read that there are at least 2 seminaries where teachers and seminarians alike flaunt their gayness, dress in drag, and go down to gay bars together (I believe I read this from a snippet from "Goodbye Good Men"). I'm not entirely certain that you can also say that a person who would otherwise be homosexually inclined, but has worked through prayer and devotion to Jesus to control those urges and aberrant appetite so as not to either act on it or indulge in the thoughts, should be declared ipso facto to be unfit for the priesthood; after all, on the other side of the coin, heterosexually-inclined priests aren't automatically adulterers just because they're heterosexual. However, if they cavalierly flaunt and exhibit the attitude that they think it's OK to break their vows of celibacy, then they too should meet with an immediate dismissal from the priesthood.

That was my original belief before all of this mess started (that any form of sexually deviant behavior should be automatic grounds for dismissal from seminaries; and that the seminaries should be tightly controlled to be on the lookout for anyone exhibiting suspicious behavior -- hetero or homo); however, I recently was aware of a still-standing Church decree that any seminarian who is found to be homosexual-inclined is automatically unfit for the priesthood (I'm sure a knowledgeable Catholic can cite it here: it was from the Congregation on Divine something or other, circa 1960-something).

If that's the case, then maybe it's just better, as a rule, to just bar all homosexually-inclined men from the priesthood, even if they are able to control their thoughts and actions, just because of the potential danger of just one of them slipping up.

Of course, even as I say this, it seems incongruous in that would it be any less damaging for a heterosexually-inclined priest to molest a young girl, or to indulge in a sexual affair? My viceral reaction though, even though I know it's absent any logic, is to say a homosexual molestation is worse. I don't know why; it just feels worse.

82 posted on 04/20/2002 5:40:00 PM PDT by Proud2BAmerican
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To: JZoback
To the Catholic Church the interpretation of the Word of God is not by the Holy Spirit, but by man.

In light of Mike Fieschko's post #73, would you care to amend this statement? (Assuming you actually read what you linked us to.) Do you agree that you were incorrect in your statement, at least according to the source you cited?

If you do agree that you were incorrect, did you just not read the entire passages where you linked to?

83 posted on 04/20/2002 5:51:58 PM PDT by Proud2BAmerican
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To: heyheyhey
Welcome to the new Free Republic Religion Forum ghetto. Anything the management deems religious moreso than Newsworthy they pull from the News Forum and exile it to the Religion Forum. There are a handful of FReepers who do not want to see Religious discussion on FRee Republic, and they hit the abuse button when they deem a thread too Religious for the News Forum and the management duly pulls it and throws it into the exile and oblivion of their new handy Religion Forum. That's my own humble opinion, anyhow. (When I'm being really cynical, I think that they're trying to market their new FR forum software product, and the Religious threads may turn off their prospective clients, so marketing trumps FRee Speach now.)
84 posted on 04/20/2002 6:38:32 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Diago
My understanding is that articles blaming and attacking the Catholic Church belong in the much read news section. Articles defending the Catholic Church belong in the little read Religion section. I hope this helps.

Well said. Amazing how even a place of refuge such as FR has sunk so low. Very Sad.

85 posted on 04/20/2002 6:41:21 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: heyheyhey; *Catholic_list; patent; notwithstanding; JMJ333; Aunt Polgara; AgThorn...
Excellent article by the way. (I must admit, I feel vindicated when someone like Sobran says what I've been saying here on Free Republic regarding contraception. And when other folks also are starting to notice that we've indeed been exiled to the Religion Forum ghetto.)
86 posted on 04/20/2002 6:50:13 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
Hey, it's gotten even better. I just dealt with a poster who impersonated a Catholic until I called her on it because of the bizarre things she was saying.
87 posted on 04/20/2002 6:58:54 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: LadyDoc
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.

Yes, and the news media and the entertainment culture are the biggest child abusers of all because while they abhore bad priests they preach the doctrine of anything goes as far as sex and morals. In this secualr world they teach that immoral behavior,(if it is politically correct) is not immoral unless they say it is.

88 posted on 04/20/2002 7:24:47 PM PDT by tiki
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To: JZoback
Not knocking you as a person, but you don't have a clue. I just wonder if you know how silly you sound when you try to debate with your ignorance on display.
89 posted on 04/20/2002 7:32:57 PM PDT by tiki
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To: goldenstategirl
I just dealt with a poster who impersonated a Catholic until I called her on it

That's actually standard practice among some antiCatholics. Most of the groups claim to have "former priests" on staff, whom they quote as sources for their distortions. When one objects that it is impossible for even the most poorly educated of priests to believe what they publish, they reply that there is really a secret conspiracy to keep the "real" (i.e., demonic) Catholic teachings from the laity, and that any published documents are merely for public consumption. What "really" goes on in the Vatican is known only to a select few, among whom is the "priest" they have on a leash, so to speak.

It's standard conspiracy-theory kookery, of course, but that's an inherent part of antiCatholic bigotry. You may recall the rumors these people were propagating around JFK's candidacy (and Al Smith's, but he was before my time) that the Pope would push a button, and the secret Vatican decoder-rings which all Catholics receive at their antiBiblical confirmation would glow Marian blue, the signal to mobilize an army to subvert the sovereignty of the United States.

Some of this stuff can be partially penetrated by asking one's interlocutor to submit to a little quiz. I usually ask one who expresses outrage at an out-of-context passage from the Catechism how many Biblical citations, roughly, say order of magnitude, are to be found in that document. They're never anywhere close to a correct answer, because they don't actually read the full 700 pages or so; instead they get passages exerpted and distorted through the lens of one bigoted organization or another.

It helps to know a bit about the tactics you're up against.

90 posted on 04/20/2002 8:12:49 PM PDT by neocon
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To: neocon
It's standard conspiracy-theory kookery, of course, but that's an inherent part of antiCatholic bigotry.

Astute observation...like their revisionist histories they can't prove because "the Catholics destroyed all evidence that the baptists existed from the time of the Apostles and were the only true Church." Its kinda like historical gnosticism..."only us fundamentalists know the Real history of Christianity...come join us and we'll fill you in..."

91 posted on 04/20/2002 8:48:23 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: NetValue ; heyheyhey
re: #4

I saw a journalist on TV the other night who was spinning this whole thing in the direction of - "the Church will lose its credibility with its members" - (on sexual and reproductive issues was the implication). There definitely seems to be a slightly demonic scenario going on which is to extend and expand the scandal as a wider assault on the Church and its teachings. The sins, mistakes, errors, or crimes of SOME clergymen in no way justify an assault on the moral or spiritual teachings of the Church. Why liberals in the media see an opening for this leap is beyond logic. They reveal their own bias. Cardinal Law, for instance, even if he is to blame in any way, did not invent the Church's teachings. Mike Barnicle is one who has tried to imply that the scandals should justify questioning other Church teachings. This does not make much sense. If anything the scandals support Church teachings by showing that sin and evil remain serious problems.

92 posted on 04/20/2002 8:49:39 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: neocon
Do you recall if the Protestant Bible kept that verse, uh, something about 'Thou shalt not bear false witness' or did they edit that out too?
93 posted on 04/20/2002 8:57:10 PM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Diago
Outstanding quote, Diago, Thanks.
94 posted on 04/20/2002 9:01:57 PM PDT by EODGUY
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To: neocon
the Pope would push a button, and the secret Vatican decoder-rings which all Catholics receive at their antiBiblical confirmation would glow Marian blue, the signal to mobilize an army to subvert the sovereignty of the United States.

LOL! I apologize, but that is just ludicrous. As any Catholic knows, the Marian (spiritual) weapon of choice is the Rosary. I just read Our Lady of Fatima's Peace Plan from Heaven (Tan Books, ISBN 0-89555-217-5) and will try to improve my efforts.

95 posted on 04/20/2002 9:05:59 PM PDT by ELS
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To: JZoback
Moral authority is based on being moral, the Catholic Church is quickly loses it's ability to sing that tune.

The moral authority of the Church hasn't and will never change because she derives that authority from the Son of God. The fact that there are sinful people in the Church who hurt other people doesn't decrease the teaching authority of the Church. Those people have to be dealt with and do penance for their sins, but the Church carries on, no matter how many of her members turn away from God from time to time.

96 posted on 04/20/2002 9:28:29 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: neocon ; Dr. Brian Kopp
When a person starts deliberately lying in their anti-Catholic diatribes, you know you are dealing with the demonic. A lot of this nonsense is based on pseudo-historical fantasies. From very early on, the early Christians have the core of Catholic beliefs and sacramental practices. The whole idea of this grand leap from the third to the sixteenth century essentially denies the whole idea of the Holy Spirit and of Christ founding the Church. I mean why stop at the sixteenth century? Why not argue we didn't "discover" ancient Christianity until the 1960s? That makes about as much sense. But then...which 16th-century or 1960s heretical/schismatic sect or cult do you choose from out of the hundreds - indeed, thousands - of possibilities? Gnostic eschatology creates more confusion than it can claim to solve. And, of course, you would have to throw out the whole canon of the Bible if you adhere to the Catholicism-as-evil theory. The whole concept of organizing the New Testament books into an authoritative canon is a product of the early "Catholic" Christians. End of story.
97 posted on 04/20/2002 9:44:43 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
Well said.
98 posted on 04/20/2002 9:48:12 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp ; neocon ; history_matters ; Palladin
Where We Got the Bible:Our Debt to the Catholic Church by Rev. Henry Graham

Mass of the Early Christians

Biblical Texts related to the Catholic Mass

Early Christians believed in the Real Presence

99 posted on 04/20/2002 10:10:46 PM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
Thanks for the welcome. It is so unfair to shove a thread pertaining to what is printed on the front pages of all newspapers for the past several weeks from the "News" into the "Religion Forum ghetto."
Diago stated nicely in #53, the fact alone that this time the article defends the Church instead of attacking it caused the removal.

I noticed you posted a perfectly newsworthy article about a CATHOLIC WATCHDOG GROUP which was pushed "out of the way." I think your "marketing" theory is correct.

100 posted on 04/20/2002 10:30:44 PM PDT by heyheyhey
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