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Revealed: The Pope's war with the Vatican

Francis is firmly set on dealing with the Curia bureaucrats who did for Benedict XVI

23 August 2014

9:00 AM

23 August 2014

9:00 AM

If you want to understand how Pope Francis is planning to change the Catholic church, then don’t waste time searching for clues in the charming, self-effacing press conference he gave on the plane back from South Korea on Monday.

It’s easy to be misled by the Pope’s shoulder-shrugging interviews and impromptu phone calls. On his return flight from Rio last year, he said, ‘If a gay person seeks God, who am I to judge?’ What did that mean? Then there was that mysterious telephone conversation with an Argentinian woman apparently telling her it was OK to receive communion despite her irregular marriage. The media has concluded that Francis wants the church to change its stance on divorcees and same-sex couples.

But the media are wrong. Neither of these subjects is high on Francis’s agenda — and, even if they were, he wouldn’t alter Catholic teaching on sexuality.

The first non-European Pope was elected to do one thing: reform the Roman Curia, the pitifully disorganised, corrupt and lazy central machinery of the church. He is determined to pull it off — but he’s 77 and has part of a lung missing. When he looks at his watch during long Masses in St Peter’s, it’s not just because elaborate services bore him. He knows he may not have much time. ‘Two or three years and then off to the house of the Father,’ he said this week. Was he serious? You can never tell.

Jorge Bergoglio has little in common with Joseph Ratzinger apart from an intense, orthodox Catholic faith and a love of classical music. Like many Jesuits, Francis isn’t interested in liturgy. This is actually good news for traditionalists, because it means he won’t clamp down on the Latin Mass (with one baffling exception: the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, a new order whose use of the Old Missal has been brutally restricted).

But there is one big difference. To quote a senior bishop: ‘Benedict allowed the Roman Curia, and specifically the Italians in it, to kill his pontificate. Francis will not permit that to happen.’ He will strike first.

The Pope has declared a spiritual culture war on the bureaucrats who forced the resignation of his predecessor, the most intellectually gifted pontiff for 200 years. Cardinal Ratzinger was once known as ‘the Rottweiler’. How ludicrous that nickname seems in the light of his eight years as Pope, during which he allowed curial officials — including his incompetent secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone — to plunge the church deeper into financial and sexual scandal while they fought their own factional battles. Benedict was too old and too kind to knock heads together.

Pope Francis is far more of a rottweiler. He became a Jesuit because he wanted to be ‘in military terms, on the front lines of the church’. As superior of the Argentine Jesuits, Bergoglio expected instant obedience. He still does, much of the time, even though he has moved to the left and become a ferocious advocate of social justice for the poor.

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As a Latin American who didn’t know his way around Rome when he became pope, he approaches the Curia as an outsider. That is why the cardinals elected him. They did not imagine that this previously austere figure, who even as a prince of the church travelled on buses dressed as a simple priest, would turn on the charm for journalists and become a global celebrity. (In Buenos Aires he rarely gave interviews.) But they did suspect that he would kick the living daylights out of Vatican politicians who seal sleazy deals with Italian businessmen while stuffing their faces with saltimbocca alla romana.

Last year Francis described his ‘court’ as ‘the leprosy of the papacy’. By ‘court’ he may have been referring to monarchical trappings — but employees of the Curia suspected that he was talking about them. For those good priests who found themselves trapped in a sclerotic bureaucracy it came across as a needless insult. ‘Morale is tremendously low,’ says a Vatican source. ‘And matters aren’t helped by Latin American clergy swanning around Rome telling us how they’re bringing us simplicity. There’s a new ultramontanism of the left. You can disagree with anything the church teaches so long as you think Francis is fabulous.’

But neither the Pope’s cheerleaders nor his critics grasp the essence of his mission. The battles between liberals and conservatives, progressives and traditionalists, defined the last pontificate — not this one.

The Pope has begun his attack on the Curia by placing its scandal-ridden financial structures under the control of a new department with unprecedented powers: the Secretariat for the Economy. Its first prefect is Cardinal George Pell, the conservative former Archbishop of Sydney.

The blunt-spoken Pell is a close friend of Tony Abbott and, like the Australian prime minister, a climate change sceptic. In an interview with the Catholic News Service earlier this month, he said: ‘I remember Margaret Thatcher’s comment, that the Good Samaritan, if he hadn’t been a little bit of a capitalist and had his own store of money, couldn’t have helped. We can do more if we generate more.’ (One can only imagine how this went down with the bishops of England and Wales, whose politics and financial acumen are those of the 1980s public sector.)

The Secretariat for the Economy has taken control of the Vatican Bank, formerly run by Cardinal Bertone as Benedict XVI’s second in command. The mess he created is illustrated by his decision — against the advice of the bank’s directors — to invest €15 million in Lux Vide, a Catholic television company. The Vatican has now had to write off the investment.

‘The zeroing of the Lux Vide investment is emblematic of Pope Francis’s effort to loosen ties between the Holy See and Italy’s business and political world, a long-standing network of relations the Argentine pontiff considers improper to the church’s religious mission,’ wrote Philip Pullella, a leading Vatican reporter.

Bertone has been replaced as Secretary of State by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who has no authority over money and is definitely not ‘deputy pope’. The Pope has also sacked the five board members of the Vatican’s financial watchdog, the Financial Information Authority. All were Italians.

This abrupt change of regime has created space for Cardinal Pell to introduce what he described in his interview as ‘international standards for accounting and money management… Before the end of the year we hope to appoint an auditor who’ll be completely independent here and to whom anybody can have recourse.’ Pell will also reform the Vatican’s dire media operation. In this he’ll be advised by Lord Patten of Barnes, though fortunately the smug former chairman of the BBC Trust will have no influence on the church’s message.

No single person will be allowed to conduct significant financial business. Every Vatican department will be held accountable for overspending. ‘None of this is rocket science,’ said Pell, ‘but we’re very well aware that when people donate to the church they expect the money to be used wisely, for good purposes.’ Financial policy will be proposed by a Council for the Economy whose lay members held top jobs at KPMG and McKinsey; one of them was the Singaporean finance minister. The new superintendents of the Vatican Bank include Sir Michael Hintze, a hedge fund billionaire. He’s also a major Tory party donor. This may feel far removed from ‘the church of the poor’ — but the changes were ordered by Pope Francis, who believes that the poor are not best served by old-style cardinals who manage money about as effectively as the Co-op’s Revd Paul Flowers.

When it comes to reform of the entire Curia, Francis is advised by the so-called ‘C9’ committee of nine cardinals, of whom George Pell is one. It’s chaired by Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras — a charismatic pastor who is unremittingly hostile to ‘neoliberal’ America. He shoots from the hip. In January he told Archbishop (now Cardinal) Gerhard Müller, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to stop seeing the world in black and white. This was a bit rich coming from Rodriguez, who in 2002 suggested that America’s Jewish-controlled media was playing up the paedophile scandals to punish the Catholic church for its support of Palestine.

How will the C9 reform the bits of the Curia covering doctrine, evangelisation, clergy, foreign affairs and so on? To repeat: major changes on marriage and homosexuality aren’t on the agenda. In October, a synod of bishops will discuss the family: since it’s almost certain to reject calls to admit divorced people to the Eucharist, Francis needs to lower expectations. He doesn’t want to find himself in the position of Paul VI, who provoked a hysterical reaction when he vetoed proposals to allow artificial birth control.

What is on the agenda is ‘decentralisation’, the current buzzword. The problem is that, while taking power out of the hands of Vatican bureaucrats is a good thing, giving authority to national bishops’ conferences isn’t much better. Consider the mediocrity of the English hierarchy, made up of grey, jargon-spouting liberals. Here we encounter one of Francis’s weaknesses: his ignorance of the Anglosphere. He doesn’t speak English. He has never been to the United States.

‘The Pope is hungry to spread the Gospel and in Latin America he sees that being done most effectively by left-wing priests in the slums,’ says a Vatican insider. ‘What he doesn’t realise is that in North America and other English-speaking countries, it’s the conservatives who have fire in their bellies, who evangelise, often with minimal encouragement from their bishops.’ And no one is likely to explain it to him.

So, given the cruel pressures on this old man, what reform can he hope to achieve beyond a shake-up of finances? Let’s return to the aspect of Francis’s identity that the media keeps overlooking — his membership of the Society of Jesus. The decline of the Jesuits is one of the biggest disasters to have hit the church in recent decades, emptying countries of their brightest missionaries and leaving schools and parishes in the hands of jobsworths. Pope after pope has tried to reverse it, but perhaps only a Jesuit pontiff can force the order to start training its priests properly again.

Sorting out the finances and reviving the Jesuits: these may not sound like the apocalyptic reforms predicted by Francis’s more excitable supporters. In fact, they would be remarkable achievements. And if the church is lucky, they will form part of a long-overdue culture change. ‘Fingers crossed,’ says a seasoned Vatican commentator, ‘but it looks as if the sort of Italian cardinals who brought down Benedict have been chased out. Whatever happens, they mustn’t be allowed back.’

Damian Thompson is an associate editor of The Spectator. His books include The Fix and Counterknowledge.


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Show comments
  • Bruce Lewis

    Here we encounter one of Francis’s weaknesses: his ignorance of the Anglosphere. He doesn’t speak English. He has never been to the United States.
    As far as I am concerned, this is a good thing: all bad influences on orthodox Christianity come from the “Anglosphere.” Pope Francis should leave it entirely alone, and realise (as I suspect he does) that the “conservative” “evangelisation” that goes on in the “Anglosphere” preaches a theology that is heretical and is inimical to the ecclesiology of ancient and orthodox Christendom. Believe me, a Latin American Jesuit will know that very, very well.

    • Damaris Tighe

      You mean the protestant evangelicals?

      • Bruce Lewis

        Exactly.

        • Damaris Tighe

          If they’re the only people evangelising in the west then we’re completely done for. No wonder native youths are converting to Islam when they’re looking for boundaries. No one has told them – least of all the evangelicals who hate liturgy – that orthodox (small ‘o’) Christianity has an ancient tradition of regular prayer throughout the day (the office) just as in Islam.

          If native young men or potential muslim converts to Christianity are looking for reverential religous practice, they won’t find it in Christian ‘services’ that sound & feel like birthday parties.

          • Kaine

            Personally I find Odin the best choice. Communing with the runes reminds us of the need for both determination and sacrifice, while the twin nature of Seiðr and warrior engages both the physical and mental domains as well as the spiritual.

            The Nazarene proletarian had some good points too though.

          • Kennybhoy

            The, ahem, small matter of blood sacrifice aside (!), it was the noblest paganism of them all…

            “The point about Norse religion was that it alone of all mythologies told men to serve gods who were admittedly fighting with their backs to the wall and would certainly be defeated in the end.”

            – C S Lewis

            If you have not come across the essay from which the quote comes it is at the link…

            http://rough.superjunction.com/2011/04/first-and-second-things.html

          • Kennybhoy

            “No wonder native youths are converting to Islam when they’re looking for boundaries & serious religious practice. ”

            When you are right, you are very very right…

          • Damaris Tighe

            Thank you Kennybhoy. As a matter of interest, what do you disagree with?

      • kag1982

        I think that the Catholic Latin Mass types are even worse. At least the Evangelicals can be joyful sometimes; the neo-traditionalist Catholics evangelize as if they were constantly sucking on lemons. That is why they don’t get the “Joy of the Gospel.” I think that the main force within Christianity in the future will be laypeople from the peripheries. I think that Francis’ idea for evangelizing the West is to introduce the form of Catholicism that is prominent in Latin America and other areas of the Global South. Many Christian communities outside Western Europe and America are driven by the laypeople. It is very community driven where people view the parish as their family and look out for each other. That is very different from the staid hierarchical Europeanized Church, which is what traditionalist Catholics want to bring back. Now that I reflect on it more I am struck by how radical a change that would be.. Rather than European missionaries evangelizing the peripheries, Francis’ vision is the poor from the Global South evangelizing Europe and America. How about that for uprooting centuries of traditions.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Not for a mass in a foreign language. Keep it simple & understandable. Unfortunately Pope Benedict took a step backward by revising the English language mass (yet again), removing some of its simplicity & clarity, & adding pomposity.

          As for joy, it’s up to individuals in the privacy of their souls to find their own joy, not have it rammed down their throats by demented, swivel-eyed evangelicals.

          • kag1982

            Yes, some Evangelicals are kooky but Protestants are generally better at making their churches communities and families. I’ve been to some megachurches and they are much warmer and friendlier than the cold backbiting atmosphere in your average Catholic parish. Some Protestants are obnoxious and in your face, but many Protestant churches attract people by having a better product. People want a warm and friendly community that serves as a family. They don’t want a hierarchical European church where they are treated like “little children” and told to bow to the clergy and kiss their rings and pay, pray, and obey.

            I think that Damian is missing how different and radical Francis’ vision for the Church is from Benedict by dismissing it as financial (as if Francis was Jack Welch.) Benedict as you pointed out wanted to bring back the “pompous” and baroque pre-Vatican II Church. The whole argument for this view was that revitalizing the Church’s pre-Vatican II European identity would somehow revitalize the Church in the West. Francis’ view is that this doesn’t work in a globalized world; people in Latin America certainly don’t want a hierarchical European-centric Church. Francis’ idea is using the Catholic Church from the peripheries and using it to revitalize the Church in the wealthy West. The Church isn’t just an advocate for the poor but the poor laypeople in the Global South are its main missionaries. Now importing the inculturated Vatican II Church from the peripheries and using it to evangelize to the West strikes me as a radical notion.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Can’t argue with the second part of your post. Priority for the poor & downtrodden is after all central to the gospels (as it is to the OT prophets).

            “by being a better product” – now here I disagree most strongly. The tendency to make our most central institutions a ‘product’ to be sold is, in my view, a pernicious use of an inappropriate business model that infects not only mega-churches, but also the police ‘service’ etc.

            As far as I can see the desire to make Christianity “a better product” has resulted in mega-church & other evangelical
            services being reduced to mere entertainment – an absolute travesty of worship. Catching people’s fleeing attention span & manipulating emotion may bring in the crowds, but it kills honest spirituality. And muslim youths who we should be working hard to de-toxify by conversion can see through this because they’re used to the dignity of the mosque.

          • kag1982

            It has nothing to do with the “entertainment” of worship and everything to do with projecting Christian love. The Latin Mass types/ Pope Benedict Reform of the Reform types weren’t converting people either despite the “solemnity of their worship” and their constant obsession with “clown Masses.” The reason is that worship is only part of parish life. They missed the huge attraction of Protestant communities is the sense of family and sense of belonging. It can be intimidating to worship at an unfamiliar Catholic parish because there is no sense of joy or community. No one cares for each other. I’ve never heard of a modern Catholic parish where parishioners care for each other during crises or where there is a “Bing Crosby” type priest who knows everyone’s names. It really is about friendships and connections and people knowing each other and helping each other. Laypeople also have a sense that their voices matter in Protestant churches, which is not something that is the case in the Catholic Church. I think that Francis is trying to make the Catholic Church into something like that image of community that is about more than just Sunday worship. This is different from the hierarchical Church where bishops literally dress up like Renaissance kings and the “little ones” are made to bow and scrap before them.

            And fundamentalist Islam is appealing because it gives disgruntled men who are economic and social losers a vision and enemies to blame as well as power, money, and women. The Catholic Church has to come up with a competing positive vision which addresses the underlying social isolation and economic hardships that the “losers” of the globalized economy face and puts their energies and talents to good use.

          • Kaine

            Agree wholeheartedly with your final paragraph. However, much like Camara, expect to be called a no-good rotten communist for saying so around here.

          • Tridentinus

            The reason is that worship is only part of parish life.
            Surely the worship of God is the sole reason for the parish to exist.
            If your concept of the Church is that it is purely a mutual aid society or a branch of the social services that huddle together in a weekly hour long prayer session then you are sadly mistaken.

          • kag1982

            There are 168 hours in a week. Most Catholics if they are practicing spend one of those hours at Mass. The Catholic Church is lousy at addressing the other 167 hours of the week. This includes helping people with their material needs, especially the poor, but also their spiritual and social needs. There is lack of a sense of belonging, community, and family in most Catholic parishes. They are politically charged and can feel very cold and individualistic. I’m sure that suburban Catholic parishes could do a better job supporting people in their joyous times (weddings, births, etc.) and their sad times (deaths.) I know for instance that the pastor at my parents’ parish could care less when a parish member or his or her family member dies (unless of course there was money left by the estate.)

          • Athelstane

            Most Catholics if they are practicing spend one of those hours at Mass.

            Of course, the vast majority of Catholics aren’t even spending that one hour at Mass.

            And those much maligned trads – who are by no means guaranteed salvation (far from it) – actually seem to take seriously the need for the sanctification that should take place in the other 167 hours as well: devotions, rosary (especially in the family), adoration. And yes, helping the poor and friends is important, but by itself, they won’t save your soul. Even atheists can do as much.

          • kag1982

            Actually, I know traditionalist Catholics and they are very good at reminding people they are holier than everyone else and very bad at loving their neighbors. Modern day Pharisees. And it doesn’t matter how much prayer and adoration that you do if you are mean and divisive than others and act as a bully to those who go to Mass with you. BTW, all you traddies got linked here by the bully-in-chief, “Father Z.” Does “Father” Z exemplify Christian love and charity to you?

          • Athelstane

            Hello Kag,

            1. In the first place, I dropped in here off my Facebook feed from an Ignatius link. Not Fr. Z. Haven’t been there of late. I can’t speak for anyone else.

            2. All I’m getting from you is knee-jerk stereotypes of trads that were old twenty years ago. “Pharisees.” Really. The point about the Pharisees in the Gospels is that simple following of the Law, of the rules is not enough for salvation. But I don’t know any attendees at traditional parishes who feel assured of salvation because they attend Mass every day or go to Confession each week, or say their rosaries. (Certainly I do not feel assured, I can tell you that.) It is precisely because they understand and keep present to mind the Four Last Things that they know that this isn’t assured – that hell is a reality, and that souls really do go there – indeed, if most Fathers and saints who have written on the subject are to be believed, the great majority of souls go there.

            Why is there so little discussion of the Four Last Things in parish life today?

            3. And it doesn’t matter how much prayer and adoration that you do if you are mean and divisive than others and act as a bully to those who go to Mass with you.

            I just don’t know where this is coming from, Kag. At a local TLM community near me there was an elderly parishioner dying just recently, and people from all over the parish took shifts in helping him and the family in their final days. People help each other out, rather than bullying; happens all the time. I hear tales of women being scolded for not wearing veils at TLM’s, but I’ve never actually *seen* it.

            Mostly these are just Catholics trying to rebuild normal Catholic parish life with the faith as it once exist generations ago, something that they can’t find too often in diocesan parishes. People who just want reverence and beauty in their worship and sound catechesis (and quite often would have preferred to get it in a regular parish celebrating the modern Roman Rite), which is far more common than having read every Michael Davies book in print.

          • kag1982

            “1. In the first place, I dropped in here off my Facebook feed from an Ignatius link. Not Fr. Z. Haven’t been there of late. I can’t speak for anyone else.”

            Good for you. However it does seem like Z-dorf linked to this which is why the spam has increased.

            “2. All I’m getting from you is knee-jerk stereotypes of trads that were old twenty years ago. “Pharisees.” Really. The point about the Pharisees in the Gospels is that simple following of the Law, of the rules is not enough for salvation.”

            Actually it does seem like many traditionalists do.

            “It is precisely because they understand and keep present to mind the Four Last Things that they know that this isn’t assured – that hell is a reality, and that souls really do go there – indeed, if most Fathers and saints who have written on the subject are to be believed, the great majority of souls go there.”

            It doesn’t seem like Pope Francis and most modern theologians believe that. What is the point of God’s sacrifice on the Cross if Salvation is only open to a elite group like a country club?

            ” just don’t know where this is coming from, Kag. At a local TLM community near me there was an elderly parishioner dying just recently, and people from all over the parish took shifts in helping him and the family in their final days. People help each other out, rather than bullying; happens all the time. I hear tales of women being scolded for not wearing veils at TLM’s, but I’ve never actually *seen* it.”

            Ever been to “Father” Z’s site? Does the good priest himself or his commentators exude Christian love and charity? Talk about nasty. And I’ve seen that level of nasty among neo-traditionalists. I’ve been involved in fights and political situations in different parishes where a small number of traditionalists whine about the way that the parish is doing something and even tattle to the archdiocese. Nor are conservative priests known for their love and charity. I’ve had conservative priests chastise friends because they aren’t submissive brood mares and one even suggested that we shouldn’t wear jeans because they are somehow immodest.

            “Mostly these are just Catholics trying to rebuild normal Catholic parish life with the faith as it once exist generations ago, something that they can’t find too often in diocesan parishes. People who just want reverence and beauty in their worship and sound catechesis (and quite often would have preferred to get it in a regular parish celebrating the modern Roman Rite),”

            No. Most people don’t want to go back to the pre-Vatican II Church. I certainly got a taste of the conservative Church when I was growing up and hated the bullying and strict Church of no. I imagine the pre-Vatican II Church was like that up to the 11.

          • Athelstane

            It doesn’t seem like Pope Francis and most modern theologians believe that. What is the point of God’s sacrifice on the Cross if Salvation is only open to a elite group like a country club?

            It’s rather difficult to read numerous statements of Christ Himself otherwise, I’m afraid:

            “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (St Matt 7:13-14)

            “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (St Matt 7:22-23)

            “For many are called, but few chosen.” (St Mark 20:16)

            “Lord, are there few that are saved? But he said to them: Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able.” (St. Luke 13:23-24)

            And if the sense of the vast swath of the tradition adheres to this view as well…does this not suggest that perhaps it is modern prelates, under the pressure of secular thought and revisionist scholarly exegesis, who might have it wrong? How do we just blithely dismiss these passages?

            To think of this as an elite country club is not what saints like Augustine were suggesting, nor what Christ was warning of – let alone a preordained country club (such as Calvinists believe in). Rather, that few respond cooperatively to the grace that is freely offered to all. None of us should take any comfort in the prospect of the fewness of the saved, “the souls falling like snowflakes” down to hell, as was spoken of by Our Lady at Fatima; rather, it should make us all tremble, to work out our salvation in fear and trembling, as St. Paul intones in Phil. 2:12-13.

            No. Most people don’t want to go back to the pre-Vatican II Church.

            I don’t think that even many traditionalists imagine that all was well or healthy with the pre-Vatican II Church, if you mean what existed in the 40’s and 50’s in America. The music and art was often mediocre; catechesis was often rote.

            But if one wants a parish that is welcoming and supporting, one also needs the truth promulgated, and a clear sense of what is right and what is wrong, and how grace can direct one to choose the good. I’m not talking about wearing jeans (though there *are* some clothes that are too revealing and a distraction at Mass, and they *do* get worn – how is this an act of charity to their fellow male parishioners?). The Church MUST be a “Church of no” in respect that it must clearly teach that certain acts are gravely evil; it must also be a “Church of yes” in pointing to what is good. But too many pastors and bishops either fear to give the hard teachings (perhaps because it might affect the collection plate), or worse, just don’t believe in them.

          • kag1982

            “Rather, that few respond cooperatively to the grace that is freely offered to all. None of us should take any comfort in the prospect of the fewness of the saved, “the souls falling like snowflakes” down to hell, as was spoken of by Our Lady at Fatima; rather, it should make us all tremble, to work out our salvation in fear and trembling, as St. Paul intones in Phil. 2:12-13.”

            I think that the Fatima revelations outside the main ones are on the same league of gibberish as some of the other private revelations.

            “I don’t think that even many traditionalists imagine that all was well or healthy with the pre-Vatican II Church, if you mean what existed in the 40’s and 50’s in America. The music and art was often mediocre; catechesis was often rote.”

            I think that many neo-traditionalists want to return to the pre-Vatican II Church. This is why they are so incredibly obsessed with Pius XII.

            “But too many pastors and bishops either fear to give the hard teachings (perhaps because it might affect the collection plate), or worse, just don’t believe in them.”

            All the USCCB talks about is sex. They very rarely talk about other issues.

          • Athelstane

            I think that the Fatima revelations outside the main ones are on the same league of gibberish as some of the other private revelations.

            I’m not sure which revelations you have in mind. But one can find the same imagery in other saints – or even doctors of the Church, like St Teresa of Lisieux: “souls are being lost like flakes of snow” (LT 94, a letter from Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, to her sister Celine). Or Pope St. Gregory the Great: “The more the wicked abound, so much the more must we suffer with them in patience; for on the threshing floor few are the grains carried into the barns, but high are the piles of chaff burned with fire.”

            I think that many neo-traditionalists want to return to the 1950s. This is why they are so incredibly obsessed with Pius XII.

            Well, there are so many desires, so many impulses…and the 50’s are not the only era that some might long for. In *my* experience, at any rate, I chiefly find “1958 men” among Reform-of-the-Reform types. For my part, I was born long after the 50s, after the Council. “Leave it to Beaver” reruns and Fulton Sheen tapes don’t really give me enough to be nostalgic for. Perhaps to some, the 50’s seem idyllic compared to the tumults of dissent that followed in the 60’s.

            For my part (and I am not alone), I regard Pius XII as a modernizer and a liberal – the overhaul of the college, the major changes to the Roman Missal (nearly all undesirable), the Bea Psalter, etc. That said, I find his efforts to save the Jews in WWII to be heroic, and the refusal to beatify him (there are strong miracles confirmed at this point) to be blatantly political.

            All the USCCB talks about is sex. They very rarely talk about other issues.

            As it happens, I recently completed a complete catalog of all USCCB documents issued since its founding as the NCCB in 1966, with special focus on the social teaching statements. And the latter compose the large majority of all statements the conference has ever made – I don’t have the percentage on hand, but in the 80’s and 90’s, it reached an overwhelming majority of all its communications. If anything, I was struck by how seldom the conference really raises issues of sexual morality, though that has slowly begun to change over the last several years – at least, at at the margins.

            To be honest, when I hear a Catholic say “All the [Church] talks about is sex,” I almost always hear someone who disagrees with what the Church teaches about sex. Is that the case here, Kag?

          • kag1982

            “I’m not sure which revelations you have in mind. But one can find the same imagery in other saints – or even doctors of the Church, like St Teresa of Lisieux: “souls are being lost like flakes of snow” (LT 94, a letter from Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, to her sister Celine).”

            Therese had interesting views on this subject. There is some evidence that she was a proponent of everyone being saved. http://churchhistorysurprise.blogspot.com/2013/11/michael-voris-on-road-to-hell.html

            While I generally don’t agree with Father Robert Barron, I do think that he posits a interesting point on this. I don’t think that Heaven is empty, but the obsession of some conservative Catholics about their sinfulness is at the point of ridiculousness. The only think that we can do is live a good life and pray for God’s mercy for our mistakes. I believe that it will be given. The fact that blatant antisemites like Pius IX and Pius X are in Heaven should give us all hope.

            “That said, I find his efforts to save the Jews in WWII to be heroic, and the refusal to beatify him (there are strong miracles confirmed at this point) to be blatantly political.”

            Francis said that there are no miracles at this point and I believe him. Miracles have to be confirmed by the doctors and it is a very difficult process. The Vatican doesn’t want the embarrassment of beatifying someone and then learning later that there is a perfectly good reason for the cure.

            And yes, the canonization process is both political and a popularity process. And there are many questions about Pius XII attitudes toward the Jews and his actions before, during, and after WWII. So it isn’t shocking that the Vatican is skittish about this. Also, Pius XII isn’t the most warm and cuddly figure, so it isn’t shocking that he doesn’t have a popular cult.

            “To be honest, when I hear a Catholic say “All the [Church] talks about is sex,” I almost always hear someone who disagrees with what the Church teaches about sex. Is that the case here, Kag?”

            Yes, I disagree with some of the sex rules, but even you have to admit that this has been all the USCCB has talked about at least for the last eight years. They are equating religious freedom to health care regulations for goodness sake.

          • Athelstane

            P.S. one even suggested that we shouldn’t wear jeans because they are somehow immodest.

            For my part – for what little it is worth – I’d never tell anyone what they should wear or should not wear when I am at Mass, nor shoot them sharp glares. If it’s truly immodest, it *may* be appropriate for the priest to say something. If the jeans are extremely skintight…that might be a problem, objectively, in the same way that a bikini at Mass would be.

            I happen to think jeans are not appropriate to ever wear to Mass (barring uncontrollable circumstances) in any case, regardless of your sex, and I never do so – at least a jacket and slacks, and preferably a tie. But that’s an issue different from modesty. God deserves our best, even if he does not need it.

          • kag1982

            Oh no, this was just a pair of jeans in general. The priest was so misogynist that he thought that women shouldn’t wear jeans in general.

          • Nan

            Maybe he’s an @ss man and not wearing jeans is

            for the benefit of his soul.

            I don’t know if you’re aware of Simcha Fisher but here’s her pants manifesto.

            http://simchafisher.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/pants-a-manifesto-2/

          • kag1982

            I think that Simcha Fischer is amusing sometimes, but I’m not sure why someone on her tenth kid is supposed to be a proponent for natural family planning.

          • Nan

            There you go all snarky again; NFP is used to plan families. For married Catholics who are supposed to be open to new life, that typically means timing the children not avoiding them. Look to yourself for the problem because it can’t be the world.

          • kag1982

            Most couples cannot afford ten kids and most women shouldn’t be having ten kids. Many women develop severe health problems from multiple pregnancies. And outside the Church, no one in the world including many conservative Protestants think that birth control is a bad thing or that married women shouldn’t be able to limit their pregnancies to one or two kids or no kids at all. NFP has been taught as a way to limit family sizes and promote responsible parenthood; for most people, this means two kids. I personally don’t think that it works, but it really steps on the NFP types message when they constantly have large families.

          • Athelstane

            kag,

            I personally don’t think that it works, but it really steps on the NFP types message when they constantly have large families.

            It’s only a problem if you think NFP should be sold as “Catholic birth control.” It can be highly effective in determining periods of fertility and infertility, but the Church does not accept or promote it on the basis that it’s a holistic alternative to the Pill.

            Look: the Church has never said that every family is obligated to have ten children (or fill in some other high number). Nor should those with few or no children be judged at face value, since we don’t know *why* they have so few children. Perhaps they’ve tried. Perhaps there are medical issues.

            Yet to go into a marriage and not be open to life at all – or to begrudgingly have perhaps one or two – raises grave questions in regards to whether you have a proper Catholic understanding of marriage.

            I would point you to Pope Pius XII’s Allocution to the Italian Midwives in 1951 for a succinct understanding of marriage and fertility:

            The matrimonial contract, which confers on the married couple the right to satisfy the inclination of nature, constitutes them in a state of life, namely, the matrimonial state. Now, on married couples, who make use of the specific act of their state, nature and the Creator impose the function of providing for the preservation of mankind. This is the characteristic service which gives rise to the peculiar value of their state, the bonum prolis. The individual and society, the people and the State, the Church itself, depend for their existence, in the order established by God, on fruitful marriages. Therefore, to embrace the matrimonial state, to use continually the faculty proper to such a state and lawful only therein, and, at the same time, to avoid its primary duty without a grave reason, would be a sin against the very nature of married life.

            Serious motives, such as those which not rarely arise from medical, eugenic, economic and social so-called “indications,” may exempt husband and wife from the obligatory, positive debt for a long period or even for the entire period of matrimonial life. From this it follows that the observance of the natural sterile periods may be lawful, from the moral viewpoint: and it is lawful in the conditions mentioned. If, however, according to a reasonable and equitable judgment, there are no such grave reasons either personal or deriving from exterior circumstances, the will to avoid the fecundity of their union, while continuing to satisfy to tile full their sensuality, can only be the result of a false appreciation of life and of motives foreign to sound ethical principles.

          • MarkWilliam

            If you’re cutting and pasting, you’ve missed the typo in Pius XII’s Allocution to the Italian Midwives of 1951.
            Some of my ancestors were Italian midwives – and, thinking about it, I guess they must have been very grateful to the Pope for the extra work he pushed their way.
            My commiserations to your fiancee.

          • Athelstane

            Hello Mark,

            Quoting a document at length does require cutting and pasting, Mark – I don’t have time to type it all from scratch. I used italics to make clear what was text from the document.

            If you have a point to make about a typo, I think you have an obligation to make it explicit.

          • MarkWilliam

            I’m not here to do your proof-reading matey. If you are going to ‘cut and paste’ from Papal Allocutions, at least take the trouble to see if your source material makes sense.
            It should’t take you very long – since you called it a “succinct” statement!

          • kag1982

            And Vatican documents including the Synod Document mentions that NFP can be used for responsible parenthood. There are also lots of documents out there about the “effectiveness of NFP.” In fact, Simcha Fisher is one of the leading proponents about how “effective” and “natural” it is. When people hear such messages, they think that it is birth control that will help them plan their families. And most couples want children, but only a few children. Childbirth takes a lot out of a woman’s body and many women don’t wish to be constantly pregnant. It also takes quite a bit of money to raise a child and most families require two incomes. Simcha Fisher has a job as a freelance writer who has the flexibility to have a large family. Most women don’t have writing careers (or in the case of the Duggars and the other TLC families reality TV programs.) This isn’t the 1940s and most priests and bishops would allow for quite wide latitude when it comes to NFP.

            Also, it is hard for the Church to argue that not having sex for married couples is a sin. That is really contradictory to the Church’s message to everyone else. If a woman has a “headache” and refuses to sleep with her husband one night, do you really think that this is a sin? It certainly sounds like that with the Pius XII speech. Of course, that is an incredibly retrograde view of marriage where women are essentially objects of their husbands.

          • Athelstane

            There are also lots of documents out there about the “effectiveness of NFP.”

            Yes – effective in planning families, not preventing them.

            When NFP advocates are selling NFP as some form of birth control, they gravely err. And yes, alas, it does happen from time to time.

            And most couples want children, but only a few children.

            Not to put to fine a point on it, but most couples today are selfish egoists.

            Yes, there are legitimate reasons why a family size might be limited. But that’s not what’s going on with most couples in the West.

          • kag1982

            “Yes – effective in planning families, not preventing them.

            When NFP advocates are selling NFP as some form of birth control, they gravely err. And yes, alas, it does happen from time to time.”

            I think that a family with two or three children is a “planned family,” not a “prevented family.” And NFP is sold to everyone as responsible birth control.

            “Not to put to fine a point on it, but most couples today are selfish egoists.”

            There are selfish egoists who enjoy having lots of kids as well. Kate and Octomom as well as many celebrities come to mind. Also, Michelle Duggar seems to define herself with her fertility to the point that she is actively pursuing kids with fertility doctors despite being in her late forties. At least the egoists who decide not to have kids aren’t screwing up innocent children for life.

            “Yes, there are legitimate reasons why a family size might be limited. But that’s not what’s going on with most couples in the West.”

            There are legitimate reasons for most people to limit family size in the West. Most families need two incomes to survive. It actually isn’t healthy for many women to have pregnancy after pregnancy. I also cannot imagine spending my entire adult life pregnant, which is what is being suggested. Also, children who grew up in smaller families appreciate it. And not just the “stuff” that they received. (Although being able to afford college is probably nice.) There also is having more of their parents’ attention and not having to virtually raise their younger siblings, etc.

          • Nan

            Have you read Paul VIs Humanae Vitae? He predicted the changes in morality that occurred once sex was separated from procreation. People used to wait to have sex until marriage and society held to that norm; now most babies are born to single mothers and the family is being destroyed. Marriage ties children to their biological parents and is a place to nurture them.

            People make the choice to have a stay at home parent; they share a car, buy clothes on sale or at thrift stores and don’t eat out. As one guy put it “other people go on vacations or play golf. I raise kids,”

            Who cares what protestants think?

          • kag1982

            Actually, the Protestants and non-Catholics have this one right. And I’m sure that people growing up in large families would have loved to been able to attend college without significant debt or go on a vacation with their parents. People have a right to plan their families the way that they choose and women have a right to control their bodies. This has nothing to do with the collapse of marriage in certain minority communities; there are a whole host of socio-economic reasons for that.

          • Nan

            Do you know when VII took place? Because I’m older than you and it took place before my birth. If you’re 32, you never saw the Conservative Church. Period. I doubt that “most poeple” feel the same as you; the parishes in my diocese with the most vocations are the more conservative ones. The happy clappy stuff doesn’t do much for vocations.

          • Jon82

            Normal Catholic Parish life as you see it is not what we have in our Parish Community. We really do care for each other, do not wear veils, such a middle-eastern put the women in their place thing to do, and wow, we have Mass in vernacular with Father facing us. Give me my parish any day over the 1950’s revisionist stuff you want.

          • Athelstane

            we have Mass in vernacular with Father facing us.

            Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t come to Mass for Father (even when I like or admire him a great deal). I don’t need to see his face. In fact, I’d rather not see it – not during the Canon, at least. I’m there for Christ, made present as an unbloody sacrifice.

            Look: I think it’s worth visiting with priests who have come to experience the effect of celebrating ad orientem, and how it reorients their celebration of the Mass. Time and again, I hear them say, it humbles them; it reduces the temptation to “perform” for the audience. It orients them to Christ.

            It is the way St. John XXIII celebrated Mass. And St. Padre Pio. And St. John Vianney. And St. John of the Cross. And St. Ignatius of Loyola. And St. Francis. And St. Bernard. And St. Augustine. And St. Ambrose. Celebration facing the people has been one of the gravest mistakes we’ve made, a mistake nowhere called for by the Vatican II documents. It has reduced reverence for and focus on Christ in the Mass, despite the best intentions of many priests. It has made us into closed circles, as Joseph Ratzinger once noted.

            Language…is a more debatable area. There are many ancient rites celebrated in other tongues than Latin. And yet the dumping of Latin (which also was not called for by Vatican II – quite the opposite – see Sacrosanctum Conclium 36 and 54) was arguably the least important change made to the Mass in the 60’s. Almost everything else was changed as well, right down to the calendar.

            We really do care for each other,

            I don’t doubt it for a second.

            … do not wear veils, such a middle-eastern put the women in their place thing to do

            Except that it’s not Middle Eastern, save to the extent that Christianity *itself* originated in the Middle East (I hope we do not hold that against it); head coverings were common in the ancient world, and were common enough among Catholics all the way up until the 60’s without any reference to ISIS thugs. It’s a sign of humility and modesty – women cover their heads when entering the church, and men remove theirs (when men bother to wear hats in the first place). It’s not about making them second class citizens.

            While you’re at it, give this a look – and keep an open mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFqSae_ZwRY

          • Jon82

            I do not need to see Father, either but nor do I want to see his back side, that is disrespectful in my mind. I have seen the stepford veil girls video. LOL. Just Christian women who bow and scrape to their men. It is about control and power and archaic at best.

          • Athelstane

            It is about control and power and archaic at best.

            Dear me. Would you tell that to these women…to their face?

          • Jon82

            Of course I would. Christ is surely present as our Eucharistic Lord, but also in the actions at the Altar and in the Sacred Scripture, so that archaic custom just doesn’t seem to work for me so long as we acknowledge the presence with appropriate gestures, then no need to worry about turning our back on the tabernacle. We are the church. Oh wait that is a VII idea, probably too new for someone like you….moving on. No time to waste on you anymore.

          • Athelstane

            Jon,

            …so long as we acknowledge the presence with appropriate gestures, then no need to worry about turning our back on the tabernacle.

            Yes, but we’re talking about the priest himself, in the process of offering the sacrifice of the Mass.

            Of course, even in the traditional rite, there are moments when the priest turns to face the congregation for short moments, and thus has his back turned to the altar. But when he is offering a prayer to God, and when he is offering the sacrifice to God…it has always been thought fitting that he actually face God, present on His altar. He is praying to God, not to us. He is offering the sacrifice to God, not to us.

            When this is the overwhelming tradition of the Church in the West (in the East, of course, one cannot typically see either the front or back of the priest, since he is hidden behind the iconostasis), one has to wonder at the wisdom of the abrupt abandonment of this tradition. More to the point, a Catholic has to at least be willing to give a respectful hearing to the traditional orientation.

            We are the church. Oh wait that is a VII idea, probably too new for someone like you.

            I don’t know how to break this to you, Jon, but I was born well after the Council ended.

            Which, come to think of it, is also true of the vast majority of folks who attend my local traditional Mass.

          • Jon82

            No, I did not mean physically too new for you; rather, that it is an idea from that important council that many like you seem to ignore or forget. I would have guessed that you like many trads are younger than myself, pining away for some mystical long ago faith. I do not have to give any credence to the old Mass at all; to me it is a relic that I will never attend again. My faith is real and so is the love I share in my community. As I said, cheers, you are no longer worth anytime at all.

          • Athelstane

            I would have guessed that you like many trads are younger than myself, pining away for some mystical long ago faith.

            You have caught me out: I *do* pine for the 50’s – the 1650’s.

          • Jon82

            And that is really fine, just do not take me back there lol, 1650 or 1950! Cheers!

          • MarkWilliam

            You have explained the ‘traditional rite’ very poorly, when you say that “when he [the priest] is offering the sacrifice to God…it has always been thought fitting that he actually face God, present on His altar. He is praying to God, not to us. He is offering the sacrifice to God, not to us”. You have missed the points about ‘ad orientem’, about the tabernacle, and about the Mass being offered for and with us. No-one ever thought the sacrifice was being offered “to us”.

          • Athelstane

            Hello Mark,

            No-one ever thought the sacrifice was being offered “to us”.

            The real problem is that too many Catholics don’t actually understand or believe that a sacrifice is being offered at all. The “communal meal” has subsumed all else.

          • MarkWilliam

            Hello Athelstane, You’ve missed the points that I was making. Now why am I not surprised? The real sacrifice that I am making, is of my time, spent reading your posts.

          • Athelstane

            If you insist on being this obnoxious, Mark, I don’t know what we usefully have to say to each other.

            If we are to take your position seriously, we must conclude that the Roman Catholic Church has been getting its central act of worship fundamentally wrong for most of its history. There are, of course, people who have long held such a position; but they are generally called Protestants.

          • MarkWilliam

            Just being factual, Athelstane.
            I’m not sure where you get the idea that ‘the RCC has been getting its central act of worship fundamentally wrong for most of its history’? What I said to you, was that you had explained the OF Mass “very poorly”. You explained it in a way that suggested that you don’t understand what is taking place.

          • Deanna Clark

            I agree that saying mass facing the people makes the congregation an audience and the Priest above, not one of us…was that the idea? To detract from God and honor the Priest? Because that does…he’s the star.

          • Nan

            Wouldn’t it be better to have a priest who faces God?

          • Jon82

            He is. God in the sacrament of the altar, the word, the Eucharist and the PEOPLE of God, in whom God also dwells.

          • Athelstane

            God in the sacrament of the altar, the word, the Eucharist and the PEOPLE of God, in whom God also dwells.

            Yes, but not in the same way (not even remotely!) in which He is present in the Eucharist, however – a point that Pius XII went to some pains to explain in Mediator Dei.

          • Jon82

            Again with Pius XII. When Vatican Documents clear him from wrong doing and looking the other way during the Holocaust, then I will give two hoots about what he had to say.

          • Athelstane

            Hello Jon,

            And yet, Jon, no Pope is quoted more often by the Vatican II documents than…Pius XII.

            Obviously, the Council Fathers did not share your reticence in embracing his doctrinal teachings. What to make of that?

          • Jon82

            Nothing more to say, I will gladly be happy to hear what he said when he is cleared of negligence and wrong doing during the Holocaust and we will not know the facts until Vatican documents about this Pope Pius XII are unsealed.

          • Mara319

            Come now, Kag. Tell us what is it with Father Z that drives you nuts. You don’t have to make a punching bag of the Trads, if it’s only Father Z that you wanted squashed. Be honest.

          • kag1982

            Have you ever been to the man’s site? He really is an illustration of clericalism and all the bad caricatures of Catholicism wrapped up into one person. Don’t forget to go to “Father” Z’s Amazon wishlist and donate for his next trip to Rome so he can travel first class and stuff his face full of pasta. Remember the laity are to bow to their betters in the clergy and “pray, pay, and obey” with an emphasis on “pay.”

            And when he directs his zzzombies to a site the level of discourse goes down immensely.

          • Nan

            I wasn’t raised in a religious household and when I began going to Mass after a long hiatus, I was looking for solid, Catholic information and had nowhere to turn as my friends weren’t religious. I found Zs blog. It might not appear to you to be “good works” but I’ve learned many things from his blog. I do agree that it’s divisive, but keep in mind that his audience is just like you but from the other end of the spectrum; people who are unhappy with their parish or the parishes within their reach as they don’t provide what that person needs.

            He’s still working on his dissertation and is now uner supervision of a bishop in his local area, helping with the Tridentine Mass, which, although not your cup of tea is one with an audience.

            Any donations received are given with gratitude from those who seek wha the has for them.

          • kag1982

            Oh.. His blog is for those who enjoy bullying others in their parish as he does. And he has being working on his dissertation for a decade now, so it is all a smokescreen. And I’m not sure if Morlino is a good influence on him. Morlino is a divisive character who enjoys meddling and micromanaging local parishes.

          • Jon82

            He’s rude, does not work for his living and is a bully. I shared the same criticism with him via email and he googled me and threatened my job and parish. Enough with the huckster. Get a real life Fr. Z and do parish work for real.

          • Nan

            And here I was thinking that adoration could help you as you’d be spending time with Him, which might help with your difficulties with the church.

          • Tridentinus

            When I go to Mass I go to worship God, I go for the sake of my soul and to pray for the souls of others; I do not go to socialise. Ther are people in the congregation with whom I would not particularly want to socialise with apart from a polite greeting; just as there are people in my neighbourhood I would feel the same way about.
            There are plenty of institutions and societies within the Church that look after the corporal and spiritual needs of the less fortunate without it becoming the overriding priority of the Parish.
            The secular world sees Christians merely as do-gooders and this is why the present pope is such a hit because he seems to fit the world’s image of what a Christian ought to be. It simply doesn’t understand the true nature of the Church which sadly you don’t seem to either.

          • Athelstane

            When I go to Mass I go to worship God, I go for the sake of my soul and to pray for the souls of others; I do not go to socialise.

            Precisely.

            But that said, it is also true that, in traditional parishes, there’s almost always a very lively coffee hour in the basement afterward. And plenty of socializing, for those who want it. After the Mass.

          • Tridentinus

            Yes indeed, I should have said ‘I do not go primarily to socialise’.

          • kag1982

            “When I go to Mass I go to worship God, I go for the sake of my soul and to pray for the souls of others; I do not go to socialise. Ther are people in the congregation with whom I would not particularly want to socialise with apart from a polite greeting; just as there are people in my neighbourhood I would feel the same way about.”

            As a Christian, you should want to socialize with people even people you don’t like. It is an act of love and charity.

            “There are plenty of institutions and societies within the Church that look after the corporal and spiritual needs of the less fortunate without it becoming the overriding priority of the Parish.”

            Not just the spiritual needs of the less fortunate, but the spiritual needs of everyone. Like for instance a priest comforting people whose family member just died. I remember that my father requested spiritual counsel from his pastor when his mother was dying and the priest rudely said that he was “too busy.” My father is very devout and was very involved with the parish (as was my mother). This obviously hurt him deeply and now he is not involved with the parish and hates most priests. I’ve actually never heard of a priest comforting the members of a family who have died or sick. In fact, I’ve never heard of a Catholic who just casually knows someone through Mass doing that or a parish ministry of laypeople who really actively help each other out. Most Catholic ministries are about politics and cliques and excluding others.

            “The secular world sees Christians merely as do-gooders and this is why the present pope is such a hit because he seems to fit the world’s image of what a Christian ought to be. It simply doesn’t understand the true nature of the Church which sadly you don’t seem to either.”

            Jesus spends lots of time talking about loving one’s neighbor. That seems to be like a huge part of Christianity.

          • Athelstane

            I remember that my father requested spiritual counsel from his pastor when his mother was dying and the priest rudely said that he was “too busy.”

            That was deeply wrong.

            Pray for that priest as well, for that was a gravely unjust act, and one he will have to answer for on Judgement Day, as he must answer for the souls given to his care.

          • kag1982

            Actually, my point is that I’ve never heard of a priest that counsels families in crisis. That has never happened once in my time. Point being that it doesn’t happen.

          • Tridentinus

            Your point is that you are making generalisations from particular incidents which is a fallacy

            Have you ever wondered why you have no rapport with your priests, your fellow parishioners and your class-mates at school? Has it ever occurred to you that the reason might lie with you and your attitude. I say this in all charity but you do seem to have an enormous chip upon your shoulder and a dreadful persecution complex.

            All your posts reveal an obsessional and irrational hatred of the Catholic Church and particularly of those who adhere to orthodox Catholicism. You despise bishops and cardinals whom you don’t even know for no apparent reason other than that you simply don’t like them and you trawl the internet looking for scandalous tit-bits of hearsay concerning Catholic clergy. All this is by your own admission.

            You come up with labels such as, über-trads, neo-trads, neo-cons in order to vilify orthodox Catholics and again by your own admission, you glory in the slightest hint that orthodox Catholics might have been upset by some papal, curial or episcopal pronouncement. I simply don’t know what is your purpose in all this.

          • kag1982

            “Your point is that you are making generalisations from particular incidents which is a fallacy”

            No, I’ve been Catholic for 32 years. I know of people experiencing tragedies in my parish, but I’ve never heard of a priest coming over the comfort the family members or providing any personal spiritual guidance. It just really isn’t something that priests do on a regular basis – visiting the elderly, sick, grieving, etc. The only caveat would be if the priest was the personal friend of the family, but I’ve never heard of a priest provide house calls or spiritual guidance. That just isn’t something that Catholic priests do. It might be because of the “priest shortage,” but I really don’t think that they ever did stuff like that.

            “Have you ever wondered why you have no rapport with your priests, your fellow parishioners and your class-mates at school? Has it ever occurred to you that the reason might lie with you and your attitude.”

            Like many people, I’ve been a victim of bullying in the Catholic Church and Catholic school system. My bullying was more severe and left me with a nervous breakdown but I think that there are lots of people who have had bad priests or been victims of bullying or abuse in a parish. There is a whole joke in the U.S. about “Catholic school survivors.” I hear at least one or two stories a month about divided parishes or schools or archdioceses fights. I’ve seen conservative and liberals get in fist fights with each other. These fights tend to be instigated by the conservatives who are upset about a specific practice or more liberal priest that the rest of the congregation likes.

            While lots of secular organizations and other denominations have issues, the issues seem to be worse in the Catholic Church. For whatever reason, the Church has perfected the art of creating ex-Catholics. As someone with issues with the Catholic Church, I can tell you that most people join or leave a religion because of their personal issues with that religion. People become ex-Catholics because of the reasons I described above. It isn’t because of poor Catechism, Vatican II, etc. I appreciate Francis because he is the first pope who actually gets it. He understands the root cause of the problem and he has a quite audacious plan to fix it.

            ” I say this in all charity but you do seem to have an enormous chip upon your shoulder and a dreadful persecution complex.”

            You say this with no charity.. Discuss. And I find it amusing that I’m being accused of a “persecution complex” by a traditionalist. Many traditionalists in the U.S. think that they are going to be rounded up by Obama and put in camps or murdered by gay activists. Cardinal George made dumb comments about his successor being martyred that I’ve seen as signatures for traditionalists. (Taking that seriously, this means that some traditionalists think that there is going to be an Iraq style genocide in America in the the next ten years.) Having to take a nativity scene out of a public park is considered “religious persecution.” It is incredibly trivial and has led the news media to dismiss real religious persecution in the Middle East and elsewhere.

            I don’t have that sort of persecution complex. All I think is that traditionalists are uncharitable and holier than thou and that they are intolerant toward Christians who aren’t like them. They aren’t people I really want to be in the same parish with because they create issues and I hope that they join the SSPX. I find their online blogs to contain lots of ugly bullying rhetoric and anti-Jewish, anti-woman, and anti-gay rhetoric as well.

            “You despise bishops and cardinals whom you don’t even know, for no apparent reason other than that you simply don’t like them.”

            I hate Burke because he represents an odious mixture of American neo-Catholicism (aka George Will and the Acton institute) and 1950s nostalgia. He is also a quite nasty bully whose main rule of dealing with dissent is to excommunicate people. He represents a strain of American Catholicism that uses harsh tactics to shut down institutions and parishes that they don’t like. The most notorious example of this is Morlino who has recently severely restricted a pastors ability to baptize the babies of gay couples and even decides the field trip options for children in Catholic schools. Burke even annoyed Benedict which is why he was “promoted” to Rome. Unfortunately, he used his “promotion” to Rome to get many of his friends placed in prime dioceses. Many of Benedict’s American appointments are close associates of Burke’s. They are all odious types who believe in Burke’s confrontational style. As someone who lives in Chicago, I really don’t want that.

            “you trawl the internet looking for scandalous tit-bits of hearsay concerning Catholic clergy all over the world. All this is by your own admission.”

            I like gossip. Frankly, the Catholic Church has lots of juicy politics and drama. I also enjoy American politics, but that really doesn’t get juicy until 2015 in the fall and the election might be quite boring (Bush vs. Clinton.. really.)

            “You come up with labels such as, über-trads, neo-trads, neo-cons in order to vilify orthodox Catholics and again by your own admission, you glory in the slightest hint that orthodox Catholics might have been upset by some papal, curial or episcopal pronouncement. I simply don’t know what is your purpose in all this.”

            I’ve met lots of Karma Houdinis in my life. I know lots of conservative Catholics who have never been called to account for their bullying. I think that it is wonderful that they are finally getting what they deserve. I enjoy it when they have meltdowns over Pope Francis. Francis is in my opinion an indication that God is sort of annoyed and tired with them and is giving them what they deserve. I’m also sort of annoyed that we got Benedict for eight years. If Francis had been elected in 2005, the Church wouldn’t be in such bad shape.

          • MarkWilliam

            Much admiration for your efforts here. I don’t know how you find the time and/or the patience.
            And I do agree with your analysis of Pope Francis. It is very much more perceptive (and, indeed, more informed) than what was provided by the author of this article.
            However, I’d query your use of the word ‘hate’, because it will bring you down to the same level as those with whom you are debating here. Rather than hate them, pity them and pray for them.
            I imagine that ‘The Spectator’ has a great number of non-Christian readers. If they’re following this thread (but I imagine they tired of it long, long ago), what must they think of us? Jesus wept.

          • Tridentinus

            You do not seem to read or understand what other people write on here. You tell us ad nauseam of your unfortunate experiences. Your were victimised by your school-mates, you were victimised by your fellow-parishioners, your family was victimised by your parish priest; in every scenario which you describe you are the ‘innocent victim’.
            You are not ashamed to declare your hatred of certain individuals or groups within the Church yet at the same time you counsel us to ‘love our neighbours’.
            You cannot conceal your pleasure when those with whom you disagree appear to be dealt a blow yet at the same time you counsel the us ‘to love our neighbours’.
            Do you realise how foolish you are making yourself appear?

          • kag1982

            Actually, I stopped being a good and pious Catholic years ago. My main dog in this fight is watching people who for years have bullied others get some of their own medicine. And the traditional Catholics who purport to be the best and holiest people ever certainly are against loving their neighbors.

          • Tridentinus

            Oh well that is pretty obvious from your posts, that is consistent with having a chip on onne’s shoulder.

          • kag1982

            Look in the mirror.

          • Nan

            Maybe you need to join that parish you show up for Mass at and begin a ministry. There’s already a non-profit with Catholic roots that has a listening ministry. Have you heard of BeFrienders?

          • kag1982

            I desire not to get involved in parish politics.

          • Nan

            Then don’t complain about what they should do. You’re not willing to join the parish nor to begin ministries you think they should have. They’ve no obligation to you; you’re a visitor.

          • kag1982

            I feel that as someone screwed by the Church, I have a right to point out the Catholic Church’s deficiencies.

          • Nan

            You weren’t screwed by the church. Kids get bullied all the time. Most of them get over it. You have a double standard; you claim to be Catholic, which means that you believe and profess all the the Church teaches. Except that you don’t and want to change the Church to be what you want it to be.

          • kag1982

            “You weren’t screwed by the church. ” Yes, my family and I were consistently subjected to cat fights and political battles at different parishes.

            “Kids get bullied all the time. Most of them get over it. ” My issue is that the supposedly holy priests and nuns and good Catholic lay teachers at the school did nothing to discipline the bullies or stop the bullies nor did they care for me as a person. It was all about the $$.

            “You claim to be Catholic, which means that you believe and profess all the the Church teaches. Except that you don’t and want to change the Church to be what you want it to be.”
            I think that the Church could use to be more pro-woman than it currently is. And if you think that the “rejection” of Humane Vitae and its anti-woman propositions mean that someone isn’t Catholic, then I’m assuming that you think that most Church going Catholics aren’t Catholic. The anti-birth control stance will likely be overturned in my lifetime.

          • Nan

            And everyone at the time thought that birth control was a slam dunk and were shocked when Paul VI rejected it.

            If you and your family were treated badly at every parish, the common denominator is you and your family. The problem isn’t the parishes but how you and your family treated others.

          • kag1982

            Which is why everyone ignores the Church on this.

            And you know my family? Because you certainly seem to like to judge without knowing (which is typical of conservative Catholics.) The reason why my family was bullied was because my parents were good Catholics who felt that they should be involved in parish ministries and met the “wrath” of the neo-conservative, incredibly hypocritical clique that controls most parishes. It is the same type of garbage in many places.

          • Neihan

            “Kids get bullied all the time. Most of them get over it.”

            The rest start screaming “Misogyny, racism, homophobia!” and wistfully dream of stamping their boot into a human face – forever.

          • Tridentinus

            As a Christian, you should want to socialize with people even people you don’t like. It is an act of love and charity.
            Coming from you this is priceless. You have time and time again declared your hatred for Cardinal Burke, many other prelates and clerics and orthodox Catholics in general, in fact most people who disagree with you. How do you equate this your advice given to us above? Is this your idea of an act of ‘love’ and ‘charity’?

            Jesus spends lots of time talking about loving one’s neighbor. That seems to be like a huge part of Christianity. Cardinal Burke is you neighbour, can you tell us you love him?

            Now do you still not see how ridiculously you come across on these websites?

          • kag1982

            Cardinal Burke hates me as a woman who isn’t a submissive broodmare. He has been a toxic and divisive figure who has ruined at least one diocese and has installed his toxic buddies in other dioceses. He finally has gotten taken down a notch by Francis and lost his ability to act as a sugar daddy and hand out dioceses to mini Burkes. Not a second to soon for those of us in Chicago.

            Do I wish for the man’s death? No. Unlike traditionalists who pray for Pope Francis’ death I don’t. I wish for him to stay in Rome, shut up, and do lots of paperwork.

          • Tridentinus

            Cardinal Burke doesn’t even know you never mind hate you.

            Where do you get the idea from that orthodox Catholics pray for the death of Pope Francis?

            I have never come across such nonsense in all my life.

          • kag1982

            He hates uppity women who have the audacity to have careers and aren’t submissive broodmares who bow to Burke’s superior wisdom. Certainly isn’t a fan of the American nuns.

            And I’ve read more than one online comment suggesting that conservative Catholics are praying for Francis to have a short papacy. They certainly become overjoyed when they hear stories like the one last week where Francis suggested that he only had a few years left.

          • Tridentinus

            Absolute nonsense.

          • kag1982

            You asked Burke’s his opinion on women?

          • Tridentinus

            When did I ask Cardinal Burke his opinion on women, I have never met the man. If you have evidence of his mysogyny then publish it and stop making unsubstantiated accusations against him. Come on. chapter and verse; sources, please.

          • kag1982

            He certainly has waged an endless vendetta against the American nuns. And I doubt he is in favor of women being anything other than submissive broodmares or nuns who dry clean Burke’s ridiculous costumes.

          • Tridentinus

            Sources please, where in print or on the ‘net does this ‘endless vendetta manifest itself or is it just in your head; your use of the term ‘broodmares’ suggests it is? Why do you insult your fellow female human beings who are mothers by referring to them as ‘broodmares’, I take exception to you referring to my mother and my wife as broodmares; a disgusting epithet and all of you who give her up votes, she is referring to your mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, too.

          • kag1982

            No. It is an insult against men who see women as nothing more than their reproductive capacity.

          • Athelstane

            He hates uppity women who have the audacity to have careers and aren’t submissive broodmares who bow to Burke’s superior wisdom.

            Which is odd, because my fiance and her friends have talked with him at length, and they all have professional careers, and got on delightfully with him, with no signs of baby strollers in sight…

            I don’t know. I’ve known him going back to St. Louis, and I have never detected this hostility toward professional women. And I will add that I do know priests, both liberal and conservative, who *do* (unfortunately) seem to have a problem with…strong-willed women. Of course, the same can be said for some laymen I know…

            Certainly isn’t a fan of the American nuns.

            If you mean to speak of the women religious (a distinct category from “nuns”) in the LCWR, neither am I. But I would be far tougher on them that Cardinal Burke seems inclined to be – too much is at stake, and they have been permitted to do too much harm to the Church.

          • MarkWilliam

            I think you mean fiancee?

          • kag1982

            The Catholic hierarchy in general has an issue with women who are too strong-willed for their tastes. I think that their main issue is with laywomen of childbearing age who aren’t homeschooling mothers of seven who act subservient to their husbands. If a woman joins a convent, it is okay for her to be educated and if a woman is a menopausal empty nester, it is okay for her to do things outside the home (of course as long as her husband continues to be waited on hand and foot.). But for women my age (between 20s and 40s) are only job is to have as many babies as possible and be homemakers and mothers. This is what I was taught in Catholic school and what has been reinforced again and again by my interactions with the Catholic Church. There are no official documents which suggest that it is okay for a woman to be a professional woman and working mother and there are quite a few documents which suggest that women are submissive to men and only good in “traditional roles.” The Vatican hasn’t clarified this because they believe in traditional gender roles and are embarrassed to admit this. Even Pope Francis, who is good at many other things, is anti-woman. Since Burke is much more reactionary than Francis, it suggests that he is that much more anti-woman.

            And the LCWR are a bunch of elderly hippie nuns who tend to invite odd speakers to their conferences. They are odd but harmless. Pedophile priests are much more harmful to the Church and society. Burke should care more about those than some elderly nuns.

          • Nan

            That’s the problem; the LCWR dissent against church teaching. Some nuns are even escorts for those going to have abortions which means they participate in murder. It’s the disobedience that’s the problem.

            You know why the Church believes that a woman should have babies? Because that’s what women are designed to do; keep in mind that Christ elevated women so they could learn alongside of men. No idea what sort of nuns educated you but i’ve never heard that the only option for women is to stay home with babies although it may be preferred.

            Is the problem that you’re a working mother or that you’re single and they wonder why? I don’t get the idea that the Church has anything against strong women; the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Therese, St Teresa, Mother Teresa, St Catherine of Siena, St Joan of Arc, St Elizabeth Ann Seton, St Frances Xavier Cabrini, St Scholastica and many others are strong women.

            With regard to Cardinal Burke, he’s lovely and very kind.

          • kag1982

            “You know why the Church believes that a woman should have babies? Because that’s what women are designed to do.”

            It should be up to a woman if she wishes to have kids. Not all women are nurturing. I don’t like children and don’t wish to have any. And the fact that women are designed to have children doesn’t mean that it is ideal for women to be popping out babies endlessly. Having a litter of children is bad for most women’s health.

            “keep in mind that Christ elevated women so they could learn alongside of men.”

            Only since the 1990s. When my parents were growing up, the girls got a lesser education from the boys. When my aunts when to Catholic school in the seventies, the boys and girls were still separated. The girls weren’t provided with upper level math and science courses. They took home economics instead.

            “No idea what sort of nuns educated you but i’ve never heard that the only option for women is to stay home with babies although it may be preferred.”

            I wasn’t educated by only nuns, mainly lay teachers, and the issue is that it is preferred. We got at least a few babies need stay at home mommy lectures a year. The ironic thing is that this was a college prep school and the expectation was that women would go to college.

            “Is the problem that you’re a working mother or that you’re single and they wonder why?”

            My problem is that the Church is misogynist and the hierarchy is misogynist. JPII was ridiculously anti-woman as is (unfortunately) Francis. I’m tired of getting told my only use is having babies and that I have some magic mommy dust that I’m supposed to sprinkle over everyone and make the world nicer. Just treat me like an individual.

            “don’t get the idea that the Church has anything against strong women; the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Therese, St Teresa, Mother Teresa, St Catherine of Siena, St Joan of Arc, St Elizabeth Ann Seton, St Frances Xavier Cabrini, St Scholastica and many others are strong women.”

            All of whom defended the patriarchy and were submissive to men. I have an issue with suggesting that Virgin Mary was a “strong woman.” In fact, the traditional portrait of Mary is one who is docile and obedient and doesn’t really do anything. I find that Catholic men who are most devoted to Mary are those who are most likely to defend the patriarchy.

            “With regard to Cardinal Burke, he’s lovely and very kind.”

            I’m assuming that all the people who have been excommunicated by him, including St. Stanislaus disagree with that assessment. There is a reason why he was “promoted” to Rome and it wasn’t because of his keen pastoral sense. It was for the opposite reason. Frankly, I’m all for Francis keeping him in Rome and having him do TPS reports so he cannot spend time sliming his way through America.

          • Nan

            Only since the 1990s? I was talking about Martha and Mary, who were allowed to learn along with the men listening to Christ. Women weren’t allowed an education at that time and Christ changed that or neither of us would be typing. Further along, religious orders were begun purely to educate the poor as the wealthier people had private tutors. The Church is not at all misogynistic; you’re buying in to modern ideas that require everyone to be the same when they aren’t.

            Mary was a strong woman; strength and obedience aren’t mutually exclusive. She obeyed God’s desire that she become the first tabernacle, knowing that it would end in great sorrow. She visited her cousin, a long-distance journey during her pregnancy; she headed out for Egypt when her husband woke her to do so with no notice. She was there during her son’s ministry and during his crucifixion. She’s still there, mourning Him.

            You misunderstand; when I say women was designed to bear children, I mean the prototype, Eve, on which we were both based, was designed to bear children. That doesn’t mean that every woman will bear children although in your case it seems more that you’re rebelling from Catholicism than anything else. You haven’t mentioned a husband or boyfriend so presumably no such individual exists, which makes sense with your bitterness about the Church you perceive as misogynistic.

            My guess is that your bitterness combined with a lack of desire to be a mother gets in the way of dating; you probably let everyone know you don’t want kids and they already know you’re bitter…

            I stand by my earlier recommendation to go to Adoration. Trust Jesus. He knows what you need, *note that I in no way imply that it’s a husband and kids that you need. I have no idea.

          • kag1982

            “I was talking about Martha and Mary, who were allowed to learn along with the men listening to Christ. Women weren’t allowed an education at that time and Christ changed that or neither of us would be typing.”

            Actually, there were many women who were educated in the ancient world. Cleopatra was considered a brilliant woman who spoke six languages. There were brilliant and highly educated female scholars in Greece and Rome before Christ. Deborah was a judge in the Old Testament, which suggested a degree of formal learning. The degree of woman’s education and gender roles depended on the culture.

            “Further along, religious orders were begun purely to educate the poor as the wealthier people had private tutors.”

            Some educated the poor, but other Church and secular authorities wanted both men and women illiterate. The Bible for instance was only permitted to be written in Latin, which made it impossible for even a middle class merchant who might read vernacular English to understand their faith.

            ‘The Church is not at all misogynistic; you’re buying in to modern ideas that require everyone to be the same when they aren’t.”

            No. I am criticizing the Church attitude that suggests that all men are unique individuals and all women are the same (an indistinguishable blob of feminine mommies.)

          • Nan

            It sounds like you’ve had a rough time with Catholicism. I can’t imagine a priest saying he’s too busy; my experience is that the priest makes the time whether he has it or not. The hospital chaplain came when they called when my mom was in ICU and he’s a stranger to me.

            The thing about parishes is that it takes time to know them; if you’re just showing up for Mass, is it at the same place all the time or do you have that Goldilocks thing going on, looking for the parish that’s Just Right? Is there something you need help with that the parish doesn’t have available?

          • kag1982

            My parents were definitely registered at their parish but the priest didn’t want to make time to talk with my dad. In fact, my parents were both very involved in the parish and the diocese. I am not registered because I don’t wish for the drama. And I’ve been going to Mass at the same parish and still feel the same way. And this is one of the nicer parishes that I’ve been to. Catholic parishes just feel so cold. And there are thousands of people in most, so no one knows anyone.

          • Nan

            What kind of effort do you make with others? Do you go for coffee and donuts or whatever socialization they offer after Mass periodically? And if so, do you approach people and introduce yourself? Because everything you post has been negative and about what isn’t with no indication of anything that you’ve done to try changing anything. I’m guessing you go to Mass expecting people to approach you but have your arms crossed and glare at them…

          • kag1982

            I haven’t heard of a parish doing coffee since I was a child. But I generally go to the late Mass.

            And I think that many parishes give off the wrong first impression. They, especially the older churches, can be imposing, and they really don’t radiate warmth and joy. Places that tend to be joyful radiate that feeling the moment that you enter them. And there are more “cliques” in a parish than in most high schools. People generally talk with their family and their close friends. They really aren’t open to conversations with those they don’t know. It is much different at most Evangelical churches.

          • carlolancellotti

            “I do not go to socialise”

            Mass started as a dinner among friends. I suppose if you had been one of the 12 you would asked Jesus for a private discussion in the next room so you do not need to know the other guys, besides a polite greeting.

            After all, you regard your fellow Christians “just like other people in your neighborhood.” Screw all that talk about brotherly love, “one heart and one mind” etc. Obviously the Acts of the Apostles were just fiction.

            Let me guess: did you grow up in a Protestant country?

          • Tridentinus

            Mass started as a ritual meal, hardly a ‘dinner among friends’ which Christ transformed into a real and actual pre-figuration of His Sacrifice of Himself to the Will of the Father for the salvation of mankind on the next day. The Last Supper was definitely not a mere ‘socialising’ among the Apostles and Our Lord, it was infinitely more than that.
            None of us is required to ‘hug’ everybody, we are required to love our neighbours as we love ourselves, no more no less. That means that if we chastise ourselves for our misbehaviour then we ought to similarly chastise our neighbours for their similar misbehaviour for their sake.
            What makes you rhetorically claim the the Acts of the Apostles were just fiction?
            What difference does it make what country I grew up in and why?

          • carlolancellotti

            I never said “mere” socialising, you did. It is you who expressed a completely individualistic understanding of the mass, comparing your fellow Christians to any other “people in your neighborhood.”

            Culturally, that’s a very Protestant attitude, hence my question.

          • Tridentinus

            I said I did not go to Mass to socialise. You described the Last supper as a social occasion, ‘a dinner among friends’, you said, not I.
            The idea of the ‘mere commemoration’ and the ‘communal meal’ are Protestant. The Catholic Church defines the the Mass as the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Our Lord on the Cross in an un-bloody manner through which the merits of His Redemption are mediated.
            I don’t think many Protestants would subscribe to that, do you?

          • carlolancellotti

            Not at all, I simply reminded you that the Eucharist is ALSO a communal and ecclesial sacrament, as is well exemplified by the last supper. Is that so hard to understand?

            Perhaps you should read Pope Pius XII’s great encyclical, Mystici Corporis.

            And Protestants teach several doctrines that the Church considers erroneous, not just one. They do not only deny transubstantiation. They also deny the ordained priesthood as we Catholics understand it, and more general the sacramental role of the Church.

            That’s why I am still waiting for you to explain to me how a Catholic can regard the people around him at Mass just like “the people in the neighborhood.” But I suppose I will have to keep waiting….

          • Tridentinus

            There was no also in your post let me remind you what you said; Mass started as a dinner among friends., no ‘also’, no as well as.

            I have read that encyclical and don’t see the point of you advising me to do so as I find nothing in it I disagree with.

            Do you honestly think I don’t know what Protestants teach about the Mass so why do you mention it unless you are accusing me of espousing one of their erroneous doctrines; if so which one? What is Protestant about going to Mass for the good of one’s soul?

            Do you have exactly the same relationship with every person in the pew at Mass? Are there not some you are more friendly with than others in the same way as in your neighbourhood there are some you are more friendly with than others? That was the meaning of what I said, I’m surprised you were unable to see that.

            Who is my neighbour? Are my neighbours just those who sit in the pews with me, am I only to love them and not the people in my neighbourhood?

          • carlolancellotti

            Well, I was commenting on your hyper-individualistic approach to the mass, so I thought the “also” was obvious.

            The problem is not to have relationships with everybody (I don’t) but to have a mature and prayerful awareness of the theology of baptism and what it implies. In particular, other Christians are sacramental signs of Christ in a special and significant way which also helps us love the “others.” The idea that one is a Christian by himself is very Protestant. I am not accusing you of heresy, but I find your attitude a bit sad.

          • Tridentinus

            I don’t know why you keep pressing me over this. I do not have any ‘hyper-individualistic’ approach to the Mass. When I was young our Church was packed for 5 Masses on a Sunday so it was impossible to socialise with everyone in the parish or even know them all.

            We were taught that going to Mass was primarily to worship God, to participate in the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of the Cross being carried out before our very eyes in an unbloody manner and to receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ if we were in a state of grace. Of course there was a sense of community, solidarity with our fellow Catholics but the primary reason for our attendance at Mass was to save our souls.

            We were taught from the Catechism that we were to take most care of our souls which we did through going to Mass, Confession, Holy Communion, and trying to keep the Commandments both of God and of the Church.

            One of the two Great Commandments was, firstly to love God and secondly to love our neighbour as ourselves which we tried to do to the best of our ability although not always successfully.

          • carlolancellotti

            excellent, keep up the good work

          • Athelstane

            Mass started as a dinner among friends.

            It did?

          • carlolancellotti

            the last supper, you know…

          • john young

            I also go to mass to receive the sacraments and pray,if I want razzamatazz there are many many oulets that offer these”events” our faith never changes and is not for sale.

          • Nan

            After reading some of your comments I’m getting the sense that you think the Church should be the solution to all your needs. It isn’t Jesus Christ’s social club, it’s much more nuanced than that. Yeah, basic Catholicism requires attending Sunday Mass each week, Mass on Holy Days of Obligation and making confession and receiving communion annually, preferably during Easter Season.

            There’s so much more than that. If your parish doesn’t have Adoration, or has it on a limited basis, find a parish with a schedule that meets your needs; there are a lot of 24-hr chapels. Go old school and pray the rosary. Offer a prayer of Thanksgiving after Mass. Initiate a conversation with another parishioner. One of my best church friends is a young woman discerning her vocation. I’m not sure how we met to begin with but she’s lovely.

            My parish asks us, in addition to Sunday Mass, to offer an hour of our pay each week, and to offer an hour in volunteering each week and if money or time is tight, to offer prayers. But that’s just a beginning, many people go to daily Mass, some pray the rosary after Mass and there are a ton of different ways to volunteer. If you don’t want to volunteer with your parish, Catholic Charities may have opportunities, so might your homeless shelter or soup kitchen. We have Dorothy Day and also have a shelter founded by a local woman. There are always areas where help is needed.

            Your seminary and diocese probably have initiatives for which help is needed; our college seminary seeks spiritual mothers for the seminarians whose job is to pray. I’m involved with some things at the diocesan level rather than being limited to my parish; others volunteer with the Missionaries of Charity.

          • kag1982

            No, I don’t. I also think that it is hilarious that the first thing that you go for when I point out that a parish should be a loving family is more old school individualized prayer stuff. I think that pre-Vatican II junk is the last thing the Church needs. What I think that more North American parishes should look like is like the slum parishes that Pope Francis set up in Buenos Aires and Evangelical churches in America. I’m talking about actually making people feel welcome and not bullying each other. People leave the Church not because of doctrine but because of individual encounters with Catholics. I’m certainly an indifferent Catholic because of my childhood at Catholic school.

          • Tridentinus

            The Mass, the Rosary, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction; all pre-Vatican II junk according to you, eh!

          • Nan

            After reading some of your comments I’m getting the sense that you think the Church should be the solution to all your needs. It isn’t Jesus Christ’s social club, it’s much more nuanced than that. Yeah, basic Catholicism requires attending Sunday Mass each week, Mass on Holy Days of Obligation and making confession and receiving communion annually, preferably during Easter Season.

            There’s so much more than that. If your parish doesn’t have Adoration, or has it on a limited basis, find a parish with a schedule that meets your needs; there are a lot of 24-hr chapels. Go old school and pray the rosary. Offer a prayer of Thanksgiving after Mass. Initiate a conversation with another parishioner. One of my best church friends is a young woman discerning her vocation. I’m not sure how we met to begin with but she’s lovely.

            My parish asks us, in addition to Sunday Mass, to offer an hour of our pay each week, and to offer an hour in volunteering each week and if money or time is tight, to offer prayers. But that’s just a beginning, many people go to daily Mass, some pray the rosary after Mass and there are a ton of different ways to volunteer. If you don’t want to volunteer with your parish, Catholic Charities may have opportunities, so might your homeless shelter or soup kitchen. We have Dorothy Day and also have a shelter founded by a local woman. There are always areas where help is needed.

            Your seminary and diocese probably have initiatives for which help is needed; our college seminary seeks spiritual mothers for the seminarians whose job is to pray. I’m involved with some things at the diocesan level rather than being limited to my parish; others volunteer with the Missionaries of Charity.

          • drogah

            The parish exists for one soul purpose: for the sanctification of its people.

            That’s it. It’s really not any more complicated than that. To make them holy. We achieve this end primarily through the sacraments.

            The real problem is that this whole business of “becoming holy” has been relegated to second or third place. And most suitably, when this happens, the local parish church also loses its centrality in people’s lives.People don’t know each other’s names. It’s not a place where you glean any sense of community, because it’s not worth it to invest yourself in an institution that fails to give you something the world can’t give you anywhere else.

          • Damaris Tighe

            spot on

          • Nan

            The part that you’re missing with regard to the “Bing Crosby” type priest is that society has changed; during that era, the parish had literal boundaries and Catholics typically lived within walking distance. They had big families and the community was formed of intermixed families so the woman who brought a casserole when someone died had closer ties than just being a parishioner at the same place. And sometimes there were multiple parishes in urban areas because they served different ethnic groups or were from different suijuris churches.

            A competing positive vision? Hello! Jesus Christ, our savior, who was born man so he could free us from sin that we might join the Father for eternity. What more does anyone need?

          • kag1982

            How come Evangelical megachurches can create positive communities? I’ve been to large ones that are like what I’ve described. And the main issue at many Catholic parishes today is politics and backbiting.

            And if a parish isn’t projecting God’s love then what is the point.

          • Barbaranne

            The Catholic Church that stood for nearly 2000 years was assassinated at Vatixan II. It no longer exists, and the Conciliar church is not the Catholic Church.

          • Geoffrey Lopes da Silva

            Actually, it was St John Paul II who initiated the revision of the English translation of The Roman Missal.

          • drogah

            Pope Benedict didn’t order the translation. The old translation was (a) always intended to be a temporary one, (b) much worse than the one we have now, in terms dumbing down the language, and (c) ordered by ICEL, the council that oversees English translation.

          • kag1982

            And the new translation is even worse. And yep, Benedict was the one who was okay with it.

          • gabriel_syme

            The vernacular missal was a great mistake in the first place, erecting – as it does – artificial barriers between Catholics of different nationalities.

            However, the revised missal was indeed better in that at least it was closer to the wordings Catholics has always used. I now attend traditional liturgy exclusively and I can see this very clearly.

            We should ditch the vernacular trash – ultimately, you cant polish a turd – and once again start using the Universal language of the Universal Church.

          • kag1982

            I didn’t know that the language of the Mass was required to be stilted and unintelligible.

          • Athelstane

            It *should* be required that it be accurate and reasonably faithful to the original in its translation. And translating pro multis as “for all,” as the 1973 translation did (and the rejected 1998 ICEL translation as well) simply is not.

            But we all know the real reason why the new translation of the formula for consecration bothers so many progressives. Effectively, they’re universalists.

          • kag1982

            So you don’t think that Jesus’ sacrifice redeemed everyone? Because that is what “for all” implies. It doesn’t apply that all our saved; it does imply that all are redeemed. So who exactly wasn’t redeemed by Jesus on the Cross?

          • Athelstane

            Christ’s redemption is offered for everyone.

            But not all are saved. And not all are in the Church.

            In any event, the passage is taken directly from Scripture: Mark 14:24 and Matthew 26:24. In both cases, the original Greek says “for many” (or perhaps, “for the many”). At the Last Supper, Jesus is instituting the Eucharist for his Church. This great Sacrament is the New Covenant in which those who accept Jesus and believe in him now take part. He speaks of the many and not the all, because he is speaking realistically about the many who do enter the Church.

          • kag1982

            Jesus’ sacrifice didn’t save all, but it redeemed all. No one is predestined for Hell. The part of the Eucharistic prayer in particular is talking about redemption through Jesus’ sacrifice. The new Eucharistic Prayer makes it suggest that some people are predestined for Hell and can never obtain salvation.

          • Athelstane

            The new Eucharistic Prayer makes it suggest that some people are predestined for Hell and can never obtain salvation.

            The new Eucharistic Prayer . . . is accurately translating what the Latin says: “pro multis.” If you attempt to translate “pro multis” as “for all” on your Latin exam, your instructor is going to flunk your answer. Look: At the end of the day, you have to translate what the text actually says. It’s a direct borrowing of the words of Christ in the synoptic gospels. and even the more dynamic bible translations translate it as “many” or “the many.” The Church, both the Holy See and the USCCB, have emphasized repeatedly that this expression doesn’t mean that Christ did not die to redeem all, but to express that the response to that redemption is a choice, a cooperation with grace. And it’s what the original actually says.

            If you’re seeing predestination, you’re reading something that simply isn’t there.

          • kag1982

            Yes.. I am seeing predestination there. Redemption isn’t a choice, but salvation is. As Francis said, all are redeemed. This doesn’t mean that all are saved, but it does mean that all have the opportunity for salvation. And it wouldn’t shock me if the Holy See under Benedict and the USCCB were secretly neo-Jansenists.

          • Tridentinus

            It might be if one goes to Mass in a foreign country so does it actually matter?

          • kag1982

            I generally attend a Mass in Spanish because I find it easier to the ear than the mess of the English translation.

          • Tridentinus

            So are you any different than those who find it easier on the ear to hear Mass in Latin. Is it alright for you to indulge yourself in what you prefer but not for others with preferences dissimilar to yours?

          • kag1982

            I don’t care what you do. I do care that you force your preferences on me. The main goal of many traditionalist is to get rid of the regular Mass (or at the very least have the regular Mass comply to their limited traddie view of it). I’m fine with people wishing to worship differently but that involves respect for Charismatics, Neo Cats, liberal Vatican II parishes, etc. That respect is lacking in the traditionalist community.

          • Tridentinus

            Don’t answer the question, just go off at a tangent as usual.

          • kag1982

            Hey I’m fine with you having a Latin Mass. My issue is when you force me to attend a Mass of your liking. Live and let live. It is hypocritical for you to whine about being persecuted and then.demand others worship as you do.

          • gabriel_syme

            Latin is not unintelligible, it is a very beautiful language. What a Philistine you are.

            I follow each mass very closely using my missal. Accordingly I am aware of what is being said / chanted, to the very last syllable.

            The benefit of this is that I am wholly and closely engaged with what is going on at the altar. This is in contrast to my experience of vernacular liturgy where it is obvious that few people pay close attention, instead zoning in and out at will.

            Effort and concentration is rewarding. No effort or concentration is required at a vernacular mass. Accordingly people treat it with contempt, even if they are unaware that they do so.

          • Silky Johnson

            The simple and accessible translation were quite often gross mistranslations that aided misunderstanding.

          • Nan

            Latin is the official language of the Church. The change in the translation was because the earlier translation wasn’t great and used ideas rather than actual translations which created problems.

        • Athelstane

          I think that the Catholic Latin Mass types are even worse.

          At least we bother to have regular resort to the sacraments. Or recognize that evangelization – as opposed to endless, indifferentist ecumenism – is necessary to help make salvation possible.

          It’s unfortunate that you see fit to traffick in these stereotypes. I’ve been to traditional communities around America and Europe, and sour lemon sucking seems to be less common than you seem to credit.

          I think that Francis’ idea for evangelizing the West is to introduce the form of Catholicism that is prominent in Latin America and other areas of the Global South.

          That would be the Catholicism that is losing millions per year to Pentecostalism and Evengelicals. Really?

          • kag1982

            “It’s unfortunate that you see fit to traffick in these stereotypes. I’ve been to traditional communities around America and Europe, and sour lemon sucking seems to be less common than you seem to credit.”

            Burke looks like he is constantly sucking a lemon. And there is an ugly sense of “superiority” and self-righteousness among them as well as a persecution complex. (People in the Middle East are being martyred BTW for real so please give it up.)

            “That would be the Catholicism that is losing millions per year to Pentecostalism and Evengelicals. Really?”

            Because the Church in Latin America for many years was hierarchical and stood with the elites and the dictators. It wasn’t until priests like Bergoglio, Hummes, Maradiaga, etc. became bishops that the Church in Latin America stood with the poor. The Aparecida document was only written in 2007.

            I actually think Francis wants Catholics to be more like Latin American Evangelicals in the sort of loving communities they create.

          • Athelstane

            Because the Church in Latin America for many years was hierarchical and stood with the elites and the dictators.

            Oh, please.

            And yet the massive losses in membership have all been in the last forty tears – NOT during the years of the old caudillos. And it’s accelerating. Brazil is on the brink of no longer even being majority Catholic. Why did the vocations rate in Buenos Aires under Bergoglio drop by TWO THIRDS? Is this what success looks like?

            No, as the saying goes, “The Church opted for the poor. And the poor opted for the Pentecostals.”

            When all you’re offering is social justice and social services, people will go seek their spiritual sustenance somewhere else.

            It wasn’t until priests like Bergoglio, Hummes, Maradiaga, etc. became bishops that the Church in Latin America stood with the poor.

            You really mean to suggest that the Church in Latin America never cared about the poor before the 1990’s? Were the Jesuit Reductions a figment of my imagination?

          • kag1982

            “And yet the massive losses in membership have all been in the last forty tears – NOT during the years of the old caudillos. And it’s accelerating.”

            As I said, massive losses began during the 1970s and 1980s when the military dictatorships were staging mass executions of political dissidents and the Catholic hierarchy outside a few brave bishops like Romero looked the other way. If your bishop was yucking it up with the wealthy landowners and military dictators while you and your family were getting slaughtered, then you might prefer the Pentecostals as well.

            “Why did the vocations rate in Buenos Aires under Bergoglio drop by TWO THIRDS? Is this what success looks like?”

            I really don’t think that Bergoglio was interested in fostering vocations of traditionalist type priests or the “little monsters” who seem to have gravitated to the priesthood under Benedict. It seems like he wanted priests who had a keen pastoral sense and who cared about the needs of people in his care. The goal is to get the correct men is priests. What the Church needs is not just vocations, but proper vocations. “Little monsters” who enjoy dressing up in lace and lording over their congregations don’t attract people to the Church.

            “No, as the saying goes, “The Church opted for the poor. And the poor opted for the Pentecostals.” When all you’re offering is social justice and social services, people will go seek theirspiritual sustenance somewhere else.”

            I agree that the Catholic Church must tend to the spiritual needs of its flock as well. If you read my posts, you would notice that I just wasn’t talking about material poverty, but also about spiritual poverty. I’m not in need of material help nor our many middle class Americans, but we are in need of spiritual care. I’m a cradle Catholic and I’ve never gotten a sense of love and belonging in the Catholic Church. I’ve been bullied and felt isolated and lonely, but never loved. I do feel a warm sense of community at many Protestant churches. It is about the pastor saying hello to you and perhaps knowing your name. Or how about feeling that your ideas as a parishioner matters? Or perhaps a ladies’ group who helps out new moms or who makes casseroles for parishioners after a family death? Or even the pastor taking a moment to call up the darn parishioners? Ever heard of these things happening in a Catholic parish? I really haven’t in my time there. It is all about back biting and politics and hatred.

            And yes a liberal priest who cares for only the material needs of people but is curt and dismissive of them as people is as bad as a conservative priest who likes playing lacy dress up. The Protestants don’t have that sort of clericalism which is why they attract people. I think that Francis really admires the Evangelicals and Pentecostals because of their sense of community and wants to make the Catholic Church attractive to people in the same way.

            “You really mean to suggest that the Church in Latin America never cared about the poor before the 1990’s? Were the Jesuit Reductions a figment of my imagination?”

            The hierarchy outside of Romero and a few others were certainly friendly with the right wing dictators and the liberation theology priests got shut down.

          • Athelstane

            I really don’t think that Bergoglio was interested in fostering vocations of traditionalist type priests or the “little monsters” who seem to have gravitated to the priesthood under Benedict. It seems like he wanted priests who had a keen pastoral sense and who cared about the needs of people in his care.

            *Whatever* type of priest Cdl. Bergoglio was interested in recruiting, he recruited very few of them. The result is that Buenos Aires now has as grave a priest shortage as many other dioceses.

            Apparently that wasn’t for lack of trying. Accounts say he spent a good deal of time in the seminary. But for some reason, very few porteno young men found the priesthood an attractive option under his tenure. When one *can* find dioceses which are doing well with vocations (even in Latin America, which admittedly is rare), it is fair to ask why that was. Was it all his fault? Of course not, Extrinsic factors were surely at work. Yet some bishops (a few, at least) and orders manage to overcome the extrinsic factors. Why not Bergoglio? Why not Hummes? Why not Madariaga? How is a priest supposed to get to know your name or call on you when there’s only one of him to go around to 13,000 of you?

            I do get what you’re saying about the lack of community or support in many Catholic parishes; I have seen it myself. Yes, many evangelical churches seem to do a better job at this, at least on the surface. But two observations: 1) if you are not fostering vocations, you must spread fewer priests across larger lay populations, and that is going to make it harder for the priest to know your name, or learn your struggles; you simply must find a way to have an adequate number of priests to provide the sacraments for your lay population, and minister to them; 2) most of the priests working today in North America were those formed by the more progressive “servant-priest” model of the 60’s-80’s and are as far removed from “lacey little monsters” as one can imagine, yet they are generally the ones responsible for this unpastoral state of affairs. How to reconcile that?

            I don’t know what you’re trying to get at with “proper” priests, but it feels like a swipe at the more conservative young priests coming up now. Yet i my experience – I know many of these young men – they’re generally a cut above what prevailed a generation or two ago, and not because they prefer more traditional rubrics. They’re generally smarter and better formed men.

          • kag1982

            “Apparently that wasn’t for lack of trying. Accounts say he spent a good deal of time in the seminary. But for some reason, very few porteno young men found the priesthood an attractive option under his tenure. ”

            Perhaps very few porteno young men found Bergoglio’s idea of the priesthood desirable. Lots of hard and dirty work and few chances to be treated like a prince. Bergoglio did spend alot of time and effort mentoring his “slum priests.”

            “: 1) if you are not fostering vocations, you must spread fewer priests across larger lay populations, and that is going to make it harder for the priest to know your name, or learn your struggles; you simply *must* find a way to have an adequate number of priests to provide the sacraments for your lay population, and minister to them”

            Most Protestant ministers are married so there is more of them. I think that it is likely that more and more Catholic priests will be married. This will attract more men to the priesthood. It will also improve the quality of man attracted to the priesthood. Married Catholic priests will be better able to speak to women. The laity also have to take initiative in their parish.

            “most of the priests working today in North America were those formed by the more progressive “servant-priest” model of the 60’s-80’s and are as far removed from “lacey little monsters” as one can imagine, yet they are generally the ones responsible for this unpastoral state of affairs. How to reconcile that? Why is it that the most progressive bishops and orders have such a horrific record with vocations?”

            I’ve met a few very liberal priests, including the priests at the parish I currently attend, and think that they are the best priests that I’ve met. The current pastor actually apologized to the parishioners at a Mass in his sermon because of a hiring and budget dispute. He also recently requested formal feedback from the parishioners. The first time I’ve ever heard of a priest taking laypeople seriously. And most of the priests I met growing up were influenced by JPII so they weren’t really into servant leadership.

            “I don’t know what you’re trying to get at with needing “proper” priests, but it feels like a swipe at the more conservative young priests coming up now. Yet in my experience – I know many of these young men – they’re generally a cut above what prevailed a generation or two ago, and not because they prefer more traditional rubrics. They’re generally just smarter and better formed men.”

            I know a few as well and have had the opposite experience. They seem dismissive of laypeople and especially women. I’ve had friends who were lectured by one because they weren’t stay at home mothers. I’ve personally been lectured by another for wearing jeans.

          • Nan

            With regard to protestants, they move further and further from Christian doctrine so are of no importance in discussing the Catholic Church. Protestant ministers can marry but they don’t valid holy orders which makes it okay.

            Catholics have different standards; protestants will let anyone go into the seminary because there are two ways to get a parish; the parish council hires them or they put up a shingle and start a church of their own. Totally different than a top-down organization in which the bishop assignes priests to parishes.

            Considering that Eastern Catholic churches ordain married men only in certain parts of the world, it’s unlikely that a married priesthood will happen in most places; yes, on a case by case they will have some protestant ministers, already married and with family, convert and become a priest. But if you look at the Anglican Ordinariate, they have allowed some married men to convert and become a priest; however, future priests will be celibate.

            Another difference between Catholics and protestants is the number of things the priest is involved with that would take him away from his family. What happens if Mrs Priest gets bored and creates scandal? What if they get divorced? Priests can’t get married, so he doesn’t get a second chance even if his marriage was deemed not to be sacramental.

            I cant comment on the sorts of priests you’ve crossed paths with but I’ve never had an issue with a priest being dismissive of me, nor have I been lectured on my attire.

            My diocese has a ton of vocations, fostered in part by the Abps fasting from meat on Friday for that reason and asking everyone to fast on Friday and join his intention.

          • kag1982

            I actually don’t think that allowing parishes to hire their own priests would be such a bad thing. I also don’t think that having married priests would be a bad thing. Many priests I’ve met don’t understand how to talk to women at all. And most of the married priests would probably be older, married men. I know that there are many more widows or men with annulled marriages attending seminaries later in life as a second vocation. These priests tend to have actual knowledge of women and are more worldly and very less likely to be “little monsters.”

            And I had to laugh at the last comment. I really don’t think that the Church needs more Latin Mass types. Hopefully, Pope Francis is inspiring more men to join the Jesuits and other mainstream orders. And it is a pity that Francis cannot just fire most bishops. The Burke-clones in the American hierarchy are so dense.

          • Nan

            Of course you don’t; you’d like to fire all the faithful priests and keep the crazy ones. Married priests isn’t about good or bad but about a discipline which the Church follows. I’ve never met a priest who has had a problem talking to women; if you mean kowtow to feminists, that’s a different story. More worldly is actually a bad thing for a priest; priests need to be focused on God. I know it isn’t unheard of for men whose marriage wasn’t sacramental to go to the seminary nor for widowers to go but I don’t think it’s as frequent as you seem to think; my diocese has a full seminary and has for the last several years. We have one recently ordained guy who was widowed. A priest once told me that it’s not impossible for a divorced & annulled man to become a priest but I think that’s rare. One of the problems is that our society is basically selfish and people want to form the Church in their image, which I think has had a huge impact on the number of men who listen to the still, small voice of God.

            Again you’re sounding bitter yourself when you refer to bishops as being dense.

          • kag1982

            “Of course you don’t; you’d like to fire all the faithful priests and keep the crazy ones. ”

            I think that the crazy ones are the ones who prance around in lacy dresses. And it isn’t bad for people to hire their pastor. There would be less conflict.

            “I’ve never met a priest who has had a problem talking to women; if you mean kowtow to feminists, that’s a different story.”

            So what is a feminist in your estimation? A woman who wants to work rather than be a submissive mommy and homemaker. And I know many priests who have issues with women including one who told me that I cannot wear jeans. (He used Padre Pio for his reference.) Even the popes are lousy with women. JPII was a misogynist. And for all his good, I haven’t been impressed by Pope Francis’ discussion about women. It seems like Francis is against professional women and toes the Vatican line about women’s use being only as stay at home mommies. (However, their magic mommy fairy dust is important to the the Church and can be sprinkled over the mean men.)

            ” I know it isn’t unheard of for men whose marriage wasn’t sacramental to go to the seminary nor for widowers to go but I don’t think it’s as frequent as you seem to think; my diocese has a full seminary and has for the last several years.”

            I prefer guys who have actually lived life to “little monsters” who want to dress up in Renaissance clothes and be treated a lords by the peasants. Clericalism was in style under Benedict and JPII and hopefully those priests who don’t want to adapt to Francis’ style will drop out. Wall Street is always hiring.

            “Again you’re sounding bitter yourself when you refer to bishops as being dense.”

            I think that someone who obsesses over the amount of lacy on his vestments and the amount of precious jewels on the chalice is quite dense. There are better things for a bishop to be obsessing over. And I wouldn’t mind a mass firing of U.S. bishops.

          • Barbaranne

            I was told that JPII was a womaniser. Also, what’s so wrong with “stay at home mommies”? Men were created to lead and women were created to breed. The problem is that many “modern” women want to be the top bitch in the kennel. Hence, millions of divorces

          • kag1982

            This is a sarcastic comment correct? If not, that attitude is why women despise the Church summed up in a few sentences.

          • Barbaranne

            Married priests is not the answer. I know an ex-clergy wife who founded a support group for clergy sexual a use victims after her Uniting Church husband dragged her across the carpet by her hair. There was a witness to it. Also, Anglican priests/ministers have the reputation of being the largest perpetrators of domestic abuse. Not everything is rosy in clergy marriages.

          • Athelstane

            To say nothing of the time commitments and moral pressures priests with families have.

            I know some of these priests, mainly in the Ordinariate or Pastoral Provision. It’s like having two 24/7 jobs, and one has to give – and that is usually the family. It’s tough on the families.

            All of which is not to say that a married priesthood is an absolute evil, only that it is no magic bullet, and it has as many disadvantages as it has advantages.

          • licjjs

            No point in having a ‘keen pastoral sense’ if there are no sheep.

          • kag1982

            Having a keen pastoral sense might attract people to the Catholic Church.

          • Nan

            When people say pastoral in that sense, it usually means they want a priest who’s a pushover and doesn’t value actual Church teaching.

          • kag1982

            Conservative priests don’t value Catholic teachings on social justice.

          • Nan

            The Church is about holiness, and social justice isn’t the be all and end all of that.

          • kag1982

            Social justice is as important as sexual morality. If you are against abortion, but could care less about the children once they are born, then you could are as cafeteria as the liberals that you criticize.

          • Nan

            People who are against abortion support non-profits such as Birthright, which help those who want to keep their children. They also adopt and foster children.

          • kag1982

            They certainly don’t care about children overall.

          • Nan

            You know, I’ve met many young priests and most of them are referred to as “JPII priests” as he was the pope most of their lives and during the time they received their call. Seminary takes several years and priests ordained under Benedict just finished seminary under Benedict.

            There’s nothing wrong with wanting to follow Church teaching on proper clerical attire; my current Abp. went to the Sacristy and thew out things that weren’t licit. If you’bve been to Mass with clay vessels, that’s not proper, not because they want it fancy but becuase the chalice and paten hold that which is most precious to us; Christ.

            Keeping in mind that priests are individuals, mine learned my name immediately and responds to emails; he’s busy and in meetings a lot so typically doesn’t have time to initiate contact unless there’s a reason, but will take time even if he doesn’t have any for pastoral care. With regard to your ideas as a parishioner mattering, I would say it depends on your ideas; if you think that the Church should pursue women’s ordination, which is against Church teaching, then no, it isn’t your idea that matters, it’s your lack of catechesis that matters; if you have an idea for something that isn’t going on in your parish, it’s up to you to do something, not just to put it on to father. Talk to him by all means; if you think your parish would benefit from a ladies group, even if it’s you, your friend or a woman new to the area who you think would benefit.

            You can’t expect the parish to run with your ideas unless you’re willing to collaborate with others and make things happen, nor will they happen if it’s just you pushing things on others.

            With regard to backbiting, politics and hatred, I don’t see those at my parish either; there are certain people who do more than their share of volunteering, others who have other things going on or have no involvement beyond Mass. Look at what you’re putting into it. Are you actively doing things or just complaining that it isn’t like the Protestant places?

          • kag1982

            I don’t actively participate in Catholic parishes because when I was growing up, I was severely bullied by the children of “good Catholics.” Of course nothing was done about it because the parents of these sweethearts were very politically involved and gave lots of money to the parish. And who are you kidding about politics? Most Catholic parishes are politically toxic. I hear about a fight about this or that in a parish at least once a month. I know the newest one is about the firing of a gay music director in Chicago. When Catholic parishes become less politically charged and when conservative Catholics decide not to bully their more mainstream Catholic counterparts, then I will consider participating in a parish.

            And I’m glad that your archbishop has time to do important things like making sure that the vestments have enough lace for his liking.

          • Nan

            Firing an employee who creates scandal by not following Church teaching isn’t a political act. The Church speaks on morality and can’t have employees publicly contradicting it by not following Church teaching.

            When you say “participating in a parish” what does that mean? My first thought is that you don’t go to Mass, which, if true, is a mortal sin. “Choosing not to participate in a parish” sounds to me like a political act; you choose not to go because you don’t like the Church.

          • kag1982

            ZOMG… I know. The people who bullied me into a nervous breakdown = good Catholics destined for Heaven and I’m a bad Catholic because I have issues with the Catholic Church. I do attend Mass semi-regularly but even if I attended regularly I wouldn’t register with a parish or participate in parish activities. I don’t need the bullying in my life.

          • Barbaranne

            There is LOTS of backbiting and bitchiness. LOTS! Four years ago, a female parishioner was forced to acquire the help of a governmental department after one “devout” Catholic woman, an elderly one at that, made public comments at a Bible study in front of the parish priest and a male catechist about the size of the woman’s breasts. DISGUSTING. Would devout Protestants behave that way???????

          • Nan

            You think protestants are perfect? I’m sure they’d do the same thing. People are people; no idea why a govt agency would have to help a woman after a comment that was inappropriate; why didn’t the priest express his shock and horror at the inappropriate remark and counsel the inappropriate parishioner?

          • Barbaranne

            I was that woman and you are receiving it straight from the horse’s mouth. The priest’s hands were tied as he was a friend and visitor to the instigator’s house, the woman who kept giggling openly about breasts to him at a Bible Study. He even mentioned something about women’s bras. Then an elderly woman openly commented about my breasts to the bible study in front of that priest and the catechist which I found embarrassing, humiliating and insulting. The priest did not call these people to heel or take control of the bible study. When i complained to the archbishop, the local Bishop, the catechist’s overseer and the priest’s provincial I was totally ignored. I felt betrayed again by the church, so I contacted the Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and they contacted Professional Standards, and soon the provincial drove overnight from New South Wales to Victoria to attend a meeting chaired by Professional Standards at the Presbytery whereupon the priest and his provincial apologized to me (for what it was worth). A Good Shepherd Sister later got the priest out of the parish back to New South Wales after taking many parishioners with her to a neighbouring parish and the Order then vacated the parish and it reverted back to the archdiocese – and the priest left the Order. I have met many good devout Bible believing Protestants who would never have behaved in such a disgusting manner.

          • Nan

            People forget who the Jesuits are. They’re strong and faithful. And have enough martyrs within their own order to be street smart.

          • Nan

            Raymond Cardinal Burke doesn’t look happy? Really?

          • kag1982

            He always looks like he is sucking lemons.

        • Silky Johnson

          I see your uncharitable assessment and raise you.

          Better that traditionalists look like they suck lemons than looking like they suck cock and balls like the mainstream liberal Catholics.

          • Laura Lowder

            Boy, that’s a way to win souls for Christ.

            Does it have to be one or the other? Can’t more of us orthodox tradition-loving Catholics quit being so offended and enraged and love Christ joyfully?

          • Silky Johnson

            I’m not catholic. I’m just spoiling for a flame war, and the clown seemed like a good person to insult.

        • Patsy Koenig

          Bigotry.

          • kag1982

            Honey. That is skin color, not attitudes.

          • Tridentinus

            bigotry

            noun, plural bigotries.

            1. stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.

            2. the actions, beliefs, prejudices, etc., of a bigot.

          • kag1982

            Describing something truthfully isn’t bigotry.

          • Tridentinus

            Truthfully is the operative word in this case and you manifestly fail the to make the case for it. Bigotry and prejudice are the main ingredients of your posts.

          • MarkWilliam

            You’re not reading her posts properly. She has written “Live and let live”.
            But your definition of bigotry describes your own position perfectly.

          • Tridentinus

            Not my definition, the dictionary definition. I did not accuse her of being a bigot another poster did. She replied to that poster that bigotry only applied to skin colour and not attitudes, I was simply correcting her understanding of the world. Again it appears that you are not following the thread or is it that it gave you an opportunity to have another go at me.

            You make me laugh. Her posts are filled with sheer spite and hatred of prelates, clergy and she absolutely detests orthodox Catholics and she makes no secret of it. She boasts of the pleasure it gives her when she feels someone of the above has got their come-uppance, e.g. Cardinal Burke.

            I am amazed. I had you down as someone of intelligence so I find it is incredible that you are supporting her ramblings..

            How about telling her she is posting far too much for her own good or is it only I who merits that admonition?

          • MarkWilliam

            Well, I did suggest to her that she desist from “hate”. You may be right, that she is posting too much. But you are always so determined to have ‘the last word’, and perhaps she has decided that you won’t? Hence the never-ending trading of comments, pointless on both sides of course. If I were indeed ‘intelligent’, I would not be wasting my time here. BTW, whatever you think of her, you have to agree that she is far better informed than most people – certainly than you or I, and certainly more informed than Mr Thompson (my apologies to him, if I should be writing Dr Thompson). But DT is the most intelligent, since he has managed to get paid for his ‘analysis’ of our Pope.

          • Tridentinus

            Well you did tell her to desist from ‘hate’, I’ll grant you that and I’ll grant you too, that the the never-ending trading of comments is pointless.

            I read others debating with her but when the same old mantras come out about Cardinal Burke, trads, neo-trads, super-cons, über-cons, über trads, traddies, pre-Vatican II junk, broodmares, dishwashers, battered wives, her continually playing the victim, etc, I am sucked in which is probably what she wants.

            As far as being better informed than any of us. Yes, she does spend her time trawling websites for gossip but as to the veracity of the information she comes across, I can only say that she only sees what she wants to see and none of it flatters those she condemns which is hardly surprising. Most of her information is gleaned from dubious websites and ‘Vatican watchers’ who also make a living second-guessing the Pope and the Curia.

          • MarkWilliam

            First you accuse others of bigotry; then you accuse them of seeing only what they want to see. ‘Mote and beam’ (or ‘speck and log’) come to mind. But strangely you never seem to grasp the irony of your own position.
            On ‘being informed’: what she knows is far more than gossip; it is clearly the result of detailed and wide-ranging research. We all have a duty to inform our consciences. I suggest that you try it yourself.
            This article was about Pope Francis – but, as we know, you are not really interested in him at all, are you? Your own preferences (and that of your perennial up-ticker ‘Neihan’) are for the SSPX, who have no canonical status in the Church.

          • Tridentinus

            Leaving aside the misuse of the word ‘irony’ and your judgement upon me, ‘motes and beams: I have to say that my first reaction to this post of yours was utter incredulity. I couldn’t believe that you had been taken in by the ‘mantras’ I referred to, ‘ the Church regarding women only as as broodmares’, I ask you?

            Then I thought when you pejoratively mentioned my ‘up-ticker’, Neihan, although I had plenty more ‘up-tickers’ than he, that you were simply using poor Kag to have a dig at me and other orthodox Catholics on the thread, which I thought was very unfair of you.

            However re-reading through the thread and looking at your ‘up-ticking’ of her posts, I began to doubt this and began to consider that you might genuinely consider Kag to be ‘well informed’ and that what she knows is far more than gossip but clearly the result of detailed and wide-ranging research. Are you really serious about this and if you are, what evidence have you to support this? If you are advocating that we should inform our consciences according to what we read on-line then you have definitely lost the plot.
            Francis is the head of the Church to which I belong so your slur that I am not interested in him is absolutely false as is your implication that my preference is for the SSPX. My preference is for the Catholic Church and the SSPX to resolve their differences. I strikes me that you and Kag would rather that the Church embraced out and out Protestantism rather than reconcile with the SSPX.

          • MarkWilliam

            The SSPX were given chance after chance by Benedict XVI to come back into the fold, and they threw them away. Pope Francis by contrast is seeking to embrace all men and women of good will.
            I ignored what you had said about ‘broodmares’ etcetera, because – unlike you – I have been trying to deal with this article, which was about Pope Francis’ objectives. But you show little or no interest in Pope Francis. Everything has to be brought back to your own hobby horses.
            BTW, ‘mote and beam’ isn’t a judgment on you, more an admonition.
            Yes, kag really is well-informed, as anyone who tries to keep up with the news will realise. I accept this doesn’t include you. And yes, keeping up with the news and with today’s realities (even via on-line reports) is definitely apart of informing ones conscience.

          • Tridentinus

            The SSPX were very fortunate not to succumb to Pope Benedict’s overtures otherwise they would have had a lot of egg on their faces today.
            You seem, like Kag to be obsessed by the SSPX, God knows why. The SSPX do not figure at all in this article, they are introduced into every com-box she subscribes to. I do not attend SSPX Masses, I know no SSPX clergy, I know no one who attends SSPX Masses so why do you keep bringing this up except to troll. They do not figure in my life at all.

            I won’t argue with you over Kag being well-informed or not, if you think so then more fool you she is willing prey to every conspiracy theory emanating from the RomanVatican watchers. I am amazed that you are fooled by this.

            On a more serious note, if you advocate informing one’s conscience via the secular media then a Catholic does so at his peril. This is something which the Church does not teach nor advocate.

            In all this I am assuming that you are a member of the Catholic Church although it is no longer obvious from your posts that you are.

          • MarkWilliam

            And yet you keep telling us (here and elsewhere) that you prefer the SSPX; that you are attracted to them; and that you think they are ‘more Catholic’ than the RCC.
            Your first paragraph says it all. I will treat your final paragraph as beneath contempt.

          • Tridentinus

            Indeed, I find that teaching and practice of the SSPX is pretty much the same as I was taught when I was growing up in the Catholic Church. I find now that the majority of Catholics no longer believe what I was taught or even what the Catholic Church still teaches. In that sense I would say that the members of the SSPX are more Catholic than most Catholics today, first world Catholics anyway.
            As for my final paragraph, treat it anyway you like, I stand by every word of it.

          • MarkWilliam

            Well you are wrong, the SSPX have no canonical status in the Church.
            It is of no concern to me, whether or not you ‘stand by every word’ of your abuse of me.
            Edit: How is that ‘Neihan’ can up-tick your every comment within minutes of you making it – and when he is allegedly in a different time-zone? What credibility do you think this has?

          • Tridentinus

            The SSPX is a priestly society; the people who attend its services are not members.

            Your EDIT: is mischievious, Neihan, I understand is in the U.S.A and I am in the U.K. which I am sure you know. Perhaps you should ask him.

          • MarkWilliam

            Edit: Well, it was you who claimed that the ‘SSPX members are more Catholic than most Catholics’. I drew no distinction between its priests and its followers. I simply pointed out that the SSPX has no canonical status in the Church.
            Yes, I know where both you and ‘Neihan’ claim to live, that was just my point. In asking you, I’m asking him?

          • Tridentinus

            Yes, I should have made it clear I was talking about its followers. The Priestly Society of St Pius X does not have the same status as, say the FSSP.

            If you are naive enough to think that Neihan and I are the same person then you are going to look pretty foolish when it turns out that you are completely wrong.

          • MarkWilliam

            What, then, was the point (if any) of your telling me that “the SSPX is a priestly society; the people who attend its services are not members”? Was there a point?
            How will I ever find out who you are? – since you both (if there are indeed two of you?) hide behind your keyboards and behind your made-up names.
            Meanwhile, I don’t mind looking ‘a fool for Christ’s sake’.

          • Tridentinus

            Is my final paragraph abusive? I think not, it is merely an observation from my reading of the support you give to those who challenge the Church’s teaching on a number of important issues. It can hardly be construed as worse than your reference to me as ‘one very sick individual’ on another thread which you promptly edited out as it broke the commenting guidelines regarding refraining from abuse directed at the person.

            You are shooting youself in the foot by insinuating that Neihan are the same person, we are on different continents. Here’s a thought, have you considered that I might be
            Athelstane, Tom, ChI Rho, Brennan, Nan, as well as everybody else who gives or has in the past given me an up-tick?
            Of course, when it becomes obvious that Neihan and I are not the same person, that we don’t even know each other except on Disqus you will no doubt assert that you never actually said so. Your mischievious insinuations will belie that claim.

          • MarkWilliam

            Yes, you were abusive. For there is nothing in my posts to suggest that I do not love my Lord or my Church. I mean the RCC.
            On the ‘sick individual’ point, here’s the background (for anyone else who may be reading this):- On another website, you compared those Christians in the West whom (in your fevered imagination) oppress the ‘traditionalists’ such as yourself, to the “extremist thugs’ in Iraq who had been discussed in the article. It was a sick comparison. But I immediately withdrew my criticism, not in any fear of the Moderators, but because I wished to spare you further embarrassment. I thought that you had embarrassed yourself sufficiently, by your own sick comment.
            I do not challenge Church teaching on ‘important’ issues. But my definition of important is not yours. You, by contrast, challenge Church teaching fundamentally.
            I have no idea who you are, to be honest. You hide behind a made-up name – which means ‘mushroom’, of all things.

          • Tridentinus

            Church teaching on ‘important’ issues.

            Once again you resort to misrepresentation. You claim to love your Lord and your Church and I am sure you mean it yet you verbally support those who to put it mildly absolutely hate your Church, so what is one to think?

            On the other website you mention that I compared those Christians in the West whom oppress the ‘traditionalists’ such as yourself, to the “extremist thugs’ in Iraq who had been discussed in the article.

            Nothing of the sort. The article referred to the eradication of Christianity in the Middle East by the forces of ISIS. I merely added that the same thing, the eradication of Christianity in the First World, was happening at the same time, not due to Islam but thanks to the efforts of Christians themselves.

            You referred to me as ‘one sick individual’ but hastily withdrew it. Your excuse that you didn’t want to embarrass me rings hollow considering that you pursue me from website to website in order to do that very thing.

            It is not evident that you actually challenge Church teaching on ‘important’ issues’, however, the support you give those on these websites who espouse heterodox opinions leaves one with any alternative that you espouse these heterodox beliefs yourself.

            You accuse me of challenging the Church fundamentally but as usual provide no evidence of this, so no change there.

            Leaving aside you silly ‘mushroom’ joke, you are the one who is going to look silly when you discover that Neihan and I are not the same person; another spurious allegation which will do nothing for your credibility.

          • MarkWilliam

            No, I’m not the ‘traditionalist’. I said you were (and are). The point about IS’ thuggery, is that you compared your (alleged) mistreatment at the hands of ‘Christian thugs’ in ‘the West’ to the horror which our Christian sisters and brothers are suffering from ‘extremist thugs’ in Iraq. This was such a sickening comparison, that I pointed it out to you.

          • Tridentinus

            You have got it wrong again. I did not compare ‘my mistreatment’ (why do you keep making things up) at the hands of ‘Christian thugs’ in the West. I was talking about the fate of Christianity which is systematically being destroyed in the West by the actions of those who purport to be Christians.
            Our Christian brothers in the Middle East are laying down their lives for their Faith whilst their ‘brothers’ in the West are actively working to undermine and destroy that very Faith.

          • MarkWilliam

            It’s clear what you meant, and what comparison you were making. You were saying that ‘traditionalist’ Christianity in ‘the West’ has been undermined by other Christians, but to do so you made the awful and indeed sickening mistake of equating in specific terms the extremist thuggery of IS with what you believe to be the extremist thuggery of those Christians by whom you feel hard done by. If people want to see your exact words, they will have to go to the NCR website, an article on Iraq.

          • Tridentinus

            No, not ‘traditionalist’ Christianity, simply Christianity in the West. Christianity is of its very nature traditional.

            Western Christians who are destroying the Church do not make me feel hard done by because they will never succeed on account of Christ’s promise. There goes another one of your assumptions like that Neihan and I are the same person.

            Why do you keep back-tracking with your accusations? One post it is my mistreatment at the hands of ‘Christian thugs’ in ‘the West’, until I correct you.

            Then the next post it becomes, You were saying that ‘traditionalist’ Christianity in ‘the West’ has been undermined by other Christians,. Please make up your mind.

          • MarkWilliam

            I’m not ‘back-tracking’, and you’re not ‘correcting’ me. Unless I use double quote marks, I’m not quoting; I am giving the gist of what you said. Anyone who may be following this, and who wishes to know exactly what said, may click on your name here, to locate eventually (after scrolling down x hundred comments in the past few hours!) your exact words.

          • Tridentinus

            Well go on then give us the gist of which it is then.

          • MarkWilliam

            I’ve done it already. Four times.

          • Nan

            She’s basically a bitter feminist who doesn’t understand why nobody likes her, because bitterness and whining are so attractive.

    • ThePharmacistofLanceArmstrong

      Bruce Lewis is spot on. The disastrous Second Vatican Council was essentially an American project with the theologians of the Rhine countries acting as nothing more than proxies for the establishment of the “American Century”. The Catholic Church thrived in Europe (and in the USA) during periods of American isolationism. Where I differ from Mr Lewis is that I am not certain Francis understands this. The last Pope who seem to have a grasp of international relations was Pius XII.

    • PaulOfTarsus

      I wonder why some claim “Orthodox” Christianity is the only valid form? What exactly is it? It seems to me most define it as a time in which the “clock was stopped” i.e. Latin mass & the Council of Trent. Why is not orthodoxy defined as the time closest to Christ? Christ was not orthodox or conservative. He is the ultimate radical however, some choose to omit those realities. Were Christians to follow His example they would turn this world’s values on it’s head. This has not happened and the church has failed to fulfill its self-defined mission to spread the Gospel. Conservative orthodox Christians can take full credit for this failure.
      My hope is that Francis will call an Ecumenical Council. Since the conservatives usurped the implementation of Vatican II a New World Ecumenical Council may help to reverse that by codifying Vatican II and institutional reforms bringing the Catholic Church into the 21st C.
      Finally, the bold claims of the Catholic Church have not been met. It has been chastised by the world for the past 20 yrs as the world’s moral values have proven to be superior to Holy Mother Church i.e. clerical pedophilia, financial crimes, drugs & murder. Nations governments & even the UN have legalized their dealings with Holy Mother Church (this term is an orthodox invention).
      GOD’s wrath is not withheld from the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). It has become what Judaism was at the time of Christ & His opinions of the clerical hierarchy are well documented in the Gospels. Why then, would not the RCC be under GOD’s wrath? It’s clergy are well known to be unrepentant (mortal) sinners. Their lies are documented in the courts of law around the world! GOD’s Grace is withheld from those who alienate themselves. The RCC is shrinking in numbers & stature. Priests & Bishops who once were treated with deference are regularly dragged into court for driving drunk, theft, and drugs. Is this the legacy of conservative orthodox Christians? Wouldn’t it be best to unravel the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into – throw away the moth eaten books about how many angels can dance upon the head of a pin and follow Christ’s message – Love GOD and love your neighbor as yourself. That is the fulfillment of the Law and Commandments.

      • Nan

        Jesus said something to Peter about being the rock on which the church shall be built and that the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Church. The Catholic Church is the only one that Christ founded. And is the only one against foeticide.

  • kag1982

    I think that Francis understands more about the Anglo and American Catholic Churches than he lets on. He is an astute politician and really gets what makes people tick. Certainly, he isn’t a fan of Burke, which from an American perspective is a good thing. And one thing that will hopefully happen as a structural change is that marriage tribunals and courts will be gone. The Church doesn’t need a court system to decide whether someone’s marriage was sacramental.

    • Athelstane

      The Church doesn’t need a court system to decide whether someone’s marriage was sacramental.

      In other words, just let people decide for themselves? Would this apply to all sins in determining whether they need to be confessed?

      • kag1982

        So when you skip Sunday Mass do you have to go before a court system for them to determine whether or not you are forgiven? Why is divorce and remarriage different? Why not let the divorcee work with his or her priest and the priest send a letter to the bishop explaining the situation and requesting permission for remarriage? That is how it works with the Orthodox and it isn’t such a bad system. No one gets a free pass.

        • Athelstane

          1. Skipping Mass is a one time event, and an event that is in the past. A mortal sin – sure. It must be confessed to be forgiven.

          But living in a second marriage is AN ONGOING ACT. It is not in the past. Evaluating it in a short confessional session or even in a meeting with a pastor is not going to be able to evaluate that state of affairs accurately. That is why we have tribunals: to gather objective evidence.

          Let’s be brutally honest, Kag: If we took the Kasper route on this, and just let remarried people “work with his or her priest,” the practical reality (especially in Germany and Austria, God help us) is that *every* divorcee who chats with his pastor is going to get a dispensation and permission to re-marry. No matter WHAT their circumstances. The express words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 19 on the indissolubility of marriage will be reduced to a nullity. You know it. I know it.

          2. That is how it works with the Orthodox and it isn’t such a bad system.

          In the first place, there’s some considerable diversity in how the different Orthodox churches handle this problem. In practice, some are quite tough on it. The difficulty here is that the Orthodox practice operates on different principles to the Western one.

          For the Orthodox, there is no procedure of annulment. The first marriage is on the conscience of both parties. Remarriage is permitted as a dispensation, and the petitioner is given a penance. The subsequent marriage service is penitential in character. A third marriage might be allowed, but that is made even more low-key. Fourth marriages are forbidden – even when the spouses have died. The catch-phrase is that the Church “blesses the first marriage, performs the second, tolerates the third, and forbids the fourth.” No doubt cases which a Western tribunal would declare null will often be cases where among the Orthodox a bishop will allow a second marriage, and vice versa. It is actually not at all clear that the Orthodox practice is more lenient.

          In the second place, the Orthodox position, at least in the Byzantine Rite descended churches, was not the original practice of the Church in the first five centuries. It was only in the 6th century, under coercion from the Byzantine government (not least because emperors wanted the right to remarry) that Church law in the Byzantine church was altered. This is not a history that fills one with confidence as to its accordance with Revelation.

          Finally, I really do have to ask how many western Catholics seeking to have a second marriage validated are going to put up with a penitential marriage rite (with NO Communion offered), and the other penances assigned as a result of such a process, as the Orthodox do it. How many will do the penance? How long before there’s pressure to dispense with penances? How long before penances and penitential second marriage rites are denounced as making “second class Catholics?”

          My guess: five minutes.

          • kag1982

            “But living in a second marriage is AN ONGOING ACT. It is not in the past. Evaluating it in a short confessional session or even in a meeting with a pastor is not going to be able to evaluate that state of affairs accurately. That is why we have tribunals: to gather objective evidence.”

            So the tribunals (made up of many priests who have never been married) are able to time travel back to before a person’s marriage and understand the person’s state of mind at that moment. It seems to me that a good confessor could do it. Also, there would probably be a second step. Perhaps a live interview with another confessor at the diocese headquarters and a letter to the archbishop.

            “Let’s be brutally honest, Kag: If we took the Kasper route on this, and just let remarried people “work with his or her priest,” the practical reality (especially in Germany and Austria, God help us) is that *every* divorcee who chats with his pastor is going to get a dispensation and permission to re-marry. No matter WHAT their circumstances. The express words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 19 on the indissolubility of marriage will be reduced to a nullity. You know it. I know it.”

            It would be easier for Joe and Jane Catholic to get an annulment. They would have the same access to annulments that Newt Gingrich and the Kennedys do know.

            “For the Orthodox, there is no procedure of annulment. The first marriage is on the conscience of both parties. Remarriage is permitted as a dispensation, and the petitioner is given a penance. The subsequent marriage service is penitential in character. A third marriage might be allowed, but that is made even more low-key. Fourth marriages are forbidden – even when the spouses have died.”

            This seems to me like not a bad system. It gets rid of serial monogamists; people who divorce four or five times. So a Catholic politician who divorces his wife for a younger model wouldn’t be able to do so, but it permits someone who married as a youngster and makes a mistake to marry their second spouse.

            “No doubt cases which a Western tribunal would declare null will often be cases where among the Orthodox a bishop will allow a second marriage, and vice versa. It is actually not at all clear that the Orthodox practice is more lenient.”

            No, but it is more user friendly. Let’s take the steps that Jane Orthodox has to go through to get an ecclesiastical divorce. Jane’s husband is verbally abusive to her and is cheating on her. Jane goes to her priest and the priest is required to sit down with the couple and counsel them. The priest determines that Jane Orthodox should divorce her husband and recommends she start the proceedings. While Jane gets a divorce, the priest and Jane meet and discuss why her marriage failed. Perhaps they work on Jane’s self esteem and discuss her attraction to the wrong type of men. Jane also is required to refrain from the Eucharist for a specific period. After that period of penance, the priest writes to the bishop a personal letter. He states what he did to help counsel Jane and her husband and why he recommended the divorce. No other documentation is required. The bishop either grants or rejects the priest’s request and sends the letter to the priest. The priest is required to provide spiritual counsel about the decision. The rules state that he cannot just mail the decision to the person but must counsel them in person.

            Now let’s look at the Catholic version of the annulment system. Jane Catholic’s husband is just like Jane Orthodox. But the priest doesn’t provide her or her husband with spiritual counseling up front. Jane finally decides to get a divorce on her own. She later meets someone and applies for an annulment. The harried parish secretary hands her a huge packet and tells her to fill it out. The booklet is full of confusing wording and asks embarrassing questions about Jane and her husband’s sex life and her childhood. She also has to track down witnesses. Jane is in her forties and married her husband fifteen years ago. She hasn’t seen her bridesmaids and others at her wedding for ten years. Jane’s mother is upset with her because some of the questions make it seem like it was Jane’s mother’s fault that she turned out the way. Jane’s husband, John, is contacted. John is still bitter about the divorce settlement and sees the process as a way to continue his war with his ex-wife. He and his mother tell the kids that the process will make them illegitimate. John throws up roadblocks to make it more difficult for Jane to get an annulment. The annulment is delayed again and again. The tribunal court never takes time to answer Jane’s questions or get back to her. It seems like a Kafkaesque bureaucracy and sees has no idea what is going on. Even when she gets a positive first decision she learns that it isn’t final and has to be affirmed by another tribunal. After two plus years she gets a letter in the mail. During this time, she is provided with no counsel or support from the Church.

            Which process strikes you as a more pastoral and healing process? The pastor initiated Orthodox one or the legalistic Catholic one.

            “Finally, I really do have to ask how many western Catholics seeking to have a second marriage validated are going to put up with a penitential marriage rite (with NO Communion offered), and the other penances assigned as a result of such a process, as the Orthodox do it. How many will do the penance? How long before there’s pressure to dispense with penances? How long before penances and penitential second marriage rites are denounced as making “second class Catholics?””

            People will always whine, but I think that there are many legitimate beefs with the current annulment system. I think that people would be less sympathetic to the whining if it was about a man who regularly cheats on his wife and wants to marry his fourth wife, his 25 year old secretary, or someone who finds it offensive to go through a period of counselling than they are about an abused women who is having all sorts of frustrations with the bureaucratic nature of the annulment system.

          • Tridentinus

            It is always the man who is at fault with you either he is beating his wife or carrying on with his secretary while ‘poor little wifey’ covered in bruises baths the kids and puts them to bed, washes and irons his clothes, cooks his meal, etc.
            What about the 25yo secretary dating a married man?

          • kag1982

            No doubt she is at fault as well, but I put most of his fault on the older husband. And women can obviously have affairs and run off with the pool boy, but due to the patriarchal nature of society, until recently, marriage and family law have benefited the husband. It isn’t until recently (the 1980s) that wives began to have the upper hand in the divorce.

          • Tridentinus

            Well, being a radical feminist, you would put the blame on the man, wouldn’t you.

          • kag1982

            I think that up until the 1970s Western society was patriarchal. And the older person (as well as the person’s manager) has the most culpability for the situation.

          • Nan

            When to the Orthodox offer communion during their marriage rite? Oh, and what I’ve read about Ted Kennedy’s first marriage is that it wasn’t sacramental because he had no intention of being faithful to his wife. The objective of the annulment investigation is to determine whether the marriage was sacramental.

            Jane Catholic needs to hire a canon lawyer to help her with this process; her cl will help her understand what the questions relate to and how to gather the necessary information. The cl will also explain to her that her children won’t be illegitimate and while they must give her ex a chance to provide information, his participation isn’t absolutely necessary.

          • kag1982

            Actually, what Jane Catholic needs is the support and love from her Church like Jane Orthodox is getting and a process that reflects that. It is ridiculous that there is a court system to determine the validity of peoples marriages or that Jane Catholic has to spend money for a lawyer or deal with her ex-husband. The Church should be in the business of healing people, not maintaining a secular court system.

          • Nan

            The secular legal system in the West is based on Church laws, not the other way around.

          • kag1982

            Yes, because the Church used to control and rule countries. This led to great corruption in the Church. Now that there is the separation of Church and State and we don’t live in theocracies, the Church doesn’t need to have a court system.

          • Mara319

            Thank you, Athelstane, for this great post. People seldom realize how reasonable our Catholic faith is, until they study Church’s teachings closely. God bless you.

          • kag1982

            Actually, the annulment system is the least reasonable contraption ever created.

        • gabriel_syme

          Kag, the reason we don’t “let the divorcee work with his or her priest and the priest send a
          letter to the bishop explaining the situation and requesting permission
          for remarriage” is because Jesus Christ Himself explicitly described marriage as permanent.

          Additionally, He said that anyone who divorces their spouse and marries another commits adultery. Marriage is like Ordination to the Priesthood. It is a vocation and – once done – there is no going back. Its not a game. If you want games, check out protestantism.

          Christianity is about what Jesus taught, Kag, not about what you want.

          Submit to Jesus Christ.

          • kag1982

            “Additionally, He said that anyone who divorces their spouse and marries another commits adultery.”

            So I’m assuming that we should get rid of the annulment system?

            “Marriage is like Ordination to the Priesthood. It is a vocation and – once done – there is no going back.”

            Priests can leave active ministry and marry with the permission of the Church.

            “Christianity is about what Jesus taught, Kag, not about what you want.

            Submit to Jesus Christ.”

            I prefer Pope Francis’ version of Jesus to yours. I don’t think that I’d like to “submit to the traditionalists view of Jesus” where I’m a submissive wife and broodmare who cannot even wear a pair of jeans and can be abused by my husband.

          • gabriel_syme

            “So I’m assuming that we should get rid of the annulment system?”

            Annulment is not divorce, even if the concept is often abused by the post-conciliar Church. Rather it is (should be) recognition that no sacrament of marriage actually took place (for example, in the case where one party has been secretly married before).

            “Priests can leave active ministry and marry with the permission of the Church”

            They remain ordained priests and can never rid themselves of this indelible mark. This is exactly why they require the permission you mention.

            “I prefer Pope Francis’ version of Jesus to yours”

            Im not even convinced Franny and his pals (Kaspar etc) even believe in Jesus Christ. If they did, I don’t think they would propose ignoring or contradicting Him.

            ” I don’t think that I’d like to “submit to the traditionalists view of Jesus” ”

            I didn’t say submit to anyone’s view of Jesus, i said submit to Jesus Himself.

            “where I’m a submissive wife and broodmare who cannot even wear a pair of jeans and can be abused by my husband.”

            Jesus did not teach any of these things.

            Yes, Catholics traditionally (in Church) wear respectable clothing appropriate to masculinity or femininity, but this is a simple requirement to present ourselves before Our Lord as He created us.

            It is not an effort to suppress women. In Church, I am bound to dress as a man, every bit as much as women are bound to dress as women.

            Of course, the feminist all-consuming self-obsession with themselves typically blinds them to this and other such indicators of basic gender equality.

          • kag1982

            “Annulment is not divorce, even if the concept is often abused by the post-conciliar Church. Rather it is (should be) recognition that no sacrament of marriage actually took place (for example, in the case where one party has been secretly married before).”

            So you think that abuse victims should be required to stay with their spouses.

            “They remain ordained priests and can never rid themselves of this indelible mark. This is exactly why they require the permission you mention.”

            But they can still obtain it more easily than people obtain annulments.

            “Im not even convinced Franny and his pals (Kaspar etc) even believe in Jesus Christ. If they did, I don’t think they would propose ignoring or contradicting Him.”

            Really? Francis consistently demonstrates how Christ wants us to love one another.

            “Jesus did not teach any of these things.”

            Then why do traditionalist Catholics say that Jesus did?

            “It is not an effort to suppress women. In Church, I am bound to dress as a man, every bit as much as women are bound to dress as women.”

            Outside drag queens, I’ve never heard of a man wishing to dress like a woman. This is because men’s clothing is much more practical and comfortable than dresses and skirts.

            “Of course, the feminist all-consuming self-obsession with themselves typically blinds them to this and other such indicators of basic gender equality.”

            So it is really a huge issue for you to not be able to wear dresses and heels? Because there are practical reasons why women prefer wearing pants.

          • gabriel_syme

            “So you think that abuse victims should be required to stay with their spouses.”

            I didn’t say that, I said annulment is not a divorce. If a spouse is abusive or violent, then clearly s/he is not upholding their side of the marriage contract – to love and honour their partner- and so perhaps it is invalid and grounds for an annulment

            “But they can still obtain it more easily than people obtain annulments.”

            So what? Its easier because its an easier situation to resolve. There are no children to consider, for example.

            “Francis consistently demonstrates how Christ wants us to love one another.”

            To over-rule Christ would mean Francis is creating his own, new religion. We are Christians, not Francisists.

            “Then why do traditionalist Catholics say that Jesus did?”

            They do not. They value persons for what they are, for what God created them as.

            “This is because men’s clothing is much more practical and comfortable than dresses and skirts”

            I can easily see that trousers may be more practical than skirts in some cases, or that a woman may simply prefer to wear trousers in her day to day business – as is her right.

            But in Church, Catholics traditionally dress smartly and in a gender-orientated way. This is to both honour God (via being smart – “Sunday best” – etc) and present ourselves as He created us.

            Its only for approx one hour a week. Its not a big ask or burden. In our secular employment, we all wear uniforms or work-appropriate clothing (protective gear or business wear etc) for ~40 hours a week, without objection or question.

            “So it is really a huge issue for you to not be able to wear dresses and heels?”

            I only like to do so at the weekend (haha – I jest of course).

            I am extremely happy being a man, as are most men. We are easily pleased and undemanding creatures. Like dogs. Its often, sadly, women who seem dissatisfied with their own lot – despite the fact that to be a woman, of course, carries equal worth and dignity as does being a man. Some modern women are not easily pleased and always seem to want more, or different.

            “Because there are practical reasons why women prefer wearing pants.”

            I wholly appreciate that. My wife, mother, sisters, female friends and colleagues etc routinely wear trousers. No big deal. Who am I, or is anyone, to comment on what they choose to wear in their daily lives?

            I have even (often) heard very committed, zealous SSPX-women strongly criticise overbearing traditional views of female dress. And rightly so – women can wear what they please (as if that even needs to be said). That said, they are very proud to dress in a feminine way when in Church – i.e. a dress / skirt and, of course, chapel veil / mantilla.

            It is not overbearing to ask women (or men) to dress smartly and traditionally for one hour per week, in the House of God. When we think of formal, smart dress, we naturally think of (e.g.) a suit for men and a dress for women.

            What woman would ever choose to marry in a pair of jeans, instead of a beautiful wedding dress? (Even if it did mean she could negotiate the Church aisle more easily.)

          • Tridentinus

            What woman would ever choose to marry in a pair of jeans, instead of a beautiful wedding dress? (Even if it did mean she could negotiate the Church aisle more easily.)
            Exactly, Gabriel, spot on!

        • Nan

          The Orthodox take marriage far more seriously than Catholics; they can only get married in the Orthodox Church, not at some other kind of church, not at the courthouse; their parishes are far smaller so the priest actually knows the couple and has a good idea of what went wrong. Very few Orthodox get divorced to begin with and because there are so many types of Orthodox, bishops are concentrated in large cities. Here, we have Russians (OCA and ROCOR), Ethiopian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian and Antiochian that I know of so possibly others. No bishops. OH, and if one of their priests divorces he has a year to decide whether to continue as a celibate priest or to leave; while the Orthodox ordain married men, priests don’t get married.

          • kag1982

            “they can only get married in the Orthodox Church”

            Which is the same for Catholics unless they get a dispensation of form from the bishop. This is generally given if the Catholic is marrying a non-Catholic. No Catholic could get a dispensation to marry on the beach in Hawaii just ’cause.

            “their parishes are far smaller so the priest actually knows the couple and has a good idea of what went wrong.”

            That is a good thing. Maybe Catholics should try that.

            “Here, we have Russians (OCA and ROCOR), Ethiopian, Greek, Serbian, Romanian and Antiochian that I know of so possibly others. No bishops”

            There are places in the world where there are Catholics but the bishop might be far away. Like most of the Global South. And these Orthodox are assigned a bishop, but he is far away.

            “OH, and if one of their priests divorces he has a year to decide whether to continue as a celibate priest or to leave; while the Orthodox ordain married men, priests don’t get married.”

            I’m not talking about priests divorcing. I am talking about laypeople.

          • Nan

            For the Orthodox, there is no dispensation on getting married elsewhere, so no, not the same at all. And they can’t receive Communion without first having gone to confession which is face to stole, public confession.

          • kag1982

            Yes, and for most Catholics the only time a dispensation is given is if they are marrying a non-Catholic, so it is very close. And Communion is only given to Orthodox in good standing and they also go to Confession more often which isn’t “public” but is the way that most people in my generation receive Confession, face-to-face. Public would be having to confess in front of the entire congregation.

        • Nan

          Actually you do; if you skip Mass without good reason, you must go to confession before receiving communion.

          • kag1982

            That is different from having to go before a tribunal to determine if your marriage is valid, isn’t it?

  • MarkWilliam

    As ever, Mr Thompson sees what he wishes to see, what he hopes for. But time will tell.

  • emmettcoyne

    “Popes come, popes go; the Curia remains!”
    Since the church has been in the” Constantinian Captivity of the CC” curia members have solidified power and in the end will effectively block any return to the Gospel.
    Better than reading “The Joy of the Gospel,” see the DVD, HAPPY!
    A path to a fuller life than subjected to the theology of fear promoted by the RCC.

  • Kaine

    I like Frankie. Some very sound views on the atomising and dehumanising effects of modern finance-capitalism.

  • Robert Brown

    Good stuff, but he neglected one important reform–ending the Dictatorship of the Secretariat, partly accomplished by removing the financial authority. But Paul VI increased the power of the Sec of State over the other dicasteries, setting up the Sec of State as a Deputy Pope.

  • stroika

    In the video they keep talking abut the Italians who control the Curia in an “Italian” way as “the Italian Mafia”. An unfortunate choice of phrase. You have to be careful with metaphors when they might be taken literally. Nobody is suggesting the involvement of La Cosa Nostra.

    • kag1982

      Really? I thought that the Mafia was actually using the IOR to launder money.

      • stroika

        Maybe you did think that. Maybe you are even right. But in the video they are clearly talking about Italian members of the hierarchy in Italy as a “Mafia” Given that the real Mafia is Italian that is an unfortunate choice of metaphor.

        • kag1982

          Some of whom are very corrupt.

        • Tom

          The real Mafia is Sicilian, but the word mafia is used in all sorts of contexts now.

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    ‘Two or three years and then off to the house of the Father,’ he said this week. Was he serious? You can never tell.

    Personally I should hope he’s referring to his mission, perhaps in imitation of Christs passion. That’d be exciting.

    • kag1982

      He was joking. Old people sometimes enjoy gallows humor.

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    ‘Benedict allowed the Roman Curia, and specifically the Italians in it, to kill his pontificate. Francis will not permit that to happen.’

    So what does our Damian mean by adding; “He will strike first.” ?

    ” crows and vipers” springs to my mind here. I think the new Pope knows how to avoid becoming one of those, even if some of our religious commentators don’t.

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    ‘The Pope is hungry to spread the Gospel and in Latin America he sees that being done most effectively by left-wing priests in the slums,’ says a Vatican insider. ‘What he doesn’t realise is that in North America and other English-speaking countries, it’s the conservatives who have fire in their bellies, who evangelise, often with minimal encouragement from their bishops.’ And no one is likely to explain it to him.”

    Surely, nobody needs to explain to a Pope how “Wisdom is vindicated by her actions.” ( see bible)

  • sanfordandsons

    Jesuits have always been a dichotomy of faith and progressive restlessness. In reality, this Pope scares me to death. While I believe the Curia needs replacement, there needs to be a large-scale abandonment of the Novus Ordo liturgy and return our Holy Masses back to the Latin Rite. American Bishop’s also scare me as well as the Cardinals who run the church. If Francis wants to evangelize the world, stop trying to find dialogue with Islam, Judaism and those pesky Church of Englanders. Instead, get American’s back to church, enough that will re-open our schools and staff the teachers with nuns and priests. There is no chance, short of a miracle, that will re-energize the Church, if they continue to manage the Church in the direction it is heading now. We have too many Bishops who feel their priorities is “social justice” which, in the face of dwindling Church memberships, in hoping that Hispanic’s will fill the empty pew’s. I got a news flash for them, Hispanics may fill the pews, but they won’t pay the bills.

    • Jon82

      You can already abandon the Novus Ordo Liturgy. Go to one of the groups who only does Tridentine Masses. Have it, enjoy, be happy. Just do not think to take me and my Roman Catholic Faith with you. I will not go back. Stop dialogues with others? Are you serious? Oh yes, there are surely enough priests and nuns to staff the schools. LOL.

      • kag1982

        I went over to “Father” Z’s page and he linked to it, so expect all the ZZZombies to come here and post their nonsense.

        • Mara319

          I am not a Z-poster, but I’m curious. Tell us, Kag – what makes you so furious at Fr. Z? Just asking.

          • Jon82

            See my post about the Fr. Z. He is a bully among his better qualities.

      • Athelstane

        Stop dialogues with others? Are you serious?

        What is the point of “dialogue” with the Church of England now? Seriously?

        I’m not talking about cooperating on social services, or mutual lobbying when there’s legislation of common concern. This sort of thing has gone on a long time. We do not need to agree on doctrine to do these things.

        But theological dialogue? Why? Anglicans can longer agree among themselves on what doctrine means. ARCIC statements that have actually passed have been dead letters not because of Rome, but because many Anglican prelates don’t accept them. And what’s worse, they are moving further away from us with their ordination of women and gay bishops, and blessings of same-sex “unions.”

        With Churches like the Orthodox, ecumenical discussions may still make sense, not least because they not only have coherent doctrine but also because there is actually some prospect (albeit distant) of reaching agreement on doctrine. But most ecumenical discussions over the last fifty years have been exercises in frustration and, yes, sheer indifferentism. Too many of the dialogue partners on both sides have concluded, deep down, that you can be saved, and WILL be saved, no matter what “church” you belong to. And millions of Catholics have, unfortunately, taken their cue from that. And that’s a grave problem.

        • Jon82

          Oh my goodness, dialogue will do all of that? THEN yes, I am all for it!

  • JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE

    So Card. Rodriguez Maradiaga (Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras) is reliably anti-USA, the above report tells us. His people aren’t—they’re fleeing to the US in droves because life in Honduras is a living hell. Meanwhile, we are treated to his predictable denunciations of the Western free market economic system which DOES feed and educate its people. Curiously, the Cardinal seems to speak his criticisms in places quite comfortable for him—like Paris, London, Washington and the like. And when he does so, he’s dressed to the “nines” in fine suits, French cuffs and cufflinks. Meanwhile his Archdiocese has 1 priest for about 13,000 people, and that figure has been static for quite a while. Perhaps more time at home, tending to his own knitting, is indicated. Also, the Pope has been quoted as saying he doesn’t want “airport bishops”. If that is so, maybe he might have the good Cardinal in for a chat. Cardinal Pell has it right: if you want to distribute more wealth, you first have to make more of it.

    • saffrin

      Make more of it?
      Sell some of it.

      • JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE

        And if you just keep “selling” and do no more “making”, what happens? Simple: you run out of the wherewithal to distribute to the needy. The laws of arithmetic are relentless, no matter what market/economic system you favor.

        • saffrin

          If the catholic church distributed 101% of the wealth it collected you could be right.
          However, as the catholic church is full of rembrandt’s ect, gold bullion by the tonnes and thousands upon thousands of gems and artifacts of antiquity we know their true nature is personal wealth.

          • JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE

            Still don’t get it, eh? I’ve at least tried to be logical in my posts. You resort to tirades and hate speech. Is the “true aim” of the Churches really to bamboozle one and all? Do you categorically deny that they do much good, imperfect as they are? Grow up.

          • saffrin

            “Do you categorically deny the enormous material good they do?”
            What good would that be?

          • JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE

            Try hospitals, schools, feeding the homeless, the millions Catholic Charities gives in aid every year. Are you seriously suggesting that you’re unaware of all this? I doubt it. Could it be that you’re just bigoted against all religion?

          • saffrin

            Religion is for idiots.

          • JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE

            Thanks, saffrin. We don’t agree, but I respect your coming out from hiding.

          • saffrin

            I have at least educated you somewhat which can’t be a bad thing.
            Too bad you’re incapable of believing.
            Oh boy, they must have got to you when you were really young.

          • Sheila Nardelli

            Be careful!! Your ignorance is showing- AGAIN!! This just obviously goes to show what you DON’T know and have no idea what you are talking about!!

          • saffrin

            My ignorance?
            If you think the church does good things out of the goodness of it’s heart you’re very naive.

          • Sheila Nardelli

            If religion is for idiots then you would fit right in with your inaccurate and ridiculous thinking!!

          • saffrin

            If I was stupid enough to follow a sect that believed the entire universe was built in 6 days you could call me religious.

          • Deanna Clark

            Be careful, many of those get fortunes from US Aid and other people who call the shots .
            In Madagascar. for instance, you can tell the difference. Some have beautiful air conditioned buildings, SUVs, etc. The clean ones have old cinder block clinics and ride bicycles.
            Can’t tell a book, or a Christian, by the cover!

          • carlolancellotti

            I have a Sistine Chapel to sell you, I can give you a deal…

          • Nan

            No. The Church holds its treasures in trust for humanity; if you start selling the things in the church and the objects in the museum, they’ll go into the private collections of the very wealthy, never to be seen again until somebody’s heirs want to sell.

            The Catholic Church is the single largest provider of social services worldwide. Religious orders were founded to take care of the needy, basically to fulfill the beatitudes and have a need to care for and support their members; these people profess vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. If you look at diocesan priests, they don’t take a vow of poverty but in many cases they give greatly themselves, not living in wealthy circumstances.

          • saffrin

            The Church holds its treasures in trust for humanity.
            Arf, arf, arf.

          • JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE

            Nan, I respect your good intentions. But save your energy. Saffrin is immune to both facts and logic.

          • Nan

            Thanks. No does he have an understanding that the things he claims the Church trumpets about are in the vast minority of good deeds. You also missed a few things; while Catholic Charities does a lot of good, the Church has founded religious orders from the beginning that have educated, trained for work, fed, clothed, housed and hospitalized the many in need. But that pales in comparison to the hours spent by individual Catholics who both volunteer and donate money to support these causes along with one on one assistance to others.

          • chesterlab

            Nan, you are right about this situation. My priest (while not diocesan) has done a great deal for me personally and I am not done with RCIA class yet. I am not comfortable with Francis for some of the reasons stated above, and because I made my decision to come to Catholicism when Benedict was pope. I like the intellect of Benedict-and his kindness, I suppose. I am conservative and Francis is a little too much to the left for me. But, good grief- the Vatican should never sell all that art and treasure off. Remember what Christ said? The poor we will have with us always, but we only have one Jesus Christ-and the church is his kingdom on earth. His house should be beautiful for Him.

          • Nan

            Chesterlab, Welcome Home! I’m happy to hear that you’re joining us. What type of priest do you have?

            The thing to remember about the pope are that a) the first pope filmed was Leo XIII in 1896. Before that you pretty much had to go to Rome to see the pope; b) similarly, nobody knew what the pope was doing at any given time. Yes, some teenager did storm the Vatican demanding to join Carmel, but she went to Rome on pilgrimage, expecting him to be there; c) we only have to agree with the Pope when he speaks Ex Cathedra. The last time was Venerable Pope Pius XII, in 1950, on the Assumption of Mary, which we recently celebrated; d) as you’ve already learned, each pope is Catholic but that may seem to be their only commonality. It’s okay to be uncomfortable with a pope for whatever reason – it may be better that way as we then don’t focus on the personality but rather the office.

            Please keep in mind that Francis was raised in another culture, one that we don’t know much about which was under a different form of government so he naturally has a different perspective. As he doesn’t speak English, everything he says is translated and the news media focuses on what they want us to know. While he may not be your cup of tea, he’s a lovely pope and must be driving the Swiss Guard nuts. He gets very personal and lives the beatitudes. I think he’s very kind; he has made personal phone calls to seemingly random people, including the parents of the beheaded journalist.

            Yes, I didn’t specifically mention that we’ll always have the poor; what good would it do to sell the treasures when the money would just feed people a few meals. And if you recall St Lawrence brought the poor, ill and infirm to the emperor, saying they were the Church’s treasures, which only resulted in his martyrdom.

          • chesterlab

            Thank you Nan. I appreciate your warm welcome! Right now our little church has a missionary priest from the Institute of Christ Sovereign Priest out of Florence, Italy. He is a very holy man, a traditional Latin Rite priest, and he and I have had some really interesting conversations about church history and doctrine, with me coming from a protestant background and his grounding solidly in Catholicism. I’ve learned a lot about Christianity during my RCIA classes, and my conversations with my priest, although sometimes our classes get sidetracked by my numerous questions. If I’m devoting my life to this church, I want to know as much as possible before about it before I get confirmed.
            As far as the pope, I really try not to think about him much. He probably won’t impact my life significantly unless he comes out Ex Cathedra, as you mentioned, and makes some radical changes, I hope he won’t do that, and the pope doesn’t really wield the same type of power as he used to prior to Vatican II from what I’ve read. In any event, I’ll surely never get to meet him, because I’m out of work right now and a pilgrimage to Rome is out of the question:) So I just pray for the protection of the church and for its leaders.
            Thanks again! God bless you!

          • Nan

            He can’t make radical changes; the changes that would be radical would go against Christ’s teaching. I’ll pray to one of our recent saints, who went from mailroom to CEO, for your employment…St John Paul II. When I say “mailroom to CEO” you know that I mean altar boy to pope.

            Please pray also for more vocations. My Abp. fasts from meat on Friday for vocations and asks that the rest of us do so and join in his intention…our seminary is full.

          • chesterlab

            Thank you Nan, for your prayers! I agree that we need to pray for more holy vocations and it is good to hear that the seminaries are once again full. I pray for the mother church as well because it worries me on the eve of my own confirmation into the church, the effects that Vatican II, which were arguably radical, (and which I never knew anything about as a lifelong protestant) will have on Her in the long run. God brought me to Her doors for a reason, however, and I will be faithful and pray for Her to remain strong and to remain the one holy and apostolic church…

      • Deanna Clark

        So it can disappear in the mansions of the fabulously wealthy…and tourists can’t see it?
        I don’t believe in the PIE chart. With good will the world can have enough for everyone’s needs and beautiful art, which is also a need.. It was Judas who griped about that expensive perfume, saying it should be sold for the poor…like he gave a hoot.

        • Athelstane

          So it can disappear in the mansions of the fabulously wealthy…and tourists can’t see it?

          Which is exactly what would happen to most of that art if it was sold off.

          • Deanna Clark

            When Jesus told the young wealthy man to sell what he had and give the money to the poor He was giving personal advice to someone He liked. Responsibility and common sense come first.
            I remember a Little Lulu cartoon where Lulu is moved to tears by a hobo on a park bench. So she covers him with a blanket from her house. Lulu leaves the hobo and wears a smile and a halo on her black curls. She is beatific. The last picture shows Lulu’s Dad shivering in his bare bed with no blanket.
            Brrrrr!

            Selling all the church art would only hurt all the art students, tourists, and LOCALS who make a living. Wow, that’ll show God how we love Him!!

    • Dana Fuchko

      Western Free market system DO NOT feed their people. The entire, inherent purpose of the free market is to make money.

      • JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE

        Are the two ends mutually exclusive? What logic forces the conclusion that a market system making money is inherently unable to feed its people? Check out the USA, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, etc., etc. And read St. JPII’s Centesimus Annus. Wherever did you get the absolutely loony idea that wealth creation leads to starvation?

        • Dana Fuchko

          Umm, the USA does not feed their people. These are easily looked up stats, I’d do so myself, except I have to get up for work in the morning.
          And I didn’t say they are unable to feed their people, I said they don’t. A free market system is not interested in either feeding people, nor in starving them, unless they make money using one of these methods. And wealth creation, in and of itself, doesn’t help feed people. What if all that wealth ends up in the hands of those who don’t want to help feed the hungry?

          • JUST THE FACTS, PLEASE

            Except for your last point, I agree with you. I was just pointing out that an economy driven by the profit motive does not CAUSE hunger among its populace.
            As to your final point, how can you possibly square the well-documented epidemic of obesity in the USA—among all age groups—with your claim “the USA does not feed its people”? You’re never going to find the “stats” you say you can look up—it’s another loony idea.

  • Annie

    Aaargh! You are so damn good when you’re engaged Damian it makes me sick!

  • Gwangi

    Well what the fusilli do you expect if you put Italians in charge of anything? Do you really expect it NOT to be corrupt and disorganised?

    The Catholic church has always been corrupt and totalitarian – a quick reading of the history of popes will show the shameless greed and corruption it has displayed for centuries. It is the world’s oldest and longest surviving Corporation, and acts to protect itself always.

    Can Francis take it on and reform it? I doubt it. The next pope will be an Italian dodgy type yet again. Plus ca change…

    And, by the way, as an individualist I could never be a Catholic and sheep-ify myself. Also, I just wouldn’t be able to stand being in heaven with all those bluddy Frenchies! Imagine it!

  • gabriel_syme

    The decline of the Jesuits is entirely self-inflicted and is a good analogy of the decline the Church in general has endured since Vatican II.

    The Jesuits were once the stormtroops of the Church, but they are way off reservation today. There is little about the modern Jesuits which is attractive to young men, similarly to how the Diocesan priesthood is also disinteresting to young men. This is shown by the fact that the youngest Jesuit I have ever met in the UK was in his 60s (most in their 70s and 80s). As for the Dioceses, the priests there are usually very aged men, muddled and confused at how the Church has been turned on its head, or younger men who are rather ‘light on their feet’, if you will.

    Today, all the quality vocations are going into the traditional orders, notably the SSPX, but others too. This trend also applies to women religious. Eg, in 2013, the SSPX got 43 new first year seminarians. In comparison, my Diocese couldn’t buy a vocation. This trend pleases me greatly.

    Its difficult to imagine anything more puerile and irrelevant than the post concilliar Church. It doesn’t teach, it doesn’t evangelise. it doesn’t make people aware of its necessity to them. It is obsessed with the nonsense of ecumenism. The religion it promotes is about people, not God. The people in its pews are, in the main, wholly ignorant of Church teaching and act as their own personal magisterium. The liturgy is banal and designed to appeal to protestants, Its a million miles away from what Vatican II envisaged. The liturgy and mass experience does not square with even basic Catholic doctrine regarding the Eucharist etc.

    In many ways, Pope Francis is the walking, chattering embodiment of all of these problems. He doesn’t teach us, like Benedict did. He mocks and rubbishes the faith of devout Catholics. His pontificate is entirely concerned with protestants, jews, muslims, atheists – anything but Catholics and Catholicism. His trademarks are platitudes and empty gestures, designed to please the secular world.

    Benedict was right that the Church will get smaller, but more devout. In 10 years or so, nature will have rid us of the majority of the Kungs, Kaspers, Radcliffes, Loftuses, LCWRs etc in this world. We call this “the biological solution”. It is a very happy thought.

    Around the same time, in many places tradition will have asserted itself and begun to eclipse the dying novus ordo Church. Certainly this is the forecast for France, for example. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    I am optimistic that the ageing hippies who have dominated the Church in recent decades are now in their twilight. They will soon go to their reward (I wonder what it will be?). Only when Orthodoxy and Tradition retake their rightful place as the central planks of the Church, will it begin to grow strongly again, and every day is a step closer. I look forward to it.

    • kag1982

      Spitting out words for “Father” Z like the good ZZZombie that you are. You forgot about the libtards. And unlike most new orders, the Jesuits and others are pretty choosy about who they take. The elite special forces of the Catholic Church which requires ten+ years of training doesn’t accept the bottom of the barrel like the Legion of Christ and many other new order do.

      • gabriel_syme

        I speak for myself Kag, not Father Z.

        I think its indicative of the quality of my points that you immediately resort to name calling, rather than engage with said points.

        The modern Jesuits are not choosy, just like the post Concilliar Church is not choosy – see the vast numbers of heretics and homosexuals masquerading as priests.

        The SSPX – now, they are choosy. They don’t tolerate homosexual pederasts in their ranks, like the dying mainstream Church did for so long – with the sad, wholly predictable results.

        • kag1982

          Yes.. The SSPX is very choosy… Choosy in as they only let in priests who are incredibly sincere about their antisemitism into their ranks.

          • gabriel_syme

            So, moving on from the name calling we arrive at defamation now. Wonderful.

            Come on, you are better than this Kag. To read your posts above you come across as a bigot, but I am sure you are not really – just misinformed.

            The SSPX isnt anti-semitic in the slightest. This is an old, tired trope. I attend an SSPX church and have found nothing there but sincere Catholics of all shapes, ages, colours and sizes. I would take nothing to do with any organisation which promoted bigoted views. I was moved to attend said Church via a desire for reverent and authentic liturgy, clear doctrine and solid preaching.

            Yes, Bishop Richard Williamson, (a former Anglican), previously embarrassed the organisation and indeed the Papacy with his erroneous views about the holocaust, but for this he was promptly expelled from the SSPX.

            His views are not representative of the organisation. I myself have visited the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, as well as the former Jewish ghetto in Budapest and so am very well informed as to the horrors of how Jews were treated during WW2.

            Put it this way, if the SSPX are anti-semitic, then Jesus Christ and 2,000 years of Catholicism are anti-semitic and that’s just an absurd suggestion.

            Islam is deeply anti-semitic, yet we don’t ever hear much about that.

          • kag1982

            Actually, Jeanette Pryor, a former member of the SSPX, thinks otherwise. And I’ve seen enough confirmation on traditionalist boards and sites that suggest that there are strands of antisemitism in the SSPX.

            http://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/01/13/the-society-of-st-pius-x-and-antisemitism/

          • gabriel_syme

            Ive never heard of Jeanette Pryor and, while she is entitled to her views, they are not worth more than those of anyone else, nor are they automatically accurate and correct.

            Your link has the headline “cults and the mind enslaved” – so, that’s what Jesus Christ created is it, a cult? That’s what the 2,000 years of Catholic history is, a “cult and the mind enslaved”? Come on!

            It also references Bishop Fellays (a great man) comments about “enemies of the Church”. In his context, “enemies” refers to those who deny the teaching of the Catholic Church, who deny the truth. It is certainly not intended as a slur against non-Catholic persons, nor an appeal for bigotry, violence or condemnation.

            (Remember, +Fellay is Swiss and English is not his first language. A native English speaker would likely have chosen a softer term to make the same point. I can speak a little German and once accidentally described someone as “pathetic” in that language, due to choosing an ill-suited adjective for what I was trying to say).

            And +Fellay is right. False religions ARE enemies of the Church, in that they deny the truth. Secular society is an enemy of the Church too, for the same reason.

            Finally, regarding “traditional” boards: The thing with these is that often they are sedevacantist or otherwise extreme, but in a way which is not immediately obvious to the casual reader. (note that the SSPX, being wholly Catholic, does not tolerate sedevacantist views in the slightest. The SSPX detests such views.)

            For someone who is not familiar with the SSPX, it is best to learn of them from their own official outlets, such as “dici.org” or the various regional sites. Get your information “from the horses mouth” as it were.

          • kag1982

            Jeanette and her husband are both practicing Catholics, so I wouldn’t consider her disparaging the Catholic Church. She is just saying that the SSPX is cult like. And I’ve been to the SSPX’s “official website” and my assessment comes from the official website. (I do love that they raced to take all the blatantly antisemitic stuff off the website after the Williamson kerfuffle.)

          • Tridentinus

            Your take upon this Society of of which I am not a member is not that you are specifically opposed to the SSPX; your opposition is to the Catholic Church, itself, and is based purely upon how it differs from your own concept of how the Church should be. Unfortunately, you are only one person out of 1.2 billion.
            There is no difference between what I was taught as a Catholic and that which the SSPX adheres to today and proclaims as the Catholic Faith.
            You, of course, on account of your political and feminist agenda seem to think that the Church ended in 1965 and began again in 1966 and that all that went before was to be swept away.

            Are you that naive that you could imagine that a Divine Institution could be reduced to this?
            Why don’t you answer the questions that are posed to you on these websites instead of just furthering ad nauseam your ridiculous agenda.

          • kag1982

            Yes my radical feminist agenda which involves me not being a brood made and slave and being treated as an individual. That one?

            And the Church made important changes in the 1960s. One of the most important was a condemnation of antisemitism. The SSPX has chosen not to do so.

            And Jeanette Pryor and her husband are mainstream Catholics. Jeanette is a big Sarah Palin fan. So they aren’t evil liberal Catholics. But they are making the point that the SSPX is antisemitic.

          • Tridentinus

            Well you wou would say that, wouldn’t you because of your inordinate and irrational prejudice against the Catholic Church.
            Your accusation of anti-semitism is totally unfounded yet you trot it out in post after post after post, presumably hoping that mud will stick.

      • FreemenRtrue

        read “Jesuits” by Malachi Martin.

        • kag1982

          I prefer my conspiracy theories to be actually entertaining like Dan Brown.

          • FreemenRtrue

            funny thing about ostriches, they are always showing their arses.

          • FreemenRtrue

            A review of “Jesuits” by C Sand in Amazon, among many positive and informed povs.
            .First of all Malachi Martin did NOT walk out on his order to marry a foreign correspondent during the Vatican Council, as claimed by a previous reviwer. In 1965, Martin received a “dispensation from all privileges and obligations deriving from his vows as a Jesuit and from priestly ordination.” (Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, 25 June 1997, Prot. N. 04300/65).

            Why would a Jesuit priest request such dispensation? It is likely because the heterodox Jesuit heirarchy would never have allowed him to publish this book. He would have had to break his vow of obedience to his superiors within the order to both research and write this book. Had he not requested such dispensation, Fr. Martin would have joined a host of orthodox Jesuit priests, such as Fr. Cornelius Buckley, S.J. and Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J. who were either silenced or the attempt made to silence them by their heterodox brethren.

            I had never heard of Malachi Martin before I picked up this book. But I have attended two Jesuit universities and I’ve seen the war between orthodox and heterodox Jesuits up close. It is real and it does exist. Heterodox Jesuits continue to support the dogma of Liberation Theology which is, in reality, a blend of Catholicism and Marxism that is neither authentically Catholic nor authentically Christian. Heterodox Jesuits teaching in universities are having symposiums on such philosophers as Michel Foucault which, when you consider that Foucault advocated sex with children, seems more than a little ironic. It goes on and on. My own experiences with the Jesuits lend a boatload of credence to what Martin writes. The Jesuits haven’t merely betrayed the heirarchy of the Roman Catholic Church – they’ve betrayed millions of faithful Catholics all over the world – especially those faithful in Central and South America who were murdered and starved and oppressed by the very same Jesuits who said they were there to “help”.

            This book reads like a spy thriller. I literally couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. It seems clear to me that Martin had sources that were well placed at very high levels, both at the Vatican and within the Jesuits. It is also evident to me that Martin is more right than wrong. If you want to know what’s wrong with the Roman Catholic Church, this book goes a long way towards explaining it.

          • Mara319

            I’ve been told that Malachi Martin was granted dispensation from the Jesuits but not from his ordination. He remained a priest till the end, although not incardinated in the NY archdiocese.

        • Sarah

          Look up Malachi Martin scandals. He had the reputation of being a terrible womaniser.

          • FreemenRtrue

            slander by the Jesuits. Look up his interviews on possession on You tube. Read Hostage to the Devil.

          • Guy Fox

            Yeah, Sarah, I know, in fact I hear he bagged your mama.

          • Lynne Newington

            That’s a foul thing to say.
            Shame on you.
            For one thing it’s a wise child who knows their father and only a mother knows………..

          • Lynne Newington

            Don’t single out poor old Malachi SJ…..it applies to members of many.. maybe most, orders, Third ones in particular.

      • Athelstane

        And unlike most new orders, the Jesuits and others are pretty choosy about who they take.

        I am brought to mind of the scene in the movie Spinal Tapwhen the manager is asked why they’ve dropped from playing 15,000 seat arenas on previous tours to only 1,000 seat venues on the current one. “I just think that the.. uh.. their appeal is becoming more selective.”

        • kag1982

          The Jesuits and traditional orders still attract more vocations in terms of sheer numbers than most of the smaller new orders. And JPII and Benedict’s obsession with controlling the evil Jesuits and other liberal orders has led to some bad results. Do you really think that JPII’s promotion of Maciel’s personal criminal empire because they were modeled after the Jesuits was a good thing? How about the Livieres’ fun experiment down in Ciudad del Este? He is certainly churning out priests. Of course, it is under the direction of a pedophile and one has to wonder about the formation of priests who only study for four years.

          • Nan

            Don’t forget that teh Jesuits were entirely suppressed at one time.

          • kag1982

            For political reasons.

          • Lynne Newington

            Yes they were, thank you Nan, and they certainly suffered under Argentina’s dictatorship supported by Rome. Francis has gone around mending fences for his sins of ommission in relation to the Jesuits, even pushing Oscar Romero up the line to sainthood, shunned by JP11 because he wouldn’t tow the line eventually costing him his life.
            In fact if there was a law against spiritual copyright Francis would be sitting in the dock. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery, Romero would never acknowledg it applied to himself.

      • Mara319

        Fr. Z again! Makes one wonder why Kag’s so obsessed with that priest. Hmmm?

    • Annie

      Excellent post! It’s good to see your comments here.

      • gabriel_syme

        Thank you Annie!

  • saffrin

    I wonder if he’ll apologize for the Catholic Church’s genocide of the Cathars before he goes?
    The Catholic Church, one of the World’s true evils.

  • Dcn Chris

    But Cardinal Pell DOES understand the Anglosphere- and the fact that he seems to have the Pope’s confidence is very, very good news.

  • licjjs

    I am afraid the Jesuits themselves have to bear the blame for the decline of the Society. Some people would say that they, along with the South American Church, are much to blame for the decline in the whole Church. One can understand therefore the reservations held by some towards the present Pope.

    • kag1982

      Because a few priests stood with the poor? Frankly, the reason why the Church is in decline in Latin America is because too few priests stood with the poor and the hierarchy was interested in protecting murderous right wing dictators.

  • rodlarocque1931

    The Church will not begin a restoration under this pontificate. Instead it will hit rock bottom. This Pope just doesn’t have the ability to do anything beyond getting hugs from the Church’s enemies. He is demonstrating a watered-down, liberal faith, probably just what he was taught in his Jesuit seminary in the 70’s.
    It might have been sustainable in Argentina, where cultural Catholicism has propped-up the Church during this universal apostasy, but it certainly isn’t useful on a global scale. In fact it is harmful.

    • Guy Fox

      I like your perspective on this, but the Argentina sustainability part may be a teensy bit too charitable.

  • Six Edits

    Obama’s criminal regime has actively attacked Christian leaders like James Dobson using the centralized power of the IRS.

    • Jon82

      Dobson, if attacked, deserves it for every vile tidbit that pours forth from his hateful mouth, but do not blame our President.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    How come you’re all over the Spectator, Damien? Telegraph about to go under? Now that would really make my day, week, year, decade …

    • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

      It’s probably a far better quality of feedback on here. The telegraph isn’t open to just anyone, anywhere anytime like it used to be.

  • ukfred

    The RCC will remain “churchian” as opposed to Christian because it is filled with people who are far more interested in serving the church, like Bertone,than in serving the Saviour. Until it stops pulling wool over the eyes of its adherents,it will continue to be a stumbling block to Christianity.

    • BooBooGlass

      Serving the Church IS serving Christ, friend. By going to work, do you serve your family by earning, or are you merely serving your employer?

  • http://venitism.blogspot.com Basil Venitis

    “I like your Christ, I do not
    like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Gandhi

    Bishops have corrupted
    Jesus’s doctrine. Bishops might be
    pro-Christ, but they are definitely anti-Jesus.
    Jesus is a legend, but Christ is a myth!
    Jesus on the other side must be very upset with bishops, because they
    call him names, such as Christ and Theanthrope! Keynote Speaker Basil Venitis, venitis@gmail.com, http://venitism.blogspot.com

    Dodecatheos of ancient Greece is a much better religion than the
    Tritheos of Christianity. Tritheos destroyed Dodecatheos and the Graecoroman
    civilization. If Tritheos was not invented by Paul, we would have been on the
    Moon one millennium before! Jesus is a legend, born in Nazaret in April of 6
    BC, whereas Christ is a myth, born in Bethlehem in December!

    JESUS,
    FOUNDER OF NAZARENE JUDAISM

    Jesus was
    a lower-class bisexual preacher from Galilee, who, in hysterical apocalyptic
    fashion, proclaimed that the end of history as he knew it was going to come to
    a crashing end, within his own generation. God was soon to intervene in the
    course of worldly affairs to overthrow the forces of evil and set up a utopian
    kingdom on earth. It didn’t happen. Instead of being involved with the
    destruction of God’s enemies, Jesus was unceremoniously crushed by them:
    arrested, tried, humiliated, tortured, and publicly executed.

    JESUS IS A LEGEND

    CHRIST IS A MYTH

    Soon
    afterwards his followers began to say that, despite all evidence to the
    contrary, Jesus really was the messiah sent from God. More than that, he was
    actually a divine being, not a mere human, the Creator of the universe! After long debates among themselves they
    decided that he was not secondary to the one God of Israel, the Lord God
    Almighty himself! On the contrary, he was fully equal with God; he had always
    existed for eternity with God; he was of the same essence as God; he was a
    member of the Trinity!

    PAUL, FOUNDER OF
    CHRISTIANITY

    Jesus never said he was the only son of God, but we are all
    children of God. Jesus was the founder of Nazarene Judaism, not Christianity.
    Resurrection is the biggest lie of Christianity. Misogynist Paul, Peter’s
    boyfriend, is the founder of Christianity! Thomas Jefferson wrote that Paul was
    the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.

    If Jesus
    had never been declared God, our form of civilization would have been
    unalterably and indescribably different.
    If Jesus had never been pronounced a divine being, his followers would
    have remained a sect within Judaism, a small group of Jews who thought that
    Jesus had delivered the correct interpretation of the Jewish law. Gentiles
    would not have converted to follow Jesus any more than they converted to any
    other form of Judaism. If the religion had not become predominantly Gentile it
    would not have seen such a steady and remarkable growth, almost entirely with
    Gentile converts, over the next three hundred years, when it came to encompass
    something like five per cent of the Empire. If Christianity were not a large
    and viable religion by the beginning of the fourth century, the emperor
    Constantine would almost certainly not have converted to it.

    GREAT MURDERER
    CONSTANTINE

    In June 326, Great Constantine had his eldest son Crispus, by
    Minervina, poisoned to death. In July, Constantine had his wife, the Empress
    Fausta, killed at the behest of his mother, Helena. Fausta was left to die in
    an overheated bath. Nevertheless, Constantine and Helen, the most sinister apes
    of planet Earth, are the most popular saints of Christianity, because they
    forced the dogma of Trinity on all citizens of the Roman Empire.

    If
    Constantine had not converted, masses of former pagans would not have accepted
    the faith in his wake. The empire would not have become predominantly
    Christian. The Christian religion would not have been made the official
    religion of the state. The Christian church would never have become the
    dominant religious, cultural, social, political, and economic force of the
    West. We never would have had the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the
    Reformation, or Modernity as we know it. And most of us would still be pagans.

    Jesus did
    not spend his preaching ministry in Galilee proclaiming that he was the second
    member of the Trinity. The followers of Jesus had no inkling that he was divine
    until after his death. What changed their views was the belief, which
    blind-sided them at first, that Jesus had been raised from the dead. And why did
    they come to believe that? It had nothing to do with the discovery of an empty
    tomb three days after his death. The disciples probably didn’t discover an
    empty tomb. There probably wasn’t a tomb.

    THE RESURRECTION
    MYTH

    The
    followers of Jesus came to think he had been raised because some of them had
    visions of him afterwards. Historians agree that it was visions of Jesus that
    made some of Jesus’ followers convinced that he was no longer dead. The
    disciples had hallucinations. Hallucinations happen all the time. Especially of
    deceased loved ones (your grandmother who turns up in your bedroom) and of
    significant religious figures (the Blessed Virgin Mary, who appears regularly
    in extraordinarily well-documented events). Jesus was both a lost loved one and
    an important religious leader. As bereaved, heartbroken, and guilt-ridden
    followers, the disciples were prime candidates for such visionary experiences.

    Paranormal hallucinations are due to
    a variation in a fold at the front of the brain called the paracingulate sulcus
    (PCS). This brain variation, which is
    present in roughly half of the normal population, is one of the last structural
    folds to develop before birth and for this reason varies greatly in size
    between individuals in the healthy population.
    People with an absence of the PCS are significantly less accurate on
    memory tasks than people with a prominent PCS. Keynote Speaker Basil Venitis, venitis@gmail.com, http://venitism.blogspot.com

    The resurrection myth
    is based on the meme of a dying-and-rising god, a generic category for deities
    found within agrarian societies who are the focus of myths and rituals
    representing the annual death and rebirth of the deity. All myths are echoes of
    rituals, and all rituals have as their primordial purpose the manipulation of
    natural phenomena by means of sympathetic magic. Resurrection is part of the transpersonal
    symbolism of the collective unconscious.

    Once the
    disciples claimed Jesus was alive again but was obviously no longer here with
    them, they came to think that he had been taken up to heaven. In ancient Greek,
    Roman, and Jewish thinking, a person exalted to the heavenly realm was
    divinized, himself made divine.

    That’s what
    the earliest Christians thought about Jesus. After that a set of evolutionary
    forces took over, in which the followers of Jesus began saying more and more
    exalted things about him – that he had been made the son of God at his
    resurrection; no, it was at his baptism; no, it was at his birth; no, it was
    before he came into the world; no – he had never been made the son of God, he
    had always been the Son of God; in fact, he had always been God; more than
    that, he had created the world; and yet more, he was an eternal being equal
    with God Almighty.

    Mark, the earliest gospel, never contained the resurrection story.
    The resurrection passages were later added to Mark. It was necessary for Matthew and Luke to
    change Mark according to their own understanding. Regarding the Gospel of John, it’s completely
    different and draws upon ambiguous sources.

    The author of Mark,
    the earliest of the narrative gospels, was
    not an eyewitness of the crucifixion.
    He is reporting information conveyed to him by third persons, who themselves
    were not eye-witnesses. It’s a fascinating set of developments. It is highly
    important. And it matters not just for those who believe that the followers of
    Jesus got it right, but for anyone who cares about the factors that shaped the
    world we live in today.

    CHRISTIANITY WILL GO

    In 1966 John Lennon claimed the Beatles were more popular than
    Jesus. Lennon said: Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t
    argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than
    Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first, rock and roll or Christianity.
    Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them
    twisting it that ruins it for me.

    Lennon uttered those fateful words at the height of Beatlemania.
    The British Invasion happened to also coincide with the decline of
    Christianity, especially in England, and especially amongst the younger
    generations. The mass hysteria of Beatlemania was analogous to religious
    ecstasy. Many fans truly saw the Beatles as musical messiahs. John, Paul,
    George, and Ringo reported that fans would bring sick people to their concerts,
    in the belief that the band had a divine healing presence.

    MAGDALENE,
    THE WIFE OF JESUS

    Magdalene, Jesus’s wife, is the most important person of
    Christianity. She was the smartest and best apostle. She was the only apostle
    who could understand Jesus completely, and that’s why all other twelve apostles
    were jealous of her. Magdalene is the first bishop of Christianity.
    Nevertheless, misogynist gay bishops defamed Magdalene in order to restrict hierarchs
    to males, transforming church leadership to a gay club.

    A newly-discovered papyrus labeled “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife”
    confirms what we always knew that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married. The
    discovery was made by Harvard Professor Karen King. Text written on an 8cm by
    4cm piece of papyrus has Jesus speaking to his disciples saying my wife in the
    Coptic language.

    The papyrus originates from Upper Egypt. King says it must be reliable evidence
    of Jesus’ biography. It was composed in Greek around a century after the crucifixion,
    and later translated into Egyptian Coptic. This gospel was long hidden due to
    major divergences with the official dogmas of Christianity.

    Historians
    believe Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene.
    In apocryphal texts, Magdalene is portrayed as a visionary and leader of
    the early movement whom Jesus loved more than he loved the other disciples.
    Several Gnostic gospels, such as the Gospel of Mary, written in the early 2nd
    century, see Mary as the special disciple of Jesus who has a deeper
    understanding of his teachings and is asked to impart this to the other
    disciples.

    In
    Gnostic writings, Magdalene is seen as one of the most important of Jesus’
    disciples whom he loved more than the others. The Gnostic Gospel of Philip
    names Magdalene as Jesus’ companion. Gnostic writings describe tensions and
    jealousy between Magdalene and other disciples, especially misogynist Peter,
    boyfriend of Paul.

    In
    her introduction in The Complete Gospels, Karen King names the manuscripts
    available for the Gospel of Mary. She writes that only three fragmentary
    manuscripts are known to have survived into the modern period, two 3rd-century
    fragments (P. Rylands 463 and P. Oxyrhynchus 3525) published in 1938 and 1983,
    and a longer 5th-century Coptic translation (Berolinensis Gnosticus 8052,1)
    published in 1955.

    First
    discovered in 1896, the Gospel of Mary exalts Mary Magdalene over the male
    disciples of Jesus. The Gospel of Mary provides important information about the
    role of women in the early church, although it is missing six pages from the
    beginning, and four from the middle. It is usually dated to about the same
    period as that of the Gospel of Philip.

    VATICAN
    BANK

    The
    Vatican Bank is under international pressure from anti-money-laundering and
    antiterrorist financing regulators, because its history of secret financial
    operations allowed it to be used by all mafias of the world.

    The
    Vatican Bank’s official name is the Institute for the Works of Religion. It is
    located in Vatican City whose official purpose is to safeguard and handle funds
    intended for charity or works of religion, but it handles a lot of mafia
    business.

    It
    is dubbed the most secret bank in the world, because little is known about its
    daily operations and transactions, and it has had a troubled history since its
    founding in 1942.

    The
    bank was the main shareholder of Banco Ambrosiano, which collapsed in 1982 due
    to money laundering for mafias. That year, the chairman of the collapsed bank
    Roberto Calvi was found hanging from the Blackfriars Bridge in London, murdered
    by mobsters.

    One
    of the most recent scandals involves Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, a Vatican
    accountant with close ties to the bank who is on trial for smuggling thirty
    million euros in suitcases from Switzerland.

    • BooBooGlass

      I’m sure you took some time with this, but you lost me at “bisexual”, chum.

      • http://venitism.blogspot.com Basil Venitis

        Jesus had two main lovers, his wife Magdalene and his boyfriend John.

        • BooBooGlass

          Sure he did, chum. Sure he did. And you know this because… you were there?

          Seriously. Were you “there”?

        • MarkWilliam

          What is your source for Peter being Paul’s boyfriend? I didn’t see that coming.

          • http://venitism.blogspot.com Basil Venitis

            Come on now, everybody knows that!
            Ask any historian!

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            Ladies and gentlemen, Basil is nothing more than a Marxist troll doing his assigned duties, as tasked by the Cominform.

            Note Basil’s failure to reply to my reply, where I enlighten him on who Rome and the Jewish authorities in Judea and Galilee knew Jesus to be, based on correct historical understanding of the political forces that were in-place in this region of the world when Jesus was among us.

          • http://venitism.blogspot.com Basil Venitis

            VENITISM

            Keynote Speaker Basil Venitis, venitis@gmail.com, http://venitism.blogspot.com

            Venitism is a new anarchist paradigm
            which integrates economics, ethics, and spirituality.

            Black
            Hole: Taxation is armed robbery that feeds the black hole of political
            corruption; it’s the perfect index of corruption and tyranny. Only evil
            governments tax citizens and companies.

            Constitution: The only purpose of a
            constitution is to protect citizens from government abuse. Reform treaties of a
            confederation, such as the Lisbon Treaty of EU, not voted by the citizens are
            null and void.

            Corruption: Political
            corruption is proportional to the square of the size of the government.

            Democracy: Every democracy is eventually hijacked by
            rabblerousers, pullpeddlers, clans of kleptocrats, bumptious bugaboos,
            busybodies, butterbabies, nabobs of nepotism, cranks of cronyism, pusillanimous
            pussyfooters, riffraffs of rascals, socialist sophists, and Machiavellian
            mafiosi. Democracy tends to kleptocracy. Anarchy should replace democracy.

            Depression: Only governments can cause
            economic depressions and funny money. Lower tax rates, a reduction in the
            burden of government, and elimination of kleptocracy and VAT are the only way
            to boost growth.

            Education: There is no direct
            relationship between education and schooling. You might be schooled but
            uneducated, and you might be educated but unschooled. Schools are concentration
            camps for the drones of society. Unschooling
            is much better than schooling. Internet is the best source of knowledge and
            information, replacing schools, libraries, media, parliaments, and postoffice.

            Environment: The best way to save the environment is
            vasectomy. Deadly viruses are Gaia’s
            antibiotics against the cancer of overpopulation.

            Equality: Death is the only equalizer.
            Egalitarianism brings death to society, transforming citizens to zombies.

            Evolution: The ultimate phase of human
            evolution is the complete domination of soul.

            Faith: Faith is retarded thinking that keeps
            you away from God. You have to become
            faithless, in order to start your journey to God! You have to discover God your own way without
            intermediaries. God’s truth should replace faith. You might discover that God is the universe!

            Religion: Religion is spiritual slavery.
            Church is the business of religion. Religious monopoly turns bishops to
            ayatollahs, and churches to Sodom and Gomorrah.
            Spirituality, pantheism, and metaphysics should replace religion. Most scientists
            are pantheists!

            Government: The only purpose of
            government is to protect citizens from criminals. Public services, central
            banks, and fiat money should be abolished.

            Heroism: Entrepreneurs, innovators,
            anarchists, and heretics are the real heroes.

            Insurance: Citizens with proper individual
            retirement accounts and health savings accounts should be allowed to opt out of
            State Insurance.

            Intervention: Any government intervention
            deteriorates an existing trend. Laissez-faire is the only progressive policy.

            Laws:
            All laws that citizens are required to know should not exceed 300 pages
            of type size 12. When a new law is born,
            another law must die.

            Legislature: Parliaments should be
            abolished, because they continuously create laws that enslave citizens,
            constrain economic activity, loot producers, reward drones, and encourage
            political corruption.

            Misery: Throwing money to misery brings
            more misery.

            Money: A deluge of
            fiat money brings financial plague and haemorrhage of economy. Real money is
            tied up to precious metals and strategic metals.

            Patriotism: Patriotism is addiction to local hysteria.

            Privacy: Nobody,
            including your government, has the right to break into your home, your land,
            your accounts, your computer, your files, and your secrets. You have the natural right to protect your
            privacy from intruders. Molon Labe!

            Property: Governments should not own or regulate any property,
            including electromagnetic waves. The first individual who improves or
            cultivates any unclaimed property is entitled to that property. Governments cannot own, allocate, regulate,
            or manipulate frequency fields and media. Eminent domain is null and void.

            Selfownership: You own your body and your soul, and nobody
            should dictate what you take in and what you take out. Speech, education,
            heresy, habeas corpus, military service, mating, healthcare, food, abortion,
            cloning, drugs, guns, and euthanasia should be personal choices.

            Style: Your soul needs to resonate with mighty words and unique
            acts that express your style and destiny. Your government cannot dictate your
            language, your words, and your culture. Resonate now and sing your song!

            System: The most efficient political
            system is anarchy, where everything is private, there are no taxes at all,
            there is no government, and there is no parliament. Government has deteriorated to a racket that benefits the
            political elite by taking money from average people.

            Taxes: Taxes destroy the economy. Raising
            tax rates is masochism. Smart stimulus is to cut tax rates. Stupidus stimulus
            is to increase spending, which stimulates the cancer of statism!

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “Venitism is a new anarchist paradigm”

            Venitism is nothing more than a USSR & Allies program aimed at co-opting imbeciles, using those imbeciles to implement Communist objectives. How’s it working out?

          • http://venitism.blogspot.com Basil Venitis

            I am anti-communist.
            I am capitalist!
            I hate communism.
            Stop slinging mud.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “I am anti-communist.”

            One more time…

            ‘When are you coming out and declaring the collapse of the USSR an obvious strategic ruse? By the way, why didn’t you come out of the closet back in early 1992 demanding the West verify the collapse of the USSR, since the survival of the West depended on such verification should the collapse be a sneaky Communist-government ruse?’

            The ‘mud’ is sticking, you know.

    • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

      You need to give it more thought then you have, Basil…

      The Romans and Jewish authorities knew Jesus was who He claimed to be by the simple observations (inexplicably not thought of since the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west) that (1) Rome refused to execute Jesus and disciples, and wouldn’t execute Jesus even when presented Jesus by the Sanhedrin, where if it were any other charismatic personality that attracted large crowds threatening the Pax Romana, that charismatic personality (and followers) are immediately executed; and (2) the Jewish authorities in Judea only arrested Jesus* after He signaled that it was time for Him to die, that signal being communicated to the Sanhedrin by Jesus’ provocation (aimed at Rome) of entering Jerusalem with the mob, which is why Pilate was in Jerusalem the week Jesus entered Jerusalem with the mob, to prevent such displays of religious fervor, but not only did Pilate refuse to intercept Jesus before He reached Jerusalem, he refused to prevent Jesus from entering Jerusalem!

      This proves that Rome believed Jesus to be a Jewish deity, and the Jewish authorities in Judea/Galilee knew Jesus to be the Messiah. Naturally, because of the Roman occupation the Jewish authorities couldn’t announce who they knew Jesus to be.
      —————————
      *If Jesus and disciples were blasphemers, they would have been immediately arrested by the Jewish authorities in Galilee by Herod Antipas, long before Jesus & disciples made waves in Judea.

      Now you also know why John the Baptist performed his ministry on the eastern side of the Jordan River in Perea, territory administered by Herod Antipas, and not on the other side of the river in Judea, because John knew if he stepped one foot inside Roman administered Judea that Pilate would have him and his disciples immediately run down by mounted Roman cavalry.

      • Lynne Newington

        I found this well presented, thanks for taking the time; would love to have the resource to read at leisure..maybe it’s a potted history.

        • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

          “I found this well presented, thanks for taking the time; would love to have the resource to read at leisure…”

          Read my Amazon review for Professor Candida Moss’ book, “The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom”…

          http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Persecution-Christians-Martyrdom/product-reviews/0062104551/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

          I present, in full with citations, the rediscovery of who Rome and the Jewish authorities knew Jesus to be.

          Let’s perform a modern times analogy with the Roman Empire using a post World War II scenario where Germany won the war and rules the Western hemisphere:

          Germany has won World War II, and German governors rule the Western hemisphere, the Waffen SS being the equivalent of the Roman centurion.

          Though the war is over resistance to German occupation continues, including the French Resistance.

          Now, in France the leader of the French resistance and twelve lieutenants move openly about France for three years preaching rebellion and the German governor does nothing. After three years the leader of the French Resistance enters Paris with his twelve lieutenants and a mob and again the German governor refuses to arrest the thirteen, and roundup the mob.

          Finally the French mayor of Paris arrests the leader, but not the twelve lieutenants, and hands the leader over to the German governor who still doesn’t want to execute the leader, but does after left no other option.

          Now, after the leader of the French Resistance is dead not only are the twelve lieutenants allowed to live under that particular German governor’s remaining term of office, but aren’t touched by the next nine German governors to take office. In fact, the French Resistance is increasing by tens of thousands each year and German authorities simply sit by and watch.

          Now when one of those French Resistance travels outside France to spread the word of the rebellion in France, he is believed because everyone KNOWS the otherwise ludicrous story he’s telling is true.

    • Nan

      Gandhi the pedophile? That Gandhi?

  • WorthSayingAgain

    How can Francis be the first non European Pope? St Peter was a Jew from modern day Israel.

    • Lynne Newington

      Well said and worth saying again.
      As with Christ although never depicted as such, so was Peter according to Jewish custom, on the eighth day after birth: I wonder if he was circumcised.

    • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

      “How can Francis be the first non European Pope? St Peter was a Jew from modern day Israel.”

      True. The word “elected” was misplaced in the sentence below…

      “The first non-European Pope was elected to do one thing…”

      If “elected” is placed where it should be in the sentence, then Damian Thompson is correct, the corrected sentence reading so…

      The first non-elected European Pope was elected to do one thing…”

  • lookout

    The first pope was simon magus

  • Lynne Newington

    This is all very well, but how can someone claim resistance against one thing and a history of non-resistance to another.
    His role in Argentina is still hanging over his head irrespective of the white wash.
    The connection between the church and military rule is well docummented, the financial support given to the Vatican and the choosing of bishops by the dicatorship.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

    “Last year Francis described his ‘court’ as ‘the leprosy of the papacy’.”

    Who is Damian Thompson trying to kid, here? Nothing’s changed in the Marxist-co-opted Vatican since Moscow told Benedict to resign, the resignation to usher in a false “breath of fresh air”, replacing the stick of pedophilia that Benedict exuded, a stink too much for Moscow to handle if the Catholic Church weren’t to implode but merely remain weakened.

    The Vatican in the early 1960s, as tasked by Moscow, altered standard operating procedures for the handling of pedophile priests, changing the policy from removing the offending priest from contact with children to the new policy, still in effect today, where the offending priest is simply sent to a new assignment, thereby assuring that each such priest ups the molestation toll of Catholic children far beyond where it would be if the old policy were maintained. Only Marxist non-believers would mount such a policy change, and only Moscow & Allies would have the motive, resources and manpower to infiltrate the Vatican so completely in order to operationalize the new pedophile policy.

    • kag1982

      ZOMG.. I know. How dare the Commies decide to dictate Vatican policy and tell rich people that they cannot be filthy rich! It isn’t like Jesus did it numerous times.

  • mahatmacoatmabag

    Damian , I was deeply disappointed that you made no mention of Pope Francis’s addiction to custard, whether he has read your book the Fix & if Phil Evans is still tweeting him ” Hi Francis, speak later ”

  • Dr Michael Murphy

    A few minor points. Francis is not the first non European pope, there have been many Asian and African popes. Benedict the greatest intellectual pope for 200 years? I would argue that he is the best theologian to sit in St. Peter’s chair since John XXII 800 years ago and that in another 800 years time he will be seen as the pope who put Jesus back at the centre of the institutional church.
    I have no doubt that the church is going to allow divorced and remarried Catholics as well as gays to receive holy communion as it redevelops a valid theology that the Eucharist is a help for sinners not a reward for the righteous

    • Nan

      Not gonna happen; Peter said you must be in a righteous state lest you bring judgment upon yourself by receiving unworthily.

      • Lynne Newington

        There would be a few religious “rights”, dreading judgement day one would think.
        Hearing of a nuncio who knew he was dying and made the final call to the pope [Benedict at the time], I was wondering if that helps them, he does give special dispensations and being faithful to the pope would come at a price, as in going against one’s conscience to protect the him and the church out of Obedience.

      • Dr Michael Murphy

        Get your facts straight: it was Paul, not Peter, and he was not
        referring to divorcees or gays. He directed his words against ‘those who
        eat and drink unworthily, not discerning the Body of the Lord.’ Read
        the passage and scholarly commentaries on it and then comment.

        • Nan

          And those who eat and drink unworthily are those who are not in a state of grace when receiving; sexually active homosexuals and divorcees who have remarried or shacked up with another both fall into that category.

          • Dr Michael Murphy

            You have not looked at the quotation, nor its context, nor the comments of scholars – both catholic and non-catholic – but just reiterated what you think it means. I assume that you are a protestant but for catholics like me the bald biblical quote is not enough, it needs interpretation.
            Also, the Catholic Church develops its theology according to the needs of the time, and if the Pope and Bishops decide to put the accent on the Eucharist as a remedy for sin, available freely to sinners who want to get better, rather than a reward for good behaviour then I as a Catholic will follow their teaching. Protestants and right-wing Catholics (who are really Protestants in disguise) will naturally prefer their own private interpretation.

  • Deanna Clark

    I once moderated a symposium on women’s issues at a Catholic church. Trying to keep order, I found myself surrounded by screaming, man-hating harpies. I learned what a magnet for politics and power this church is.
    I’m older now and have seen it all…the obsessions with Fatima that devour decades of Christian lives, the Ludicrous Latin masses for the well-to-do, this argument over JEANS HERE….as if Jesus and His Heaven have endless earth time for such privileged nonsense. Some people have only torn jeans…look at the kids on the street in Brazil!
    The olde Christian religion…way back and alluded to in King Lear…believed that our duty each day was great sacrament, a blessing from God. Christians needed to attend church at Easter to be Christians. It was the ethos, the daily life, that counted with God.
    A holy priest and dear friend asked me once to thank God with him for all the opportunities God gave us to help people. He saw those as sacrament. . He did have a temper once in a while. He would attend dying persons whether Catholic or not, which made him unpopular with other clergy!! to illustrate:

    The passengers on the Mayflower coming here to the New World were a huge pain in the butt to the crew. Leaving the chlldcare, the chores to the ‘help’,, they busied themselves with endless Bible debates and, according to the ship’s log, “waspish” and useless religious speculation. The Anglican crew simply accepted revealed faith without further thought and did their duty.
    I believe there was atheist citizens of the Soviet Union who came to know Jesus through the sacrament of their duty to support others lives and are saved. This is a beautiful thought, don’t you think? That Jesus always finds a way and gives us a chance.

    • Lynne Newington

      Do you mean to say you haven’t heard of the spiritual rorts of Medjugorje?
      How many friars were caught up with that from around the world, the biggest money making racket of the 20th century……Francis as Jorge Bergolio enjoying the fruits of their visits……in case there was a “special message” from Mary who never once chastised those annhilating innocent Catholic children.

      • Deanna Clark

        I dismissed that when I learned more about it.
        Fatima has acknowledged merits and heroic kids. But the obsessing and ambulance chasing is not of God…reeks of doubt, not faith, don’t you agree?

        • Lynne Newington

          ….and politics. At the time there were squabbles between the Franciscans and Rome over authority, not to mention the ethnic cleansing just across the border.
          Mary wasn’t too concerned about that too apparantly, only about obedience, nothing conducive to a loving mother who would chaste her sons, the cries of children, their spirits tortured at their hands throughout all Christendom or those of others.
          And her daily messages……continuing to this day.
          Let’s just watch the foot work of Francis……..with his own problems, mothers and grandmothers still seeking to know the fate of their children in Argentina.

          • Deanna Clark

            A child of the south, I’ve met so many Good Ol Boys they don’t get past me anymore…the grin, the handshake, the wink. They’re always selling something…first themselves, then a used car with chemicals added to hide the piston issues just long enough.
            A Pope who is dull but kindly…no jet trips…no grin, no kissing the ground would convince me more. I haven’t figured out what our Good ol boy is selling yet. Hopefully, its harmless. I’m only a skeptic, not a cynic.
            About Mary…you’re so right. And starting those visions the 40th anniversary of the orthodox monks torture-executions was such a scene-stealer. Oscar Clip. Best Director? Who?
            Mary is no plaster vision in nightgowns with secrets to dangle for the price of books and plane tickets. I didn’t realize how this subject could get such a rise out of me!!!

          • Lynne Newington

            If nothing else, he’s certainly been selling Cardinal Pell and if that’s any recommenation …….and you’re right about Mary, she would have to be no wilting violet as with our nun’s who are “other Mary’s”, having to do battle in a “man’s” world.

          • Deanna Clark

            Want some fun? Tell me about Cardinal Pell…I don’t know of him.
            Mary is a Jewish woman…domestic, opinionated, tender and she loves matchmaking. It’s taken a lot of effort to sell the limp, gooey version…think of the tons of ink!!

          • Lynne Newington

            Too serious a matter to joke about, so many lives affected and the related suicides…..you could look up the Royal Commission here in Australia .

          • Deanna Clark

            Hi, Lynn. I read up. Thanks
            I come from a long line of Scots who were packed with integrity about money. My great aunt Chloe Johnston buried her husband, a banker, in 1932. She promised him she would repay all the depositors. It took her 25 years, teaching school and writing children’s books.
            When I became Catholic in 1973 my relatives told me it would not be theology, but lies and corruption than would keep me from being really Catholic…for a real Catholic has to believe anything, no matter what, is good that protects and enriches the church . No matter what, without exception.
            And by church it must be the Roman Catholic Institutional church.
            I believe Mary is the new Eve…I love the saints…all of it. But My family was right.
            Where will this church go from here?

            that

          • Nan

            Don’t forget the the Medj apparition denounced the bishop. Mary wouldn’t do that!

          • Lynne Newington

            Yes I did read that, poor old fellow, not that I need any favours from bishops per se.
            But Mary certainly didn’t denounce what definately needed denouncing, as a Mother and any form of childbirth no laughing matter, worse for a virgin one I suspect with all the gossip.

      • Deanna Clark

        Oh, I see your thought. Yes, absolutely, she’s above all a mother. The well being of children would be first with Mary…let the chips fall where they must!! A sure clue to fraud. About the Med thingie below:

      • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

        “Do you mean to say you haven’t heard of the spiritual rorts of Medjugorje?”

        Medjugorje is a Communist operation, since the “collapses” of the USSR and East Bloc nations were strategic ruses. And the Vatican was co-opted by Marxists long before the fraud of Medjugorje.

        See my comments below for more…

        • Lynne Newington

          Whatever further political views, as far as I’m concerned clergy including bishops visited the site to see whether there was any chance any prophecies of condemnation coming forth from the seer’s mouths in relation to the heinous crimes committed against children to nail them with, and of course there wasn’t.
          The same with the charismatic influx of priests joining prayer groups …they too testing the spirits and were safe.
          The nearest prophecy recorded that could nail them that I’ve read was from Garabandal, where many bishops were heading for hell and taking many with them.
          And that sounds right to me.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “The nearest prophecy recorded that could nail them that I’ve read was from Garabandal, where many bishops were heading for hell and taking many with them.”

            Yes, that would tie-in with the Marxist objective of weakening the faithful’s perception of the Catholic Church.

            Notice that Medjugorje says nothing about the fake collapses of the USSR and East Bloc nations. That’s all the proof one needs to know that Medjugorje is a Communist fraud.

          • Lynne Newington

            John Paul supported it indirectly leaving a tiny thread for those who disputed it because it suited him with all the covering up he did.
            My sympathies were for the gullable faithful who were caught up in it and one friar close to the family who was mid having a nervous breakdown later refused a rescript of his vows because he knew too much.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            Pass the following to others who are clueless about the fake collapse of the USSR and what that ruse means concerning the co-option of the Vatican by Moscow/Beijing & Allies…

            Take a look at the following photo from 2013, and note what’s still appended to the bows of Russian naval vessels (enlarge picture)…

            Google (enlarge picture): ‘Putin announces permanent Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean, as it arms Assad regime in Damascus and bolsters alliance with Iran and Lebanon’

            See the Soviet era Red Star still attached to the port bow, near the anchor!

            Take a look at what’s still on Aeroflot aircraft…

            Google (open the first picture): ‘airplane pictures Aeroflot Airbus A319 VP-BDN’

            Note the Communist emblem of the hammer & sickle stenciled on the Aeroflot aircraft’s fuselage! Imagine the Swastika still on Lufthansa commercial aircraft!

            The Soviet Air Force Base outside the town of Engels (Saratov Oblast District, Russia) named Engels Air Force Base (the only Soviet Air Force Base named in honor of Engels; none were named after Marx nor Lenin), is STILL called Engels Air Force Base, and the adjacent town is still called Engels. Both town and air base were named after Marx’s colleague Friedrich Engels…

            Engels Air Force Base:

            Google: ‘engels-2’

            Also, notice the modified Soviet Red Star roundel, created in 2010, 19-years after the collapse of the USSR (people were talking about the inexplicable continued use of the Soviet roundel, so instead of creating a new roundel for the new Russian nation, which was supposed to have occurred in 1992, the Duma instead merely modified the Soviet roundel!). Here’s the Soviet roundel, for comparison…

            Google: ‘soviet air forces’

            The only difference between the two roundels is the addition of the narrow blue trim bordering the red star. Imagine today’s German Luftwaffe using a modified Nazi Swastika on its aircraft! Even so, the unmodified Soviet era roundel remains in-place on most military aircraft, meaning Russians, who were 94% non-Communist Party members in late 1991, have fond memories of being persecuted under the nationality that that roundel represents! Imagine if Germany had been 94% ethnic Jewish during World War II, and after the Allies’ occupation the Jewish German population used the Swastika roundel for the new Luftwaffe!

            Engels city:

            Google: ‘engels saratov oblast’

            In fact, Engels city still has Lenin Square…

            Google: ‘Hotel: 18 Lenin square, Engels City, Saratov region, 413100, Russia’

            …and Saratov city (right across the Volga River from Engels city) still has its massive statue of Lenin…

            Google: ‘saratov city lenin statue pictures’

            In fact, approximately 97% of Lenin’s statues that stood in Russia before the fake collapse of the USSR are to this day still standing (that 97% statistic constitutes thousands of statues)….

            Google: ‘Monument to Lenin on Ploshchad Lenina (Lenin Square)’

            The only statues taken down were in those locations where foreign tourists would travel the most, and those statues were lovingly disassembled and placed in museums or parks, waiting there for their planned resurrections–after the defeat of the West…

            Google: ‘fallen monument park moscow wiki’

            In fact, in other “former” republics of the USSR statues of Lenin weren’t toppled and destroyed either, they were carefully removed from their foundations and relocated to new locations, such as in the backyard of the Estonian History Museum at the Maarjamaë Palace.

            Google: ‘File:Lenin statue, Maarjamaë Palace, Tallinn. Estonia wikipedia’

            Now you know why up until 2013 the “electorates” of Russia, Ukraine and Georgia were only “electing” for president Soviet era Communist Party member Quislings, except for the first president of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, a true dissident who didn’t even last nine months in office before he was ousted in a coup, later said to have committed “suicide”. Zviad Gamsakhurdia was a failed test run to see if a non-Communist Party member president could be controlled.

          • Lynne Newington

            I’m afraid I’m a little out of your league, I can only comment on what I’m aware of.
            I know of many devout Catholics who were deceived by Medjugorje and having bishops and clergy making pilgrimages or private journeys [that weren’t too private or we wouldn’t know they had been there] giving it credibility on appearances, but checking out whether any truths were being dislcosed in relation to abuse of innocent Catholic children or vulnerable adults connected to the Franciscan Order for that matter.
            Golden rosaries indeed.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “My sympathies were for the gullable faithful who were caught up in it”

            Further proof of the Fatima fraud…

            http://traditioninaction.org/HotTopics/g12htArt2_TwoSisterLucys.htm

          • Lynne Newington

            I can’t make an informed response on that being a convert, although as the Royal Commission here in Australia is proving, nothing would or should surprise us anymore.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “I can’t make an informed response on that being a convert, although as the Royal Commission here in Australia…”

            Convert? Royal Commission?

          • Lynne Newington

            …on Fatima I can’t make an informed response as I was never involved with apparitions, but with the Royal Commission, what was and is, there’s a fine line between the truth and lies going back decades.
            Got it?

          • Nan

            St John Chrysostom said that the road to hell is paved with bishops skulls.

      • kag1982

        Fatima is the traditionalists’ Medjugorje. There are lots of prophecies and messages that are outside the known prophecies. I have my doubts about Sister Lucy’s honesty. I think that she was a huckster and was “interpreting” for the two younger children.

        • Lynne Newington

          If anything going by experience in relation to Sr Lucy, she’s probably been exploited as a means to an end…..

          • kag1982

            I don’t know. I just find it fishy that she kept receiving messages after the main revelations. And these are very hellfire and brimstone traditionalist favorites. I also will note that the Vatican is skittish about some of the extremists connected to Fatima.

          • Lynne Newington

            As I said, I’m scant on knowledge re Fatima, but I do know, being interested in all things Jewish, how mortified I was to learn there was nazi gold held in the sanctuary of the shrine.

      • defenderofChrist

        Medjugorje is not accepted by the Catholic church. You all sound like a bunch of heretics on here.

        • Lynne Newington

          As a defenderofChrist, it’s taking far too long for the church to come clean and admit it, maybe you should take that up with them, for His mother’s sake at least it’s her name that’s being discredited.

          • Nan

            The problem is taht the alleged visionaries have ben told to shut up by the last two bishops and whine that they won’t unless Rome tells them to.

          • Lynne Newington

            That sounds right, but good on them saying they won’t unless Rome tells them too. It’s puting the ball back in their own court, out of the mouths of babes…….

          • Nan

            We’re called to obey our bishop.If he says shut up we must do so. The local ordinary is the one who determines whether an apparition is real, not the alleged visionaries. They’re disobedient and foment disobedience among others.

          • Lynne Newington

            You must be joking. Any bishop who tells anyone to shut up, isn’t worthy of his title.
            Dear Nan, these day’s with that mentality……..

    • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

      “I’m older now and have seen it all…the obsessions with Fatima that devour decades of Christian lives…”

      As Fatima was intended to by Marxists who co-opted the Vatican. In fact, Fatima is a verified fraud as proven by the two errors Mary conveys in the following warnings within the Second Secret:

      “The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI.”

      and

      “If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.”

      If you don’t know/see the errors, before you read on, try to catch the [singular] error in each prediction (I just gave a clue with the word “prediction”).

      Get it? Well, here’s the answer…

      Mary would know (1) whether a new and worse war were to arrive; and (2) Mary would know whether Russia would be converted! A huge lapse in logic, that’s not surprising for Marxists to make who are not schooled in rigorous Christian theology.

      See my comments below for more on this subject…

      • Deanna Clark

        It never occurred to me it was a fraud because so many do the devotions and follow the requests…God can write straight with crooked pencils, they say.
        I questioned a lot of it anyway. Why would Jesus be displeased with modern fashions when the 19th century ones were also immodest, uncomfortable, complicated to make…and so forth. Seemed very shallow like most of those lectures.
        Any “Marian” message that doesn’t begin with a salutary message of the Father’s love isn’t Christian. The threats, punishments, chastisements, ‘secrets’ don’t touch any Christian heart in me. Those things should come later and clearly, not is secrets. Too occult as well, don’t you think?

        • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

          “Why would Jesus be displeased with modern fashions when the 19th century ones were also immodest…”

          I had the same thought. The 18th century witnessed very low cleavage boundaries for ladies and vulgar paniers that amplified the buttocks.

          “The threats, punishments, chastisements, ‘secrets’ don’t touch any Christian heart in me.”

          I forgot to mention (1) that there is no such thing as a Hell described by the children; where (2) physical torment is present; since (3) Hell would be a spiritual realm.

          • Deanna Clark

            I assumed Mary was warning us that the chain of causality would lead to those wars UNLESS we woke up and lived better lives of prayer, forgiveness, self control…
            It was a warning any thinking soul could make at that time, but few were doing that!
            I believe Jesus made it clear the Father’s omniscience was exclusive to the father…Who gave His Son to know some future events and people…for encouragement considering His mission.
            When Jesus predicted the fall of Jerusalem, He also was saying that any dummy could see where things were going.

            Since the Catholic right wing was always so full of hate for communism it is hard to get my head around what you say! However, Marx, Hitler, Mussolini,Lenin…all reported to the same higher ups and were deeply into the occult…so it isn’t hard to see who their boss was. It was a century of political psychosis.

            If the Vatican was taken over by communists, then the CIA, Jesuits, were too…they sure did a great con…do you really think so?

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “I assumed Mary was warning us that the chain of causality would lead to those wars UNLESS we woke up and lived better lives of prayer, forgiveness, self control…”

            It went over your head too! Why would God send Mary to warn us of anything when God already knew what would transpire. Mary tells us two terrible thinks will happen UNLESS we behave ourselves, but God already knows that humanity won’t behave itself and sees the terrible results.

            Get it now?

            Once more, God is Omniscient.

          • Deanna Clark

            Jesus said no man, not even the Son, knew when the Last Days would come…only the Father.
            I believe Jesus and hence His saints, are working with history. This increases His stature in my eyes, for Jesus the superman reduces Him, I believe. His Divinity is not reduced by being fully human. He is also one of us. The saints including Mary are all us!
            My distrust of Fatima and others is their fruits…so many decades of obsessive, time consuming conferences, books, celebrity worship…Some have followed the First Saturdays and I respect them for that. Also, I mistrust spinning suns and so one…but I’m a simple, direct Christian.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “Jesus said no man, not even the Son, knew when the Last Days would come…only the Father.”

            Yes, when Jesus was on Earth he was speaking from His knowledge as a human. Once back with God, total Omniscience would be re-established.

          • Deanna Clark

            human shell???? Dean? What the heck?
            Too new agey for me.
            Jesus is alive and well, shell and all in Paradise. Hopefully not in long nightgowns with beauty parlor hair, but that’s just me.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “human shell???? Dean? What the heck?”

            You should already know that our bodies are mere shells that “house” our souls. That’s nothing new, it’s pretty basic!

          • Deanna Clark

            Our soul and body is created together and resurrected together…Spirituality and Christianity are almost opposites, according to dear old Chesterton.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “Our soul and body is created together…”

            Huh? God already knew us before we were born! Again, this is basic Christianity! As for resurrection, why are you bringing that subject up now? It has no bearing on this particular discussion. Chesterton? Where did he come from?

          • Deanna Clark

            Our bodies are created for months before birth.
            G.K. Chesterton was a brilliant writer and defender of Christianity. His best book for this is “Orthodoxy”.
            God planned for us, but created us at conception, soul and body. This is Christian teaching.

      • defenderofChrist

        First of all you don’t have to believe in Fatima to be saved, but the apparitions have been accepted by the Church and wise to listen to for the future. Who are you to say you know more about Fatima than the church? To call it a heresy is heresy itself. What you say is nonsense. No one should think more of the Blessed mother than God or Jesus, she wouldn’t want it that way. She leads us to her son who is God the son. Some of the people misinterpret that Mary is supposed to be worshiped, that is wrong, she is a devotion like a mother to a child, but she is not God. She is so humble that is what we are supposed to be like.
        god help us!

        • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

          “…but the apparitions have been accepted by the Church and wise to listen to for the future.”

          If you had read my other comments on the thread you would have been informed that the Vatican was co-opted by Communists. The failed 1848 revolutions thought Marxists a powerful lesson, that lesson being they couldn’t win overtly, so they adopted the tactic of infiltration of the West’s political parties (and religious denominations).

          The following points to when the Republican Party was co-opted…

          While we don’t know when exactly the Democratic Party was co-opted by Marxists, thanks to the peculiar historical nature surrounding the founding of the Republican Party, we do know when exactly the party of Lincoln was co-opted…

          Marxists/Socialists who after the failed 1848 revolution in Germany came to the United States. Upon arrival to the United States they infiltrated the embryonic Republican Party, many forming voluntary Germanic Union Armies and becoming General Officers themselves within the Union Army, such as…

          (1) Brigadier General Joseph WEYDEMEYER of the Union Army was a close friend of Karl MARX and Fredrick Engels in the London Communist League (Assistant Secretary of War Charles A. DANA —close friend of Marx, published with Joseph Weydemyer a number of Communist Journals and, also “The Communist Manifesto,” commissioned by Karl Marx. As a member of the Communist/Socialist Fourier Society in America, Dana was well acquainted with Marx and Marx’s colleague in Communism, Fredrick Engels. Dana, also, was a friend of all Marxists in the Republican Party, offering assistance to them almost upon their arrival on the American continent.);

          (2) Brigadier General Louis BLENKER, Union Army—radical socialist/Communist from Germany—was remarkably successful in encouraging German immigrants to join the Union Army and the Republican Party;

          (3) Major General August WILLICH—often called “The Reddest of the Red ‘48ers” was a member of the London Communist League with Karl MARX and Fredrick ENGLES. Before seeking refuge in the U.S. Willich was a personal acquaintance of Karl MARX;

          (4) Major Robert ROSA, of the Union Army, was a proud member of the New York Communist Club;

          (5) Brigadier General Carl SCHURZ –as a young socialist, was noted for helping Gottfried Kinkel of Bonn escape from Spandau while imprisoned there for his socialist activities in the ’48 Revolts. Schurz came to America in 1848. He was a forty-eighter who became very active in the development of the Republican Party and in politics. He was given a high position by Lincoln in the Union Army;

          (6) Brigadier General Alexander Von Schimmelfenning, like most of the other MARXISTS /Socialist/Communists who came to the U.S. after their failed uprising in 1848;

          (7) Major General Franz SIEGEL, thought to be one of Lincoln’s most controversial and the poorest of his generals;

          (8) Commander Friedrich Karl Franz HECKER, (exact military title not known) known as “Red” and “Flagrant Friedrich.” Educated in Germany, received his doctor of law degree in Munich. He was expelled from Prussia. Arriving in the U.S., he took part in the creation of the Republican Party, encouraged the proliferation of German newspapers carrying the Socialist propaganda, aided in the election of Lincoln, and propagandized heavily among German immigrants for volunteers for the Union Army. He was named Commander of a regiment he raised of Germans;

          (9) General John C. FREMONT was noted for his close association with all of the socialist/communists whom Lincoln placed in positions of command in his army. Fremont was the first Republican candidate for president. He was considered to be the “darling” of the most radical socialists. His chief of staff, early in the war, was Hungarian socialist revolutionary;

          (10) Brevet Major General Frederick Charles SALOMON, one of a group of four radical socialist brothers, with highly similar names– three of whom were in the group of Socialist 1848ers. Frederick began his career in the Union Army as a Captain in MO, wound up as a Colonel in the Ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment, then a brigadier general and a brevet major general;

          11. Brevetted Brigadier General Charles E. Salomon, also started his American military career with a bunch of MO volunteers. Born in Prussia, he, also, was one of the radical socialists arriving in the U.S. after the 1848 Socialist uprising failure and was a brother to Frederick Charles;

          12. Governor Edward Salomon, a third Salomon brother, also born in Prussia, did not do military service, but ran for political office in Wisconsin, was elected lieutenant governor, becoming Governor of Wisconsin when the elected Governor “drowned”; and

          13. Colonel Fritz ANNEKE/ANNECKE was a Forty-eighter, with a strong leftward tilt. He was a Communist League member and a Baden Revolt veteran…the list goes on…

          By the way, did you notice who Lincoln’s last Assistant Secretary of War was? Marx’s confident here in the United States–Charles Dana, who when a newspaper editor earlier in his professional life published all of Marx’s writings for his newspaper the New York Daily Tribune. He also published the first American printing of Marx’s ‘Communist Manifesto’…

          Google: ‘charles dana wikipedia’

          • defenderofChrist

            Read the book about St. John Paul 11 the great and see if he is a communist.
            Many of the popes knew about Free masonry infiltrating the church, and made strong comments about excommunication’s if anyone followed it. In the end she has the Holy Spirit protecting her and still stands after 2000 years. Focus on Jesus and the eucharist. A ll this other stuff you are writing is called detraction and can be very sinful. No we don’t have to believe in Fatama to be saved, but if it is prudent that the church has said these things are true, then you can’t call it a fake. Detraction as I mentioned is very sinful. What good is all this stuff you write, it isn’t going to get you to heaven, following Jesus is and his church, all the other stuff the devil will find amusing.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “Read the book about St. John Paul 11 the great and see if he is a communist.”

            It was John Paul II that appointed Alois Estermann head of the Swiss Guard in 1998, a Stasi agent since 1979…

            http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1310&dat=19980510&id=5ExWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=6usDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6491,2748565

            Five hours after Estermann’s promotion to the top post within the Swiss Guard, he’s found dead in his Vatican apartment, along with wife and another Swiss Guard.

            “In the end she has the Holy Spirit protecting her and still stands after 2000 years.”

            The Holy Spirit will save the Vatican in the near future, with the assistance of people like me.

            “then you can’t call it a fake.”

            Fatima was a Communist psy-op, which could only be tolerated by an already co-opted Vatican. Only God can forgive sins, not Mary as Lucia claimed Mary said!

            Once more…

            Mary tells Lucia, “To save them [the souls of poor sinners], God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.”

            This is a basic contradiction of Christian dogma, where it is Christ who saves souls, by His death on the cross. Mary would never utter such words! Nor would God send Mary to weaken Christ’s mission on Earth.

            Can’t you see how the Bolsheviks are weakening the connection between Christ and man by interposing obviously fake utterances by Mary?

          • defenderofChrist

            No where in the Catholic church says Mary can forgive sins. You are getting false information. She is the intercessor to Jesus for us. Please stop spreading false information. I have returned to the church 6 years ago and I am a staunch Catholic. I am not naive about the problems in our church. Evil has infiltrated it, homosexuals galore. Why don’t you watch Church Militant and see what we know is a mess in our church, but Pope John Paul is a saint and his body is uncorrupted what does that tell you? No Pope is perfect he was human, but he was not evil like you claim. Who cares about Fatama, I don’t follow aparations, I follow the Church if you don’t want to beleive then don’t, but stop pushing things against this Pope. He was not a communist. So the swiss guard would just make up lies about the Pope to make him look good? My goodness consentrate on your own soul and let God take care of the rest. God help you.

          • https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home Dean Jackson

            “No where in the Catholic church says Mary can forgive sins. You are getting false information.”

            I didn’t say the Church explicitly said Mary did, but Mary did say so when she supposedly told Lucia, “To save them [the souls of poor sinners], God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.”

            Jesus’ death, in fact, is atonement for all sins committed by man, it has nothing to do with Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

            “Evil has infiltrated it, homosexuals galore.”

            Who do you think allowed “homosexuals galore” to enter the Church so they could molest Catholic children at will? The old old policy on pedophile priests was suspended back in the early 1960s, the old policy ensuring that priests who committed such crimes were not allowed to be in the company of Catholic children without supervision. The new policy simply provided pedophile priests with new assignments, where the new assignment knew nothing of the priest’s previous past. This was the policy of the WHOLE Vatican, not a sub-section of “homosexuals
            galore”. The new policy was followed by EVERYONE within the Vatican, ensuring that the numbers of Catholic children molested, per priest, would massively increase.

            “Who cares about Fatama, I don’t follow aparations..”

            Since Fatima is an obvious Marxist psy-op,* I don’t pay heed to it either, just as I pay no heed to the current Marxist psy-op in Medjugorje, where Mary was strangely silent on (1) the violence that was to take place in Yugoslavia; and (2) didn’t warn us that the collapse of the USSR and East Bloc nations were strategic ruses!

            “So the swiss guard would just make up lies about the Pope to make him look good?”

            Huh? You need to re-read.
            ————————–
            *”The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI.”

            The Marxists who made up this story forgot that God is omniscient, so there would be no question of the certainty that there would be another great war in the future, proving that Mary never spoke to Lucia.

            “If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.”

            Once again, Marxists who made up this story forgot that God is omniscient, so there would be no question of the certainty that Russia would “…spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.”

            Get it now?

          • defenderofChrist

            Dean , I can’t figure out how to get into this stupid forum, so forgive me if I didn’t respond right away. I know you mean well, but I don’t find anything wrong with the remarks about her immaculate heart will win out. Mary always points to Jesus. I believe since Benedict was Pope he did a lot of changes to make it harder for homosexuals to come into the priest hood. If you read the story of Pope john Paul 11 he was not a communist and I believe he had people that were under him that were evil and they knew he was too devoted to believe what he thought were lies from the communists about the bad priests. That is something that bothered him deeply. He didn’t spend all that time praying and helping the poor to be an evil person. Perhaps naive how bad the Vatican people were I don’t know. The book about him was by Jason Evert. Many holy cardinals today, such as Burke are being marginailze. We have a mess in our church, but I don’t believe all of them are bad, and it upsets me that when I finally found my faith she is in a mess. I just focus on Jesus, I love the blessed mother and the tradition of the church, not these liberal people that are trying to destroy her from the inside. I believe we are probably on the same side, but you have to be careful about some of the information or misinformation you are putting out there. I am a defender of Christ no matter what. So let’s pray that people like us will be strong when the time comes because we need to stick together, not divide and that is why detraction can be evil. Just focus as much as you can on Jesus, God is allowing this evil, because grace will abound more and we are going to need it. GB

    • Liz Wilson

      I am always distressed when I hear women refer to other women as man-hating-harpies. It sounds as if the typical patriarchal view of women as second class citizens subordinate to men is too deeply entrenched to allow real conversation of matter that really matter for the longevity of the church. Some misguided people like to promote the idea that if a woman is feminist she must be anti-male That is so far from the truth – but we can easily see who benefits from spreading this kind of propaganda.

      If you look at which people are occupying the majority of the pew spaces in Canada, it is mostly women and their children. If you look at who is filling most of the support services in churches in Canada it is mostly women. As Faqther Rolhieser said – If women went on strike from the church we would see changes very quickly.

      Currently, in Canada, we struggle to find priests to fill vacancies in many many parishes – yet nuns cannot be allowed to say a full mass – instead they are only allowed (without very special consideration). to offer lay lead services. What a misuse of very dedicated and beautifully trained holy women.

      • Deanna Clark

        Sorry, Liz…these women cheated the table order and were screaming. They made their hatred of males very clear…from the Pope on down. They were imports.
        I think women priests would be fine if they didn’t hate half the human race…but I doubt these were even Christians.

        • Liz Wilson

          Feminism is not about hating men.

      • defenderofChrist

        I believe most men aren’t in the churches because so many women act like the men in the house and turn their men into mush. A lot of these women also do so much for the church instead of realizing that they are not nuns, I am not talking about the widows, they are wives and that is a state of life that you are in and to get your husbands to come along you have to make sure they aren’t jealous of the time you spend at church verses being with them and being with them in a way that makes them feel like they are the man. Some men need a slower conversion and they don’t want to be pushed, little by little you can get them to realize how important church is with the help of God’s grace of course, but no body will come to Christ if they are not willing, they must be opened and then the grace will start to transform them. We need more holy manly(not macho) men in Church. Their wasn’t anyone more manly than Christ.
        God help us!

        • Liz Wilson

          I am so saddened by your comments. What a low opinion of men and women

          • defenderofChrist

            Sorry you don’t like what I have witnessed in many church’s, I have no low opinion of either, but if your like the people that I commented on I can see why you wouldn’t like it. God bless

      • Nan

        Jesus went up the mountain and prayed with His father, then called the twelve to Him and named them Apostles. Had he wanted women priests, he’d have named some women as Apostles; however, priests stand in persona Christi and women can’t do that.

        • Lynne Newington

          Spiritually there is neither male or female, which I always found a contradiction.

        • Liz Wilson

          At many occasions Jesus broke the mold that held women in a specific role determine by the very male dominated customs. The words that have been reported to be from Jesus were recorded by men and translated from other languages. It would be in men’s best interest to maintain the status quo.

          • Nan

            True, which is exactly why Jesus didn’t name any women as Apostles; he didn’t want them to be confused with Vestal Virgins, the Roman Empires priestesses of Vesta, Goddess of the Hearth.

    • defenderofChrist

      I do believe too many women try and run the church for prideful reasons. As far as the Latin mass is was not for the well to do, it is the most holy form of mass. By the way the devil hates Latin. If someone is poor nobody should make a comment, but if you look at the American churches today they don’t wear jeans because they are poor they show a lack of reverence. I know Extraordinary ministers of holy communion wearing jeans on the day off on a Sunday. The mass is a wedding. What would you wear at a wedding? Your play clothes. Anything a priest does out of disobedience, he does so with Christ as well. The Church teaches what she teaches. Are you saying your a Christian when you only show up once or twice a year for mass? If you had God in your heart you would have respect and worship him everyday at mass because the Eucharist is the most precious gift God has given us. God did give the commandment to honor him. You can’t just live apart from God day to day without giving him some of your time to worship as a community. Most people spend more time on sports and other entertainment and can’t even bother a hour a week for the Lord. The Lord is always reaching out to all of us, but we don’t always give him our hand to hold on to because we are too busy thinking of ourselves.
      God help us!

      • Deanna Clark

        I’m glad you are happy with that kind of religion…you don’t seem happy finding fault with others like that. What a spew!! We don’t know enough about other people to do that, do we?

  • Katalina

    No Tradition minded Catholics are not Lemon Suckers who lack the Joy of the Gospel. They simply want what Benedict said was once sacred to remain sacred. As a matter of fact the only places of any growth in the Church is where Tradition is being returned to. If you have the Bible the Magisterium but no Tradition than the two legged stool will fall. We have to go back to having our strong Catholic Identity or else we will be no different from the Protestants.

  • Liz Wilson

    Thoughtful change is a good thing. We need not fear any broom that sweeps clean and any hand that opens a window for fresh air.

  • mojo jojo

    I wonder how much longer the Catholic Church is going to survive. Anyone who has eyes can see that the Church is crumbling from within and people on the outside are turning against it. Even the government is showing signs of it turning on what was once its greatest asset…the RCC.
    I wonder how much longer until the government (most likely the UN) pillages the church of all its wealth and strips it bare. You know this is going to happen and not just to the catholic church, but all the rest. We keep being told everything is fine while the world is crumbling. The Vatican is falling

    • defenderofChrist

      The gates of hell will not prevail on our church, that is the promise our Lord and Savior gave.

      • Chris C

        Jesus promised the gates of hell will not prevail on THE church. You have to think the church he founded is exactly co-extensive with the jurisdiction of the Pope to think he was talking about the papal church when he said that.

        • Nan

          He said to Peter “You are the rock on which I will build my church. Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” Peter was the first pope.

          • Lynne Newington

            Nan, you hit the nail right on the head.
            That’s how the “Peters” have got away with murder over the centuries…….

          • Chris C

            First, that’s not what Jesus said. What Jesus really did say is not only open to interpretation, it actually *is* interpreted differently by every single other Christian church, and has been since at least the 5th century.

            Second, not only was Peter not the first Pope, whatever Rome may now say, there’s zero evidence he was ever bishop of Rome at all.

            Third, that doesn’t really address what I said anyway.

    • Nan

      I know a young african priest whose diocese is converting many to the Faith. His first Easter, he baptized 90 people himself, of over 500 new conver

  • PetrusRomanus1

    Popes and their Vatican curias have been warring since even before Martin Luther, Henry VIII and their respective reformations. This time around, it looks like this pope is much more oriented toward the church Gospel mission, with the obvious exception of cleaning up the Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis, where the curia and allied bishops are still winning the war. Until bishops are held strictly accountable for sex abuse and coverups, and future bishops are selected for their faith in Jesus Christ over their loyalty to curial corruption, it will be business as usual at the Vatican. And it could get worse.

    • Tridentinus

      No show without Punch, eh?

  • ardvarc

    I think the RCC is wealthy, but it does a lot of social good…with plenty of good intentions. However, it’s ideological opposition to birth control, helps negate the good it does. When women control the number of children, they improve their lives, and become not a burden, but an asset to society. This cellular moralism is not only ridiculous, it’s got to stop. Fully 97% of American Catholic women have used birth control. They are not sinners. They are not guilty of anything. They are doing moral good. It’s the hierarchy who are guilty of condemning a morality they do not understand.

    • Nan

      Have you read Humanae Vitae? And the news lately? Children are now commodities; the wealthy rent the wombs of the poor, rejecting products that aren’t perfect and abandoning their children.

      Married couples are supposed to be open to new life. Birth control says they’re not.

      Birth control is evil and women in 3 world countries don’t want to reduce the number of births as they have high mortality rates and know that not all of those children wil lsurvive.

      • ardvarc

        Birth control is not evil. Couples who consciously plan the size of their families are not evil, They are exercising responsibility and morality to themselves, and to society. The RCC is mindlessly irrational on this subject. In an era of exploding global populations and stress upon world resources, moral and rational behavior is required by all….including the world’s religions.

        • Nan

          No.

      • kag1982

        Women from third world countries don’t have any choices to plan their families. I don’t think that many husbands outside the West are willing to heed their wife’s consent on sexual matters. Marital rape is probably the norm in many places.

        And most women don’t desire to be constantly pregnant. I am sure that many women in the Global South would prefer that their babies actually survive.

        • Nan

          I know it’s hard for you to believe, but not all cultures hate children.

          • kag1982

            Planning family doesn’t mean hating children. Most Americans also don’t “hate” children, but don’t want ten of them.

  • Kurt 20008

    Correction, Francis is not the first non-European pope. There have been 8 Asian and 3 African popes.

  • MissionImpossible

    Damian Thompson is an anti-Christian, specifically anti-Catholic, bigot with a very long trackrecord of it. Should he continue writing this rubbish, I have no doubt that many Spectator readers are going to band together and setup an anti-Damian Thompson website highlighting all his bigoted articles from way back way — as well as even commissioning a press release or two. Just Google it. They are easily locatable.

    The most gyrating thing THOUGH isn’t exactly that, it is that he mis-reports the facts (ie he lies). Any line here that you find suspicious, Google it, and out will come the whole story. It leaves a sickening bad taste.

    Perhaps, the second most gyrating thing (or is it the third?) is how he ridiculously phrases his bigotry now. It is quite a change from how it was more openly done ten years ago, and has a sort of “Aren’t I so so clever” slyness about it. Very unlike his past writing.

    Damian Thompson has been fired before, and it is stunning that the Spectator chose to hire someone in charge of “cultural affairs” who won’t tell you the full story — and pretty obviously won’t.

    I shall be posting in the future on all further articles I see posted by Mr Thompson, as this anti-Catholic bigotry of his should be shown to all Spectator readers. This man is a joke – and a liar. Total bad hire, Nelson!

  • http://josephsoleary.typepad.com Joseph

    pimply undergraduate stuff

  • http://josephsoleary.typepad.com Joseph

    if The Spectator wants a Vaticanologist, try Robert Mickens. For music criticism, bring back Michael Tanner.

  • Brian Daniel Newberry

    I don’t understand the criticism: where is Pope Francis’ teachings on wealth and poverty any different than that of Jesus and the Apostles? Jesus preached and taught to mostly the poorer people of society, and he said, “Woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your satisfaction.” He instructed the rich young ruler to sell all that he had, give to the poor, and then come and follow Him. The spiritual regeneration must always precede the physical and economic. There will always be wealthy persons, from whom will be judged on how they have used/redistributed their resources.

  • Jack Ross

    A common thread tying together liberals, marxists, socialists, and communists is their shared hatred of Christianity.

  • PaulOfTarsus

    It is interesting that some are using the word “orthodoxy” when referring to the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) yet, “orthodoxy” is a word having many meanings through the centuries. For example, the Eastern “Orthodox” Church does not view the Roman Catholic Church as orthodox at all. As a life-long Roman Catholic neither do I.
    For example, orthodox Roman Catholics state artificial birth control should not be used in any form but, “natural family planning” methods should be. This is a far cry from the RCC’s pre-Vatican II position whereby copulation should be restricted to procreation. Sex within marriage was not to be enjoyed and that couples should get down on their knees and pray until the urge passes! The RCC had a very neurotic position on human sexuality that has been totally debunked – thanks be to GOD.
    On the other hand, traditional Roman Catholics state the orthodox position is incorrect. Natural family planning in any form should not be attempted. Their reasoning is that the individual’s orientation is to avoid/prevent pregnancy and thereby reject the Will of GOD. Whether one uses artificial or natural means to avoid pregnancy their actions are based on avoiding procreation. Hence, each are equal in their purpose and outcome. One can “accidentally” become pregnant via both means.
    Orthodoxy does not pertain to only the RCC. The RCC is a branch of the whole church. It holds some of the Truths of the faith. The totality of all Christianity religions is the church of Jesus Christ. Why? Because the “Church” is not an institution or segment. The “Church” is the entire people of GOD wherever they are found.
    Some in Vatican City have attempted to usurp the definition of “Church” and “orthodoxy” yet, have failed. Why? Massive numbers of unrepentant clerical sinners who make up the rules/laws by which the laity are subjugated – “he who makes the rules wins the game.” GOD’s Wrath has again struck the RCC whereby His Grace is withheld and the RCC has failed in it’s mission. It has spent $BILLION$ in payment of financial settlements and legal fees that should have been used for the RCC’s mission. Diocese are bankrupt! GOD’s work is not being done. The RCC is contracting – it’s 1.2 billion is merely a number of baptisms NOT active, practicing Catholics.
    Think long and hard all you who cling to the man-made definitions of orthodoxy. Orthodoxy began and ends with Jesus Christ. All else are/is less than. If the RCC is not living as Christ then it is not orthodox. My belief is that Pope Francis is correct- the RCC is not living as Christ nor even the Gospel it so boldly proclaims that it alone is the only means by which salvation can be obtained. Oh yes, that too went out with Vatican II. Hummm, whatever happened to LIMBO & all the unbaptised babies? Seems orthodoxy is in the mind of the beholder.

  • Praelium

    First time reading Mr. Thompson. I enjoy reading the comments here. Damian is brilliant. “Sorting out the finances and reviving the Jesuits.” Two excellent goals and I support Pope Francis 100%. Now let’s hurry up the process of replacing the Novus Ordo with something better, such as the 1570 Missal of Pius V.

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