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BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility

GUEST,mg 16 Jan 12 - 02:58 PM
Greg B 16 Jan 12 - 11:01 AM
Stu 16 Jan 12 - 10:51 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 16 Jan 12 - 08:34 AM
MGM·Lion 16 Jan 12 - 04:14 AM
Joe Offer 15 Jan 12 - 10:22 PM
Greg B 15 Jan 12 - 07:12 PM
Joe Offer 15 Jan 12 - 06:29 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 15 Jan 12 - 02:22 PM
banjoman 15 Jan 12 - 11:42 AM
GUEST,mg 15 Jan 12 - 03:31 AM
Joe Offer 15 Jan 12 - 02:22 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Jan 12 - 12:29 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Jan 12 - 12:22 AM
GUEST,mg 14 Jan 12 - 11:39 PM
GUEST 14 Jan 12 - 10:43 PM
Joe Offer 14 Jan 12 - 08:18 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 14 Jan 12 - 09:36 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Jan 12 - 05:28 AM
MGM·Lion 14 Jan 12 - 05:24 AM
Joe Offer 14 Jan 12 - 04:48 AM
Silas 14 Jan 12 - 04:20 AM
Greg B 13 Jan 12 - 09:18 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jan 12 - 08:41 PM
gnu 13 Jan 12 - 07:57 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jan 12 - 07:46 PM
Paul Burke 13 Jan 12 - 07:28 PM
gnu 13 Jan 12 - 06:38 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jan 12 - 06:23 PM
Ed T 13 Jan 12 - 06:13 PM
gnu 13 Jan 12 - 05:49 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jan 12 - 04:52 PM
Silas 13 Jan 12 - 04:42 PM
Joe Offer 13 Jan 12 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,olddude 13 Jan 12 - 03:10 PM
John P 13 Jan 12 - 02:08 PM
DMcG 13 Jan 12 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 13 Jan 12 - 01:48 PM
DMcG 13 Jan 12 - 01:45 PM
Greg F. 13 Jan 12 - 12:37 PM
RichM 13 Jan 12 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Eliza 13 Jan 12 - 12:12 PM
John P 13 Jan 12 - 10:13 AM
Silas 13 Jan 12 - 09:24 AM
Greg F. 13 Jan 12 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,Shining Wit 13 Jan 12 - 06:44 AM
Silas 13 Jan 12 - 06:09 AM
Musket 13 Jan 12 - 04:34 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 Jan 12 - 08:15 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 12 Jan 12 - 07:52 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 02:58 PM

You mean you liked the, what to me were awful, translations of the Mass that have gone on for the last 40 years or so? I guess if you grew up in them..then any change in liturgy is hard. They should not have changed them again, but perhaps made more voluntary translations available to priests and parishes who preferred them. I personally loved the Latin stuff and it was a shame that one language that unified people throughout much of the world was just like that killed. I have not noticed any improvements since Vatican II..and to me the things that needed to be change, namely cruel rules about birth control and divorce and perhaps annulment, were not changed, other than to let people more or less make their own decisions and twist in the wind.

And whoever is in charge of this, can we please, please, please get rid of those ugly chant and response things they keep doing and interrupting the Mass. And also tell the priests not to break into the Mass with commentary like they were sportscasters. And deduct any special reports from the building committee from the time of the sermon. And thank God I have not seen the Nazi salute in my church since the new Swiss-American priest, who is difficult to say the least, but I respect him for that..came on board. Perhaps he is just more sensitive than others who have allowed that to happen. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Greg B
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 11:01 AM

Peter K, it's not a "distraction." It's a crime. And I would not be so quick to maintain that it has nothing to do with the Church of Rome's teachings. Indeed, their teaching concerning "giving scandal" seems to be at the root of the bishops' and religious superiors' secretive and inadequate response and subsequent endangerment of more children. That, and the idea that a priest undergoes an "ontological change" that sets him apart from other men, making him, in the eyes of his fellows, somehow more valuable than mere laity.

Furthermore, the establishment of an all-male and celibate priesthood while it did not seem to directly lead to sexual acting-out created an attractive place for psycho-sexually troubled young men to attempt to "hide" from their issues.

And my one "pre-Cana" experience was different from your Joe's. Two progressive priests, both gay, one of them a prominent gay-rights activist, suddenly became very by-the-book and High Church.

One only has to read the National Catholic Reporter to understand the tremendous effort of "doublethink" that is necessary to stay in the Church of Rome. We have bishops talking about "religious freedom" in the context of their right to refuse those whose mores don't match their to freely practice their own beliefs. We have an absurd new English translation of the liturgy, one which has sucked much of the beauty out of the one thing that keeps Roman Catholics coming back, and is the most frequent touch-point.

Sadly, many of the folks left are the ortho-toxic "ban Vatican II and bring back the Latin Mass" types. They're the types who send notes of complaint to the Chancery should a priest or catechist step off the straight-and-narrow in the least.

The good news is that progressive Catholicism is gaining traction; some are even moving out of living rooms and rented spaces and purchasing parish properties of their own. They welcome most of the people that the Roman church has alienated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Stu
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 10:51 AM

"The Catholic church is always so dogmatically assertive, imposing its values with heartless authority, that a climb-down on one of its fundamentals would be a major humiliation. I think there will be change - there has to be - but it will go at a snail's pace in the hope that no-one notices."

Does this mean the teachings of The Bible are open to re-interpretation according to the context they are being interpreted in? Does this mean the Bible is not the word of God as it can be altered by humankind to fit? Does this mean it was wrong or wanting of clarification when written down originally?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 08:34 AM

The sexual abuse of children is almost a distraction. It has absolutely nothing to do with church teaching; it is something that happens in almost any institutionalised environment to greater or lesser degree, and it makes a convenient whipping boy whereby conservative catholics can sound enlightened.

Joe has put his finger on the real issue: "the entire theology of sexuality." Like many Catholics, he would like to see a major rethink. But he is going to be disappointed if he his hoping to see change in his lifetime.

The Catholic church is always so dogmatically assertive, imposing its values with heartless authority, that a climb-down on one of its fundamentals would be a major humiliation. I think there will be change - there has to be - but it will go at a snail's pace in the hope that no-one notices.

Guest/BM: In bygone years my assaults on Joe were highly intemperate, but his good-spirited responses shamed me into thinking I should moderate my tone, and I hope he can see that I'm trying....

I'm not sure I understood this sentence of yours: "He is NOT defending the business of the Church; he is defending the people therein, and with those people he includes you." If you were assuming I am (or have ever been) a Catholic, I should make clear that I am not. Also, your initials were not enough! Any chance of another clue, like maybe where we met?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 16 Jan 12 - 04:14 AM

I have every respect for Joe's attitude to his religion, which seems to me exemplary for his circustances ~~ those, I reiterate & will go on doing so until it sinks in, of an urban sophisticate resident of middle-class California in the 2nd decade of C21, with such access to information as to the worldwide state of his Church as may be afforded by, e.g. as he has enumerated, conversations with priests from the urban and more accessible areas of some African countries.

I continue nevertheless to consider him unwarrantably cocksure as to the wider application of the circumstances and attitudes he adumbrates to the Church in more remote, less prosperous, parts of the world: in Africa, Asia, S America, and even in parts of California itself ~~ would he take an oath that there is not a priest in S Central LA who receives the sort of unquestioning attention from his flock to traditional teaching of the kind so much deplored above by non-Catholics, by those actively hostile to Catholicism, as well as by Joe & his like, the informed & intelligent within the Church?

And if so, could he demonstrate how, please?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 10:22 PM

And Greg, as I enumerate the priests and religious with whom I've been acquainted, MOST were not involved in the sexual abuse scandal in any way, and they certainly did not condone it.

It is a terrible crime and it is pervasive in our society and in the Catholic Church, but the vast majority of people were not and are not involved.

I guess that's the difference between our perspectives. If every other priest I knew were a child molester, I might have a different story. I've read the lists; and yes, there were ten or so suspected molesters that I had once known, one or two as good friends in college. But I've known hundreds of priests in my days.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Greg B
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 07:12 PM

Joe, I congratulate you on your ability to hold two contradictory thoughts in your mind at once. I used to be able to. What finally did it for me was when I discovered that the leadership's ability to do so was allowing kids of my generation and those before and after me to be harmed. I discovered that there was real harm in the contradictions, particularly in the myth of clerical chastity.

As I enumerate the priests and religious with whom I've been acquainted, MOST either engaged in or failed to stop the sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults. If I ignore that, I'm like someone who watched war-crimes and didn't speak out or just kept on in the military like a "good soldier."

Now, I firmly believe that folks who think like you profess to think are being dishonest if they don't move out into the alternative Catholic movements that are beginning to gain traction. That includes laity and clergy.

It's not a "victim-less" way of thinking. It absolutely does "enable" both the abusers and their bishop- and superior-enablers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 06:29 PM

Don sez: will only be brought into the 21st Century by the actions of people like Joe, operating within...

Now, Joe knows full well that the Catholic Church will only be brought into the 21st Century......at about the beginning of the 23rd Century. There are times when I do feel quite alone in the Catholic Church, as a progressive in the midst of a conservative majority - but many conservative Catholics I know are very nice people and quite open-minded, if they are treated respectfully in the conversation. This thread started out protesting the Pope's failure to approve gay marriage. I'd say that a fair majority of people I know, particularly Catholics, are afraid of gay marriage. If all those who favor gay marriage leave the Catholic Church, then what happens to those nice but homophobic people who are left behind? Who will be left to help them move forward and overcome their fears?

As many of you know, I do volunteer work at a women's center than has been operated by nuns since its founding in 1987. I haven't told you that until we bought an old firehouse for the center, we rented from the Metropolitan Community Church, the only gay church in Sacramento - and the nuns had a wonderful relationship with the gay congregation. It's a subtle but very good way to draw people out of their intolerance.

Several nuns I know campaigned against California Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage. I was also part of that campaign. I display Obama and "Another Christian Against Prop 8" bumper stickers on my car - to counter all the Tea Party stickers I see in the church parking lot.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 02:22 PM

Whenever I see an organisation to which I belong heading in what I believe to be the wrong direction, I have a choice to make.

1. I remain within and try to influence the organisation to go in the direction I think it should, and meanwhile continue to exert my efforts to maintain and increase the good things it does.

That is the Joe Offer choice!!

2. I say "This organisation has gone to shit", and I get out, and advise as many people as I can reach to follow suit, thereby destroying not only the organisation, but its actions, right or wrong, good or bad.

That is the choice being urged upon Joe by those of you who are attempting to hammer your opinions into him, and it is a very bad choice.

The Roman Catholic Church has unfortunately failed to keep up with changing times for several hundred years, and will only be brought into the 21st Century by the actions of people like Joe, operating within, so to castigate him for defending, not the Church, but his FAITH and his belief in the possibility of improvement, is, to say the least, impertinent.

Don't ask Joe to throw out the baby with the bathwater, because he wouldn't know how. That's what makes him the best kind of Christian, it's his way of life.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: banjoman
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 11:42 AM

I have just spent an afternoon reading through this thread, and although I have contributed some time ago, I have to say that Joe's descriptions of his own work and prescence in his own local church I find somewhat inspiring as I too have never accepted that those in the higherarchy always speak the truth.
Joe - thanks for the inspiration and good luck in your future opposition to all those areas you mentioned.
Finaly I think this thread has gone far enough and all the protagenists should, where appropriate, agree to differ and lets get on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 03:31 AM

No..they are not marching in lockstep..but for at least a generation or two, they will be riddled with guilt and paranoia and deep fear that maybe Sister Mary Holywater was right and they will go to hell for doing those things. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 02:22 AM

So, Mike, I think I've provided fairly good evidence that there is a considerable amount of local autonomy in the Catholic Church. I've experienced that local autonomy first-hand all my life. You continue to deny that it exists. Might it be all right for me to ask that you provide evidence to the contrary?

It's my understanding that worldwide, abortion rates and the use of birth control and more-or-less the same for Catholics and non-Catholics. Same with the rates of divorce and remarriage. This is not, to my mind, an indication that Catholics are marching in lockstep with the Old Man in Rome.

When have I ever implied that "everything is OK with Catholicism worldwide"? I referred above to the child abuse and molestation problem as an atrocity. I know very few priests who are happy being celibate - the exception being members of religious orders who, like nuns, choose to be celibate and live in community. I think women should be eligible for ordination - and failure to do so is a slap in the face to women. I think the entire theology of sexuality needs to be re-thought by all the churches. I think that society in general needs to develop new, realistic values and philosophical underpinnings for sexuality.

There are huge portions of the billion-member Catholic Church that are in sad shape and in need of correction - and I would include many aspects of the Vatican in that. But of course, I don't think one can expect a billion-member organization to be uniformly pristine. On the other hand, there are huge portions of the Catholic Church that function admirably and accomplish a lot of good.

There are those above who see it as horrible that I remain a Catholic. You know, I think that choice is up to me. I acknowledge all the wrong that's done in my church, and I prefer to stick around and see if that wrong can be righted. Why should I give up and run away from all that, abandoning my church to wrongdoers? Despite all that I see as wrong, I have been able to enjoy my life as a Catholic immensely, to be supported in the work I feel called to do. And on top of all that, I belong to religious communities where I feel at home among friends. There's also the matter of my relationship with God, which is very important to me but not something I go on about at Mudcat.


So, Mike - this principle of local autonomy is spelled out in the Code of Canon Law, and has been for centuries. There are certain authorities that Rome has, but most are based on consensus decisions by the bishops. And for the most part, each diocese operates independently, and each parish operates independently within its diocese. If you have proof to the contrary, please provide it.

-Joe-


*and Mike, my friends from Rwanda and Nigeria are mostly priests and nuns. Does that make them incapable of knowing what goes on in local parishes and dioceses in their home country?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 12:29 AM

Re the abolition of Friday Abstinence, nearly 50 years ago IIRC ~ I think I have told somewhere here before the story of the boy on my table at school lunch just after the pronouncement, who went to the hatch to fetch the special fish meal that had been prepared by the kitchen ladies for the Catholics.

"You know, John," I said, "you don't really have to do that any more. The Pope has said it's OK for you to eat meat on a Friday from now on."

"Never mind the Pope, Sir," he replied cheerfully. "It's my mum."

I have always told that as rather a funny story ~~ but, come to think of it...

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Jan 12 - 12:22 AM

I'm sorry, Joe: I am not trying to be rude or contentious just for the sake of it~~

But there is something faintly ludicrous in your constant iteration that, because you and your sophisticated Sacramento friends

(+ some urban immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, who have separated themselves from just those of their compatriots as are in question here, just by that get-up-&-go which has brought them to US, and who know as much about those compatriots way out in the bush as you do & I do)

have got the measure of the 'arseholes' in the hierarchy, and decline to accept unquestioningly all their pronouncements, or all the Church's traditional teachings, and have contumely for certain named archbishops~~

why then, everything is OK with Catholicism worldwide, wherever and whatever~~

so that's all right then.

It isn't all right, Joe. Sorry.

~M~

So Benedict is your 'servant', is he? Just try getting him to lay out your clothes & polish your shoes next time you go out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 11:39 PM

WELL, for every one like Joe, who can make sense of it all, there are probably 3,000 like me, who can't, but by nature or conditioning or whatever do more or less what authorities tell us to, not because we believe they are superior, but we believe it all might be true..that there could be terrible consequences for not believing in the virgin birth, or for practicing birth control regardless of the harm that doing otherwise would cause..or for dating divorcees..we are allowed to eat meat on Friday now...I do it reluctantly because I get really bad low blood sugar if I don't...but I do it with trepitude and will try to get back into it when I can...

I think the problem is not the rules that make us be good, but the ones that make us be bad..having children we cannot afford if it kills the mother and forces the father into a third job to make ends meet...if it causes us to avoid remarriage or marriage with a divorced person...if it forces us into ceremonies that have been uglified and, like my present church, led by a most unpleasant priest....

I would love to have an archangel come down and say (and supposedlyl one did..St. Michael) just be a nice person and forget about the rest...don't know...part of my problem is that I am only half Catholic..only on my father's side and my mother was a raging Southern Baptist who converted and took every horrid bit of the CaTHOLIC RELIGion and gave it her own twist...it was not good..but it was certainly agreed upon by the church..although I think native-born Catholics, especiaslly Irish, know when to sort of let things slide..oh well.. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 10:43 PM

I have had more fights with Joe Offer than any five people on this forum. Those of you who refuse to hear what he says are hard of hearing. Those of you who refuse to see what he's said are slightly vision-affected to a deleterious degree.

You do not like the Vatican. Neither does Joe defend their bad practices. He is a good man, and he does good works, and I think many of you--us--me--could learn from him.

The Church is an institution: it makes money, sometimes on the backs of the poor. Any of you who have had a bank account are just the same. You took your 3% increase on deposits divided by 12 x the length of months you let it collect interest because you thought that was 'the way things are.' Well, it IS they way things are BECAUSE you took it.

Joe does not 'worship' the Vatican. He follows the teachings--as best he can--of Yeshua. IMO, most Catholics believe that Jesus is more important than the Pope, despite him being God's representative on Earth. There is doctrine, and then there's reality.

I respect the intelligence of so many people here, because so many of you are much smarter than I am. That said, I wish the timbre of discussion would just back off a bit. If your problem is with Ratzinger, write him. If your problem is with Joe's beliefs, then really your problem is with yourself and your experiences with aspects of the Church, and maybe your own neglect because you didn't address that in the past. Joe is speaking for himself. And because he is, he's speaking for many who can't or don't speak for themselves. You want brights? I bet you all have them, so stop proving you don't.

##############################################

Fionn, you are so far my intellectual superior I lost sight of how much two posts after we met six or seven years ago. IMO, you are right to admonish the Church, but wrong to admonish Joe. He is NOT defending the business of the Church; he is defending the people therein, and with those people he includes you. He follows the inspiration of the religion, not necessarily the rules.

Been a long time since we talked. Good--very good--to see you again.

BM


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 08:18 PM

Gee, Mike, I think I answered your question about Nigeria. I said that I have friends here in the Sacramento area who are Catholic emigrants from Rwanda and Nigeria. I have questioned them quite extensively about their life as Catholics in Africa, and what I have heard is consistent with what I have stated above. The Catholic Church, for the most part, is locally autonomous. Outsiders make far more of the authority of the Pope and the power of the Vatican, than do local parishioners. Local parish life is centered around.....local parish life. Some parishes are good, and some are not good at all. Much depends upon the character and spirituality of the local priest. Again, some are good and some not, and many wallow hopelessly in mediocrity.

And as you say, Mike, I am not Pope; and Pius XII & John XXIII & John-Paul I & John-Paul II & Benedict XVI have all been Pope. To my mind, that means that they have all been at my service, since they claim to be "servant of the servants of God."

Never in my life have I been the sort of person who obeys authority. Obedience is not part of my vocabulary. Therefore, I take what's good in the Catholic Church and seek to improve what isn't good. Since parishes and other local institutions (like our Mercy motherhouse and the women's center where I volunteer) are chiefly autonomous, they are of a scale where I can have a strong effect. And I have worked tirelessly for fifty years to ensure that my local institutions are what I believe they should be. If you question that, think about all the work I've done at Mudcat over the last fifteen years.

Now, I suppose a lot of that is my personal view of the world (Weltanschauung, if you will) - I see the world from the bottom up, and I think that those in upper management are largely irrelevant. They serve the organization. Undoubtedly, the organization and its structure are necessary, but the power and value of those at the top is way overblown. Largely, the function of the church is to bring comfort to the afflicted, to heal wounded souls. When have you ever seen a pope or a bishop bring comfort to anyone? When have you seen them affect anyone at a "heart level"? Sure, they have power - but what is that power good for? What change can it effect?

I, on the other hand, am the guy at the door who greets every person who comes into church. I know their names, and I know their stories. I'm there to listen, and the priest will be at their side in a minute if I tell him there's a need. I've been teaching people about the Catholic faith for 45 years, and I use that bully pulpit to challenge people to be kind, generous, and open-minded. And people listen to me, far more than they listen to the Pope or their bishop. I'm the nice little guy who meets people face-to-face; and believe me, I have far more power over them than the Pope does.

My friend Father Innocent had that same sort of power in Rwanda, because he loves people and has an infectious laugh that brings joy wherever he is. He had to leave because the government put him in jail and didn't tell him why, and now he's sharing his joy and love with people in the United States.

So, that's the deal, people. Look around you, and you'll see I'm telling you the truth. True power rests in those who can move hearts, not in those who hold lofty positions. When you look in another person's eyes and smile, you have more power over that person at that moment, than anyone else in the world.

Forget the authority structure. It's all bullshit. What can you do, for one person at a time? I've found I can do a lot.

Fuck the authority structure. If you look at it as you should, it is your servant. Treat it as your servant, not your master. And yes, your servant will not always serve you perfectly - but if you remember that the authority structure is your servant and not your master, that's OK. You can fill in the gaps.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 09:36 AM

The Catholic faith doesn't work for people who see things in absolute terms. It's far too messy, far too open to discussion.

Oh, sure. The epitome of enlightened consensus. Except that it's the only significant Christian denomination (overwhelmingly the biggest of course) that puts itself above the World Council of Churches - an inevitable consequence of its intransigent (in fact bigoted) teaching that no church except itself is a church at all, a line reiterated in unequivocal terms by the one-time Cardinal Ratzinger when he was chief exec of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 05:28 AM

Why, I can feel the house, right over hear, shaking as I type, from the furious & fearful vibrations caused by Archbishop Chaput trembling in his boots with rage & fear at the revelation on a public forum that Joe offer despises him!


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 05:24 AM

"I'm seminary-trained and know how to manipulate church bureaucracy and make progress in fighting the bad guys."
.,.,
Sure you are, Joe; & sure you do. & equally surely the millions in Nigerian bush-villages & Valparaiso slums & backwoods PNG [& South Central LA for that matter] aren't; & don't. You mockingly dismiss my arguments by asking what do I know about E Nigeria ~~ to which the answer is as above: whatever & wherever, those Catholics do not have your knowledge & your resources.

And I say again: when push comes to shove, whatever J Offer may think of them, arseholes or otherwise, Pius XII & John XXIII & John-Paul I & John-Paul II & Benedict XVI all were, or are, Pope.

and you are not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 04:48 AM

That's right, Greg. If you see things in absolute terms and can't tolerate a billion-member church having a large number of assholes in management, then the Catholic Church won't work for you.

I'm in the Sacramento Diocese, and we had a wise, gentle, compassionate bishop while the neighboring bishop in Santa Rosa was having an affair with one of his priests and embezzling millions. Then we had a not-so-good bishop that I despised for his stupidity and insensitivity, and now we have a bishop I haven't decided upon. But Santa Rosa is one diocese out of the twelve in California, and none of the others had a bishop that was anywhere near the notoriety of that one bishop. Maybe I have greater tolerance, Greg. After all, I worked for the U.S. Government under a good number of assholes, and I survived and kept my integrity and did a good job.

And I despise Archbishop Chaput, formerly of Denver - just like you do. My sister, who had been a very active Catholic, left the Catholic Church when she was in Boston in the midst of Cardinal Law's coverup. If I had been in her shoes, I probably would have stayed and thought, but then I'm seminary-trained and know how to manipulate church bureaucracy and make progress in fighting the bad guys.

My wife and I went through "pre-Cana" sessions ten years ago when I was preparing to get married. We enjoyed the sessions, and I wasn't required to sign any pledges against birth control or anything like that. I guess it wouldn't make any difference - I had a vasectomy twenty years before, and all my pastor said was I should be sure that's what I wanted to do because it was permanent.

And I have never been a "Christian Soldier," putting up with anything in the Catholic Church that I thought was wrong. I have confronted priests for their drunkenness in front of parishioners, for dishonesty and misuse of funds, and for sexual misconduct. And, believe it or not, they straightened up. Mind you, none of these offenses were criminal - but they were still wrong. They appreciated the fact that I treated them honestly and with kindness.

I am an associate member of the Sisters of Mercy, and it was one of our sisters who was excommunicated by the Bishop of Phoenix for approving an abortion necessary to save the life of the mother - and we have given her absolute support.

But this is MY church and this is MY faith, and I'm not willing to abandon it to the assholes. I've fought too long and too hard, and I'm not going to give it all up. I respect you for leaving, Greg; and I'm sure you have good reason - but I still see a lot of good in my church along with the bad, and I'm not going to give it up. I had nothing but disdain for John Paul II, but I think Benedict is fairly reasonable. I've been in this church all my life. For the most part, it has been a wonderful experience. I've taken my lumps, lots of them; but I have never once compromised my integrity and never once failed to speak up when I saw something wrong. Never.

My pastor has some problems, but he's also one of the most compassionate people I know. It's amazing to see him deal with sick people, or perform a funeral or baptism. But still, he has a lot of issues, and I've hit him hard and steadily on those issues for the six years he's been here. He laid me off my job and has done a number of other things that hit me below the belt, but I'm still there to hassle him - and he knows he can't scare me away, and that I'll never give up. And he's developed a grudging respect for me because I'm honest and blunt and give him credit when he deserves it. He is a seriously flawed man, but he does a lot of good for a lot of people. Maybe because he is so flawed, he can express compassion in a way that I cannot.

Maybe we're all seriously flawed. Maybe it's time for us to accept that fact, and just keep doing the best we can and learn to accept the flaws of others.

-Joe Offer-

P.S. Silas, we knew the term "pagan babies" was a misnomer way back in the 1950s, when it was used by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in fundraising campaigns in Catholic Schools. We made fun of the term way back then, and we had all sorts of jokes about the "pagan baby" campaign when I was in a Catholic seminary for 8 years in the 1960s. "Pagan" now has a more specific meaning and means more than simply "polytheistic religion." Modern Paganism covers the spectrum of "earth-based" religious beliefs and practices.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Silas
Date: 14 Jan 12 - 04:20 AM

Joe, Pagan simply means polytheistic religion, ie, non Abrahamic, so it is quite possible that these third world babies were pagan, but un-baptised children born to christian families were certainly not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Greg B
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 09:18 PM

Quoth Joe Offer: "The Catholic faith doesn't work for people who see things in absolute terms."

So you'd apply this to the Bishop of Phoenix Arizona who declared as excommunicated a devout nun and hospital administrator who gave her ethical consent to the termination of a mother of four's pregnancy when she would otherwise (along with her fetus) died?

Works pretty well for him. He rides around in a limo.

Or how about the nut-job Chaput, late of Denver and now inflicted on us Philadelphians, who tossed the adopted kids of a lesbian couple out of one of his Catholic elementary schools BECAUSE THEY HAD TWO MOMS?

Your arguments remind me of those of the George Bushes who constantly tried to distinguish between "the people" of the countries they bombed and their governments. At what pont are "the people" responsible? How many boys wouldn't have been buggered and girls wouldn't have been diddled if you pew-sitting sheeples had grown a set and told your priests and bishops NO!!!

The latest crap is that SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) is being attacked with subpoenas for confidential information about survivors by the Kansas City Dioceses. Yes, they're trying to force SNAP to release confidential communications with RAPE VICTIMS.

So when, Joe Offer, do you stop being a "Christian Soldier" and tell your bishop "NO!" These guys are trying to cripple the organization that helps victims fight back against the massive organization that seeks to silence them.

Aren't you in the Diocese of Santa Rosa? Two bishops back, he was an sexual abuser of kids. One bishop back, well, he let a confessed abuser escape into Mexico and HAD TO GO INTO A DIVERSION PROGRAM for failing to report abuse as a mandated reporter! Your current bishop has a record of defying the USCCB's own Dallas Charter.

The problem is that it just doesn't work. It, like Reaganomics (and piss), "trickles down." So the young couple going for "pre-Cana" counseling gets fed the anti-contraception bullshit, has to sign the "we promise not to use rubbers" papers, under pain of excommunication, etc. etc.

Oh, there are ways to be "Catholic" that don't buy into this crapola. There are any number of "non-Roman" Catholic groups cropping up. Such as the Ecumenical Catholic Communion and any number of totally independent congregations and "Intentional Eucharistic Communities."
Or folks like this.

I spent a lot of years thinking that the Roman Catholic Church would pull its head out of its ass and ordain women and married people and so on. I waited for a quarter of a century and more and now I see nothing but folks who want to take things back to 1959 and abolish Vatican II.

Then I tried to live with the contradictions, and like our friend Joe Offer, explain them away as some sort of "misunderstandings."

No more.

"Let the dead bury their dead."


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 08:41 PM

Gnu, I think it's clear that Cardinal Law of Boston was callous to the extreme, as were some of the bishops in Ireland and others in the U.S. and Austria and other places. I think they knew damn well what they were doing - protecting the organization and themselves instead of protecting the victims. But the majority of bishops just bungled it, not knowing what to do.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: gnu
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 07:57 PM

"intentionally condoned the molestation and abuse"

I was not aware such happened. I know of the turning of a blind eye and the transfer of some to another location but "condoning"? That actually happened?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 07:46 PM

Well, Paul, my belief in "love one another" is rigid. All else is open to discussion.

Oh, and I also believe in fairness, even when the person being treated unfairly is wrong. There are many areas where I think the Pope is wrong, but I do think his wrong ideas ought to be treated truthfully and debated fairly. I think that "atrocities" is a good word to describe the child molestation and abuse that has gone on in the Catholic Church, even to the present time. For the most part, however, I think the popes and bishops made horrible mistakes, and it was only a few who intentionally condoned the molestation and abuse. Those who see things absolutely as right and wrong, white and black, true and false - those people will not agree with me.

I think most people do things because they think they're doing the right thing. It's just that their perception is unbelievably screwed up. Of course, you and I aren't screwed up...

....are we????

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Paul Burke
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 07:28 PM

Joe, you remind me strongly of old friends back in the 70s. Defended their beliefs against the rising tide of evidence of atrocities, knew that they were struggling for the good f all mankind, that of course there were failings in the organisation, but all would be overcome..

In memory of my Dad's mate Harold Flatley, Catholic and Communist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: gnu
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 06:38 PM

Oh, BTW, before anyone brings up my past posts on other threads... I am definitely opposed to gay or hetero parades. As Trudeau said (paraphrasing), "There is no place for the government in the bedrooms of the nation." And, IMO, there is no place for the bedrooms in the streets of the nation.

Do what ya want with yer nether regions in yer own house, not in public. Protest parades? Fine. Overt sexuality in the streets? Please???!

Sorry for the thread drift.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 06:23 PM

I think there is an underlying philosophy in our society today, that dictates that there is one absolutely correct line of thinking - and that all those that who adhere to that line of thinking, are wonderful; and all those who think otherwise, are evil and must be suppressed.

The trouble is, nobody can agree on what that absolutely correct line of thinking should be, so we all go around chasing those people who think otherwise and are evil and must be suppressed. Is it really so horrible, that somebody says something we disagree with? Are we morally bound to condemn and attack and destroy who don't see things our way?

Must all of life be a matter of right and wrong, good and bad, attack and defeat?

The Catholic faith doesn't work for people who see things in absolute terms. It's far too messy, far too open to discussion. Take the stuff about pagan babies and all the fantastically perverse stories about the saints and the crazy nuns of the 1950s. If you take all that stuff seriously and literally, you can't help but see the Catholic Church as evil. If you take it all with a grain of salt, you can see it as rich and colorful and human and funny - warts and all. The Catholic Church is a rich and ancient culture and tradition. Nothing about it is perfect - but then, is anything perfect? Everything about the Catholic Church is in an organic state of slow but constant evolution - is that so bad?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Ed T
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 06:13 PM

""What adults do is their business and NObody else's. I have gay friends and they seem much more "normal" that some of my hetero friends... hmmm... even more normal than me for that matter""

Bravo, for sharing that thoughtful viewpoint, Gnu


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: gnu
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 05:49 PM

"relatively huge number of females in single parent situations"

Yup. I have seen it many times. Marriage, children, divorce, man pays thru the nose, woman even gets weekends off from caring for the children... nice work if you can get it. And, before I get shit upon, allow me to repeat... I have seen it many times. It sickening. The sanctity of marriage has been replaced by the convenience of divorce.

As fer yer homos, love is love, sex is sex, get over it. And, I don't just say that for the guy with the big hat and fancy gown. What adults do is their business and NObody else's. I have gay friends and they seem much more "normal" that some of my hetero friends... hmmm... even more normal than me for that matter.

I should add, if ya think Cat'lics are intolerant I could name a few others who are even intolerant of Cat'lics. Which, I always like to point out to them is not a good idea on acounta if the Cat'lics took their point of view they might have a hard time seein as how they are outnumbered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 04:52 PM

Silas, it's a Catholic joke, and you need to know the back story. Catholics, like Jews, have had a history of not taking themselves too seriously. Back in the 1950s, Catholic schools had campaigns during Lent to "adopt" what they referred to as "pagan babies" - children in impoverished, Third World countries. That developed into competitions between classrooms to see who could adopt the most pagan babies, and school kids interpreted that as "buying pagan babies." Even in grade school, kids could see the silliness of it all, so there was a constant flow of pagan baby jokes in Catholic schools. In actuality, it's my understanding that most of the money was spent for food and water, not for proselytizing and certainly not for adopting children away from their parents.

Now, all this was before modern Paganism came to be, so don't be offended.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Silas
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 04:42 PM

Greg, they are NOT Pagan babies. Do you know what Pagan means?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 04:35 PM

Ian Mather, I'm not picking on you, but you express your opinions rationally and fairly, and that makes it far easier (and far more pleasurable) to have a rational discussion with you.

Here's what you say about Reuters:
    Regarding soundbites though, it is a fact that you either write a thesis for your followers to interpret or you use a microphone / press release, or even both. But if you address the media, then you need to speak their language or have your message misconstrued. So yes, sadly, he needs to speak to Reuters in Reuters language.


Well.....that's exactly the problem. Reuters wants to speak in simplistic, combative language - and they do it very well. The megachurches also speak in that simplistic, combative language - and they are hugely successful. Both feed on the fears and bigotries of people, and people respond. Benedict is a gentle man who plays classical music on the piano an hour a day. He is known for his gentle humor, his compassion, and his thoughtfulness. He would never, never condone violence or aggression. He certainly would not approve of any mistreatment of homosexuals. He simply expressed approval of families founded on the marriage between a man and a woman. So, in actuality, about the strongest headline you could get out of what he said is:

    Pope Approves of Male-Female, Two-Parent Families

-or, if you stretch it-

    Pope Implies Dislike of Homosexual Marriage

The trouble is, things like that won't sell papers. So, instead of that, we get the Reuters headline:

    Gay marriage a threat to humanity's future: Pope

The Reuters headline is not actually a lie, but it's certainly an out-of-balance extrapolation of what the Pope actually said.

The trouble is, the Pope can't use Reuterspeak and say what he wants to say, in the balanced way he wants to stay it. Whenever the Pope speaks of homosexuality, he does so respectfully, with appreciation for the dignity of homosexuals as persons. He never "condemns" homosexuals or homosexual marriage - he simply states his support for traditional families with traditional male-female parents, and his disagreement with the idea of homosexual marriage. He also states in respectful, noncombative terms, that the Catholic Church does not consider same-gender sex to be a moral act. And whenever he does that he also is careful to acknowledge that homosexual orientation is not something people choose - that people cannot choose to be homosexual or heterosexual, so there is no moral right or wrong in sexual orientation.

Same thing with abortion - every official statement of the Catholic Church on abortion is written in noncombative language, expressing compassion for women who have an abortion and offering forgiveness for those who seek it.

The same thing could be said for the use of various birth control methods. It's never an outright condemnation. At most, it's a statement that the Catholic Church does not consider "artificial" birth control to be a moral act - couched in paragraphs that encourage love between married couples, the sanctity and beauty of sexual intercourse between married persons, and the importance of stable families. By the way, over the last forty years the Catholic Church has said many things to encourage the enjoyment of sex as an expression of love between married persons, not merely as a means of procreation. And in the last forty years, Church statements have never said anything which would imply that sex in marriage is not to be enjoyed.

With regards to the use of condoms to control HIV/AIDS, the Pope said that while the Catholic Church does not approve of "artificial" methods of birth control, the use of condoms can be better and more moral choice than unprotected sex.

And on top of all that, Benedict consistently emphasizes the constancy of the love of God for humankind, no matter what humans choose to do.



Now, Reuters and the fundamentalists (including fundamentalist Catholics) want everything boiled down to simplistic terms, applauding the right and condemning the wrong - but life just isn't that simple. Well, maybe it IS that simple. It all boils down to

    Love One Another



That's what it's all about. Somebody want to disagree with that?

-Joe-


For the record, I respectfully disagree with the Pope on a number of issues, including the ordination of women, celibate priesthood, homosexual marriage, and birth control. I also think that the issue of abortion should be treated differently, and the aggressive actions of the so-called "pro-life movement" should be more clearly criticized by the Catholic Church.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 03:10 PM

I have a friend who is an old priest, once a person asked him about Gay Marriage and he said "The Bible isn't probably the best place to look for matters of relationships and marriage, David had 500 wives"
As you can see even priest don't take him that serious in such matters


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: John P
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 02:08 PM

Eliza:
John, there are millions and millions of Roman Catholic adherents throughout the world. No-one could possibly suggest that what the Pope says isn't important to them, and doesn't have any influence on their standpoint.

I agree with you, and did so in the post you are responding to. And in every post before that.


Everyone else:
No one on this thread has ever claimed that their god is any better than anyone else's. No one on this thread has talked about Catholic tenets about heaven and hell except to try to educate and to say that it really isn't important.

When there's a discussion about the Pope making a bigoted statement, and you all jump on with all your complaints about every facet of religion, Christianity, and the Catholic Church, you start to sound like the bigots Joe called us at the start of this thread. It really looks like many folks here are looking for a place to vent their negative opinions at any convenient target.

And before everyone makes the same mistake that Eliza made above, I agree with most every that's been said about the lack of sense and logic, and the potential harmfulness of, religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular. But do we really have to air all our grievances about all of religion on every thread that mentions religion in any way? If you want to talk about what the Pope said, or other things the Pope has said, or the Church's political positions, or how it spends its money in the secular world, I will confront Joe with you all day. But can we please leave the rest of it for a conversation where it's the topic?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 02:07 PM

The Pope is a man. Not some deity ... That is core to the Catholic teaching you know!

every religious prat who says kindness to others and altruism is something to do with religion has a permanent place on my shit list. And they would deserve it if they meant that religion was in any sense the origin and doubly so if they suggested it was primarily the religious who are kind and altruistic. That would be a deservedly stupid remark. But 'something to do with' ... that's pretty vague, you know. Even that humanist article I linked to says the now secular organisations like the Red Cross and Oxfam had a religious (but not exclusively religious) origin. And there are, I think, reasons for that that are to do with religion. Don't misunderstand me, the forces that propel religious groups to set up these organisations are complicated and no doubt included a great deal of self interest and perhaps at an individual level sometimes an attempt to assuage personal guilty feelings. So don't assume I think these are lily-white organisations. But 'something to do with religion'? Sometimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 01:48 PM

Lets all take the piss out of those who don't have the intelligence to think for themselves eh?

Problem is, there are more of them than us for starters. Secondly, a few million lemmings can't be wrong.

Limbo, the place where you rot if your parents don't manage to baptise you. The pathetic cruelty of religious bigotry is beyond me, beyond the pail and beyond reason.

Interestingly, whilst good men like Joe Offer make excuses for it by denouncing whilst representing, we will never even begin to throw the concept of religion in the dustbin in which it belongs.

The Pope is a man. Not some deity, but a man with he same number of balls as the rest of us. Only he chooses to use his in a verbal rather than reproductive sense. He speaks of Jesus as if any church has ever represented the fabled love one another piety of the imaginary Nazerene.

Bad enough that Jesus is a product of over active imagination. I could live with that but every Pope, every Archbishop of Canterbury puts bigotry and controlling the masses above Jesus and in the name of Jesus.

Kind of cheapens the brand, don't you think?

Oh, and every religious prat who says kindness to others and altruism is something to do with religion has a permanent place on my shit list. I try to live my life with a set of moral values yet I don't believe in any religious nonsense. By that reckoning, I must be as superhuman as Jesus. Although rather than worship me, just buy me the odd pint and you will be saved. Trust me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 01:45 PM

It is a huge step backwards in the struggle for acceptance and support for gays.

Not really, to be honest. It's a missed opportunity to take a step forward, and one that many Catholics like myself (and by the sounds of it Joe) wish had been taken. But it would only be a step back if it reversed progress that had been made in the Church, and as far as I can see that's not the case


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 12:37 PM

They were not pagan babies.

But of course they were! Limbo is where all the dead pagan babies world-wide not baptised into the Roman Catholic Church were consigned for all eternity.

We used to have to say special prayers for them in and out of Mass.

So, where are they now?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: RichM
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 12:35 PM

What makes any Christian think that their "god" is any more valid than Thor, or Shiva or any of the thousands of other mythical personae that have been offered to humanity as reality?

I am a former Catholic and altar boy, who left that belief system because of the disparity between stated beliefs and hypocritical actions.

As an atheist, I can only hope that humanity will eventually drop the rancid cloak of religion and embrace the universe for the wonderful real thing it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 12:12 PM

John, there are millions and millions of Roman Catholic adherents throughout the world. No-one could possibly suggest that what the Pope says isn't important to them, and doesn't have any influence on their standpoint. If he rejects gays and their right to a sexual life and to be in partnerships or indeed marriages, then the majority of them will subscribe to that viewpoint, and particularly those in cultures where homosexuals are already persecuted and reviled. It is a huge step backwards in the struggle for acceptance and support for gays. The same thing goes for the Roman Catholic tenets on contraception. Millions worldwide endure the strain of large families and the ensuing poverty because of this. Those who secretly practice contraception are often plagued by guilt and shame. It isn't a happy situation is it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: John P
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 10:13 AM

Jeez, I hate to keep throwing cold water, but why in the world are you trying to argue with Joe about Catholic tenets of faith? Joe has made it abundantly clear that all that stuff isn't what his religious experience is all about. My own experience tells me that most Catholics think about that stuff for about five minutes in catechism and never again, since it is so patently not important to anyone's life. If you're not a Catholic, what possible difference does it make to you? What does it have to do with the Pope speaking out against gay rights? The Catholic Church can teach anything it likes within the confines of the church. The only time the rest of us get to comment is when they inflict themselves on the rest of us, like when a world-renowned leader makes public comments or when they spend a lot of money buying laws for themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Silas
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 09:24 AM

They were not pagan babies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Greg F.
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 09:07 AM

So what happened to limbo?

More importantly, what became of the millions of Pagan Babies that were stuck in limbo when the Church abolished it?

Did they go up, down, or simply disappear? & if so, why?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: GUEST,Shining Wit
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 06:44 AM

I just finished reading the article Joe linked to regarding limbo and can honestly say I know now beyond doubt that for me the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic religions are not for me; that article cleared up the very few remaining doubts I have.

Love the churches, chapels and cathedrals though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Silas
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 06:09 AM

Well Joe, a further quote from your artice;

"But over many centuries the teaching did touch immediately and personally the lives of parents and relatives, who found little consolation in the fact that their children who died without baptism were in limbo rather than heaven. In fact, this teaching raised questions for many grieving Christians about the eternal status of their unbaptized infants and no doubt was a cause of pain for many parents and relatives. For example, a Jesuit friend of mine told me how distraught he was as a seven-year-old when the pastor declared that my friend's recently stillborn younger brother was not in heaven but in limbo."


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Musket
Date: 13 Jan 12 - 04:34 AM

Joe,

I admire your ability to defend the principle of your faith whilst expressing concern over the actions of people in the name of it. I wouldn't be able to do that, so I genuinely admire you for doing so.

Regarding soundbites though, it is a fact that you either write a thesis for your followers to interpret or you use a microphone / press release, or even both. But if you address the media, then you need to speak their language or have your message misconstrued. So yes, sadly, he needs to speak to Reuters in Reuters language.

Peter K notes that homosexuality was common in ancient times in many parts of Africa till the colonialists came. Two things spring to mind there;

Mea Culpa was described to me as "If you enjoy something, you should be ashamed of yourself." That is a broad brush, possibly inaccurate way of putting it, I know. But you can see the link, Christian missionaries deciding they enjoy some things too much. So, sex is for procreation only and sex that can't give us a little Christian at the end of it is banned. And that buggers that, or doesn't as the case may be.

Ironic that it is in many parts of Africa where the "West" are alarmed at how homosexuality is deemed a sin. Reaping and sowing springs to mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 08:15 PM

""Where the Pope says "policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself" the family he is talking about is that "based on the marriage of a man and a woman"""

Where, in what he actually said, do you find a cogent and specific reference to homosexuality?

You start from an anti Pope standpoint, and read that into his message which you would prefer to be his meaning.

I read the same message with the unblinkered understanding that it would more probably relate to the number of single parent families in the present day, than to the almost infinitely smaller and less significant number of single sex relationships.

Do any of you really think that the Pope is so stupid as to believe that the tiny number of homosexual relationships can actually so affect the burgeoning world population as to threaten the future of the human race?

Isn't it much more likely that he refers to the relatively huge number of females in single parent situations, combined with the number of those who, by choice or by decree, do not procreate?

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Classic of Papal Infallibility
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 12 Jan 12 - 07:52 PM

Yes, John P. the past was a bad place, but the Catholic church was surely a little bit exceptional, to the extent that it indulged in its depraved excesses in the name of a loving and forgiving god.

I respect Joe for the tenacity with which he fights his corner and I am very much aware that he is often (but not this time) a lone voice in these wrangles. But I do find some of his arguments infuriating.

In a recent post Joe said this: "With his usual dramatic rhetoric, Peter K (fionn) posits that the Pope's speech is sure to drive Ugandan tyrants to slaughter homosexuals, despite the fact that the Pope's mild-mannered statements have never encouraged the slaughter of anyone."

And that's inexcusable. Almost in the same breath as accusing me of "dramatic rhetoric" Joe claims I accused the Pope of encouraging slaughter. And for good measure he repeats that claim later in his post. In fact I came nowhere close to saying any such thing. I was just making the point - plain to anyone with an ounce of intelligence - that the Pope's comment was likely to give sucour to existing prejudices in Uganda.

Where the Pope says "policies which undermine the family threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself" the family he is talking about is that "based on the marriage of a man and a woman" (in the old celibate's own words). Putting the future of humanity on the line is nearer to "dramatic rhetoric" than anything I have said - and yet Joe can characterise the Pope's intervention as "mild mannered." Maybe Joe just didn't get the message, but he should not castigate Reuters and co because they did.

I'm not sure that Joe is right that the entrenched homophobia in Africa predates the Europeans and Christians? I can see no evidence of that. My understanding is that homosexuality has been acknowledged in Africa since the days of the Greek empire, in which it was openly celebrated, but that systemic homophobia came only with colonisation. Certainly it has been actively promoted ever since by Christians, Eropean and more recently American: primarily evangelicals, but with the Catholic church taking every opportunity to encourage the prejudice, up to and including Ratzinger's speech the other day.


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Mudcat time: 1 June 12:59 PM EDT

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