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I'm a divorced Catholic. And I'm sure it would be a mortal sin for me to take Communion

Accept liberal arguments for the convenience of people like me, and you threaten the foundations of the Church

4 October 2014

9:00 AM

4 October 2014

9:00 AM

I am a divorced and remarried Catholic. I attend Mass every week. When my children want me to take them up to Holy Communion, I walk along behind them and cross my arms over my breast. My youngest is particularly keen on going up for a blessing, although he wants to know when he can get ‘the bread’. I say, ‘When you understand why it isn’t “the bread”.’

It has never occurred to me to present myself for Communion when I have not sought — for various reasons that I won’t discuss here — to have my first marriage annulled. I know I am not a good Catholic, and I am living a life that the Church considers to be adulterous. Yet I am in good spirits, as I hope in God’s mercy. But I do not presume upon it. My Catechism says that is a further mortal sin, as would be the unworthy reception of Holy Communion.

People in my state are explicitly encouraged, in the Catechism, to attend church, and to make a spiritual communion, as I do each week. I have the hope that one day I will be in a state of grace and able to receive Holy Communion again. I hope that, despite my ongoing sin, God nonetheless hides me in the shadow of his wings; that Mary, hope of sinners, has her cloak of mercy cast about me. I am a poor Catholic but I am also a believing Catholic. Yet there is a faction within the Church that evidently considers ‘believing Catholic’ to be a hopelessly old-fashioned clique that they must get shot of, alongside lace mantillas and kneeling at theCommunion rail.

Holy Communion, for most of the bishops of England and Wales, appears to have become Protestant by default. Instead of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist — a presence we should tremble to receive at the best of times — Communion is now a sign, a symbol, a mere shared meal, an ‘expression of community’.

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Next week an Extraordinary Synod of Catholic bishops, summoned by Pope Francis, will meet to discuss the family. Catholic reformers are full of hope that, under his guidance, the bishops will liberalise the Church’s teaching on divorced and remarried Catholics. The liberal Tablet magazine devoted a cover story to the subject. It filled me with dismay. The article began by quoting Cardinal Walter Kasper, the leading liberal cardinal: ‘The church’s blanket ban on divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Communion…’.

Where to start? The Church does not ban anybody from receiving Communion other than non-Catholics (and there may be exceptions) and those too young to understand what they are receiving. Rather, nobody may receive God in the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin. Even before I remarried, and I use the term in a legal sense, since I cannot sacramentally remarry, I did not always present myself for Communion. Often I would be in a state of serious sin and had not found the time or organised myself enough to go to confession. The fact is that nobody in a state of serious sin — whatever that sin may be, in this case, adultery — is able to receive Christ worthily. To receive him unworthily is to commit a further mortal sin.

The Tablet article was called ‘The Case for Mercy’ and, reading it, I felt like pleading for us suckers who actually believe the basics: sin, confession, absolution, the Real Presence and the like. What Cardinal Kasper appears to want to do is to tempt a generation of people into weekly mortal sin. How is that merciful? How is that helping? Is it impossible for liberal theologians to combine their reforming fervour with actual logic? Allow a divorced and remarried person to receive Holy Communion and you are saying one of two things: either that it is not adulterous to have sex outside the marital bond, or that one may harmlessly receive the Most Holy Eucharist while in an ongoing state of mortal sin — a sin one firmly intends to commit again as soon as convenient.

There is no way that either of those things can be true, and the Church’s teaching be true. If sin doesn’t matter, what was the point of the Crucifixion? Why did Christ not stop with a ‘community meal’ on Maundy Thursday and skip that whole bothersome deal the next morning?

There are ways that those civilly divorced and remarried can be admitted to Holy Communion. Make it easier for them to obtain a declaration of nullity. Here is an area where the Church could be more sympathetic, could grant dispensations and exemptions in matters of process. The power of ‘radical sanation’ — granted for various reasons — to make a marriage whole could also be administered more often. That power does actually exist. Where the Church can legitimately change is in matters of tradition and practice — but not doctrine or dogma. Here, we sinners are protected from the human failings of individual priests and bishops by the infallibility of the Church. Some traditionalists protested when altar girls were permitted; I remember asking in one forum if the Bishop had the right to do this (yes), then if it had been done to say it was wrong was — equally as much as in the other direction — to say the Church was wrong.

Theologically, the Church is like a giant tower in Jenga; pull out one brick and you topple all the others. We cannot admit that sex outside marriage isn’t adulterous, nor can we say that mortally sinful people can receive Holy Communion. But we can look harder at the powers given to the Church to declare and discern when somebody is in a state of sin or where, for genuinely merciful reasons, a union can be made whole, by powers already granted to our bishops by the Holy Spirit.

Nothing will ever persuade me to receive Holy Communion in a state of grievous sin, unless for a serious reason. I once did so, when I discovered that a Protestant at my sister’s wedding had approached the priest, taken the Host and put it into his pocket. The poor priest hesitated but the man had walked away. He was foreign and hadn’t understood. I went to find him at the reception and he said ‘I didn’t want to interrupt the line’. I asked if I could have the Host from his pocket, I made a quick act of adoration and contrition and I ate it, despite being at that time not fit to receive. It seemed the lesser of two evils, and certainly that was my intent. I believe that under the circumstances, it was valid to consume the Host (although I am not sure). One day I hope to do so again. But I understand that the Church, while it strives to emphasise mercy, cannot do so by encouraging sin. Communion is not, as the Tablet journalist I Twitter-debated this with said, just ‘for the saints’, that is true. But nor is it, as he put it, ‘a help for the journey.’ It is the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. However unfashionable that may be, it remains true.

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Show comments
  • Guest

    Eh! No Louise, it’ll be a mortal sin if you were to benight politics
    again 🙂 On a more serious note, how can that be a mortal sin when
    thousands of children in Africa are born with Aids because the
    Roman Catholic Church says contraception is a mortal sin.
    No, the Church is not God and doesnt possess God, if you have faith then you have the right to receive communion.

    • praxan

      So people in Africa have children because the pope says you must? And here i am thinking that no one cares about what the pope has to say! So when the pope says you cannot have sex outside marriage, these same people in Africa (and elsewhere) do as he says as well?

  • kag1982

    Yeah.. Why exactly do you remain Catholic then? Are you a masochist who enjoys being excommunicated from the Church? Just become Anglican.. Jeez.

    • Hamish Redux

      Because she believes in the Catholic faith. Wasn’t that clear from the article?

      • kag1982

        There is no reason to remain Catholic if you cannot or choose not to receive Communion. Just become an Anglican instead and enjoy being a full part of the community.

        • MenAreLikeWine

          She is a full part of the community.

          • kag1982

            A Catholic who is barred from the Sacraments cannot be considered part of the Catholic community.

          • Lisa Alekna

            She says she is making a “spiritual communion” and there are saints who have said that a spiritual communion, well and truly made, can have more worth than a person who walks up unthinking and takes the actual Body and Blood unworthily. And I agree, that must be true. If she feels she cannot honestly and truly make a good confession, and recieve absolution, for whatever reason, and cannot ask for an annulment, for whatever reason – these are HER reasons, and HERS alone. It is also HER choice to worship as she chooses and as she believes. This is what she believes. Jumping ship won’t make her believe oranges are frogs.

          • kag1982

            Spiritual Communion is one of the dumbest concepts ever created; it isn’t a real sacrament or real participation in the Catholic Church community. I don’t need to be Catholic to have a personal relationship with God. In fact, many Evangelicals will tell you all about their personal relationships with Jesus. And if you believe yourself to be in mortal sin and headed for Hell, wouldn’t you want to actually rectify the situation by regularizing your marriage or not having sex with your current husband?

          • Lisa Alekna

            SHE doesn’t feel it’s dumb, nor do I. Many saints and very holy people have highly recommended joining yourself to Jesus in the Eucharist throughout the day spiritually. If you don’t want to do it, then don’t, and then don’t reap the graces.

          • kag1982

            Yes.. Evangelicals have personal relationships with Jesus Christ all the time. They have even more wonderful personal relationships with Jesus than many Catholics. How is that different than the concept of spiritual Communion. You don’t need to be Catholic to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

          • Lisa Alekna

            Spiritual Communion isn’t about a “personal relationship” with Jesus – that’s sappy nonsense. Spiritual communion is far more – joining yourself with the literal body and blood, soul and divinity of our Lord and Savior in the Eucharist present on all the altars in the world is something no Evangelical would ever dream of.

          • kag1982

            Which is utter nonsense. Staring at the Eucharist isn’t any different from an Evangelical praying to Jesus. In fact Evangelical ways of praying tend to be much more conducive to an actual relationship with Jesus.

          • Helenahandcart

            If you have never experienced a spiritual communion, I am suggesting that you know not of which you speak.

          • kag1982

            It is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and isn’t exclusive to Catholics. Evangelical Protestants have great personal relationships with Jesus Christ.

          • Helenahandcart

            Has anyone claimed that they don’t ? What makes you so sure that Catholics don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. Why do you think Our Lord left us Himself in the Eucharist ?

          • kag1982

            So people can have all the spiritual communion that they want as a Protestant. It is silly to suggest that remarried Catholics get any additional spiritual Communion if they remain an excommunicated Catholic. They don’t. In fact, it would be better if they left the Catholic Church because many wouldn’t feel as excluded as they do now.

            And yes, but remarried Catholics cannot receive physical Communion so the Real Presence doesn’t matter to them either way.

          • Joe Blough

            Again, remarried Catholics aren’t excommunicated. Your repeating of this myth not only illustrates your ignorance but leads others astray. Read a book.

          • kag1982

            Yes they are. They cannot receive Communion. That is the definition of being excommunicated.

          • Brendan McNamara

            No. The definition of excommunicated is different. An excommunicated person cannot receive ANY sacrament and cannot participate in the liturgy. Louise can still receive other sacraments like confession and can still participate in the liturgy, thus she is not excommunicated, she is just barred from receiving communion for she is in a state of mortal sin. The goal of confession is NOT absolution from sin and she can still be absolved from sin even without confession. Your understanding is incorrect, I suggest you read up on Catholic doctrine before you espouse your wild false assumptions.

          • kag1982

            Louise cannot receive any of the Sacraments. She cannot receive the Absolution, which is the point of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. She obviously cannot have her second marriage blessed. If she wasn’t a Catholic, she couldn’t receive Confirmation. (Many annulment cases are Protestants wishing to join the Catholic Church. They cannot complete their rites of initiation without obtaining an annulment.) And Reconciliation isn’t a counseling session. The point of Reconciliation is to receive Absolution. Louise can obviously receive Spiritual Direction, and many Catholics and non-Catholics do so, but this is different from receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And of course God can decide who he believes should enter Heaven, but under the hardcore Catholic understanding pre-Vatican II, Louise is in a state of mortal sin and if she gets hit by a bus, she’ll go to Hell. I don’t think she will, but it seems odd that someone who thinks that she is committing a mortal sin and has a hardcore pre-Vatican II belief about her actions wouldn’t wish to rectify the situation.

            As for excommunication, excommunicated Catholics are still required to attend Mass. They just cannot participate in the Sacraments. Remarried divorcees are excommunicated through their actions rather than through formal decree. It would be perfectly acceptable for a priest to refuse Communion to a remarried divorcee and that person, unlike most other Catholics, wouldn’t have any recourse.

          • Brendan McNamara

            You really don’t know what you’re talking about and are so entrenched in your views that you cannot accept any other knowledge that contradicts your ignorant viewpoint. There is no point debating with you, but know that you are wrong and need to be educated further on Catholic doctrine. When a Catholic priest says that you are wrong, then you know you are wrong lady. You seem to be miserable and bear a grudge against the Catholic Church for selfish reasons. I hope you get some peace.

          • kag1982

            Actually, I’ve heard lots of bad doctrine from Catholic priests. The ones that they are popping out of seminaries now are particularly ignorant. My favorite was the Latin Mass priest who told me at a party for an acquaintance that it was sinful for me to wear pants.

          • Brendan McNamara

            So all of your experiences with the Church are negative? Is that why you are heretical? I agree that you need deep therapy.

          • kag1982

            Yes, basically they have. All with conservative Catholics. I do appreciate liberal Catholics like the Jesuits and have had good experiences with them.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Not all Jesuits are liberal, like our Pope.

          • kag1982

            So you will admit that Francis is quite liberal. At least that is truthful. I do think that his views of women are reactionary.

          • Brendan McNamara

            No I was saying that Pope Francis is NOT liberal.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            I’d never join a club that would accept me as a member.

          • Louise Mensch

            No it isn’t.

          • Joe Blough

            No, it most certainly is not.
            You are quite clearly ecclesiastically and canonically illiterate. I’ll waste no more time on you

          • kag1982

            How is it any different from the condemnation by Pope Francis against the Mafia?

          • Louise Mensch

            the whole language of “personal relationship” is troubling to a Catholic. Firstly, what other type of relationship is there? Secondly, I know I am no closer to God’s heart than my Jewish husband – like any good father, he loves all his children equally, without favoritism.

          • Ann Couper-Johnston

            I am no canon lawyer and obviously cannot, nor would I wish to, comment on others’ affairs, but I can imagine how an annulment might be difficult.
            I understand testimony from the other party is required.
            We are all aware that some men abuse their wives, and they have to flee for their own safety; it would be dangerous for them to make any contact.
            Some people can be so convinced they are right and could not possibly be at fault that they will resent someone moving away from an impossible situation and refuse to co-operate.

            The statistics on men who remain in contact with their children after a divorce (they often don’t) suggest it’s relatively easy to lose contact (or for him to break it off).
            If you divorced some time ago (and it is re-marriage which bars you from Communion, rather than divorce) eventually meet someone, and so want an annulment, how do you make contact with the ex after a long time? How do you find the witnesses who can back you up when you say his idea of marriage proved lacking?

            In short, it might be one thing to know you could get an annulment, and quite another to prove it. I hope I make sense: any canon lawyers out there are welcome to correct my ideas.

          • Louise Mensch

            And this is exactly the point I make, thank you, about easier declarations of nullity and radical sanations. What if somebody feared to seek an annulment for valid emotional reasons of which we can imagine many? Effect on the children of the divorce, or fear of contacting an abusive spouse? If such a person can make a clear case to their bishop then in y view private, one-sided declarations of nullity could be issued, even secretly, and an existing union radically sanated. These are the kind of reforms that could lead to civilly divorced and remarried people – sacramentally married now just the once in a sanated union – being restored to grace and able to receive the sacraments. That is reform that would not rip up Jesus’s own words on the sanctity of marriage.

          • Ann Couper-Johnston

            I hope you got the link I put in reply to Caroline Farrow’s comment, to a blog in the Catholic Herald which cites some examples of what could be done to improve matters. If not, it’s Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith, a canon lawyer, and I found it quite easily.

            The process has the reputation of being long-winded in the extreme, in which case the caveats I mentioned could apply simply by reason of the passage of time.

            And you may well have married someone with an erroneous idea of marriage, but how do you prove it …….

          • MenAreLikeWine

            Did you not read the article? She isn’t barred from the Sacraments.

            Anyone in a state of mortal sin is prohibited from receiving Holy Communion, UNTIL they receive absolution.

          • kag1982

            Hence, she is barred from the Sacraments.

          • MenAreLikeWine

            No, she isn’t. In the same way that when I commit a mortal sin I am not barred from the sacraments.

            There are seven sacraments anyway.

          • kag1982

            And she is barred from both Communion and Reconciliation. If she hadn’t been confirmed yet, she couldn’t be confirmed. She obviously cannot receive the Sacrament of Matrimony and if this was a man, the author couldn’t become a priest. Really, the only Baptism cannot be retroactively removed.

            And if one is barred from Communion because one believes him or herself to be in mortal sin, then shouldn’t one rectify the situation so he or she isn’t in mortal sin?

          • MenAreLikeWine

            She isn’t in any way precluded from going to confession.

            She also isn’t precluded from matrimony – she has already received that sacrament. Would you say she was barred from baptism?

            The only thing in question is with respect to the reception of Holy Communion. She is free to receive Holy Communion under the same conditions as every other Catholic. She simply can’t receive while in a state of mortal sin. She also shouldn’t receive without observing the correct period of fasting before Holy Communion. Would you say that someone who had a cheeseburger before Mass was excommunicated?

            Anyway, why does it bother you what the Church teaches? You are free to do whatever you wish within your own Christian community.

          • kag1982

            Actually, she is precluded from receiving Absolution which is why she cannot receive Communion. Ergo she is barred from both the Sacraments of Absolution and Communion.

          • Joe Blough

            You really haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about.

          • kag1982

            Really? Ongoing adultery (which is what the Church considers her second marriage) precludes her from making a good Confession. As a result, no absolution and no Communion.

          • Brendan McNamara

            She can still make confession. Also, confession isn’t necessary for absolution, for God can still forgive even without that particular sacrament, though confession always helps. Also, she is not excommunicated at all, she is still in Holy Communion with the Holy See and God, though she is in a state of sin. Hopefully it all works out for her.

          • kag1982

            The Sacrament of Reconciliation requires Absolution to be valid. I can confess to anyone I feel like confessing to and receive spiritual direction. This is different from the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

          • Brendan McNamara

            For the Catholic Church, the intent of this confession is to provide healing for the soul as well as to regain the grace of God, lost by sin. A perfect act of contrition even outside of confession removes the eternal punishment associated with mortal sin but a Catholic is obliged to confess his or her mortal sins at the earliest opportunity

          • Brendan McNamara

            It does not require absolution to be valid. It requires confessing of sins to a priest to be valid.

          • Louise Mensch

            this is very interesting to me Brendan could you point me at a link to the relevant canon or ccc para if you have it?

          • Brendan McNamara

            I didn’t explain it properly, that’s why I added more comments beneath that one. What I meant was that confession doesn’t SOLELY require absolution to be valid.

          • Brendan McNamara

            The Catholic Church teaches that sacramental confession requires three “acts” on the part of the penitent: contrition (sorrow of the soul for the sins committed), disclosure of the sins (the ‘confession’), and satisfaction (the ‘penance’, i.e. doing something to make amends for the sins)

          • Brendan McNamara

            The Catholic Church teaches that sacramental confession requires three “acts” on the part of the penitent: contrition (sorrow of the soul for the sins committed), disclosure of the sins (the ‘confession’), and satisfaction (the ‘penance’, i.e. doing something to make amends for the sins). It does not require absolution to be valid. Louise can still make satisfaction for her sins making confession valid. She doesn’t sin again until she commits adultery.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            So your standard BS, then. You’re contaminated and you need to be cleansed by experts. For a price, namely your sanity.

          • Louise Mensch

            it’s like listening to my dog trying to whistle in German. I can go to confession and receive absolution tomorrow. I am just not willing to do so, as I am not going to leave my husband nor I am going to live as brother and sister. That is a decision I have made and the church has not imposed it upon me.

          • Lobi

            Not in plural, barred only from one sacrament.

          • kag1982

            Confession as well.

          • Lobi

            Not really. She could confess, if she intended to leave her state of mortal sin.

          • kag1982

            But Absolution cannot be provided because the person cannot amend their situation. The whole point of Reconciliation is to receive absolution.

          • bender

            Those who are remarried can “amend their situation” quite simply. They merely choose not to. To be sure, it might not be easy to amend the situation, it might be quite inconvenient. But those who remarried have the ability to end the sinfulness of the situation so as to be able to make a good confession.

          • kag1982

            Actually not that simple to just divorce one’s current spouse. I think that it is simplistic to argue that remarried divorcees are adulterous sinners, but I also don’t think that they should be denied Communion.

          • Helenahandcart

            This is untrue. I will give you a small example. Not so long ago, I was a major player in a family row in which I said and did some quite dreadful things. Being me, I could not bring myself to contrition quickly enough in time for quite a few Sunday Masses, actually. I knew I was in a state of serious sin. I was resentful, held grudges, was even planning future unpleasant things to say and do, all while still dragging my sorry posterior to Holy Mass. At Holy COMMUNION time ( the clue is in the wording) I realised I could not participate and so I remained sitting and made what they call a spiritual communion. I was a part of the community, but I had effectively banned myself from being “in communion” with others because of my pride. The Church does not ban or bar us. We ban and bar ourselves. But happily, the solution is also in our hands.

          • kag1982

            Yes.. For remarried divorcees it isn’t that simple. But you are very right that all of us are unworthy to receive Jesus.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Not true. Even the excommunicated are considered part of the Catholic community and are encouraged to come to Mass and to repent. Even those that don’t practice or don’t believe are still Catholics, whether they like it or not. You are still a Catholic.

          • Louise Mensch

            I am not barred from any of the sacraments – except Holy Orders, for which I am not fit matter. I am merely not presently in a fit state to receive one of the sacraments. A ban is imposed from the outside.

          • kag1982

            If you believe that you are unfit to receive the Sacraments because you are committing a mortal sin, then wouldn’t you want to rectify the situation by either divorcing your current husband, receiving an annulment, or living as brother and sister. I don’t think that you are in a state of mortal sin, but I also am okay with remarried divorcees receiving Sacraments.

        • Louise Mensch

          my faith is not a community. It is the truth. This is no disrespect to other faiths that reflect God in their own ways to greater and lesser degrees. But the fullness of truth is in the Catholic church, of which I am a part via my baptism. Being in a state of sin is not at all equivalent to being excommunicated. It can be reversed at literally any moment. And that’s before we even get into ‘full consent of the will’ which may be a bit inside baseball 🙂

          • sarah_13

            Your religion is the truth. So everyone else is misguided? Presumably they are all in a state of sin but like you that can be put right at any time? Say if your nice jewish husband were to convert?

          • Louise Mensch

            Yes, in so far as they diverge from Catholicism. However, being wrong is not a sin. We are not born-again Christians who think you must be ostensibly Christian to be saved. In particular, the Jewish people had a covenant with God before Christ.

      • Jock McSporran

        erm …. nope.

    • Ann Couper-Johnston

      She remains Catholic because she believes what the Catholic Church believes (and does so with more loyalty than many in high places). It is not masochistic to make sacrifices for something you believe in; I share those beliefs and as a result I have had some hard and difficult times. If your Faith is important to you, you choose to make those sacrifices, knowing that in the end you may have suffered, but you will have kept your integrity.

      • kag1982

        To me, there are two positions here. Either you believe yourself to be in mortal sin or you don’t believe yourself to be in mortal sin. If the author believes herself to be in mortal sin and headed to Hell, then shouldn’t she really be rectifying the situation by divorcing her husband or stop having sex with her husband? If the author believes that she isn’t in mortal sin, then shouldn’t she either get her marriage annulled, find a Catholic priest willing to reconcile her through the internal forum, or become an Anglican.

        The only reason to remain Catholic is to be able to receive Communion. Other than that, there really aren’t any gaping theological differences or reasons not to join a mainline Protestant Church. I don’t get what remarried divorcees think that they are gaining from remaining excommunicated Catholics and abstaining from the Eucharist. They aren’t receiving any spiritual fruits from the whole endeavor and just inflicting unnecessary suffering on themselves. If you believe that remarriage is a serious sin that is preventing you from receiving the Eucharist, then shouldn’t you be rectifying your situation so you can receive Communion?

        • Lobi

          To a Catholic, all that you’re saying is “I’m in a state of mortal sin, so I may as well schism from the Church as well.” Which honestly, just doesn’t sound very intelligent.

          • kag1982

            I don’t think that remarried Catholics are committing mortal sin through their new marriages. However, it is a great confusion to me why people barred from the Sacraments like remarried divorcees would remain with the Church. I’m a cradle Catholic and I had enough bad experiences with the Catholic Church, Catholic schools in particular, to finance many years of therapy and fill a few books. I’ve also come to realize that the Catholic Church is incredibly misogynist and that Catholic teachings confine women to the roles of mother, submissive wife, and maid. There are even strains of Catholic teaching that forbid women from wearing pants for “modesty” and require them to cover their heads. Traditional Catholic views of female modesty are veering toward fundamentalist Islamic views on the subject. That being said I believe that the Catholic Eucharist is the Real Presence of Christ and therefore maintain a tenuous relationship with the Church because of my ability to receive the Eucharist.

            I’m just curious if there is any argument for remarried divorcees to remain with the Church if they aren’t receiving the Eucharist. I think that there is an argument that remarried Catholics are living in mortal sin; I don’t agree with this argument but it is logical. But if the author believes that she is living in mortal sin and headed to Hell, then shouldn’t she be either regularizing her marriage for an annulment or divorcing her husband or living as brother and sister. If she doesn’t, there really isn’t that much different between the Anglicans and the Catholics. She could become an Anglican and she wouldn’t be receiving the Eucharist but would be doing so as a full part of a church community and without the angst associated with being excluded from the Sacraments in the Catholic Church. This sort of limbo that the author is willing to live with makes no logical sense. There is no reason to be Catholic if you cannot receive the Eucharist.

          • Lobi

            Well, I think the article sort of discusses the answer to your question. The writer does not think like you do, that the Church’s teachings are mistaken. She is not just sticking around for the Eucharist.

            There are all sorts of reasons I can think of as to why she would remain in that limbo of her state in life. The article itself suggests that it is a private matter, so there is no use speculating.

          • kag1982

            It is just odd to me. I’d just become a Protestant. Their communities are more warm and Christlike than Catholic parishes.

          • James

            Then why don’t you?

            If the Catholic Church is “incredibly misogynist” and Protestants are “warm and Christlike”, then why not be Protestant? Or Orthodox?

            But before you do, be sure that you know what the Catholic Church really believes and teaches.

            I think you’ve run into some strange Catholics and have been taught a lot of things about the Church that simply aren’t true or are half truths that give a distortion of what the Church is teaching. (For example, forbidding women from wearing pants is WAY WAY WAY outside the Catholic mainstream.) You don’t know as much as you think you do.

          • kag1982

            “If the Catholic Church is “incredibly misogynist” and Protestants are “warm and Christlike”, then why not be Protestant? Or Orthodox?”
            Because of the Eucharist.

            “I think you’ve run into some strange Catholics and have been taught a lot of things about the Church that simply aren’t true or are half truths that give a distortion of what the Church is teaching. (For example, forbidding women from wearing pants is WAY WAY WAY outside the Catholic mainstream.) You don’t know as much as you think you do.”
            ISIS is also way outside the mainstream. Fundies who demand that women where skirts are the Catholic version of ISIS. Should Catholics not be concerned with them? A;so, neo-con Catholics adore Padre Pio who was a misogynist who demanded women wear skirts. The idea of Catholic women in burqas as brood mares has a long history in Catholic thought.

          • James

            Padre Pio was also a man of a different era. I do not know the fashion of early 20th century Italy, but his requirements were not shocking for his time, though strict. I do know, however, that Padre Pio was just as strict with the men as with the women – no short pants or short sleeves for men either. Whatever his motivation, misogyny was not it.

            Plenty of female saints have worn pants and this has not been an issue in their canonization. As for the “brood mare” part, how many saints were women religious with no children at all? Women religious who turned down-and in some cases ran away from-marriage?

            There are over 1 billion Catholics in the world. If you are looking for misogynists, you are going to find them. If you are looking for weird and scary people, you are going to find them.

            But the difference between Catholicism and Islam is that we DO have someone to say “no” to the weirdos of the Catholic world. We do have someone who says “No, SSPX, that’s NOT what the Church teaches and you’re NOT in communion with us.” While millions of Muslims have denounced ISIS, there is no similar authority who can declare them heretics or schismatics.

          • kag1982

            Yes.. But the conservative Catholics don’t condemn the SSPX.. They support them. The SSPX aren’t that different from ISIS.

            As for Padre Pio, he was a fraud. I’ve heard that he actually used acid to create his stigmata. Given his ugly misogyny, it isn’t a shock. It should help us rejoice that such a fraud is part of Heaven.

            And I’ve been told that Saint Giana is a professional woman o wore pants Of course, being an incredible misogynist, JPII only cared about her capacity as a brood mare. She is celebrated for dying during child birth (because the mamma doesn’t matter in this schaeme).. JPII lucs women!! This obviously is meant to encourage others during trouble pregnancies to care for themselves. Women are secondary subhumans and don’t matter.

          • James

            The conservative Catholics are not the Church. You’re expecting 1 billion people to be perfect saints when 11 of 12 apostles ran away from the cross or worse.

            As for Padre Pio, I’m sure that all this was investigated during his cause for canonization.

            Unfortunately, St. Gianna has become a celebrity among those who do see women as brood mares, but she’s not a saint for dying in childbirth. She wanted to live and was fully expecting to do so. St. Maria Goretti is just as badly misunderstood. She’s a saint because of her concern for her attacker’s soul, not for defending her virginity to the death.

            Simcha Fisher has a great article about St. Gianna, St. Maria Goretti and the shame of how some Catholics view women’s health and how this is not Church teaching.

            http://www.ncregister.com/blog/simcha-fisher/chemo-while-pregnant-lchaim

          • Louise Mensch

            you have heard it but it was not true. Nor was he a misogynist in any way, shape or form. You should get a book of his letters and read them. They are suffused with love. He had many spiritual daughters too

          • James

            You can’t love Christ (the Eucharist) and hate His Church.

            You can’t trust in Christ and assume the worst about His Church.

            The Church has been badly run since Jesus left Peter in charge. There are nearly two millenia worth of boneheaded and occasionally evil churchmen. Dante put plenty of Popes and priests in his inferno. Even so, either she is what she claims to be-an institution founded by Christ over which the Gates of Hell shall not prevail, or she is not. In spite of the many failings of its members, it has produced two millenia of saints as well as sinners. If she is not what she claims to be, then you should run as far away as you can. But if she is, then you might want to learn more about what she is saying.

          • kag1982

            Yes. you definitely can do so. I think that Jesus is in the Eucharist and I hate the Catholic Church. I hate the brutality it has brought on me. I’m sorry. .. I had an eating disorder and a mental breakdown at twelve because of the Catholic Church. Because of local Catholics willingness to let little snots bully me. So I don’t think that many Catholics are Christlike. But I still believe that Jesus is present in the Eucharist.

          • James

            I am sorry you have had such a terrible experience. There is no excuse for bullying.

            I grew up in the Bible Belt and some of the nastiest people I knew were the ones with fish on their cars and WWJD bracelets on their wrists. Some people think religiosity excuses their bad behavior. Kind of like the Pharisees, did.

          • Guest

            Bye…

          • James

            Hate will eat you from the inside if you let it. Even for people who deserve your anger.

          • Joe Blough

            And we’d be happy to see the end of you.

          • kag1982

            Oh.. I’ve been impressed with Pope Francis so far, so I’ll be staying. I hope that conservative Catholics like yourself join the SSPX.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Do you attend Mass and receive Communion? If so, some of your comments on here that directly contradict Catholic doctrine would make you excommunicated latae sententiae

          • kag1982

            Correct, but I don’t believe that is the case. I also don’t see anything wrong with remarried divorcees receiving Communion.

          • Brendan McNamara

            It is the case. Repent and accept forgiveness.

          • Joe Blough

            The word is “orthodox”, not “conservative” — as in fully orthodox Catholics, unlike dissidents such as both you *and* the SSPX.

          • kag1982

            Yes.. The good “orthodox” Catholics who enjoy throwing people out of the Church and denying them Communion. It is just so Christ-like of them.

          • Joe Blough

            Read a book.

          • kag1982

            I read many.. You?

          • Louise Mensch

            No they aren’t.

            It’s not like picking a football team to support.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Exactly. There is only one God made Church that is correct in all it teaches and that is the Catholic Church.

          • whs1954

            If there is one true church it is most certainly not the Romish Pope-cult.

          • Joe Blough

            “Romish”? Seriously? In 2014? Make sure your KKK card is up-to-date, bubba…

          • Nat

            There’s a different between believing you can’t receive the Eucharist due to your actions and believing the Eucharist isn’t necessary. Just because she thinks she can’t receive the Eucharist doesn’t mean she should just jump religions and abolish that aspect of her faith altogether.

            Furthermore, you keep saying “if the author believes that she is living in mortal sin and headed to Hell.” Again, you’re conflating separate beliefs. She believes she is in mortal sin; she does not necessarily believe she’s headed to Hell. She says in the article that she still hopes and prays and trusts in God to take her under His wing. God is a loving Father to us – Jesus brought many sinners to Heaven. As someone who recognizes her mortal sin and truly takes responsibility and prays with all her heart, I’d say she’s on a pretty good track.

          • kag1982

            Or you know if she believes that she is in mortal sin, then she can amend her situation by either getting an annulment, divorcing her husband, or living as brother and sister. Wouldn’t that improve her odds more than this tortured ridiculousness of remaining in a state of mortal sin and refusing to participate in the Sacraments.

          • Louise Mensch

            That is all specious nonsense. I am a feminist and was a Conservative MP. Do I look like I am oppressed to you? Give your theories to St Hilda, St. Joan of Arc, St. Catherine of Sienna, Mother Theresa and all the other ‘confined’ Catholic women. I am not fit for Holy Orders but as I was baptized I share the Common Priesthood with all members of the faithful and when I assist at Mass I join the priest in offering the sacrifice at the altar ‘My sacrifice and yours’. Go away and read the encyclical “Mulieres Dignitatem” by Pope St John Paul II and come back to me

          • kag1982

            I consider Mulieres Dignitatem to be misogynist. JPII doesn’t comment on a woman’s ability to work in a professional setting in any of his encyclicals. I’ve never heard any pope, including Pope Francis, comment positively about professional women, especially married working moms with young children. In fact, I think that the only use that Pope Francis has for women is to bake cookies and sprinkle their special mommy dust over the world. And there have been some great women saints in the past, but the modern women saints tend to be pretty offensive. I’m a fan of St. Catherine myself, but I am also disturbed by the modern “virgin martyrs.” It is shocking that rather than a great feminist like Dorothy Day who championed the rights of the poor, little girls like Albertina Berkenbrock are being beatified for dying during attempted rapes.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Blessed Dorothy Day was certainly not a feminist and she is being discussed for canonization. Your view of Catholicism is entrenched, incorrect, and heretical.

          • kag1982

            Dorothy Day isn’t beatified. Her cause like Oscar Romero’s has been blocked for years due to their support for the Church’s social justice teachings.

          • Brendan McNamara

            That is a lie. She is a “Servant of God” and Pope Benedict XVI mentioned her in 2013. Her case is still under review. These things take time.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Not too mention that members of the Catholic Worker movement don’t want her canonized. Her application was only received in 2012 btw. It hasn’t been blocked at all and certainly not for years. Facts.

          • kag1982

            JPII’s canonization certainly didn’t take time. Nor did it take much time for Opus Dei priests to become saints. Hmm… And Romero and Day have both been blocked because the emphasis on social justice might offend the money.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Many Popes have spoken and written about social justice including the last three Popes you decry. Get your facts straight.

          • kag1982

            Yes.. I’m glad that someone actually noticed that. I’ve talked with many conservative Catholic acquaintances and relatives who seem to think that Pope Francis is an evil Commie who invented Church teaching on economics and that JPII and Benedict were big fans of Reaganomics.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Pope Francis is neither liberal nor a “commie”. He is a defender of the Church’s current teachings confirmed in Vatican II. Don’t expect a revolution.

          • kag1982

            I agree, but many conservative American “Tea Party” Catholics think he is a commie. I am a libertarian myself, not a socialist.

          • Brendan McNamara

            If they think that then they are ignorant hereticals and should be dismissed for what they are: wrong. Ignore them and forgive yourself and reconcile with the Holy Church.

          • kag1982

            So I can enjoy my rightful vocation as a submissive broodmare.

          • Brendan McNamara

            No one in the Church today advocates that and if they do they are wrong. The Pope doesn’t advocate that, nor does any bishops.

          • kag1982

            I’m not sure what Pope Francis thinks about working women. I think that it isn’t positive. He only views women as mommies who sprinkle special mommy dust over the world and make cookies. And there are some offensive books out there, including Marry and Be Submissive, which was printed by the Archdiocese of Granada.

          • Louise Mensch

            “The Church gives thanks…. for women who work professionally, and who at times are burdened by a great social responsibility” – Mulieres Dignitatem. Like I said, actually read it, and then come back to me.

          • kag1982

            Thanks, but I’ll pass. I’ve received enough doses of JPII’s teachings to know what he thought about women.

          • Louise Mensch

            well, no, you haven’t. as you just said something about Mulieris Dignitatem and professional women that I contradicted in two minutes flat.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Scary that you were an MP.

          • Joe Blough

            Well said!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            I appreciate a good BS line as much as anyone. But your professed “heart on sleeve” Catholicism is a lot more than making yourself more electable to the mug punter electorate. This is a sad case of actually believing your own BS. And gullible Muppet are hardly the qualities for an elected politician.

        • Brian Stanley

          “To me….” Enough said: e.g., relativism.

          • kag1982

            Aren’t there two positions and isn’t the ridiculous limbo relativist?

          • Brian Stanley

            Limbo is a theory, not a dogma or doctrine. Gee, that was easy. Any more questions?

          • kag1982

            I was discussing limbo as what this poor woman is placing herself in. It is an expression.. As in limbo.

          • Brian Stanley

            She has a choice to make. It’s not limbo. If you know what is ultimately important, if you believe that which is ultimately important, you choose that. There is no limbo here.

          • kag1982

            And it certainly is a Sophie’s Choice forcing divorced Catholics to choose between their relationship with the Catholic Church and the love and support that having a spouse and a family brings.

          • Brian Stanley

            It’s deeper than that: it is a relationship with God on His terms (and with a nod to you, as the Catholic Church has come to know those terms) and having other things, other relationships on one’s own terms. I take it from your previous comments that you take great exception to the Catholic Church’s position, but in fairness to the Catholic Church, they hold their position as they have come to know it and they consider it revealed by Christ and instituted in His Church. The Church itself does not consider those terms malleable or negotiable. I know you consider them malleable and negotiable. Is that a fair assessment of your position?

          • Brian Stanley

            And I take exception to your use of the word “forcing” – the Church does not force, nor does it impose. The Church proposes its teachings on its own terms – and the Church understands them as revealed by Christ – and one can adhere to those teachings or one can leave. There is no “forcing.” One is presented with a choice. And no, it’s not Sophie’s Choice. It is a moral choice, and one that needs to be considered most seriously. Many people choose to suit their own terms in the present life. Others, looking to the long view, seek to follow the Church’s discipline. The Church does not force anyone. The doors open out — one may leave as one wishes. And many do. But strangely, many on the outside are coming in, and seek to follow Christ on His terms as presented in the Catholic Church, and not on one’s own privately negotiated, personally defined terms.

          • kag1982

            I don’t think that God’s will. I think that the Catholic Church is wrong in this. We are talking about people in their 20s who may have made a youthful mistake, battered women, people abandoned by their spouses, etc. and the Catholic Church is telling them.. sorry God hates you so much and wishes you to spend the rest of your life atoning for your mistake (or maybe not even your mistake) that you have to live without the love and support of a family. Either that or you are excommunicated from the Church. Is that what you believe God is?

          • James

            Yes, the Catholic Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage seems harsh. This is nothing new, in fact, that was the original reaction to Jesus’s statement on the matter.

            Nevertheless, you cannot properly understand the Church’s teachings on marriage if you don’t understand the teachings on what makes marriage. Not all marriages have the essential elements that make a marriage a marriage. That is why the Church has the annulment process.

            Youthful mistake: Perhaps one or both spouses was not mature enough to enter into a marriage? Perhaps there was undue pressure to marry from a parent? Both are grounds for annulment.

            Abuse: Abusive relationships don’t start after the wedding. Patterns of abuse and controlling behavior start long before. If so, then the abused spouse may have been coerced into the marriage, and not entered into it freely, which is grounds for annulment. And if the person did suddenly become abusive after the wedding, that may be a case of fraud, another ground for annulment.

            Abandonment: Perhaps the spouse who left didn’t see marriage as permanent and felt free to leave when they weren’t happy? If so, that’s grounds for annulment.

            If your marriage that you entered into in good faith was in fact, not a marriage, then there was no marriage to save. Going through the annulment process can be healing for many.

            People think that annulments are rare, but the overwhelming majority of the cases that come before a tribunal are granted a decree of nullity. It’s not that the tribunals are lax: most of these aren’t even close cases.

          • kag1982

            “Perhaps one or both spouses was not mature enough to enter into a marriage? Perhaps there was undue pressure to marry from a parent? Both are grounds for annulment.”

            Think someone who is in their forties and who divorced someone in their early twenties has no idea where their former spouse is/ not to mention their former friends, wedding party. Even if contacted the former friends might not feel like helping out with the bruising process.

            “Abuse: Abusive relationships don’t start after the wedding. Patterns of abuse and controlling behavior start long before. If so, then the abused spouse may have been coerced into the marriage, and not entered into it freely, which is grounds for annulment. And if the person did suddenly become abusive after the wedding, that may be a case of fraud, another ground for annulment.”

            To bring an annulment case, you must contact the former spouse. Do you actually think that a battered woman wishes to contact her former abusive spouse?

            “Abandonment: Perhaps the spouse who left didn’t see marriage as permanent and felt free to leave when they weren’t happy? If so, that’s grounds for annulment.”

            Perhaps the spouse in question doesn’t want to lie and say that a marriage of twenty years wasn’t a real marriage but still wants the option to remarry and get on with his or her life.

            “If your marriage that you entered into in good faith was in fact, not a marriage, then there was no marriage to save. Going through the annulment process can be healing for many.”

            Apparently 90% of people find it frustrating and upsetting and decide not to pursue it. Even those that do don’t generally find it healing. The husband of one of Pope Francis’ nieces, Ines, had to receive an annulment and it took four years. I read an interview with her where she didn’t feel at all edified or healed by the process.

            Bureaucracy can never feel edifying and healing. And that is what the process is. (As a sidenote, I find it hilarious that most of the people shrieking about this especially in the U.S. are conservatives. In the U.S., everyone on “Father” Z’s site is a Tea Party Republican who complains mightly about the evil gub’mint. Yet, they totally support a massive Church bureaucracy to decide the validity of people’s marriages.. No hypocrisy there.)

            “People think that annulments are rare, but the overwhelming majority of the cases that come before a tribunal are granted a decree of nullity. It’s not that the tribunals are lax: most of these aren’t even close cases.”

            They are still pretty rare. Most remarried divorcees don’t have annulments. And if the more questionable cases ever went before a panel the rejection rate would be greater. And there is no reason for the court bureaucracy. If we want to pretend that these marriages were never valid, then let the priest handle them.

          • James

            I believe you are misinformed about the annulment process, but I am not a Canon Lawyer, so someone who is more familiar with the process can probably give you better information.

            My mother has gotten two annulments and found the process was edifying. As hard as she tried to save her marriage, she found it was a relief to find there was no marriage to save. It’s a thorough process that investigates the marriage, but I wouldn’t call it a bureaucratic formality.

            As for changing the rules, either Jesus meant what he said in Matthew 19:8-9 or he didn’t.

            From this and your previous posts, you seem to have a very legalistic view of what the Catholic Church and what it does. This colors your view of the Church. But I do not think you know as much as you think you know.

          • kag1982

            Yes.. And people who don’t drink the koolaid think differently. It saddens me that people are willing to get as screwed over by the Church like that. Don’t. And it is Hell for most people. I know a woman whose emotionally abusive husband used the process to harass her. But I guess that only people who drink the Kool Aid count. People harassed and abused and screwed over by the process are just evil libtards who aren’t drinking the koolaid.

          • James

            If you’re referring to my mother, she didn’t feel screwed over at all. She was banging on the door of the tribunal before the ink on her divorce decree from her second ex-husband was dry!

            I know another woman who was mildly upset that she “lack of form” annulment for marrying outside the Church because she wanted it “on the record” that her ex-husband lied about his intention to be faithful and lied about wanting children.

            Conversely, I know of a friend of mine who had a disastrous first marriage. He divorced his wife and married a great woman. He never got an annulment because neither him nor his wife are Catholic and see no need for one. Yet people still talk, talk, talk about that first marriage. They call him a deadbeat and her a homewrecker. The second marriage has a cloud over it, while an annulment (which he WOULD have gotten) would have provided closure.

          • kag1982

            Yes. I am talking about one of my neighbors growing up. Her abusive husband used the annulment process as an avenue to harass her. Given his status in the town, I believe that he actually got a judgment in his favor, but I was about ten at the time and not sure. I do remember the guy after his ex-wife filed for an annulment sitting outside her house late at night and harassing her. My parents called the cops on that. I remember it because it was exciting. So please annulments aren’t wonderful sources of healing for everyone.

          • James

            The same can be said for serving a summons of divorce and the divorce process, yet the law still requires it. If anything, the annulment process is far more sensitive to the rights of spouses than the divorce process. While the tribunal will attempt to contact the former spouse, the spouses do not need to contact each other.

          • Brian Stanley

            You obviously don’t get it, because you approach this front the POV that this world is all there is, and so happiness and pleasure in this life is the ultimate. The Christian faith says otherwise. Yes, sometimes you spend the rest of your life atoning: your worldview does not admit of sacrifice, devotion, setting aside, delayed gratification for heaven to come. There is a heaven, and this world is not it. The Church is the means to that heaven, given by Jesus Christ. I understand you don’t believe that. And I have ministered to people who understand that they will spend their life in a sacrificial way: parents, grandparents, children — all who sacrifice for others, for a purpose other than themselves. in imitation of Jesus Christ. It is called the cross. It is THE part of the faith that the world has the most difficulty. And your criticisms of it are spot on — an accurate description of the world’s problem with Christianity, and with Catholicism in particular. I understand you don’t think it is God’s Will. I get it – you know God’s Will better than the Church. People excommunicate themselves — you even quoted at one point “latae sententiae” — so I know you have access to it intellectually. But yes, I know you don’t agree with it. God doesn’t hate me or anyone — but He does have commandments and He does have expectations for us, and both are within our abilities to fulfill. If only we would. His Will is not impossible. And we are not merely talking about children or people in their 20’s. We are talking about adults and people old enough to know better. I assume you are old enough to know better as well. But you seem to know something different, not necessarily better. And we shall leave it at that. The Church is not heaven, but this world is not heaven either. We shall see, one day, who was right. But there is no proving it here today, kag1982. There is only disagreement, and I hope, disagreement of a respectful type. God bless.

          • kag1982

            Okay.. As a lonely 30-something woman, I know what it is like to not have a family. I get the loneliness and it saddens me that the Church demands that penance of people. That is a Cross that no one should have to bear if they can get a new relationship. To be without a family means that you are without support and love. It means having to deal with issues with yourself, having to deal with setbacks yourself and problems yourself. I live alone. If I fall in my bathtub, I could likely just lay there in pain for days until I die. And not to mention growing old. I will have to probably deal with my parents’ deaths by myself. And don’t even get me started on my own mortality. Alone probably. It wouldn’t surprise me if I was the little old lady who dies alone in her apartment. Jesus had people support Him at the foot of His Cross. It saddens me that the Catholic Church refuses divorcees that support.

          • Brian Stanley

            You are in my prayers. I am alone — I am a celibate priest — but I am not lonely. I have friends and support structure. But it did not happen for me in my family. And in fact, the Church has provided much of that support. I was a late vocation, and the Church provided. But it took sacrifices on my part as well. There is support for divorcees: I know, because as a priest, I provide it frequently. If you are alone, that is more your choice than anyone else’s — and the Church does not make anyone lonely. But not everyone is called to be married, or to have a family. I know this from my own life. And there are graces He gives in that. None of us will live forever. And the Church — and my life in celibacy — are potent reminders for me to make every day count.

          • kag1982

            Okay… You are a priest. The Church provides a support system for priests. It doesn’t provide a support system for divorcees. I was bullied by conservative Catholics. Their precious spawn bullied me to the point that I had a nervous breakdown and eating disorder. The evil conservative Catholics control the Church and make sure that those of us who aren’t like them are judged and excluded.

            And no.. I don’t wish to be alone. Here is my deal. A majority of my friends are happily married. They only care about their husbands or wives and their children. They could care less about their friends. I’m only there if it is useful to them to have a blind date with their loser cousin who sill lives with their mom at 35 or to babysit their little snots. If I died, the only people who would be upset would be my parents. Geez my “friends” would only care because the person that they could dump the kids on wasn’t available. (BTW, I’ve really gotten tired of babysitting their children and have disconnected with them.)

            The Church doesn’t care for me. As a woman, I’ve been condemned and harassed by many priests and laity. There is no support for people who aren’t married in the Church or who are divorced.. none. There is no support for single people in the Church. The Church is controlled by conservative JPII clergy and EWTN laity who are obnoxious bullies who hate people.

          • Brian Stanley

            I understand your personal plight. But you take your personal experience and make it normative. I do help divorcees. I am part of the church. And yes, I am a “JPII clergy” who doesn’t hate people and who don’t have a “Leave it to Beaver” life. Depressed people can frequently take their personal experiences – experiences that I am not denying – but make them to be normative or universal. Your experiences are your experiences. The Church has obviously let you down personally. That doesn’t mean that every single Catholic divorcee or single person in the world has been let down by the Church. Would I continue to be engaged with you if I didn’t care. Your generalizations are difficult to overcome, but they can be overcome. Unless you consider this harassment. I do not condemn you. And by the way, my perception is that the Church is not being run by any ideology. I would say that the Church is “up for grabs” and at least in my neck of the woods, the Church is controlled by moderates or liberals, and my experience is that liberals can be obnoxious bullies too. I don’t deny your personal experience — but to assert that the entire Church is controlled by EWTN laity and conservative JPII clergy is certainly not the experience of many in the US. And also: the Church does not provide support for priests. Priests have to make their own support, believe me. Nothing is a given when it comes to the human element of the Church, which is why there is always a need for grace.

          • Louise Mensch

            Father, the Church hasn’t let her down at all. Some Catholics have let her down. I think it’s important to draw the distinction. There are bad apples in every orchard

          • Brian Stanley

            A lot of your bitterness would appear to have nothing to do with religion, per se. You’ve been taken advantage of by other people. There are all sorts of users, and not all of them are Catholic. But reading your comments, you blame conservative Catholics for your loneliness. Make some friends among some Protestants then: I have lots of Protestant friends, Jewish friends, and a few Muslim friends (I was an Army chaplain, and deployed to Iraq). I agree that the Church needs to improve how it deals with divorce (I have two siblings who are divorced). But it is a convenience for your to blame all your troubles on “evil conservatives in the Church.” A psychological counselor would not agree with you saying things like others bullying you to a nervous breakdown and an eating disorder. I’ve had PTSD and I don’t blame others for what happened. It might be time to seek some professional help, and I say that as one who not only helps others, but have received that professional help as well.

          • Brian Stanley

            And regarding babysitting – just say no. If you allow others to take advantage of you, you have ceded that control to them – and others will take that control only if you give it to them.

          • Louise Mensch

            I say this with real compassion and not to troll you but I think you could do with some therapy – really – your posts reveal a great unhappiness but it is not to do with the church, this is just a scapegoat. there’s plenty of support and love, for a start, go to Mass.I am never made to feel unwelcome at Mass just because I cannot present myself to receive.

          • Louise Mensch

            thank you for living your vocation Father

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Now that’s a guy in serious need of a good blowjob.

          • James

            I don’t think God is asking her to choose between the Church and her new husband.

            I think God is asking her to seek an annulment, and she doesn’t want to. So she sits out communion. Completely her choice.

          • kag1982

            Umm.. Yes, the fun legalistic procedure where she has to fill out a twenty page form with essay questions about her sex life and intimate personal details, deal with a Kafkaesque bureaucracy where everyone treats like trash and where her case goes nowhere, and open old wounds with her ex, relatives, etc. That manifestation of God’s love and mercy?

        • Hamburger

          Are you trying to provoke? If not you are giving a very good impression of it. One point only. Doctrinally you cannot leave the Catholic church. You may absent yourself, which is rather different.

          • kag1982

            Yes, but that doesn’t mean anything to most people practically. If you are already going to Hell for being remarried according to doctrine, then why not just join a more welcoming Church as well. Heck, just become atheist and enjoy your Sundays.

          • Hamburger

            You aren’t going to hell actually, just the way to heaven will be somewhat stony.

      • Lisa Alekna

        And by living within her beliefs, and offering up her sacrifices she receives untold graces! God turns all our challenges to our good, no matter what. St. Claude de la Colombiere called such sacrifices and sufferings “opportunities for acquiring merit and saving our souls” and wrote in his Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence that “It is clear from this that whatever the manner of our life we should always accept adversity joyfully. If we are leading a good life adversity purifies us, makes us better and enables us to acquire greater merit. If our life is sinful it serves to bring us to repentance and obliges us to become good.”

    • MEY

      she’s not excommunicated

      • kag1982

        Yes she is. Excommunicated means that you are not allowed to receive Communion. Hence it includes the root “communicated.”

        • FW Ken

          Ignorance on stilts

          • kag1982

            Really? Then why did Francis say that the Mafia through their actions are excommunicated from the Church. Aren’t remarried divorcees who are living in mortal sin according to the Church in the same boat as Mafia dons?

          • FW Ken

            No, they are not.

          • kag1982

            Yes remarried divorcees are excommunicated through their actions per the Church. There is no difference between their mortal sins and the mortal sins of a Mafia don according to the Church. I don’t agree with this, but I’m stating the Church’s position.

          • FW Ken

            Can you point to where the Code Of Canon Law says that?

          • kag1982

            latae sententiae – through their actions. Similar to what Pope Francis declared about the Mafia.

          • FW Ken

            That penalty was removed in 1977.

            MYTH: A Catholic who divorces and remarries, without a declaration of invalidity (an annulment), is excommunicated.

            TRUTH: This penalty was removed in 1977. Catholic Church law permits a second marriage if a declaration of invalidity of the first marriage is granted. A divorced Catholic who remarries outside the Church is not excommunicated, still remains an active member of the Church, and may still attend Mass, but may not receive Communion until a declaration of invalidity is granted for the previous marriage and the present union is convalidated. (This also applies

          • FW Ken

            That’s from a diocesan tribunals site. If you can quote canon law to refute it, which you can’t, feel free to do so.

            But if you want to get all wiggy over LS, why are you not excommunicated for persistent dissent from the Faith?

          • kag1982

            Perhaps according to your definition I and all other liberal Catholics are. I don’t believe that she is nor do I believe that people who dissent from specific Church teachings are. However, the truth is that someone who is in ongoing mortal sin is excommunicated from the Church. Those are the rules according to the Church. I don’t believe that these are Jesus’ rules, but they are the Church’s rules. Just be honest about the situation okay?

            You believe that this woman is in mortal sin through her ongoing relationship with her current husband. She is excommunicated through her actions. As a result, she should either divorce her husband (preferred solution) or live as brother and sister. Please just state the truth about the position. This whole pussy footing around is silly.

          • FW Ken

            Apparently, you have some bizarre need to disagree with the Church, which doesn’t say she’s excommunicated. Whatever.

            As to you and other dissenters, you brought up LS, not me. I merely applied it consistently with your formulation, which is wrong.

            Let’s very one thing straight: there is nothing “liberal” about you. The difference between you and a radtrad is the opinions you hold. However, you both hold them in the same rigid, narrow manner.

          • kag1982

            “Apparently, you have some bizarre need to disagree with the Church, which doesn’t say she’s excommunicated. Whatever.”
            Based on Pope Francis’ definition of excommunication, they are excommunicated. This isn’t by formal judgment but they still may not partake in the Sacraments.

            “Let’s very one thing straight: there is nothing “liberal” about you. The difference between you and a radtrad is the opinions you hold. ”
            Yes, I will take a rad trad like yourself’s word on this.

          • FW Ken

            Wow! And I don’t even like the TLM.

            I am starting to think you are a conservative running a false flag operation to make look like morons.

            Gotta run, Snowflake.

          • kag1982

            Certainly spend time defending Burke.

          • FW Ken

            So? He likes that stuff, me not so much.

            See, the world is large and beautiful, but complex and sometimes scary. Apparently that’s why you need to stay in your little corner and throw darts at anyone different from yourself.

          • kag1982

            I throw darts at people like Ray Burke and yourself and other conservative Catholics who choose to bully their fellow Catholics and demand that anyone who isn’t as “pure” as they are be excluded from the Church.

          • FW Ken

            Who, precisely, is the bully, is rather clear.

            Anyway, throw the darts, if it makes you feel like someone. Your aim’s wide and they are more like nerf balls, but suit yourself.

            Still, living frightened of people different than yourself isn’t really living.

          • kag1982

            Yes.. Burke is. He has been bullying people who disagree with him for years. Ask St. Stanislaus about Burke’s management style. Also, many conservative Catholics cause divisions in parishes and bully people who disagree with them ideological or who just get in their way. Many cradle Catholics like myself and my family have been bullied by such “good Catholics.” It seems like being such a rigid religious fundamentalist makes people pretty nasty.

          • FW Ken

            I know you don’t see this, but your are every bit the fundamentalist as anyone ever was. You just have different fundamentals. By the way, “fundamentalist” is s technical term which you misused, so I misused it begins you. I would not expect to know that.

          • FW Ken

            And it would help if you got your facts right just occasionally.

          • kag1982

            I always get my facts right.

          • FW Ken

            Of course you do. Whatever you say is true, therefore you can never be wrong. Great system you’ve got going there.

          • kag1982

            How is the penalty that remarried divorcees incur different from the penalty that Pope Francis stated that Mafia bosses incur? There are other forms of excommunication that aren’t a piece of paper from Rome.

            Oh and even formally excommunicated Catholics are required to attend Mass and are still considered Catholic. As with remarried divorcees, they must complete an action to rectify their situation.

          • Louise Mensch

            no, you’re not.

          • kag1982

            Hey.. I’m just stating what Pope Francis said about the Mafia in June. How is that different from anyone else committing mortal sin?

          • Brendan McNamara

            You are either a serious troll or delusional and definitely heretical. God be with you either way.

        • MEY

          a Catholic is not excommunicated when she/he is divorced. In May, 1977, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops voted to lift the penalty of excommunication imposed by the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884) which applied only to American Catholics who remarried after a divorce from a valid marriage. This vote was ratified by the Holy See in November of the same year. Therefore, the penalty of excommunication doesn’t apply to divorced or remarried persons.

          • kag1982

            That is the formal excommunication by degree of the Church. I’m talking about excommunication through actions. For instance, Pope Francis in June stated that the Mafia are excommunicated through their actions. None of the godfathers are excommunicated formally by decree of the Vatican but they are still out of Communion with the Church. How is that different from the limbo that remarried divorcees find themselves in?

          • MEY

            Your statement:
            “Are you a masochist who enjoys being excommunicated from the Church?”
            She is not excommunicted. period. She IS in full communion WITH the Church, and more than many people who do not obey the teachings about recieving communion.

            Your statement:
            “Excommunicated means that you are not allowed to receive Communion. Hence it includes the root “communicated”
            No, and your analogy to the Mafia is not a good one. The Mafia CHOOSE to do what they do and disobey God, and Church and civil law. The author here IS following the laws/teachings.

          • kag1982

            The author is disobeying the Church teaching by committing what the Church considers adultery. I don’t think that she is in mortal sin, but the current Church teaching as well as she herself do believe she is committing an ongoing mortal sin. The penalty is exclusion from the Sacraments.

        • Brian Stanley

          Excommunication is a canonical term with a canonical meaning. You do not accept that canonical meaning, and wish to redefine it. You have not the competence to redefine a canonical term. We all understand you: you have your understanding of Catholic sacraments. But please note: your understanding is not the final word, and your insistence on redefining Catholic terms and concepts to fit your worldview is both stubborn and obtuse. If you wish to engage intellectually those faithful and informed Catholics on their Sacraments, it would greatly help your argument to assent to their definitions and argue forward thusly, rather than insist on your own idiosyncratic ones, which faithful and informed Catholics would not accept. And we also understand: you want people to leave the Catholic Church. You’ve made your debating point clear.

          • kag1982

            In June Pope Francis said that the Mafia are excommunicated through their actions. They therefore shouldn’t receive the Sacraments and it is proper for priests to deny them the Eucharist and Reconciliation until they make firm amendment to change. How is this different from the penalties that remarried divorcees face?

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        She just walks that way.

    • MikeinSpain

      Anglican? The ‘religion’ which was started just because Henry VIII wanted to divorce his wife and wasn’t allowed by the Church? I’d have had more sympathy if you’d mentioned Lutheranism – at least that has doctrinal intellectual standing.

      • kag1982

        Yes, Lutheranism is possible as well, but I was getting at the Protestant Church closest to Catholicism.

    • Joe Blough

      She is not excommunicated. Learn some Canon Law before flapping your gums.

  • Kennybhoy

    Mrs Mensch. You are in my prayers.

    • Adrian Wainer

      Are you a Catholic?

      • T. Audrey Glamour

        Are you? 🙂

        • Kennybhoy

          Och that was cruel! lol

      • Kennybhoy

        Stranger hereabouts…?

      • AugustineThomas

        You’re obviously a heretic at best.

    • Louise Mensch

      thank you so much

  • Sean Grainger

    Another piece with ‘I’ in the headine eh Louise?

  • DTNorth

    Its all made up.

  • Saikourufu

    Diligentibus Deum, omnia cooperantur in bonum (Rom 8:28) 😉

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      …with a double portion of baked beans.

  • sarah_13

    With as much respect as I can muster; you do realise there is no god? The irony of your “actual logic” plea seems to be rather lost on you. A lot of old men make the rules up as they go along but then it probably takes quite a lot of space and psychological freedom to see that I suppose. There is no one up there worrying about you and your Holy Communion, just as there is no one worrying about the children beheaded by ISIS and the women they have enslaved.

    • Hamish Redux

      Plenty of respect mustered; not so much intelligence, it seems.

      • sarah_13

        I defer to your greater intelligence so perhaps you could explain to me, in terms I can understand, where the god who cares about Holy communion is on the beheading of children and enslavement of women, amongst billions of other daily horrors.. And further how the convening of men by way of a “holy synod” is able to “liberalise” the rules? Just like that. In the same way perhaps that they are able to “abolish” limbo, conveniently ignoring those who for years “believed” that is where the souls of unborn children went because that’s what these men told them?

        • FW Ken

          That beheading of children thing is the wrong religion. Even there, it’s not accurate to blanketly condemn Islam for the craziness of some (quite a few actually) of people calling themselves Muslims. Does Atheism demand the murder of some hundred million or more souls?

          • Helenahandcart

            Then you need to Read Surah 8 v 12. Allah directly calls for the beheading of those who refuse to convert to Islam. Craziness ? I agree.

          • FW Ken

            Other verses say other things.

            The Levant was home to various religious groups for hundreds of years and they co-existed. Sometimes more easily, sometimes less.

            You can find numerous stories of Muslims protecting Christians from the crazies.

          • sarah_13

            As long as the Christian had dhmmi status, subjugated to the muslim rulers… We don’t believe in societies like that in the west. We now have successful pluralist liberal democracies. Secular where church and state are kept well apart. It is those societies that are called upon to help others…

          • FW Ken

            Except it is the Church that actually helps others. In concert with the state, except that if you look, it’s often Christians advocating for state action. You may not know that the Catholic bishops supported Obamacare, until HHS wrote their oppressive regulations. They still support universal health care. The bishop’s are generally supportive of immigration reform, which means amnesty. According to you, they are intruding on politics.

          • sarah_13

            No sir it is not the church. Where was the catholic church (not individual catholic priests) during the holocaust? Complict sir, that is where. Where has the church been whilst the copts have been decimated by the religious muslim brotherhood previous government in Eqypt? Doing nothing, it was mp’s in the uk and other countries doing all the talking it has only happened that when people were being slaughtered before our eyes that the catholic church said anything. Too frightened to criticise islam to get too involved. It is not the church it is secular state governments that do the work. Their armies that go in and make the difference.

          • Brendan McNamara

            THe Pope himself hid hundreds of Jews and others during the Holocaust.

          • Brendan McNamara

            The Church offers prayers and aid to those displaced by war including the ones you mentioned. They can’t very well muster an army and invade.

          • sarah_13

            Indeed, others do the fighting. Prayers do very little to stop the spread of evil, armies are needed.

          • FW Ken

            More talking points without substance. Of course, I have no idea who you mean by “the Church” that was complicit in the Holocaust. Pius XII is usually credited with saving 800,000 Jews. St. Pope John 23 issued papers that helped Jews escape Turkey. Many convents, monasteries, parishes, and individual Catholics sheltered Jews, at great personal risk. 1000 Catholic priests were in Auschichz (sp) alone.

            I will politely avert my eyes at your thinking the Catholic Church has a standing army to fight wars. In fact, the pope has spoken out loudly about various suffering groups. And where were your secular authorities while 1400 girls were abused in Rotherham about 15 years?

            Face it: atheists build gulags, Christians build schools, senior care homes, and social services.

          • Dr. Heath

            Hang on!!

            I thought it was the case that while atheists build gulags, Muslims build schools, senior care homes, and senior services. That’s what lots of Muslims say and that’s what they believe. In fact, all the Muslims I meet say that you [and I] are going to suffer in eternity by being boiled in oil and sliced into bits and have these tortures repeated the nanosecond that their god, who’s suspiciously like yours, re-asssembles all the bits that were boiled in oil.

            Now, which fucking arrogant moronic cunt of a fuckwit should I believe? The Christian who seems to think that I’m involved in building gulags or the Muslim who seems to think that I’m involved in building gulags?

          • FW Ken

            You will build gulags. Your kind always does.

            Who you believe is is your business.

          • FW Ken

            Actually, Pius XII was responsible for saving 800,000 or more Jews.

            Another comment disappeared, but that’s all I care to re – type. The rest of your claims are drivil.

          • Louise Mensch

            I have read it. It doesn’t call for that in any way whatsoever.

          • sarah_13

            Good well how about you go explain to the literally millions who believe that it does, and see how they treat you, if indeed they listen to you at all being a woman and all….

            “Would the real islam please stand up?!!” No one cares what you think Islam is, nor what I say it is, it’s what the millions of “muslims” say it is that is islam. And when they have a little disagreement between them they say “oh well you’re not a muslim…” and so the nonsense goes on.

            It takes a religious person to defend a religious person because if you don’t defend them on their shaky religious ground how can you defend yourself?!

          • FW Ken

            You might want to check out the fact that Christians aren’t Muslims. And vice-versa. Hint: it’s or children being murdered.

          • Helenahandcart

            Very well said, Sarah, thankyou.

          • Helenahandcart

            I am afraid it is unambiguous. Allow me to quote it: “I shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers”. Page 127 in the new Penguin translation by N.J Dawood. Happy to help.

            By the way, Catholics “receive” communion. we don’t “take” it. Otherwise, a very powerful article. Thankyou.

            (runs to hide before Jadis threatens more violence)

          • Louise Mensch

            I hope you see this as I replied to one of your other comments, the word “take” is the sub’s headline and I didn’t write that. My article says ‘receive’ or ‘present myself for’.

          • sarah_13

            The point is not who is doing it but that “god” allows people to be killed!!!! If he cares so much WHY IS HE ALLOWING IT! Is he just concerned about Ms Mensch’s communion?!! But forgets about the millions of children dying every day. i think not.

          • FW Ken

            If God were to have made robots, nothing bad would ever happen. But God made people. The wickedness in the world is on us.

            God is a loving father who holds everyone and everything in his hands. His brand of love is not control, which is probably why those who reject him struggle to control everything.

          • sarah_13

            Says who? God made…. Says who? I could say “Thaw made….” what on earth does that mean. It’s just a childish tale. In order enter into the conversation you must have us accept your premise i.e. “god made….” but what evidence do you have for this tale?

          • FW Ken

            Your asked why bad things happen, blaming God. I replied from a Christian perspective. I know you don’t believe, and have no reasonable expectation of a “discussion” with you, since you are incapable of looking beyond you rather narrow point of view.

          • sarah_13

            I don’t blame “god” at all for bad things, as I see absolutely no evidence of a god. I blame the individuals responsible for the Evil.

          • FW Ken

            Actually, you wrote this:

            The point is not who is doing it but that “god” allows people to be killed!!!! If he cares so much WHY IS HE ALLOWING IT

            I think you wrote about the same thing at least one other time.

            In fact my comment was toward a more general tendency to twist things around. But yes, the Christian and Jewish understanding is that evil proceeds from the heart of men.

          • sarah_13

            It is your “god”, not mine. I don’t believe in “god”. The question is for you; if you believe in a “god” how do you feel that he is happy to allow children to be killed, daily?

          • FW Ken

            He isn’t. At least my god isn’t.

            I thought we agreed that it’s men doing all the bad stuff

          • FW Ken

            You asked a question, I responded. I get that you don’t believe that and gave no reasonable expectation of a “conversation” with someone who can’t get beyond “I don’t believe that”.

          • FW Ken

            I keep replying, but they keep disappearing. Hmmmmm…

            Anyway, I have no reasonable expectation of conservation with someone who can’t move beyond “it’s a childish tale”.

          • Kennybhoy

            Look up Free Will and take a course in logical thinking.

          • sarah_13

            I understand free will. Your god is a sadist then who cares not a jot for children cut in half in front of their parents, but he cares dearly about communion.

          • Brendan McNamara

            God cares for everyone. What you are looking for is immortality and freedom from suffering which isn’t part of life and doesn’t prove anything about God other than there are evil people in this world that choose to be evil and do evil things.

          • sarah_13

            “God cares for everyone”? Says who? It manifests itself in reality as “god cares for no one..” I don’t want to be immortal but I don’t want someone with religious fervour cutting my otherwise pleasant life short because they have some “info” from “god” that makes them care nothing for me, or my life, or my freedoms and everything for the here after! That is just for starters… Do you see the point?

          • Brendan McNamara

            Yes, I see your point, but you are ignorant of religious doctrine too.

          • sarah_13

            Am I? How do you know? You want me to argue based on the religious premises proposed, but they are artificial and man made premises the conclusion comes from the premise. You just say “God cares for everyone” as if that means something. It sounds nice but has no meaning. We live in the world, saying “god cares for everyone” as your child is being cut in half in front of you and the priest who baptised the child, as happened in iraq, means nothing.

            The reality is nice people, good people, don’t do horrible things, in spite of who and what their god says not because of it.

          • Brendan McNamara

            I don’t know. No one knows. It’s called faith based on the Bible, Church writings, and Church history. We have free will to choose. I have chosen and so have you. No big deal. If it didn’t matter to you why are you commenting about atheism on a religious article? You realize that you aren’t going to convince anyone otherwise? We have heard it all before, yet our faith remains unwaveringly strong. Even if you proved to be that Christ was wrong, I would still remain with Christ. We shall shelter Him underground if necessary.

          • sarah_13

            I am commenting primarily because I can, not because I believe you or Ms Mensch’s religious views will be affected by what I say, though I hope any discussion is fruitful except to those whose minds are completely closed. But also I am disturbed that I see religious people defending indefensible practices of other religions because they feel compelled to defend other religions. Religious people thus become patsies for other religions. I believe its because all religious people are on shaky ground to start off with and so if other religions are exposed they will thus have to examine their own beliefs and that is bound to be traumatic.

            For me catholicism is not a pressing problem, albeit that my nieces and cousins are restricted in their ability to think as a result and many in Africa and other countries suffer because of lack of contraception and abortion etc but the biggest and most pressing problem we face is those religions who use other religions, religions that have in some way been forced to reform, to fight their battles. Ms Mensch no more knows what is the real islam than those within islam do. Islam has been fighting internal battles, delaying the inevitable reformation that must come, for centuries.

          • Brendan McNamara

            My mind is not dead. Don’t act like my faith hasn’t been a battle, an instrospective struggle of acceptance. Faith is borne out of a fire of doubt.

            As for Islam. Islam is a religion of peace, however some evil people have hijacked it, just like every other religion in history at some point. Denigrate the evil people, not the faiths that have been bastardized. I don’t have to defend any other faith, because we Catholics believe our faith to be the one holy apostolic church and thus correct in all that it teaches. However, if you study other religions you realize which ones are about peace and love and which aren’t.

            You are blaming the wrong people. It’s a common mistake for those that lack faith to attack those with it no matter what. You are ignoring all the good that the Church does entirely; it doesn’t come into your argument. Hypocritical not to present both sides, even if you disagree with them.

          • sarah_13

            I did not say your mind is dead. Everyone’s life is a struggle, every minute. But addressing our ignorance is traumatic for all of us, and for those who invested everything in religion it is probably even more traumatic, and for those who feel hood winked, from a very early age a bigger trauma still, no doubt.

            “Islam is a religion of peace” is a nonsense platitude. Read the Koran, as it is, not as you would like it to be. It is underscored throughout by violence. And unlike the old testament is considered the perfect word of god and to be interpreted literally. The earlier nicer “verses” are superseded by some pretty nasty and violent later ones.

            Now I don’t purport to speak for Islam and I don’t understand how you do either because there are literally millions who disagree with you. Millions who if Ms Mensch spoke to them would turn away and not even consider anything she says because she is a women. And these are not even the ones beheading people in Syria and Iraq. Go to the country of Saudi Arabia, where Mecca is, and look at the flag. It is underscored by a sword! What does that tell you? There can be no churches on the arabian peninsula and no jew can set foot there. I’m no expert but then who is? Sunni muslims? Shia Muslims? Sufi Muslims? You and Ms Mensch might like to sit amongst moderate muslims and listen to their discussion in relation to jews. Very interesting I can tell you. So perhaps you and other non muslims would leave the discussion about what is and isn’t islam to others.

          • Brendan McNamara

            You are speaking of the evils of men which is part of life and has nothing to do with God’s desire for humanity and His teachings.

          • John Lea

            Perhaps you should read more works of theology, develop a more nuanced and refined understanding of the subject, before making aggressive atheistic comments which make you look quite spectacularly ignorant I’m afraid. Just sayin’.

          • sarah_13

            But I’m happy to look “spectacularly ignorant”, are you? What nuance am I missing? I really would like to know. The sort that only 50 years of theological study can give? Should I defer to an “expert”? Like a “priest”? He’ll put me straight I’m sure.

          • Louise Mensch

            Free will.

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            …doesn’t do anything in terms of excusing God’s inherent responsibility for literally everything.

            Even if you allow for free will, God, being all-knowing, already knows the terrible choices that the people he creates will make.

            As such, God knew, prior to their creation, what the Ted Bundys and Peter Sutcliffes would end up doing and the suffering that they’d inflict. God knew this, but created them anyway. The buck stops with him.

          • Louise Mensch

            Knowing something in advance does not make you responsible for it.

          • sarah_13

            That isn’t how we work on earth.

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            Thats a straw-man argument.

            If you *create* something, the details of who’s future behaviour you cannot help but be entirely certain of (as God is supposedly all-knowing), the suffering he inflicts is ultimately your responsibility for creating him in the first place.

            On a slightly lower scale, If God is real and everything you say is true, and I live my life never once believing in God, then it logically follows that God created me *knowing* full well that I’d die as an atheist.

            As such, free will, even if it existed in the way you likely think it does, does not mean that I can be held accountable for my atheism.

            Tell me, do you believe in hell? Do you believe I am destined to go there if I do not convert to your faith?

          • Brendan McNamara

            You don’t understand free will or pre destination as explained in Catholic doctrine. You got it all wrong.

          • sarah_13

            She really must.

          • Louise Mensch

            No, it isn’t. You’ve made an assertion which isn’t logical internally (I create you and give you free will, and know what you will do, and my foreknowledge negates your free will) and then you develop the poor logic. Under Catholic teaching you are not considered culpable for your atheism if your ignorance is invincible, and for the same reason, Catholics do not believe that salvation is limited to those obviously Catholic, because of baptism of desire

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            You misunderstand me.

            The point that I’m making is *not* that it negates my free will (on that point we most certainly agree), but that it doesn’t *have to* in order to absolve me of ultimate responsibility for my actions.

            Essentially, if God is responsible for all human creation, and must therefore necessarily know everything (which obviously entails every single one of the choices I’m destined to make in life) then the “Why-are-you-throwing-me-into-hell!? I-never-chose-to-be-born!” defense becomes completely reasonable!

            I’m very glad to hear that you don’t believe in the doctrine of hell (although tragically a great many Catholics still do).

            Nevertheless, nothing changes regarding your original point. God is responsible for the creation of Stalin, Hitler etc. even if you grant them free-will as individuals.

            God must take the ultimate responsibility for creating those who he knows will become killers, rapists etc.

          • Louise Mensch

            Of course I believe in hell. It’s Catholic doctrine, as is the reflection of Pope St John Paul II that we do not know “whether or which” humans are in hell. And as long as we have free will, we and we alone are responsible for all we do.

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            Yes, we are responsible for what we do, and God is responsible for creating us knowing what we were going to BE responsible for doing. The two are entirely compatible and do not solve the problem of evil human evil.

            Essentially, God knows the terrible choices that I am destined to choose! (destined to choose is NOT a contradiction) and that (assuming I do indeed die as an atheist) that he created me knowing that I’d muddle around in what would essentially prove to be little more than a waiting room for hell, never being confronted with evidence to believe in him.

            I doubt I’ll persuade you, but I don’t doubt you’re a good person Louise and that you have a moral compass, I suppose I’m just writing a rebuttal that might comfort anyone who at times, can’t help their unbelief and persuade them that they honestly need not worry.

            If there existed a God who created people that he knew he’d be chucking into eternal torture in relatively speaking, a cosmological blink of an eye, then his evil is frankly, inescapable.

          • Louise Mensch

            you fail at logic so hard.

            foreknowledge ≠ control of, ≠ responsibility for. There is no destiny as there is free will (goes back to your fallacious equation of foreknowledge with control). Since you fail philosophy 101 let’s try Terminator: no fate but what we make.

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            For the third time, I’m not equating foreknowledge with control; and yes, it is a straw-man to suggest that I am.

            What I am saying is that if you have foreknowledge of something, (in this case the life events of a terribly evil human being BEFORE you choose to create it), you are responsible for its actions as its entirely up to YOU whether or not you *choose* to create it and unleash those choices on the world.

            God had a choice regarding whether or not he created Stalin. He did not however (being all-knowing) have a choice of whether or not he’d like to know what Stalin would do WITH the free will he granted him. Being all-knowing, God must be helplessly aware of the choices Stalin would make EVEN IF YOU GRANT STALIN FREE WILL.

            God, being all-knowing, could not fail to know the terrible evil the Stalins and suchlike *would* inflict on the world were he to plonk them in there, yet chose to do so anyway.

            Thus, the world has every reason to hold God responsible for the existence of human evil.

          • FW Ken

            Why don’t you go talk to a Calvinist. Your line of “reasoning” is theirs, not ours.

          • sarah_13

            So the millions who die everyday, children, women, men, innocents etc etc that’s free will, god just stands aside and allows that? Where does it say that, which man made book? Or which man’s interpretation?

            What about all the millions who thought their unborn children were in limbo? What happens when they decided to scrap limbo, and create another place?

            I married a catholic myself, whose sister is a nun. She’s lovely, very knowledgeable but invested in her many years as a nun, difficult to change your mind I would imagine after such investment. My husband no longer believes and never really did but didn’t like to upset his family. He has a moral compass without the need to refer to some medieval rules. His nieces went to catholic schools and when we get onto a debate that they can’t explain, because of the limitations imposed by religion, they tend to cry and we always feel bad, like somehow its our fault for discussing things, and I think that suits everyone just fine. However it is in my view a real impediment to their development. And they are over 20 years old now.

            The world is far more amazing than a couple of books and some old men give it credit for.

          • Louise Mensch

            yes, you got it. It’s free will. Your nieces are probably crying because you’re a crashing bore.

          • sarah_13

            The free will of the people killed? Where does their will come into it? Their will is entirely extinguished by others. Where is god in this, with respect to those killed?

            In response to your third sentence, yes it could be because i’m ” a crashing bore” but given that I rarely enter into the discussion with them, and my husband does, because he is nominally catholic, it may and more likely has nothing to do with me or even him. I suspect, though I could be wrong, that they are emotionally so invested in the catholic teaching that when questions arise that aren’t easily answered they feel frustrated and it manifests itself in tears. Just as with others it manifests itself in anger.

          • Helenahandcart

            Perhaps save yourself some time and google “Freewill”. Until you work out what it means, you will find these sorts of discussions frustrating. Sounds like your neices were upset out of pity for your lack of critical reasoning. I’m with them.

          • sarah_13

            Thanks for the heads up. However I did philosophy at University and I believe I understand free will reasonably well, though not as well as you I’m sure. Perhaps you can enlighten me so I finally grasp the difference, or is all determined?

            As far as my nieces are concerned, again you may be right but as I mentioned later I tend not to get involved in these conversations so it could be my lack of critical reasoning, or my husband’s or a million other things, or it could be that they are emotionally invested in the teachings of the catholic church and when questions arise that are difficult to answer frustration manifests itself in tears, as it does with others in say, angry and sometimes insulting remarks. I’m not sure myself, what do you think?

          • Fraziel

            I think you are exactly right, have experienced it myself with evangelicals when you ask them difficult questions. My ex was an evangelical christian as were many of her family, pastors too. indoctrinated and without an ounce of critical thinking between the lot of them

          • Fraziel

            yes, brilliant! if only she had realised. Pitiful response.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Do we have free will?
            Of course, the Boss says so.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Yes atheism does demand the murder of souls through abortion and through the human rights violations of atheist cultures like China, USSR, Cuba, etc. Atheists always forget to mention that.

          • FW Ken

            It was a rhetorical question. However, there is a pro-life atheist organization, so credit where credit is due.

          • Pat Conway

            And Christians don’t avail of abortion?

      • Samson

        It’s a mortal to sin to call someone a fool, presumably telling someone they lack intelligence is fine.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Normally I’d agree. However, the person that’s for the last decade has insisted that I’m Japanese… The description “fool” is exceedingly mild.

    • MikeinSpain

      One either believes in God or one doesn’t. Arguing about his existence is fruitless. All Catholics believe; you don’t. So be it, but just as it doesn’t necessarily make them right, it doesn’t make you right either. Leave them (and I include myself, even as a lapsed-by-half-a-century Catholic) to our beliefs.

      • sarah_13

        Agreed. But imposing rules on those around you based on your religious belief is where the difficulties begin, including asking people not to discuss things you find “offensive” etc.

        • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

          Bang on the money.

          You’re allowed to believe whatever you want to believe MikeinSpain, but when you start imposing your beliefs on people (trying to prevent abortion, banning condoms in Africa, covering up institutionalised pedophilia in your organisation) that we’re not going to be having friendly words.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Abortion is murder. No one has banned condoms in Africa and no one has proved that there was a cover up. All media nonsense and ignorance of Catholic doctrine. Not to mention that you are a hypocrite because you are imposing YOUR beliefs onto we Catholics.

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            I most certainly am imposing my beliefs onto Catholics. Just like I’m more than happy to impose them onto Nazis too.

            They don’t get to run around exterminating Jews. Its not a difference of opinion. Its not a toss-up. I’m not open to persuasion. My concern is not dialogue, but how best I may contribute to their destruction and the violent defense of the free.

          • sarah_13

            I personally do not want to impose my beliefs, but do want to prevent catholics, muslims and others imposing them on me. The best way to achieve that is a secular society. Catholics and others ultimately do want to impose their views on others they just aren’t being honest and at present are not in a position to do so. In the meantime we do best by discussing and allowing them to see the reality of the world and hopefully persuading them that if they think for themselves they can extricate themselves from childish notions. My worry is that “christians” such as Theresa may and Ms Mensch become the patsies for much worse and less enlightened ideologies. For Theresa May to speak on behalf of Islam as she did the other day, no doubt with good intention, and to state there is “no compulsion in religion” is a platitude, worse it is nonsense; children are born into islam and told they cannot leave! If that isn’t compulsion I don’t know what is.

          • FW Ken

            So your do want to murder us. Join the parade.

        • MikeinSpain

          I haven’t imposed any rules in this debate, and I haven’t used the word ‘offensive’. Are you replying to the wrong commentator? Personally I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion *provided they don’t foist it on others*.

        • FW Ken

          Imposing what rules? I presume our doctrine about the indissolvability of marriage doesn’t impact you.

          • sarah_13

            Religious “rules” taught to young children unable to think for themselves. Rules still followed in countries such as Ireland… Rules that affect the lives of women throughout the world… Just for starters.

          • FW Ken

            I would be more impressed of you evidence the ability to think for yourself, rather than just repeating talking points.

          • FW Ken

            I replied to this, but some of my comments are disappearing. Censorship or a not-so-smart phone. In any case, your rhetoric isn’t worth retyping my reply.

  • Pat Conway

    Sin is an imaginary disease, invented to sell you an imaginary cure.

    • tolpuddle1

      Imaginary ? – read the papers.

      • Pat Conway

        What has ‘sin’ got to do reading the papers?

        • tolpuddle1

          As Chesterton pointed out, the news proves that sin exists.

          • Pat Conway

            Sin does not exist.

          • tolpuddle1

            Human beings constantly depart from God’s goodness – that is sin.

            Don’t come up with the atheist fantasy that God doesn’t exist.

          • Pat Conway

            Atheist fantasy? No. Theists are the ones living in a fantasy. You believe in a book of fables and mythology. Religion is nothing more than superstition. You may as well accept alchemy and astrology.

          • Paddy S

            No atheist fantasy seems about right.

          • tolpuddle1

            Again ! – the same old Atheist superstition that God doesn’t exist.

          • Pat Conway

            Atheist superstition? The ones who believe in superstition are believers. Shame you can’t tell the difference between reality and the fantasy and fairy tales of religion.

          • tolpuddle1

            It’s a shame that you can’t distinguish between Science and Scientism, the atheist fantasy-cult that dishonestly claims to speak on Science’s behalf.

            It’s an even greater shame that you are wholly unprepared (and worse) for your encounter with the only final reality – Almighty God – that, like all of us, you will experience at the end of your earthly life.

          • Pat Conway

            It’s a shame you can’t distinguish between the natural and the supernatural. You desperately cling on to your superstition and try to tell me that when I die I will meet your imaginary god. You are entitled to your delusion, just don’t expect rational people to accept your fantasies.

          • tolpuddle1

            You start off by assuming (and it is an assumption) that the supernatural doesn’t exist, then say, it doesn’t exist, it’s just “superstition.”

            Where’s the reasoning ? There’s none – just your superstitious belief that the supernatural doesn’t.

            God is real – the universe merely a product of His imagination.

          • Pat Conway

            Where is your reasoning for the existence of the supernatural? It’s just delusion on the part of believers. ‘God’ only exists in your mind.

          • tolpuddle1

            Our minds only exist in God and because of God.

            Please don’t worship the human mind or humanity.

          • Pat Conway

            I don’t worship anybody or anything.

  • Caroline Farrow

    Nice piece Louise well done. I hope that some pastoral accommodation can be found which enables you to once again receive, but which does not, as you say, water down doctrine regarding the indissolubility of marriage. This is the key challenge for the Synod.

    • Ann Couper-Johnston

      Did you read the article by Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith in the Catholic Herald? He’s a canon lawyer and wrote a blog for them on five ways the Synod could make it easier for people like Louise without compromising the doctrine. I too hope Louise will be able to receive one day: she has greater respect for the Eucharist than many and it’s great to see.

      I agree with you about everybody receiving automatically. I am old enough to remember when they did not. (Why do Catholics all rush up at once, like lemmings? It doesn’t encourage respect.)

      • Lisa Alekna

        I read that article – he has some very good points.

      • little islander

        I joined the ‘lemmings’ once but my girlfriend stopped me. She was a lemming (and a doubly sinful one at that, now that I’ve read this. Big Thank You, Mrs Mensch) and I was not.

      • FW Ken

        I can’t find that article at the Herald website. Do you have a link?

      • MenAreLikeWine

        Actually he is a moral theologian, not a canon lawyer.

    • Helenahandcart

      Your comments supporting Cormac were a little insensitive given the current situation with +Conry. I think you might have waited before wading in to defend the hierarchy. A lot of people are feeling quite bruised. Not to mention seriously annoyed.

      • Caroline Farrow

        Rather off-topic Helena. No interest in engaging with a flame war, but for the record I have not made any comments either accusing or supporting any individual in what is, as you note, a deeply painful situation for many people. Thanks.

        • Helenahandcart

          Rather Hostile, Caroline…. I only made an observation about a rather crass comment you made on twitter. If you don’t wish others to respond to your comments then my advice is er…. don’t use social media to make them. Your tone is sounding a tad shrill, my dear. Clanging cymbals and stuff…

          • Caroline Farrow

            Broke my golden rule there *do not feed the trolls*.

            You appear to bear a grudge, so I’ll leave you to it. 🙂

          • Helenahandcart

            Oh dear, no Not at all. I bear you no grudge – be assured of that. I’m so sorry you think I am a troll. I Bless you and will sincerely offer up my rosary for you this evening. I certainly wish you (nor anyone) no offence. I wish you blessings.

          • Hildegarde

            Those two are a pair of harridans. They were trying to attack me, not you. Ignore. They are a menace and I am sorry you were the target of their misguided jealousy. It is me they are jealous of. Keep up your good work HH and pray for the enemies.

          • Hildegarde

            In fact, second thoughts, private message me – you need to know who these people are. They are actively trying to destroy the ministry of ordinary Catholics.

          • Jadissock

            Yes – please don’t feed her – she’ll only bore us all Friday with a list of the ingredients and little mmmm noises. When will she get over not being picked by CV? (Waits for Really Filthy to join in)

          • Helenahandcart

            Dear Jadis, I am going to suggest that you have got the wrong target here. I have not made any comment about anyone on the CH site, however even if I had, I don’t think that threats to be violent are really the best response. The rest of your comments are incoherent and I think you need to think more carefully before reacting in such an OTT manner to a perfectly reasonable comment I made above: adultery/holycommunion/conry and cormac. It is all linked and I had a right to comment. My comment was made in a reasonable fashion and I stand by it. I have no intention of starting conflict, but it seems to me that you are looking for some kind of point-scoring. I am guessing this goes back to an old row you have had with someone else, not me. I hope this clarifies some bizarre comments above to anyone else reading. The internet is a strange place.

          • Jadissock

            Oh don’t start all that again, Handtart. Mulier Fortis has a pair of specially trained killer-cats on your trail after your remarks at the Herald. I would stay deep under cover, dear (which I am afraid means you need to put the paper bag over your head again).

    • James

      Perhaps I’m missing something here, but why would a pastoral accommodation be necessary for someone who refuses to petition for a decree of nullity?

      Louise stated she had her reasons for not pursuing an annulment, but by doing so she is choosing to continue to live in what the Church considers a sinful relationship without even attempting to remedy it. This seems incredibly obstinate (or more likely) she is seriously misinformed about the annulment process.

  • tolpuddle1

    But Louise, do you believe OTHER basic Catholic doctrines like “Blessed are ye that are poor” ?

    Your behaviour and politics suggest otherwise.

    • Hamburger

      That is unworthy.

      • tolpuddle1

        Albeit true.

        • Hamburger

          No, it is a myth that socialism and Christianity are almost synonymous.

          • tolpuddle1

            What’s socialism got to do with it ? That Capitalism is detestable doesn’t make socialism right, or vice versa.

            It is a myth that you can believe in both Christianity and Capitalism, the latter being an unforeseen side-effect of John Calvin’s theological errors.

            Avarice and pride – the vices encouraged by Capitalism and intrinsic to it – don’t mesh with the Gospel.

            Jesus said: “Blessed are you that are poor” and “But Woe unto you that are rich.” Not sentiments that will ever be expressed at any Conservative or Republican party conference.

            Your apparent belief in Capitalism is amusingly similar to a little boy’s belief in his sandcastle.

          • Hamburger

            Oh dear, struck a nerve it seems. Blessed are the poor on spirit is what he said if I remember correctly. Always misquoted by socialists.

          • tolpuddle1

            You don’t remember correctly.

            I was quoting Luke 6, you’re quoting Matthew.

            Both the material and spiritual meanings of “poor” are correct.

            Always dodged by the many Western “Christians” who have sold out to the Capitalist Faith – which is why Western Christianity (except among the poor) is dead.

  • Katelyn ER Woodruff

    whatever that sin may be, in this case, adultery — is able to receive Christ worthily. To receive him unworthily is to commit a further mortal sin. How exactly? I get that she believes. I Absolutely get that. However, How do you become worthily. What gives people the right to decide this? Maybe this is my Critical thinking skills… However I do not understand and forgive my ignorance’s I am not a Christian or a catholic. However, I am thinking how does one know or not know? How is one to know if they hae a committed a “Sin” . Who gives them that authority to deny someone? I really have a problem with this. Probably cause I have problems with humans calling others unworthy. I guess I don’t understand however, I get people are devout catholics. blessed be

    • Laurence England

      The words of Christ Himself on divorce, remarriage and adultery preclude her from receiving the GOD AND MAN Who said them, in the Most Holy Eucharist.

    • Guest

      Katelyn, from your sign off “blessed be”, I gather you practice wicca, or some form of paganism, which in this day and age is pretty much “make it up as you go along” based on whichever brand of heresay and mythology you happen to tune into and liked to read as a kid. I had friends back in the day that were very into the occult and wicca, so I know how it goes. “So mote it be”, and the “threefold law” and all that. Most of them would never have been as disingenuous as yourself, but so it goes. Perhaps you really are as uneducated as you appear to be.

      To answer your questions – and ONLY to answer your questions and not to argue – How is one to know if they have committed a sin – who is the Authority – The Church teaches that sin is an offense against God. Sin sets itself against God’s love for us, and turns our hearts away from him. It is disobedience, a kind of inner revolt against God’s will for us. It could be said that it is “love of ones self even to contempt of God”, a kind of proud self-exaltation, which is diametrically opposed to the example of Christ, which achieves our salvation. There are a great many kinds of sins, some are “listed”, and the authority for these come through scripture and the tradition of the Church. Others are not, but are still sins, and you can tell they are sins because they destroy charity in the heart because they are a grave violation of what could be called “natural law”, it turns us away from God, wounds charity, attacks the vital principles within us, and is incapatible with the love of God. Understand that in this context “charity” is “caritas” – love – not the commonly understood term denoting some kind of handout. Sin turns us away from virtue, destroys mercy, end hope, rejects repentance and forgivenss, and leads to hardness of heart. It creates a distance from God and a hardening of the heart, and clouds the mind and the conscience, leading to repetiation, leading to more sin and more vice.

      To answer your other question, “become worthy”, one has to truly repent of one’s sin, genuinely resolve not to repeat the sin, confess the sin, and receive absolution for the sin. If the intent to “go and sin no more” is not there, there can be no absolution.

      • Katelyn ER Woodruff

        it’s ok I wa sasking questions anyway, sometimes to learn you need to ask questions. I am questioning everything I always have. I accidently came across it. I can’t argue with someones’ belief that is personal and counter productive but I can always ask questions. thank you very much mostly cause the article confused me anyway.

    • Lisa Alekna

      To answer your questions – and ONLY to answer your questions and not to argue – How is one to know if they have committed a sin – who is the Authority – The Church teaches that sin is an offense against God. Sin sets itself against God’s love for us, and turns our hearts away from him. It is disobedience, a kind of inner revolt against God’s will for us. It could be said that it is “love of ones self even to contempt of God”, a kind of proud self-exaltation, which is diametrically opposed to the example of Christ, which achieves our salvation.

      There are a great many kinds of sins, some are “listed”, and the authority for these come through scripture and the tradition of the Church.
      Others are not, but are still sins, and we rely on a “well-formed conscience”; these are sins because they destroy charity in the heart because they are a grave violation of what could be called “natural law”, it turns us away from God, wounds charity, attacks the vital principles within us, and is incapatible with the love of God. Understand that in this context “charity” is “caritas” – love – not the commonly understood term denoting some kind of handout.

      Sin turns us away from virtue, destroys mercy, end hope, rejects repentance and forgivenss, and leads to hardness of heart. It creates a distance from God and a hardening of the heart, and clouds the mind and the conscience, leading to repetiation, leading to more sin and more vice.
      To answer your other question, “become worthy”, one has to truly repent of one’s sin, genuinely resolve not to repeat the sin, confess the sin, and receive absolution for the sin. If the intent to “go and sin no more” is not there, there can be no absolution.

  • AlanBell

    sounds like Stockholm Syndrome. Louise, you are in an abusive relationship with something that doesn’t exist. Get out.

  • Laurence England

    May God bless you for your brave honesty and may your voice echo through the corridors of power and influence at the Vatican. Thank you for upholding a truth that Cardinals and Bishops seem to care nothing for. May God reward you and grant you the salvation for which you have made it clear you desire. Thank you for your powerful testimony to the Most Holy Eucharist, Jesus Christ our Lord.

    • Adrian Wainer

      What does Jesus care more about the technicalities of who can and can not receive a piece of biscuit or Catholics being hunted down and slaughtered?

      • mollysdad

        That ‘piece of biscuit’ as you blasphemously put it, is the Body of Jesus Christ, given to us as our spiritual food.

        • Pat Conway

          It is a piece of wafer, nothing more.

          • Strife

            Really? What part of this scripture seems to be confusing you?

            The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”

            Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless
            you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.

            ***FOR MY FLESH IS TRUE FOOD, AND MY BLOOD IS TRUE DRINK”.***

            Then many of his disciples who were listening said, “THIS SAYING IS HARD; WHO CAN ACCEPT IT?”

            Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “DOES THIS SHOCK YOU?” – John 6:52-55,60-61

          • Pat Conway

            Only wafer. Anyone who thinks otherwise is clearly delusional.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Over 1.2 billion people alive today disagree with you. All your ancestors were Catholic, so you have Catholic blood running through your veins. You are a Catholic whether you like it or not.

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            An even greater number of people believe in the holiness of Allah and the true message of his prophet, I take it you don’t give their beliefs any credit at all down to sheer weight of numbers though do you?

          • Strife

            Mass killings under Communist regimes during the twentieth
            century alone are estimated between 85 and 100 million.

            And that doesn’t account for all the undocumented individual deaths, torture, and ongoing destruction still being wrought.

            And a vile religion like Islam does not reflect the overall positive aspects of other faiths. However, atheism left to its societal implementation on a broad scale inevitably results in wholesale suppression destruction and death for countless millions. And this is from a nihilistic ideology that has only been manifest for a little over a century.

            The blood stained tapestry of human history is clearly evident of this reality.

          • Brendan McNamara

            All religions have at least some credit in their beliefs.

          • FW Ken

            Actually, 2 billion Christians to about a billion Muslims.

            Ignorance on stilts. And from a Bright, no less.

            But you are right, it’s not about numbers. Jesus said “by their fruits you will know them”. Give an atheist power and people die. 50,000 in the French Revolution, tens of millions under 20th century Communism. Not to mention the power moral cretins like Dawkins want they call religious education child abuse.

            The Catholic Church is the largest non-governmental provider of social services in the world.

            Now go build a gulag.

          • Pat Conway

            But you deny the existence of all other gods but claim your god is real. The difference between you and me is that I include your god among the thousands whom mankind has worshipped as false.

          • Brendan McNamara

            No, we teach that everyone prays to the same God. You really are ignorant of Catholic doctrine and are lopping us together with other faiths. Common mistake for ignorant atheists.

          • Pat Conway

            Prays to the same god? Why waste your time praying? No one is listening.

          • Fraziel

            Praying is ,literally, the least anyone can do for anyone.

          • FW Ken

            Were you thinking that’s a reply or a rebuttal to what I wrote? I’m not sure whether to call it non sequitur or ad hominem. But it’s certainly evidence rhat you can’t actually reason your way out of a paper bag

          • Pat Conway

            Don’t talk about reason when you believe in superstition.

          • FW Ken

            Don’t talk about reason until you learn to mount a reasoned argument.

          • Pat Conway

            No reasoned argument at all from believers. All I see is the same old codswallop about superstition and the supernatural. Tell you what, try using the Bible in science class.

          • FW Ken

            The bible is not a science text. But since I doubt you have anymore a gap of science than you do of reason, I’ll politely look away from your startling ignorance.

          • Pat Conway

            I have been told countless times by believers that the Bible has all the answers.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Just file the Bible under Fiction.

          • FW Ken

            The bible is not a book about science. Why would I use it in a science class?

            I replied to this, but it disappeared.

          • Pat Conway

            It is claimed to be by many theists.

          • FW Ken

            Fundamentalists, yes, but we are Catholics. You might educate yourself yourself before you make silly comments

          • Pat Conway

            All Christians.

          • FW Ken

            Or keep on making a fool of yourself.

            Fine distinctions are hard for you, aren’t they.

          • Pat Conway

            The ones making fools of themselves are those who actually believe in the fairy tale of religion.

          • FW Ken

            I’m rubber, you’re glue.
            What I say bounces off me and sticks to you.

            Apparently, you can’t rise above ad hominem, so I leave you to the small little world where you hide. Sad little man/or woman.

          • Pat Conway

            Pointless trying to argue with those who have lost all sense of reason and logic. Enjoy your superstition.

          • FW Ken

            Actually I do enjoy being a Christian, wicked sinner that I am sometimes. But if I did lose my faith again, I wouldn’t want to be like you.

            Life’s grand and beautiful. Drop the hate. Life’s too short and you’ll never be in control anyway. If you want to be an atheist, fine. It’s possible to do so workout the insults and slanders. Come out and play with the rest of us fallible humans.

          • Pat Conway

            Life’s grand and beautiful for you maybe but not so for many.

          • FW Ken

            I know.

          • FW Ken

            Many atheists are mass murderers. Therefore…

            See, two can play at that.

          • Pat Conway

            And the Old Teatament god was guilty of ethnic cleansing, genocide and infanticide.

          • FW Ken

            That’s not a reply, is a deflection.

            Anyway, infanticide was the business of the Canaanites. They the living children into the core in the belly of a large some idol. It’s true, God did not like this.

            Your understanding of the bible is shallow, add are all of your non-arguments

          • Pat Conway

            And you are deflecting from the role of god in his violence towards mankind.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “Only one true God”
            Moving in the right direction. Next stop, “No God”.

          • Kennybhoy

            “50,000 in the French Revolution…”

            Even if we exclude the Vendean massacres this is a gross underestimate.

          • FW Ken

            Are you questioning Wikipedia? Shocked! I am shocked!

            Seriously, I looked around and found numbers from 40,000 to 100,000, with a note that 200,000 were arrested. One might assume that a high number of those arrested died. Those numbers don’t include the Vendee.

          • Fraziel

            it is child abuse and its indoctrination in unproven rubbish that actively encourages them not to think,rationalise or critique but to blindly follow without question. It is nothing short of evil.

          • FW Ken

            Are you capable of rational thought or does typing non-sequiter just make you feel good?

            For an exercise, go find a soup kitchen and volunteera few hours. Or perhaps clean bed pans in a charity hospital.

          • Fraziel

            the catholic church is an appalling organisation that discriminates and set science back a thousand years. Thankfully in the uk its power and influence is being diminished and after what happened in Ireland over the years now being exposed people are seeing it for the disgraceful, life ruining organisation that it is. Asking an atheist to accept it or respect it is like asking a black person to accept or respect the ku klux clan.

          • FW Ken

            I’m sure your opinions are important to you.

          • Pat Conway

            Billions indoctrinated/brainwashed from childhood into belief in a deity. No evidence for the existence of a god or gods.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Plenty of evidence. Believe you mean “definitive proof”

          • Pat Conway

            Evidence? Where?

          • sarah_13

            What evidence?

          • Fraziel

            There is no evidence. None. Zip. zero

          • whs1954

            This is not a Catholic country. The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm, thank you.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “Catholic blood running through your veins”
            All emotion, no logic. So your standard run-of-the-mill Catholic.

          • Brendan McNamara

            BTW what do you care? It has nothing to do with you so why even comment because your words mean nothing and achieve nothing but display your contempt and ignorance.

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            When your beliefs manifest themselves by imposing misery and suffering on mankind, you make it our business.

          • Strife

            Imposing misery on others? Oh, you mean like the vile ideology of atheism that has caused more death, destruction, and ongoing human misery via its social implementation of Communism/socialism than all other ideologies, philosophies and religions combined.

            Yeah, let’s talk about OUR business, shall we?

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            No-one has ever killed anyone in the name of atheism. No-one has ever threatened to kill someone unless they convert to atheism. Atheism is not a creed, it is not a religion, but merely the absence and rejection of one.

            That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence, and the idea that virgins give birth, or that there was a talking snake, or indeed that there exists an invisible old man, living in the sky who magically created everything, are silly, laughable beliefs that I don’t need to discuss in any great depth.

            Atheism is no more responsible for action than not-being-an-astronaut is responsible for one’s feet remaining on planet Earth.

            Lack of belief in God is no more responsible for atrocity any more than lack of belief in fairies.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Boy are you ignoring history. USSR and China and Cuba killed millions for ascribing to religious beliefs. As did the Nazis, who were pagan occultists by nature.

          • sarah_13

            Stalin studied in a seminary, he knew he had a credulous audience, prepared by the tsarist forefathers, ready for a further incredible ideology to take root.

          • Strife

            Yeah, and Judas Iscariot was hand picked by Christ. And your point is?

            Oh yeah, that humans have freewill – to do good OR evil.

          • sarah_13

            Judas Iscariot? Was just a man. Like Jesus was just a jewish guy with a very credulous audience…. An audience that believed all manner of superstitious nonsense….So what.

            Stalin knew a credulous audience when he saw one, and tsarist russia had such an audience….

          • Strife

            You didn’t actually understand my point did you? Well no.

            But thank you for at least indicting your atheism as a vapid “faith”. Now then, physician heal thyself.

          • sarah_13

            I did “understand your point” but I don’t agree with it. My point is that rather than considering someone treacherous one just has to look at the facts. A certain education and a credulous audience equals all kinds of mayhem and horror.

            I have many friends and family who believe in god. I don’t but had a religious upbringing myself. I sir am not the enemy, nor might I ad are atheists.

          • Strife

            (“A certain education and a credulous audience equals all kinds of mayhem and horror.”)

            Yeah, and atheism rises above all other ideologies, philosophies, and religions, in the realm of unmatched death and destruction.

            (“I have many friends and family who believe in god. I don’t but had a religious upbringing myself. I sir am not the enemy, nor might I ad are atheists.”)

            Oh you’re not an atheist? You’re just what…exactly?

          • sarah_13

            I don’t believe in a god. I haven’t seen any evidence of an all loving god but I’ve seen a lot of evidence of man trying to control others and people in the name of a “god” and doingm awful things in his name. I’ve seen and heard catholic anti-semites and muslim anti-semites, apparently the most pious people in the world with the most vile views… … We’ve seen individuals do many good things, not because of god but in spite of him.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Yet you ignore all the good done with religion and you are judging religion by evil people who use religion in an evil way

          • sarah_13

            Good done by individuals…. not by religion.

          • Brendan McNamara

            That’s just a ridiculous lie. The Catholic Church has donated billions of money and time helping people.

          • sarah_13

            Having taken billions themselves… From the poor, keeping them poorer and ignorant across south america and africa..

          • Brendan McNamara

            That another lie and disparaging against the people of Africa and South America as “ignorant” when compared to what Europeans? How bigoted of you.

            People freely give what they can to the Church to help charitable efforts only.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Can’t believe you dismissed the people of Africa and South America as ignorant. Just proves where atheists will go to “prove” themeselves.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            When its priests aren’t raping children.

          • FW Ken

            Ah! The Catholic Corollary to Godwin’s Law. You lose.

            Of course, kids are safer at church than at school or at home. And that’s before we made a lot of the changes over the past 12 years. Now they are a lot safer. Statistically, you are a greater danger to children than a priest.

          • Fraziel

            when it wasnt killing and tortuting atheists, when its priests were not raping and abusing kids, when it wasnt imprisoning young women in Ireland and taking away their children, when it wasnt setting science back a thousand years, when it wasnt discriminaing and preaching hatred against gay people. The most evil organisation in history and nothing it ever did that was positive could not have been achieved anyway if it didnt exist.

          • FW Ken

            Individuals motivated by their faith, unlike atheists, who donate next to nothing.

            http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-11-15-column15_ST_N.htm

          • Fearitself73

            It’s undeniable that people can be motivated by their religious faith to do good. But what puzzles me is how many deny that people can be motivated by their religion to do bad.

            And the average religious person is no more moral than the average atheist

          • FW Ken

            I’m not sure anyone is denying that religious people can do bad things, even in the name of their religion. Look at the middle east. But conflating all believers into one lump isn’t conducive to stops conversation.

            The link above suggests that your judgement on religious people is false, not to mention the worthlessness of the term “religious people.” However, the article linked above cites data showing that people who attend church even once or twice a year are more generous givers than atheists. And, as with “religious believers”, “moral” could use some definition.

          • Fearitself73

            ” But conflating all believers into one lump isn’t conducive to serious conversation”

            Whereas posting a link to a survey from usatoday and saying that atheists donate next to nothing is conductive to having a serious conversation?

          • FW Ken

            1. You refuse to define terms accurately.

            2. You refuse to look at actual data (did you real the article? )

            Truth be told. I already know that atheists like yourself don’t really believe in facts, so my comment about “serious conversation” was rhetorical. You are clearly unable to move beyond self-serving generalities or offer any meaningful support for your assertions.

          • Fearitself73

            “You refuse to look at actual data (did you real the article?)”

            Please point out where the data says atheists donate next to nothing.

          • FW Ken

            Wrong article. That was the one about who makes better neighbors. Try this one:

            https://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/102-atheists-and-agnostics-take-aim-at-christians#.VDEFFoEo7qA

            One of the outcomes of this profile – and one of the least favorable points of comparison for atheist and agnostic adults – is the paltry amount of money they donate to charitable causes. The typical no-faith American donated just $200 in 2006, which is more than seven times less than the amount contributed by the prototypical active-faith adult ($1500). Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults.

            You’ll reject this one ad hominem, but it had a bit more information:

            http://atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com/2011/05/atheist-charitable-giving.html?m=1

            To recap, Christians give 2:1 more money to charity, not counting church donations, than Atheists give to charity. Three times as many Atheists, per capita, give nothing at all.

          • Fearitself73

            There are lies, damn lies and statistics.

            I’ve seen data like this before. But I’ve also seen the explanation.
            The donation of religious believers is indeed higher than non-believers. But that only applies to religious believers who attend places of worship. Amongst religious believers who don’t attend a regular place of worship, the donation is the same as the non believer. And atheists who attend places of worship have the same level of donation as religious believers.

            The difference is attending places where the charity plate is handed around. Which makes sense, once you stop to think about it (rather than using data to back up your own prejudices)

          • FW Ken

            That’s not what the data says, but suit yourself.

          • Fearitself73

            Oh come on. There’s data which shows that atheists are more intelligent than theists.

            Now I could say: “See religion is only for the stupid”.

            But I would be wrong as I recognise that data doesn’t show that any particular atheist is going to be more intelligent than any particular theist.

            Data is useless without the objectivity to analysis it.

          • FW Ken

            Data is not about any particular person. That’s an anecdote. The last bit about the $26 per capita was an anecdote. The rest is data.

            Objectivity is indeed required, but first, honesty when looking at the numbers themselves. For example, the Barna report speaks of “active faith” believers, which leaves out your “religious believers who don’t attend a regular place of worship”. Whatever that is. But let me repeat from above:

            Even when church-based giving is subtracted from the equation, active-faith adults donated twice as many dollars last year as did atheists and agnostics. In fact, while just 7% of active-faith adults failed to contribute any personal funds in 2006, that compares with 22% among the no-faith adults..

            There goes your offering plate theory.

          • Fearitself73

            Oh so when the data shows that atheists are more intelligent than theists, that means that any particular atheist you meet is going to be more intelligent then you?

            No, of course not. Try reading my comment again.

            “Active faith adults” Which I take to mean actively taking part in the commission of their faith. Which doesn’t torpedo the offering plate theory at all.

            If active faith doesn’t mean, well activity, then what exactly does it mean?

            “which leaves out your “religious believers who don’t attend a regular place of worship”. Whatever that is.”

            It is what it is. I can only think that you are American since you seem unaware of the concept of religious believers not attending a place of worship

          • FW Ken

            No, I’m quite aware that many people hold beliefs and don’t go to worship. That’s meaningless in the context of the data. Read the part about where they control for church-based giving.

            Or don’t. I realize that England and the U.S. are two countries separated by a common language, but you seem unable to step outside of your ideological box and face facts.

          • Fearitself73

            I have read it. Or what I read was an interpretation of the data.

            I’m astonished that you are unable to tell the difference between the scientific data presented by social scientists and the interpretation of the data presented by another source. Especially when the article has an openly hostile attitude towards atheists and agnostics.

            So please don’t lecture other people about stepping outside of ideological boxes when you’ve so blatantly drunk deeply from the conservative religious Kool Aid.

          • FW Ken

            No worries. No one believes that atheists actually respect data. You know, facts.

          • Fearitself73

            Will you send a link to an article that presents such data? Or are you going to post the wrong one again?

          • FW Ken

            You have to understand, there is so much information demonstrating the social worthlessness of atheists that is easy to get confused.

          • Fearitself73

            Yes I understand that you are easily confused.

          • FW Ken

            You, being one of the Brights, are a gracious master.

          • Dr. Heath

            Asshole.

          • FW Ken

            Ah! The Bright speaketh.

            Lol

          • Fraziel

            You are, as we say in Scotland, talking sh*te, so he is right, you are an asshole. I feel really sad and sorry for you though that despite being an adult and all the evidence pointing to the contrary,you still believe in fairy stories

          • FW Ken

            Ah! Another Bright blessed me with attention. I am doubly blessed.

          • FW Ken

            Additionally, you may not know this, but Barna is a polling firm. They are reporting their own data.

          • Fearitself73

            Dear God, that’s even worse. I thought it was data polled by an independent source.

          • FW Ken

            Oh, ad hominem. You really are pathetic.

          • Fearitself73

            No, it’s not ad hominem. It’s a recognition that the data sourced from a range of independent and objective polling firms are better then the data derived from one polling firm who also use terms such as “evangelical atheists and agnostics”.

            You have to work at being a rational and reasonably intelligent person. Laziness doesn’t get you to that position.

          • FW Ken

            Evangelical atheists is a perfectly accurate term, though aggressive works, too. I wouldn’t apply it to agnostics, who are mostly content to live their lives quietly, without attacking decent people.

          • Fearitself73

            Yeah that works. Sweeping generalisation of people based on a single characteristic.

          • FW Ken

            LOL

          • Fraziel

            All the good done by religion could just as equally have been done without it and apart from murdering and slaughtering hundreds of millions in its name it set science back a thousand years.

          • Susan Summerfield-Perez

            If “all the good done by religion could just as equally have been done without it…”, then why hasn’t it been done? The Roman Catholic Church feeds, clothes and educates more people across the world than any other institution. And does not discriminate in giving that help. All people are welcome to the generosity of The Church (made possible by all faithful Catholics who put what they can give into the offering each Sunday). Where are the other world wide helpers at? I don’t know of any that can say they do more than the Church. I am not saying the people in the Church are or always have been perfect. , but the Church itself is perfect.

          • Strife

            Actually the worst attempts of man to control others beliefs has been repeatedly attempted in the atheistic social ideology of Communism/socialism. To the tune of 100 million lost lives and counting. So you see – man will always serve something. He was created to do so. And the worst thing he can serve is the small “god” of self. And nothing exemplifies that horrid reality like the incomparable religion of the self – like yours. Which is exactly why you’re in here castigating the faith of a Greater God than yourself.

          • sarah_13

            You seem to have forgotten about the catholic right wing of Franco and many other “catholic right wing regimes”. Much damage done in the name of god (prayers said for Hitler’s birthday in the vatican right up until his death etc). But I do not particularly focus on the point about the damage done by regimes actually my point is only that there is no reason to believe in god, none at all, and a world that lets children be murdered on a daily basis cannot be answered, as some have done by saying it’s free will. Free will of whom? The child to die? And the nonsense of limbo? Just changing it after millions of people believed in it? These are just made up by man and changed by man.

          • Strife

            You can add up all the atrocities of ALL the so-called religious wars and conflicts (even though in reality the vast majority were politically motivated not theologically) and they wouldn’t even come close to the ONGOING horrors of the militant atheism known as Communism. Not to mention the lesser more insidious evils of communism’s bastard infant sibling “socialism” and it’s ideological moral-vacuum of secularism.

            And your insinuation of a Vatican/Hitler connection are woefully misrepresented. Just recently there was a book published (“The Pope’s Jews”) after years of meticulous research of recently opened files and interviews with holocaust survivors and others, that clearly documents the Catholic Church, the Vatican, and especially the Pope’s behind the scenes efforts to resist and save countless victims of Hitler’s godless regime. Oh and BTW, the author of the Research is the very Protestant writer -Gordon Thomas. And if you want to follow Hitchen’s fallacious path that claims Hitler was really following his “christian” beliefs in his horrific ambitions, then I would gladly lead you to (“Hitler’s Table Talk”) – a documentation of private conversations and monologues given by Hitler and recorded by his henchmen Heinrich Heim, Henry Picker, and Martin Bormann. It will plainly show that Hitler despised Christianity and especially the Roman Catholic Church, and most assuredly Pius XII. And it easily reveals that his “appeals” to the German people using lofty religious tones was an intentional propaganda tactic designed to give his ambitions a fallacious religious justification in the minds of the citizenry.

            And if there were any prayers for Hitler – it would have been prayers for ones enemies.

            But to your point: Your position simply relegates all human suffering and misery to an ultimate dead-end of senseless pain and suffering. So why are you still alive? Why have you not committed suicide yet? Why are you even in here pontificating on the irrelevancy of this grand mortal coil of nothingness?

          • Fraziel

            You sound like you are ill, seriously. None so zealous as a convert eh?

          • Strife

            And you sound like a real deeeeep thinker and a student of history. No wait. Actually, you sound like a retard who has absolutely no awareness of any historical context of anything.

            Now stop drinking your bong water Spicolli.

          • Strife

            Bullsh*t. The founding basis for ALL communist regimes IS atheism. This fact is irrefutable. But hey, I’ll take the word of the Nobel prize winning author who actually lived under the heavy boot of this oppressive ideology:

            “It was Dostoevsky, once again, who drew from the French Revolution and its seeming hatred of the Church the lesson that “revolution must necessarily begin with atheism.” That is absolutely true. But the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot.” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn

          • sarah_13

            The theme is not atheism but a violent opposition to the violence of religion. A reaction against religion because of it’s injustice but beyond that they themselves become a “Religious” ideology and usurp the ideological religiosity and replace it in the minds of the credulous. It is not atheism.

          • Strife

            On the contrary, when hypocritical atheists like yourself come swaggering in here with your impenetrable ignorance while blindly trampling over the millions of countless corpses left in the unprecedented wake of your vile anti-theistic ideology throughout the ages – I would say, yeah. You’ve made it all about you and your myopic arrogance.

          • Fearitself73

            ” left in the unprecedented wake of your vile anti-theistic ideology throughout the ages”

            Well it didn’t take long for the mask to slip off

          • Strife

            I don’t wear a mask. I present myself in open terms.

            I’m a former far-left atheist who was mugged by reality. And I understand the cognitive constructs of the lazy skeptics in all their unjustified arrogance and unsung ignorance.

            “No skeptical philosopher can ask any questions that may not equally be asked by a tired child on a hot afternoon.” – G.K.Chesterton

          • Fearitself73

            Quotes are not substitutes for thinking. I’m sure when you was a far left atheist you was also a repository of cliches

          • Strife

            Ah yes. Since your response was limited entirely to ad hominem and void of any attempt to discern the content – you have clearly shown that you are oblivious to your own contradiction.

            Apparently you lack the ability to actually comprehend formative thought, ergo what you seemed to have “understood”….. was just words.

            I’ll bet you were the smartest kid in your special ed class. Come now, don’t hold back. Go ahead. Boast about it. You should be proud.

            Brilliant!

            *golf-clap*

          • Fearitself73

            You still have vestiges of your old far leftists past, I see

          • Strife

            Yes. You are absolutely right. I’m still an insufferably arrogant and rude a**hole.

            But don’t worry, the Good Lord will beat that out of me.

            Oh and, I’m sorry.

          • Fearitself73

            Hey no worries.

          • Sharon DiGiovanni

            poor taste with your special education reference…not very Christian of you

          • Strife

            Yes I’m a bad Christian and just an awful excuse for a human being. I’m also a man with an older sibling who is mentally retarded. And yes, that IS the correct term. So that makes my use of the word even more reprehensible. Ergo I’m just lower than dirt. In fact, I’m dirt’s idea of dirt.

            There now. Happy?

          • Sharon DiGiovanni

            And I have a daughter who required special education…and actually you are incorrect regarding the term “mentally retarded”. The correct terminology was changed in August, 2013. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) and the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disability (IASSID) have removed that terminology and have replaced it with Intellectual Disability. In the United States, a federal statute (Public Law 111-256, Rosa’s law) replaces the term ‘mental retardation’ with ‘intellectual disability and requires that person first language be used when referring to those affected in all federal laws.

          • Strife

            Thanks for sharing that but uhm… I really don’t care about you or your personal stories… and I care even less about the politically “correct terminology” of the APA. I only care about accurate terminology and logical extrapolations.

            So in short, both you and the APA-horse you rode in on can take your political correctness and go extrapolate yourselves.

            You’re welcome sweetheart. Now keep the change and go make me a sammich.

          • Fraziel

            Mugged by reality? Believing in a God and angels? LOL. You werent an alcoholic too by any chance?

          • Strife

            Tell me about your magical random nothingness.

          • Tom

            Hi Strife, I would very much like to talk to you about your views on a particular matter. Are you on twitter? Thanks

          • Strife

            Hi Tom. Sorry, I’m not on twitter.

          • Tom

            Ok, I’ll speak openly on here. I currently consider myself agnostic, having been at times militantly atheist and a dawkins subscriber. However I am not content, and I don’t feel that evidence based materialism is all there is to life and the universe, the question of our existence and of our origins still begs.

            I am just curious to know what lead you to abandon your atheist view and what happened to allow you to find God?

          • Strife

            What led me back to God was exactly what you’re experiencing. A lack of contentment. In fact, a restlessness. It began to become especially poignant with the death of my mother some 17 years ago. She was a simple woman with limited education, a laboriously difficult life, and a forgiving and loving attitude that she received from the immeasurable strength of her devout Catholic faith. And after a short time of sadness with her diagnoses of pancreatic cancer – she surrendered her fate completely over to God. Her transformation into “the peace that transcends all understanding” was evident. And it haunted me.

            Long story short – it forced to me to contemplate the purpose and origins of love itself. Which of course is the entire point of our entire existence. And then began the slow realization that all pain and suffering in this life has only one answer: Surrender. Surrender to Someone Who draws us ever nearer to Him in our pain. Surrender to Someone Within. Surrender is the key.

            “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” ~ St. Augustine of Hippo

          • Tom

            Thank you for your insight. I lost my father 3 years ago, I felt like I was screaming for answers, I was lost and angry, maybe angry at God for allowing this to happen, maybe deciding that there was nothing to justify my pain.

            I’ll ponder your words, surrender is an interesting way of looking at it.

          • sarah_13

            Swaggering, ignorant?! I just thought we were having a discussion. You used the word “bullish** in response to someone’s comment, not I. I’m not swaggering I do not accept your position.

          • Strife

            That’s okay. Because I accept your ignorance.

            So it’s all good.

          • sarah_13

            Lol! Well then, case must be closed.

          • Fraziel

            And we laugh at you for believing in fairies and supporting evil and stupidity while denying evidence ,logic and science.

          • Strife

            Actually, it would seem that you atheistic empty-heads believe in the magical fairies of random ordered nothingness:

            Let’s recap shall we?

            You “logical” *thinkers* blindly adhere to the magical belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded out of nothingness for no reason whatsoever, creating everything out of nothing and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself out of nothingness for no reason whatsoever into self-replicating bits which magically turned into dinosaurs and ordered things – for no reason whatsoever. And all from random nothingness for absolutely no ordered reason whatsoever you sit there citing some supposed purpose of order and logic with no rational basis for even being in the first place because….NOTHINGNESS

            Yeah. Makes perfect sense. So tell me more about your magical pixie-dust theory of random nothingness. And why you’re at it: cite for me the scientific axiom that states that all human experience must be explained by and held to tangible evidence alone. Cite that one for me.

            Oh and, go back to sleep. You’ve done entirely to much thinkin’ fer one lifetime.

            *eyeroll*

          • rtrdvt

            Do me a big favor, pal. Do not refer to yourself as a Christian, as Christians do not deal with nor speak to people the way you’ve been doing. Jesus never used that kind of terminology when speaking to anyone.

          • Strife

            “You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth…. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how can you flee from the judgment of Gehenna?” – Matthew 23:27.33

            Clearly, you have no idea what you are talking about. So do me a favor pal, stop dragging the collective IQ of this entire thread down to single digits with your inane and elementary ignorance.

            And I’ll refer to myself any way I want, and I’ll refer to you as a moron.

          • Patrick

            Interestingly Christ had the greatest opposition from the “religious” spirit in his ministry. The religious spirit shows up in all sorts of walks of life, but especially in religious practice. All sort of resistance to joy or spontaneous worship. A distrust of the new, or the miraculous or a move of the Holy Spirit. Focus on daft rules about whether its a sin for a guy to walk out with a wafer in his pocket or not. People getting hot under the collar about whether a service is in Latin or not, or women priests, or the exact order of service. All that rubbish that seeks to make sure God can’t show up and actually break into people’s lives. It was the religious types who actually crucified Christ. So you need to be a bit careful when you use the word “religious” because the spirit of religion is always opposed to the kind, forgiving, generous, joyful, encouraging, truthful and majestic spirit of God

          • FW Ken

            You might enjoy the First Montanist Church downtown. They’ve been saying those exact things since the 2nd century. Oh. Wait a minute…

            Seriously. If you believed the Host was not “a wafer”, but the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ, wouldn’t you care about him being treated with reverence? I know. You don’t believe that, but we do. Can you see the issue? To us, God “shows up” at every Mass. In Latin or not. 🙂

          • Strife

            (“No-one has ever killed anyone in the name of atheism. No-one has ever threatened to kill someone unless they convert to atheism. Atheism is not a creed, it is not a religion, but merely the absence and rejection of one.”)

            Breathtakingly ignorant.

            Fact:

            At the time of the 1917 Revolution in Russia, the communist regime confiscated religious property, ridiculed religion, harassed believers, and propagated atheism in schools.

            Oh but hey – no one was forced to “convert” to anything, because you see the jackbooted thugs didn’t call it “conversion”. They were simply forced…… *wink wink nudge nudge*

            Brilliant!

          • Älter und weiser

            Well said.

          • Fraziel

            Pretty miniscule in comparison to the monstrous evil that religion has perpetrated all over the world for thousands of years. The Russians had the right idea, it should be stamped out for the good of mankind and should have no influence anywhere.

          • Strife

            The other way around actually. The death toll of Atheistic regimes of the 20th century alone are estimated to be around 100 million. Now you can add up all the so called religious wars in human history and you won’t come anywhere near that number. Not to mention that the vast majority of so-called “religious” wars throughout history were in fact politically motivated much more so than theologically based.

          • rtrdvt

            Be very careful what you say, Strife! Or don’t you remember reading about the crusades when the followers of popes murdered and pillaged!!

          • Strife

            First of all, the it was the Muslims who invaded the Holy Land and raped and pillaged and murdered Jews and Christians almost 600 years AFTER Christ. And it took the pope almost 20 years to raise an army of crusaders to RESPOND to the the initial assault by the filthy Islamist.

            And secondly, you’re clearly an idiot whose knowledge of history is laughable at best.

            Please, stop wasting everyone’s time in here.

          • rtrdvt

            Stop guessing at biblical teachings and start reading the Book!

          • Strife

            I’m not guessing, you uneducated ***. I’m reading the original and complete interpretation of Scripture discerned and formed by the actual Church Christ founded:

            The Roman Catholic Church.

            The only Church that can historically trace its unbroken linage back to the original Apostles and to Christ Himself. Jesus did not give the world the Bible, He gave the world His Church, and through that Church came His word. Scripture does not accurately nor fully interpret itself. And that is why there are currently some 40,000 protestant churches … and counting.

            You’re not reading the fullness of Truth – you’re only reading your own small projections of your own limited understanding of some truths….

          • FW Ken

            You do realize that this sets you up for the charge of hypocrisy, don’t you.

            Not to mention ignorance. It helps to understand what you reject, which you clearly don’t.

          • Paddy S

            Never heard of Enver hoxha have you? Or Mao, Pol Pot, Lenin?

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            Sir, they didn’t do their horrible deeds FOR atheism. Their goal was not merely an atheist society, but a communist dictatorship where their rule was unchallenged.

            Religions most certainly fell victim to their efforts to clear out any competition to their absolute authority, and for that they deserve every sympathy, but then again so did numerous people and institutions who stood in their way.

            The goal was not to FORCE atheism FOR THE SAKE of atheism. Atheism was a means to an end for these people, but not the end goal, as it is with Islam for instance.

          • Paddy S

            Again you’re being dishonest: communism is an explicitly atheistic materialist creed which demands no religious toleration. It is no accident that in every country that has embraced Marx, religious believers were persecuted.

          • whs1954

            You can no more legitimately say communism is an atheist creed, and try to ascribe the gulags to me as an atheist (particularly as I am a Tory Party member), than I could say that Nazism was a Protestant creed, on the basis of the Nazi takeover in 1933 of the German Protestant Church and then try to ascribe the concentration camps to a British Anglican of 2014.

            Those murdered by the communists were murdered in the name of communism. Religious believers were persecuted in order to get rid of alternative sources of dogma and belief, not because Stalin and Lenin thought ‘Never mind building the workers state, really we’re just atheists first and foremost and that’s why we’re killing people’.

          • FW Ken

            No, they were atheists with no concern for the human person. They rejected God, and therfore sought power.

            You would have more credibility criticizing Christians, is you got out of your denial about atheists.

            Anyway. You have already expressed your commitment to violence, and therefore have no legitimate voice in civilized society

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            We defend with violence against those who are violent, and defend with peace and intellect against those who are peaceful and approach with intellect.

            Historically, the Catholic church has most certainly belonged to the former category.

            The inquisition? The burning of heretics? The support for Hitler? The crimes of pedophilia? The crusades…I could go on…

            Happily enough you are no longer a violent force, but only because you lack the capability of being so. In the enlightened West you have been subdued, and are free to practice your faith as you like, but you don’t get to force your belief on others.

            A woman’s body is her own, contraception is the choice of those involved, marriage can be between two people who love each other.

            You are free to not partake in any of them, but you do not get to intercede with those things, especially not on a basis free of evidence.

          • FW Ken

            Your ignorance of history is and shallow. Actually not really wide.

            I will reply to one point. Which is that the Church didn’t support Hitler, but rescued as many Jews as possible. While the atheist soviets were enslaving all they captured. Of course, it was a communist shill that stayed the slander against Pius XII. Maybe that’s why you do mindlessly buy into it.

            Apparently, you think Christians should pay taxes and obey you. That’s not gonna happen. So run along and build that gulag now. You’re going to need it.

          • Terry Mushroom

            “The support for Hitler? ”

            Have a look at Mit Brennender Sorge, the Catholic Church’s official position on Nazism. It’s dated 14 March 1937.

            It was smuggled into Germany and read from the pulpit in all Catholic churches. It uncompromisingly condemns Nazism.

            It resulted in hundreds of people being sent to prison or concentration camps. The Nazis also seized Catholic church printing presses.

          • Fraziel

            The catholic church was quite happy for them to do what they did as they were killing jews.

          • Fraziel

            Again, you sound ill. See someone, seriously. You have views so extreme i would regard them and you as potentially dangerous

          • FW Ken

            Yes, respect for human life is extreme to you, I suppose.

            Can I put you on the list of atheists ready to use violence to get your way?

          • Strife

            Karl Marx said “Religion is the opium of the people”. Marx also stated: “Communism begins from the outset with atheism; but atheism is at first far from being communism; indeed, that atheism is still mostly an abstraction.” Marx cited, and specifically harnessed, the concrete philosophical and ideological impetus of atheism as the basis and motive for Communism. The state rules supreme and it cannot have the autonomy of any other gods before it.

            Vladimir Lenin similarly wrote regarding atheism and communism: “A Marxist must be a materialist, i.e. an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on
            the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could.”

            The persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union was clearly the result of the violently atheistic Soviet government. In the first five years after the October Revolution, 28 bishops and 1,200 priests were murdered, many on the orders of Leon Trotsky. When Joseph Stalin came to power in 1927, he ordered his secret police, under Genrikh Yagoda to intensify persecution of Christians. In the next few years, 50,000 clergy were murdered, many were tortured, including crucifixion. “Russia turned red with the blood of martyrs”, said Father Gleb Yakunin of the Russian Orthodox Church. According to Orthodox Church sources, as many as fifty million Orthodox believers may have died in the twentieth century, mainly from persecution by Communists. In addition, in the atheistic and communist Soviet Union, 44 anti-religious museums were opened and the largest was the ‘The Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism’ in Leningrad’s Kazan cathedral. Despite intense effort by the atheistic leaders of the Soviet Union,
            their efforts were not effective in converting the masses to atheism.

            There is much more of course – and we haven’t even mentioned the same ongoing pattern in China, North Korea, or North Vietnam… just to name the most prominent examples.

          • sarah_13

            In fact he said in Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right was :, “Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.” I recommend you read it in full, I’m not a Marx fan but he is remarkably inciteful on this, he later says religion is “the illusory happiness of the people”. I’m a conservative but I do think he’s on to something here. Belief in religion, it seems to me, is childlike, a story with a false prospectus and if the most “juvenile questions” cannot be answered satisfactorily then how does it contribute to real progress.

          • Strife

            I have read Marx. I used to be a left-wing atheist. But why in the world would I care to indulge in his baseless philosophical conclusions when his entire ideological premise has resulted in nothing but unprecedented human misery the world over in the mere blink of a century?

            If you truly want to expand your mind with some sound cognitive processes, then read this, and actively use your ability to reason:

            “But the truth is that it is only by believing in God that we can ever
            criticise the Government. Once abolish the God, and the Government
            becomes the God. The fact is written all across human history; but it is
            written more plainly across that recent history of Russia; which was
            created by Lenin. There the Government is the God, and all the more the
            God, because it proclaims aloud in accents of thunder, like every other
            God worth worshipping, the one essential commandment: “Thou shalt have
            no other gods before Me.”

            “…The truth is that Irreligion is the opium of the people. Wherever the
            people do not believe in something beyond the world, they will worship
            the world. But, above all, they will worship the strongest thing in the
            world. And, by the very nature of the Bolshevist and many other modern
            systems, as well as by the practical working of almost any system, the
            State will be strongest thing in the world. The whole tendency of men is
            to treat the solitary State as the solitary standard. That men may
            protest against law, it is necessary that they should believe in
            justice; that they may believe in justice beyond law, it is necessary
            that they should believe in a justice beyond the land of living men. You
            can impose the rule of the Bolshevist as you can impose the rule of the
            Bourbons; but it is equally an imposition. You can even make its
            subjects contented, as opium would make them contented. But if you are
            to have anything like divine discontent, then it must really be divine.
            Anything that really comes from below must really come from above.” – G.K.Chesterton (Christendom in Dublin 1932)

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Many people quote Karl Marx as saying, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.”
            “What he actually said: ‘Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.’ The bastardized quote makes more sense when it’s placed in context with Marx’s poetic words.”

          • Strife

            Yeah uhm…. the fuller quote in its context actually reinforces my point that Marx’s vapid ideology was derived from and steeped in the inanity of Atheism. And that every attempt to instil it on a societal level has necessarily resulted in the persecution of religion and the death of freedom of expression.

            Thanks for making my point.

          • Hugh

            And yet where there’s no faith, people still end up getting killed. A rational conclusion would seem to be that the faith isn’t what’s causing the problem.

          • NewburyExile

            “No-one has ever killed anyone in the name of atheism.” I take it that you have heard of Lenin, Stalin and Pol Pot?

          • soysauce1

            Ummh, where does one start…? Stalin, Hitler, The Kaiser, Pol Pot, Chairman Mao, saddam hussein, Nero, Barack Obama, Pharaoh the list is endless…

          • Fraziel

            They were not motovated to do what they did by atheism. They were motivated to do it by politics and some of them being sociopaths.

          • Sean L

            Clueless on the meaning of *atheism*. What you’re referring to is something like agnosticism. But militant atheism has a long history of bloodshed, beginning with the French Revolution and culminating in the Nazi and Communist atrocities. These are intrinsically and not incidentally atheistic creeds. And just as heretics and infidels have been put to the sword by theists, so have all manner of deviants and nonbelievers been slaughtered by atheistic regimes. But at the very least theists are accountable to God, whereas atheistic creeds have effectively usurped God: the Party or Leader or Fuhrer acting in His stead.

          • BotGregory

            The fedora brigade shows up…

          • Damon

            “No-one has ever killed anyone in the name of atheism.”

            This would come as a bit of a surprise to the clergy of St Catherine’s Church, St Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), executed by the Soviet regime for their beliefs. Ditto the hundreds of priests and nuns murdered during the Spanish Civil War.

          • Kenneth O’Keeffe

            I would say that there are numerous instances in history where worship has been persecuted. So, you’re clearly wrong.

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            Worship has been persecuted, but so have homosexuals, jews, people declared subversive to the totalitarian state and so on.

            Pol Pot executed all people who wore glasses, but no-one would describe the overall*objective* of his regime as simply being ‘anti-glasses’. Declaring in an atheist dictatorship or some other self-centred definition is no less silly.

            Typical world-revolves-around-me/victim-complex of religion.

          • CMx

            Communism?
            Plus our godless government killed 56 million babies.

          • Mustafa

            Dostoevsky warned of the inherent danger of an atheistic-centric political system well before the monstrosity of the Soviet Union. Hence why the commies banned his work. – See ‘Bésy’ –

          • Rose1954

            “I would rather live my life believing there is a God and die to find out there isn’t than live my life believing there isn’t a God and die to find out there is. ”
            Albert Camus

          • Brendan McNamara

            Wow. You must be busy decrying all the misery and suffering the secular world has imposed on mankind.

          • FW Ken

            And our belief in the Eucharist impacts you how?

          • BotGregory

            So brave.

          • TJPW

            Looks like someone hasn’t listened to Bach recently.

          • Pat Conway

            Because I have every right to comment.

          • Brendan McNamara

            It serves no point besides displaying your hate and ignorance masked as pity and intelligence.

          • Pat Conway

            Clearly not ignorant enough to believe in absurdities.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Everyone should be free to believe what they want free from abuse or condemnation. Guess atheists don’t believe in that one.

          • Pat Conway

            Atheists get plenty of abuse from believers for not believing in an imaginary god.

          • FW Ken

            Oh! I love the victim stance.

            Actually, most people I know don’t think much about you. I’m only engaging today because my favorite blogger is out of town.

          • Strife

            No, atheists get abuse for willfully and fanatically embracing an impenetrable ignorance.

          • Pat Conway

            The ignorance is believing in fairy tales.

          • Strife

            I couldn’t agree more. Like your imaginary fairy tale that all of reality should be explained by tangible measures…

          • Pat Conway

            We live in the real world not in some fantasy.

          • Strife

            Oh I agree. Now cite for me (in the real world please) the scientific axiom that states that all of life’s experiences must be tangibly measured and discerned.

            *this is really screwing with you ain’t it widget, LOL*

          • Pat Conway

            So you have experienced the supernatural?

          • Strife

            Have you experienced “Love”? Joy? Sadness? Sorrow? Exuberance? Jealousy? Hate?

          • Pat Conway

            That is not the supernatural.

          • Strife

            I never said it was. Now have you experienced any of those things?

          • Pat Conway

            Yes, and your point?

          • Strife

            Prove to me that you experienced any of those things.

          • Pat Conway

            Prove to me that your god exists.

          • Strife

            You can’t even prove the experience of your own emotions….. and you want proof of God?

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            God exists? Gimme a break. Try getting a plumber on weekends.

          • Pat Conway

            Love”? Joy? Sadness? Sorrow? Exuberance? Jealousy? Hate? Of course I can prove all those things. We all have experienced those sometime in our life. I have been in love. I have experienced joy. I have experienced sorrow especially when my parents passed away. Exuberance is the same as joy. Jealousy? Yes, I suppose I have at one time or another. Hate? Yes.

          • Strife

            Yeah uhm…. you didn’t actually prove anything. You’re simply giving me your subjective opinion of your so-called “experiences”.

            Now give me tangible evidence.

          • Pat Conway

            You question my sadness at my parents passing away?

          • Strife

            I questioned your so-called proof.

            Now give me tangible evidence and save the histrionics.

          • Pat Conway

            Histrionics? Seriously? I could ask the same of you to prove tangible evidence of your experiences or emotions. You fail miserably at providing tangible proof of this god you worship.

          • Strife

            Oh but I can’t give you any tangible proof of my emotional experiences. But then – I’m not the one clinging to the very unscientific axiom that all of life’s experiences must be proven by tangible measurements or else they are not “reality”…. am I?

            Uh… no. That would be YOU my friend.

            Now savor the irony for a moment. Mkay?

          • Pat Conway

            By the way over here we spell savor with a U. Proper English.

          • Strife

            You also call your hatred of Christianity an all embracing freedom of all religions over there. I’m afraid there is nothing proper in England these days.

          • FW Ken

            I like British spelling, but I very called pretentious for it. ☺

            I did learn never to tell a Brit that I spent the day piddling around.

          • Fraziel

            Ah, an American christian. That explains a lot.

          • Strife

            Ah, a retard. That explains everything.

          • Lisa Alekna

            But Pat, that’s the point. Trying to “prove” everything can’t be done. Somethings have to be taken on faith. Strife wasn”t being cruel, just giving you an example. Understand now?

          • Pat Conway

            If you worship a deity and indoctrinate young children into your belief system then you surely must have proof. Faith in that instance is not good enough.

          • Pat Conway

            Actually your accusation of histrionics has proven to me that you are a cold hearted callous individual. So much for being a Christian.

          • Strife

            How am I cold-hearted? I actually *believed* you when you told me that you were distraught at the passing of your mum and dad.

            But I believed you as a matter of *faith*. Not factual tangible evidence.

          • Pat Conway

            Then why the accusation of histrionics?

          • Strife

            Because a rhetorically histrionic reaction was not proof of your emotional experiences.

          • FW Ken

            I like to watch atheists expose their true selves.

          • Brendan McNamara

            They always do don’t they. They can’t help themselves. It’s always the same thing over and over again.

          • Strife

            Based on what Scripture? Uhm no.

            Based on the first Protestant, Martin Luther? Uhm no. He actually believed it.

            So… according to who? You?

          • Pat Conway

            Common sense. Rationality. Logic. Reason.

          • Brendan McNamara

            All also applied to religion.

          • Pat Conway

            No.

          • FW Ken

            You should try one of those instead of taking about them.

          • Pat Conway

            If you believe in fairy tales then you clearly lack logic and reason.

          • FW Ken

            God had proved himself in my life. I have no reasonable expectation that you accept that proof.

            Anyway, we were discussing got and your illogical assumption that we accept your faith claim that they’re is no god.

          • Dr. Heath

            I have yet to encounter a ‘faith claim’ that there is no god. Since the moment Bertrand Russell said that he could not believe in claims about a teapot orbiting the sun, however strident the claims by others might be that such a satellite existed, no one has ever described his sort of reasoning as a ‘faith claim’.

            The same applies to the fairies that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle claimed existed at the bottom of a garden. Sceptics were, as far as I know, never derided or scorned for having made arrogant faith claims about the fairies’ non-existence.

          • FW Ken

            Wad that supposed to be a rational reply?

          • Dr. Heath

            I’m far too busy with my atheist mates constructing a gulag to be concerned with answering your question. Especially as you and your religious pals are probably out doing some charity work for old age pensioners. And fuck you, you appalling, moronic, bigoted asshole.

          • FW Ken

            Now don’t get me wrong. I’m perfectly willing to tolerate atheists in society, as long as you keep you ideology to yourselves and don’t interfere with rational people trying to make the world a better place.

          • Fraziel

            And we will tolerate you if you keep your evil, dangerous, unproven, unscientific, illogical, unreasonable, hateful intolerant clap trap beliefs out of our schools and out of politics.

          • FW Ken

            It must be hard going through life without a shred of self-awareness.

          • Fraziel

            No he didnt, and if you believe so you are deluded. Thats all there is to it.Perhaps you could share the ” proof”?

          • FW Ken

            Why would you listen to a deluded person? You have already pre-judged.

          • Dr. Heath

            Pat. You’d find the same sort of opponent on a site where the pro-belief people comprise Muslims and most of their comments wrote off atheists as potential murderers or sympathisers with all of history’s left-wing psychos [and/or members of Islam’s vast pantheon of villains born into other faiths].

            The message you and I are reading here, and one which neither of us needs pay any attention to as it involves sharing personal, private beliefs in the supernatural, is that believers alone are fine people whose lives are guided by fine moral precepts. It’s just that the believers referred to are, you guessed, always Christians. No, certain sects of Christian believers. In fact, often just tiny sects of Christian believers.

            In my limited experience of talking to believers, I’m often told that all that matters is some form of deist belief which will make you a ‘good person’, the precise nature of the deity being almost irrelevant. Such people have always, in my limited experience, proved to be liars, as none of them has ever sincerely rated any other faith as genuine or anything other than, oddly, an irrational belief in the supernatural [!!!!!?????]. Believers may accept that members of other faiths are sincere. That doesn’t preclude in any sense the belief that members of other faiths are in league with Satan or any less evil than atheists.

            [Is there some sort of censorship in operation here? I posted this ages ago only to find it had vanished.]

          • FW Ken

            Maybe if you had just written “asshole” it would have shown up sooner.

          • Fraziel

            owned!

          • Strife

            Common sense? Rationality? Logic? Reason?

            Ah yes, from the person who apparently gave life to themselves.

            Tell me, how exactly did you create yourself? And then tell me, what exactly gives your life anymore relevance than a pile of dried dog sh*t on a broken sidewalk?

            Instill in us all your profound nihilistic wisdom of nothingness.

          • Pat Conway

            So your life is meaningless and pointless without your god? That is indeed very sad.

          • Strife

            On the contrary – what exactly is the meaning and point of the life that you clearly did not give yourself?

            And the saddest thing here is your inability to answers these questions the first time I challenged you with them.

            “The worst moment for an atheist is when he feels a profound sense of gratitude and has no one to thank.” -G.K.Chesterton

          • Pat Conway

            I have asked theists many times to provide evidence of their god but they have failed. Surely if you have such a strong belief you must have evidence to back up your claims. But then, of course, all you have is faith. Faith is belief without evidence.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Plenty of evidence. Provide proof that there is no God. We have centuries of history behind us and you have Richard Dawkins.

          • whs1954

            Quote your evidence, then. And trying to shift the burden of proof is known in the trade as a logical fallacy.

          • Fraziel

            Its really up to you to provide proof there is one since you are making such a fantastic claim. To say its up to atheists to provide proof is the sad pathetic guff christians have been coming out with for ages. Going on that premise anyone could say practically anything and it would be up to others to prove them wrong. You make the assertion, you provide the proof, thats the way the world works. For normal rational people anyway but i suspect christians dont come under that.

          • Strife

            And I’ve asked you three times now:

            How exactly did you create yourself? What exactly
            gives your life anymore relevance than a pile of dried dog sh*t on a broken sidewalk?

            Surely your faith in your self-centered beliefs in based on something more tangible than your own nihilistic uncertainties… right? After all, to what assertive reality do you cite for the certainty of your uncertainty? Riddle me that.

          • Pat Conway

            The question of our origin is a complex one and is not answered by simply saying ‘god did it’. We were not ‘created’ by magic. If believers insist on indoctrinating their children then they must be very certain of what they believe and if so they must have concrete evidence.

          • Strife

            The question was quite simple:

            How exactly did you create yourself?

            And you defecated approx 50 words to avoid stating:

            “I didn’t create myself.”

            Again. Your brilliance is only surmounted by your bravery! *facepalm*

          • Pat Conway

            ‘Facepalm’ everytime I listen to or read comments by theists. You rely on the supernatural to try and explain life. Sad really that grown ups believe in fairy tales.

          • Strife

            What’s really sad is the children who defiantly avoid the interior fairy tales of their own vapid beliefs.

            It’s okay. You can admit it. Here, I’ll say it for you:

            You didn’t create yourself.

            AND your life has all the transcendent relevance of a dung beetle feeding on a steaming pile of suffering and disappointment..

            See that? That’s the courage of logical reasoning based on the nihilism of your own premise.

          • Pat Conway

            Keep trying to convince me of your imaginary friend. Good luck with that.

          • Strife

            Convince you? Silly child.

            I’m exploiting you.

            Your profound self-defeating ignorance is an unending fount of delightfully sarcastic derision.

            heh

          • Pat Conway

            Again your frustration is showing through. You have to defend your god because ‘he’ or ‘it’ quite clearly is impotent or just doesn’t exist.

          • Strife

            You….. still can’t cite any scientific axiom that states that all of life’s experiences must be tangibly measured and discerned… can you.

            Well no. Of course not.

            I’m afraid your frustration is almost palpable. This is quite fun!

          • FW Ken

            You know, when I had my spell of Atheism, I didn’t find it necessary to insult other people or otherwise be obnoxious. Of course, that was before Dawkins gave you guys your talking points and poisoned the well.

          • Pat Conway

            I don’t follow Dawkins. I am a freethinker not a sheep.

          • Brendan McNamara

            lol

          • FW Ken

            Couldn’t tell that by your comments. You have the talking points down pretty good.

          • Fraziel

            You dont have to “follow” him to find what he says interesting. I occasionally read what he says and what these fools are saying is laughable in comparison.

          • whs1954

            But now you find it OK to insult atheists and be obnoxious to them when they point out you have no evidence of God? You cannot be an Anglican because Anglicans are pleasant, I myself support the established church. I’m guessing aggressive American Catholic?

          • FW Ken

            Are you misrepresenting the atheist comments on purpose, which would be a lie, or do you not see, which would have to be willful.

          • Fraziel

            i hope you are going to tick off strife too as he has been abusive, obnoxious and insulting countless times on this thread. If you are an adult and still believe in fairy tales, especially in the face of science reason and logic, you are deserving of derision.

          • FW Ken

            Strife has demonstrated repeatedly that reason and logic have no place in Atheism, except as talking points.

            You reply with insult and invective because you have nothing reasonable to say, then whine when we shown up as adolescent blowhards. What are you? 16?

            I’m entertaining myself for a few minutes by responding to your ravings, but have to note that you there is really nothing substantive to answer. Just your rather pathetic attempts at insulting the grown-ups. It’s ok, I had my adolescent rebellion, too.

          • Beleiver

            We don’t need evidence Pat, because we have Faith. That’s actually the whole point. Faith is what defines our relationship with God. Only the faithless demand “evidence”.

          • Fraziel

            Which is why religion should have no influence in any political or educational sphere what so ever. I have no objection to people believing in unicorns but when they start asking the unicorn how we should live our lives, then i have a problem.

          • MoJo

            He wants “evidence”? How about Fr. Leo Franklin McNamara’s miracle of the child of the Japanese couple who had no limbs miraculously restored when he pronounced the Latin blessing over the child? How about all the incorruptibles, St. Bernadette of Lourdes, and the Fatima children, Jacinta Marto in particular? How about the dinner plate sized image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in dark blue, with white lettering and her image in relief with the words in Portuguese saying “My Immaculate Heart shall be Your refuge” around the top, which showed up on two 35 mm cameras that friends took, independently, and snapped photos inside the Marto household, floating above the bed where Mrs. Marto had given birth to Jacinta and Francisco, the brother and sister seers of Fatima? These were not photoshopped – neither person had computers even – I saw these photos personally, developed from separate cameras at separate local photo processing labs. The dinner plate sized Marian images showed up AFTER the film was processed unbeknownst to any parties who took the photos or the photo lab. The image was being supported by what appeared to be a red laser line – and both were lit by their own light source independent of the light source in the room. These photos and their negatives were sent to Fr. Gruner’s organization, which then subsequently claimed they had no knowledge of receiving them, but I for one saw them and they were not fakes. Again, neither person had either the means or the expertise to do so – just simple, faithful lay people who went on pilgrimage with a traditionalist bent group to Fatima in the late 1980s.
            One could mention the eucharistic miracles and so many things, the fact that the Church did countless works of mercy like running hospitals for plague victims and lepers, etc. These people’s view of the Church has been painted by communists, liberals, anti Catholics and masons who run our media, our government and our entertainment. Not exactly an unbiased education. I will take St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, Padre Pio, Anna Catherine Emmerich or St. Bernadette any day over his “popes” of Copernicus, Galileo and anyone else he deems to hold infallibility in his system of reality.

          • Fraziel

            Lol.What nonsense from start to finish.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Charles Darwin destroyed God. Get over it.

          • Strife

            Newsflash smedley: I believe in evolution. I do not however, believe in Darwinism.

            Oh and, God’s death has been greatly exaggerated.

            Darwin’s on the other hand…..let’s just say his corpse had no comment.

            Thanks for playing!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            “I believe in evolution. I do not however, believe in Darwinism.”
            You’re never alone with schizophrenia. Darwin demolished Bible BS.

          • Strife

            I think you actually mean “split-personality” which is not the same pathology as schizophrenia. But hey, you can’t discern evolution from Darwinism – so, science isn’t exactly your forte now is it. Well no. Obviously not.

            Tell me, do you know who the author of the Big Bang theory was? He actually called it the theory of ‘The Primeval Atom’ and it actually *corrected* a flaw in Einstein’s ‘Theory of Relativity’.

            Do you have any idea who this technical genius and brilliant man of science was?

          • Fraziel

            pseudo intellectual pedantry i think shows pretty clearly how weak your argument is. There is no God and only evidence, logic, science and reason denying brainwashed fools say otherwise. Sorry but that just the way it is. The idiocy and stupidity of faith is beyond words in the face of science and reason. Read the God delusion if you havent already.

          • Strife

            Oh I see. So the actual philosophical basis for one of the most revolutionary theories (The Big Bang) not to mention the pioneering discovery of what is now known as Hubble’s law and the first estimation of what is now called the Hubble constant, is all irrelevant. Brilliant.

            Of course metaphysics is much more palatable for the empty-heads when it’s comfortably retitled and limited to the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.

            But hey, whatever gets you peebrains across the threshold of open thought.

            Oh and, I’m sorry the primary distinction between Darwinism and Evolution tapped-danced over your flat head. But I must say – it did leave some lovely skid marks atop your coffee-table cranium. So there’s that little bit of relevance of course…..

          • whs1954

            For me, a) I didn’t create myself. My mummy and daddy loved one another very much and they did a special kind of rubbing. An egg met a sperm and then grew blobs on.

            Even you hicks in the Deep South accept we’re not all virgin births, surely?

            b) It doesn’t. My life has no significance. I am born, I go about for 70 years, I die, they put me in a box and in the ground where the worms get at me. Your life is exactly the same. Sorry about that.

          • Strife

            Well Jethro, let me dumb this down fer ya. Yor mummy and daddy didn’t create you, tater-head. They simply had sex (even though they were probably brother and sister) so there’s that of course.

            And yor mummy and daddy didn’t create themselves either. It was all a natural process extending back to time immemorial, to the very point right before the singularity of the “primeval atom” (which is a term you’re not too familiar with I sure in yor neck o’ the woods, skeeter).

            And your life has no significance?

            Well then, that would mean your statements in here have no significance either. Which begs the question- why are you even in here blathering your irrelevant inanities? Riddle me that, oh oblivious one.

            On second thought – don’t. Because that would just be throwing stupid-gas onto crazy-fire in a big ole blaze of irrelevancy. Because you see, it is utterly ridiculous for a self-described dung-beetle of irrelevancy to even assume that his mere irrelevant opinions should even be heard at all. So you see, you’re a complete contradiction at the heart of yor very existence. Well no. No you don’t see that. Probably because of that special learnin’ disability that ole mum and dad passed on to ya.

            *yawn*

          • Pat Conway

            What gratitude should a child dying of starvation in Africa show or perhaps a child dying in a cancer ward?

          • Strife

            Are you starving in Africa? Are you dying of cancer? If so, then what you doing in here? Oh and – what exactly are you grateful for?

          • Pat Conway

            Why do you think I should be grateful to an imaginary god? Grateful for what? It’s like when people say Grace before meals. I don’t get it. It is effectively admitting that ‘god’ chooses who gets to eat. If ‘god’ can provide nourishment to you then why doesn’t he provide food for all?

          • Strife

            I ask about the nature of your gratitude. Not the gratitude of your nature.

            BTW – thank you for instilling an impenetrable hopelessness in other peoples suffering – simply because of your own fragile little cowardice. Like I said – your life has no transcendent relevance – and you can’t stand that.

          • Pat Conway

            No. You can’t answer my questions. Why can’t ‘god’ provide nourishment to all? Why are you so special that ‘he’ provides for you while ignoring the under nourished?

          • Strife

            I’m sorry – didn’t I pose several questions to you first? Yeah. I did. And your answers were…… oh that’s right – you’re still a hypocritical coward.

            You demand a transcendent answer to all things while you steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the possibility of any transcendent meaning to your existence whatsoever.

            And that has all the inane reasoning of a man who clamps his eyes firmly shut while berating the artist for the “supposed” beauty of a mere framed canvas that must only be discerned by touch.

            Brilliant!

          • Pat Conway

            No evidence. No god. Quite simple really.

          • Strife

            Wow. Spoken like a true “believer”!

            Cite for me please the scientific axiom that states that all of life’s experiences must be tangibly measured and discerned.

          • Pat Conway

            Your position is ‘god did it’. No need to explain anything. It’s magic.

          • Strife

            Magic? You mean like the magic of your very unscientific and nonexistent axiom of self-serving faith of “scientism”?

            Tell me more about your “reality”.

            “It is assumed that the sceptic has no bias; whereas he has a very obvious bias in favour of skepticism…. No sceptical philosopher can ask any questions that may not equally be asked by a tired child on a hot afternoon.” – G.K.Chesterton

          • Pat Conway

            It must be very frustrating as a believer to continually have to defend an ‘all powerful, supernatural god’. Where is ‘god’ when you need him eh?

          • Strife

            On the contrary – you’re not even intelligent enough to be frustrated by the indefensible and self-defeating hypocrisy of your own non-scientific axiom of your own myopic faith of irrational nothingness. And that is very satisfying for me!

            So there’s that of course.

          • Pat Conway

            Try teaching science class with the Bible.

          • Strife

            Try teaching a science class with your unscientific axiom that all of life’s experiences must be tangibly measured and discerned.

            *seriously – do you like embarrassing yourself like this? I feel like I should actually be paying you for these delicious set-ups!*

          • Pat Conway

            Yes, you are frustrated and annoyed that your imaginary friend can’t help you out.

          • Brendan McNamara

            That’s what we call projection. You are projecting your own frustration and annoyance onto strife because he is mopping the floor with you. You can’t even answer a simple question, because your incapable of doing so. You can’t think for yourself.

          • Pat Conway

            I can’t think for myself? Who is the one who needs a god in order to even function at a basic level?

          • Brendan McNamara

            I don’t know whom that is. It isn’t me or Strife. Is it you?

          • Pat Conway

            All believers actually. I can think for myself without requiring help from an imaginary friend.

          • Brendan McNamara

            why do you presume that the faithful can’t think for themselves? Awful presumptive of you don’t you think? You really think that 1.2 billion people are all simple minded deluded people? Science would disagree with you; statistics and all. Math and such.

          • Pat Conway

            Science and religion: never the twain shall meet.

          • Brendan McNamara

            THen why are so many prominent scientists Catholic? LOL.

          • Pat Conway

            Why did the religious turn to science to try and explain the universe? Why did it take Copernicus and Galileo to challenge scripture? If the Bible is the ‘word of god’ why did it take science to challenge religious held beliefs about the universe?

          • FW Ken

            Copernicus was a Catholic priest who challenged Aristotilian cosmology and was widely respected. Galileo was a pompous self-promoter who liked to state theories as facts. Church authorities were understandably concerned with evidence before they ditched the accepted science of the day.

          • Pat Conway

            Science debunks religion.

          • FW Ken

            C’mon, Pat. You’ve been getting your ass handed to you for two days. Give it a rest.

            Rule of holes: when you are in one, quit digging. Climb out and go drink a beer.

          • Pat Conway

            Theists are the ones digging the hole.

          • FW Ken

            Then why are sitting in it? 🙂

            I was going to help you, with some Examples of how science refutes religion, but all that I can think of are easily debunked.

            You could try the one about how science has shown religion to be genetic, except it hasn’t.

            I thought about the old “how can you believe in god when the earth is 4.5 billion years old? Or 5 billion, whatever the age is this year. But that only affects young earth creationists, and I doubt any of those folks are reading this.

            In general, you ate making assertions, which lack evidence. That would be your main complaint About Christians, I believe.

          • Pat Conway

            You have to use pseudoscience to try and explain superstition.

          • FW Ken

            Hey! I’m trying to be nice here and help you out, giving you tips on how to construct an argument.

            And actually, there is nothing “pseudo” about the world being 4.5 billion years old. The universe is probably about 14.5 years old. You should check out this website for daily start pics. It’s beautiful. Get some real science under your belt.

            http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html

          • Andrew Craig

            Gregor Mendelssohn? The one who wrote symphonies about peas? Or was that Felix Mendel?

          • FW Ken

            Mendel, the peas man. I have the auto-correct from hell and it was late. 🙂

          • Fraziel

            Thats not really what he said or the same now is it? The catholic church set science back a thousand years.

          • Fraziel

            the fact that you blindly follow and believe this rubbish while denying science, evidence ,logic and reason shows that, yes, you cant think for yourself.

          • Strife

            Let me know when your reasoning even functions at a basic level, you poor spoon-fed dolt.

          • Pat Conway

            Spoon fed? Aren’t believers the ones who are spoon fed from the cradle?

          • Strife

            We’re not the ones in here laboring under the ultimate unscientific premise.

            You’re not only spoon-fed, you’re clearly delusional.

          • Pat Conway

            A believer calling an atheist delusional. Now that takes the biscuit.

          • Strife

            And you actually state that as if your own belief-system were based on some factually valid premise.

            You’re not actually any good at this whole critical analysis thingy … are ya chum.

          • Pat Conway

            And what have you contributed chum? Nothing.

          • Strife

            What have I contributed? You mean other than b*tch-slapping your delusional silly little non-scientific fantasies all over this thread?

          • Pat Conway

            Honestly, my ” silly little non-scientific fantasies ” Don’t you mean yourself and all other believers? What is so scientific about belief in the supernatural?

          • Strife

            And for the umpteenth time:

            Cite for me please the scientific axiom that states that all of life’s experiences must be tangibly measured and discerned.

            Do you not understand that? Do you not understand that your entire premise is built upon the shifting sand of a completely non-scientific delusion?

          • Pat Conway

            Non scientific delusion? Are you drunk? Wow, now you really are losing the plot.

          • Strife

            You can admit that you don’t understand. It’s okay. I won’t deride you.

          • Pat Conway

            I understand perfectly.

          • Strife

            What exactly do you understand?

            *and let’s wrap this up. my bed is calling*

          • Pat Conway

            Why do you assume that our experiences have anything to do with the supernatural?

          • Strife

            When did I ever say that I did?

          • Pat Conway

            What do you think science deals with? It deals with rationality not mumbo jumbo.

          • Strife

            Yeah, I know. And your premise that all of life’s experiences must be tangibly measured and discerned…. is nonscientific mumbo-jumbo.

            You’re going to carry this ignorance on ad nauseam aren’t you.

            Well, my bed time is fast approaching over here. And you’re boring me to an early retirement.

          • whs1954

            “An experience” in itself is non-scientific mumbo-jumbo. But you are not arguing for the existence of an experience, you are arguing for the existence of God. I think you would accept God is not just “an experience”. Whether someone can prove to you satisfactorily that they were happy or sad has absolutely no bearing on whether there is a God – your proposing the issue in the first place is just an attempt to change the subject.

          • Strife

            On the contrary, an experience (like emotions) is completely void of any tangible measures. However, that is NOT a “non-scientific” proposition because there IS NO scientific axiom that claims that every experience in life has to have a tangible measurement of discernment. And yes, this is in fact the fallacious starting point of people who demand tangible “evidence” of God as if that were the exclusive standard of proof.

            This is hardly an attempt to change the subject. In fact, this is the very heart of the subject.

          • Fraziel

            yup, precisely.

          • Fraziel

            You havent though, not even close. It never ceases to amaze me the guff christians come out with and they think they have made a strong point when its just meaningless silly nonsense that no rational grown up would believe.

          • Strife

            Oh look you just posited a brilliant factual observation of….. oh wait. No.

            No, you just defecated you’re own baseless opinion substantiated by….. well you’re own meaningless opinion.

            Thank you Mr Dung Beetle of fecal cognizance.

            That was a brilliant demonstration!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Or wafer.

          • Fraziel

            omg, i nearly choked there. A christian calling someone spoon fed and delusional! ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

          • Strife

            I’m sure you nearly choke quite often. That whole walking and chewing gum thing is surely a challenge for a deep thinker like “yerself”……

            Tell me – if an atheist choked to death on his own meaningless tongue – would it even matter?

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            And you’re taking refuge in the majority.

          • Fraziel

            mopping the floor with him? are you reading the same thread? oh the hilarity and irony of a christian saying to an atheist he cant think for himself. Brilliant! strife wont answer a straight question and is just coming out with the same pseudo intellectual meaningless rubbish we hear from deluded christians in denial all the time.Dawkins could take him apart in 2 minutes flat.

          • Strife

            Speaking of imaginary – hows that unscientific axiom of yours working out?

          • Pat Conway

            Unscientific? You have to use pseudoscience to try and explain a creator.

          • Strife

            You…. still can’t locate any scientific validation for that unscientific axiom of yours can you?

            Care to surrender, or would you prefer to continue twisting in the frustrated winds of your collapsed and inane reasoning?

          • Brendan McNamara

            He/she just doesn’t get it. Ask it a question and it just says something revolving around God without the g capitalized instead of actually defending it’s position. LOL.

          • Strife

            It’s in the death throes of cognitive dissonance.

            Its frustration tastes like the sweetest of wines.

          • Pat Conway

            Let’s hear you evidence. After all you are the one worshipping and bowing down to a god.

          • Strife

            Uhm Pat? I’m still waiting for you to cite that “scientific” axiom you seem to be laboring under.

            Because until you do – your entire premise has just collapsed in on itself.

            You …. don’t actually understand that …. do ya Patster. Amerite?

          • Pat Conway

            It takes several of you believers to try and speak on behalf of and defend your ‘all powerful deity’. Laughable really. Superstition is a terrible thing.

          • Strife

            Speaking of superstition Pat, when will you stop raping science with your little inbred delusional fantasy beliefs of tangible evidence in all things? Because frankly Pat, you’re really starting to bore me.

          • Pat Conway

            Tangible evidence? You don’t have any evidence at all. Such a weak argument claiming a creator and you can’t back up your claim.

          • Strife

            Uhm Pat? Don’t you think it would be a good idea on your part to actually establish the scientific validity of tangible evidence for all of reality before you demand such exclusive evidence of others?

            These are toughies for you aren’t they Pat.

          • Fraziel

            the only one embarrassing himself is you with your belief in fairies, mythical beings and refusal to answer any direct questions, all wrapped up in pseudo-intellectual clap trap and denial. I am enjoying it i must say.

          • Strife

            Yes of course. Now tell us about your random theory of nothingness and why your opinion relative to your meaningless existence (or anything else for that matter) should have any bearing on anything at anytime whatsoever.

            Riddle us that, oh Burnt-Out Bulb of the pointless
            synapses.
            .

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Bible? Oh, you mean the Jewish book of fairy stories.

          • FW Ken

            The Old Testament is Jewish, the New Testament is Christian.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            The NG was largely written by Jews.

          • FW Ken

            If you meant the New Testament, they were Jews who had become Christians, except possibly St. Luke. He may have been Greek.

          • gpsang

            ? What kind of crap reasoning is that? Lack of evidence is not proof of anything; not of existence or non-existence.

            Do you not have any knowledge of basic logic?

          • Pat Conway

            Basic logic does not involve superstition.

          • gpsang

            Neither does it signify superstition. May I assume you have, and will produce, evidence to back up your assertion? And please don’t say it is up to me to produce evidence, ( see above ).

          • Pat Conway

            The onus is on the one making the extraordinary claim. In this case theists are the ones who must produce evidence.

          • Fraziel

            still no answer,lol

          • Strife

            Yeah. He never did answer my initial question to him, did he.

            Thanks for pointing out the hypocrisy of your ilk.

            Much obliged.

          • Fraziel

            And you cant ever answer a straight question i notice.

          • Strife

            Actually – it is you atheistic dolts who refuse to answer any basic questions of your own faulty introspective premise.

          • MoJo

            When they lose the argument, they always fall for red herrings and fallacious, circuitous reasoning – and then call it logic. Guilty conscience perhaps? The Natural law is written on all men’s hearts, and whether or not they believe in God on this side of things, unfortunately they will when they are called to the Throne to answer for all their works in this life. But, in the meantime, pray for these people. That does better than arguing. Christ could appear to them physically and hug them and they’d still call Him a figment of their imagination, I’m certain.

          • Fraziel

            what utter drivel.

          • Fraziel

            the point and meaning is to pass on your genetics and have as much fun and joy in your life as you can without hurting others. Simples. Thats all there is to it.

          • Strife

            Dung beetles do as much.

            Congratulations – you have all the relevance of being as that of a fecal ingesting insect. Thank you for reminding us that your opinions have no relevance whatsoever.

            Well played Mr Gump!

            *golf-clap*

          • Fraziel

            Lol, I always laugh when i read stuff like this. Did God create himself? I bet you are one of these people who thinks the world is 6000 yrs old and that dinosaurs walked with jesus. Hilarious stuff.

          • Strife

            Did the Big Bang create itself? You’re obviously one of those nihilistic morons whose close-minded binary thoughts limits all counterpoints to your own narrow-brow cognitive fundamentalism.

            Tell me, who was the author of the Bing Bang theory?

            Oh and who was founder of the modern science of genetics?

            Riddle me these scientific thingys numb-noggin.

            Oh and – I’m actually the antithesis of Evangelicalism.

            So tell me – what significance does your life have?

            I mean other than the decaying physical properties of deteriorating reclaimed energy and elements akin to rotting dogsh*t on a worm-riddled piece of dirt.

            Other than that nickel and dime physical relevance: What is your significance for being?

          • Fraziel

            You forgot evidence,

          • Airey Belvoir

            Correct. And, as a former cradle Catholic who eventually gained the ability to think, the cannibalistic overtones of this primitive belief system are somewhat unsettling.

          • FW Ken

            I’m sure your religious opinions are important to you.

          • http://www.acatholicguy.net/ Catholic Guy

            Gosh, @Pat Conway, I wish i was as wise as you that can so confidently dismiss as delusional 1 billion people and some of the greatest thinkers in human history.

          • Pat Conway

            Humans are very superstitious.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Wall-to-wall dickheads more like.

          • Nele Schindler

            Don’t bother arguing about this. Religious wars have been fought over this cr*p and it wasn’t much use.

          • TJPW

            Reiteration of your initial claim is not a refutation of an argument. Neither is accusing someone of being delusional.

          • cestusdei

            Pat, if someone burned your nations flag you would know it was an insult. It is more then a piece of cloth. It means something. They know it and so do you. The Eucharist is similar, but more so. You insult it precisely because you know it is not just a wafer.

          • Pat Conway

            Superstition.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            We got you on a 4-12. Misuse of the apostrophe.

          • srsn

            Yikes, that’s Jesus’ flesh?

          • Ambientereal

            Jesus wanted to symbolically replace the sacrifice of an animal through the sacrifice of himself. He wanted on one side to substitute something creepy for something peaceful like eating bread and drinking wine, on the other to leave his people something strong to remember them his teaching. Never forget that his disciples where Jewish used to offer sacrifices in the synagogue. Even here we see the peaceful and character of Jesus.

          • Strife

            If you’re insinuating that Christ was not referring to His real physical presence in the Bread and Wine, then Read John 6 carefully:

            The Disciples did not walk away because of a symbolic act. They even murmured amongst themselves “How can this man give us his flesh to eat”.

            But did Our Lord did not correct their literal understanding of his words. In fact, He replied directly to their literal understanding with: “Does this shock you?”

            And after many of the disciples walked away at that moment, He turned to the rest and asked them “Do you also wish to leave Me?” And this is why we see Paul warning the Corinthians to discern the real presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist:

            “Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.28A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup.29For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.30That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying.” – 1 Corinthians 11:27-30

            And this is why all Christians understood it to be the real Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ for the first 1500 years of Christianity. And Even Martin Luther himself continued to recognize this tenet of the faith even after he led his revolt against The Roman Catholic Church.

          • Ambientereal

            What is physical in matters of faith?. I believe the worst sin is to try to physically explain Jesus, like the efforts to explain his birth. The only important thing are his words and only few try to understand and practice them while keeping the formalities designed by the catholic church.

          • Strife

            Well if His words are that important then why aren’t you listening to them in John 6 when He tells you His Flesh is true food and His blood is true drink?

            And what is physical in the matters of faith? Oh I dunno…. how about Our Lord’s Resurrected Body complete with its sacred Wounds?

            Or how about the fact that He commands us: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you” – John 6:53

            Or how about the relevant fact that He did not leave a Bible – but rather, He specifically left His Church through which the Bible was actually written discerned and preserved.

            And where exactly do you see in scripture that it is a sin to physically explain Christ? If that were true then scripture itself would be suspect. Because scripture physically describes Christ’s ministry – including His physical Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

            Or how about the fact that THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US?

            You’re not actually reading His Words – you’re reading your own words.

          • Ambientereal

            Well, I saw from the beginning that we both have a quite different view of Jesus and I want to point out that I do not pretend to change your views and that I respect your faith and your opinions. I myself hear him with the ears of my spirit and interpret his words in spiritual sense. I know he used to speak in parables and in this case eating flesh and drink blood seems more the ideas of a vampire than those of a peaceful being who wanted to teach us his truth. I see him more in a human nature (does not anybody claims to be a son of God in a way or other). For me to eat his flesh and drink his blood means to let his wisdom nest in my soul. And that wisdom came right from his words and his acts. To “eat” something means to let it not be wasted. For me Jesus is nutrition for the soul and in it I see the difference between his truth and any other truth said by any other prophet.

          • Strife

            (“I myself hear him with the ears of my spirit and interpret his words in spiritual sense”)

            Yeah. You and 40,000 other protestant denominations…. and more each year.

            BTW, nowhere does Scripture say that it interprets itself nor does it say that Scripture alone is all that is needed to understand the Word. In fact, there was no proper canon known as “The Bible” for the first 4 centuries of Christianity because there were a lot of false “gnostic” books floating around like the Gospel of Thomas etc. The actual collection of books discerned as “inspired” and True was only settle at the Council of Rome in 382AD by the Roman Catholic Church. And that is the actual New Testament canon that all Christians read today. That’s right. The New Testament IS specifically A CATHOLIC COLLECTION.

            (“I know he used to speak in parables and in this case eating flesh and drink blood seems more the ideas of a vampire than those of a peaceful being who wanted to teach us his truth.”)

            Well first of all: READ THE ACTUAL PASSAGE in John 6. The Disciples took His words LITERALLY. They say as much: “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”

            Our Lord did NOT correct their literal understanding. In fact He tripled down on it. And he finally confirms their literal understanding with: “Does this shock you?”

            And then He let them walk away with that understanding of this literal meaning. He didn’t say “Wait. Stop! This is a parable!” No no no. He actually confirms that it IS His real Flesh and real Blood. Just read the passage for yourself.

            And the analogy of a vampire is not valid. Vampires are not God. They do not breathe life within us. We are not made in their image – like we are in God’s. BTW the entire paradigm of Stokers Dracula WAS created as the evil antithesis TO the Holy Eucharist. It was intended as Evil’s bastardization of Christ’s real presence in the Sacrament. So in a complimentary inverse comparison your analogy actually is valid by sheer contrast of a dead creature versus the Living Son of Man.

            And Christ was not a “peaceful being”. He came to bring us internal Peace – but that will necessarily cause external conflict in the world:

            “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’” – Mathew 10:34-36

            Which begs the question yet again – What scripture are you actually reading? Because your ability to discern its overall contextual meaning is woefully inadequate and misguided. That isn’t the Holy Spirit guiding you – it’s something…. else.

            (” I see him more in a human nature (does not anybody claims to be a son of God in a way or other).”)

            Ho-boy. *sigh*

            See. Right there. *sigh* We are sons and daughters of The Father. Christ is One in Being with the Father – but He is also a distinct Person with in the Trinity. Christ is fully human AND fully God. His flesh is Divine. How in the world could it not be? Again – whatever is guiding your interpretations…. it ain’t the Holy Spirit my friend. Remember – Satan can quote Scripture perfectly. But His interpretations are always self-serving and misleading.

            (“For me to eat his flesh and drink his blood means to let his wisdom nest in my soul.”)

            Yeah. And that’s perfectly fine for a peripheral and complimentary spiritual meaning. But that was NOT the literal and primary meaning. That was not the analogy that drove many of His Disciples away never to walk with Him again. Scripture itself tells you as much. Remember, by the time of The Bread of Life Discourse in John 6, the Disciples were quite used to parables. And they were waiting for Him to define it as that. But…. HE DIDN’T: “Does this shock you?”

            (“And that wisdom came right from his words and his acts. To “eat” something means to let it not be wasted. For me Jesus is nutrition for the soul and in it I see the difference between his truth and any other truth said by any other prophet.”)

            Okay, again: His Disciples would have been completely acceptable of that mild and abstract interpretation on its own. In fact – they were expecting some broad allegorical meaning just like that. They could handle that. They were used to that. But again, what did they actually say:

            “How can this Man give us his FLESH to eat?!!”

            How did Our Lord respond?

            “Does this shock you?”

            How did they leave it?

            They said: “This saying is HARD!”

            They were begging for an allegorical meaning. They were BEGGING for a symbolic loophole. They were desperate for a symbolic parable. After all – to their Jewish ears this was the abomination of cannibalism. Because they did not yet understand the Truly Divine Nature of Christ, both Spiritually AND Physically.

            Again, what wisdom do you think YOU have that the original 15 centuries of Christianity (including brilliant Saints, scholars, theologians, and Martyrs) were somehow ….. lacking?

            What do you THINK you know that the Apostles didn’t know?

          • Ambientereal

            Dear strife, you are telling me a huge lesson in Christianity and I want to thank you for that. Be sure that I will meditate long about all you have told me. Doubtless you are very versed in theological matters, just like should be anyone who claims to believe in something. Best regards.

          • http://ifwhattheysayistrue.blogspot.co.uk/ Matthew Stevens

            You’re both wrong!

            It is in fact the congealed spunk of his exalted intergalactic highness, The Dark Lord C’thulu, disguised as a wafer but blessed by the holy monks of Harapindu to, once consumed, swim up the brain stem of stupid people and convince them that they have the right to avoid mockery for their silliness.

          • gpsang

            Lonely over at atheist-r-us?… Hmmmmm, I see it is dire over at richarddawkins.net. Welcome, may you find the solace you need.

          • Bonkim

            Depends on whether you believe in this religion.

          • teigitur

            Oh dear, yet another “recovering” Catholic.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Keep telling yourself that you gullible Muppet.

        • CMx

          Just like the Jews they missed the whole point.
          The matter is spiritual.
          This is a remembrance thing. Gentiles still seek a sign.
          Find him spiritually in your heart.

          Other examples are circumcision w/o hands, circumcision of the heart. Your church does not address being born again, there in lies the train wreck.

        • cartimandua

          Well if it is you are celebrating cannibalism.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          Eat shit and die, Catholics.

        • Fraziel

          Lol, no it isnt.do you beleive rumplestiltskin was real too? All the eveidence and science now conclusively supports evolution and the non existence of God. People should be embarrassed to still admit to believing this crap.The catholic church is one of the most dangerous, evil organisations in history and set science back a thousand years.

      • FW Ken

        Why do you think Jesus doesn’t care about both?

        • Ambientereal

          Because Jesus always taught commonsense. Never forget he was a Jewish and an enlightened one. He always spoke against traditions without practical use. “Sabbath is for men and not men for Sabbath” or “who is free from sins should trow the first stone”. We should (as Christians) never forget the commonsense, tolerance and logic in the words of Jesus. The Church has evolved in ways that Jesus would certainly not approve.

          • FW Ken

            I’m sorry, but Jesus said “this is my Body”. Catholics take that seriously, which makes sense in the light of John 6. We believe the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, mediate to us God’s grace.

            What Jesus would or would not approve of is, I don’t know. I can only go by the witness his Church has borne for 2000 years regarding the Eucharist, first in preserving his words in Scripture, then in the life we share.

          • Airey Belvoir

            Question: when Jesus came down to bring the word of God and salvation to eternal life, why did he limit himself to just telling a tiny population of desert dwellers, leaving millions around the globe with (according to Catholics) no chance of attaining Heaven. Seems like poor planning.

          • Brendan McNamara

            He told the entire Roman Empire which was the center of the world at that point in time. In fact the Roman Empire was conquered by Catholicism through Christ’s apostles.

          • FW Ken

            Since you don’t understand Catholic teaching on the subject, your point is moot.

            Not to mention that most of us quit asking that silly question in our early teens.

          • sarah_13

            So your answer is basically, ” we’ve moved on from that. We have never actually been able to answer that question, but we just don’t like that question…”.

          • FW Ken

            Actually, my comment was that the question is juvenile.

            Adult Christians understand that God is just, and everyone gets a shot at eternal happiness. That’s the meaning of Christ descending to the place of the dead. All who came before could hear his voice and be saved.

            The Catholic Church teaches that all who are saved are saved through Christ, although for some, that will mean that in this life, they sought truth and goodness, and meeting Christ beyond death, they will recognize in him the fulfillment of all they sought.

            This is why the pope could say that atheists of good will have a meeting point with Christians. The operant phrase is “of good will”.

          • sarah_13

            So what answer did you come up with to that silly question in your teens? God moves in mysterious ways perhaps, something along those lines?!

          • Airey Belvoir

            Ten years of Catholic boarding schools, plus a highly enthusiastic parent provided a bellyful of Catholic teaching thanks!

          • FW Ken

            Yet you got it wrong.

          • Fraziel

            is that because nobody can answer it?

          • FW Ken

            It’s explained below. Surely you’re Bright enough to understand.

      • irishsmile

        Anti-Catholic drivel.

      • Strife

        Perhaps Paul can answer that for you:

        “For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself” – 1 Corinthians 11:29

        Now then, what do you think you know that the Apostles and first 1600 years of Christians didn’t know?

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          St Paul, the self-serving creep that hijacked Christianity.

          • Strife

            Whatever… screwball.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            So tell me, Paul, did you ever get to meet Jesus?
            Jesus’s brother James would have been the obvious leader of the movement following Jesus’ demise. Hence, St Paul, the self-serving creep that hijacked Christianity.

          • Strife

            Right screwball. And only the people who physically met Jesus are Christians – ergo Christianity died with the last Apostle: John the Evangelist.

            Brilliant!

            Also, Jesus did not have any brothers. The use of the word “brother” in the Aramaic culture of the time was also applied to “cousins”.

            Why? Because they had no separate word for “cousin”.

            Again Brilliant.

            Try adjusting your meds and dialing back on the inanity.

            you’re welcome.

      • Raoul Duke

        Ah, the false choice. A trope so favoured by All the Trolls.

    • Louise Mensch

      thank you so much. I am moved by your kindness, God bless you for your compassion.

    • Jan LeJeune

      Praying for you and your situation and that you will as soon as possible make things right with your self and the Church and be able to receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist again.

      • Fraziel

        praying is, literally, the least you can do. pitiful ,sad stuff.

  • FW Ken

    Amazing! This woman exposes her heart and gets attacked by the usual suspects.

    Louise, I don’t presume to judge your soul, or even your actions. I don’t know your situation. I wonder if you have considered the brother-and-sister route? If kids are involved, that can be a teaching thing as they see you bear that cross. But again, I say this in all gentleness, aware of the years I have spent unable to receive for my own sins. We do make our choices in life, some of which seem necessary at the time. I admire your integrity in bearing the consequences of your choices.

    I do agree that “impossible cases” need a way to be resolved. I don’t think the bishop can simply dispense from a valid marriage, but he could work with a couple to discern the validity of the union. That assumes actual pastoral care on the part of the bishop, of course. Hands on stuff. Smelling like the sheep, as someone said.

  • operanut1972

    As an Anglican, I am perturberd by your wilful misunderstanding of ‘Anglican Communion’ practises. During our Eucaristic services we all make confession of our sins and receive absolution before receiving communion. To say that we diminish the importance placed on the receiving of the Body and blood of Christ is totally ignorant, and something I didn’t expect from Ms Mench.

    I admire your stance and exalt in your strength of faith. I pray you once again receive the body of Christ in a manner that reflects your needs soon. You shall remain in my prayers as a fellow sinner on this long and bumpy journey.

  • Jennifer Hartline

    Mrs. Mensch, your knowledge of the faith, Church teaching, and your commitment to both is impressive and humbling. God bless you for your patience and obedience, and I pray you will soon find the resolution you need and be able to receive the Eucharist again. Your example is truly inspiring.

    • Louise Mensch

      thank you so much. I thank everybody who is saying kind things

  • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

    Respect Louise. I don’t often agree with you but such a straight forward statement is welcome, and may it rebound upon you with blessings from above.

  • lookout

    Louise, try the five questions for Catholics on http://www.moriel.org there’s also five for islam and other religions.

  • ohmygosh

    My grandmother was in this same situation for 30 some years until my grandpa died. Then she was so happy to be able to receive Holy Communion again. Hopefully after writing this article, this person saw the need to just “get it done” and do it right. Not to cause anymore scandal, especially to their own young. The stark realization that one cannot live this way and enter the Kingdom of heaven should scare the be-geezals out of anyone and make them get their act together. After all, we aren’t talking about what kind of bread to eat with our sandwich!

  • joxxer

    May Our Lord bless you in your wisdom and honesty–you truly believe in the Real Presence. I wish others were as honest as they join the parade to Holy Communion regardless of if they are in the state of grace…

    • Adrian Wainer

      ” May Our Lord bless you in your wisdom ”

      She supports the Conservative Party is claiming that Islam is a religion of peace.

  • Adrian Wainer

    ” Nothing will ever persuade me to receive Holy Communion in a state of grievous sin “,.

    Yup.

  • http://twitter.com/JessicaClackum Jessica

    Great piece Louise. I’m not a Catholic though I have many Catholics in my family, some of whom have divorced and remarried. And over the years there were discussions around the dining room table about this very thing.

    • Helenahandcart

      There were discussions around my dining table over whether we should bring back the death penalty. Sunday dinner usually. Yesterday on the train, I heard a conversation about whether Euthanasia should be legalised. Discussion is good, but we probably shouldn’t mistake it for the truth.

  • Paddy S

    That post was superb Louise, superb…. I will pray for you. Writing on Religion seems to suit you too.

    • Louise Mensch

      thank you for your prayers Paddy I am praying for everybody commenting on this, which I must say I am surprised to see

      • Paddy S

        you’re welcome Louise. I am sorry that you had to see the usual attention seeking lefty atheists on the march to exploit your article and mock you. Its something I see far too often in Ireland. You write well on religion though.

  • Des Demona

    Do you think a Church who gives a tinkers cuss if you are re-married or not is a Church worth bothering about?

  • Brad Harvey

    I’ve rarely seen a combox discussion where obvious trolls were treated with such charity. I’m nearly as impressed with this as I am with the article.

    • Kennybhoy

      Aye. 🙂

  • catholicchristian

    Mrs. Mench, I hope that, as was the case with my grandparents, your first “marriage” was actually null (as it seems you believe) and your second marriage real. While this would make you not technically in a state of mortal sin, and thus eligible to receive communion, it is laudable that you (as did my grandparents) obey the laws of the Church and refrain from receiving communion until the matter is, if ever, adjudicated by competent Church authority. (I should note that my grandparents obtained a dispensation to receive communion after a time, in return for a solemn pledge to live as brother and sister instead of as man and wife; perhaps this option would be available to you and your husband. I should also note that the tribunal eventually found my grandfather’s first “marriage” to be null, although he was already on his deathbed at the time.)

  • Jane Imogen Elisabeth McQueen

    What i find funny, is a bunch of old men who aren’t married and don’t have children are effectively making decisions that theoretically affect the famalies of 1.2 billion people. It’s kind of like breweries deciding what should be the best method of recovery for alcoholics.

    They are the least qualified people on earth to talk about marriage, sex and raising children as none of them have any personal experience of it.

    • MEY

      by your logic if anyone gets cancer they should only go to a doctor that has cancer

      • Jane Imogen Elisabeth McQueen

        No not at all, as you are comparing apples and oranges. Cancer and other medical conditions are well documented things which in the majority of cases follow a set path, so generally speaking you can predict what will happen and what is the best way to treat it.

        Marriage and families isn’t it’s a social interaction that is about as predictable as the positioning of an electron at any given time. So by lacking the knowledge of the subject to start with it is silly to think you should have the right to say what other people should do with it.

        It’s just another example of the fact religion is used as a method of social control by those who espouse it’s nonsense.

        • MEY

          Yes, all those silly rules like:

          1. Don’t have sex until your married (no unwanted
          babies/abortions or sexually transmitted diseases) Have respect/love for yourself: emotionally, psychologically and physically (Theology of the Body)

          2. Prepare for marriage and stay married

          3. Don’t be unfaithful to your spouse

          3. Practice celibacy within a marriage, use NATURAL family
          planning and welcome children with love.

          I am not sure what specifically you’re referring to about
          their “knowledge is lacking” or what “social control” you
          reference either, and your belittling those beliefs by those who espouse them doesn’t further the credibility of your claims at all, it just makes you appear a bigot.

          • Jane Imogen Elisabeth McQueen

            1. Abstinence only teaching actually leads to higher levels of pregnancy and STD’s.

            2. People should not stay married if they are in an abusive relationship. It’s a dangerous and stupid policy to advocate.

            3. The churches teaching that HIV is bad but condoms are even worse shows a poor lack of understanding.

            4. Practising celibacy is a nonsense. Humans are not designed to only have sex for reproduction. Humans are one of the few animals that can and have evolved to enjoy sex for pleasure.

            Religion is all about social control, with its rules and guidelines. It’s how the elite controlled the masses before successful methods of law enforcement were introduced, and it’s still used now by people to try and shape legislation in nations to impose their religious ideology on others.

          • FW Ken

            Really? Too bad the Soviet Russians and communist Chinese are so religious. Oh, and Pol Pot.

          • MEY

            1.Educate, read up on Theology of the Body. because the charts, condomns and “go and have at it” we’re telling our kids as young as 12 isn’t helping them, or society.
            2. The Church DOES not demand spouses stay in abusive realtionships, as a matter of fact they help families with food, shelter and safety to extract themselves from those relationships.
            3. THe Catholic Church IS the LARGEST provider of assistance WORLDWIDE for those suffering from AIDS/HIV. A comprehensive study by a Harvard professor agrees with the Church’s stance.
            4. the Church’s teaching on sexual relations: they are for babies AND BONDING
            Please try to either ask or educate yourself before casting aspersions

        • Anonymous

          “Marriage and families isn’t it’s a social interaction that is about as predictable as the positioning of an electron at any given time. So by lacking the knowledge of the subject to start with it is silly to think you should have the right to say what other people should do with it.”

          By this logic, NOBODY is qualified to say anything about marriage. You say that cancer and marriage are unrelated because cancer follows set patterns whereas marriage doesn’t. If knowledge of something is dependent upon recognizing a documented pattern, and if marriage is completely unpredictable, then a general understanding is impossible to formulate. Practical experience would be useless because, assuming that marriage doesn’t follow a set pattern, it would not correspond in any way to the reality of other people’s situations. Marriage would ultimately be a subjective concept.

          If your assumption is wrong, however, and marriage DOES follow patterns, then anybody could learn its patterns and speak in an educated manner about it. In fact, priests who learn about marriage could probably speak about it with more accuracy than a doctor, since marriage has been documented far longer than cancer.

          To add a further point of irony, within your worldview, priests would be the MOST qualified to say something about marriage, since they possess an objective understanding of it. If the institution of marriage is to be stable universally, then a social contract would have to be formulated and generally agreed upon. Priests are probably the most capable people of doing this.

  • bender

    **The poor priest hesitated but the man had walked away**

    “Poor” as in someone to sympathize with or “poor” as in not a very good priest?
    Sounds like the latter.

    The man had walked away. So?? The point being??

    Every minister of Communion should be keeping one eye out to make sure the person consumes the Host. If they walk away and pocket the Host, go after them. Chase them down. Stop them. Then ask them politely and with all charity to either consume the Host or return it.

    It’s good that you did so, but the priest-minister should have done it at the time and his failure to do so sadly would seem to indicate a nonchalant, so-what attitude toward the Body of Christ.

  • Helenahandcart

    I would like to just raise a small point: Catholics don’t “take” communion, do they ? I understand that we “receive” communion. The language may seem pedantic, but it betrays a belief in what we are doing. If Holy Communion is a gift, undeserved by any of us, then surely we receive it. I don’t know of any believing Catholic who “takes” communion. That language is reserved for BBC reporters who find themselves having to commentate on Masses.

  • JonBW

    Brave article. Good for you for having the honesty and courage to say this.

  • denis

    We must remember that God is full of kindness and compassion, rich in Mercy and Forgiveness ! He comes to heal the broken hearted and calls those who have failed to his banquet . It very very rare , ( I would say almost impossible ) for a sane person to decide to walk away from God totally : that is what ‘mortal sin’ is . No one does that lightly . So do we followers of Jesus , really believe that if a person remarries, finds some happiness , does not get an annulment , is then destined to Hell! ? Just because old theology talked flippantly of mortal sin !

    • KevClark64

      Nobody is “destined for hell” and whatever the state of one’s soul is, one always must rely on the mercy of God. You don’t need to walk away from God totally to commit a mortal sin. All you need to do is freely choose something which you know is seriously wrong.

      • denis

        but surely KevClark64, the definition of mortal sin is actually to walk away from God if it leads one to Hell !

        what is a mortal sin? I’m not talking about catechetical answers; Does a mortal sin kill the soul ? is a mortal sin final if one dies without absolution ? the Church used to teach a soul would go to Hell if that person committed a mortal sin. Most theologians today would say the teaching has changed, been modified. I dont think it helps to talk of mortal sin. Jesus after all cried out from his Cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do!”

        In my work as a hospital chaplain for many years, I have never come across anyone who willingly wants to go to Hell, even tho they might have led all manner of unstable etc (sinful) married states! technically many of these poor souls are in ‘a state of mortal sin, and not of grace’. Jesus doesnt condemn them; he embraces them and if there is a tiny spark of regret, remorse etc He forgives them, no problem. If they die with a hardened heart, not repentant; they get a second chance soon after physical death !

  • Jose Dario Perez

    Wow ! I wish I knew catholics like you. Saying The Tablet is ” liberal” is an understatement. May God grant you the opportunity to receive his body and blood. …pronto!

  • Maureen O’Brien

    I will pray for you — and ask my Aunt and her community to do so as well.

    • Louise Mensch

      thank you so much

  • Helenahandcart

    Catholics don’t “take” communion, however. We receive it. The language indicates the belief. The Mass is a gift and Communion is a sign of that unity between believers. “Receive” not “take”.

  • Ken

    Louise, perhaps you should look to the bishops for guidance, who have indulged in affairs while still offering communion to their flock. Of course, offering communion is simply the flip side of receiving it.

  • Helenahandcart

    Fourth time lucky. Unsure why this comment keeps being deleted, however: Catholics don’t “take” communion. We receive it. The language is an indicator of belief. We see the Mass as a gift, not a right. The language betrays something that is not quite right here.

    This is such an offensive comment, that it will now apparently be deleted.

  • Guest

    Dafuq is this crap.

  • Helenahandcart

    Helenahandcart • a few seconds ago

    Fifth time lucky. Unsure why this comment keeps being deleted, however: Catholics don’t “take” communion. We receive it. The language is an indicator of belief. We see the Mass as a gift, not a right. The language betrays something that is not quite right here.

    This is such an offensive comment, that it will now apparently be deleted

    • Louise Mensch

      I didn’t write the headline, a sub did.

      • Helenahandcart

        sorry ! (but it was wrong)

    • FW Ken

      I’m having comments come and go. I think it’s a discus thing.

  • Dorothy

    Wow. What a powerful, faithful, sad and yet hopeful piece.

    • Louise Mensch

      thank you. God bless

  • Willard

    Umm…aren’t you afraid of going to Hell? You basically are admitting that you believe you are in adulterous relationship.

    • FW Ken

      Not to speak for her, but she’s in an “irregular” relationship, which restricts her ability to receive Communion. The “mortal” nature of the situation may well be mitigated by circumstances we don’t know.

      The Church has never formally declared anyone to be in hell. We know of things that will put you there, but we know that true repentance and faith in the blood of Jesus will save you. So Louise may well burn in hell, as might I or you. But the fact is, we don’t know any of that beforehand.

  • Willard

    There is something so weird about this article. It’s like she is saying I believe everything the Catholic Church teaches but having sexual relations with my concubine is more important.

    • http://shyanguya.wordpress.com/ @FMShyanguya

      Remember St. Augustine, a saint of importance to England? We celebrated his day and that of his mother not long ago. With some it takes prayers, time, tears, etc. It is worthwhile to pray for author and their family.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Remember St. Augustine, the joker that put back scientific development by over 1,000 years by proclaiming that the world was flat, even though the curator of the museum at Alexandria has proved the Earth was essentially a sphere in the third century BC.

        • http://shyanguya.wordpress.com/ @FMShyanguya

          And the scientific world believed him according to you? Then science and its people, according to you, do not live up to their hype.

    • kag1982

      Yes, you think that someone who thinks that she is an adulterer committing a mortal sin would want to rectify it by divorcing her current husband or at least abstaining from sex. The fact that she isn’t it pretty confusing.

      I don’t think that she is in mortal sin, but she does and shouldn’t she be rectifying it. The whole showy.. Woe is me! How hard it is to not receive Communion! Worship me vapid neo-con Catholics!! Praise my great sacrifice!! Hey.. Isn’t this like the Pharisees who were oh so proud of their sacrifices and were so happy to communicate them to everyone. Either get an annulment like everyone else, receive Communion because you are worthy or become an Anglican.. geez.

      • Willard

        Yeah I basically don’t believe her. What is her thought process? “Gee, honey, that was really great sex. Hope I don’t get hit by a bus tomorrow.”

      • Louise Mensch

        point me at the “woe is me” in my piece. I think the phrase I used was “I am in good spirits”. Sorry to bust your bubble again.

  • http://shyanguya.wordpress.com/ @FMShyanguya

    @Louise Mensch May you eventually receive all of God’s comfort , grace, and reward because of your courageous testimony of faith. God bless you and all near and dear to you.

    • Louise Mensch

      thank you so much

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Enlightenment does seem a remote possibility.

      • http://shyanguya.wordpress.com/ @FMShyanguya

        Meaning?

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          You’re barking up the wrong tree.

    • Louise Mensch

      thank so much for your kindness. God bless you.

  • laurence Muscat

    this man is a masochist…
    He excuses the Medieval laws of the church even when he knows that Jesus Christ our lord came mostly for the sinners, he came for everyone, but he loved being amongst those that were in sin…
    I am like this man Divorced, and I know deep in my conscience that I did all I could to make my 1st Marriage survive, but failed. Am I to believe that God the all merciful condemns me for ever on this??
    The god I know , the God I believe in is much better than this man’s God.
    Amen

  • Mike

    Each to their own beliefs in religion or not as long as its a personal matter and kept to themselves.

  • John Lea

    Surely this daft self-obsessed bint should be banned from taking holy sacraments for all those crap books she wrote. I’m sure the big chap upstairs has some literary taste.

    • Frankie

      Time in Limbo perfecting the writing skills?

  • denis

    What exactly is a mortal sin ?

    You go to hell, separation from God for ever ?

    No one wants this ! Especially a divorced person who remarries and takes holy communion !

    Jesus invites the sick, vulnerable and the weak to his love Feast !

    Mortal sin and life without God is not in Jesus ‘ book !

  • pauldanon

    The exclusion from communion is for a reason. If I am in a quasi-marital relationship with someone to whom I’m not married, I’m in a state of mortal sin and am destined for hell. It is not enough just to abstain from communion; it is not a neutral position. A person in such a state must, without delay, do all they can to get back into the state of grace. In a quasi-marital case, this would involve taking all necessary steps to end that relationship, seeking forgiveness in confession, and resolving not to do anything quasi-marital unless or until one was free to do so (e.g. after an annulment or being widowed).

  • Myfanwy Alexander

    Thank you for this thoughtful piece. It is refreshing to read something which takes faith seriously and places the Eurcharist where it belongs. I view this issue from the same perspective of faith though my personal experience has been different. Despite all the grace and forgiveness I can find, I do not wish my children to meet their father’s mistress at the altar rail as equals. He was a party to a sacremental marriage, she an avowedly serious Catholic. Choices were made but, to extend the old penny and bun metaphor, I think it is a little greedy for her to expect to be able to recieve both the husband and the Eucharist.

    • Louise Mensch

      I’m terribly sorry for your pain and will keep your family in my prayers. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive. As you say we must live with the consequences of our choices and sins.

  • John Carins

    It’s a personal choice but should anyone be this scared of the indoctrination of the Catholic church. Other versions of Christianity have developed and provided fixes for this dilemma. Is God or Jesus displeased in changes to a man made ritual?.

    • MEY

      Were the Apostle Paul’s words about marriage not inspired by God: “He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one hates his own flesh but rather nourishes and cherishes it, even as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “For this reason a man shall leave (his) father and (his) mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.”

      • John Carins

        Thank you for your reply. The sanctity of marriage is of course important but I’m finding it difficult to understand if this quotation is a response or just another comment?

    • Louise Mensch

      Holy Communion is indeed a man-made ritual, and Jesus Christ is the man who made it.

      • John Carins

        Thank you for your reply. I understand the implicit message but can we ever be certain that it was Jesus’ intention to exclude divorcees from Holy Communion. Is this explicitly stated in scripture?

        • Helenahandcart

          Jesus left those decisions to the Church he founded and left in the hands of the Apostles. We call it Apostolic Tradition, or The Holy Roman Catholic Church.

      • Malus Pudor

        Good God … you really are on a guilt trip…

  • KB1000

    Wow, so grateful I didn’t grow up with any of this nonsense in my head. Religions are run by human beings, not by God, and whilst those humans in power may claim that the “rules” have come from the lord himself, we all know it’s just human beings wot made them up. Please lighten up Louise, none of it is real.

  • abystander

    touto estin to sumo mou.

    touto is a pronoun in the neuter singular and can only refer to sumo, a neuter noun, and not artos, bread, which is masculine..

    Kinda makes it difficult to believe Our Lord was using a metaphor, symbolism or whatever.

    Ms Mensch is right. Communion is not some lovey dovey fest.

  • Nele Schindler

    Louise,

    The Catholic church has not much to do with Christianity. I would even argue it is an anti-Christian cult that teaches things which are not only not in the scriptures but totally against Biblical teaching.

    Take the classification of sins. Not-so-terrible sin, grievous sin, mortal sin … did you ever read the Gospels I wonder? Didn’t Jesus make it abundantly clear that there is no ‘lesser sin’, by pointing out that only lusting after a woman is akin to adultery? I don’t think this could be any clearer. The Catholic teaching on sin is nonsense.

    Second. Yes, of COURSE sin matters. But sin has been forgiven and dealt with by the blood of Christ. Read the first eight chapters of Romans. I cannot believe that there are ‘Christians’ out there who consider themselves to be in an ongoing state of sin – grievous or otherwise.

    It’s true there is sin that entangles us again and again and again – but you are now divorced. It’s done. You failed. This was a sin – but you have been forgiven. To consider yourself UNFORGIVEN is a terrible mistake! On the contrary – in Christian terms you ARE a saint. You ARE the righteousness of God in Christ.

    What you are suggesting is that you cannot any longer meet ‘the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist’ on account of your ‘grievous sin’. So you are totally cutting yourself off from the ONE PERSON who can help you, the ONE PERSON who can cleanse you. Are you mad???

    For Catholics to exclude other Christians from the Communion as if they were the ones doing the inviting, not the Lord himself, is for me a total perversion of everything Jesus stood for.

    The only warning regarding communion Paul offers is to not take it in an ‘unworthy state’ – and what does he mean by this? It means one thing and one thing only – to not recognise in these sacraments the body and the blood of Christ (which does not mean transubstantiation, but that religious war has been fought already), i.e. to attend a communion meal just to satisfy one’s hunger and thirst.

    I recommend you leave this horrible club that offers dead religion instead of the living Lord Jesus, that encourages you to navel-gaze forever instead of stepping into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    Good luck with this, God bless you.

    • MEY

      Mortal and venial sins: 1 John 5:16-17 ; Luke 12:47-48; John 19:11; Acts 17:30; 1 Timothy 1:13; Hebrews 10:26; (mortal) sins which – if not repented of – will exclude one from heaven (1 Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 1:8; Eph. 5:5; Heb. 12:16; Rev. 22:15).

      • Nele Schindler

        So Louise upvoted you on your collection of Bible verses – a collection not a million miles from the one atheists fling at you when trying to prove that the Old Testament is full of crazy nonsense.

        The article above betrays an incredible amount of religious pride. It is surely the worst, most damaging kind of pride to consider one’s particular sin so serious that it should exclude one from God’s invitation to have communion with him in perpetuity (for she will – presumably – stay divorced), and then go write an article about one’s amazing humility bowing to a rule that is religious but in no way godly – look at me! I stick to the ‘rules’, why don’t others do the same?

        What did Jesus say to the woman caught in adultery? I looked it up, and here is what He said:

        ‘You are in a state of grievous sin, lady. So I’m ready to hear your confession so I can ‘forgive’ you, but just so that you know it – when I say ‘forgiven’ I don’t really mean ‘fully forgiven’.

        You might not go to hell if you’re lucky and commit no further mortal sins from the catalogue here [whips out important-looking parchment signed by a Pope] but because you have broken the marriage covenant, your grievous sin will remain and you will from now on be barred from taking communion with your brothers and sisters.

        Bear your cross humbly, sister, and also make sure you tell everybody else about your humility – they might just applaud you.’

        I have no beef with my Christian brothers and sisters in the Catholic church, but I feel deeply saddened if they use their time and resources to so distort and dirty and foul up the glorious, liberating, amazing truth of the gospel.

        • MEY

          “NO beef”!?? hmmm, this filet minion you served belies that (is bearing false witness not a sin in your version of Christianity,…oh, and which of the 41,000 versions to you adhere to?) “I recommend you leave this horrible club that offers dead religion instead of the living Lord Jesus, that encourages you to navel-gaze forever instead of stepping into the glorious freedom of the children of God.”

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Quoting scripture. You campaigning for the position of village idiot?

        • MEY

          um, those aren’t quotes, they’re citations…you were saying?

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            You campaigning for the position of village idiot?

  • Timothy Michael Wright

    Evelyn Waugh, as well as being a fine novelist and journalist, was a Catholic convert of very conservative views. Yet he used his considerable influence to obtain an annulment from his first ( unhappy ) marriage before re-marrying. I may be wrong but it’s a fairly safe bet that he received Holy Communion during his second marriage.

    • Malus Pudor

      Evelyn Waugh… the man who ate all his children’s bananas… a truly charitable Christian….

    • Malus Pudor

      I think he most certainly did receive Holy Communion during his second marriage…

      He also had the privilege of having a Jesuit priest on hand when he snuffed it on the lavatory after a Latin Mass one Sunday…

      Lets hope he had the time to make one final act of perfect contrition…he certainly needed to.

  • Rowland Nelken

    I hope her youngest son never gets to imagine that the ‘bread’ is anything more than that. Otherwise his mind might get in a similar mess to that of his mother.

  • Malus Pudor

    This wretched, selfish and self-serving woman has expounded at length on her flawed Catholicism….

    Betrayal is not new to her … he has traduced her original political beliefs and alliances, a spouse and now seeks to justify it all in this wordy self-justifying parody of an explanation of all her actions in her completely shallow life…

    She is an egocentric wretch who should not receive any further exposure or publicity.

    • Frankie

      I expect you are a paragon of virtue.

  • Rowland Nelken

    The real presence of Christ in the Eucharist? Is Christ’s presence, according to Louise Mensch, as true in the Orthodox, Methodist and Anglican Eucharist as it is in the Roman rite? Does Louise Mensch have any idea how this all comes across to most people in Europe (once the heart of Christendom) today, as delusional mumbo jumbo?

    • Louise Mensch

      Yes. No, No, and No. No, because it doesn’t. You’re welcome!

  • Aljo_C

    You are going to die. When you do you will be no more than a collection of atoms, and nothing you do during your life will make any difference to you afterwards. Life is not a rehearsal, so stop worrying about this nonsense and get on with the rest of your life.

    • Brendan McNamara

      You can’t say that with any certainty. No one knows what will happen when we die.

      • Aljo_C

        When you die your brain stops working. That is not disputed. So death will be like a never-ending state of unconsciousness.

        • Brendan McNamara

          Yes, your corpreal body expires but that doesn’t mean your soul doesn’t reach another plane of existence. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

      • Aljo_C

        So the Catholic Church might be wrong? We know that your brain stops working when you die, so death will be like perpetual unconsciousness. So why worry about it?

      • Malus Pudor

        What happens to my pet dog when he dies… he has far many more Christian principles and traits than I would ever lay claim to… he has been a loving and faithful companion and should most certainly have access to a much higher seat in the firmament than I could ever aspire to…. but my Catholic sources say that he is not welcome in Heaven… so fuck all that.. I’ll take my chances with wherever my beloved dog is going…

        • Louise Mensch

          we don’t know what will happen to your dog, not with certainty.

          http://imgur.com/FzrJY

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            In fact you really don’t have a clue about the afterlife, including if there actually is one. So stop believing your own BS.

  • Brendan McNamara

    BTW, God bless you Louise in your struggle. I’ll pray for you always.

    • Louise Mensch

      thank you

    • Malus Pudor

      She’ll need more than prayers ….

    • Malus Pudor

      Endorsed by Louise Mensch …. only uptick….

  • pauldanon

    It’s not just enough to abstain from communion out of respect for it. We need to get ourselves into a position where we can receive communion. This is urgent and important. It’s a divine command to consume Christ’s body and blood. Also, we don’t know when we shall die, so we must maintain a state of grace.

    • Malus Pudor

      Endorsed by Louise Mensch… only uptick….

      • Frankie

        Mal odour, stalker. Purpose in life…. what?

  • Lance

    This makes me sad.

    You poor deluded, enslaved woman. Unchain your heart and free yourself from error. No God worthy of your respect would make you live like this. The whole mess is made up, and you are being kept in bondage.

    Set yourself free.

    • Louise Mensch

      “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus.” St Paul.

      “Live like this” how? It’s not some terrible thing to attend Mass and not receive Holy Communion. There are many other graces present at the Mass, and one can adore the Host as it is elevated and make a spiritual communion.

      • Malus Pudor

        And make yourself a few quid along the way….

        Hypocrite !

        • Frankie

          Malus odour, the stalker.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      “you are being kept in bondage”
      You’re into that too?

  • Brendan McNamara

    Religious articles always attract atheists who don’t respect the beliefs of others and are incapable of anything other than sheer hatred of religion. I always find it hilarious, but sad at the same time.

    • ohforheavensake

      Nope- it’s not hatred: it’s baffled pity.

      • Brendan McNamara

        Nope. It is naked fury and hatred. Why else would you bother saying anything? Know how you’re lying? The Pious don’t denigrate others beliefs.

        • ohforheavensake

          Nope- it’s baffled pity. You’re the one who seems rather angry. Did I upset you?

    • Louise Mensch

      atheists are so concerned about what others think, it’s odd. I never feel the need to go to Hindu forums and post about why I think they’re wrong. Live and let live

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Hindus are Atheists? News to me.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      So crack open a new box of Kleenex, Bren.

  • ohforheavensake

    Louise- you’re worried about the judgement of a being that doesn’t exist. Aren’t there better things to do with your time?

    Don’t take your kids to communion: when they slough of religion (as they might well do), they won’t thank you for all the wasted hours in church. Take them for a walk. Be happy with them. Far better that, than for them to see you as a quivering mass of religiously inspired guilt. Far better for you, too.

    • Brendan McNamara

      Don’t tell people how to live their own lives. Happiness comes in different forms. Hypocrite.

      • ohforheavensake

        I’m not telling: I’m suggesting. I wouldn’t tell anyone how to live their lives: no need to- it’s not like I’m religious, or anything.

        • Brendan McNamara

          You are just as bad as those you dismiss. YOu are judging everyone equally, guilty of stereotyping, and your sanctimonious pontificating is hypocrisy.

          • ohforheavensake

            You do seem a bit angry. Why?

          • Brendan McNamara

            How do I seem angry? I’m just typing very peacefully. I’m used to being attacked by the ignorant on line. YOu would never say these things to anyone’s face btw.

          • ohforheavensake

            I’m not attacking you. And how do you know what I’d say to your face? We’ve never met.

          • Brendan McNamara

            I’m suggesting.

          • ohforheavensake

            You do sound bitter, though. Is everything all right?

          • Brendan McNamara

            That is your own perception. You are trying to deflect your own hypocrisy by attacking me passive aggresively. Nice try,

          • FW Ken

            It wasn’t actually that good a try. Rather transparent. 😉

        • Brendan McNamara

          You just did tell her how to live her life btw hypocrite.

          • ohforheavensake

            I made some suggestions, which might make her happier- given that she’s worried about the judgement of someone who isn’t actually there.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Someone whom you believe isn’t there. Big difference. WHy bother saying anything? YOu will change nothing.

          • ohforheavensake

            Nope- not actually there. Belief doesn’t enter into it.

          • Brendan McNamara

            Yes it does. Your argument isn’t fact.

          • ohforheavensake

            Prove the existence of a god.

          • Brendan McNamara

            I don’t have to prove anything. You can’t prove a God doesn’t exist.

          • ohforheavensake

            Well… you were talking about facts, back there. Just wondering whether you actually had any.

          • Brendan McNamara

            There are no facts that you would accept. I don’t have to prove anything to you. You’re just a bigot who can’t accept the beliefs of others.

          • ohforheavensake

            Nope- I can accept them as beliefs. If those beliefs make the person happy, and they don’t hurt others, that’s fine by me. When someone gives themselves grief over a belief in something that isn’t there, that’s a little sad.

          • Brendan McNamara

            That’s the difference between you and me, because I judge no one and you judge we of faith.

          • ohforheavensake

            And when someone like yourself gets very defensive, and sees attacks where none exist, that’s a bit sad too.

          • Brendan McNamara

            You are attacking. LOL. I’m done here. I’ll be praying for you my dear.

          • ohforheavensake

            Like I said, rather sad.

          • Frankie

            So only happy beliefs are worth having. What reductionist tripe that is.

          • lookout

            If you did prove His existence, would you believe? If the bible could be proven to be the word of God, would you believe ?if the inspiration for the bible came from One who exists outside of time and space, would you believe ? The proof for the above can be accessed on YouTube from Chuck Missler, good luck.

          • ohforheavensake

            If I proved his existence, I wouldn’t need to believe. A belief that’s been proved is a fact. And something that exists outside of time and space is… impossible, I think the phrase is, because there is nowhere for it to exist.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            Who needs proof when you’ve got faith?

  • Rebecca Freeh Thornburg

    This is a beautiful article. Thank you for your faith and example.

    • Malus Pudor

      Endorsed by Louise Mensch…

      • Frankie

        Followed by an unpleasant stalker ……

    • Louise Mensch

      thank you Rebecca

  • Malus Pudor

    Has this wretched woman contrived to have all recommendations of opinions against her suppressed….

    Normally there are many opinions which are supported but the only ones on this blog appear to be flattering comments to this egregious witch… and endorsed, mainly, by herself …. it is truly hilarious…

    She really is the worst possible advertisement for the Catholic Church !

    • callingallcomets

      Have a heart…she bailed out of being a Tory MP just a couple of years after promising her constituents she was there for the long haul and decamped to the USA. Having failed to make much of an impact over there she is now tweeting loyal Cameroon and anti UKIP stuff on twitter. Add this current post and it’s obvious she is angling for a regular DT column

    • soysauce1

      How very strange I can smell stench of your rotting heart even through the internet, perhaps a good session in the confessional and some healthy reflection on the state of your immortal soul is in order?

  • http://twitter.com/#!/DavidWLincoln David W. Lincoln

    We take communion because we need it, not because we deserve it.

    Start with honesty that confession is a good way to get rid of un-needed baggage, thereby a person being healthier on the inside.

    Start there, and keep this in mind: Because of what the greatest news of all time communicates, there is hope for diseased rebels to be healed. After all, there is the aftermath of decisions made, and it goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.

    • callingallcomets

      Diseased rebels? Why not burn them at the stake?

      • http://twitter.com/#!/DavidWLincoln David W. Lincoln

        Why do you think that Adam & Eve were banished from the garden of eden? Could it be that they disobeyed God, because they wound up mistrusting, or distrusting him, thanks to lies told by the father of lies?

  • AlandeWalden

    The part missing is the, undoubted, internal struggle before committing to the second marriage knowing that this was against the teaching of the Church. To what extent were the spiritual consequences willingly embraced? How was a possible lifetime shut out from Communion balanced against a lifetime apart from the man loved.

  • callingallcomets

    The minute I saw Damian Thompson’s name at the Speccie I knew it would go full Telegraph re Rome. Why on earth it is assumed that the vast majority of the regulars here would be interested in this “how many angels can dance on a pinhead stuff” really puzzles me. I can only assume that Louise Mensch is angling for a weekly column at the DT….so watch out, Cristina Odone

    • ardenjm

      Do catch up:
      600 comments already.
      You think the Spectator isn’t interested in having a readership?

    • Louise Mensch

      whilst I respect the Telegraph immensely, I already have a weekly column at the Sun on Sunday for which I write exclusively on news and politics.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        “whilst I respect the Telegraph immensely”
        Have we nothing in common?

        • Louise Mensch

          haha!

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Nice one, call. No Catholicism here!

  • Liz

    Do you think Jesus wouldn’t have shared his loaf with you?

  • Bonkim

    Why not just give up believing superstition. You won’t go to hell. No such place.

  • Rowland Nelken

    I am an atheist and I do not hate religion. I enjoyed many happy years singing in an English cathedral choir. Several fellow singers were atheist/agnostic. Religion’s incidentals, the buildings, the social support, the patronage of schools, arts and charities are great. The weird old books at the heart of some of them can be a problem. Sensible clergy recognise that. Hence, despite St. Paul, slavery has been abolished and women preach. Christians are often gay libbers. Now Christianity is on life’s margins it has become much more cuddly. Crusades, Inquisitions, denial of political rights to those of the wrong sect has even disappeared from N. Ireland. Some sad stuff remains, and Louise Mensch’s irrational hangups are but one illustration. But, everything changes, especially eternal God issued religious truths. The binning of limbo has been mentioned. Is purgatory still around? If the Catholic Church lasts long enough, a gaily married lesbian may one day be the Pope. .

  • nana

    divorce is’nt easy when we believe marriage is until death.but i believe the tenets re divorce do need to be looked at.you can feel your pain.the pressure re a failed marriage are intense.especially when you have’nt lost your faith in the catholic tenets of our religion.The Holy Father has difficult decisions to make.

  • DDownie

    “Theologically, the Church is like a giant tower in Jenga; pull out one brick and you topple all the others”

    No.

    This is the nonsense that has dogged the Catholic Church since the Reformation. If you cannot question and indeed discard views that have been demonstrated as wrong, as some of us would say, by the workings of the Holy Spirit, then this is not a faith worth having.

    Faith and the Church have to be and are ‘alive’. Our Lord came, in part, to break down the ‘mind-forged manacles’ that had been built up around the Jewish religion. Poor creatures that we are, we allow our institutions again and again to create new ‘mind forged manacles’, which need to be shattered again and again. Denying communion to the divorced is just another of these mind-forged, man-made, manacles.

  • Tim Morrison

    This is such a strange piece of writing to appear in this forum. i am from such a different background and tradition that it seems impossible for me to enter its logic or thinking. I do not see how words like ‘mercy’, ‘love’ or ‘grace’ fit into what seems to be a terrible dogma. It seems to be a long way from this century and shows me a mindset I had no idea existed. Thank you Louise, my response is bewilderment and something like compassion.

  • Patrick

    Dear Louise, can I suggest you read Packard’s “Knowing God”. I think you would find it a great comfort and I think it would help you get a clearer understanding of God’s grace and what Jesus did for you on the cross

    • Louise Mensch

      I hope that my vision of this is clear, clear enough not to commit any further sacrileges against it. Be assured that, if I am so unfortunate as to die in my sin, I believe that the degree of my punishment will be mitigated to the extent I strove not to make it any worse. That I did not add to it by taking Holy Communion unworthily will plead for me on the day of judgement. And I hope in the mercy of God and in the intercession of all the saints.

      • Patrick

        Louise, I genuinely hope that you read the book I recommended. I became a Christian about 9 years ago, and I was confused about a lot of these things at the time. I had been educated by catholic nuns as a kid and had co d memories of that time, but my understanding of Christianity was coloured by a lot of catholic teaching and ritual that is not based in the bible.

        Christianity is fundamentally a very simple one to understand. It is based on grace, and on what god has done for us. God is not going to be offended by whether you eat a wafer or not. He LOVES you with a love so powerful and intense that he sent his own son to die an agonising and humiliating death so that you could be saved. When you get your head around that it makes worrying about church ritual seem idiotic. What god wants from you is your love and trust. That’s it. If you truly love him and trust him (aka faith) then the sin in your life will take care of itself because your focus will be on Jesus, and you will find that his spirit will reside in you more and more and you will just naturally want to do what is holly and pleasing to Him. Will you never sin again – of course you will sin, but that isn’t a big deal to God, because he has already dealt with it on the cross. Another great book is “beautiful outlaw” which describes the personality of Jesus through scripture. Good luck

        • Louise Mensch

          the Most Holy Eucharist is not a wafer. As to ritual, it was very important to Our Lord and he willingly and actively participated in organised religious rituals. Why did he say he chose to be baptized? “To fulfill all righteousness”.

          • Patrick

            Louise, in the article above, you say that you can’t receive holy communion now but that you hope to be in a state of grace in the future that will allow you to do so. Can I ask how you think this might happen?

            I’m genuinely not asking this to be a pain or to point score, or to win a tiresome theological argument. I am trying to show that when Christ said “it is accomplished” he meant it. Christ doesn’t get crucified afresh every time we take communion. Your sin was dealt with once and for all on the cross, or it didn’t get dealt with. That is ALL your sin, including the heinous crime of eating that wafer, or whatever you want to call it.
            You just need to receive that grace from Christ. God doesn’t want sacrifice, he wants a contrite and loving heart, and obedience to the Holy Spirit rather than obedience to dead ritual

          • Louise Mensch

            any number of things might happen. I would have to stop a sexual life outside of the sacrament of matrimony and there are all kinds of ways such a thing could happen, see my piece on nullity and sanation there, as well as other circumstantial changes.

          • Patrick

            It must be pretty tough for your husband, as it sounds like he is what is standing between you and a guilt free enjoyment of your faith. Somewhere in 1 Corinthians, Paul says that our first ministry is to our families, and that even non believers are sanctified through their believing spouses. God loves both you and your husband, and wants your marriage to be strong and happy and for you to enjoy each other as man and wife. Putting God at the centre of your heart is in no way incompatible with that. The teachings of the catholic church are not infallible (and if you are about to quote Matt 16:17, then I suggest you read to the end of the chapter to see how long Papal infallibility lasted). Louise, I have some bad news for you, sin is sin whether you call it mortal, cardinal or give it any other fancy name, and worse still you will sin many more times in your life. The good news is that God has dealt with all of your sin on the cross, once and for all, to allow you to have a guilt free relationship with him. If you choose to torture yourself with guilt, and attack the foundations of your marriage with this false piety, then that is not of God.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    “I am a poor Catholic but I am also a believing Catholic. ”

    So why can’t you find a decent catholic priest at the local level, instead of pontificating about high fallutin technicalities? What a waste of a life. Must we all continue to act like those kids in the market place;

    “‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ ?

    Do let’s grow up and stop inventing pointless “issues”.

    • Louise Mensch

      there’s no issue; there’s the simple and clear teaching of Christ and his Church, which I follow in my state of life.

      • ardenjm

        Exactly. Good for you. Clear as a bell. This article should be given to all the synod fathers to read – especially that old fraud Cormac Murphy O’Connor whose already militating for the Kasper line.

        Your choice reminds me of an old college friend of mine who left religious life before ordination because the Church brought out its rules on not ordaining those with a homosexual disposition.
        Over half of his community were concerned by the question (his superiors words, not his own estimation) so they couldn’t understand why he couldn’t go through with ordination and instead “throw it all away.”
        He replied that the Church’s discipline was there to guide him to heaven so he had to exclude himself in conscience. So that’s what he did. I admire that kind of Catholic: seeking to observe a discipline that even men of the Church who should know better no longer look to apply.
        Have they no fear of God?
        What’s the point in going to hell ordained a priest or as an unworthy communicant?
        That’s surely what Our Lord means when He says: pull out your sinning eye, cut off your sinful limb: Sometimes you just have to be prepared to lose things that are dear to you: a life-plan, a sense of worth, a standing, a self-image in order to get to Heaven.

        But do think about seeking the annulment, Louise.
        Ask Our Lady to sort it out for you: Our Lady Undoer of Knots is a great devotion – and ancient, of course, since it’s Ireneaus who is the first to call her this, way back in the 2nd century.
        Mind how you go.

        • Louise Mensch

          his virtue was heroic, absolutely heroic. I hope he might have sought a consecrated life though private vows, and so in some way that he found significant united himself to Christ. That he took up his very significant cross in that way is absolutely inspirational. His cross is lifelong and will never go away, and as such it is far heavier than those of people like me. For him there can be no lifting of the burden. What a brave man.

          I don’t know though, if you are still in touch with him, that those of a homosexual disposition CAN still be ordained (even by discipline) if they recognize the teaching on marriage, and have no attachment to sin, and it sounds like your friend fulfills that and so would make a good priest within the guidelines. I will ask St. John Vianney to pray for him

  • Patrick

    Dear Louise, can I suggest that you try to read something like Packer’s “knowing God”. You seem very confused about a lot of religious rules and protocols. It sounds like what you really need is to get a deeper understanding of grace, what Jesus accomplished for you on the cross and to spend time thinking g about what Jesus meant when he said on the cross “it is accomplished”. That means something for you Louise, and you will find a much greater confidence And depth to your faith when you fathom what he meant by those words.

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    This kind of tangled excuse for catholicism, though it undoubtedly seems to affect piety, would not be good enough even to tie the shoes of the one who’s coming through the clouds..

    • Louise Mensch

      nobody is good enough to tie his shoes.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Try slip-ons.

  • Thomas Berryman

    God Bless you. I will add you to my prayer list. I’m certain that the Lord will reward your fidelity to the faith and that you will eventually be restored to a state of grace.

    • Louise Mensch

      thank you so much for the charity of your prayers. I had no idea writing this I would be so lucky as to attract so many! I am praying for everyone who has commented to me

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “I’m a divorced Catholic.”
    Sure, you’ll never get to Heaven now.

  • Innit Bruv

    It would be a mortal sin if you were allowed anywhere the House of Commons again!!
    “The political grasp of a Teletubby” Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday,Oct 2008

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    David Hume (you know who he was surely), believed that Christianity was not supported by proof, but depended totally on faith. This meant he was an Atheist, but he couldn’t come out and say it as Atheism was a crime punishable by death in 18th century Scotland. One tends to forget how Christianity behaved when it had the whip hand.
    Just image if religious belief and specifically Christianity were a slammer-time offence in 21st century Britain. You bead mumblers need to grasp why Catholicism is so unpopular in some quarters.
    Jack, Japan Alps

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    My comment’s been delated, yet again. But you know what they say about not attracting flak until you’re over the target.

  • Liz

    Voodoo mumbo jumbo.

    For one thing he never “this is my body/blood”, it’s quite clearly a later addition by early Christians practicing that rite. For another thing, if it meant anything, it was meant to signify friendly communion of breaking bread together, not pagan sacrificial worship. Catholics have managed to take a good thing and make it bad.

  • Liz

    “People in my state are explicitly encouraged, in the Catechism, to attend church, and to make a spiritual communion, as I do each week. I have the hope that one day I will be in a state of grace and able to receive Holy Communion again. ”

    What, when you get divorced again, or your husband dies? I suppose one has to have hope.

    • Louise Mensch

      who knows? see my remarks on nullity and sanation. Nobody ever knows the future.

  • Terence Wilkinson

    I have just read the descriptions of The Last Supper and Jesus neither mentions “a state of grace” nor excludes divorcees. In fact he breaks bread with the person who will betray him. That sounds inclusive and forgiving of human suffering as opposed to the Catholic Church’s doctrine which is exclusive and judgemental. Anyway is not faith more important than ritual?

    • Louise Mensch

      what happens to the person who intends to betray him? he does not receive Holy Communion, does he?

      • Terence Wilkinson

        The way I read the descriptions of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus breaks bread with the man who will betray him (Judas is the only Apostle named as receiving bread from Jesus) and I see this as an act of forgiveness and compassion fitting with Jesus’ declaration that he acts to make remission of sins.

      • Terence Wilkinson

        The sense I got from your article was one of torment, so I would urge you to consider 1 Corinthians 7 which discusses marriage and divorce but not as a commandment. It states “God hath called us to peace”. The situation you describe in your article seems unjust to me as you have the faith to attend church but do not feel able to fully participate in the ritual; a ritual started by Jesus with no stated rules about who can and cannot participate. So in my mind if God is loving and forgiving and knows what is in your heart, then you should feel free in good conscience to participate in a ritual in remembrance of His Son. But obviously I am looking at it from a different tradition.

        • Louise Mensch

          then you got the wrong sense from it. I hope in God’s mercy. I wish I could receive Holy Communion but I believe that in time I will be able to. I know I receive blessings from going to Mass. http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/1651.htm

  • Jenson Phaedor

    Good article by the Mensch.

    • Malus Pudor

      Utter bollox !!!!!!!!!!!

    • Malus Pudor

      Uptick from the dreaded Mensch….

  • JabbaTheCat

    Oh dear, another religiot pretending to know something she doesn’t know…

  • rtj1211

    I’ve never quite understood why the fallible human needing to be led by God’s Messengers being was universally infallible when choosing a spouse, particularly as the age of choice suitable for child-bearing may not be the most suitable for wisdom. There is no evidence that parents arranging marriages produces any wiser choices……

    Of course it is a fine balance between divorcing too easily and not marrying at all, but really: there should be forgiveness for the first mistake, forgiveness with sanctions for a second mistake and excommunication for a third one!!

    • Frankie

      But that is not what Jesus said.
      Who are you to place yourself above the Son of God?

  • Malus Pudor

    700 + comments in the Spectator… for a woman who has betrayed her constituents, her faith and who is an utterly self-serving opportunist and megalomaniac self-proclaimer…

    As Bazza Mackenzie might have said in the Private Eye of many decades ago… this smells like a tin of bad fish..

    It’s time this dreadful ratbag shut her trap and returned to what she thought might be greener pastures in the US 0f A..

    Begone, you dreadful virago….

  • Rockin Ron

    sdffdf

  • Deacon Paul

    Your rantings are insane. If you believe yourself to be in a state of grievous sin, why do you not reform? Those who come to communion, despite their state, mostly do not understand the teaching of the Church, but you persist despite claiming to know you are in a state of sin.
    Receiving communion in a state of serious sin is itelf a sin, but the first sin is the problem, not the second. Don’t attempt to be pious by being a self acknowledged mortal sinner.

    • Malus Pudor

      That is the fundamental problem with this wretched, hypocritical creature… she thinks absolutely nothing of letting down her constituents, her party, its leaders and, most importantly, her faith…

      She is an attention-seeking fraud who is trying to re-establish herself… having jumped ship and now wants to be back in the limelight in this country, having failed to make an impression in the US of A under the aegis of her latest pop music impressario, Mister Mensch…

      Vale, darling…

    • Frankie

      She is not now in a position to reform, as there appears to be a second partner and children.
      So she must accept the pain that she has brought upon herself, ask for the patience and humility to accept God’s will, and await God’s mercy, if it should come.

      • Deacon Paul

        The children are her second partners previous marriage. She is his third wife. Reform might be a little hopeful in this situation. We, obviously, must not condemn individuals but she made money out of writing this load of drivel.

        • Frankie

          Yes, I agree – but at least she recognises the truth of the morality involved, whereas most of society and the very Catholic hierarchy itself seems content to displace centuries old traditions , and now Our Lord’s words themselves, in the name of selfish human desires.
          A pretty pass we have come to.

        • Louise Mensch

          1. They are my own children. My husband’s children are adults.
          2. I wasn’t paid for this piece nor did I seek payment for it.

    • Louise Mensch

      Because I love my husband very much.

      • Deacon Paul

        You’re reasoning is reasonable for most people, but in contradicts Catholic teaching; you are either an adulteress or not. My point is that the primary sin is adultery, not reception of the Eucharist in a state of sin.

        • Louise Mensch

          It doesn’t contradict Catholic teaching in any way.
          Both adultery and unworthy reception of Holy Communion are mortal sins. There is not a secondary sin, as I don’t receive the Eucharist unworthily.

          Your logic appears to be ‘belief in the Church entails keeping all her commandments’. That is not true and simply not logical.

    • Louise Mensch

      I thought I replied to this already, but here we go. Who is attempting to be pious? I think I’ve been explicit about my situation. There is no secondary sin as I *do not* receive the Holy Eucharist when I am not fit to receive it. Your logic is “if you really believed it was wrong, you wouldn’t do it.” By that token, none of us would ever sin. Nonsense.

  • blkequus

    until he applies for an annulment he is choosing to remain in an adulterous situation. I can’t think of a single reason to not apply for an annulment if it can bring you back to the Eucharist.

    • Andrew Craig

      Perhaps because the first marriage was a real marriage, and having it annulled would be dishonest?

    • Louise Mensch

      however, many of us in that situation can think of very many valid reasons.

  • PaulHalsall

    LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back, Guilty of dust and sin. But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning 5 If I lack’d anything. ‘A guest,’ I answer’d, ‘worthy to be here:’ Love said, ‘You shall be he.’ ‘I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear, I cannot look on Thee.’ 10Love took my hand and smiling did reply, ‘Who made the eyes but I?’ ‘Truth, Lord; but I have marr’d them: let my shame Go where it doth deserve.’ ‘And know you not,’ says Love, ‘Who bore the blame?’ 15 ‘My dear, then I will serve.’ ‘You must sit down,’ says Love, ‘and taste my meat.’ So I did sit and eat.

  • Ambientereal

    “I made a quick act of adoration and contrition and I ate it” my dear Loise, I believe Jesus would say to you “go in peace, your faith has rescued you” because what you did is an authentic act of faith, and that is the most important thing in Jesus teaching. Why did you do it? … because your hearth told you to do so, and doubtless God was at that moment smiling at you. God bless you and may He give me such a strong faith like yours.

  • ForGodsSake1

    If Louise is divorced and remarried then, by definition, she is not a Roman Catholic. Thus, no story.

    • FW Ken

      Where in heaven’s name did you come up with something like that?

      • ForGodsSake1

        She can’t take communion.

        • FW Ken

          I think this discussion has been had, but briefly: by your logic, someone who doesn’t observe the Eucharistic Fast and therefore can’t receive (not take) Communion is not a Roman Catholic that day. That’s absurd. Even an apostate or excommunicated Catholic remains a Catholic. At least, that’s what the Church says.

        • ardenjm

          How weird. You’re confusing the theological virtue of charity with the sacramental character imparted by baptism: when she was baptised she received an indelible change to her soul.
          That doesn’t change regardless of what she does.

          That she (like nearly all of us) pass through moments when she is in a state of grace (and thus heaven-oriented, via purgatory) and moments when she is not in a state of grace (and thus hell-oriented) does not remove the indelible character of her baptism. It is her baptism that made her a Catholic.

          Hope that clarifies.

          • ForGodsSake1

            Baptism makes her a Christian. Not a Roman Catholic. THAT is imparted by adherence to dogma.

          • ardenjm

            Look. Now you’re just being obtuse.
            Baptism makes you a member of Christ’s body, the Church. This is why – very coherently – the Catholic Church recognises baptism by all Christian denominations when they use the formula found in the Gospel. That Church is found visibly within the Catholic Church (and as we have already established, not being in a state of grace takes you out of communion with Christ and His body, the Church). Other Christian denominations are – institutionally speaking – either more or less perfectly united with the Catholic Church. Individuals, however, “outside” of the Catholic Church may nevertheless be in deep communion with Christ since the Holy Spirit blows where He wills. Nevertheless, it is fitting, theologically speaking, to conclude that since the Incarnation of the Word in a specific body in a specific time and place – Jesus of Nazareth – that His Body the Church is likewise “embodied” in a visible institution and not merely an invisible collection of “spiritual” believers.
            Christian comes from christianos, little Christs, followers of the Way – members of the Church. So you are confused if you think that Baptism conveys a “generic” Christian character that only subsequently becomes Catholic or Anglican or Protestant.
            That’s like saying fertilization merely fuses a sperm and an egg into a zygote that only subsequently becomes human: as if it could become something else like a dog or a cat. It can’t – it’s human DNA and it’s human from the beginning. Likewise, Baptism gives you the character of the sacrament and is ordered to the fulness of the Truth that the Church teaches. This is why the parents and godparents promise to raise the infant in the Faith.

            To resume: you are Baptised into Christ as a member of His Church. The Catholic Church contains the fulness of the saving truths and especially His Real Presence that He revealed to the world. If you were brought up not being taught that then that’s hardly your fault. And God is merciful. But this idea that sin – even mortal sin – stops you being a Catholic is just muddled. Sin puts you out of communion with the Church. Confession re-establishes that communion. But the Baptismal character remains even when we sin: we don’t rebaptise a second, third and fourth time – which is what your position would entail. In fact, the indelible nature of the Baptismal character is one of the key spiritual means by which sinners CAN brought back to Christ after sin: they are oriented to Christ through it – which they can frustrate through their own free will, certainly, but all the same, this orientation remains.

            You could argue the toss on this, I guess. But if you’re in good faith you’ll realise that you didn’t have the issues fully clear in your thinking. At the very most I guess you could ask for clarification because I may not have explained the ideas very clearly. If, however, you just wilfully persist trying to win an argument because you’re more attached to your mistake rather than growing in knowledge of the truth, do forgive me if I choose not to spend my time engaging in a useless dialogue with someone who just wants to have the last word rather than grow in their understanding. Mind how you go.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          I can’t take that religious BS, either.

    • Louise Mensch
      • ForGodsSake1

        Thanks for that. But you are not in full communion with the Church, which is, according to it, the only means by which salvation can be guaranteed. Typical RC double-think.

        • Louise Mensch

          yes, I am in full communion with the Church. I cannot receive Holy Communion. Those two things are quite different.

          • ForGodsSake1

            Louise,
            I do respect your dilemma. But if you ‘believe the basics’, then you wouldn’t have got divorced in the first place. Roman Catholicism is table d’hôte, not a la carte, as you well know. You may consider yourself to be in full communion with the Church; whether it considers itself in full communion with you is another matter entirely. God speed.

          • Louise Mensch

            It’s not really another matter entirely, though. You mean you don’t agree with the Church’s decision that we are in full communion with her. It’s in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Clearly you’re not reading the link I’m giving you

            http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/1651.htm

            so let me help you: according to the Catholic church, divorced and remarried Catholics must

            “not consider themselves separated from the Church, in whose life they can and must participate as baptized persons: They should be encouraged to listen to the Word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts for justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace.”

          • ForGodsSake1

            Louise,

            I did indeed read the passage from the catechism that you so kindly referenced. But the wording is ambiguous, I think. ‘…In whose life they can and must participate..’ does not necessarily imply full membership; indeed, I would say the opposite. For instance; I can participate in the activities of my local societies without necessarily being a member – I can do so as a guest. The sense of not being in full communion is further emphasised in the last passage, which exhorts you to implore…God’s grace’. Now why would you need that in this context unless you were less than a full member of the Church? In any case, you did not answer my principal point, which is, that by becoming divorced, you have rejected a central tenet of the Church in regard to marriage for life.

          • Louise Mensch

            but you are missing out the preceding words “so that they do not consider themselves separated from the church”. No separation has occurred – that is spelled out in black and white. Further it’s not just that they can participate, they must do so. Baptism is not reversible, you see. You are again confusing (perhaps understandably for a non-Catholic) the meaning of “in communion with” and “full communion” and being able to receive communion, the sacrament. The meanings are quite different. Sin does not negate one’s status in the church unless formally excommunicated. Sin is sin. I have not rejected the church’s teaching by sinning (your implication) – instead I have *disobeyed* it. That isn’t the same thing.

          • Louise Mensch

            No, wrong. The Church considers herself to be in full communion with me; I am not separated from her; that’s her catechism on the matter just cited to you. You don’t agree with the Church on this, but that’s not relevant as you aren’t Catholic. As to believing something to be right and therefore doing it we all know how false that is. “I shouldn’t have a second glass of wine” (has one) – you knew it was wrong but did it anyway. By the way, your understanding even of the teaching is also misplaced; civil divorce is not the problem in Catholicism, it is remarriage.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Come on, Louise, go the whole nine years; get excommunicated.
        “I’d never join a club that would accept me as a member.”

  • Andrew Craig

    How strange that Ms Mensch recoils in horror from the “sin” of taking holy communion while disqualified, but is relatively relaxed about the “sin” of having sex with someone that she’s not (by Catholic law) married to, presumably on the grounds that she doesn’t really fancy stopping that one.

    • Frankie

      You haven’t thought this through. By not taking communion, she is recognising the sin of her actions. That is to be commended.

      Ideally she would desist the second relationship. But now that she has another partner and children, she is stuck with the earlier decision to be sinful, and must bear the pain.

  • scroggs

    The interesting question is why some people find literalism and legalism so appealing. Ms Mensch might usefully read the article by Claire Stevens in the same issue of the Spectator. She might find something in common with the stepson who ‘converted’ to a similarly uncritical form of religion.

  • Patrick Milne

    What an astonishing article! I was brought up as a catholic in the sixties and seventies and attended catholic schools run by nuns and priests. I gave up all that nonsense when I began to think for myself aged about eleven, but in all those years I never came across the sort of dogmatic, delusional, magical nonsense that Louise Mensch espouses above. Frightening!

    Oh, and to those blaming the horrors of communism and fascism on atheism – both of those creeds are as much religions as they are political.

    They have gods in the form of Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot and the Kims who are worshipped as semi-supernatural beings.

    They have dogma and revered holy books of infallible, unquestionable wisdom in Mein Kampf, Juche and the Little Red Book.

    They have their saints and martyrs in Horst Wessel, Karl Marx, Alexy Stakhanov, Lei Feng, Wang Jinxi and Che Guevara.

    They also have ‘believers’ and they kill their heretics and blasphemers.

    Gods don’t have to be ancient and invisible to be dangerous.

    • Malus Pudor

      Your sensible and well-reasoned comments put the self-regarding and dogmatic harridan’s hectoring lecture into perspective… well done…

    • Fearitself73

      ” I never came across the sort of dogmatic, delusional, magical nonsense that Louise Mensch espouses above”

      I guess this is the first time you’ve encountered Louise. A woman who thinks nothing of calling one of the founding intellectuals of Zionism of being “anti-Semitic”.

      To follow her on twitter is to enter despair.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Surrounded by fools and lunatics, right?

    • ardenjm

      “both of those creeds are as much religions as they are political”

      How wonderfully convenient for you.
      Let me tell you what it sounds like:
      It sounds like you’re not willing to face up to what atheists have done in the name of their atheism.
      So you use the strategy of re-defining them as “religions” so that you can feel safe and secure up there on your moral high horse.
      Man up!
      They were atheists like you.
      They did bad things.
      Just as I have to accept that Catholics that I barely recognise as Catholics (in fact, I’d LOVE to re-interpret them as socio-political phenomena, not religious ones – kind of see their Conquistadore campaigns as exclusively racist ethnic cleansing not tainted by religious zealotry – after all, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, right? you want to religify your atheist crazies, so let me socio-politicise my religious crazies) but no, it’s more intellectually honest to say: bad Catholics did this.
      Patrick: bad atheists did these things. In the name of their rejection of God they tore down the Churches (synagogues, temples and mosques) and killed the believers.

      Ideology does that to human beings. It blinds them.
      Religion and politics can become ideological very easily. Religion probably more so than politics. Race/tribalism possibly more so than either – in the history of the world.

      • Malus Pudor

        If you are going to cut and paste, at least edit it properly… it is very bad manners to print something that is so uneasy on the eye.

        • ardenjm

          ?
          I didn’t cut and paste.
          But I tell you what: whenever I want to comment on something I shall send it to you for your editorial imprimatur.

          • Frankie

            Still, that was all he felt able to criticise …..!!

  • Keenereader

    Louise’ article has spawned a tsunami of comments, many not related to the topic. Below is my message to the participants at the Synod. They will probably never see or read it but I feel better for stating my side. AND also note that 24 married couples were invited to the Synod to observe but no divorced and remarried couples were invited. The scales are already biased with only one side being heard.

    And now my message:
    Good evening;

    I’d like to comment on the topic of Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin’s recent excellent article referenced above. I’d ask that you forward this message to the isolated group of wise men, never married, who will decide the fate of many Catholics at the Synod.

    I am one of them, a divorced Catholic and remarried in a civil ceremony. I have a wonderful wife who stands solidly beside me in life and provides the support a husband needs and I do likewise of her. We love each other.

    The problem of being denied Communion has created some very strong sentiments for me. One of them is “why am I treated as an outsider looking in?” How many hundreds of thousands of other Catholics feel the same? I would NEVER give up my Catholicism. Why would it give up on me? This creates some difficult emotions and even uncertainty.

    There are many learned theological experts, including some senior clergy who will be delegates at the Synod but who have never been married and lived in that setting. They write about it from a theoretical aspect and refer to how their parents raised them. BUT they have not been “on the line”. Are they in a position to judge? Are they dealing in the real world? Do they understand? I’m not sold on their opinions. They can’t control the hormones of many of the clergy in Ireland and New York, etc. and fail to discipline the guilty or remove corruption at the Vatican bank or address the homophobic activities in Rome. How can they decide on discipline for the body of Catholics. Cleaning up their act at home would be a good place to start.

    Maybe they should ask a simple question: “What would Jesus do?” Maybe these learned theologians could follow His example with Mary Magdalene (Luke 7:36-50), the Samaritan lady at the well (John 4) and there are many other examples of sinners being forgiven and told “Go in Peace.”. And in “Divine Mercy in My Soul” the diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, Jesus tells her to “Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy” (note 301).

    I understand fully the basis of a family and the responsibility of having children, raising them to be decent respectful people and launching them into the world and nurturing their growth when they leave home on their own. I have done this 5 times. Many other Catholics, such as me, have also done the same. We all realize that raising children requires both parents. We also realize that children require 900 lbs. of love, 100 lbs. of discipline and tonnes of patience. It is a serious and difficult task that lasts a lifetime. In the end the dividends are returned a hundred fold or more. It takes both parents to do this. And I get it.

    Having said that, consider the relationship of the parents. There are large varieties of reasons for marital breakup, many based on personal selfishness and many others where the partners just grow apart as they get older. Sometimes the marriage was a mistake that is only recognized some years down the road or is tolerated until the children are out the door. Is the breakup right..probably not. Is reconciliation possible..perhaps but it didn’t happen. And there are many variations on possibilities concerning the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of divorced Catholics.

    I’m only one voice of many millions of voices asking “Let me back into the Catholic Church. Let me receive Communion.” You are deciding the fate of many souls. Be wise. Be fair. Understand forgiveness. Answer the question: “What would Jesus do?”

    • Frankie

      What Jesus did is make clear and ambiguous statements about the sanctity and life-long nature of marriage, and the sinful nature of adultery. the impossibility of divorce.

      He was also equally clear about the need to receive communion worthily.

      What we do about this is up to us. But the teaching is not admissible of compromise or change, because otherwise we set ourselves above God Himself.

  • rob232

    I’m sorry but this is just so much rubbish. Either you are a Catholic or you are not.Why did this women marry again? She knew this was prohibited to her. How many literary themes cover exactly this situation? Julia in Brideshead Revisited who refused to spend her life living in sin. Rose in Brighton Rock who made a decision between good and evil. Sarah in The End of the Affair. the solution is in front of her nose.
    She cannot live with her new husband whilst the former husband is still alive.
    I remember sitting in Catholic churches during the sixties listening to long sermons on divorce and living in sin. All through my youth this was stuffed down my throat and I was more than happy to throw off its shackles.
    What really makes me sick is that there are people torturing their children with a religion they don’t even believe in. If you are not prepared to make the sacrifices leave it alone and leave us all in peace.

    • Louise Mensch

      well I can, but it has consequences. You are wrong, however, as to what divorced and remarried Catholics are supposed to do. They are not supposed to stop going to mass nor are they excommunicated. Here is the relevant paragraph: “this situation” refers to a person civilly divorced and remarried without a declaration of nullity from the first marriage.

      http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/1651.htm

  • CMx

    Yes, there is a warning that each examine themselves and be right.
    You can repent but there should be a turn-from sin too to be real.

    “And some sleep” is death to those who abused it.

    But, on another note, sin is the symptom of disobedience.
    For the lost and for the save. We go to hell for rejecting Christ, not sinning.
    We sin because we reject Christ.

    All sin is sin.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Another victim of Catholic brain washing.

  • Richard Sherbaniuk

    I am late getting to this thread. I’m not surprised by the vehemence of many of the comments. I would describe myself as a non-practicing agnostic (wink) because I do go to church (evangelical, just because it’s a five minute walk from my home and the pastor gives good sermons). I teach English at a university and also work as an editor. The class of 30 started talking about the Bible and other faiths (don’t remember what caused this) and the discussion became quite heated. To make a point I told class members to write an essay of 600 words on a topic (abortion, capital punishment etc.) about which they felt very strongly. I then edited each essay so as to make it say the reverse of what had originally been written. Each paper took about 20 minutes to edit. I then pointed out that the Bible has been written, rewritten, edited, some books tossed out, etc. for centuries and for a wide variety of motives, whether doctrinal, political, or just plain venal. The Bible is a human construct and is no more the word of God than, say, Tony Blair’s memoirs, and just as historically fudged. I also find it interesting that discussions like these always focus on the three desert-generated monotheistic religions — what about the Hindu elephant god or Taoism or Siberian animism, etc.?

  • Liz

    Jesus is magic.

    • pedestrianblogger

      I will pray for you, Liz.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        That is so creepy.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      More like deception.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Laying on a guilt trip; that’s what Catholicism really excels at. So visit a Catholic care home for the terminally ill:
    “You’ve been a slave and a surf all your life, but there’s no need to die one. Recognise it was all BS. So next time the priest comes round, tell him to shove his primitive, violent superstition up his donkey.”
    A little tasteless, but totally justified to turn the tables.
    Jack, Japan Alps

    • FW Ken

      At least the Catholics have a care home for the terminally ill. Why don’t you start one?

      • GraveDave

        I suppose they need the souls.

      • cartimandua

        Where they probably deny the patients adequate pain relief.

        • FW Ken

          I think you should go do some volunteer work and find out.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          That does seem an assumption too far.

          • cartimandua

            A study showed that a very large tranche of people in hospices did not get adequate symptom relief an the last weeks/months of their lives. That’s driven by a religiously based fear of shortening lives.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Sounds like a nice not so little earner.
        Jack, Japan Alps

  • cartimandua

    Why on earth would anyone stick with a cruel and unjust church. Raised to be a masochist perhaps.

    • Frankie

      Well, you could always leave your Church, Carti.

      • cartimandua

        I wouldn’t touch the Catholic church with a very long barge pole.
        Any person in LMs situation has to be a masochist for sticking to an organization determined to treat her with cruelty.

        • Louise Mensch

          sigh. The Church is not treating me with cruelty. Preserving me from sin and encouraging me to receive the graces of mass is kindness not cruelty. I am content

  • Frankie

    Thank you Louise for your honesty and humility to accept the burdens that have come your way.
    So unlike those who are so eager to make the world spin about their own selfish wants, and make themselves into god.

  • Dabbler1

    I think the lady doth protest too much.

    If she is really so keen on all the theological minutiae of Roman Catholic doctrine, she shouldn’t have divorced at all and kept her marriage going, no matter how bad and loveless it was. ( BTW I have no knowledge of the details of Ms Mensch’s marriage. ) Then she could humbly offer her suffering and misery to God and be guaranteed a place in heaven, because she’d have done her purgatorial stint here on earth. ( If indeed there is such a place as heaven, hell or purgatory and it’s not all just a fairy story made up to keep Popes, bishops and priests in business…….).

    She wants a modern divorce and all the conveniences of the 21st century and then she goes all medieval when it comes to what are the appropriate circumstances for eating a biscuit.

    A case of having your wafer and eating it, methinks.

    ( Nevertheless it has to be said that the RC Church has some wonderful sung masses. )

  • Carter Lee

    One would hope that we now are firmly planted in a new and hopeful century that all the fantastic nonsense of religious doctrine would be found to be senseless and cast aside like and old shoes and bad dreams.

    Perhaps people should think more about living a good and useful life and when you depart this world leaving it a bit better than when you arrived.

    It is long past when educated people should have finally come to grips with the absurdity of manipulative religious superstition and the supernatural.

  • ram2009

    Louise Mensch, you are a far better person than I’d given you credit for. Why you left Cameron’s Conservatives is all too clear now.

    • Malus Pudor

      Is that meant to be irony ?

    • Louise Mensch

      er… thank you but I most certainly did not leave the Conservatives; I am a member, a voter, and an activist and I remain just as strong a supporter of the PM as ever I was.

  • Diana Russ

    Conservative, traditionalist and reactionary readers and contributors to this blog sense that there is a grave dysfunction at the heart of the Church in these Isles.. The Conry women scandal is the rotten capstone affixed to a diocese and a church that is reeling from the clerical sex abuse scandals that have been a feature of the life of that diocese and the church in the last few years.

    Perhaps it is now time for the Nuncio to recommend that an Apostolic Visitation be conducted within the diocese as soon as is practicable. Only then will Rome be able to ascertain the spiritual and moral integrity of the diocese, its laity, its clergy and institutions that fall within its remit. Within the diocesan boundaries there comprises an influential laity and their views must be sought if this process is to have any chance of ensuring that remedial action can be initiated.. Too many of the clergy seem to have colluded with Conry’s antics and have realistically nullified any serious input into an inquiry as to what has been happening there.

    I do call for an financial audit to be conducted parallel to the Visitation. Only then can we determine with any certainty if diocesan monies or accommodations have been directed toward the Conry women.

    The leadership corps of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales appear to be psychologically and temperamentally incapable of telling the truth on this matter. This is expressed in its failure to defend orthodoxy. In its wake comes heterodoxy and the great dictator, relativism.

    Conry has performed an act of mental apostasy. He has been “going through the motions” for years while managing his “unbelief”. Your article on the Real Presence and the sanctity and sacredness of this sacrament has now but all been lost by many of the “leaders”. It has been epitomised by Conry. Rome has now appointed an Apostolic Administrator to the Arundel and Brighton diocese. It may indicate how serious it is taking developments in the church there. The subtext being how little confidence they have in the leading local clergy of that diocese in managing its own affairs.

    Have they like Caliban turned away in horror at what they see? The essence of denial?

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Louise Mensch: Quick tip. Stay above the fray. Resist the temptation to get down and dirty with the hoi polloi.

    Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

  • http://www.DSDOConnor.com Daniel O’Connor

    Dear Louise,

    At least strive to avoid adulterous acts for the time it takes to get your previous marriage annulled (if indeed there are grounds for annulment). You are not in mortal sin if you’re trying to avoid them, and contrite if you fail by weakness. And why not? Why not try? Isn’t Heaven worthy of this trying? Isn’t Our Lord worthy of this trying? God can work such great things with so little from us… but He does want us to at least walk in His direction. Please, try.

    In Christ, through Mary,
    Daniel

    • Louise Mensch

      I thank you for your kind, and sound, advice, but I have valid reasons for not seeking an annulment; and I love my husband dearly and we have a full married life together and will continue to do so. If it were otherwise, if I had chosen to live as brother and sister, I could already receive the blessed Eucharist.

      • http://www.DSDOConnor.com Daniel O’Connor

        Thank you Louise. Just remember that Mary loved Joseph more than any other wife loves her husband… and their married life was completely full together. I don’t mean to pry (and don’t let my words detract from my gratitude to you for writing this article); I just wanted to say what I did because I know that many hesitate from embarking upon a life of grace due to the apparent likelihood of failures in the process. To this Our Lord said (to St. Faustina, and to us all): “Have confidence, My child. Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy.”

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          “Just remember that Mary loved Joseph more than any other wife loves her husband.” Bet you buy the virgin birth myth, too.
          After Mary’s fling with Panthera, the handsome Roman soldier billeted down the street, she urgently needed a husband. Keep in mind she was in a culture where the wrong sort of carnal knowledge was a stoning offence. This was one of the reasons why the Jews rejected Jesus because they knew who his real father was. Joseph , an older not previously married man was recruited as husband, in what presumably was a win-win arrangement. Pretty, vivacious teenage, what’s not to like? And remember Jesus had several brothers and sisters, only this time their father was Joseph, presumably. So smell up and wake the coffee, Danny boy.

          Jack letting the cat out of the bag.

          • http://www.DSDOConnor.com Daniel O’Connor

            Oh no, you have destroyed my Faith!!

            (Forgive me. I usually avoid sarcasm. Truly.)

        • rtrdvt

          In other words, go directly to God with your sins, not to another sinner (priest). Remember this quote “for I am always ready to forgive you”.

          • http://www.DSDOConnor.com Daniel O’Connor

            You aren’t going to another sinner in the Sacrament of Confession, you’re going to Jesus.

    • rtrdvt

      Go to Christ directly!

  • Maria-Camilla

    Thank you for your honesty and for your beautiful words. It is refreshing to see that, in this time of crisis for the Church, there are still faithful sons and daughters around who truly possess the Catholic Faith. I have been talking to atheist friends and I am aware of how I sound to them. Thank you for enduring the scorn and thank you for your love towards Our Eucharistic Lord. May He restore you in full communion quickly and, in the meantime, may He pour the abundance of His grace in your life through the many channels of grace He has established. My personal favorite is pouring a drop of holy water in all my food and drink, from pot to plate. Recently, I started pouring a drop also in every load of laundry. It feels like He’s always, always present in my body this way.

    I had been away from the Church for many years and I remember the time when my general confession was still in progress. I’d feel such pangs of desire for the Eucharist every time I’d sit in Mass. It took almost two months, to do a 15 year confession a few topics at a time. I had thought I’d die of want if this had gone on any longer. I can’t imagine how hard it is for you. Please rest reassured of my prayers.

    • Louise Mensch

      I thank you so much for the charity of your prayers. I am remembering all who enter the debate in mine at mass and offering my spiritual communion for them. My favorite is the quote of the saint who said “Compared to the mercy of God, all this wide world’s wickedness is like a hot stone thrown into the ocean.”

    • http://www.DSDOConnor.com Daniel O’Connor

      It’s good that you were so thorough in your Confession… but you could have received in the mean-time (after the first one, that is), my friend!

  • Älter und weiser

    God bless and well said.
    Now I wonder why Cardinal Kasper, a prince of the Church, has such a hard time seeing the same thing.

    • Louise Mensch

      thank you 🙂

  • cartimandua

    Why are you a masochist Louise? Was it being raised a woman in the Catholic church?
    Want to raise your children like that? Really?

    • Louise Mensch

      I’m not. Being a raised a Catholic was life affirming and I hope to pass the same to my children.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        Ask yourselves, is this woman really appropriate opinion leader material?

  • Bonaventura

    Excellent and heartfelt article. I completely agree that one should not take the Host in a state of mortal sin. I unfortunately can’t get over an attachment to auto-eroticism at present (which 99% of males commit) so am not even attending Mass at the moment. At the right time I intend to fully confess these two mortal sins (the other being not attending) – as far as I know the only qualifying mortal sins that are unconfessed. But I cannot bring myself to unworthily take the Host, which is sacrilege.
    I have a friend who has sex outside marriage regularly and takes the Host, but that is up to him. I believe in esoterism and moreover the reality of the State of Grace.

    • Louise Mensch

      Hmm. I would be guided by the ccc on the first sin. While it’s always grave matter the fact is force of unbreakable habit often reduces “full consent of the will” (according to the Catechism) so you probably are in venial rather than mortal sin. Even to try not to do it again is sufficient for absolution, you know.

      See “force of acquired habit” lessening culpability – you should talk to a priest at your next confession. http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/2352.htm

    • http://www.DSDOConnor.com Daniel O’Connor

      Bonaventura — so long as you truly intend to try to not commit auto-eroticism again (no matter how unlikely you view your permanent success as), and have confessed your most recent engaging in it, you are completely free to receive the Eucharist. The only thing that prevents us from receiving Communion is having committed a mortal sin since our last good confession.

  • Innit Bruv

    “The political grasp of a Teletubby” Peter Hitchens,Mail on Sunday,October 2008.
    It would be a mortal sin if such mediocrity were allowed anywhere near the House of Commons again.

  • Retired Nurse

    Oh dear….

  • TotaTua

    Please please take the time to seek an annulment so you can again receive Eucharist. I so admire your stance and your full understanding of Catholic Teaching.

    • http://www.ukip.org/index/ George Smiley (deceased)

      Which is no different from sanctioned lying.

      Of course the Pope is empowered to change even the Doctrine: they are called the Mass of Trent, Vatican I and Vatican II! It is not as if the entire RCC is close to bankruptcy, is it?!

      My message to Miss Bagshawe, alias Mrs. Mensch, and her (presumably mostly feminine) readers: Please, keep your own money for your own children and your own relatives. The priest probably earns more than enough. Your unwanted presence would anyway only make the priest awkward. The RCC would dearly love to physically eject excommunicates from the service, yet to do so would make a mockery out of their claim to universal jurisdiction, BOTH spiritual and temporal.

      • Louise Mensch

        wibble wibble I’m a hatstand

    • Louise Mensch

      I can assure you that the reason I have not done so is nothing to do with laziness.

  • jcapist

    I thank this brave woman for this article, which is much needed. Sadly antiCatholics. took over this thread. There is no place for that type of thing here. She was only addressing Catholics, many of whom are not living their faith as Christ gave us. All those putting forth hurtful untruthful things will find out the truth, in the end. I pray they at least become more Christian, not attacking the Church as they did.

    • rtrdvt

      Are you a Christian or a Catholic? Which is it?

  • NoPasaran

    You lead well by your example.

  • Retired Nurse

    Oh dear.

  • dailytelaviv

    Louise Mensch posted hate comments about Greece, I suspect that her loyalties are too Israel these days

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Me too (to).

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “I’m a divorced Catholic. And I’m sure it would be a mortal sin for me to take Communion”
    That Catholic brainwashing really lays a guilt trip on the weak-minded. Come on, Louise, kick that violent superstition overboard. Religion’s for the servants.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Have you noticed, almost 950 contributions and hardly anyone gets a recommendation? You know anything about this, Mods?

  • Mr Creosote

    Utterly incomprehensible article for anyone with half a brain.
    When all these archaic religions wither and die, as they ultimately will, the world will be a better place.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Looks like my best contributions have hit the cutting too floor. Yet again. Come on Guys. No Popery here. Kick those bead mumblers back to the Telegraph.

    • http://www.ukip.org/index/ George Smiley (deceased)

      So says the trolling Japanese heathen!

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    The profile of George Smiley (deceased)

    “UKIP (private supporter) and UKIP voter. All views are those of my own, or, them thoughts are me thoughts and belong to nowt!

    Somewhere in the traditional East Riding of Yorkshire, Engla”

    And he claims to be an English native speaker.

    • http://www.ukip.org/index/ George Smiley (deceased)

      That “Jackthesmilingblack” is both a Japanese and a Troll who trolls at least an hour a day is hardly a surprise.

  • http://www.ukip.org/index/ George Smiley (deceased)

    As the Irish would probably say, “What a load of *****!”

  • Fraziel

    What you are Louise, apart from a posh, out of touch idiot who wrote awful books and played at being a politician for a year, is a brainless non thinking fool who denies science, evidence, logic and reason to beleive this utter tripe. Another one who despite being an adult is still afraid of the dark. Its 2014, when are people going to stop believing in this nonsense?

    • rtrdvt

      When HE comes back!

  • poete.maudit

    So, basically, you wish that the Church would undermine the sacrament of marriage by making annulment ‘easier’ in order for would-be adulterers not to commit sacrilege against the body of our Lord? Tell me, how can you be so woefully obstinate in your sin as to be worried about the consequences of taking communion in a state of mortal sin when you are in any case living in adultery and bound for Hell?

    • Louise Mensch

      Certainly not. The Church is infallible. If she annuls a marriage, it never existed in the first place, and it is impossible to commit adultery as one was not married.

      • Patrick

        Louise, do you actually believe that?
        How can a marriage, which has been of some duration, presumably physically intimate, and initiated after a church service be deemed to “not have happened”. The basis of your argument seems to be “because the church says so, and the church is infallible”. If you remove the assumption of the infallibility of the church (which has zero basis in scripture) then your argument collapses.
        Or would it be okay for the church to sell you a papal indulgence ahead of you committing some pre planned sin, on the basis that if the church determined that it was okay to do so, then this must be the revealed plan of God.
        Louise, you are clearly N intelligent person, and so it is impossible that you actually hold that an annulment means anything other than as a legal gimmick to allow you a church wedding and as a means to allowing you to uncross your arms at communion. It is plainly a nonsense

        • Louise Mensch

          the infallibility of the Church is securely based in the Gospel words of Christ Our Lord. “I will give you the keys to the kingdom; whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,” he says to St. Peter, the first Pope. The annulment does not refer to the legal status of a marriage. It refers to whether both parties were fully capable of giving free consent to the marriage at the time it happened and were capable of contracting a marriage, without being deceived as to what they were doing, or under too much mental pressure to think clearly; and also that the marriage was valid in its form and substance (e.g. =a woman marries a man in a Catholic wedding. Two years later her first husband, believed drowned at sea, shows up. Although nobody sinned in contracting a second marriage, it didn’t actually happen in God’s eyes since she wasn’t free to marry; the nuptial vows were void).

          • Patrick

            In order –
            The scripture you quote refers to the church of all believers, guided by scripture and the Holy Spirit rather than the hierarchy of the RC denomination.
            Secondly Matt 16, which you have very selectively quoted then goes on in verses 21 – 24 demonstrates the absurdity of any claim to Papal infallibility
            Finally, if the whole discussion regarding annulment was about people getting lost at sea and then showing up years later, or other similar circumstances, then there would not be any argument would there? Such events are so rare. I don’t think your first husband was in a shipwreck or lost in the jungle was he? Not do I think you would claim that either you or your ex were not of sound mind when you married. So there are no grounds for annulment. The reason that you were paid to write an article about this topic, and the reason that the Pope has called 2 synods to discuss it is because people who have been married according to any sensible lights, who have then got divorced and remarried, want to pretend that the first marriage never happened.

    • rtrdvt

      This woman is not bound for hell anymore than you are. For anyone to damn someone as you have done, is not acting in the eyes of God. Do not listen to this man poete.maudit as he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about!

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  • rtrdvt

    First of all let’s get one thing straight. There is no mortal sin nor venial sin, there is sin, period, God does not play games with sin. You either sin or you don’t and there are no categories. The Vatican is full of man made rules and regulations but the only true rule is that of Jesus Christ. Jesus never turned anyone away (sinner or no sinner) but the Catholic church does. At one time you could not eat meat on Friday but the Vatican changed that to you can eat meat on Friday, the problem with both of those statements is that no where is scripture did it ever say that you couldn’t. Now the Pope wants to add Mary to the Holy Trinity, if you want sacrilege, this would be it! The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One. Mary has no place in that order of things, nor would she want to be. The Pope and Cardinals require you to kiss their rings (I wouldn’t), Jesus never did! The kissing of a ring, shows worship and I do not worship a man. Jesus and his followers were poor people (personal possessions) yet the Catholic Church is the richest church in the entire world, just imagine how many hungry people , who are starving, could be fed with all the riches that the Catholic Church possesses! The Vatican 1 and Vatican 2 rules and regulations were written by man and not Jesus Christ. Follow His teachings (biblical) and you will be following the words of Jesus not some man in Rome.

    Do not deprive yourself of receiving the body and blood of Jesus because a man tells you to, Jesus would not want you to do this. Ask God for forgiveness and continue to receive Him as you always have. The church is not a group of people nor is it a building, it is anywhere Jesus is and Jesus is in you.

  • Bob McDade

    why does the media continue to give a platform to people in need of psychiatric help? this article is a good example; the author, who manages just about to portray a rational, functioning human being in person, repeatedly writes articles that provide clear evidence of her underlying mental instability.

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  • Redpelican

    I am very edified by your article. You have done a great deal of good in writing this article. Humility is the truth.

    • Louise Mensch

      thank you

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  • anonymous5555

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  • Tara Norton-Loyd

    This is just plain sad. No where are there “rules” for receiving communion in the word of God. Jesus simply states “do so in remembrance of me” Catholicism has perverted the word of God to fit into their little box. Dear Catholics – Jesus is the only way to the kingdom of God. Not the Vatican, Not Mary, not the “saints”… Only Jesus…Only Jesus. Your pope & priests are deceiving you and making you feel unworthy to receive what Christ has freely given IF ONLY YOU ASK. Jesus simply says “Come” and if you ask you will be forgiven, No where in the Bible does it say you have to work for the forgiveness or prove yourself for it. NONE of us are worthy! But that is exactly WHY Christ came and died for our sins… Because of grace we are delivered from sin – not by works. Praying for all Catholics that they will be freed from the cloaks that blind them to the truth.

  • em

    Join the club. I am in a relationship with a man, I have been with him and only him for 10 years, He is the only person I have ever had sex with, but we are not married, and sex before marriage is a sin, It’s complicated though, we would like to get married but both of our families hate eachother and they are always trying to make us choose between them, So what to do? Get married and dishonour my mothers wishes and make my boyfriends family me and my families in laws whom she despises or just keep as we are and live together in sin? It’s abit mental because it is LIKE we are married, we live together, pay bills together and act like we are married and to be honest a big fuss, a big white dress and a ring wouldnt make us feel any different. It would just worsen things between our families and there fueding. Sigh

  • Rose1954

    Atheist believe what you believe. Are you trying to convert Christians? Why do you come to a religious site and trash Christian beliefs? Or any religious beliefs? Are you looking for answers? I will not defend my religion to you. But if you want to learn..want to believe than I welcome you. I enjoy the peace I have been blessed with. You will never understand it and I feel sorry for you. But you have no right to come here and insult our Lord whether YOU believe or not. We are not hurting you and if anything I am sure the Christians participating in this forum, pray for you. Does that hurt?

  • Lise

    Jesus died for your sins. We are commanded to repent and ask for His forgiveness before sharing in Holy Communion, but make no mistake, we should take communion whenever we gather. We do this to “remember” that it is His dying on the cross that makes us worthy. By not taking communion you are refusing to accept that it is by His crucifixion, not yours, that we are freed from our sins.
    In Christ,
    Lise

  • Shannon Smith

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  • TrueDefender

    Very good article written by a very selfless lady.

  • CatholicCrusader

    Nice Job, Louise…..better said than by most theologians and the Clergy.

  • Sofia Liam

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  • Mike Fassoli

    Wonderful piece.

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