Monday, September 12, 2011

The Vague and Ambivalent Crowd Who Turn a Blind Eye to Dingbat Theology, Evil and Sin

While they allow evil and sin to flourish, all in the name of charity, they get downright nasty with virtually any Catholic from the faithful crowd.

They support smear campaigns, threaten, bully.

The war for the soul of the Church with theologically malformed crowd look Catholic and sound Catholic isn't anywhere near reaching a truce.

You can take that to the bank!

(You don't suppose Michael read the don't take a stand on evil pearls written by a blogger that sounds like Ring being tossed about in blogosphere, do you?)


Anonymous said...

"(You don't suppose Michael read the don't take a stand on evil pearls written by a blogger that sounds like Ring being tossed about in blogosphere, do you?) "

What blogger Carol?

Pats up 31-17


Anonymous said...

Here's a real bullsh** post. What a joke. These people are wimps. Mocking pro-lifers.


Carol said...

I see you have found it!

Ironic, given the discussion began with Terry's criticism of Bishop Coyne and the Pope's affirmation of fraternal correction, isn't it?

Don't let the Bible and 2000 years of Christianity stop you from being silence when charity requires us to speak!

I wonder if this means the clever ridicule will stop...

Anonymous said...

I rather liked this bullsh** post myself:

"You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?"

"Through a certain indiscreet zeal they become angry over the sins of others, they reprove these others, and sometimes even feel the impulse to do so angrily, which in fact they occasionally do, setting themselves up as lords of virtue."

Complete with the artwork "Illumination - Christ healing the leper".

Terry shows us how to do it:

Anonymous said...

Hey Carol,

You say, "Don't let the Bible and 2000 years of Christianity stop you from being silence when charity requires us to speak!"

St. Poeman, 4th century desert hermit, would agree with you!

"Silence is never a virute when charity demands speech."

Great thinkers, and all of that... LOL!

Catechist Kevin

Anonymous said...

I suppose all those religous people doing great work at 40days for life should just shut up and go home, not be seen, be quiet. forget about trying to save lives and souls.

These Catholics must be getting their direction from Nancy Pelosi, 'prayer belongs in the church with our heads bowed.'


susan said...

DAAAAAAANG....once again Voris hits it out of the park. This is what's been at the heart of this whole kerfuffle. I read the screed by Heather King that Terry links to and lauds with incense and roses; I counted approximately 5 objectively heretical ideas, with a few "nice" sounding platitudes, all wrapped up in a smug, narcissistic ball of self-adulation. She typifies a neo-Catholicism that is fast becoming the 'norm' for the pat-each-other-on-the-back and pay no attention to the big red dragon burning down the gate crowd.

She ‘reworks’ the Church’s teaching on homosexuality, jeers and mocks good people who have the guts and fortitude to take a public stand on life (and other vital moral issues of the day), exhorting instead the virtue of hiding your light under a bushel. She's a train wreck, abbey roads is a train wreck, Mark Shea is a train wreck, et al. Venom and spiritual poison are woven amongst sweet smelling flowers in some gardens, and unsuspecting souls pick them all together and breath in deeply. I have been reminded in stunningly graphic ways this past week why I nixed them a long time ago from my 'reading list'. (And don’t anyone accuse Carol of saying this…I am saying this)

St. Basil the Great gave us some great advice..."Run from places of sin as though from the plague". He wasn't just talking about brothels and crack-dens, but even more-so of the spiritual pit-falls masquerading as mother's milk. "This calls for discernment". I plan on taking that good advice once again.

This may not sound "nice" to many of you but therein lies another BIG problem..."nice" is not the same thing as “kind”; we’ve confused and redefined meanings in this culture. Christ was ALWAYS kind; often not ‘nice’, according to our current definition. Reread Matthew if you have a problem grasping this. True Charity often involves ripping the bandaid (or blinders) off very quickly…that can hurt….that will often be called ‘not nice’ because many love their bandaid and blinders…so be it. Speak your piece, speak the truth, and when it’s met with tar and feathers and rage, shake the dust off, and keep your hard-won treasure of peace of soul. Don’t feed the trolls…that only sucks spiritual energy, sprouting vile fruit in a previously well-tended garden….been there, done that; not gonna do it again.

To Michael Voris, Carol McKinley, and all the other true warriors of Christ in a modernist spiritual minefield…you have my respect, my prayers and sacrifices for your continued fortitude, and my gratitude…..for what it’s worth. God bless all.


susan said...

"First there is provocation; then a coupling with the provocation; then assent to it; then captivity to it; then passion, grown habitual and continuous. This is how the holy fathers describe the stages through which the devil gets the better of us." St. Philotheos of Sinai, Forty Texts on Watchfulness #34

MAN!...gotta LOVE those Eastern Fathers! :)

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to comment on two parts of the video.

First, the dismissal of "social justice thinking"

This is an important part of Catholic teaching, and has been for AT LEAST 100 years now. Leo XIII, John XXIII, and John Paul II have written encyclicals on this part of Church teaching.

It was a component of Vatican II, and also the MedellĂ­n Regional Conference of Latin American Bishops.

It actually springs from study of the Scriptures, the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures emphasize it strongly, and it was an important part of Jesus' teachings.

I am not trying to eliminate the "spiritual" teachings you are emphasizing, but we are not beings of pure spirit. We live in physical bodies, and have physical needs. Jesus came to give us not only life, but fullness of life, and he would not distinguish between the needs of the body and those of the spirit. (Remember the healing of the paralytic man. In fact bear in mind all the healings which are recorded in the Gospels.

Secondly, you mention papal infallibility, but you neglect to mention that this only applies when the Pope speaks "ex cathedra". Until the papacy of John Paul II this was rarely used. During the last two papacies, however, there has been what is known as "creeping infallibility" which has become broader and broader and is being inappropriately invoked for any papal statement dealing with faith and morals.

The best example of this was the statement of then Cardinal Ratzinger on the ordination of women, which later John Paul stated was infallible. There are two problems with this, however.

Firstly, ONLY the pope is regarded as being infallible -- other bishops cannot claim this in their statements.

Secondly, the process John Paul II used to issue a declaration of infallibility through the ordinary magisterium (as opposed to an "ex cathedra" statement) can only be made if the statement has the consensus of ALL the bishops. And there was no consensus at that time.

So this doctrine has been abused by the pope and other high levels of the Curia.

Besides, if you are going to make this declaration that EVERYTHING the pope says on faith and morals is infallible, you will find yourself supporting some indefensible ideas.

For example, slavery was once accepted by the papacy, as was torture. Also the many teachings regarding Jews, something that was finally changed at Vatican II.

Pius IX (the first pope to claim infallibility) included democratic government and freedom of religion to be "errors" in his "Syllabus of Errors."

And do we need to go into Galileo and Giordano Bruno? The Inquisition? (I have a hard time trying to imagine Jesus tolerating such an institution, and the barbaric practices which were used, and there was a reason why John Paul II made all those apologies before the Millennium.)

One of my favorite passages, which I think applies here is from Hosea.

"Three things do I require of you: to do JUSTICE, LOVE with kindness and mercy, and walk HUMBLY with your God." (emphasis mine).

Remember, some of those most zealous in the faith did some of the worst things to those who disagreed with them. Our Church's history is rife with examples of this.

As for modern ideas which arose from Vatican II, and which many whom you accuse of practicing "dingbat theology" are actually looking at some of the OLDEST traditions of the Church (things such as the election of bishops by the faithful).

Carol said...

Still hoping some cowboy will be elected to the Chair of Peter and ordain women and married men, eh?

Well, I was once there myself so I know exactly how you feel.

I think you have misunderstood. When Michael refers to the social justice thinking, he is referring to the crowd who believes caring for the poor while rejecting the tenets of Catholic teaching and misleading others into their errors makes one eligible for salvation. Instead of repentance for their sins, seeking the Sacrament of Confession and using Sacramental grace to amend their lives, they think a trip to Pine Street Inn to feed the homeless is going to relieve them of the punishment metered out by God for our licentiousness, greed, immorality or other sins.

No matter how generous we are to the poor, it if we are ignoring Christ, we are up a creek without a paddle.

I'm not sure where the term 'creeping infallibility came from, but the few times I've seen it used, it was being used as an excuse to reject an infallible teaching.

John Paul II teaching on ordination, which excludes women, came from tradition and scripture and was proclaimed in the exercise of the Pope's office, as the supreme authority of the Catholic Church which was implicitly and explicitly binding to the universal Church. Forever.

I'm curious where the idea comes from that all of the Bishops have to consent in order for a teaching to be infallible. That's a new one on me! Are you sure you're not mixing up the Holy See with Congress? LOL.

An infallible teaching has never been and never shall be erroneous. It stays with us in perpetuity - because it is based in Scripture.

You don't ever have to worry about changing doctrine. No matter what moment you are in, avoiding mortal sin relies upon being faithful to doctrine in that moment. That's the beauty of faith and surrender.

Anonymous said...


With respect, I don't think I misunderstood anything about social teaching. I believe a lot of this is an attack on liberation theology -- a school of thought which is somewhat alien to us because it originated in Latin America-- which is quite different from us in that (at least until recently) was governed by small oligarchies, and with the vast majority of the population living in poverty.

It was from their own experiences, and the reading of Scriptures and applying it to their daily lives that this school of theology emerged. There is no question that some applied Marxist dogma to this, but you also need to remember that traditionally, the hierarchy of the Church allied itself with the wealthy elite, and never issued a call for economic JUSTICE (not just charity).

The idea is that the resources of this planet were given to ALL of us, not just to a wealthy elite.

The 1968 Medillin Bishop's Conference was a watershed moment, because for the first time, the hierarchy was identifying with the poor -- with "the least of these". Jesus himself was strongly connected to the outcasts of society -- remember, the proclamation of his birth was NOT given to Caesar Augustus in Rome, nor to Herod, nor even to the elite members of the Jewish community (the priests and Levites). It was given to shepherds -- who were on the bottom rung of the social ladder.

Unfortunately TODAY, the hierarchy is so narrowly focused on the issues of abortion and gay marriage, that many people are not even aware that moral theology actually addresses a wide variety of issues, ALL of which are important, and are central to Jesus' teachings.

I don't know if this has occurred to you, but many who volunteer at homeless shelters are not doing it out of a fear of hell, but in response to the Sermon on the Mount, and an awareness of the injustice with which the poor in this VERY wealthy country are subjected to. And the largest group of those who are poor are children. Many who are not even religious respond to the call for economic justice.

Faith is important -- but I believe that Jesus is more concerned with what we actually DO -- not what we believe. As Paul said, "If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, then I am an empty gong."

So it is not about trying to run up "works" and trying to balance some moral banking sheet, it is about love -- love of God, love of others -- including our enemies.

We have heard the condemnations of politicians over the issues of abortion and gay marriage (personally speaking I am pro-life -- but I have yet to hear a compelling reason why gay marriage is "evil").

But where was the hierarchy when it was revealed that our government was implementing a widespread program of torture and rendition? Do you realize one young man (who was later found to be completely innocent by the US armed forces) was literally crucified?

He was arrested and detained at Bagram Air Base. He was suspended by his arms from wires above his head. Many soldiers would beat his legs -- often as they passed by. His legs were literally liquified by this beating -- had he lived, his legs would have had to be amputated (this was the determination of the base pathologist who performed the autopsy). This is how crucifixion actually works. If you remember the story of Good Friday, the legs of the two other men were broken in order to hasten their execution. When this happens, a person cannot breathe properly, and they die from this stoppage of the ability to breathe.

So where was the outrage? Why has this become an acceptable practice? Even by many who consider themselves to be orthodox Christians? Where were the bishops condemning this practice with the same vigor with which they attack gays who want to be married or over Catholic politicians who support legalized abortion?

You may be aware that this teaching exists, but it is so de-emphasized that many are unaware of this.

Carol said...

There are several misunderstandings (not to mention a couple of straw men) on Catholic teaching in your reply.

Nobody said the social justice crowd who subscribe to salvation through unfaithfulness to God's law are motivated to feed the poor to avoid hell.

We are speaking about a theology matrix that is unfaithful to God but serves mammon and then believes this is the "love" spoken about by Christ.

The theology you describe is EXACTLY the empty gong Christ was speaking about in this Scripture citation:

"If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, then I am an empty gong."

When I use the word "you" here, I am speaking non-specific and generally:

If you are unfaithful to your spouse while claiming you are living out the Gospel of love down at Pine Street Inn, you are being deceptive. Your service at the Pine Street Inn may benefit the homeless. It may give you some something superfluous and momentary to feel good about yourself. But deep down in the core of your being - the sin of adultery is eating at your animus and your relationship and all kinds of consequences are happening to you spiritually, emotionally and intellectually.

Your first duty is to love God and if you are unfaithful to Him, your service to humans is nothing but a gong when it comes to matters of your soul.

As far as implying the men and women in the service preserving our freedom are sinister, that is, quite frankly, appalling.

There are nutcases everywhere, even in the service. The history of our military have freed Jews and Christians from ethnic cleansing. They have prevented lecherous and murdering dictators from taking our country by force. They are trying to save women and children from being shot between the eyes for reading a book or wearing mascara or being a Christian. They are working to keep the terrorists Obama is enabling and helping take over the world from coming back to mow us all down with bombs.

You are taking a story of a couple of rogues and make it out to be the mission statement of the freedom fighters in our country while you are sitting all comfy cozy in your living room?

Forgive me, but the next town over a 26-year old man with a wife and a child named Liberty was just killed in Afghanistan preserving our freedom and the freedom of others. He loved his country. He loved the sanctity of life and God and freedom. This is 99.9% of what our military is made up of - - and for you to take their honor away and slander them as beating people to a pulp is something I won't host here.

I don't know where you're going with the class warfare stuff but this country has a long history of working for our wages. If people have the ambition to study in school and bust their tail to put money in the bank and invest and purchase goods - you and I and everyone else has the opportunity to do it in this country. Good for them. There's a commandment against coveting their goods. Their wealth has nothing at all to do with the people who don't have the ambition to succeed. Catholic social justice teaching compels us to do what we can to feed and comfort them, help them through dysfunction, encourage, educate, support, offer them the opportunities to succeed. We do that quite well in this country.

We are now at the point where the middle class is being so sucked dry to give it to people who don't have the ambition to go to school, work and earn their own money - they too are falling behind in their mortgages and into poverty. Barack Hussein Obama has made things worse with his class warfare crap. It didn't take long for most people who voted for him to realize it. And, none of this has anything at all to do with excusing unfaithfulness to God.


Carol said...

For those interested in the Catholic teaching of papal infallibility, here are a few links:

here's the meat:

infallibility is not attributed to every doctrinal act of the pope, but only to his ex cathedra teaching; and the conditions required for ex cathedra teaching are mentioned in the Vatican decree:
The pontiff must teach in his public and official capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians, not merely in his private capacity as a theologian, preacher or allocutionist, nor in his capacity as a temporal prince or as a mere ordinary of the Diocese of Rome. It must be clear that he speaks as spiritual head of the Church universal.
Then it is only when, in this capacity, he teaches some doctrine of faith or morals that he is infallible (see below, IV).
Further it must be sufficiently evident that he intends to teach with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority, in other words that he wishes to determine some point of doctrine in an absolutely final and irrevocable way, or to define it in the technical sense (see DEFINITION). These are well-recognized formulas by means of which the defining intention may be manifested.
Finally for an ex cathedra decision it must be clear that the pope intends to bind the whole Church. To demand internal assent from all the faithful to his teaching under pain of incurring spiritual shipwreck (naufragium fidei) according to the expression used by Pius IX in defining the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. Theoretically, this intention might be made sufficiently clear in a papal decision which is addressed only to a particular Church; but in present day conditions, when it is so easy to communicate with the most distant parts of the earth and to secure a literally universal promulgation of papal acts, the presumption is that unless the pope formally addresses the whole Church in the recognized official way, he does not intend his doctrinal teaching to be held by all the faithful as ex cathedra and infallible.
It should be observed in conclusion that papal infallibility is a personal and incommunicable charisma, which is not shared by any pontifical tribunal. It was promised directly to Peter, and to each of Peter's successors in the primacy, but not as a prerogative the exercise of which could be delegated to others.

Carol said...

I am sorry I am not able to leave your post up on 'creeping infallability'. It was riddled with errors. I have provided links if you are interested in reading authentic Church teaching.

I did not want to leave out this important paragraph from your post:

"And if the abuse crisis teaches us anything, it is that there needs to be accountability on the part of the hierarchy to the faithful. Yet there is none of this. Even now, the Vatican is still attempting to resolve this "in house" and is not cooperating with civil authority. (See what has happened in Ireland over the last few weeks and months). Those at the top (including this pope) are so out of touch that they just don't "get it" Instead of compassion for the victims and their families, there is much blaming of those victims for speaking out, and a great deal of self-pity, as if THEY were the victims. As someone who has a member of my family who was a victim, I find this attitude repugnant. "

I am sorry to hear of your family member - please be assured of our prayers here at TTC. I must say that this paragraph,I completely and wholeheartedly agree with you. The dog and pony show and crocodile tears are indeed repugnant.

Anonymous said...


There seem to be several misunderstandings here. To deal with your second post, you have the correct definition of papal infallibility here. But this is NOT what happened with the teaching on the ordination of women. John Paul EXPLICITLY delegated that infallibility to a document which was the work NOT of the Pope, but by a member of the Curia, Cardinal Ratzinger. This is a CLEAR violation of the Church's own teaching, which you just posted.

But increasingly we are hearing from Rome that Humanae Vitae, for example, is an infallible teaching, when Paul VI NEVER made that claim. That is what the term "creeping infallibility" MEANS (and you asked what it meant). And the person speaking in the video does not mention the provision that the teaching must be proclaimed EX CATHEDRA. He actually places no limits on infallibility.

As to the works of charity, all that is quite good, but it is not good enough. Part of the Church's social and economic teaching includes the concept of JUSTICE. I mentioned that this became quite prominent in Latin America because in those nations there IS no middle class. There is a small number of VERY wealthy at the top, and then the vast majority of the population which is poor.

However, to think that there is no poverty in this country is inaccurate. 1 in 4 children do not get proper nutrition. Many go without health insurance, and many of these people ARE working.

I am not saying that everyone should have equal income, but when we have a situation where Warren Buffet's secretary is paying more in taxes than he is, then it doesn't require a degree in economics to know that there is injustice here.

As I said before, the resources of this planet are a gift of God to ALL of us, and not just to the few. People who are hungry, or who are dying (or seeing a member of their family dying) are NOT going to be very open to hearing the message of the Gospel if we are not working to ensure that EVERY member of the human family gets at least what they need to survive.

We are not beings of pure spirit, we have bodies and live in a physical universe. God obviously created us this way for a reason, and he cares that ALL our needs, spiritual and physical are met.

It doesn't have to be a question of either/or, indeed, Love of God and Love of each other go hand in hand.

I have never heard anyone advocate that it is somehow okay to be committing adultery as long as one serves one's fellow human beings.

THAT is the strawman argument. But if you want to find Jesus, one of the places you will find him is among the poor.

What you seem to be doing is to reduce all of moral theology to sexual ethics. Indeed, I have seen MANY instances of this in many members of the hierarchy. To the point of obsession over one part of a MUCH larger whole.

If you were to ask someone who does not have a familiarity with the Church what their understanding of the Catholic Church is, you will hear three things: abortion, gay marriage, and child abuse. You won't hear anything about the Gospel, the death and Resurrection of Jesus, or much about what he actually taught about. (Speaking of which, I would say that if one wants to understand Jesus and his teachings, it would be good to start with an understanding of his faith tradition -- namely Judaism.)

Anonymous said...

My basic problem with many in the hierarchy is this. I don't see many who are following the example of Jesus' ministry, humility, and love. I can say this because I have met some of the members of the American hierarchy. But as a whole there is an unhealthy obsession with power and secrecy, even to the point of deceit. This was all made clear by the reaction of the hierarchy to the child abuse scandal.

What got people REALLY angry was not so much the abuse (this happens, unfortunately, everywhere; it is not limited to the Catholic Church) Rather it was the fact that the bishops and even the Vatican kept this abuse a secret, and re-assigned priests to new parishes KNOWING that they were abusers. Here in Boston we would NEVER have known about the EXTENT of this (which was truly shocking) if a judge had not ordered the Archdiocese to release the personnel records. Since then, the Vatican has tried very hard to keep the personnel records of other dioceses secret, even going so far as to have them stored in nunciatures (embassies where diplomatic immunity is abused in order to protect criminals and those who enabled those criminals).

This is PRECISELY what the issue is now between the Republic of Ireland and the Vatican.

The sad thing is that the Pope has let pass MANY instances when he could have met publicly with the victims, apologized to them, and reached out publicly as a pastor to them. But he chose NOT to come to Boston (a diocese that is really hurting now, and NEEDED the presence of a pastor) and only met a select few victims in secret.

And it took all the efforts of Boston's bishop to get even that.

In Ireland, the Pope had appointed a new Archbishop of Dublin to try to deal with the fallout over this scandal. Yet when that bishop wanted the resignation of two auxiliary bishops who had been part of the cover-up, the Pope refused to accept their resignations, which shows where his agenda really is.

THIS is why we need reform. Some people do not realize that this is the biggest problem the Church has had to confront since the Reformation. It is a large reason why we are seeing the division which the video speaks about.

Anonymous said...


I guess I have a few questions. First, is this a political blog, a blog on the Catholic Church, or some combination of both. I am trying to keep politics out of the discussion as much as possible, and I understand that there are issues which involve politics, but my understanding is that this is mainly about Church teaching.

Secondly, you have the right to exclude any posts you wish, but in doing so, (other than removing posts which use ad hominem attacks or which use offensive language) then you are controlling the debate in a way which fatally compromises it.

In order to have an open and honest dialogue, I have a hard time seeing how one can be a poster and a moderator at the same time. There is a reason why baseball uses umpires who are not involved with the teams that are playing. The conflict of interest becomes a problem (Believe me, I used to umpire every level of baseball but professional leagues, I know what I am talking about here)

The other problem is that anyone following this cannot see the full discussion, and can actually become more, not less confused.

What I posted about infallibility I stand by, and you actually confirmed what I said with your following post. All I added was the history of how this doctrine became part of Church teaching, and you DID ask a question about what people mean by "creeping infallibility"

And the reason I brought that up was because of the statements in the video. There were more errors about infallibility in that video than in what I have posted.

If you think someone has posted something which is in error, rather than delete it, address it and demonstrate where the error lies.

This is your forum, so you may do as you wish, but I hope you will at least listen to the suggestions I have made. (I hope respectfully).

We may not always agree, but that is never a problem with me, as I think the Church is enriched by many different voices, even voices of dissent. "Catholic" after all, means universality, not uniformity.

Carol said...

Seems you've come in to the middle of a movie. The gentleman in the video has volumes of teaching that correctly enforces Church teaching on papal infallibility ex cathedra. As do I throughout my years of writing.

The blog is about Catholic evangelism both inside of the Church and in the world. Dissent, more accurately described as leading people into temptations, is about as useful to souls and sinners on a journey of salvation as offering a martini to alcoholics and drunks. All you are doing as the Church teaches faithfulness to God, is being a voice to provide the excuses the temptor has victoriously won your mind over. I fell victim to people like you and the grace lost from the sins committed made me think very highly of folks like you but created a wide distance from God and His Church. The confusion that comes from the rejection of sanctifying grace caused me to make poor choices in my life. Those choices created anguish and misery that comes with sin. In this state, I then tempted others with the apple. This is what you're doing. Been there, done that, made it through the gauntlet and can see now. I am haunted with the memory of people who bought into my theories and rebellion and pray somebody has come along in their lives to correct my errors. I'm doing what I am doing now to make up for it but in reality, I know I may have caused the loss of souls to Christ forever with my foolishness. When souls like you come along and I see their state, I will sometimes use dissent to set the crooked path straight. It helps readers know what to say when things happen in their own life and it some day may make sense to you. This is not an equal opportunity blog where I offer a podium for dissent. I manage it with the discretion I feel is appropriate.

Your thesis is based upon the notion that Catholics do not assist the poor. This is either a flaw due to blindness or ignorance of the generosity of the Catholic Church and private donations of Catholics. If it is based in ignorance, I would invite you to do your homework on how much money is actually spent on the poor, how many Catholics are working as missionaries, how much time, money, treasure and talent are donated by Catholics. Anyone looking at those numbers can see how silly it is to say Catholics are only about abortion and sexual ethics. It is people like yourself who are spreading this misconception and disservice to Christ's Church and His followers.

In terms of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, written by John Paul II. It is an iteration of the Scriptural basis for an all male priesthood. It was not and is not something he cooked up in 1994. It was pronounced with declaration of supremacy and authority of the Pope, ex cathedra, to memorialize in perpetuity the 2000 year history of this teaching. Like it or lump it, it is what it is.

breathnach said...

I'm much more concerned about "creeping protestantism" than "creeping infallibility" within the Roman Catholic Church.

Anonymous said...


With all due respect, you do not know anything about me, or the "state of my soul"

You are making assumptions about me, and about the reasons I hold the views that I do.

For example I am not the one who is creating (or favoring) the way the Church is perceived by those on the outside.

The reason I made that statement was because of the statements I have heard from others in other blogs.

Like it or not, this false impression of the Church is the result not of anything I say, it is the result of the actions, statements, and policies of various members of the hierarchy.

I am not CAUSING or favoring this view that many have of the Church, I am merely pointing this out to you.

I didn't cause the abuse scandal, the responsibility of the members of the hierarchy, and the cover-up is STILL happening.

And there are those among the hierarchy (I cannot say how many among the hierarchy, but certainly the Vatican is a big part of this) who see the victims, not as victims, but as opponents to be silenced. (This was standard operating procedure to handle this "in house" -- if a victim filed a complaint, it was the practice to offer a settlement, and part of the "agreement" was that the victim could make NO public statements.)

This is like abuse twice times over, because these victims were made to feel as if all of this was THEIR fault.

This is the culture in and among the hierarchy. Not all bishops cooperate with this, but a good number of them do. And very few of the bishops were EVER held accountable for the cover-up and the enabling of further abuse.

It is STILL the policy of the Vatican to try to sweep this all under the rug and to obstruct justice and handle things "in house" (which is to say in secret and in defiance of the rule of civil law in many nations -- including the US and Ireland.)

If you stifle any dissent (and most of the reforms to the Church have come from dissenters) then you freeze all dialogue.

And your blog will only end up preaching to the choir.

As I said, that is your privilege, it is your blog. I only became aware of it because someone sent me a link to the post with this video.

I would suggest you read a history of the Church, and then some of the things I have said will make more sense to you.

There are factual errors in your statement about the process which was used to try to stifle debate over the ordination of women.

The hierarchy currently does share your view of dissent, but like it or not, we now live in a world where dissent is not only tolerated, it is encouraged.

There was a brief period during the Papacy of John XXIII and during Vatican II to try to ENGAGE the world, instead of retreating into a siege mentality.

Anonymous said...

I have read many of the statements of the current Pope, and he still thinks we can have a return of "Christendom" which was how Europe was governed during the Middle Ages.

He still thinks that the Church can operate outside of civil law, and that the Church alone should handle the matter of abusive priests.

This is something that most of the laity will NO LONGER ACCEPT, and they are voting with their feet in droves, especially in areas like Boston, where most of the details were (with no cooperation of the Archdiocese) pried loose.

The intolerance of dissent of any kind is precisely the road to Inquisitions and trying to govern by fear. Silencing of reformers, patronizing the laity as if they were uneducated, all in a vain attempt to portray the Church as something that it is not.

Many of the reforms that are proposed (like the election of bishops by the faithful, including the laity) are not new innovations, -- the election of bishops was how bishops USED to be appointed. That was how the early Church was governed.

You don't see this hierarchical structure in Judaism at all, and at the time Jesus lived, there were MANY differing branches of Judaism. And Jesus himself was a rebel and a dissenter of the behavior of the leadership of Jews.

The ONLY time Jesus gets really angry in the Gospels is when he is confronting the the religious leadership of his faith.

Remember, for all their power, the hierarchy is only a small part of the membership of the Church. I have no problem with the core teachings of the faith, I DO have a problem with the way the Church is governed, and HOW decisions are made.

Again, I urge you to read a history of the Church. Certainly John Paul II was VERY much aware of this history, and it is why he made all those apologies for the actions of the leadership of the Church.

Wanting reform does NOT make one a heretic, and one can be a follower of Jesus and still be in favor of reform.

All one needs to do is examine the history of the Church, and one will see what happens when the hierarchy tries to stifle debate and obstruct reform. That was what caused the Protestant Reformation.

I am guessing that you are not going to publish these posts.

I would only urge you to think these things over, and ask yourself if the hierarchy of the Church is REALLY following the teachings and methods of Jesus.

What I and others are seeing is a hierarchy which is addicted to power and control and secrecy. It is extremely dysfunctional, and this issue will NOT go away.

Ignoring reality only leads to the danger of new scandals occurring, and MANY people voting with their feet and leaving the Church.

Michael said...


The Catholic blogosphere is full of cafeteria Catholic dissenters or outright anti-Catholics who have an agenda to push.

This particular anon is either a representative of the Voice of the Faithless,a Unni-ite or a trolling Protestant.

Debating with those who do not in good faith declare their agendas is fruitless.

Anonymous said...


I stated what my "agenda" was in the first post. I had two issues with the statements made by the person in the linked video.

I also favor much-needed reform in the way the Church is governed. There is nothing that says that an absolute monarchy is the only way the Church can be governed, and there are ample examples in history which show the shortcomings of this method.

In terms of core beliefs -- the critical doctrines, I have no problem with that. I believe in all the tenets of the Nicene Creed, and in most of Catholic teaching. I don't deny the reality of the Resurrection, or the importance of a covenant relationship with Jesus.

I am NOT a Protestant, nor am I a member of any of the organizations that you mentioned.

I have seen this fixation (I would call it an addiction) to power and secrecy (to the point of outright deceit) from the inside. It was troubling at the time, because to me leadership is about SERVICE -- not about the accumulation of power.

If you read the Gospels, you will see that Jesus had issues with how leadership should function, and explicitly warned his disciples about the danger of following such a path. This is also hinted at in the three temptations Jesus faced in the wilderness.

It was all about HOW he would conduct his ministry, and he did not fall into the trap of using raw power and sensationalism.

I said this in an earlier post: the Pope is supposed to be the successor of Peter, NOT of the Roman Emperor. Remember, before John Paul I, Popes were CORONATED with a three ring tiara (one wasn't enough).

Even one of the papal titles, Supreme Pontiff, was NOT a term used by Jesus or Peter, it was a title held by the Roman EMPERORS. And I don't consider those Roman Emperors to be good role models for the leader of a Christian faith.

I would further repeat my agenda as being my favorite quote from Hosea: Three things I require of you. To do justice, to love with kindness and mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (the wording of the second part is clumsy because there is no English equivalent to the Hebrew word "hesed" -- which means the kind of love that the author means -- I suppose we could also call it unconditional love. It is usually translated as "loving kindness").

But I am not one who lives in fear of believers having a disagreement on certain issues, and I believe in dialogue.

I want to thank Carol for posting the last two posts I wrote. I am not trying to be a troll or to stir up trouble just for the sake of causing trouble.

But if one doesn't want an honest and open dialogue, then why have a comment section at all?

I want to stress the word dialogue because I don't like the idea of debate, which has to have a "winner" or "loser"

Even when people have a sincere disagreement, we can learn from each other just with an open dialogue.

Now as I said, I am aware that this is not my blog, and I am not trying to upstage anyone. I don't have any secret agenda, and I have striven to keep a respectful tone, respecting the opinions of others even if I disagree. I am not trying to attack anyone personally. (This is part of the reason for choosing to remain anonymous. Another reason is that I have a close member of my family who was a victim of abuse by a Catholic priest while still a child. This relative has opted not to go public with this, and I am trying to do my best to respect that decision.)

With that said, I wish you all nothing but the best, and hope that clears up any misunderstandings.

Carol said...

Breathnach, I couldn't agree more. Every time I've heard the term 'creeping infallibility' somebody is using it to deny something infallible. You've got to know your religion or else you're vulnerable to the poor souls who have been intellectually and spiritually misled.

The movement to 'debate' doctrine, gathers and audience to listen to people's flawed opinions based on half truths. People mesmerized by hearing the Pope needs the consent of all the Bishops in order for something to be ex cathedra and infallible and it didn't happen with Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, - said with authority - could convince the village idiot who is trained to listen to people's opinions rather than do their own diligence.

It's the alternative to sitting them down and teaching them the flawless teachings of the Church so they themselves will be educated in them.

As my Irish ancestors used to say, you can't kid the kidder.

Carol said...


Actually, I'm more confused about what you're trying to say than ever!

You've got an ax to grind with the Church because of the experiences your family has had over the abuse of your relative. We all understand where you're coming from there. If you peruse the blog, you will find that Catholics who want their religion taught to them have been experienced the same corruption and abuse from Chancery buffoons. Further, even with a Cardinal who will hire people to KILL children,much less facilitate their rapes, there is no venue to have him disciplined or removed. All a dog and pony show. We've got problems. Part of the mission of this blog is to provide a place where Catholics can air their grievances over this abuse and talk about ways to protect their own family and the common good.

I don't know where you're going with 'elections' but I'm here to tell you that the people in the pews are just as entrenched in protecting corruption and thuggery as the Bishops. In fact, I'd go so far as to say they are worse. Elections are not the fix for the problem.

Getting people to call the police was and continues to be the problem. All they have done is continue to dangle fistfulls of dollars in front of the faces of victims in exchange for a confidentiality agreement while enabling volunteers who are sexually confused to mentor teenagers - and in fact even kindergartners - on matters of sexuality. Any mother who trusts them could be in for a rude awakening down the line at places like St. Cecilias of the Orgies.

Thankfully there are plenty of fine, sane, celibate and faithful priests in the archdiocese. It's just a matter of finding them.

You come onto a blog of faithful Catholics tired of the dingbat theology and present a theory that Catholics do not provide to the poor. I challenged that with the facts - the Catholic Church and Catholics in it spent millions of megawatts of energy and money on the poor for every one megawatt and dollar spent on teaching about abortion and sexual ethics. Then you said it isn't you who is spreading the rumors, it's other people on other blogs.

Please provide the links to these blogs? Because I would love to see what you said in response to these people slandering Christ's Church and misleading people into believing they can be unfaithful to God and remain in a state of grace.

Up until the time I corrected the record, you were silent on the truth on this blog. If you are presenting your grievances the way you did here, you are a contributor to this misconception. You cannot have it both ways.

You then said you thought teaching dissent was enriching Catholics who come to Church to pursue a state of grace. I responded with what happens to the souls listening to the excuses and invitations of the tempter. You then claimed I should not make a judgment on your soul. This is true, but I can and have every duty to make a judgment about the evil and agony that action brings to the souls listening to you.

You want to make the astounding claim that sanctification and Christ is not present in the souls and animus of the rich. Do you realize the absurdity of this statement?

You then state that people who want to elect Bishops are 'voting with their feet'. Do you realize that the Catholic Church and Sacraments, literally, is the real and present Body of Christ where His Blood surges through Its veins? The same exact Body and Blood Born in a manger? Hung Crucified on the Cross? You are promoting "Voting with the feet" from the Institution He left to deliver that Precious Body and Blood to me?

Do you know how ludicrous that sounds to people who realize what is happening?

Carol said...

Yes, we are on a crusade to muzzle the forty years spent poisoning the minds of Catholics with dingbat theology.

We've had enough of it. We are finished with it. We don't have time because the economy has us in slavery to put food on the table and keep a roof over our heads. When we walk into Church, we want our religion taught to us and our children. Debate somewhere else if you must. Have a field day drinking the poison. The days when it's done inside of the Catholic Church have eclipsed but it was a good run.

I'm afraid you've stumbled into the camp of the warriors!

Best wishes and blessings to you and yours as well.

Carol said...


I've deleted your last comment because you keep repeating the same urban legends and myths which have been provided ample space and rebutted. John Paul II wrote Ordinatio Sacerdotalis and proclaimed this teaching as being bound infallibly to Church teaching in perpetuity. Anything else you've been told is hogwash.

Every Catholic already has a voice in the election of Bishops. You are free to contact the Nuncio and make your voice heard. The Nuncio makes recommendations to the Holy See. Someone has just been appointed as Nuncio whose heart and soul and interests are salvation - so good luck to you with it - but nonetheless, the process is intact.

You keep complaining about those who want 'the power' but those are exactly your own interests. You are in a struggle for the power.

We don't give a rat's tail about the power. What we are doing is focusing on our wee little parishes - muffling and stifling people misleading souls, ripping them from the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.

Have a field day trying to get the power away from the Bishops while we do this. I wouldn't enter that den of lions and thieves to fight for 'power' any more than I would accept an invitation to dance with a devil. It's a fools game.

The one good thing we all have going for us is the Bishops are narcissists and cowards and in the end, he and she who holds the biggest fire under their backsides will get what they're asking for.

Anonymous said...

A couple of other points to keep in mind.

When I state that something is occurring (like the fact that people are voting with their feet over the scandal in Boston) I am NOT saying I agree with their decision, I am merely stating that it is happening.

Those other blogs I mentioned, where religion was an issue? Well, almost all of that was on the Huffington Post, and opinions came from all over the spectrum. Many were atheists or agnostics, and many were actually curious about Church teaching. So I spent time trying to explain what that was. (16 years of Catholic education does sometimes come in handy) I can tell you that I was once a seminarian, and my leaving had nothing to do with being a rebel or leading souls astray. It was a matter of my physical health (which began with a trip which was otherwise wonderful, to Israel to spend a summer on an archeological dig.) Those health problems are with me to this day.

But even if I were to regain my health, I am not sure I would return given the severe dysfunction in the hierarchy. I am not one who is interested in power, but of service. I have worked at homeless shelters, and I ran several programs at a local YMCA (and they KNOW how to handle abuse, or even violations of our policies which raise red flags.) I am no longer there because my health has continued to fail, but I very much enjoyed serving others. This is what called me, and what attracted me to ministry.

But I was young and naive as to what was going on. I had left long before the abuse scandal broke (and I learned about that relative of mine).

It was a shock, because I never witnessed anything inappropriate, but I did see this attraction to power and secrecy with some of the people there (including the Cardinal, who visited often, but only seemed able to talk about the vow of obedience. This jarred with my sense of leadership -- a real leader doesn't NEED to remind you that obedience is necessary, a real leader is one you want to follow. Jesus led not through position or title, it was his compassion, and teaching, and personality which attracted his followers.

I also saw the transformation which getting power occurred with some of my own classmates, and it was disturbing to see.

I should add that it was a minority of people who displayed this allure with controlling other people, and one of our faculty members was an excellent teacher and a person of good character. He is now the bishop of Portland Maine, and while I have not seen him in many years, I commend the choice. He will make a good bishop.

Anonymous said...

So now you know some of my story. Obviously as an undergraduate my main area of study was philosophy. But we all had something akin to a double major, and I chose religious studies, and in particular Scripture Studies (particularly the Hebrew Scriptures, or the Old Testament.) This also led further to studies of Judaism, and the history of Christian relations of Judaism.

Now I had read quite a bit of Church history, but I had NEVER been told some of the things I learned in that class. I was raised post Vatican II, and I had never heard that the teaching of contempt for the Jews was a Cancer in the Church for centuries. I never knew that the Crusaders began by mass pogroms of the Jewish community in their native lands. I had never heard of the blood libel (the belief that Jews would kidnap Christian children and use their blood in the making of matzoh, unleavened bread.)

Tens of thousands of Jews were murdered over this, Good Friday used to be a day of terror for Jews across Europe, and they were expelled from many nations, England, France, and Spain. It was a pope who first ordered that Jews be kept in ghettos, and that they be forced to wear a distinctive badge on their clothing. And you have probably heard of the Spanish Inquisitions zeal in trying to find Christians who had converted from Judaism, but might be secretly practicing their old religion.

This all came as a shock to me, that this could even happen. (If you want documentary evidence of how bad things got, read John Chrysostom's sermon titled "The synagogue of Satan")

Even in the 19th century there were incidents which were shocking. The same Pope Pius IX that we have been talking about once actually had a Jewish child kidnapped from his home, and kept and raised in the Vatican. This occurred when Pius still ruled as an absolute monarch the papal states.

What happened was this, this Jewish family had a Christian girl employed as a maid. When the Jewish couple's infant son was seriously ill, the maid performed a secret baptism. This was, on her part a sincere desire to help this child get to heaven if he died. She was not acting out of malice.

But secret or not, this made the child a Christian (under the law of the Papal states) and somehow when the boy was about seven, word reached papal authorities of what had happened.

So he ordered the kidnapping, and ignored pleas from leaders all over the world (including US President James Buchanan, and even the very Catholic Austrian Emperor Franz Josef.) Their pleas fell on deaf ears, and the child was raised as a Catholic, and eventually became a Catholic priest.

Again, I was shocked to discover all of this, and it was really at that point that I realized that we cannot make an idol out of Popes, who are human beings after all, and who, like ALL human beings, are capable of doing terrible things.

Anonymous said...

Rather we must listen to what the Pope teaches, but we also have to use discernment, and entrust ourselves to Jesus and his teachings. This is not to minimize the role of the papacy. It is an important role, for the pope is supposed to be the focus for unity.

But I believe that the truth is more important than lies of omission, and we as Christians MUST confront our history, (which John Paul II did do, in those years just before the Millennium) as adults and learn from what happened in the past.

I have faith that Christian believers are not like sheep who need micromanaging. They are quite capable of dealing with the fact that the Church is NOT a perfect Institution, and indeed we saw in the abuse scandal, that many lay Catholics perceive both the immorality and the reality of the intense suffering which was caused by the actions of many in the hierarchy. (Including the current pope). Their sense of the enormity of what happened, and how the bishops handled it, was more perceptive of the truth than the way Rome views the entire scandal.

And the faithful (the laity) DO have their own authority in the Church, and are not children who need to be led around as if they were completely ignorant.

You see, I have FAITH that people are not quite as vulnerable as you believe, and can sometimes grasp the morality of the actions of the hierarchy better than some in the hierarchy do.

I also share John XXIII's lack of fear over error. He believed that if some teaching or practice was wrong, even evil, that in the end the truth would triumph, and that people don't need to be "protected" like children from hearing unpleasant truths. The faithful, as diverse and unique as they are play a vital role in the Church, and this is not the first time that those in the hierarchy have to be schooled by the laity. (I also know that many in the upper hierarchy resent this. Remember, the only bishop who lost his job over this was Cardinal Law, and he actually landed on his feet in Rome.)

Hopefully this will give you more insight into where I am coming from, and why I think and believe the way that I do. And why I pray for much needed reform.

In the end, what is most important is not the hierarchy, but Jesus Christ, and his love for us, and his teachings.

I apologize for the lengthy posts, but I am trying to clear up any misunderstandings.

While you may not agree with me, I hope at least you can understand where I am coming from.

Carol said...

I am sorry to hear of your health issues.

The vocation of a priest is not one of social service. It is that of a physician and an exorcist. A warrior of prayer and fasting on behalf of those of us out in the world. One who keeps their eye on every sheep in their flock. Knows their story and leads them to Sanctifying grace through the remission of sins in the Sacrament of Confession. A deliverer of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. Literally.

There was not a nanosecond of Christ's ministry where he or his apostles were servicing anything but those who lacked Sanctifying Grace. Nor will you find anything in Scripture where Christ opened up forums for people with looney theology to teach His flock while he sat on the sidelines.

You keep referencing a Christ who attracted followers with and through 'love'. Frankly, I don't know what you are talking about. The man was chased out of town by people throwing rocks at Him. What He taught and said was so offensive, they murdered Him. When you speak of love, you are coming from the perspective of filial love for your brothers and sisters. When Christ spoke and taught about love, He was preaching and teaching laying down your life in obedience to God. Loving God above all things, and feeding his sheep the source and summit of what leads them to their salvation.

Michael said...


I will take my own advice to Carol and avoid debate with those with agendas.

However, I will point out that your position qua "Roman Catholic" is an absurdity.

-The Apostolic and hierarchical nature of the RC Church is a matter of dogma, that as a Catholic must be accepted as divinely inspired;

-At best yours is a recipe that is derived from Enlightenment and rationalist antecedents. I would look to your model in putting together the governance of my neighborhood association or my bowling league. As a model for the Mystical Bride of Christ, that has already been given;

-The priesthood is sacramental. However much you would like to vote on the sacramental validity of the priesthood, you or any congregation you might be able to muster, as the English used to say "has not the competence".

-Your model has been tried and has proved fractious. It is known as Protestantism. Our for-bearers in Massachusetts, the Puritans, attempted to create not only a church but a political model based on your favorite tenet---congregationalism.

Carol said...

I comprehend where you are coming from but I would never use the word 'understand' because it would give you the implicit permission to continue on the road of rebellion.

We are warriors for souls here. Nothing else matters but you walking away with the truth. Even if you choose to continue to reject it, it's our duty to see to it that the truth is spoken, or in the hour of our own judgment, we will be held accountable for your ignorance.

The Pope is Christ's vicar on earth to which Christ Himself surrenders what teaching gets bound to our salvation. Christ has made it easy for us. All we have to do is acquiesce, in full surrender, like a child does under the guardianship of his parents.

We don't have to worry about what the Church taught in yesteryear or tomorrow because we will flow with the ebb and tide of Our Savoir, knowing His wisdom outshines our own even when we don't understand it. Even, when eating a delicious apple looks innocuous.

In return, the grace we are given helps us to make good choices in our lives and brings us intimacy with God, Who Lives. He whose Heart Beats in every Sanctuary. Every day just waiting to be consumed so His blood can run through our own veins to our heart and our minds and our souls.

Walk away from THAT over who is going to elect a Bishop? LOL. Let them polish their thousands of diadems. They have let their flocks go to hell in a handbasket. Unless they are following the path of redemption, I wouldn't follow them out of a burning building.


Anonymous said...


I just read your last post where you deleted my post on the issue over infallibility and the action taken over the issue of women's ordination.

Again, you are free to do this, but then why even have a comment section at all? What do you see as the purpose of it? A chorus of people agreeing with you?

That may make you feel better, but as I said, you end up preaching to the choir.

If I am wrong about infallibility, then instead of deleting posts, PROVE that I am wrong. It has been awhile, but I researched that incident quite thoroughly at the time, and your version of events is simply not the case.

And the fact that bishops who disagreed with this didn't speak out publicly or resign in protest only is further evidence of the fear which permeates the clergy, who can literally be deprived of their living by speaking or writing what they really believe.

This is just another way of silencing anyone who might disagree and to get people in the "pray, pay and obey" mode, and to reinforce the idea that the only role for the laity is to be passive receptacles of papal teaching.

You are also making assumptions about me which are just not true. I am not, nor have I ever been interested in power. I much prefer working directly with people, not administration.

I would not be the one deleting posts because I am afraid people might see something they don't like, and as I said, there is an inherent conflict of interest in both participating as a commentator AND moderating a discussion at the same time.

I could be wrong, but you seem consumed by fear that people might see a different side to the story and actually think for themselves.

That is the EXACT mindset that this pope and many in the Curia and hierarchy WANT you to be in.

Passively accepting whatever they say, and silencing all disagreement out of fear of somehow corrupting the laity.

Unfortunately, this is the mindset which led to Inquisitions, burnings of heretics, and religious warfare.

It is also contrary to the way that Jesus taught and ministered. He was not afraid to challenge the religious leaders of his time, and he used MUCH stronger language than I have in any of my posts. (Calling the priestly elite sepulchers -- whitewashed on the outside, but inside full of dead man's bones is pretty strong language, but Jesus didn't hold back. And he was teaching and confronting leaders in the same way the Old Testament prophets did.)

This will likely be my last post, as I am not going to spend the time to write, only to have it deleted arbitrarily.

Sadly, your comment section and blog will be dry and simply an echo chamber for your thoughts, closed to any different ideas.

If that is what you want, have at it. But don't kid yourself that yours is the only Catholic voice, or that you can only learn from those in the hierarchy.

Best Wishes, and I hope you will try to listen to what I have tried to say in the posts I have posted.

And you would probably be better off to just eliminate the comments section, because moderating it in the way you do will result in no fruitful discussion.

Carol said...

"This is just another way of silencing anyone who might disagree and to get people in the "pray, pay and obey" mode, and to reinforce the idea that the only role for the laity is to be passive receptacles of papal teaching."

I think you've got it now. That's exactly what we want. With one exception....We are not giving them any money until we get it. LOL!

This is a forum for a different kind of reformation, shall we say?


Carol said...

Michael - nicely said!

Anonymous said...

I know I said I was going to leave this discussion, but I feel I have to address the point that Michael made.

While I would agree that Jesus did establish the form of what would become the Church, there is no possible way he could see the form that this took.

There were no Cardinals, or Monsignors, and the early church was much simpler and complex than the model we have today.

In order to understand this I have to emphasize the fact that Jesus was a Jew, and when you look at what Judaism was in the 1st Century CE. It was a diverse faith, with many different sects, what united them was the Temple, which was the center of worship.

And even though there was a high priest, this was not a position held for life. As for governance, there was the Sanhedrin, which was a diverse group with no hierarchical structure such as we see in the Church.

And Jesus was not hesitant to level criticism at the leadership when he felt that necessary.

Also, it is important to remember that Jesus was one of many itinerant rabbis who had followings. If you want to find a modern parallel, the closest we have today is a Hasidic Rebbe. (if you ever get the chance, attend a Hasidic liturgy, especially on a feast day. It is like nothing you have ever seen, and would greatly help you to understand the world in which Jesus lived and taught.

The other thing to consider is the dispute between Peter and Paul over the issue of whether Gentiles who wished to become Christians had to become Jews, and follow Jewish customs and worship. (It might interest you to know that at that time, Judaism was a proselytizing religion at that time. When Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, Jews were forbidden to evangelize and attempt to bring new converts into the faith.)

Peter was insistent that Gentiles MUST become Jews in order to be Christians. He saw Christianity as a Jewish sect. Paul, on the other hand, thought that all the Jewish dietary and ritual laws were unnecessary, and that Gentiles could simply convert to Christianity and not become observant Jews.

It was a heated debate, but it was not Peter who resolved the issue, rather it was James (the one who was related in some way to Jesus). He was acknowledged as the leader of the infant church in Jerusalem.

His decision was a compromise. In Palestine, any Gentile who wished to become a Christian had to become an observant Jew.

Outside Palestine, Gentiles could become Christians without the requirement of becoming Jewish.

So as you can see, the roles were not exactly as you see in the Church today, nor was the governing structure of the Church anything like what we have today.

When I speak of the election of bishops, I am NOT talking about the faithful voting on matters of doctrine and morality. It was simply a matter of how the early Church was governed -- the faithful (lay and clergy) elected the bishops, including the Bishop of Rome.

It was only in the 20th Century that Popes appointed bishops. (Prior to that, the monarchs of the various Catholic nations appointed the bishop, often subject to the agreement of the Pope.)

Conclaves for electing Popes didn't arise until either late in the first millennium, or early in the second. But it has not been the sole means of electing popes. And for much of church history, the Holy Roman Emperor had a great deal of influence on that choice.

Again, it is a matter of studying history. It has a strong effect on us down to this day.

And there have been efforts -- particularly with Vatican II, where the bishops (mostly outside the Curia) who wanted a more collegial approach to governance, and not just act as "branch managers" for Rome.

As for the factionalism of what you call the Protestant approach (and that is varied according to the different denominations) I would only add that there is plenty of that in the Catholic Church as well. It's called the human condition, and it happens in almost any institution.

Anonymous said...

My final comment is this. I believe we have to examine the role of women.

I will only say this. Examine the four Gospels. You will see many areas where the details of the history does not agree. There are conflicts, especially with John's Gospel.

This is not a big deal, because the writers were not trying to write a history or biography. Each was addressed to a specific audience.

Even the details of the Passion and Trial diverge (if you read them in the order in which they were written: Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, you will see Pilate looking more and more innocent of condemning Jesus to death. (In reality we know that Pilate was like most Roman military officers,-- a rather harsh tyrant who saw his job of squashing even a HINT of challenge to Rome's authority, regardless of whether the people involved were guilty or innocent.

There are reasons why this happened, (mainly because Romans and Jews were not getting along well, and this new faith did not want to antagonize the Romans.

John's Gospel even has the wrong man as high priest. Annas HAD been the high priest, but at the time of these events, Caiaphas (who would be viewed as a collaborator --he managed to keep the job of high priest for 12 years, when the average tenure was about 3 years. Pilate actually had the authority to dismiss the High Priest, and appoint another, and Pilate even kept the vestments of the High Priest in his custody when they were not in use. The high priest would have to go and request the vestments from the Pilate (or his successors as Prefect).

So with all these discrepancies, I find it rather remarkable that all four Gospels have Mary Magdalene as the first person to see the Resurrected Jesus. And she was sent (the very meaning of apostle is "one who is sent") to deliver to the other disciples the most important news in history. That Sin and Death were vanquished, and that Jesus had risen from the dead.

Now I am not someone who was taken in by the DaVinci Code nonsense, so please don't misunderstand what I am talking about here. I do not believe that Mary was married to Jesus, or that she had any kind of romantic relationship with Jesus.

But the writers of the Gospel must have realized her significance by reporting that critical role that she had in regard to the Resurrection.

We know that Jesus treated women with FAR more respect for their dignity than his contemporaries.

This account is not there by accident, someone is trying to make a point. Mary Magdalen played a critical role in this wondrous event, and all four Gospels are consistent with this.

She was chosen by Jesus to deliver to his other followers the most important (and wondrous) news in history.

Just something to think about it, and draw your own conclusion.

And with that I will pester you no more. I really do not have the intention of trying to stir up trouble.

So best wishes in your efforts with this site. And thank you for being so patient with me.

Anonymous said...

One quick correction, My first sentence in the post on Mary Magdalene. I meant to say that I believe we need to re-examine the role of women in the Church. (This is what happens when I try to write a coherent thought when I am trying to keep a migraine at bay.)

I will say this, Carol. Though you and I may not see eye to eye on certain issues, I do enjoy exploring these issues, and I appreciate you being so tolerant with me.

I want you to know that I posted here to participate in a dialogue (I don't like using the term "debate" with the implication that someone must win or lose a debate.)

I view this as a chance to share my views, and to hear and try to understand your views, as well as the other posters on this thread.

I thank you for your sincere concern about my health issues, and your kind words about that close relative I spoke about who was abused.(and who wishes not to go public about it.)

Keep me in your thoughts and prayers, and I will do the same for you.

God Bless, and Peace,


Michael said...


Your truncated and ideological primer on supposed Church history is pure fantasy.

The founding of the Roman Catholic Church by Jesus Christ is not the equivalent of a messianic Hasidic rebbe setting up shop in Brighton Beach.

The Magisterium of the Church is divinely inspired and it's hierarchical structure and sacramental priesthood are not fodder for your good government restructuring.

I would suggest a solid work of ecclessiology in the Roman Catholic tradition.

You will find,in the works of de Lubac and von Balthasar, two theolgians who may not be favorites of many on this blog, that the Church is not a piece of play-dough that can be molded to fit your secularist and fashionable world(ly) views.

You need to have the integrity to determine whether you can conscientiously remain (or become) a Roman Catholic.

If you honestly believe that it is merely an instrument to mirror your ideological yearnings than you are woefully lost. The sort of cheap grace that you seek through ideological posturing is not the salvific mission of the Roman Catholic Church.

Anonymous said...


I have a reasonably good understanding of ecclessiology. The fact is that the way the Church governs itself has been evolving over time, and is quite different today than it was at the time of its founding.

If you wish to claim that my history is fantasy, how about a little evidence to back that claim?

You misunderstand me when you use the rather vulgar description of one modern branch of Judaism.

Understand this, Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew. He thought like a Jew, he taught like a Jew (the use of parables is common in Jewish teaching). He worshiped and prayed like a Jew. His ministry was centered around a covenant relationship -- again, very Jewish, because for Jews, covenant with God (and each other) is at the very HEART of Judaism.

So if you want to understand Jesus, you need to understand Judaism, which was his faith.

I once asked a Rabbi who was teaching a course on this what the nearest modern equivalent to Jesus ministry would be today in Judaism. He replied that Jesus' conducted his ministry in a manner which is very similar to the way Hasidic Jewish Rabbis conduct their ministry.

And frankly, given what we know of Church history and the history of the Magisterium, I think you place it on too high a pedestal.

The magisterium is not a purely divine thing. It is a human institution, and so is subject to the same flaws of the human condition.

Do you really think that divine inspiration was behind the Church's 2,000 year old teaching that Jews were a deicide people, and that they were accursed because they had not accepted Jesus as the Messiah?

Do you think there was divine inspiration behind the Church's implementing of policies and teachings requiring Jews to live separate from the rest of the community and live in ghettos? (It was a pope who first ordered this treatment, and it was a pope who required that Jews wear a distinctive badge, identifying them as Jews.)

Was it divine inspiration which was behind the establishment of the Inquisition and its barbaric treatment of allegedly lapsed Jews (Jews who were forced to convert, and were suspected of still continuing practicing Judaism).

Was it divine inspiration which brought about the practice of burning people alive?

And when the Church endorsed the institution of race based chattel slavery?

And was it divine inspiration which led Pius IX to use his magisterial authority to condemn democracy and freedom of religion as grave errors?

Or when the Church persecuted Galileo? or Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake for stating that the stars were other suns like out own, that our sun was a star, and who had the insight that there may be planets orbiting some of those stars?

Anonymous said...

And how about the Crusades, which resulted in the slaughter in the name of God of Jews and Muslims.

Or the blood libel -- the magisterium actually canonized as saints and martyrs Christian children who were, according to Church authorities, murdered by Jews so that their blood could be used in the making of Matzoh. (anyone who knows ANYTHING about Judaism would know that Jews are not even permitted to consume ANIMAL blood, let alone the blood of children.)

Yet these children remained on the calendar of saint's feast days until the 1960's, when Pope Paul finally admitted this error and removed those children from the calendar (not because they were not saints, but because they were NOT martyrs murdered by Jews.)

This teaching of contempt was the official teaching of the Church until John XXIII became Pope, and he was the one who expunged this false teaching, and started the lengthy process of apology and of reconciliation with the Jewish community, work that John Paul II made central to his papacy.

Now all this history is NOT fantasy, it is a nightmare, and unfortunately it was a nightmare that actually happened.

What this means is that we as the laity cannot blindly accept and trust every statement of the magisterium. We have a role, an obligation to use our discernment, and to hold accountable those members of the hierarchy who are engaged in activities which are contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

We have seen this happen with the abuse scandal. Surprisingly, it was the LAITY who appreciated the magnitude of this outrage, and has shown compassion for the survivors. (and unfortunately not all victims did survive -- the suicide rate among victims of this abuse is much higher than normal).

And it was the hierarchy (and not every member of that hierarchy -- but a significant number of them -- particularly those who run the Curia) who still haven't "gotten it" -- who spend more time wallowing in self pity and claiming that THEY are the victims of a vicious attack from the media. They pay lip service to the victims, but they still do not comprehend the massive damage that they are responsible for. THEY were the ones who wanted to keep the victims silent and obedient, and this amounts to even more abuse, for the result is that many of the victims were made to feel as if THEY were the ones who acted inappropriately.

So in this instance, it is the laity who understands the moral outrage while the magisterium is blind to it.

These are unpleasant truths, difficult to confront. But as Christians we MUST face the history of our faith tradition, and learn from it. Ignoring it is NOT the answer. It is only in facing the history of our Church openly and without fear or willful ignorance that the reconciliation and healing can begin.

Anonymous said...

Now I am willing to have a conversation about this, but I have tried to withdraw because I get the sense that Carol does not want her blog used in this way.

I may disagree with that choice, but I respect her right to determine what occurs with her blog, and I am willing to abide by this.

But I am at a disadvantage when you challenge my view, and I have had many of my posts deleted.

I don't think that a genuine conversation can occur in this way, and so I have tried to withdraw.

You seem to want to continue the discussion, and I have no problem with that, but I would ask Carol if she wants this to continue. I do not want to be doing something on her blog that she doesn't want.

So when you see this Carol, I would just ask you if you want this discussion to continue, or if you want to end it. I will respect your wishes on this. (In a sense you were correct that I "came in to the movie half-way." I was e-mailed a link which highligted the video, and I was under the misperception that the speaker in the video was the person who owns this blog.

I really never meant to take over the blog, and if I have created that perception, I apologize for doing that. It was certainly not my intent.

I would humbly suggest that you post some guidelines as to what is acceptable in the comment section so others who may visit the site will not make the same mistake I did.

Jerry said...

Hi Carol,

I haven't been following this, but it doesn't take much time to see that Anonymous threw out the Faith with his dismissal of St. John's Gospel as full of errors, thus not being Divinely inspired. Anon dismisses the Crusades which were absolutely necessary to free Christians from murderous Muhammadans. Failure of men to act as Christian in the latter Crusades is not a failure of the Magisterium. (Red flag - this denigration of the Magisterium has a familiar ring to it. Who was it, now?? Who is anonymous?)

Now Anon puts the onus on you, Carol, because you have a problem with someone telling falsehoods on your site. To borrow from another post of yours, it's time for some wine!

Carol said...

John, you are welcome for the empathy and prayers.

I don't know how else to explain the reasons why we do not have tolerance for the pollution of our religion. It is a bit like a dialogues with Charlie Sheen on his ideas about how to treat women and sexuality in the 'real world'.

All Catholics ever need to know about our Jewish origins is in Scriptures. Our history begins with Christ. While you are off getting advice from rabbis, who know absolutely nothing of Christ because they reject His Divinity, we have been immersing ourselves and educating ourselves in Catholicism. While you are fusbugeting about the power of electing Bishops, and rejecting truth and guidance, we have been studying the how's and whys. Our heart was in striving to understand...and now we do. What we don't understand, we know we are foolish when compared to Gods wisdom and we say Jesus we trust in You. While you have been haggling with people on Huffington Post, we have been snuggled up inside of Christ's Beating Heart. While you have been boohooing about the handfuls of rogues in our 2000 year history, we have been focusing on the saints and miracles and Sacraments and love of Christ. A woman, clothed in the sun, a virgin, the arc of the covenant, our mother, who appeared to a migrant in Mexico and miraculously left her impression on his tunic. A saint whose blood liquifies on the same three days of the year for hundreds of years since his death. While you spread stories about voting with your feet about foolish elections of power, we devote ourselves to the Son of Man who right in front of our eyes, mystically feeds us His Body and Blood.

You have been robbed. We see it. We hear it. We understand what it means for you and the poor suckers who cross your path. We see how many have hoodwinked with the nonsense in our families, friendships, communities and how it has affected the world sliding into sodom and gommorah. We know what it means.

The only duty we have is to speak the truth to you. If you respond, we continue. If it becomes clear your heart is closed and you are just looking for a place to deposit the pooh, we have more important things to do. Further, we we can't cooperate as you delude yourself.


Michael said...


Your litany of anti-Catholic talking points regarding democracy, the Crusades, Galileo et al are all the rage among the secular elites and therefore hold great attraction for you.

However, you really must delve into history in depth to reach understanding beyond your ideological closure.

Thomas Madden has done extraordinary work on the Crusades and it would fill out your cartoon view of the Crusades by consulting any one of his short or longer works on the subject.

As to Galileo, the work of Giorgio de Santillana is seminal. It may remove the blinders from your eyes- if you would put the effort into consulting it.

You seem to suffer from a form of "invincible ignorance" in failing to understand the divine nature of the mystical bride of Christ as opposed to the the unfaithful members of the Church in history.

God is the faithful husband, with Church members often being the unfaithful spouse. The image of the people of God as an unfaithful spouse is an image found in the Old Testament. Luther, Wycliffe, and Hus's (and by implication, you) use of the term "whore of Babylon" (to describe the RC Church)is a violent simplification and coarsening of a very ancient theological idea about human unfaithfulness.

breathnach said...


At least anti-Catholic fundamentalists (of the Jack Chick type) disclose where they are coming from.

The dissident catholycs, who would like to transform the RC Church into a Unitarian shell, are mendacious.

patrick said...

TS Eliot wrote in one his poems
that "our King did well at Acre".

Bless the Crusaders and those who are unafraid to defend the Faith.

Anonymous said...


I have been giving this matter much thought and prayer.

I will comply with your request and abstain from posting on your site.

However, I request that you remove ALL posts that I have posted, including the one you posted where you took one paragraph from a post I had written and you have deleted.

I am not going to participate in a process where my words are twisted to say something that I did not say, and have the editing process used in a ham-handed attempt to change the meaning of what I have said.

Several of your posters have accused me of distorting history, denying the divine inspiration of the Word of God, and you yourself have accused me of "polluting the faith."

And against all of this, every time I have attempted to defend myself, and explain what I am talking about, and answer false (either through ignorance or through deliberate acts) accusations about me.

I have only ever commented on this one entry in your blog, so this should not be difficult for you to do.

My first post (there was one other anonymous poster before I began) dealt directly with issues I had with the video (about the social teaching of the Church and about infallibility.)

I will be checking periodically to ensure that my posts have ALL been removed (and I include the post YOU wrote where you basically took one paragraph from one of my posts while deleting the rest.

If you choose not to do this, then I will be forced to simply re-post everything I have posted (and I have copies of everything.)

This is the only fair resolution to this process. I cannot cooperate in a process whereby my comments can be edited or deleted in such a way as to distort what I am trying to say.

It is not an intellectually honest process.

Thank you for your consideration, and I have every hope that you will do this.

While I do not question your good intentions, I do very much question your methods, and I cannot in good conscience cooperate with this distortion of what I have written. It is a grave dis-service to the truth.

Carol said...


You start off the post saying you will comply with my request and then you end it by saying you will do precisely what I've told you I will not allow on my site.

The posts I put up are reflected here in their entirety. I did not edit them. The posts I deleted were filled with the anti-Catholicism, inaccuracies and errors you've picked up on your journey in places like Huffington Post. I am not subjecting my readers to the urban legends and bigotry, even if you ask politely.

I have tried to explain to you that this is a Catholic site reserved for purity of the Catholic theology. I'm not posting what people think or say about it, I'm posting Catholic law. Just like civil law, one either obeys laws or breaks them.

I get to choose what gets posted here and will put on comment moderation if necessary.

If you find Catholic teaching you agree with (or something in the culture I'm posting on) - you are welcome to post your thoughts about it.

There are people who practice pedophilia and incest and write about how good it is. Given your experiences, I suspect you would not host it. What I've been trying to tell you is, many of us have had experiences with rebellion and error that have caused tremendous anguish to ourselves, to people we love and more importantly, to Christ. Because of those experiences, we are not interested in spreading those errors and lies across the internet which tempt others into falling into that pit.

If you're looking for the tempter, there are plenty of Jesuits with blogs out there doing the works of their father. When someone comes across our little hole that has been drinking their koolaid, we spend time correcting the errors - as we tried to do with you. When it becomes clear it is not a pursuit of truth but rather an effort to pollute the faith, we blow the whistle and end the game, with the fullness of the truth the victor. Our servitude here is to Christ.

I am deeply and sincerely sorry for the reasons you are in the state of rebellion and hostility to Catholicism. You and your family (and all who are physically and spiritually abused) remain in my prayers.

Peace brother.

Carol said...

Accurate Information on the Crusades...