If only the 'Religion of Peace' had a Spiritual Leader Like the Pope...

Mourners light candles for the martyrs of Our Lady of Salvation
It is very easy to denounce Islam in the light of the cold-hearted, bloodthirsty fanaticism that resulted in the horrific destruction of human life witnessed at Our Lady of Salvation, Baghdad. The question is, is it fair?

Watching Fr Nizar Semaan, an Iraqi Catholic Priest in the United Kingdom, speaking of his hope that Iraqi imams might issue a fatwa on those who actively seek to kill Christians, it struck me that Islam suffers from a lack of hierarchy and spiritual leadership.

Islam, as we can see from the violence in Iraq between Sunni and Shia Muslims, appears to be as schismatic, if not more so, than Christianity and Judaism. Yet, from evidence in recent years, Islam also appears to be the most violent religion on Earth, or, at least, the religion which appears to tolerate violence the most, the religion which seems to foster the seeds of violence in disaffected, young men, be it in Iraq, or indeed, Wakefield.

What would be fantastic, of course, is if Islam had a figurehead and am equivalent of the Magisterium defending time-honoured, traditional Islamic teachings on the dignity of all human persons, that all Muslims respected enough to take seriously concerning how to live the Muslim faith. Then, like the Holy Father, who in his famous Regensberg lecture, on Faith and Reason, offended Muslims worldwide by quoting 14th century Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Palaiologos's statement concerning Islam's tendency towards bloodshed, Muslims worldwide would have a spiritual leader who could denounce violence against Christians and non-believers, categorically, and issue fatwas against those who commit it. Then, too, the World would be able to assess whether Islam was a religion of 'peace and brotherhood' or a vehicle for religious fanaticism, fratricide, suicide and blood-soaked 'jihad' since the leader would preach love, brotherhood and forgiveness and condemn all murderous acts of war as tantamount to war against 'Allah and his prophet, Mohammed'.

Unfortunately, for all of us, while the World's most famous practising Christian is a benign, benevolent, wise and loving Pastor going by the name of Pope Benedict XVI, the Vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth, the World's most famous practising Muslim is Osama Bin Laden, who, rather inconveniently, for all of us, stepped into both the limelight and the power vacuum created by the total absence of any global spiritual leadership in Islam and, unfortunately, for all of us, there are many more Osama Bin Ladens waiting to take his notorious place, should he ever be found and captured, either dead, or alive. There is no figure of authority, of spiritual leadership, who can speak in defence of Christians and 'infidels' that Muslims can look to for guidance on how to live the Muslim faith or who instructs Muslims in the 'religion of peace and brotherhood'. It really seems all to depend on the theological position of local imams, worldwide, on whether Islam is a force for peace, or a force for brutal and sadistic murder of the innocent in the name of God.

Pray for the Christians of Iraq.

Comments

Hestor said…
Islam cannot be a religion of peace because the Quran mandates violence towards "people of the book" (Christians and Jews).

Where Mohamed could not spread his heresy by preaching, he spread it by the sword.
Theresa of the Villa said…
Yeah but Christ also said - "I have not come to bring peace, but the sword . . . He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." (Matthew 10:34)

Unless you're one of these relativists the Holy Father hates so much you have to say, christ is both advocating violence and anti-family
"He who lives by the sword dies by the sword," said Our Lord to St Peter.
Richard Collins said…
The issues regarding Islam are many but its followrs have the overriding aim of establishing a Caliphate (religious law and governance) wherever they are in the world. The prospects for this country are bleak. Muslims tend to have large families and most seem intent on reinforcing their ghetto outlook (they live together, do business together and, generally, despise the native inhabitants of whatever country they are in if they are Kufrs ie non believers. They do have a commitment to violence, especially against Christians and Jews and we, in Great Britain have done nothing to educate young Muslim males who are now under the spell of the radical Imams. We shall reap the whirlwind, I am afraid.
Catholic pragmatist said…
Osama Bin Laden is not the worldwide spiritual leader of muslims. That's like saying Gerry Adams is the Catholic spiritual leader.
Not all religions are modelled on catholicism and that's not necessarilly a weakness. In fact, it's probably a strength. The papacy has been the cause of much conflict, division and violence in the past, both within christenom and towards other religions - so let's not get too idealistic and see things through rose tinted glasses.
Catholic pragmatist said…
Interesting article in this weeks Tablet..

Former police chief speaks up for religion (18 November 2010)

The former Metropolitan Police Commissioner has warned that the scandal of clerical child abuse and rows over homosexuality are obscuring the basic message of Christianity. Delivering the 2010 Theos Annual Lecture on Tuesday, Lord (Ian) Blair of Boughton - a practising Anglican - acknowledged that religion could be a source of violence but insisted that it was principally a force for good. He said that such violence was born of a certainty of being right, and that "ordinary believers of all faiths need to reemphasise their rejection of this certainty."

You can read the full text of Lord Blair's speech here...

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/page/blair-theos
Damon Whitsell said…
That Islam does not have a Pope like figure is a good thing. But do your study, Islam has historically had a Pope like figure called the Caliph (or Caliphate) and it was overthrown by the young turks revolution after the Allied powers forced the abolition of Dhimmitude at the end of WW2.

The majority Muslims look for the Mahdi, or 12th Imam, to restore the Caliphate to the Ummah (global Muslim community). That there is no current Caliph is the major gripe from most Muslims. They cry out for the appearance of the Mahdi, or return of the 12th Imam, so that they can return to the glory days of Islamic Dominance.

People think that a lack of an authority figure means that Islam cannot be reformed, but the absence of a Caliphate and the major disunity of Islam is what keeps the threat at bay. If the Ummah was to have a Caliph again, it would be around the orthodox interpretation of the Koran and return to the deeds and saying of Muhammad. Which if you know your history,, means bad news for the whole world.
Theresa of the Villa said…
"they live together, do business together and, generally, despise the native inhabitants of whatever country they are in" - that was exactly what Hitler said about the Jews. Dangerous words (particularly as they're not true)

As for establishing a religiously informed government, isn't that also what you want?
Damon,

I think, in a way, that you are right.

The danger is that when the charismatic Muslim comes upon the scene and he is taken to be the Mahdi, then, far from being a peaceful, kindly messenger from God, we could end up with a bloodbath.

Time will tell whether the West's embracing of Islam in the promotion of multiculturalism will bring a nice multicultural society, or a living nightmare because the Government, far from repelling the enemy 'at the gates', welcomed the enemy in.
Theresa of the Villa said…
Laurence England: 'Muslims are the enemy of the West' - is that accurate? Some Catholic you are mate
You've misquoted me there, rather cheaply.

Muslims are not the enemy of the West, as things stand.

What I said is that if a charismatic 'Mahdi' figure did emerge, and he and his teachings drew from Muslims great devotion and loyalty, and if those teachings were, "Behead the infidel, wherever you are," then, in that scenario, those Muslims who were taken in by such a man, would BECOME an enemy that we did not repel, since we did not believe such could be our enemy.

And yet, if we had read our history books, we would have known or acted cautiously. At that point, it would be too late to repel the new enemy at the gates, since we ourselves had invited them in and opened the gates long ago.

It is a nightmare vision and I hope and pray we all get along just as well as we have been!
Gervain said…
I dont think Lozza knows what he wants, his logic is so inconsistent it's untrue. I don't think he was trying to make a intelligent thoughtful comment, he just saw an opportunity to score a few cheap points against Muslims.
Sure. Whereas with you, I expect all your best mates are Muslims, aren't they?
All I'm doing now is wondering, if 'the Great Mahdi' arrived, and Muslims had a spiritual leader of global significance, would he be a man of peace or a man of war?
Theresa of the Villa said…
No, you said:

"Time will tell whether the West's embracing of Islam in the promotion of multiculturalism will bring a nice multicultural society, or a living nightmare because the Government, far from repelling the enemy 'at the gates', welcomed the enemy in."

One could say this about anything. We don't know whether the government, by letting the Pope int he country, welcomed a nuclear war. But such speculations are so remote that no one bothers with them. But you wonder (in loaded terms) if we will have a 'nice multicultural society' (which you clearly don't think we will) or some sort of catastrophe, prompted by letting in 'the enemy at the gates'. If by allowing the Muslim 'enemy' to enter the country this risk is incurred, you thereofre feel there is a reason to label the Muslims 'enemies of the West'. i hardly misquoted you - I just read past the lop-sided alternatives you offered
Theresa of the Villa said…
Furthermore, you go on to say "And yet, if we had read our history books, we would have known or acted cautiously." again, you clearly DO think Muslims are the enemy, since what could this statement possibly mean in this context but 'history teaches us Muslims are antithetical to the West'?
Theresa of the Villa said…
"All I'm doing now is wondering, if 'the Great Mahdi' arrived, and Muslims had a spiritual leader of global significance, would he be a man of peace or a man of war?"

But why are you wondering this? Why not wonder something else, like whether the next pope will command Catholics to rise up and take control of their governments and force silly laws through. You would probably love it
No, I don't think that. I do believe that it is, as we have seen in Iraq, a potentially incendiary religion.

That said, and in the defence of Muslims, it could swing the other way, because in a society with a 'death cult' all of its own, in times of economic recession, it could be Muslims who are the targets of the West's failure to uphold human dignity and to lose sight of the sacredness of all human life.

Nazism and Stalinism, after all, were not products of Islam, Judaism, or Christianity, but atheism.
...whether the next pope will command Catholics to rise up and take control of their governments and force silly laws through.

Hmm...How likely is that, do you think? Given that we struggle even to live lives without artificial contraception (unlike Muslims), its not likely Catholics would just respond to the Pope so magnanimously as that.
Theresa of the Villa said…
What 'death cult' are you imputing on Muslims? Or ont he secular world for that matter. Presumably you mean to compare suicide bombings (which you make representative of all islam) with the supposed infecundity of the secular world? How is the world promoting a cult of death? The global population is booming. I know one man who is partaking of this cult though - one lawrence England, who had no family. Why not go out and have kids? Tell you what, I'll lay down a golden fleece: by this time next year you prove your Catholic convictions and start a family. If you do we will all believe you're not just a poseur who makes this stuff up to dispel internal demons. Mr Cult of death
Catholic prgamatist said…
''Hmm...How likely is that, do you think? Given that we struggle even to live lives without artificial contraception (unlike Muslims), its not likely Catholics would just respond to the Pope so magnanimously as that.''

Hopefully the catholic faithful would not obey such an evil instruction from any hypothetical future pope because their informed consciences told them it was plain wrong, wrong, wrong! Contraception has nothing to do with it and is hardly of the same severity in terms of evil. Your logic dude is so flawed, you are laughable.
Catholic pragmatist said…
If there is war with muslims, it will because fundamentalists like yourself have fanned the flames to cause one. Did you read the Tablet article linked above? It makes some good points highly relevant to you (well and accurately labelled) 'Taliban catholic' types.
Richard Collins said…
Theresa - Islam is not a religion of peace. The Islamic God is one of spite and vengeance as is reflected by Sharia law where punishments such as flogging, stoning and summary execution (of Christians especially)is practiced. You only have to read the Hadith in association with the Koran to comprehend these facts or, look at any Muslim country and tell me where there is one that is peaceful and benevolent to its Christian denizens.
Pakistan, Malaysia, Bosnia, Saudi and all of the Arab countries, Nigeria, Sudan....is my message getting through?
Also, you must know the difference between a religiously informed Government and one that seeks to assume totalitarian control through a violent and unjust judicial system as Islam does.
Lord Blair...Ah, the man who dealt with the wholly innocent, but murdered by police, Jean Charles De Menezes case.

Sounds like a man not just indifferent to true religion, but a man indifferent to Justice altogether.
'Theresa of the Villa said...
What 'death cult' are you imputing on Muslims? Or ont he secular world for that matter. Presumably you mean to compare suicide bombings (which you make representative of all islam) with the supposed infecundity of the secular world? How is the world promoting a cult of death? The global population is booming. I know one man who is partaking of this cult though - one lawrence England, who had no family. Why not go out and have kids? Tell you what, I'll lay down a golden fleece: by this time next year you prove your Catholic convictions and start a family. If you do we will all believe you're not just a poseur who makes this stuff up to dispel internal demons. Mr Cult of death.'

I don't know who you are, but your opinion of me means nothing to me. You are not my judge and I do not have to prove myself in any way to you.

I am talking about the death-cult of the atheist worldview. This death cult embraces abortion, artificial contraception, abortifacients, euthanasia, assisted suicide, suicide and the pursuit of the homosexual lifestyle.

Oh, and I imagine that the atheist death-cult will use the 'save the planet' argument to enforce the murder of the innocent on more and more people, at the beginning and end stages of life all in the name of mother Earth.
Theresa of the Villa said…
Richard: "Islam is not a religion of peace. The Islamic God is one of spite and vengeance"

c.f. Genesis 6:7: And the lordsaid, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for I repent that I made them

Genesis 38: 7"And Er, Judah's firstborn, was displeasing in sight to the Lord, who slew him." As you will recall, Judah then tells Onan to go to Er's wife and have sexd with her, which Onan does not do as he believes it to violate a commandment. He masturbates instead, but this "displeased the Lord, wherefore he slew him also". Lovely stuff. And not too far removed from anything you will find in Islam

You advise me to read islamic religious texts in order to understand the practice of stoning and flogging as cruel and fundamentally Islamic punishments. You are familiar with Leviticus I presume? If so you will no doubt be aware that the cruel and unusal punishment of stoning an adulteress that is causing such a fuss in Iran at the moment is also part of our culture and heritage. the bible tells us that in cases of marital indiscretion "the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death" [Lev 20:10]

Similarly, if you have ever spoken to a menstruating female then, under God's law, you would be exiled. I could go on, but there is no point. All ancient religious texts have some frankly insane statements in them. that is why the only sensible way to interpret them is with a pinch of salt. Christians frequently claim to uphold the holy word, but they don't. if, for example, the condemnation of homosexuals is justified on biblical grounds then we know the punishment [lev 20;13]: burn them both. I have heard the Pope condemn homosexuality, but he doesn't advocate what God himself commanded in his revalation to man. why not? is he too a relativist, picking and choosing which bits are Ture?

The problem here is you are confusing POLITICS with ANCIENT TEXTS. All ancient texts are cruel. An admittedly whiggish and reductive argument would be to say: Medieval Christendom was cruel. Secular society made it less cruel. The Bible IS cruel, but Western secular society is not. Therefore, religiously informed government is a piss poor idea

P.s. Malaysia is a great country. Nigeria is a mess but i only ever visited the Catholic part - didn't seem to me like it was helping them to sort out social problems

But if citing a list of countries in predominantly poor parts of the world that have social problems and a significant proportion of Muslims, then I suppose it must also be accepted for Catholicism. The Catholic parts of thge world I would not really want to visit are:
Angola, the slums of brazil, the murderous and ethnically violent parts of what was Yugoslavia, Burundi (in the bottom ten poorest countries, recently played host to genocide, 68% Catholic), Congo 9genocide again), Central African Republic, parts of Colombia

Again, I could go on but i don't see that this demonstrates anything (other than there is no correlation between religion and politics other than int he deluded minds of fundamentalist Catholics who want the country to be governed by religious principles)
Theresa of the Villa said…
Richard: "Islam is not a religion of peace. The Islamic God is one of spite and vengeance"

c.f. Genesis 6:7: And the lordsaid, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for I repent that I made them

Genesis 38: 7"And Er, Judah's firstborn, was displeasing in sight to the Lord, who slew him." As you will recall, Judah then tells Onan to go to Er's wife and have sexd with her, which Onan does not do as he believes it to violate a commandment. He masturbates instead, but this "displeased the Lord, wherefore he slew him also". Lovely stuff. And not too far removed from anything you will find in Islam

You advise me to read islamic religious texts in order to understand the practice of stoning and flogging as cruel and fundamentally Islamic punishments. You are familiar with Leviticus I presume? If so you will no doubt be aware that the cruel and unusal punishment of stoning an adulteress that is causing such a fuss in Iran at the moment is also part of our culture and heritage. the bible tells us that in cases of marital indiscretion "the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death" [Lev 20:10]

Similarly, if you have ever spoken to a menstruating female then, under God's law, you would be exiled. I could go on, but there is no point. All ancient religious texts have some frankly insane statements in them. that is why the only sensible way to interpret them is with a pinch of salt. Christians frequently claim to uphold the holy word, but they don't. if, for example, the condemnation of homosexuals is justified on biblical grounds then we know the punishment [lev 20;13]: burn them both. I have heard the Pope condemn homosexuality, but he doesn't advocate what God himself commanded in his revalation to man. why not? is he too a relativist, picking and choosing which bits are Ture?
Theresa of the Villa said…
The problem here is you are confusing POLITICS with ANCIENT TEXTS. All ancient texts are cruel. An admittedly whiggish and reductive argument would be to say: Medieval Christendom was cruel. Secular society made it less cruel. The Bible IS cruel, but Western secular society is not. Therefore, religiously informed government is a piss poor idea

P.s. Malaysia is a great country. Nigeria is a mess but i only ever visited the Catholic part - didn't seem to me like it was helping them to sort out social problems

But if citing a list of countries in predominantly poor parts of the world that have social problems and a significant proportion of Muslims, then I suppose it must also be accepted for Catholicism. The Catholic parts of thge world I would not really want to visit are:
Angola, the slums of brazil, the murderous and ethnically violent parts of what was Yugoslavia, Burundi (in the bottom ten poorest countries, recently played host to genocide, 68% Catholic), Congo 9genocide again), Central African Republic, parts of Colombia

Again, I could go on but i don't see that this demonstrates anything (other than there is no correlation between religion and politics other than int he deluded minds of fundamentalist Catholics who want to see the country governed on religious principles)
Theresa of the Villa said…
Hi laurence, I don't use the 'save the planet' argument at all. I do know my Catholic theology however, and my observation would be that the embrace of "artificial contraception, abortifacients . . . and the pursuit of the homosexual lifestyle" are 'relative' evils under Catholicism; that is, they are bad because they do not lead tot he production of children.

For example, I know that Pope JPII allowed homosexual lust if it encouraged the production of children. ditto male-female sodomy. yes Catholics, if you go on to produce a kid, you can use the bottom for the purposes of sex - a Pope said it.

Ok, so my point was therefore a more modest one - where do you get off denouncing a world of relative evils (that do not produce children) if you yourself cannot be bothered to produce a child? If you pay any heed to circumstances here (financial, personal, the inconvenience of having a child in your current situation) then what makes you any different to 'the World'? As I say, have a kid and you will be a convincing catholic
Richard Collins said…
Sorry Theresa but suggest you return to the medication.
Your knowledge regarding the Catholic Church and even Islam is risible.
Theresa

Can you supply me with the Vatican document in which Pope John Paul II condones sodomy?

You misunderstand me, Theresa. I do not, and I do not believe that the Church does either, merely condemn those things because they do not lead to children.

The Church condemns these things, primarily, because they stand in total contradiction and opposition to the law of God 'written upon our hearts'. These are grave offences which can be discerned by even the non-believer as contrary to the natural law.

Abortion isn't just a grave sin because it does not result in children. It is a sin because it murders unborn children developing in the womb. This is true too of abortifacients.

The use of artificial contraception isn't just a sin because it doesn't result in new life. It is a sin because it wilfully and deliberately prevents new life from coming about and removes the central, essential procreative dimension from sexual intercourse, deliberately, excluding God's creative power from the act of union.

The act of homosexuality isn't just wrong because children do not result from it. It is wrong because it goes against the law of God written on men's hearts, since the homosexual act is a perversion of the natural order, ordained by God, namely the union of man and woman in marriage.

As for chastity, continence and self-control, the Church has nothing but good things to say about these virtues which can be as healthy in marriage as they are to those who are single.

Of course, these virtues are difficult to acquire, but the Church encourages us to seek God's grace in acquiring them.

Time for you to start reading your theology books again, I think. What have you been reading? Hans Kung?
Theresa of the Villa said…
Cheers Richard, I supplied biblical evidence, you resort to a bail out comment indicating you can't argue on. I don't know ANYTHING about Islam, that's why I don't throw my two penneth's worth in (unlike you, who knows nothing but imagines himself an erudite commentator). i do know the bible is a bloody vicious document with an angry god who commands stoning. I can at least read
catholc pragmatist said…
''Can you supply me with the Vatican document in which Pope John Paul II condones sodomy?''

Don't come the innocent and ignorant Lozza coz you do know about this. I challenged you on it a few postings back. It's JPII's encyclical on the theology of the body. Sexual activity and genital play are ok within marriage as foreplay if they sustain a couple's intimacy and ultimately lead to procreation - including anal sex (or sodomy as ou so unfashionably call it). I'm not sure if it extends to the wife using a strap-on towards her husband but I cant see why not, after all the principle is the same.

So basically the catholic church teaches that sodomy is ok between married hetero couples but no one else is allowed the pleasure.
catholic pragmatist said…
''The use of artificial contraception isn't just a sin because it doesn't result in new life. It is a sin because it wilfully and deliberately prevents new life from coming about and removes the central, essential procreative dimension from sexual intercourse, deliberately, excluding God's creative power from the act of union.''

Probably 9 out of 10 catholics disagree with you and don't think contraception is morally wrong. From your logic, sex between infertile adults or with women past the menopause would be equally wrong for the same reasons. But the church doesnt uphold that and accepts that these couples can have sex in order to sustain their love for each other even though the act can never lead to children. In fact, JPII's theology of the body teaches that sex between married couples does not always have to be open to conception to be morally acceptable - he takes a much wider and more holistic view than your narrow minded interpretation of catholicsm.
Catholic moderate said…
''Sure. Whereas with you, I expect all your best mates are Muslims, aren't they?''

Many of my neighbours and the people I work with are muslims, as are some of my friends and their families. They are all very peaceful, gentle and hospitable people. They certainly dont uphold violent extremism, any more than I support and the IRA as a catholic. Your views are based on stereotyping and huge generalisations of whole groups within society - and aren't very christian or charitable.
Catholic Adjudicator said…
Yea to Teresa!
Boo to Lozza!!
Catholic pragmatist said…
''I don't know who you are, but your opinion of me means nothing to me. You are not my judge and I do not have to prove myself in any way to you.''

Bleedin' hypocrite!
It's ok for you to be the most judgmental guy in Brighton passing judgment and condemning everyone else you don't approve of - but no-ones allowed to criticise you.

But actually if you do make such sweeping judgments and air them publically on your dispicable blog then it's not unreasonable for others to challenge you to back up your outrageous claims with facts or substance.
God's Opinion of me is more important than Theresa's or yours.
Theresa of the Villa said…
I doubt that God - an omniscient being whose fabric extends some 200 trillion light years across the known universe and is simultaneously cognisant of all earthly creations past and present, all animals and grains of sand, all alien species and forms of thought we know and do not know of - has 'opinions' about you. I don't suppose he considers the rings of Saturn, the trillion conscious inhabitants of the krull nebula, the trillion or so humans that have lived and died, the cavemen who preceeded speech and writing, and says 'that Laurence England is a good lad - he consistently slags off the muslims who I also created and hold instantaneously in my mind's-eye as i do the whole known universe. I must remember to reward him on his death. He can sit beside my throne. Not literally of course, because that would confine me to one place, and I am eveywhere'. Presumably at the same time he says 'That Omar is a bad lad, he believes in Islam. Fair enough i created him and placed him in Pakistan where all the people are Muslima nd where he was therefore obliged to be a Muslim, but bloody hell I'm going to punish him'
God knows when I am in sin. God knows when I am in error. God is my judge and will judge me at Death. That Opinion, the eternal verdict that God makes of me, my soul and my life, is far more important to me, than your opinion of me and my life and this blog.

The same God shall give verdict on all, including you and it shall be an eternal one. I doubt very much that you care whether I think you're an heretic, or not, but then, you strike me as someone who doesn't care whether God thinks that you're in error either.
Damon Whitsell said…
Stand Strong Laurence. GOOD JOB!
Theresa of the Villa said…
You're such an arrogant man - you really think that you share God's 'opinions' don't you. p.s. - 'heresy' is quite a precise thing; one can only be heretical within a Church, and only then if a council have issued a decree of heresy. A Jew is not and was never defined as a heretic for not believing in Christ. Nor were Muslims. Furthermore, to be *guilty* of heresy, a recognised Church authority has to warn you. Not some unemployed scruff who imagines himself God. I take my authority from the Word of God mate, not you
Theresa

For God's opinions, you can read them in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I don't claim to read God's mind. Why bother, when He has revealed Himself to His Church?
All authority has been given to the Church by Christ.

You on the other hand, it sounds as if you are your own authority.

That is far more arrogant than anything that I have said.
Catholic pragmatist said…
You are such an arrogant righteous knob!

If faith and reason go together as Pope Benny teaches us, then you should be able to defend your positions using debate and in reference to the literaure.

You cant because your hateful views are indefensible in terms of authentic catholic teaching or sound scriptural analysis, therefore you hide behind the 'how very dare you to judge me, only God is my judge' defence which is very telling. Apparently it's ok or you to pass judgment on everyone else but not ok for anyone else to critique your flawed argumnts and unchristian views. The church can do without converts like you spreading their poisonous evil.
Catholic Moderate said…
Don't think Pope John Paul II would have agreed with your views on Islam, afterall he did kiss the Qoura as a mark of respect. Also Pope Benedict offered prayers in the mosque in Turkey.
Richard Collins said…
Stick with it Laurence!
However, there are some folk who are just not worth responding to.
To be a poor sinner in need of God's mercy is Catholic.

To be an heretic who believes he has no need for God's mercy is, however, a great tragedy.

Therefore you, being both a poor sinner and an heretic, have no right to judge me, since while I may be a great sinner, I am not in error. God is both my Judge and Redeemer.

You can judge me for my state in life if you choose, or for not having knocked out a couple of kids and being married, but it will be of no avail to you or I.

We preach Christ Crucified.
Theresa of the Villa said…
I don't wnt to keep responding but you have an incredibly frustrating habit of pretending not to understand basic points. You say:

T"o be an heretic who believes he has no need for God's mercy is, however, a great tragedy."

heresy can ONLY apply to a member of the Catholic Church who has been forewarned by a recognised religious authority and continued to disseminate the doctrine they were told to supsuppress. YOU cannot label a person a heretic as you are an independent observer, as I am, and as the others are. Your OPINIONS are not part of Church law, so you can't go round issuing that decree. As the other poster observed, if you are right in your assumptions, you should either a) be able to back them up with evidence or reasoned debate (a huge emphasis is place don this int he Church) or b) refer to an ex cathedra proclamation. Unless Benedict comes out to say 'Islam is the enemy of the West' (and I hope he never will) you can't claim that those who disagree are heretics. *It's not heresy because it contradicts your unfounded assumption. Please stop abusing a very specific point of Cannon law to push your own (im)moral agenda*
CATHOLIC PRAGMATIST said…
''To be an heretic who believes he has no need for God's mercy is, however, a great tragedy.
Therefore you, being both a poor sinner and an heretic, have no right to judge me, since while I may be a great sinner, I am not in error. God is both my Judge and Redeemer.''

I am NOT a heretic. I am a practising Roman Catholic in good standing with the church. I am well aware of the Catechism and nowhere does it state muslims are evil not that they should be condemned. Nowhere in the Cathecism can your obnoxious distortion of the faith in this way be upheld.

You have no right to call others heretics or pronounce judgment on them in this way. You may believe you ar synonomous with God, but you are most definately NOT the Magesterium.
I think you're missing the point.
Theresa of the Villa said…
By the way, you will have to change your stance on condom use now, the pope has just changed his.

http://www.france24.com/en/20101120-pope-says-condoms-acceptable-certain-cases
Theresa of the Villa said…
An Islam!

"He also raises the possibility of a "sincere" dialogue with Islam, adding that a controversial speech he gave on the subject was an attempt at an academic discourse rather than a political lecture."

So, our heresy turns out to have anticipated the Holy father's wisdom. Shall I light the pyre for you now?
Theresa of the Villa said…
By the way, I swear I'm not catholic pragmatist! We just happen to be making the same points. See that's what reason does for a brain - you can arrive at a sensible conclusion without having to wait for an authority figure to issue a pronouncement telling you what to think
Fr Bradley Scully said…
Do you really believe your views are compatible with the Second Vatican Council's Declaratin on Religious Liberty?

They are not and therefore you must be in error, Lawrence.
Catholic Pragmatist said…
As well as his comments on condoms, the Holy Father, Pope Benny says this about Islam in his forthcoming ook:

''He also raises the possibility of a "sincere" dialogue with Islam, adding that a controversial speech he gave on the subject was an attempt at an academic discourse rather than a political lecture.''

Point, set and match against you Lawrence! It's like the pope has been reading your blog and wrote the book to counter your misunderstanding of catholic teaching. now who's the heretic?
I never said you can't have a dialogue with Islam. Neither did I say, "Muslims are evil."

Yes, you are a Catholic in good standing with the Church, but clearly, you DO have some problems with accepting the Teaching of the Church in some areas (and no, I don't mean regarding Islam!)
Theresa

“I would not believe in the Gospel if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so”

St Augustine

Please note the word, authority.
Theresa of the Villa said…
What has that ad hoc quote got to do with anything? Are you saying you refuse to come to rational conclusions about anything? Are you saying you wouldn't believe the gospel in its own terms? the word of God himself not good enough for you is it?

and anyway, this has nothing to do with the argument? You said the West had "welcomed the [Muslim] enemy in" through its gates. Instead of retracting that absurd statement like a big boy with a brain, you started crying heretic at principled Catholics who sought to correct your error of reason. Your problem is that, int he absence of a rational soul, you ONLY have authority to go on (and you don't have the wit to make sense of it anyway). Seriously, the Church does NOT preach that ONLY authority will do - it encourages its flock to think and be rational. there is a big part of being a catholic you're missing by hiding behind half-digested authorities man
catholic pragmatist said…
''Yes, you are a Catholic in good standing with the Church, but clearly, you DO have some problems with accepting the Teaching of the Church in some areas (and no, I don't mean regarding Islam!)''

There is more nuance in catholic teaching around the issue of homosexuality than you care to recognise. I express and discuss those nuances which you don't like but neverthelss they are still authentic beliefs consistent with church teaching. Mark my words, this Pope has already and will continue to acknowledge these theological nuances and become more accepting of homosexual love. There is a good body of learned theologians and scientific study to support such a development in catholic teaching, and the vatican has started to recognise its value.
Gloria Thomston said…
OMG!!!
The uber-traddies aren't going to like what the pope says in this book on a lot of issues. He's definately presenting a more nuanced and softer message - against everything they've been saying.
They have been shamed, big time!!!
Come on, please, I'm all ears.

Your exegesis of the Church's nuances on homosexuality, please. I'm gagging to hear this one!
Learned theologians.

You mean Hans Kung and Tina Beatty?
'"There may be justified individual cases, for example when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be ... a first bit of responsibility, to re-develop the understanding that not everything is permitted and that one may not do everything one wishes," Benedict was quoted as saying.

"But it is not the proper way to deal with the horror of HIV infection."

Benedict reiterated that condom use alone would not solve the problem of HIV/AIDS. "More must happen," he said.'

Please note, that the Supreme Pontiff is making it clear that the Church cannot actually expect people who are not living the Church's teaching (for one reason or another), not to use condoms. If they/or indeed we, are unable/do not wish to live Church teaching in respect to sexuality at all, then you cannot expect them to avoid contraception.

The example he sites is one of self-defence for those working in the sex industry. His pastoral concern is that of preserving the body so that one may save and preserve one's soul.

Pope Paul VI's encyclical 'Humanae Vitae' was written to Catholics (explicitly) and it is written expecting that these Catholics are married.

This is the premise on which the Church's teaching on contraception is based. For one who is acting outside of the moral law, to one who is fornicating, to one who is a prostitute, to one who is practising homosexuality, the sin of using artificial contraception becomes somewhat redundant, since the gravity of the first sin itself does not require the addition of another (the use of a rubber barrier) to embellish it.

Sin and the sense of sin, in this area, only really becomes particularly 'active' in married persons who give themselves to each other in Holy Matrimony as ordained by God.

In other words, mortal sin in relationship to Chastity is mortal sin.

If you're going to sin mortally (engage in sex outside of marriage of any kind), and act contrary to that which your (informed) Conscience informs you, what difference does it make if you're using 'protection'?

Indeed, if you're going to place your soul in jeopardy, a sense of survival in the long term demands that you use 'protection' so that you may hopefully come to repentance.

The Holy Father sees this as, 'a first bit of responsibility, to re-develop the understanding that not everything is permitted and that one may not do everything one wishes'.

Please note, that he doesn't condone either the sin (sex outside of marriage) or artificial contraception (within marriage), but wishes to lead all to repentance and respect for the sanctity of life and to the great joy to be discovered in Christ's mercy and in His Church.
Catholic pragmatist said…
The Pope acknowledges that the use of condoms in certain circumstances may be morally permissible in order to protect (oneself and/or) another from HIV infection. He gives an extreme situation of a male prostitute as an example to illustrate his position. That does not limit the teaching to that example only. If condom use (as a HIV prevenative device) is morally acceptable in this particular circumstance then it is also permissable for a married couple where one is HIV-positive to use condoms. Or, for that matter, an unmarroed couple etc.

This orientation has always been consistent with authentic catholic teaching although you have argued against such in the past. Those who believed such were never heretics, they were just better informed of the nuances in catholic teaching than you were. Thank god a pope has finally been brave enough to express these viewpoints so publically at last.
The Holy Father has not altered one jot of the Church's Magisterium. This is pastoral concern for the vulnerable, to save souls, nothing more, nothing less.
Theresa of the Villa said…
Right, I bet you won't publish this, and I'm almost amazed at my ace memory (and ability to use Google to find an old page of your blog - yup, long time reader), but I was impressed with an old exchange by a poster who made me think. In this particular exchange (link below) you were saying condom use under any circumstances was 'heretical'. The poster contrasted the use of condoms as a violation of natural Laew within a Catholic marriage with the lot of a poor prostitute, saying that:
"[prostitutes] are not in the same situation. Teach them that to be a good Catholic is to have sex ONLY in marriage and ONLY to produce a child. Fine. That already implies that condoms should not be used; leave the rest to free will. But to simply send an anti-condom message out is a baffling act of interference".

Compare this with your recent comment:

"If you're going to sin mortally (engage in sex outside of marriage of any kind), and act contrary to that which your (informed) Conscience informs you, what difference does it make if you're using 'protection'?"

however, at the time, before the Pope had spoken, you said:

"The Church is not Social Services.

Her jurisdiction is not to go around dishing out condoms and giving people personal sexual advice.

The Church preaches the Gospel. Few, if any people, are in any doubt as to what Church teaching is on sexual morality and the use of artificial contraception in marriage.

It is acceptable to say, 'this is a difficult teaching' or, 'people struggle with this teaching', but that doesn't mean that the Church's message is unambiguous."

And on it goes (I have just re-read it).

What is remarkable is how close this poster was to the Papal logic you now cite. Again, before authority spoke you were promulgating an un-Catholic and frankly stupid doctrine, refusing to see the eminent sense of the poster, and putting your fingers in your ears saying 'heretic heretic, don't make me think'.

You might be interested to read your opinions then and now:

http://thatthebonesyouhavecrushedmaythrill.blogspot.com/2010/07/archbishop-of-westminster-on-bbcs.html

You will note that now you put forth the same argument that the posters you previously refused to listen to did. next time, think for yourself rather than waiting to be told what to think - it's un-Catholic not to use reason. natural law deems that the human was created rational in order to be rational, not to be a servile wimp who dotes on authority
Theresa

I would have thought that what I have posted above, is obvious!
Theresa of the Villa said…
It is obvious. That makes your earlier inability to see it all the more alarming. read what you said. the poor man was as clear as he could be - he made it quite explicit that he was following Catholic logic to the letter. You don't get nuance so you shouted him down with a charge of heresy (again).
None of what I said contradicts what Pope Benedict has said.

For those who choose to live outside of Catholic teaching, the position on condoms is of far less reaching significance.

If the male prostitute isn't listening to the Church on sexual morality, he isn't listening to the Church on contraception either.
What the Holy Father has said concerning those who live out of accordance with Church teaching?

It is so obvious, I thought it was not necessary to say it.
Catholic pragmatist said…
''The Holy Father has not altered one jot of the Church's Magisterium. This is pastoral concern for the vulnerable, to save souls, nothing more, nothing less.''

In one way you are right, many catholic theologians and cardinals/bishops have been saying it is morally permissable, morally acceptable and even one's moral duty to use acondom to prevent HIV-infection in certain circumstances. HIV wasn't around at the time of Humanae Vitae so the church's teaching on this aspect was open for discussion and discernment since an authorative teaching hasn't been made. However, many of these cardinals, bishops and theologians were silenced by Rome and criticised by other catholic groups for saying such. You yourself in the past has stated that condoms were evil and their use could never be justified. Fr Tim Finegan's turgid Faith magazine published such an article last year after the Pope's Africa comment. The fact that a Popa has publically aired and given support to these views is a milestone in the development of Humanae Vitae.

The ABC approach taken by catholic charities and organizations such as CAFOD (who don't distribute condoms themselves but work alongside partners that do) is now vindicated. You yourself have strongly criticised CAFOD on this issue claiming that they are not being consistent to catholic teaching but clearly the Holy Father does nor agree with you.

You don't like what the holy father has said so you seek to minimise it's importance but that the fact that a Pope has said such publically for the first time even (and apparently in response to criticism of his HIV in Africa comments last year) is highly ignificant. At long last, religious on the ground can advocate condom use to sero-discordant (married) couples without fear of being reported to Rome by the uber 'Taliban' traditionalists. You of course will limit the applicability of these comments to male prostitutes but it has a much wider relevance.
Catholic pragmatist said…
Why did you delete my comments from last night when I responded in detail to many of your ill-informed points. You seem to have a policy of deleting comments which you find uncomforatble because they highlight your inconsistencies and misunderstanding of catholic teaching!
Gosh you do go on.

You are one case in which I would advocate verbal and oral contraception.