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On Fifteen Years a Catholic ("How can you join a church that tells you how to think?")
Catholic World Report ^ | April 20, 2012 | Carl Olson

Posted on 04/22/2012 11:23:32 AM PDT by NYer


(Photo courtesy of Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.)

“How can you join a church that tells you how to think?”

The question, uttered with equal parts puzzlement and anger, surprised me. In hindsight, it should have been about as surprising as an afternoon drizzle here in Eugene, Oregon, in early spring. The question—almost an accusation, really—was made one early spring day over fifteen years ago. It was said in the middle of an intense discussion about the reasons why my wife and I, both graduates of Evangelical Bible colleges, had decided to become Catholic.

I’m happy to note, all these years later, that I have a good and healthy relationship with the man who made the remark. We both uttered strong words that day, but time and some further conversations—more calm and measured in nature—have brought peace, if not perfect understanding.

I’ve sometimes joked, in recounting the full story to close friends, that I came up with the perfect retort several hours later: “At least I’m entering a Church that knows what the word ‘think’ means!” It would have been a low blow, but it touches on two issues that continue to resonate with me, now fifteen years a Catholic, nearly every day in some way or another.

The Mindless Scandal

The first is the intellectual life. The Fundamentalism of my youth was, in sum, anti-intellectual; it looked with caution, even fearful disdain, on certain aspects of modern science, technology, and academic study. But it wasn’t because we were Luddites or held a principled position against electricity, computers, or space exploration. The concern was essentially spiritual in nature; the guiding concern was that televisions, radios, “boom boxes” (remember?), and movies were potential tools for conveying messages—often subliminal in nature—contrary to a godly, Christian life. The general instinct was, in fact, actually sound. Only the creators of “Jersey Shore” can deny the power and influence of popular culture, and then only with a smirk. But the permeating fear was rarely controlled, critiqued, and concentrated through rigorous thought and study. It was reactionary and highly subjective, and so it became a sort of rogue agent, undermining the most innocent activities: reading the Chronicles of Narnia, listening to any “non-Christian” music, or studying art or literature not including any overt references to “Jesus” and “the Gospel”.  

My time in Bible college proved helpful in many ways, as several of my professors were certainly not fearful of going outside the box, even—gasp!—assigning books by Flannery O’Connor and Gerard Manley Hopkins (there was also some reading of Augustine, but in an extremely abridged form). But for every question answered, others sprung up like dandelions, multiplying with maddening surety. When I read Mark Noll’s controversial bestseller, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (Eerdmans, 1994), I was confirmed in many of the intuitions and thoughts I had mulled and culled over the years. Noll opened his book with this withering shot of lightning: “The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” Readers can disagree on the level of hyperbole used; Noll, a dedicated Evangelical scholar, seemed dead serious in his assertion. “For a Christian”, he wrote, “the most important consideration is not pragmatic results, or even the weight of history, but the truth.” These and other statements rang true. I had become convinced, at a relatively early age, that if something is true and good, it must be of God.

The Need for Authority

Of course, how did I know what was “true and good”? Enter the second issue: authority. I won’t regale readers about the details of my struggle with sola scriptura. (Readers can catch a few of them in my 1998 account our journey into the Church.) Instead, I’ll skip to something I wrote in February 1996, from a list of “several points of consideration” I put down regarding the claims of the Catholic Church. “I have become increasingly convinced”, I wrote, “that the idea of sola scriptura is in the end untenable … Again, this does not render judgment on the inspiration or infallibility of Scripture, it just moves the question to a different arena—that of authority.”

Nearly every non-Catholic adult who chooses to become Catholic will admit, or least should admit, the centrality of the matter of authority. As a Fundamentalist, I had been fed the standard, Jack Chick-ean version of Catholic authority: bloody, despotic, dishonest, power-driven, and so forth. The hike from there to looking squarely and honestly at authority in the Catholic Church was lengthy, but one key mile post was studying St. Paul’s description in his first letter to Timothy of “the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth” (1 Tim 3:15). A passage by Abp. Fulton Sheen, written in the 1940s, sums up the matter quite well:

There is nothing more misunderstood by the modern mind than the authority of the Church. Just as soon as one mentions the authority of the Vicar of Christ there are visions of slavery, intellectual servitude, mental chains, tyrannical obedience, and blind service on the part of those who, it is said, are forbidden to think for themselves. That is positively untrue. Why has the world been so reluctant to accept the authority of the Father’s house? Why has it so often identified the Catholic Church with intellectual slavery? The answer is, because the world has forgotten the meaning of liberty.

One Surprise: The Bad

We entered the Catholic Church on March 29, 1997, Easter Vigil at Saint Paul Catholic Church in Eugene, Oregon. It was a joyful night and I can say with complete honesty I have never regretted becoming Catholic. But I have been surprised a few times as a Catholic. Two surprises stand out; they also, in a way related to the two points above, stand together.

As an Evangelical, I was very familiar with “church splits”. I endured my first as a four-year old (our family and several others left the local Christian and Missionary Alliance assembly) and my wife and I stopped attending our last Evangelical church while it was in the middle of a dramatic split. I soon learned, as a new Catholic, that “splits” aren’t really part of being Catholic. I also learned that disgruntled Catholics, especially those upset about Church teaching on sexuality, authority, and the priesthood, don’t always leave the Church; on the contrary, they often simply try to take over the Church. And by “Church”, I mean both the local parish and the Church as a whole. My first big surprise, then, was finding out that while I (and many other former Protestants) had spent months and years working through Church doctrine and moral teaching, we were entering a Church apparently dominated and largely run, at least in practical terms, by Catholics complaining incessantly and obnoxiously about Church doctrine and moral teaching.

Moving toward and then into the Church, I wasn’t unaware of such problems. But the sheer scope of the situation was confounding. It helped that I had a relatively low view of the human state; I didn’t expect pews full of Catechism-quoting saints. But I had hopes that most of them knew about the Catechism and had some desire to live holy lives. And so the farmer boy arrived in the city.

It’s not surprising that Catholics sin. It is surprising how some Catholic insist certain sins are not only sins in name only but are actually virtues in disguise!  It’s not shocking that many Catholics misunderstand the nature and mission of the Church. It is shocking how some Catholics deliberately distort and misrepresent the nature and mission of the mystical Body of Christ. It is not scandalous, per se, that many Catholics don’t have a close relationship with Jesus Christ. But it is scandalous when Catholics insist they don’t need Christ or his Church in order to be Catholic.

A case in point is the recent statement released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) about the status of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). The CDF noted its serious concerns with long established patterns of “corporate dissent” indicating LCWR leaders often “take a position not in agreement with the Church’s teaching on human sexuality.” In fact, from its founding in the early 1970s, the Conference has thumbed its corporate nose at a host of Church teachings, including papal authority, the male priesthood, sexuality and contraception, the uniqueness of Christ, and so forth. It is the height (or depth) of irony that the LCWR site has this quote from Margaret Brennan, IHM, President from 1972 to 1973: “One danger for us is that we may become legitimators of society's commonly held values.” It ceased being a danger long ago, perhaps even before the quote was uttered. The CDF also highlighted the deep influence of radical feminist theology within the LCWR, and the undermining of the fundamental and “revealed doctrines of the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and the inspiration of Sacred Scripture.” Details!

To judge by the mainstream news, the Vatican has been forcibly removing old nuns from convents and shuttling them to live beneath bridges and overpasses in southern Utah. One headline declared, “Vatican targets US nuns' reps”; another darkly stated, “Vatican condemns American nuns for liberal stances”. None of this surprising, of course, as the secular media is fixated on sensationalism, conflict, and opposition to traditional Christian teachings. You won’t see a headline stating, “Vatican offered LCWR a chance to save itself from self-inflicted death.” It would not fit the narrative, even if it fits the facts: the average age of LCWR women religious is at least twice that of those women religious in the CMSWR (Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious). Instead there are delicious sound bites, such as when Sister Simone Campbell, head of the lefty Network (named directly by the CDF), tells NPR it’s all about out-of-touch men in the Vatican who “are not used to strong women” and then blithely—arrogantly, really—says:

Women get it first and then try to explain it to the guys who - I mean, as the women did to the Apostles. So, we will try to explain it to the guys. We'll keep up our roles from the Scriptures.

Because every good Scripture scholar know that what Mary Magdalene and the other women did, to their eternal credit, was publicly thumb their noses at the Apostles' teachings and actions!

What the media also won’t say (again, understandably) is the situation with the LCWR is about a crisis of faith that has been festering and spreading for decades as an affront to genuine Church authority. One result of this crisis of faith is, I think, a laity weary, numb, angry, or simply confused. How to make sense of it? Stepping back as much as possible, one can situate it somewhere in the stream of parasitical, self-loathing, and self-righteous pseudo-religiosity that may be best defined as “modern, pantheistic-secularist liberalism”. Its heaven is earth; its authority is self (wrongly identified as “conscience”); its goals are horizontal (“social justice”); its rhetoric is both morally charged and completely bankrupt. “When you set out to reform a people, a group, who have done nothing wrong,” opined the endlessly opining Joan Chittister about the CDF statement, “you have to have an intention, a motivation that is not only not morally based, but actually immoral.” This is the same woman who praised and eulogized the radical, lesbian, Church-hating Mary Daly, saying Daly’s work “was an icon to women”. She fails completely, by any decent standard, to comprehend the meaning of “immoral”.

But this, I’ve learned, is the way of heresy within the Church, going back to the very beginning (think, for example, of Paul’s fight for the Galatians): to abuse trust and power, to misuse language, to undermine genuine authority, to dismiss essential truths, to claim the morally superior ground, to be a victim but never a martyr, and to distract and deflect at all costs.

The Second Surprise: The Good

This past Thursday marked the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the Chair of Peter, despite the assurances of the usual suspects with unusually suspect intuition. This was a moment of great joy for me; Cardinal Ratzinger had long been a favorite theologian and author. His books helped me in becoming Catholic and they’ve helped me in becoming a better thinking and, hopefully, better living Catholic.

But, of course, just as the narrative about the LCWR presents disobedience as goodness, the narrative about Benedict XVI has often been as follows: an angry, narrow-minded, Nazi-sympathizing reactionary is now Pope, and he is intent on dragging the Church back to the dreaded Dark Ages. Perhaps some of this utterly banal silliness could be forgiven in the first week following the election. But since then it has reflected unlearned arrogance (a media specialty), or petulant and personal smearing (a media delight), or slovenly regurgitation of falsehoods (a media habit). Or all three (a media trinity).

I won’t bother with an apologetic. Simply read the man’s writings. And if you haven’t read the recently published collection, Fundamental Speeches From Five Decades (Ignatius Press, 2012), which contains a fabulous talk given in 1970, when then Fr. (and Professor) Joseph Ratzinger was just about my own age now, forty three or so. The talk was titled, “Why I am still in the Church”. It begins with a nuanced and thoughtful reflection on the confusion faced by many Catholics in the years after the Council, which Ratzinger described as “this remarkable Tower of Babel situation”. He noted some Catholics wish to make the Church into their own image, reflecting their desires and goals, not those of the Church herself. Behind all of the struggles over what the Church “should be”, Ratzinger said, is a “crucial” point: “the crisis of faith, which is the actual nucleus of the process”.

Then, answering the question implicit in his talk’s title, he said:

I am in the Church because, despite everything, I believe that she is at the deepest level not our but precisely “his” Church. To put it concretely: It is the Church that, despite all the human foibles of the people in her, gives us Jesus Christ, and only through her can we receive him as a living, authoritative reality that summons and endows me here and now. … This elementary acknowledgement has to be made at the start: Whatever infidelity there is or may be in the Church, however true it is that she constantly needs to be measured anew by Jesus Christ, still there is ultimately no opposition between Christ and Church. It is through the Church that he remains alive despite the distance of history, that he speaks to us today, is with us today as master and Lord, as our brother who unites us all as brethren. And because the Church, and she alone, gives us Jesus Christ, causes him to be alive and present in the world, gives birth to him again in every age in the faith and prayer of the people, she gives mankind a light, a support, and a standard without which mankind would be unimaginable. Anyone who wants to find the presence of Jesus Christ in mankind cannot find it contrary to the Church but only in her.

And therein lies the answer to the question that opened this essay, the question presented to me not long before I became Catholic. How could I join a Church that tells me how to think? How could I not join the Church founded by Jesus Christ, the household of his Father, infused with life by her soul, the Holy Spirit? How could I think—or desire, or choose, or will—to do otherwise? And how can I, given the grace to be a Catholic, not stand up for my mother, the Church? “Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith” (CCC 169). She teaches us how to think because, alone, we know not how. Or why. Or Who.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Theology; Worship
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To: CynicalBear

You wrote:

“we cast ourselves into your arms”

Nothing wrong with poetic speech. First, the phrase you posted and the verse from Peter are not the same. Anti-Catholics, blinded by their hatred and bigotry, are often too numbed to reality to actually get basic facts straight.

“When did we need to replace God with Mary?”

We didn’t. Mary works for God. When people sought miracles from the Apostles were they replacing God with the Apostles? No. Clearly your attempt at a point here completely fails. That was the only way it could go, of course.

“confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.”

Nothing wrong there. First, there’s no hint of worship. The fact that Mary is loving has nothing to do with worship. Ditto for “safe harbor” or anything else in the prayer.

“Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Nothing the verse you cites goes against anything in the prayer.

“once again Catholics replacing Christ with Mary”

Nope. You failed to demostrate how that is even happening. The reason why is simple - because it isn’t happening.

“O crystal fountain of faith”

No problem there.

“Romans 12:3 according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. or “a measure of faith.””

Mary was the mother of Jesus. God is the source of Faith and He came through Mary. Hence, she’s a fountain of faith.

“but Mary is the “fountain of faith” for Catholics”

Again, Mary was the mother of Jesus. God is the source of Faith and He came through Mary. Hence, she’s a fountain of faith.

“Lily of all holiness”

Nothing wrong there.

“1 Samuel 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.”

Nothing in the verse goes against the prayer.

“for Catholics however, “all holiness” is given to Mary”

Jesus is all holy by His very nature. The Holy Bible is holy because of it’s source. The Church is holy because of its source. Mary is holy because of the gifts given her by her perfect Son.

“Conqueress of evil and death”

Yep. Nothing wrong there.

“Hosea 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.”

Nothing in the verse goes against the prayer.

“but Catholics claim it was Mary who conquered death”

Adam and Eve gave us death. Jesus and Mary conquered death. Jesus is the New Adam. Mary is the New Eve. Eve disobeyed God. Mary was submissive and obedient.

St. Irenaeus of Lyon (d.202), put it this way:

“Just as Eve, wife of Adam, yet still a virgin, became by her disobedience the cause of death for herself and the whole human race, so Mary, too, espoused yet a Virgin, became by her obedience the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race.... And so it was that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by Mary’s obedience. For what the virgin Eve bound fast by her refusal to believe, this the Virgin Mary unbound by her belief.”

“Convert the wicked”

Absolutely, through her prayers.

“John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; (Catholics have even replaced the Holy Spirit with Mary)”

Nope. I have aided the Holy Spirit in converting sinners. Haven’t you? Perhaps anti-Catholics live lives so alienated from God that they are never called upon by the Holy Spirit to minister to sinners and be instruments to encourage them to conversion. That would not surprise me.

“Statement by catholic Bishop Liqouri “.......We often more quickly obtain what we ask by calling on the name of Mary than by invoking that of Jesus.....” She...is our Salvation, our Life, our Hope, our Counsel, our Refuge, our Help”

Since all anti-Catholics lie - they must sooner or later do so for the facts do not support their hatred - we know not to trust their use of ellipses. Let’s look at the first passage as it actually stands rather than as the bigoted anti-Catholic would deceptively present it:

“’Sooner,’ says the devout Blosius, ‘ would heaven and earth be destroyed than would Mary fail to assist anyone who asks for her help, provided he does so with a good intention and with confidence in her.’30 Saint Anselm, to increase our confidence, adds, that ‘when we have recourse to this Divine Mother, not only we may be sure of her protection, but that often we shall be heard more quickly, and be thus preserved, if we have recourse to Mary and call on her holy name, than we should be if we called on the name of Jesus our Saviour and the reason he gives for it is, ‘that to Jesus, as a Judge, it belongs also to punish; but mercy alone belongs to the Blessed Virgin as a patroness.’ Meaning, that we more easily find salvation by having recourse to the Mother than by going to the Son—not as if Mary was more powerful than her Son to save us, for we know that Jesus Christ is our only Saviour, and that He alone by His merits has obtained and obtains salvation for us; but it is for this reason: that when we have recourse to Jesus, wo consider Him at the same time as our Judge, to whom it belongs also to chastise ungrateful souls, and therefore the confidence necessary to be heard may fail us; but when we go to Mary, who has no other office than to compassionate us as Mother of mercy, and to defend us as our advocate, our confidence is more easily established, and is often greater. ‘We often obtain more promptly what we ask by calling on the name of Mary than by invoking that of Jesus. Her Son is Lord and Judge of all, and discerns the merits of each one; and therefore if He does not immediately grant the prayers of all, He is just When, however, the Mother’s name is invoked, though the merits of the suppliant are not such as to deserve that his prayer should be granted, those of the Mother supply that he may receive.’31

‘Many things,’ says Nicephorus, ‘are asked from God, and are not granted: they are asked from Mary, and are obtained.’ And how is this? It is ‘because God has thus decreed to honour His Mother.’”

So, did you actually read the full passage now? Did you see this: “FOR WE KNOW THAT JESUS CHRIST IS OUR ONLY SAVIOR, AND THAT HE ALONE BY HIS MERITS HAS OBTAINS SALVATION FOR US”

So, the very thing you quote from Ligouri ACTUALLY SHOWS THAT YOUR QUOTING OF THE PASSAGE IS DECEPTIVE. Typical.

And the second quote - not surprisingly - completely leaves out “through her intercession”. Yeah, typical. Anti-Catholics have to be deceptive don’t forget. The facts just don’t support their claims.

“Mary is their salvation? If that’s not worship and blasphemy I don’t know what is.”

As I noted “through her intercession”. Ask yourself now, who left out that portion of the passage? Was it you or the website you found this at? Why would someone leave out something that important? Why would someone leave out something as important as “FOR WE KNOW THAT JESUS CHRIST IS OUR ONLY SAVIOR, AND THAT HE ALONE BY HIS MERITS HAS OBTAINS SALVATION FOR US”? Can a person who leaves out something so important be trusted? Can he or she be a serious Christian and lie that much? You tell me.

“Need I go on?”

Yes, please do. The most important thing we have learned is that anti-Catholic are not afraid to lie to attack the Catholic Faith. So why do you use their websites when it is so obvious they are deliberately lying? We orthodox Christians believe lying is a sin. How about you?

“Catholics have replaced virtually every attribute and working of God and given that to Mary in their worship.”

Nope. As I demonstrated, that is completely false and anti-Catholics literally have to lie just to make it appear that way. Do you know who the father or lies is? Do you believe bearing false witness serves him?


151 posted on 04/26/2012 4:13:47 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: stfassisi
"...does not affect a well educated Catholic/Orthodox who know their faith well because we understand the correct interpretations and meanings of Scripture..."

It is not so much what we understand as what we hold to be true. During my religious education and conversion process I encountered numerous difficulties with areas of interpretation, doctrine and dogma. Where the modernist or relativist Protestant, and even the lapsed Catholic would take the position that their own capabilities of discernment and rationalization were what must determine the truth I had faith in the teaching authority of my Church. Rather than truncate my studies and starve my understanding of the truth I am humble enough to admit that the difficulty and shortcoming is in me, not my Church and that I owed it to God, my Church and myself to keep studying and praying until I "got it". In every case, when pursued to the end, I have found the Church to be right.

Those whose authority is themselves or highly flawed persons they cite as authorities on par with the Magisterium simply on the basis that their expert agrees with them, are demonstrating a lack of faith. I feel as compelled by charity to aid them by feeding them the truth as I do to feed hungry children bread.

152 posted on 04/26/2012 4:24:57 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: Natural Law
It is not so much what we understand as what we hold to be true.

Agreed.

I am humble enough to admit that the difficulty and shortcoming is in me, not my Church and that I owed it to God, my Church and myself to keep studying and praying until I "got it". In every case, when pursued to the end, I have found the Church to be right.

Well said, I feel the same way.

I feel as compelled by charity to aid them by feeding them the truth as I do to feed hungry children bread.

Persecution is to be expected,even within our own families when we hold to the truth of our faith

153 posted on 04/26/2012 5:04:03 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: stfassisi; Natural Law; metmom; CynicalBear; boatbums
"It is not so much what we understand as what we hold to be true."

Eph. 1:17-19 doesn't quite match up with what you are saying here.

"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may GIVE UNTO YOU THE SPIRIT OF WISDOM and revelation in the knowledge of him: THE EYES OF YOUR UNDERSTANDING BEING ENLIGHTENED; that ye may KNOW WHAT IS THE HOPE OF HIS CALLING, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness OF HIS POWER TO USWARD WHO BELIEVE, according to the working of his mighty power."

It is only through UNDERSTANDING His Word that a person can KNOW that what they hold is in fact TRUTH. And notice also, that the Spirit of Widsom and revelation in the knowledge of him is given to you BY HIM. NOT by your Church, or your doctrines, or your traditions. It is through His Word that a person understands and knows what is the hope of his calling.

154 posted on 04/26/2012 5:19:06 PM PDT by smvoice (Better Buck up, Buttercup. The wailing and gnashing are for an eternity..)
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To: smvoice
It is only through UNDERSTANDING His Word that a person can KNOW that what they hold is in fact TRUTH. And notice also, that the Spirit of Widsom and revelation in the knowledge of him is given to you BY HIM. NOT by your Church, or your doctrines, or your traditions. It is through His Word that a person understands and knows what is the hope of his calling.

Believing you know the truth is like me believing satan knows the truth, which I don't believe

155 posted on 04/26/2012 5:28:31 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: BigCinBigD

It is the hallmark of every RELIGION. That’s how you can spot religion a mile away and run from it.

God is interested in relationships, not religions. If He wanted a religion, He could have stuck with what the Pharisees turned Judaism into.


156 posted on 04/26/2012 7:03:20 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: vladimir998; CynicalBear; daniel1212
You (CB) wrote: “The RCC wants people to think that it generates truth.”

v998: The Catholic Church has NEVER, EVER taught that or supported that idea.

Really? Does that mean that the FRoamn Catholics will now quit telling us how the Catholic church wrote the Bible and that it has the ability to speak infallibly in the matter of faith and morals?

157 posted on 04/26/2012 7:12:58 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom

You wrote:

“Really?”

Yes, really.

“Does that mean that the FRoamn Catholics will now quit telling us how the Catholic church wrote the Bible and that it has the ability to speak infallibly in the matter of faith and morals?”

No, since the Church wrote the Bible and can infallibly define doctrine and since neither has to do with “generating truth”.


158 posted on 04/26/2012 7:30:19 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: stfassisi; metmom; CynicalBear; boatbums
You don't believe satan knows the truth? Satan found out the TRUTH at Calvary. Satan thought that the crucifixion of Christ would DESTROY Him. There must have been lots of high fives going on in satan's domain as Christ died in shame and disgrace on Calvary's cross.

But it was short lived. And THAT is when satan realized THE TRUTH. When Christ arose from the dead. That is when satan discovered that he had tricked HIMSELF by crucifying Christ- that God had actually PAID FOR MAN'S SINS by the death of Christ. That is the good news of the Cross that Paul proclaimed. That God had sent him forth to offer "redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Eph. 1:7).

Satan reached the climax of his career of deception when he deceived HIMSELF at Calvary.

"But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world KNEW; for HAD THEY KNOWN IT, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE CRUCIFIED THE LORD OF GLORY." 1 Cor. 2:7-8.

Satan KNOWS the truth. He KNOWS his time is short. He KNOWS his defeat was at Calvary. That is why he hates and opposes the message of grace, the preaching of the cross, more bitterly than he ever hated or opposed the prophetic program. Nor is it strange that it is GOd's purpose:

...that NOW unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God." (Eph. 3:10).

If you don't believe he knows the truth, you are deceiving yourself and being deceived.

159 posted on 04/26/2012 7:30:49 PM PDT by smvoice (Better Buck up, Buttercup. The wailing and gnashing are for an eternity..)
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To: smvoice
"Eph. 1:17-19 doesn't quite match up with what you are saying here."

The Holy Spirit does not give everyone all of the gifts but none receive any of the gifts without faith.

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” - 1 Corinthians 12:7-11:

God, infinite and infinitely perfect, is beyond the capacity of humans to fully understand. Faith is the acceptance of things not understood.

160 posted on 04/26/2012 7:38:43 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: CynicalBear; 1000 silverlings; Alex Murphy; bkaycee; blue-duncan; boatbums; caww; ...
And isn’t it interesting that the concept of Mary being the “mother of God” was declared in Ephesus where Diana was worshiped as the “queen of heaven”.

The term *mother of God* does not show up in a keyword search of the Bible.

However, THIS term does, as used and inspired by the Holy Spirit....

John 2:1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.

John 2:3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”

Acts 1:14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.


161 posted on 04/26/2012 7:41:31 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: Lera; CynicalBear
What exactly did the Collyridians do that they were considered heretics ?

Likely disagreed with the Roman Church. That's all it takes to earn the label of *heretic* from them. Fidelity to Scripture doesn't enter into it.

In a nutshell, it means you were right about whatever they labeled you a heretic over.

162 posted on 04/26/2012 7:56:04 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom
"The term *mother of God* does not show up in a keyword search of the Bible."

That doesn't pass the "so what" test. Even assuming you have a valid English translation ipsissima vox Deus is far more relevant than ipsissima verba scriptura.

163 posted on 04/26/2012 7:56:17 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: Natural Law; smvoice
Faith is the acceptance of things not understood.

Sheesh, another made up by Catholics definition.

The Holy Spirit's definition of faith is this.......

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

164 posted on 04/26/2012 8:08:31 PM PDT by metmom ( For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore & do not submit again to a yoke of slavery)
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To: metmom

Po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to


165 posted on 04/26/2012 8:23:36 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: metmom

Is your argument that Jesus was/is not God?


166 posted on 04/26/2012 8:48:43 PM PDT by EDINVA
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To: vladimir998; CynicalBear

So in other words the Collyridians where heretics because they attributed to Mary that which belongs to God .

So anyone who ascribes to Mary that which belongs to God is a heretic right ?

(BTW it was this group that Mohamed got the idea that the Trinity was The Father , The Son and Mary from and parts their gnostic gospels are quoted in the Koran)

Say if you gave Mary titles and duties that actually belong to the Holy Spirit that would make you a heretic right ?


167 posted on 04/26/2012 8:51:39 PM PDT by Lera (Proverbs 29:2)
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To: Lera
"So in other words the Collyridians where heretics because they attributed to Mary that which belongs to God ."

Collyridians were heretics because they were polytheists. That is not dissimilar to those who believe that Muslims worship a different God.

168 posted on 04/26/2012 9:10:04 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: Lera

You wrote:

“So in other words the Collyridians where heretics because they attributed to Mary that which belongs to God .”

They worshiped Mary as if she were God. What specifically they attributed to her - other than divinity - is not really known.

“So anyone who ascribes to Mary that which belongs to God is a heretic right ?”

Except for those things God shares with the saints, yes.

“(BTW it was this group that Mohamed got the idea that the Trinity was The Father , The Son and Mary from and parts their gnostic gospels are quoted in the Koran)”

False. There is no credible evidence Muhammad’s (it’s not “Mohamed”) knowledge of Christianity was gained from Collyridians rather than other heretics. No historian has documented any actual evidence that Muhammad knew any Collyridians. If some Muslims, including Muhammad, believed Mary was part of the Trinity it would simply be because they were former polytheists who would be familiar with tritheistic beliefs rather than the Christian belief in the Trinity. Some ignorant people put forward 5:116 of the Qur’an in some vain attempt to prove what you have just said. The problem is that 5:116 says nothing about the Trinity, nor Collyridians, nor Catholics. All it does is show that Muslims were as stupid as modern anti-Catholic Protestants in that regard.

“Say if you gave Mary titles and duties that actually belong to the Holy Spirit that would make you a heretic right ?”

Not if those are titles and duties the Holy Spirit shares with saints, no. Both Jesus and Satan are called a morning star. The fact that they are both called something similar doesn’t confuse me. I don’t confuse one for the other. I also don’t confuse Mary and God no matter what traditional title is used or traditional duty is described.


169 posted on 04/26/2012 10:11:40 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: smvoice
If you don't believe he knows the truth, you are deceiving yourself and being deceived.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but you're forgetting this Scripture.....

"You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood NOT in the truth; BECAUSE TRUTH IS NOT IN hIM. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof."- John 8:44

170 posted on 04/27/2012 4:28:26 AM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: stfassisi

I may have looked a Strong’s once or twice in my life. Not an excellent source as far as I’m concerned.


171 posted on 04/27/2012 4:57:37 AM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: vladimir998

The problem with your entire post is that there isn’t one source in scripture or the teaching of Christ or the apostles that injects Mary the way Catholics do. Collyridianism does describe much of what the Catholic Church is.


172 posted on 04/27/2012 5:05:31 AM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: stfassisi
So are you saying that satan does not know he is a deceiver? And therefore not responsible for men being deceived? We know he knows Scripture. He tried to tempt Christ. We know that he is the accuser. We know that he goes around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he will devour. In order to deceive knowingly, one must know what the truth is that they are TURNING INTO a lie.

You're right. The truth is not in him, because he changes all truth into a lie. And he has from the beginning. That is not the same thing as saying he does NOT know what the truth IS. It is saying that he changes the truth to his lie. In order to deceive.

173 posted on 04/27/2012 7:07:59 AM PDT by smvoice (Better Buck up, Buttercup. The wailing and gnashing are for an eternity..)
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To: CynicalBear

You wrote:

“The problem with your entire post...”

There was no problem with the content of my post - especially where I proved you or the website you’re borrowing from deceptively cut quotes. So, which is it, did you cut the defining words out of the quote or did you just rely on some anti-Catholic website? Be honest now.

” is that there isn’t one source in scripture or the teaching of Christ or the apostles that injects Mary the way Catholics do.”

Well, I suppose I could have cited Exodus 20:16 (NKJV), but I chose to demonstrate it with your own actions and words. And apparently it worked or my guess would be you would either be defending what you posted or apologizing.

“Collyridianism does describe much of what the Catholic Church is.”

Nope, not one bit. This is how it always goes.


174 posted on 04/27/2012 1:31:36 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: CynicalBear
"I may have looked a Strong’s once or twice in my life. Not an excellent source as far as I’m concerned."

Then can you explain why you choose as corroboration two websites whose positions are based upon nothing more that extractions from Strongs? All in all it makes your rejection of the Magisterium look completely arbitrary.

175 posted on 04/27/2012 3:19:02 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: smvoice
"The truth is not in him, because he changes all truth into a lie."

The Truth is immutable.

The truth is still the truth even if no one believes it. A lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it. - Archbishop Fulton Sheen

176 posted on 04/27/2012 3:26:44 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: Lera

yep


177 posted on 04/27/2012 5:18:42 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: vladimir998
>> So, which is it, did you cut the defining words out of the quote or did you just rely on some anti-Catholic website? Be honest now.<<

Here’s the entire prayer and where I got it from slick. It’s not hard to compare the words with scripture.

Prayer of Pope Pius XII
In Honor of the Immaculate Conception

http://catholicism.about.com/od/tothevirginmary/qt/Honor_Immacula.htm

Prayer of Pope Pius XII

Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume! O Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars: You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honor of our people! Amen.

So tell me, is http://catholicism.about.com an “anti-catholic website” or is the scripture I compared to an “anti-catholic website”? Be honest now.

178 posted on 04/27/2012 5:36:53 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: Natural Law
>>Then can you explain why you choose as corroboration two websites whose positions are based upon nothing more that extractions from Strongs?<<

which web sites did I “choose as corroboration” that use Strongs? For that matter, which websites did I choose period?

179 posted on 04/27/2012 5:41:50 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: smvoice

Do you believe that satan knew who Jesus was when he tempted Jesus in the desert?

satan had know idea that Christ was God incarnate. To think otherwise is heretical!


180 posted on 04/27/2012 5:55:58 PM PDT by stfassisi ((The greatest gift God gives us is that of overcoming self"-St Francis Assisi)))
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To: CynicalBear

When anti-Catholics are caught in dishonesty they routinely try to divert the conversation to something else.

This is what you posted that was deceptively cut:

“Statement by catholic Bishop Liqouri “.......We often more quickly obtain what we ask by calling on the name of Mary than by invoking that of Jesus.....” She...is our Salvation, our Life, our Hope, our Counsel, our Refuge, our Help”

So, it was Ligouri, not Pius XII.

Care to try again? Was it you or an anti-Catholic website that deceptively cut the Ligouri quotes? No more diversions. Just be honest in your answer. That shouldn’t be hard, right?


181 posted on 04/27/2012 6:28:46 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: vladimir998
Does this help you out slick?

“We often more quickly obtain what we ask by calling on the name of Mary than by invoking that of Jesus. She...is our Salvation, our Life, our Hope, our Counsel, our Refuge, our Help” (The Glories of Mary by Bishop Alphonse de Ligouri (Brooklyn: Redemptorist Fathers, pp. 254, 257).

By the way. I know Catholics claim they don’t pray to Mary right?

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p4s1c2a2.htm

2675 Beginning with Mary’s unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the holy Mother of God, centering it on the person of Christ manifested in his mysteries. In countless hymns and antiphons expressing this prayer, two movements usually alternate with one another: the first “magnifies” the Lord for the “great things” he did for his lowly servant and through her for all human beings29 the second entrusts the supplications and praises of the children of God to the Mother of Jesus, because she now knows the humanity which, in her, the Son of God espoused.

2676 This twofold movement of prayer to Mary has found a privileged expression in the Ave Maria:

2679 Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus' mother into our homes, for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope.

I suppose I should ask, is http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p4s1c2a2.htm one of those “anti-Catholic” websites?

182 posted on 04/27/2012 6:57:08 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: stfassisi; smvoice
>> satan had know idea that Christ was God incarnate. To think otherwise is heretical!<<

OOoooooo! This ought to be good. Satan didn’t know ey? What say you smvoice? Satan stands in heaven accusing the faithful, he was with God in the beginning but doesn’t know that Jesus is God?

183 posted on 04/27/2012 7:04:03 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear; stfassisi; lilycicero; MaryLou1; glock rocks; JPG; Monkey Face; RIghtwardHo; ...
Again the odd views of a poster who claims that Catholics are idolaters, that those who celebrate Easter and Christmas are pagans and who claims that the idea of church on Sunday is a man made tradition and apparently not either Christian or Biblical. Given that this is the point of view from which you view the world, why should anyone pay attention to your odd, often incomplete and often flat out wrong opinions?


184 posted on 04/27/2012 7:07:42 PM PDT by narses
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To: CynicalBear
"which web sites did I “choose as corroboration” that use Strongs? For that matter, which websites did I choose period?"

Both www.biblestudytools.com and www.studylight.org rely on Strong's Concordance. Scrubbing a faulty source through a questionable site doesn't rehabilitate it.

185 posted on 04/27/2012 7:13:20 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: vladimir998

My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,
et exsultávit spíritus meus
in Deo salvatóre meo,
quia respéxit humilitátem
ancíllæ suæ.

Ecce enim ex hoc beátam
me dicent omnes generatiónes,
quia fecit mihi magna,
qui potens est,
et sanctum nomen eius,
et misericórdia eius in progénies
et progénies timéntibus eum.
Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo,
dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui;
depósuit poténtes de sede
et exaltávit húmiles.
Esuriéntes implévit bonis
et dívites dimísit inánes.
Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum,
recordátus misericórdiæ,
sicut locútus est ad patres nostros,
Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula.

Glória Patri et Fílio
et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio,
et nunc et semper,
et in sæcula sæculórum.

Amen.


186 posted on 04/27/2012 7:28:18 PM PDT by narses
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To: Natural Law

It’s interesting to me that when Catholics can’t dispute the facts they try to impugn a site to deflect regardless of whether information came from that site or not. They don’t discuss the issue but just try to deflect.


187 posted on 04/27/2012 7:34:58 PM PDT by CynicalBear
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To: CynicalBear
"I know Catholics claim they don’t pray to Mary right?"

I'm not aware of any Catholic who denies praying to her, I pray to her every day. We don't worship her.

188 posted on 04/27/2012 7:36:16 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: CynicalBear
"It’s interesting to me that when Catholics can’t dispute the facts they try to impugn a site to deflect regardless of whether information came from that site or not."

Please reread this thread. I disputed your contention that Jesus rebuked Mary and said that Jael was above Her. You countered with a flawed translation of menounge and used two suspect websites that both relied on Strong's as your substantiation.

189 posted on 04/27/2012 7:43:10 PM PDT by Natural Law (The Pearly Gates are really a servants entrance.)
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To: stfassisi; CynicalBear
Are you serious?

"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Gen. 3:15. Satan knew it was coming. He knew it from the moment Eve ate the fruit of the tree God had forbidden. What do you think the Bible is about? Satan's attempt to thwart God's curse that was placed upon him. Don't you get it? The moment Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, satan thought he had won. This world was his. The fall had taken place. Until God gave him the news that his time was limited, he was doomed, and at some point, the seed of the woman would result in his destruction. And his attempts to keep the seed of the woman from bruising his head. (A fatal blow, the end, satan loses).

Of course, you would have to believe Genesis to understand this. And if I'm not mistaken, the RCC doesn't. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

190 posted on 04/27/2012 8:17:32 PM PDT by smvoice (Better Buck up, Buttercup. The wailing and gnashing are for an eternity..)
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To: metmom

Is English your first language? It means the same thing! The words of Hebrews are more flowery but I’d think anyone with the slightest reading comprehension ability would be able to see that they are one and the same, meaning-wise.


191 posted on 04/27/2012 8:35:07 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (The brain is the weapon; everything else is just accessories. --FReeper Joe Brower)
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To: smvoice
"The moment Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, satan thought he had won. This world was his. The fall had taken place"

"And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it." (Luke 4:5,6)

192 posted on 04/27/2012 8:36:26 PM PDT by mitch5501 ("make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall")
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To: CynicalBear; Religion Mod
Ping to #178 and #182.

I thought same calling was against the rules here? Viz "slick?"

193 posted on 04/27/2012 8:41:23 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (The brain is the weapon; everything else is just accessories. --FReeper Joe Brower)
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To: CynicalBear; Celtic Cross
CynicalBear, do not refer to another poster as "slick" etc. - that is a form of "making it personal."

Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.

194 posted on 04/27/2012 8:45:00 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: smvoice
Yes, the Catholic Church believes Genesis. I don't know why you'd think otherwise.

Its in every version of the bible endorsed by the Church that I know of.

195 posted on 04/27/2012 8:47:20 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (The brain is the weapon; everything else is just accessories. --FReeper Joe Brower)
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To: CynicalBear

My questions still stand:

So, which is it? Did you deceptively cut the Ligouri quote or did you simply mindlessly lift the quote from an anti-Catholic website that had deceptively cut it? No more diversions now. Just be honest in your answer. That shouldn’t be hard, right?


196 posted on 04/27/2012 8:56:41 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Watch: The anti-Catholic will fail to find the courage to simply admit the truth here.)
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To: CynicalBear

“It’s interesting to me that when Catholics can’t dispute the facts they try to impugn a site to deflect regardless of whether information came from that site or not.”

It’s interesting to me that when anti-Catholics can’t dispute the facts they make things up or mindlessly borrow made up things from anti-Catholic websites.

“They don’t discuss the issue but just try to deflect.”

The anti-Catholics don’t admit their frauds. They just deflect.


197 posted on 04/27/2012 9:01:07 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Watch: The anti-Catholic will fail to find the courage to simply admit the truth here.)
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To: vladimir998
Mohammed [məʊˈhæmɪd], Muhammad
n
(Biographies / Mohammed (?570-632) M, Arab, RELIGION: prophet, RELIGION: founder of Islam) ?570-632 ad,
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Mohammed



198 posted on 04/27/2012 10:03:58 PM PDT by Lera (Proverbs 29:2)
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To: vladimir998; CynicalBear
My questions still stand: So, which is it? Did you deceptively cut the Ligouri quote or did you simply mindlessly lift the quote from an anti-Catholic website that had deceptively cut it? No more diversions now. Just be honest in your answer. That shouldn’t be hard, right?

He has the book . I gave him Ligouri's book myself so don't accuse him of going to any anti catholic site . He has the entire book and the book is to old for copyright so he can post lots of it straight from the book .
The only thing mindless about it is the trash that is in the book that so many people believe . Oh and by the way the book has a stamp of approval from the catholic church too

Your accusing him of lifting stuff off of anti catholic sites sounds an awful lot like projection to me .


199 posted on 04/27/2012 10:18:10 PM PDT by Lera (Proverbs 29:2)
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To: Lera

You wrote: “Mohamed”

I know it can be “Muhammad” (as I wrote), or “Mohammed” as was commonly used years ago. It just IS NOT “Mohamed” - and that’s exactly what you wrote.

Not only were you wrong, but then you compounded your error by trying to justify it with evidence that actually showed you were wrong in the first place. Classic. Enjoy. It’s just going to go down hill for you from here on out.


200 posted on 04/27/2012 10:18:41 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Anti-Catholics often show they have poor educations. Ever notice that?)
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