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What's So Great about Catholicism? (here is the top 10)
Inside Catholic ^ | January 21, 2009 | H. W. Crocker III

Posted on 01/21/2009 8:54:24 AM PST by NYer

With its divine foundation, sanction, and mission, nothing could be more glorious than the Catholic Church. But, of course, many people -- even many baptized Catholics -- don't see it that way.
 
Yet when the sins of men -- or secular material progress, or our own self-centeredness -- blind us to this, they blind us to everything. The Renaissance, a great Catholic moment, enlightened the world by seeing it afresh with both the light of faith and the light of classical civilization, which was Catholicism's seedbed. So, too, today, if we look on the world through truly Catholic eyes, we will find that the fog lifts, our perspectives grow deeper, and beauty and truth beckon above the puerility of mass popular culture.
 
What's so great about Catholicism? Here are ten things -- in countdown order -- to which one could easily add hundreds of others.
 
 
10. Hope
 
Classical paganism, as we know, always ended in despair -- a noble despair sometimes, but despair nevertheless. Eastern religions don't offer much in the way of hope, as they are tied to doctrines of fate, cycles of history, and a nirvana of extinction. Reformation Protestantism is pretty despairing, too, with Calvin's belief that it would have been better for most people if they had never been born, predestined as they are for damnation. Secularism and materialism are no better, as wealthy secular societies tend to have the highest rates of suicide.
 
But in the Catholic Church, there is hope. Salvation is open to every man willing to take it. And though Jesus warned His apostles that following His way meant enduring inevitable persecution and hatred, He also gave them this promise: The gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. Even outsiders recognize this. Who ever heard of a deathbed conversion to Methodism? Hope comes from the Real Thing.
 
 
9. The Inquisition
 
The Inquisition? Yes, let's not be shy. The Inquisition is every Catholic-basher's favorite tool of abuse -- though it is one that is very much not in the basher's favor. There were several Inquisitions. The first in order of importance in Catholic history was the Inquisition against the Albigensians -- a heresy that encouraged suicide, euthanasia, abortion, sodomy, fornication, and other modern ideas that were distasteful to the medieval mind. The struggle against the Albigensians erupted into war -- and a war that could not be carefully trammeled within crusading boundaries. So Pope Gregory IX entrusted the final excision of the Albigensian heresy to the scalpel of the Inquisition rather than the sword of the Crusader.
 
Did the Inquisition of the 13th century strike fear into the people of western Europe? No. Its scope was limited; its trials and punishments more lenient to the accused than were those of its secular counterparts. Inquisitional punishment was often no more than the sort of penance -- charity, pilgrimage, mortification -- that one might be given by a priest in a confessional. If one were fortunate enough to live in England, northern France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, or, with the exception of Aragon, even, at this time, Spain, the risk that one might be called before an inquisition trial was virtually zero. The focus of the Inquisition was in the Albigensian districts of southern France; in Germany, where some of the worst abuses occurred; and in those parts of chaotic Italy rife with anticlerical heresy. In all cases, parts of chaotic Italy rife with anticlerical heresy. In all cases, inquisitional courts sat only where Church and state agreed that peace and security were threatened. Nevertheless, the courts were abused. The Church could not modify an ironclad rule of life as true in the 13th century as it is today: Every recourse to law and the courts is a calamity. But the Church then, and people today, seemed to assume it is better than vigilantes and war. There's no accounting for some tastes.
 
More famous, certainly, is the Spanish Inquisition. The Spanish Inquisition was a state-run affair, where the Church's role was to act as a brake of responsibility, fairness, and justice on the royal court's ferreting out of quislings (who were defined, after centuries of war against the Muslims, as those who were not sincere and orthodox Catholics). Recent scholarship, which has actually examined the meticulous records kept by the Spanish Inquisition, has proven -- to take the title of a BBC documentary on the subject -- "The Myth of the Spanish Inquisition." We now know, beyond all doubt, that the Monty Python sketch of inquisitors holding an old lady in "the comfy chair" while they tickle her with feather dusters is closer to the truth than images of people impaled within iron maidens. (One of the standard works of scholarship is Henry Kamen's The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision, Yale University Press.) In the course of an average year, the number of executions ordered by the Spanish Inquisition -- which covered not only Spain but its vast overseas empire -- was less than the number of people put to death annually by the state of Texas. And this at a time when heresy was universally considered a capital crime in Europe. The myth of the Spanish Inquisition comes from forged documents, propagandizing Protestant polemicists, and anti-Spanish Catholics, who were numerous. The fact is, far from being the bloodthirsty tribunals of myth, the courts of the Spanish Inquisition were probably the fairest, most lenient, and most progressive in Europe.
 
The man who heads up the modern office of the Inquisition, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, the Panzer-Kardinal of the Vatican. Would that he would subject the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America to an Inquisition. It needs it. Indeed, here's a new rallying cry that I'd like to see become popular: "Bring back the Inquisition!"
 
 
8. The Crusades
 
All right, I recognize that this is another problem area for some milquetoast Catholics, but let's be blunt: Do we believe in reclaiming the world for Christ and His Church, or don't we? Medieval knights took that responsibility seriously, wore the cross on their capes and tunics, and prayed and understood an incarnational faith that acted in the world. It was these knights' defensive war -- and the defensive war of the Church and its allies up through the 18th century, for a millennium of Western history -- that repelled Islamic aggression and kept western Europe free. For that we should be ashamed? No: It is one of the glories that was Christendom that in the Middle Ages the pope could wave his field marshal's baton and knights from as far away as Norway -- not to mention England, France, and Germany -- would come to serve. Men were Catholics first in those days.
 
Today, because of Islamic terror groups, the West is again strapping on its armor. We shouldn't be ashamed of our predecessors who were compelled to do the same.
 
 
7. The Swiss Guards and the French Foreign Legion
 
Though only one of these institutions is under the direct supervision of the Vatican, both qualify as Catholic institutions that should warm the very cockles of our hearts. Indeed, next time you meet a Protestant who asks you why you are a Catholic, try telling him this: "I'm a Catholic because I believe in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church as founded by Jesus and His disciples and as led through the power of the Holy Spirit by the pope in Rome who is himself guarded by the Swiss guards of the Vatican whose uniforms were designed, at least some believe, by Michelangelo." If your interlocutor doesn't immediately seek instruction to convert, you know you've met a hard case.
 
As for La Légion Étrangère, it seems to me that as the product of a Catholic culture, showcasing a Catholic militarism by accepting men of all nations and backgrounds, devoted to one common goal, and by bestowing a sort of secular forgiveness of sins via its traditional offer of anonymity for recruits, it is a good reflection of the Catholic spirit. Indeed, two anecdotes might help illustrate this fact. First, there is the spirit of Catholic realism, perhaps best told in a story from the devotional book, The Paratroopers of the French Foreign Legion: From Vietnam to Bosnia. Here one finds a Catholic chaplain in Bosnia handing out medallions of the Blessed Virgin Mother. He admonishes his legionnaires that the medallion "does not replace good cover and it does not replace armor. I don't do voodoo here. So be careful." Well said, Father.
 
If that anecdote affirms Catholic realism and natural law, here's one that reminds us why fighting men have always respected Catholic chaplains above others. It comes from the morally offensive Catholic writer Christian Jennings, in A Mouthful of Rocks: Modern Adventures in the Foreign Legion:
 
This was the padre assigned to our unit. He wore full combat kit and a large silver crucifix on a chain, which matched his parachute wings. . . . A Spanish recruit I had been playing poker against suddenly started making faces and gesturing behind the Padre's back, when suddenly, without taking his eyes off the Frenchman to whom he had been talking, the priest jerked his elbow backwards into the Spaniard's face, slamming him against an oven.
 
Charming, n'est-ce pas? And a reminder that for most people, the faith is best taught by action and example rather than by words.
 
 
6. Art
 
Certainly the famous literary Catholics of the English-speaking world -- John Henry Cardinal Newman, Hilaire Belloc, G. K. Chesterton, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Siegfried Sassoon (who converted later in life), and Thomas Merton -- have all played an enormous part in my own conversion and continuing appreciation of the Faith. Even Catholics of an unorthodox stripe (like Greene) have had a powerfully orthodox influence on me.
 
Writing, of course, is far from the only artistic testimony to the Faith. Catholicism has always surrounded itself with beauty, regarding it as the splendor of truth. In the words of the German priest, professor, and theologian Karl Adam, "Art is native to Catholicism, since reverence for the body and for nature is native to it." The Puritan influence is foreign to Catholicism -- just as the idea that smashing altars, defacing Madonnas, and breaking stained glass as a religious act is foreign, and indeed heretical, to Catholics. The Catholic Church leaves such Talibanism to the Protestants and iconoclastic heresies. The Catholic Church, instead, offers a celebration of beauty; and beauty, in our world of pierced faces, body tattoos, gangsta rap, and concrete tower blocks, is something we could use much more of.
 
 
5. Freedom
 
Yes, the good old reactionary, repressive Catholic Church has been the most ardent defender of freedom in the history of the world -- though it almost never gets credit for it. We live in an age of determinist ideologies -- with the fate of nations and individuals supposedly determined by race, economics, history, psychology, genetics, or even -- insofar as Protestants have any common doctrinal beliefs -- predestination. The Catholic Church stands alone in radical defense of man's free will.
 
When the media, Protestants, and dissenters tell practicing Catholics that the impulse to sexual activity is overwhelmingly powerful and can't be controlled or renounced, Catholics alone say, "No, man is free. All Christians are called to chastity, and what they are called to do, they can do, and some can freely take on celibacy as a sacrifice to better serve God and His Church."
 
When Maximus in the movie Gladiator rallies his cavalrymen with the words, "What we do in this life echoes in eternity," he is speaking like a Catholic, not like a Reformed Protestant or a Muslim who believes that eternity is already written and that man has no free will.
 
When skeptics complain that the evidence for God is not clear or that a God who allows suffering and evil is Himself sadistic and evil, the Catholic responds, "Our God has made us free men. True freedom always comes with costs and challenges. You see, ours is not a religion of make-believe where actions have no consequences. Ours is a religion of life as it really is. And life as it really is, is a life of original sin. Catholicism is a religion of pilgrimage, freely accepted, to grow in Christ, to overcome sin."
 
It is another oft-propounded myth that the Western world didn't taste of freedom until the Protestant revolt of Martin Luther, which led to the division and state subordination of churches in northern Europe and eventually led, in some countries, to the separation of church and state and the irrelevance of church to state.
 
But who would blatantly say that the Renaissance -- against which Luther revolted -- was not free? Who would deny that the great check on state power throughout the entirety of European history, from the conversion of Constantine until the 20th century, was the Catholic Church?
 
Think of the Roman Emperor Theodosius, commander of all Rome's legions, stripping himself of all imperial insignia to do penance before an unarmed cleric, St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan. It was the Catholic Church that brought a moral check to bear on the exercise and perquisites of power.
 
Think of the martyrdom of Sir Thomas Beckett and Sire Thomas More. Think of the Protestant revolt, which argued that the power of the state was scriptural and the power of the papacy -- the power of Christ's Church against the demands of the state -- was not.
 
Think of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Kulturkampf of Bismarck, and later intellectual and political currents, including fascism, communism, and the liberalism of our own time, all of which saw -- or see -- the state as the essential thing, centralization of state authority as the central task, and state direction as the essential instrument of reform. And what was the roadblock to these "reformers"? The Catholic Church. It was the Church that asserted the independence of "subsidiarity institutions." It was the Church that defended the rights of the family against the state. It was the Church that protested, in the words of Pope Pius XI, against the "pagan worship of the state."
 
The true Catholic is a natural Tory anarchist -- someone who believes in loyalty to persons, institutions, and the faith -- semper fidelis -- and in otherwise letting les bons temps rouler.
 
 
4. The Saints
 
The Catholic is never alone. God is always near. The Catholic remembers Mary. He remembers her saying yes to the Incarnation. He remembers those who have gone before him: the vast parade of saints whose personalities and attributes are so various, so free, and yet so devoted to the singular path that leads to holiness and union with God.
 
Catholic women -- as I noted in my agnostic Anglican days, when I was dating them -- had stained-glass minds: an awareness of the romance of the past and of the depth and color of Christian history, even if it was just a velleity, not captured in details or knowledge. Catholics aren't divorced from history. They are not alone with their Bibles and their consciences. Catholics live history. They are part of the continuum of 2,000 years (or with the Old Testament, even longer) of man's pilgrimage with God.
 
In the Apostles' Creed, the earliest formulary of Christian belief that we have, the Bible is never mentioned. Individual conscience is never mentioned. What is mentioned is history: "born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried." And what is affirmed is belief in God; in the life, resurrection, and coming judgment of Jesus; and then the final litany: "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting."
 
To the Catholic, life is good; the body is good (which is why it will be resurrected); and it is good for man, if we remember Genesis, not to be alone. In the Catholic Church, he is never alone but lives within the body of Christ, the Church Militant, wherein he receives the sacraments of his earthly pilgrimage; in his prayers for the dead, he remains in prayerful connection with the Church Suffering; and in his emulation of the saints and prayers for their intercession, he looks ahead to the Church Triumphant in heaven.
 
And what saints there are. "St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle"; the beloved St. Francis, "Lord, make me a channel of Your peace"; the "Dumb Ox" of logic and reason's call, St. Thomas Aquinas; St. Ignatius Loyola, who showed what miracles of conversion "the Pope's marines" could achieve when they were all devoted and orthodox (let us hope that they will be again); and on and on in endless panorama. All this belongs to the priceless Catholic heritage. Catholicism does not circumscribe and narrow the truth and practice of religion as all heresies do but celebrates the fullness of humanity and God's creation.
 
The saints show us the way. Catholics do not presume that they are saved through faith alone -- as do Protestants. Salvation, of course, comes through God's grace. But as part of our free acceptance of that grace, we are called to become holy: to work, to act, to participate in that constant drama where we struggle to live the life of a saint -- to live, that is, the life of Christ. None of us is the elect, predestined to salvation, with the remainder (the majority) predestinedly condemned to hell, as Calvin taught. The Catholic believes he is called to acts of corporal and spiritual mercy and that these help him, by God's grace, to achieve expiation of sin. Our models and aides in our never-ending effort to achieve sanctity are Jesus, the apostles, and all the saints.
 
 
3. Unity
 
When we affirm the Nicene Creed, we affirm our belief in the "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." The Creed does not say "many, reformed, anti-Catholic, Bible-based churches." Nor does it say, "several nation-based, auto-cephalous, and selectively conciliar churches." The Church is called to be one -- one body of Christ, one bride of Christ.
 
Over the course of 2,000 years, its unity has denied the law of entropy. That it has avoided the most common of temptations -- to embrace nationalism or solipsism as the essence of belief -- always and everywhere affirming the catholicity of the Church, is proof of its authentic teaching. It is indeed a glory of the Church that it encompasses all men and can use the talents of all nations. The "elasticity, freshness of mind, and sense of form of the Roman combine with the penetration, profundity, and inwardness of the German, and with the sobriety, discretion, and good sense of the Anglo-Saxon. The piety and modesty of the Chinese unite with the subtlety and depth of the Indian, and with the practicality and initiative of the American," as Karl Adam enumerates these qualities in The Spirit of Catholicism.
 
Objective truth knows no borders. Surely when Paul preached "one Lord, one faith, one baptism," he did not envisage, and would not approve of, the 20,000 or more varieties of Protestant experience. The story of the early Church is the story of the Catholic attempt to maintain Christian unity in accordance with the truth against a sea of heresies -- a sea that, as a working out of the Reformation, has now in the popular mind washed away the very idea of heresy. The Reformation marks the entrance of relativism into Christian life, and relativism denies unity. More important, it denies objective truth, and therefore relativism itself can't be true, however attractive it might be to those who, in the words of St. Irenaeus writing in the second century, are "heretics and evil-thinkers, faction makers, swelled-headed, self-pleasing." Our unity as the "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church" is one of the proofs of the verity of the Catholic faith.
 
That unity is seen in another way, too: namely, in the way that the Church brings together reason and mystery, piety and beauty. It is seen in the way that the Church affirms all positive values -- as found anywhere in history or in the world -- that are in accordance with natural law and fidelity to the deposit of faith. And it is seen in the way that the Church truly accepts the unity of God's creation and Christ's teaching, refusing to let it be parceled up and delimited by nations, philosophers, or pedants who seek to shrink-wrap the faith to their own specifications. The true faith is universal, effulgent, and living.
 
 
2. The Sacraments
 
The sacraments and the visible Church are another proof and nurturer of the faith. I am among the least mystical of men, but I will gladly stump up and affirm the efficacy of the sacraments, sincerely and prayerfully entered into. With Pascal I would affirm that one actually learns the Catholic faith by doing -- which is why deracinated, prissy, critical philosophes standing outside will never "get it." The faith of the Catholic is a great drama unfolding before God, and we are the players in it. There is the awesome reality of the Eucharist, God made flesh at every Mass, and our responsibility before Him and in receiving Him. There is the visible alter Christus of the priesthood. Even those sacraments that many Catholics find painful -- such as penance -- are powerful reminders of the reality of God and of the necessity of both our faith and our good works.
 
For me, Shakespeare captured this best in Henry V. Before the battle of Agincourt, Henry pleads with God to remember his works -- not his faith alone -- on behalf of the Church:
 
Not today, O Lord,
O, not today, think not upon the fault
My father made in compassing the crown!
I Richard's body have interred new,
And on it have bestow'd more contrite tears
Than from it issued forced drops of blood;
Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,
Who twice a day their wither'd hands hold up
Toward heaven, to pardon blood; and I have built
Two chantries, where the sad and solemn priests
Sing still for Richard's soul. More will I do;
Though all that I can do is nothing worth,
Since my penitence comes after all,
Imploring pardon.
 
It is extremely odd to me that Protestants should take pride in reducing the transmission of God's grace from the seven sacraments held by the apostolic Catholic Church and Orthodox churches to two. When Protestants say that the celibate priesthood and religious life show a lack of respect for marriage, it's worth reminding them that to Catholics marriage is a sacrament, an institution of divine grace -- something rather more elevated than it is for Protestants. And for Catholics, holy orders is a sacrament, making our priesthood rather more important than a Protestant ministry. For Catholics, religion is not all in the mind. It is tangible, present, and living. In short, it is real.
 
 
1. Truth
 
Nothing else would matter about Catholicism if it weren't true. But it is our firm belief as Catholics that it is true. And, indeed, I believe that the historical case for the Catholic Church is virtually irrefutable, as irrefutable as it was to Cardinal Newman. And there is something else. We know that the Church affirms that its members and servants are all subject to original sin. But while men might falter, the teaching of the Church does not. That has been our rock, tested through the tempests of centuries and undiminished through time.
 
Innumerable secular and other forces are against us. Even within our own midst we have been painfully reminded of the work that needs to be done to cleanse and purify our Church. Evil stalks the world. But then, it always has. And the Church has survived, and in the heat of persecution, it has grown in numbers and strength. Let us remember that fact. And let us always keep in mind the immortal words of Auberon Waugh: "There are countless horrible things happening all over the country, and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible."
 
Amen to that. Keep the faith, dear readers, and remember that our ultimate destination is heaven.
 


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology
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H. W. Crocker III is the author most recently of
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War (Regnery). This article originally appeared in the November 2002 issue of Crisis Magazine.

1 posted on 01/21/2009 8:54:25 AM PST by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

2 posted on 01/21/2009 8:55:52 AM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: NYer

The greatest gift my parents gave me was my Catholic faith!


3 posted on 01/21/2009 9:07:22 AM PST by notaliberal
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: NYer

Thanks Nyer, great article. I’m protestant, but I see how the Catholic church gets slammed unfairly quite a bit, sometimes by protestants. I know firsthand some of the good and wonderful work the Catholic church does, you never hear about any of that. If there were more people like the devout catholics I know, the world would be a much better place. Just some thoughts - God Bless You and Yours - JM


5 posted on 01/21/2009 9:23:38 AM PST by Jubal Madison (Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: NYer

However, the Latin-Rite Church largely turned its back on its very best asset when it replaced the Tridentine Mass with a protestant-pleasing vernacular alternative.


6 posted on 01/21/2009 9:35:22 AM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: notaliberal

Great list. Printing it off!


7 posted on 01/21/2009 9:41:46 AM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer

Thanks for this post!

Yeah when my wife and I convert almost 12 years ago now, it wasn’t for all the support I got.

My family disowned me, my conservative friends thought I was crazy. My liberal friends thought I was crazier.

But after I arrived at the conclusion that Jesus actually founded a Church to guide us, there was no other organization that fit the bill.


8 posted on 01/21/2009 9:46:34 AM PST by ChinaGotTheGoodsOnClinton (To those who believe the world was safer with Saddam, get treatment for that!)
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To: NYer
With its divine foundation, sanction, and mission, nothing could be more glorious than the Catholic Church.

Protestant here. I enjoy reading many of these threads. But this one starts out on the way wrong foot. I would hope that God, His Son, His Spirit, and His plan would be considered somewhat higher on the 'glorious' scale. Unless I was to 'assume' all of these...

9 posted on 01/21/2009 9:50:02 AM PST by LearnsFromMistakes
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To: NYer

Did Christ ever adorn Himself with such a head piece? Christ is the standard and He and He alone saves.


11 posted on 01/21/2009 10:08:46 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: NYer

Great read but I have minor problems with the following: Do we believe in reclaiming the world for Christ and His Church, or don’t we?

Firstly the Crusades were started at least as a defensive measure against attacks on 1. Pilgrims and 2. Christian Cities by the Moors. In ‘normal times’ our offensive is supposed to be spiritual not material or war like so i think this is poorly written and not in the true Catholic spirit remember Jesus said His Kingdom is not of this world.

Mel


12 posted on 01/21/2009 10:09:59 AM PST by melsec (A Proud Aussie)
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To: NYer
The true Catholic is a natural Tory anarchist

Yes!

God bless this man. What a great article.

13 posted on 01/21/2009 10:11:25 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: Just mythoughts
You want salvation, come to the Church Christ founded for that purpose.

Regarding liturgical vestments, from the article:

Catholicism has always surrounded itself with beauty, regarding it as the splendor of truth. In the words of the German priest, professor, and theologian Karl Adam, "Art is native to Catholicism, since reverence for the body and for nature is native to it." The Puritan influence is foreign to Catholicism -- just as the idea that smashing altars, defacing Madonnas, and breaking stained glass as a religious act is foreign, and indeed heretical, to Catholics. The Catholic Church leaves such Talibanism to the Protestants and iconoclastic heresies. The Catholic Church, instead, offers a celebration of beauty; and beauty, in our world of pierced faces, body tattoos, gangsta rap, and concrete tower blocks, is something we could use much more of.

From the Gospel

11 ... the king went in to see the guests: and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment. 12 And he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? But he was silent. 13 Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22)

14 posted on 01/21/2009 10:18:19 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: NYer

I was always told by my Baptist bretheren that Catholics aren’t going to heaven. Of course Baptists think that only Baptists can go to heaven.


15 posted on 01/21/2009 10:20:34 AM PST by GUNGAGALUNGA
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To: hosepipe
The Roman Catholic church.. is not "the" church...

Of course it is. Your self-described propaganda is laughable.

16 posted on 01/21/2009 10:23:02 AM PST by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: NYer

#11. All those funny hats.


17 posted on 01/21/2009 10:32:11 AM PST by Delta 21 ( MKC USCG - ret)
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To: annalex
You want salvation, come to the Church Christ founded for that purpose. Regarding liturgical vestments, from the article:

That thief hanging beside Christ upon the Cross was 'saved' without ever entering a church.

Matthew 27:50 Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the spirit.

51 And, behold, the *VEIL* of the Temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent:

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the *SAINTS* which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

At death Christ became anybody everybody who would intercessor directly to the Heavenly Father.... HE is the path to salvation and it was to be the churches job to teach this gospel NOT make them self that claimed vehicle to salvation.

18 posted on 01/21/2009 10:56:40 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: NYer

I knew that the Catholic faith was the right one. I felt the presence of God there.


19 posted on 01/21/2009 11:04:34 AM PST by RedRedRose
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To: Petronski
[ The Roman Catholic church.. is not "the" church... / Of course it is. Your self-described propaganda is laughable. ]

Many deny there is even a thing called the Roman Catholic Church.. that the roman church IS THE church(that all other(churchs) are NOT.. You must be/could be.. one of "those"..

What is laughable are those that think there is no difference between "the church" and "A church".. and try (by propaganda) to hide(occlude) the issue.. You know.. to hide the issue from lurkers.. or some that could care less either way.. The roman catholic church is a denomination as any eastern orthodox(various types) will testify.. However the eastern orthodoxy(s) are denominations also..

I have no problem with the RCC being a denomination.. but the roman denomination is not the universal church, or body of christ.. or the bride of christ.. merely a sheep pen as any other denomination(John ch 10).. Limiting the body of christ to any denomination IS HERESY... and part of the spirit of anti-christ..

20 posted on 01/21/2009 11:10:09 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: Just mythoughts
That thief hanging beside Christ upon the Cross was 'saved' without ever entering a church.

The Church did not begin her existence till the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost (Acts 2). However, as a model of Catholic laity, the Good Thief is a fitting example: he repented of his sin, accepted his punishment, grew in virtue as he defended the innocently accused and defended the Lord against blasphemy, was baptized by his suffering, and asked Christ to bless him.

The story of the Good Thief serves another purpose as well: it shows that some people are prevented from receiving a baptism and can be saved extraordinarily. Likewise, if someone cannot receive the sacraments of the Church because of a physical impediment, the sacraments will be brought to him, or if for some reason that cannot be done either, he should not despair of his salvation in the Church despite the physical separation.

it was to be the churches job to teach this gospel

That is not the only job. The Church was told to proclaim the gospel and to baptize (Mark 16:15-16), to forgive sins (John 20:21-23), to offer the Holy Eucharist (Luke 22:19), to legislate supremely (Matthew 18:18), to correct heresies (Luke 22:31-32), and generally to guide people to salvation (Matthew 18:19).

21 posted on 01/21/2009 11:33:57 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: hosepipe; Petronski

Ah, yes, we should all be a Church Of One. Make the rules up as we go along, don’t bother with those pesky commandments and other things we don’t like because they are outdated and make us feel bad.

How could one miss the admonition AGAINST that?


22 posted on 01/21/2009 11:34:56 AM PST by Jaded (Don't go away mad... just go away!)
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To: hosepipe; Petronski

It is interesting that you refer to John 10 as you perdure in your heresy that Christ wanted denominations to be formed, rather than one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. John 10 (you read it?) indeed describes the Church as a pen for Christ’s own, but it does not imply a multiplicity of pens: “there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16). In fact He refers to those outside of the pen as wolves who do no good.


23 posted on 01/21/2009 11:41:41 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
The Church did not begin her existence till the descent of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost (Acts 2). However, as a model of Catholic laity, the Good Thief is a fitting example: he repented of his sin, accepted his punishment, grew in virtue as he defended the innocently accused and defended the Lord against blasphemy, was baptized by his suffering, and asked Christ to bless him. The story of the Good Thief serves another purpose as well: it shows that some people are prevented from receiving a baptism and can be saved extraordinarily. Likewise, if someone cannot receive the sacraments of the Church because of a physical impediment, the sacraments will be brought to him, or if for some reason that cannot be done either, he should not despair of his salvation in the Church despite the physical separation. it was to be the churches job to teach this gospel That is not the only job. The Church was told to proclaim the gospel and to baptize (Mark 16:15-16), to forgive sins (John 20:21-23), to offer the Holy Eucharist (Luke 22:19), to legislate supremely (Matthew 18:18), to correct heresies (Luke 22:31-32), and generally to guide people to salvation (Matthew 18:19).

And alll you quote in no way hands over to flesh man the power to save anyone. There are 7 churches identified as to what they teach and who finds 'favor' and who is left wanting. Christ is the key of David which no man shutteth and no man openeth, does your church teach this?

24 posted on 01/21/2009 11:46:49 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts
The Church teaches through the Holy Scripture, so it is important to read it every now and then.

Christ saves, through His Church. Yes, there were many local churches, and they remain, for the most part, in various stages of unity with the Roman Pontiff. The Catholic Church comprises over 20 local ones, plus the Orthodox, plus some pre-Chalcedon oriental ones. God bless them all; may the harvest increase and may more harvesters come.

25 posted on 01/21/2009 11:59:34 AM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: NYer

Is this a Catholic Caucus thread? The haters are posting...


26 posted on 01/21/2009 12:00:18 PM PST by informavoracious
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To: informavoracious

I haven’t had a nice ecumenical brawl for a while. Good thread.


27 posted on 01/21/2009 12:04:25 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex; hosepipe; Petronski; Jaded
“there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16)

Note too that in 1 Timothy 3:15, St. Paul states that the Church is "THE pillar and ground of the truth." Since the Church alone is mentioned as the pillar of truth, then It alone has the right to discern the truth and interpret Scripture. For if individuals could correctly interpret Scripture, then all interpretations would be exactly the same. There can only be one Spiritual Truth for the plural of the word "truth" never appears in Scripture.

28 posted on 01/21/2009 1:10:20 PM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Matthew 18:16 plainly shows that the Church is the court of last instance in disputes. If local churches taught different doctrines, Matthew 18:16 would not be possible.

“if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican”.


29 posted on 01/21/2009 1:14:56 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: hosepipe
Many deny there is even a thing called the Roman Catholic Church...

Many deny a lot of things. I am not impressed.

I have no problem with the RCC being a denomination...

You have no problem with falsehoods but deny the truth. That says it all.

Limiting the body of christ to any denomination IS HERESY...

So stop doing it.

30 posted on 01/21/2009 1:26:38 PM PST by Petronski (For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden. -- Cdl. Stafford)
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To: Jaded
[ Ah, yes, we should all be a Church Of One. Make the rules up as we go along, don’t bother with those pesky commandments and other things we don’t like because they are outdated and make us feel bad. ]

What are you commanding?.. demanding?.. or remanding?..

31 posted on 01/21/2009 1:37:18 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: annalex

Actually he(Christ) calls them OUT OF the sheep pens.. into the pasture(Ps 23)..


32 posted on 01/21/2009 1:39:15 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: hosepipe

That pasture is the “House of the Lord” (v.6)


33 posted on 01/21/2009 1:44:05 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: NYer

You seem to overlook Romans ch 8.. the church is a spiritual entity.. for “You MUST be born again”- Jesus.. and then be called “OUT OF” the sheep pens( John ch10).. (EKlesia- i.e. church)..


34 posted on 01/21/2009 1:44:36 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: annalex
[ That pasture is the “House of the Lord” (v.6) ]

Your point.... being what?.. You missed me with that..

35 posted on 01/21/2009 1:47:30 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: hosepipe

That John 10 does not support your notion of multiple pens, and Psalm 22(23) does not support your notion that Christ calls us out of “the pen”.


36 posted on 01/21/2009 1:50:12 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
[ That John 10 does not support your notion of multiple pens, and Psalm 22(23) does not support your notion that Christ calls us out of “the pen”. ]

Ps 23 supports the notion of a pasture with one Shepard.. as a metaphor.. i.e. sheep not penned up but grazing in peace with security..

John ch 10.. (Jesus words) speaks of "the" sheep pen.. using the synagogue as an example.. history supports multiple pens(christian) even multiple kinds of synagogues(at the time).. Unless you think Jesus was not prescient knowing of the future.. and spoke in lieu of the future.. The point being a denomination/church is in fact a synagogue.. Jesus never outlawed heresy.. Heresy is an invention of Men.. One sheep pen can (and do) see other sheep pens are heretical.. Witness "this thread"..

37 posted on 01/21/2009 2:32:59 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: hosepipe

I stand by my 36: there is not scriptural support for conflicting doctrines or denominations in John 10, the Psalms, or anywhere else, and I explained why.


38 posted on 01/21/2009 3:28:06 PM PST by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: annalex
[ I stand by my 36: there is not scriptural support for conflicting doctrines or denominations in John 10, the Psalms, or anywhere else, and I explained why. ]

Thats fair.. I just disagree..

39 posted on 01/21/2009 4:16:47 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: hosepipe
You seem to overlook Romans ch 8

The christians addressed in this letter were already members of the Church and had been "born again" through the Sacrament of Baptism. Paul's Letter to the Romans is a powerful exposition of the doctrine of the supremacy of Christ and of faith in Christ as the source of salvation. It is an implicit plea to the Christians at Rome, and to all Christians, to hold fast to that faith. They are to resist any pressure put on them to accept a doctrine of salvation through works of the law (see the note on Romans 10:4). At the same time they are not to exaggerate Christian freedom as an abdication of responsibility for others (Romans 12:1-2) or as a repudiation of God's law and will.

In John 10:16, Jesus says there must only be one flock and one shepherd. This cannot mean many denominations and many pastors, all teaching different doctrines. Those outside the fold must be brought into the Church. And in John 17:11,21,23, Jesus prays that His followers may be perfectly one as He is one with the Father. Jesus' oneness with the Father is perfect. It can never be less. Thus, the oneness Jesus prays for cannot mean the varied divisions of Christianity that have resulted since the Protestant reformation. There is perfect oneness only in the Catholic Church.

40 posted on 01/21/2009 4:23:36 PM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Bigotry needs its black legends to sustain itself. On this thread you will undoubtedly see the split tongue of Satan flicking his hatred as those who hate Christ’s Church unwittingly do the deceiver’s will.


41 posted on 01/21/2009 4:27:07 PM PST by big'ol_freeper (He will never be my president)
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To: big'ol_freeper

Hear ... hear ... such poetic prose and at this hour of the evening ;-) An apt response.


42 posted on 01/21/2009 4:35:01 PM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Many thanks.

Great article but I’m betting it’s caused a few cases of spontaneous combustion.


43 posted on 01/21/2009 4:39:39 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
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To: NYer

Long article...Hardly any mention of Jesus, or Christians...Anyone surprised???


44 posted on 01/21/2009 4:52:58 PM PST by Iscool (I don't understand all that I know...)
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To: NYer
[ Thus, the oneness Jesus prays for cannot mean the varied divisions of Christianity that have resulted since the Protestant reformation. There is perfect oneness only in the Catholic Church. ]

There is not now nor ever has been division in the universal "church".. Denomination is a thing of the flesh.. As Roman 8 intones.. The church is in "spirit".. Always has been always will be.. Doctrinal differences mean nothing..

45 posted on 01/21/2009 5:08:20 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: NYer

I especially love numbers 5-1.

I love being Catholic and have long felt that God coded us genetically to thirst for the Church. The Sacraments are there for our spiritual AND psychological health.

There’s nothing like being a Catholic. You feel more whole. It just satisfies on every level: mental, spiritual, emotional, physical. I think God set it up that way so that we would recognize it when we encountered it.

No other religion encompasses our humanity and our human greatness as well: our history, our art, our deeply intellectual faith are all the culmination of God’s likeness in man. No other religion is as in touch with it as Catholicism.

I get sappy about it, but nothing in my life has brought me the joy and completion that being a Catholic has. I thank God every day that I am Catholic.


46 posted on 01/21/2009 5:13:41 PM PST by Melian
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To: annalex

How can the church start at Pentecost? If it was something new, why were three thousand ADDED to the church? Peter at Pentecost is not telling Israel that Jesus died for their sins. He’s telling them they killed their Messiah. He’s not preaching the cross as good news. He’s preaching a murder indictment against Israel.


47 posted on 01/21/2009 5:45:12 PM PST by faithplusnothing1
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To: Just mythoughts
Did Christ ever adorn Himself with such a head piece?

That is a mitre, first mentioned in Exodus 28. As for Christ, as Scripture tells us, there is much He said and did which we do not know.

"But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written." John 21:25

48 posted on 01/21/2009 6:50:02 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: Iscool

Not surprised to see that the usual suspects are wandering in displaying their ignorance.


49 posted on 01/21/2009 6:57:48 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham
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To: hosepipe
The church is in "spirit".. Always has been always will be.. Doctrinal differences mean nothing..

Is there one God or three? Is Mohammed his messenger? How about Joseph Smith? These are all doctrinal differences...

50 posted on 01/21/2009 7:33:17 PM PST by thefrankbaum (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam)
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