He Was Right...

Cardinal Kasper likened the UK to a "third World country"
Yes, he was. I don't know much about Cardinal Kasper, all I know is that he was probably told, like many of our elderly this winter, to 'stay at home', following remarks in which he was said to have likened the UK to a "third World country".

Doubtless that comment will not have bothered the usually unflappable British Ambassador to the Holy See, Francis Campbell, because he's the kind of man who is so cool in a crisis that he goes around telling foreign dignataries and aides that the Anglican Ordinariate, generously extended to disaffected traditional Anglicans will unleash a violent and bloody persecution of Catholic by Anglicans!

And there we were thinking that the global warming, eco-fanatical, nature worshippers were alarmists! Anyone would have thought Campbell was being fed propaganda by high-ranking enemies of the new Ordinariate, who in their arm-foldingly stubborn old ways feared that the generous conversion vehicle offered by the Holy Father might just destroy years of ecumenical beard-stroking, back-patting, tea and Victoria sponge cake and inter-faith cuddles while making absolutely no progress towards true Christian Unity whatsoever, in one fell swoop. Anyone would have thought these high-ranking men, and they are men, do not really believe that Salvation is to be found in the One True Church founded by Christ on the Rock of St Peter.

Anyway, according to the Daily Express, when the recent extremely cold snap snapped, this happened...

'Pensioners, who are among those most ­vulnerable to the cold, are resorting to ­extraordinary measures to keep warm. Many have been using their free travel ­passes to spend the day riding on buses while others are seeking refuge from the cold in libraries and shopping centres.'

Now, The Telegraph reports that with...

'Forecasters predicting more freezing conditions for the week ahead, one pensioner group warned deaths linked to the weather could rise to as many as 35,000 this winter.' 

I don't know about you, but I am starting to think that this is one third World country that could do with some more global warming and some less diversion of public funds to supra-national institutions to cut carbon emissions! Before we save the planet, we should look after our own elderly! I'm trying to work this one out. We are the kind of country that believes it is right that we commit ourselves to lowering the global temperature, while our elderly freeze?

Comments

Anglican alan said…
Yeah, THAT was the most shocking revelation in those cables. An ad hoc comment made by Francis Campbell, a single diplomat, advising the Pope that Anglicans might be unhappy at his offering them a means of defecting. Oh no wait, it was the revelationt hat the vatican itself, including senior bishopry and His Holinessrefused to play ball with the police over proven instances of child rape within its institution stretching over hundreds of years. No wonder people can't take the clown seriously

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/10/wikileaks-vatican-child-sex-abuse-investigation
Patricius said…
Interesting. I seem to recall that under the last Tory government the elderly were advised to keep warm by wearing woolly hats.
Clown?

It wouldn't surprise me at all that senior figures in the Vatican didn't play ball with the Irish Government enquiry (Of course, the Irish Government were always totally forthcoming with information, weren't they?).

I doubt however, that His Holiness himself stood there and said, "Let's keep this our little secret."
Anglican alan said…
Why do you doubt that? On what possible rational basis? You're like the Nazi sympathisers who claimed that Hitler himself never had anything to do witht he crimes of his regime. Surely the head of the Church is aware of the institutional policy regarding the reporting of crimes?


Oh well, here is some evidence for you:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2005/apr/24/children.childprotection

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/aug/17/religion.childprotection

(and from Wikipedia)
"on May 18, 2001 Ratzinger sent a letter to every bishop in the Catholic Church. This letter reminded them of the strict penalties facing those who revealed confidential details concerning enquiries into allegations against priests of certain grave ecclesiastical crimes, including sexual abuse, which were reserved to the jurisdiction of the Congregation."

Why do you choose to be blind? why do you close your eyes tot he evil your church perpetrates? Does being a sucker make you feel like a big man?
Anglican alan said…
Also, READ THE REPORT. the Irish government, according to the leaked cables, DID try to prevent child abuse in the church. The Church lent on its institutional power to stop them. And so what if the Irish government did do something wrong? Does anyone believe the Irish government is the portal to heaven? No. Do people believe the Vatican is? Well, some fools
Anglican alan said…
And another (supposing you don't believe the Guardian)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8612457.stm
Mike said…
Look very carefully at the BBC version:

Wikileaks: Pope's conversion offer damaged relations
The ambassador believed the Pope had put the Archbishop in an "impossible position".
The Pope's invitation to Anglicans to convert to Roman Catholicism pushed relations between the churches to their lowest point in 150 years, Britain's ambassador to the Vatican warned.

The headline states a fact: Pope’s conversion offer damaged relations.
Now read on:
We have a sentence saying that the ambassador believed something. And we have a sentence in which the ambassador is reported as “warning” that “The Pope's invitation to Anglicans to convert to Roman Catholicism pushed relations between the churches to their lowest point in 150 years”.
So notice how the BBC turns something which somebody believed, into a fact. This is now a common BBC trick. But it is hardly surprising given the number of times that newsreaders ask reporters to tell us what somebody is thinking. Even: “What do you think X is thinking?”
georgem said…
The Winter Fuel Payment in 2003 represented 43% of a pensioner's total fuel bill (most of the energy costs being racked up in winter).
The Winter Fuel Payment in 2010 represents 26% for most pensioners; 46% for the over-80s.
The UK has the highest total of cold weather-related deaths in developed Europe.
Not all are elderly, but make up the majority of "excess winter deaths".
Makes you proud, doesn't it?
i am what i am! said…
i see lambrini has a great advert on tv for christmas entitled 'i am what i am' featuring the same song which is considered as the unofficial gay national althem. the strapline for the advert is 'girls just want to have fun'. the advert is targeting at women and gay men.

i thought you'd be interested as you're a regular drinker of the stuff!
Unfortunarly, I haven't had any Lambrini for a while. Times have been hard...
Seminary lecturer said…
Pray tell blog has a very interesting article on a new book exposing the homosexual subculture and hypocrisy of traditionalist communities and semanaries....

Note from Pray Tell Editorial Committee: The convergence of sex, politics, and liturgy certainly makes for interesting – and sometimes explosive – reading. A recent book published by theologian David Berger has been gaining international attention along these lines.

Berger’s book Der heilige Schein. Als schwuler Theologe in der katholischen Kirche. (“The Holy Façade. Being a Gay Theologian in the Catholic Church”) presents a first-person account of his experiences within inner circles of highly placed European Catholic traditionalists, from which he was ejected when it became known that he was openly gay. The world and experience which he describes combines homosexuality with homophobia in a particularly manipulative, punitive and toxic way. All of these matters, finally, are linked to liturgy in his account.

True problems frankly and courageously exposed? An exercise in pique from a theologian who lost his job? Pray Tell will be inviting a liturgical scholar to review the book and put it into perspective for our readers. In the meantime, to give you an idea of what people are talking about, here is our translation of “Die parfümierten Traditionalisten,” which appeared in the December 7, 2010 issue of Der Tages-Anzieger in Zurich, Switzerland. Stay tuned.

* * * * *

The Perfumed Traditionalists
By Michael Meier

Theologian David Berger describes the Latin Mass as a homosexual subculture. His book Der heilige Schein strikes a raw nerve in the clerical establishment and the Ratzinger pontificate.

see pray tell blog for full article and review.
I can't quite see what that has to do with the blog post.

I can't quite see how the sexuality of the theologian effects his theology either.

Theology which is credible is not really personal. It is surely drawn out from the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and in accordance with the Magisterium of the Church.

You've lost me.
Oh, I see. So you are talking about injustice in seminaries and among clergy when Priests and seminarians are honest about their orientation.

Yes, that is, I expect, a real problem. There is a 'pharisaical' dimension, I expect, within certain communities, perhaps among the Traditionalist community more than most.

That said, I don't think that Priests should be 'out and proud', telling all and sundry of their orientations. Most people just want their Priests to be Priests. They don't want their Priests to be 'Gay Priests'. Anything that detracts from the extraordinarily high Office of the Priesthood should be left.
Is Pray Tell blog, however, just an extension of The Tablet? I tried to read it recently but the site wouldn't load.
The author sounds extremely embittered. It is a very complicated and sensitive subject. I feel for him, but I don't think his vengeance will satisfy him.
Brian Stevens said…
No pray tell blog isn't an extention of The Tablet - it's run by Fr Anthony Ruff and some of the priests/monks from Minnesota. Fr Fruff was one of the trasnsaltors of the missal.

I'm not advocating anything least of all being openly gay in seminary. If you read the book review you will see that the author was a high-flying member of the traditionalist inner circle. He exposes the hypocrisy of traditionalist communities on homosexuality and how their many lapses were used to blackmail them into supporting the church's reaching on homosexuality in prder to gain promotion and advancement. It also highlights that the church's current teaching on the orientation of homosexuality being intrinsically disaordered wasn't so before the 1986 CDF statement.

You would well be advised to read the article and note the inherent projections made by those traditionalist priests who haven't come to terms with their sexuality.
And I certainly do not think that just because some men love the beauty of the ancient liturgy you should just call them all homophobes or closet homosexuals as the author (who was not it appears a priest, but a layman) seems to be suggesting. Men can like art and poetry, can't they, without being homosexuals?

The ancient liturgy of the Church abounds with the Mystery of God. It is Universal, something that all people can yearn for. I think it has naff all to do with homosexuality.

The human heart yearns to seek the Face of God. The fact that men, young and old, believe they can seek it and enter deeper into the Mystery of God in the Latin Mass shouldn't surprise us, given the amount of clown Masses available, in which God's Face is so often totally obscured.

Of course, lace is nice, of course incense is nice, but essentially that is not what the Latin Mass is about. It is about the Divine Worship, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Brian Stevens said…
Fr Ruff replying to a comment on the article mentioned, said...

With all due respect, I believe you’ve got a few things backwards. Especially your last line about dragging through the mud to make a political point. This is so far from the reason Pray Tell ran this story that I must respond to it, lest you or anyone else miss what we’re trying to do.

As one of our editorial committee members wrote in the editorial introduction, there is something “toxic” going on in these traditionalist circles involving their poor way of dealing with sexuality. The claim is that, at least for some (a few or a lot, we don’t know), this is somehow connected to their love of the ritualistic old liturgy. Such toxicity, and such connections, are very much worth exposing and talking about – for the good of the Church.

I wasn’t there in seminary in the 70s (I was in grade school), but I get the impression that the first generation’s attempt to break out of the old rigidity and unhealthiness (which caused plenty of abuse, I’m sure) was not always real mature or balanced or moral. Whether it could have been done better, whether we had to go through such a messy stage in order to move forward – these are all interesting questions but not real relevant to how we move forward now.

Please don’t lump very different things together. No seminary that I know of is anything like the 1970s problems. Rose’s book is sort of ancient history by now. But some seminaries and some traditionalists circles are trying very hard to recreate, or move quite far in the direction of, the old seminary system. Let’s talk about that!

awr
.
Brian Stevens said…
Fr Ruff also said in another comment...

I still think it’s avoidance to say that any community/seminary can be healthy or sick, apart from whether they’re conservative or liberal, apart from their liturgical style, so don’t anyone try to make connections.

I think, rather, that there is a connection between a certain type of open liberalism which eliminates good discipline and boundaries and spiritual practices. It leads (or led) to sexual immorality and abuse. It breaks my heart that some of this happened in the (misunderstood) name of Vatican II, or was done by those who otherwise were promoting Vatican II, thereby discrediting even their good work in some people’s eyes.

I think there is likely a connection between a certain type of conservatism and traditionalism, including traditionalist liturgy, which is overly skeptical of the modern world, of women’s advancement, of modern psychology, of what we’re learning about sexuality, about how power and sexuality interact, how authoritarian structures make abuse possible. There is very possibly a connection, at least for some, between escaping their (homo)sexuality and escaping into an ancient, exotic liturgical world. This is the toxic aspect of the scene which I think needs to be brought to light.

It’s not about discrediting the traditional liturgy by tying it to homosexuality – please note, this would be an anti-gay move. It’s about examining which toxic connections are there, and to what extent, within various factions and movements in the Church.

awr
.
Brian Stevens said…
Ruff Ruff replies to your 'emotional avoidance' about this issue much better than I could and so again I place before you another of his comments...

I never said that celibacy is the problem, nor do I believe that. I sure wish you’d respond to all the points did make!

On the “disordered” language: the Church did not hold this throughout history until very recently, speaking instead (and very strongly) about the immorality of acts, so I am not convinced that it belongs to the unchangeable deposit of faith. This language arose primarily as the Church’s first, tentative responses to new views coming from psychology. In such areas I personally think it is best to be open to how the dialogue will develop, especially as modern science and psychology continue to develop. But then, I’m one who believes everything Vatican II taught about the Church’s careful, open, critical engagement with the modern world.

awr
.
Seminary Lecturer said…
David Berger was a high ranking theologian within traditionalist circles...

David Berger, 42, was Professor of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. The theologian published and edited Theologisches (Theological Issues), a conservative Catholic monthly magazine in Germany from 2003 until this year, and had contacts with various arch-conservative groups within the Catholic Church. He resigned from all his offices after outing himself as a gay man in April 2010. He is now a high school teacher and has written a book about his experiences in the Catholic Church in Germany. "Der heilige Schein. Als schwuler Theologe in der katholischen Kirche" (The Holy Illusion: A Gay Theologian in the Catholic Church), was recently published by Germany's Ullstein Verlag. It has not been published (yet) in English. .
Spiegel interview part 1 said…
'A Large Proportion of Catholic Clerics and Trainee Priests Are Homosexual'

David Berger, a gay theologian who has written a book about his experiences as a senior theologian in the Catholic Church, speaks to

SPIEGEL about homophobia and the church's shift to the right.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Berger, you describe the Catholic Church as a homophobic organization. Why did it take you, a homosexual theologian, so long to resign from your offices in the church?

Berger: Because such an exit isn't a question of days. Even as a child I wanted to be a priest, but by the time I had finished high school it was clear to me that I would not be able to live a life of celibacy.

SPIEGEL: And you became a theologian anyway?

Berger: Yes, because the church never lost its attraction for me. The Tridentine Mass was like a gateway drug for me. When I was 17, I was with the Pius Brothers in Lower Bavaria. What I saw there was a fascinatingly aesthetic baroque dream of leaf gold and Brussels Bobbin lace. I couldn't get away from it. It only became clear to me later what I had got involved in, and the dream turned more and more into a nightmare.

SPIEGEL: Why?

Berger: Because my own life, my life with a partner, increasingly contradicted what was said and demanded in my church environment. Through my enthusiasm for the traditional mass and for conservative theology, I became increasingly involved with conservative Catholic networks of young aristocrats, industrialists and reputable academics. They utterly condemned homosexuality.

SPIEGEL: How did that manifest itself?

Berger: I kept having to listen to inhuman views. For example, Hitler was praised for having interned and murdered homosexuals in concentration camps. The point came when I couldn't remain silent any longer ...

SPIEGEL: ... after you and your career had profited for a long time from contact with these right-wing circles.

Berger: Ever since Pope Benedict XVI, at the latest, you have to be anti-modern to have a career in the Catholic Church. I criticized the relatively progressive theology and left-wing church policy of Karl Rahner. That is how people noticed me. Because I was an expert on the medieval thinker Thomas Aquinas, I was invited by almost all right-wing conservative groups to give lectures. I was in touch with the Sedevacantists, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, Una Voce, Opus Dei and the Servants of Jesus and Mary.
Spiegel interview part1 said…
'A Large Proportion of Catholic Clerics and Trainee Priests Are Homosexual'

David Berger, a gay theologian who has written a book about his experiences as a senior theologian in the Catholic Church, speaks to SPIEGEL about homophobia and the church's shift to the right.

SPIEGEL: Mr. Berger, you describe the Catholic Church as a homophobic organization. Why did it take you, a homosexual theologian, so long to resign from your offices in the church?


Berger: Because such an exit isn't a question of days. Even as a child I wanted to be a priest, but by the time I had finished high school it was clear to me that I would not be able to live a life of celibacy.

SPIEGEL: And you became a theologian anyway?

Berger: Yes, because the church never lost its attraction for me. The Tridentine Mass was like a gateway drug for me. When I was 17, I was with the Pius Brothers in Lower Bavaria. What I saw there was a fascinatingly aesthetic baroque dream of leaf gold and Brussels Bobbin lace. I couldn't get away from it. It only became clear to me later what I had got involved in, and the dream turned more and more into a nightmare.

SPIEGEL: Why?

Berger: Because my own life, my life with a partner, increasingly contradicted what was said and demanded in my church environment. Through my enthusiasm for the traditional mass and for conservative theology, I became increasingly involved with conservative Catholic networks of young aristocrats, industrialists and reputable academics. They utterly condemned homosexuality.

SPIEGEL: How did that manifest itself?

Berger: I kept having to listen to inhuman views. For example, Hitler was praised for having interned and murdered homosexuals in concentration camps. The point came when I couldn't remain silent any longer ...

SPIEGEL: ... after you and your career had profited for a long time from contact with these right-wing circles.

Berger: Ever since Pope Benedict XVI, at the latest, you have to be anti-modern to have a career in the Catholic Church. I criticized the relatively progressive theology and left-wing church policy of Karl Rahner. That is how people noticed me. Because I was an expert on the medieval thinker Thomas Aquinas, I was invited by almost all right-wing conservative groups to give lectures. I was in touch with the Sedevacantists, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, the Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, Una Voce, Opus Dei and the Servants of Jesus and Mary.

SPIEGEL: What went on at the meetings?

Berger: These groups are very careful about who they invite. They meet in very high-class venues, sometimes in former aristocratic residences or in luxury hotels. Old men smoke fat cigars, drink expensive red wine and eat well. It is a parallel world whose inhabitants seek to defy the modern world.
Spiegel interview part2 said…
SPIEGEL: And what do they discuss?

Berger: They talk about a supposed Jewish global conspiracy or about how to keep emancipators, freemasons and gays out of the church. For many years, there were "gentlemen's evenings" in Düsseldorf that were organized by a tax consultant. They increasingly became a focal point for a right-wing Catholic network. At one of the meetings, which were regularly visited by senior clerics, the man sitting next to me, a retired university professor, was railing against the gay parades on Christopher Street Day (in Germany): "Instead of standing in a corner, being ashamed of themselves and just shutting up, they behave like pigs gone wild."

SPIEGEL: Why didn't you turn your back on the church at that point?

Berger: Many gays are attracted by the clear hierarchies of the male world of Catholic rituals. Among clerics I discovered extremely effeminate behavior of the sort I knew well from certain gay scenes. People give each other women's names and attach very high importance to clerical robes in all colors. Just think of the nicknames Bishop Walter Mixa (who recently stepped down amid accusations of violence and financial irregularities) and his housemaster friend gave each other: "Hasi," or "bunny," and "Monsi," short for monsignore.

SPIEGEL: Did you get the impression that your homosexuality may even have helped your career?

Berger: In clerical circles I kept getting shown through unmistakeable looks, hugs, stroking of my upper arms and excessively long handshakes that one didn't just appreciate my work a lot. The fact that many prelates had homosexual tendencies is certain to have made them more ready to help me get positions.

SPIEGEL: And these gentlemen weren't homophobic?


Berger: The contradiction between evident homosexual inclinations and homophobic statements is one way in which people in the church deal with their own, usually suppressed inclination.

SPIEGEL: You must explain that to us.

Berger: Evidently those who succumb to their desires are rejected particularly vehemently by those who painfully suppress such leanings in themselves. In the course of my own close cooperation with clerics, something I had long disavowed suddenly became clear to me: The fiercest homophobia in the Catholic Church comes from homophile clerics who desperately suppress their own sexuality.
Seminary lecturer said…
Link to Spiegel interview...

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,730520,00.html
Like I say, I sympathise with him, but it is NOT NEWS that the hatred of homosexuals is endemic in parts of the Church.

Why is he surprised that many Cardinals condemned homosexuality, at least, I assume, the actual act? Surely a theologian would not be surprised at it because it is THE TEACHING OF THE CHURCH.

Still, on the basis of the facts alone I sympathise with him. Nobody is without sin. Only Our Lord and His Blessed Mother.
On the “disordered” language: the Church did not hold this throughout history until very recently, speaking instead (and very strongly) about the immorality of acts, so I am not convinced that it belongs to the unchangeable deposit of faith. This language arose primarily as the Church’s first, tentative responses to new views coming from psychology. In such areas I personally think it is best to be open to how the dialogue will develop, especially as modern science and psychology continue to develop. But then, I’m one who believes everything Vatican II taught about the Church’s careful, open, critical engagement with the modern world.

The act of homosexuality has been condemned by the earliest Christians. Did St Paul not make himself clear?

Fr Ruff sounds as if he does not understand, at all, neither does he want to understand, the Church's liturgy pre-1960s. He is also trying, quite desperately, to avoid any debate over whether the liturgical innovations that came into the Church in the wake of VII are at least partly to blame for a lack of fidelity to God, by Priests and seminarians.

It is blatantly obvious that the liturgical innovations that came in and became widespread desacrelized the Church. The sense of the sacred waned dramatically.

Belief in the Real Presence, which is the very heart of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has waned ever since. Not many people kneel to receive Our Blessed Lord - that really does tell you everything you need to know.

The Pray Tell blog does not appear to contain much of the 'wit' or 'wisdom' it promises.
georgem said…
Oh, desr. Another book all about "me". How old is this guy?
Peter Howden said…
"the act of homosexuality has been condemned by the earliest Christians. Did St Paul not make himself clear?"

I think this is where you appear to misunderstand the interpretation offered. firstly, a minor terminological point (that actually has great significance) - 'homosexual' is a rather modern term. The concept it grasps did not exist before the late nineteenth century; that is, the concept of an exclusively male-male (or female-female) sexual orientation. St. paul condemned ACTS of sodomy as sinful, he did not say (for he could not) that there were people who had a predisposition to this type of sin (homosexuals).

To speak, as you do, of the 'act' of 'homosexuality' is a confusion of two different and distinct historical ways of thinking about sexual behaviour.

Fr. Ruff points out that the notion of 'objective moral disorder' is a new one. He is right. It was coined as a response tot he pop-Freudianism then popular in Europe and America, it served as an accompaniment to the medical condemnation of homosexual persons that was widespread. medicine abandoned this framework in the 1970s, the Church did not. It is impossible to trace a line between St. Paul and the notion of objective moral disorder, he would not have recognised this nor understood the assumptiont hat there were people with predispositions to sin. That, for Paul, was all people.

The point Ruff makes is that, as a rule, the traditionalists and anti-modernists really don't give a damn about the Catholic Church. They use the Church to bury their own sexual desires behind a brash insistence upon traditions that were abandoned by a theological council and therefore were nop longer considered to be part of the Church
The Church is right to call the orientation an 'objective moral disorder'.

We all have objective moral disorders. Because of the Fall, we all, to some degree, suffer various moral conditions which are disordered, of which homosexuality is but one. However, the Church teaches that there is no reason why the man of homosexual orientation cannot attain Christian holiness.

Homosexuals have a moral disorder, lesbians have a moral disorder, compulsive liars have a moral disorder, heroin addicts have a moral disorder. I do wish you would get over it. It sometimes strikes me that you are far more obsessed with homosexuality than Pope Benedict XVI is.
The Church cannot err in Her Teaching because the Holy Spirit guides Her into all truth. Truth, by its very nature, makes us, sinful human beings uncomfortable and uneasy.

The PrayTell blog does not believe in Absolute Truth. That is why it reads like a shamblolic gesture at 'theology'.
Fr Ruff is entitled to his opinion, but, with respect to him, I think it is balony. The main reason that he is antagonistic towards the traditional wellspring within the Church is because he believes that the Church began in 1960s. How ironic that on one of the blog posts they compare the liturgical music in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, 90s and now. They really believe that before 1960s NOTHING was ever achieved!
They cannot admit to themselves, even for one moment, that the great liturgical and ecumenical experiment failed dramatically. We are seeing the fruits of that now, on so many fronts!
Peter Howden said…
"The Church is right to call the orientation an 'objective moral disorder'."

You are obsessed with this point (no doubt because it offers you a way of understanding your own desires). It is however wrong.

It has never been adequately defined, it is an incredibly wishy-washy term that sticks around through parrot like repetition by people who seek to ignore the last 100 years of human history and delude themselves into thinking that the Chruch has always said the same thing. it has not, and the idea of 'objective mroal disorder' is a laughably vague, imprecise, and baloney ridden attempt to look hip and with it. It's like watching your uncle dancing at a wedding, the pope trying to be down with the psychologists, talking about OMD. What a lot of sh*t
Peter,

You're either obsessed with this issue, or self-obsessed. Whatever way, you are not obsessed with Jesus Christ or the Faith of the Catholic Church.

The Church's teaching on homosexuality is a stumbling block to you. Is the Church's teaching on adultery and fornication also?

It is sad, very sad. I hope you get over yourself and pray you one day understand that Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church, which cannot err in matters of Faith and Morals, is infinitely wiser than you and I are.
Peter Howden said…
jesus Christ said very little about two men buggering. he didn't speak of homosexuals because the very idea didn;t exist in his time. please see above. The RCC speaks of IMD, but this is a waffling flap intended and shows how ruptured the tradition has become (perhaps beyond repair)
The term you have abbreviated as'OMD' (that's not Orchestral Manourvres in the Dark) is not a Freudian construct.

It means that objectively (i.e in terms of natural law or particularly in terms of what is seen and known by the Invisible, Triune God, homosexuality, when seen as a condition, is disordered, in a way that an 'obsessive compulsive disorder', like over frequent hand washing, is not.

Speaking on a personal basis, for I have experience, Humility, in this instance asks me to accept, in the light of God, that I am disordered, but, that GOD LOVES ME, because He does not, by His very nature, withhold His love from his creation.

God is Love! God loves you and God loves me, despite our moral disorders. Nothing can separate us from the Love of God!
You could even go so far as to say that in Jesus Christ, there is no straight or gay, or even bi. We are all God's children, adopted into the Life of the Holy Trinity by our Baptism.

That is the great difference, perhaps a gulf, between your understanding and mine. You understand yourself, or others, in terms of sexual identity.

I understand myself to be an adopted child of God. My orientation has absolutely no bearing on this truth. To Jesus Christ, it might just as well be irrelevant!

How can anyone who receives Holy Communion, anyone who prays, anyone who goes to the Sacrament of Reconicilation, anyone who fail to acknowledge within their hearts, that one singular truth!

You are a child of God! Why do you refuse to rejoice in that?!
'Jesus Christ said very little about two men buggering. he didn't speak of homosexuals because the very idea didn;t exist in his time. please see above. The RCC speaks of IMD, but this is a waffling flap intended and shows how ruptured the tradition has become (perhaps beyond repair)'

Perhaps that is true, but why should He when Jesus Christ addresses all of us and all of us are sinners. Our Lord gave the Church the authority to teach all nations, baptising in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He gave the Church the authority to teach and promised that the Church would be led into all truth. ALL TRUTH!

But no, of course, it was not upon the Rock of Peter that the Church was built! It was upon Peter Howden, whose personal opinion, is that Our Blessed Lord doesn't care whether two men bugger each other.

Peter Howden! You have NO authority to teach. What authority do I have? None! What I teach, on this blog, is what the Church teaches, because SHE CANNOT ERR in Faith and Morals. She is Holy. She is from God!
And if you really don't like what the Church teaches, or what appears on this blog, then go back to PrayTell and enjoy dissenting until the cows come home with other, like-minded, dissenters!
Peter Howden said…
"Perhaps that is true, but why should He when Jesus Christ addresses all of us and all of us are sinners."

I think we're at corss purposes here - i agree with you (and Ruff). That was Ruff's point! For the early Church fathers were were all sinners. Categories of sin were devised, with greater or lesser penalties. But there were no categories of sinner. the idea of OMD is therefore an odd one. It accepts a person may be continuous with a category of sin./ this is a significant departure fromt he early church, and is a reflection of prevailing freudian ideas in the early C20.
Peter Howden said…
Christ said upont his rock found a church. he did not say the Church would never err. indeed, if you accept this, then I would like to know how you account for changes in Church teaching.

I do indeed revel int he love of Christ the Savious. However, I do not revel int he idea of an irrational lack of autonomy, and I would questiont he motives of any man who does. The Church is not a form of therpay

p.s. your obsession with authority is bloody creepy. You are a mentalist. you act as if reason has no authority - but as I follow natural Theology I assume God made man rational so he could think for himself, not elect a council to think for him. You are Objectively mentally disordered int his regard (OMD)
I give up, Peter.

You do not accept the authority of the Church to teach in matters of Faith and Morals.

You disagree with the Church's teaching on homosexuality.

You believe that all Church teachings, that any Church teachings, are subject to change, if only the Church would listen to YOU and those who agree with YOU.

I tell you now, it will never change.

Your position, if you will excuse the expression, is 'objectively', indefensible because you believe that your opinion, your authority, your 'intellect', your rationale, your belief, is over and above that of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the Ark of Truth.

Everything that the Church believes and professes and teaches has been revealed by God to the Church. That is the Church...

Not Peter Howden.
Peter Howden said…
"I tell you now, it will never change." !!!! Are you Matthew's Christ speaking to a disciple now? What a tone!

Look, a simply question: Does the earth go around the sun?

If so was the Church wrong?

If so did it change it's position

If so please accept that it is false to say the Church never changes its teachings. This is in accord with Natural Law, which gave us reason so the Devil could not lead us astray. Plesse use yours
Peter Howden said…
Also, the RCC, as you know, changed the 10 commandments. So you can dispte the single most important message God sent to Man, but not what some bishop once said in the 1960s? Strange that
Peter Howden said…
"You believe that all Church teachings, that any Church teachings, are subject to change, if only the Church would listen to YOU and those who agree with YOU."

Please note, i said none of the above.

i did not say ALL Church teachings, nor did I say ANY were (potentially) subject to change. I said some HAVE changed. To say something has happened is not a contentious claim. It relies only on the ability to read historical documents. To refuse to do this is not a sign of faith or good will, it is a sign of Objective Mental Disorder.

i also did not say the church should listen to me. I said you should not refuse to listen to the reason God placed within His creation. Do not violate Natural Law, it is a sin
PrayTell, which Church teachings on morals have changed?

Church Teaching is Perfect because it has come from above. More important than the fact that the Church cannot ERR, in matters of Faith and Morals is that like Her Founder, the change cannot LIE, in matters of Faith and Morals.

That is why I tell you, the Church's teaching on this will not change. Like God, the Church can neither 'deceive, nor be deceived'.
Scientific enquiry is one place in which the Church can err, since scientific enquiry does not merit the category, 'Faith and Morals'. It has never been an article of faith regarding the sun and the earth.
Peter Howden said…
You say the "Church cannot ERR, in matters of Faith and Morals" but it can err in science. I wonder here are you seperating fact and value as two absolutely irreconcilable poles? It seems like it. If the Church can never be wrong about value, but it can be wrong about facts, what of values that are derived from facts? Anyway, let's leave that aside - you are wrong to think that the issue with the orbit of the Sun was scientific. It was moral. The idea was that be de-centering the earth, the cosmology of Aristotle (with its implications for Natural Law) would fall.

I would recommend a fascinating book (you might want to ask for it for Christmas or look for it in your local parish library). it's called The Church That Can and Cannot Change: The Development of Catholic Moral Teaching [review here: http://www.jknirp.com/rule.htm]
Peter Howden said…
But here are a few exmples to start you off.

1) Usury. This was a mortal sin in the 1500s, it was central tot he moral thought of the RCC in Europe, condemned at the Second Council of the Lateran by Pope Innocent II (the same innocent II who said abortion was permissible). Likewise, the Council of Vienne (1311) declared that anyone borrowing money should be punished as a heretic. That also meant that bank accounts were impossible – you can’t get a 3% return on your HSBC account without violating this principle. Oh dear, is anyone with a bank account committing a grave moral sin tantamount to heresy? Nah, course not, the never changing Church changed its mind.


2) Slavery. Up to the end of the nineteenth century the Chruch did not hold that it was a sin for one person to own another or to force labour without offering compensation (in the form of wages). Paul retuned Onesimus to his owner did he not? Did he not tell the Corinthian slaves to obey their masters on Earth?
In the 1700s, Bishop Bossuet [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques-B%C3%A9nigne_Bossuet] wrote that to condemn slavery was 'to condemn the holy spirit, who by the mouth of St. Paul orders slaves to remain in their state'

Augustine of Hippo taught that slavery was justified in terms of Natural Law. Gregory the great had a slave, whom he gave to a friend as a gift. Slavery was morally acceptable to the Church then. [For more ont his see The Historical encyclopedia of world slavery (Volume 1; Volume 7) page 315]

Indeed, the Holy Office, in 1866, declared that slavery was 'not contrary to divine law'.

Does the Church still teach this? No, actually, on his recent visit tot he UK benedikt rather sneakily used slavery as an example of why it was necessary to follow the Church!!!! Pity people know nothing about the histroy of the Church, or he would have been laughed out of Glasgow
The acceptance by human society of murderous famines, without efforts to remedy them, is a scandalous injustice and a grave offense.

Those whose USURIOUS and avaricious dealings lead to the hunger and death of their brethren in the human family indirectly commit homicide, which is imputable to them.71

CCC 2269

Take a look at this site.

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2006/0607uan.asp

Personally speaking, having been well acquainted with debt, I do not think the Church should have dropped the baton, so to speak. Just look at the mess we are in now, but then, would anyone have listened?!

Lending itself is not exclusively condemned in modern times, that is true, but the Church still appears to condemn rates of lending that cripple the Poor and enslave them. Theologically, it really seems to be about the quality of Mercy.

Somebody will have to help me out with the Church's stance on slavery. It is certainly complicated, true, but then again, the early Church and later was concerned not with the physical release of the slave, but, like all to whom She spoke, was concerned about the moral liberation of the human person, to be found in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Both of these examples that you cite, which, yes are of extremely important moral character, concern social justice. Both matters are relevant to the field of economics.

The Church was never said not to err on economics! I am told that both Chesterton and Belloc wrote very well on this matter.
If I were to sum it up, I would say that the Church is not the expert of the human sciences, nor of psychology, nor economics, nor of science. It is the expert of the human person. It is the expert of Conscience, of moral right and moral wrong, concerning individual Conscience and the difference between the two.

You cite these two examples in the hope that the Church's teaching will change with regard to citing the homosexual condition as being 'objectively disordered'.

The Church is the expert of the human condition of what is natural and what is contrary to nature. Homosexuality runs contrary to natural law. It is not natural in as much as man and woman were created for each other in an exclusive marital relationship of love.

The Church is aware of the myriad disorders to be found in any number of human persons, however, people who object to the OMD teaching, declaring homosexuality to be 'natural', in reality, deny not just natural law, but the Fall.

In other words, Adam loved Eve, was made for Eve and before the Fall would only have eyes for Eve. After the Fall, it would not be totally surprising if Adam fancied Steve.

The Fall, in whatever way it truly took place, is the cataclysmic moment in human history in which sin and all manner of disorder enters the experience of the human race.
Jesus Christ, the new Adam, then, God Incarnate, enters into both human history and human experience, humbling Himself to dwell among among us. Why? To make gay men straight? No.

He came to make dead men live, to enable man to enter into a new and profound relationship with God.

Christ healed lepers. But did Christ come to banish leprosy? No, but that lepers might know Him and His compassionate, redeeming love.

Christ loved the poor, but did Christ banish poverty? No, he came to forgive all who came to him with His compassionate, redeeming love.

Christ loves homosexuals, but he did not come to banish homosexuality. Christ came to set the hearts of homosexuals on fire with love for Him, to find shelter and refuge in Him, to know His merciful, compassionate love and to receive from Him the Grace to take up our Cross and to follow Him.

In summary, I find you to be far more legalistic than I am.
Peter Howden said…
This is hillarious. So the website argues: "[RCC] condemnation rests on circumstances that may, and did, change. In some market situations—apparently the ones prevalent in the thirteenth century—the likelihood of growing money through investment was seen as greatly uncertain."

What, so the ABSOLUTE MORAL PROHIBITION on USURY, the prohibition that made holding a bank account a MORTAL SIN was only put in place because it was "unlikely" that savers could "grow their investment"????

Ok, so Moral ideas CAN change then (when the investment climate becomes more fruitful it seems!)

"Both of these examples that you cite, which, yes are of extremely important moral character, concern social justice. Both matters are relevant to the field of economics."

You are scrambling for a defence now. Slavery is not a principle of economics int he RCC tradition - it was explicitly about morality. Furthermore, the HF himself said (approximately0 "if you don't believe in RCC tradition, you support slavery". He was lying. that is a bare faced lie, and he bloody well knows it. That is my realy point about tradition. You appeal to this tradition only when it is convenient, and even then you twist it to suit your point. I have no problem with tradition per se, I am more concerned witht he fact that you are inconsistent, you pick and choose yto suit your tastes then go wild when anyone else does it
Peter Howden said…
"the Church is not the expert of the human sciences, nor of psychology, nor economics, nor of science. It is the expert of the human person. It is the expert of Conscience, of moral right and moral wrong, concerning individual Conscience and the difference between the two."

Ok, so slavery is not, in your opinion, an issue of conscience, or right and wrong, but of simply economics? The slave trade was not a moral issue at all? What is a moral issue if not the enslavement of human persons?

"You cite these two examples in the hope that the Church's teaching will change with regard to citing the homosexual condition as being 'objectively disordered'."

No - I cite these examples to show you the Church teaching has and does change on a wide range of de facto moral issues (whether you understand their moral nature or not). Furthermore, as I argued above, Objective Disorder is NOT a Church tradition. Please show me a single instance of OD being invoked in this context before about 1930. You can't, because it wasn't. You are appealing to a new idea as if it were the rock upon which faith is built. That is bad theology.

Finally, with regard to 'legalism' - OK, if you preach a message only that Christ is love and has no relation to social issues, then I fail to understand your comnstant (and often vicious) form of social commentary in the name of RCC.

In short, I repeat: your world view is objectively mentally disordered
Brian Stevens said…
Lozza: ''That is the great difference, perhaps a gulf, between your understanding and mine. You understand yourself, or others, in terms of sexual identity.

I understand myself to be an adopted child of God. My orientation has absolutely no bearing on this truth. To Jesus Christ, it might just as well be irrelevant!''

I think you miss the point Lozza and proove Fr Ruff's argument in doing so because you deny your sexual identity. There is a difference between not identifying yourself primarilly in sexual terms and integrating your sexuality into your whole self in a healthy way. Because you deny your sexual identity (repression)you thus have to bend over backwards to resolve your cognitive dissonance. Your denial leads to distorted thinking. It is clear that you don't understand the subtely of the theological issues and your interpretation of church teaching extends the meaning in entirely inappropriate ways. That's your baggage but please don't project your demons onto everyone else.

The Berger interview and article give an insight into how right wingers in the church (like you) deny their sexuality and try to emerse themelves in a fantasy liturgical world of a bygone era partly linked to their misogny. Their homosexuality (and sexual indiscretons) are overlooked in return for career advancement as long as they play the game and hide their sexuality. Read the ook, it's a real eye-opened into the traditionalist world.

Finally, how can you say that church teaching on homosexuality won't change. It has not been infalliably defined and (as Fr Ruff and Peter has shown) has changed in the past. The idea of an OMD is a new concept and it is not accordance with traditional church teaching.
Richard Collins said…
I smell a bit of a campaign going on here. It smacks of the Pray Tell site itself, bitter and twisted and wilfully perverting the truth.
I would not have anything to do with them other than praying on their behalf.
Slavery was part of an economic system of the time, an appalling one, yes, but that was that. Over time the Church grew in its condemnation of it.

Lending at interest is part of an economic system at our time, an appalling one, yes, but that is that. Over time, the Church lessened in its condemnation of it.

You may find it all hilarious if you wish, but, let's turn it around.

In what way, do you consider, homosexuality to be objectively and morally ordered?

What is good about it?

If the condition of it does not tend towards an intrinsically evil act, then in what way does the condition tend towards an instrinsically good act?

Is it a virtue?

If homosexuality is not a disorder of the natural sexual state, then what, in your eyes, is it?

Are there any objective moral disorders? I mean any? There are no proclivities which are disordered? You would not say, then, that the man who is sexually attracted to animals is suffering from any disorder?
Or, dare I say it, the man who is sexually attracted to small children? That is not morally disordered?

Everybody! There are no moral disorders! Everything is natural! Welcome to the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Bestiality/Pederasty inclined Paradise!

How convenient! All the others are sexual perversions but men who are sexually attracted to men are normal!

Sure, Bro. That is what many pederasts think. They think their desires are normal.

God loves you Bro and I have no idea whether you are gay or bi or straight and I don't give a crap who or what you are attracted to, but I have to ask you this question.

Why do you want the Church that was established to save sinners to declare that you are normal!
Peter Howden said…
"Slavery was part of an economic system of the time, an appalling one, yes, but that was that. Over time the Church grew in its condemnation of it."

This is so wishy-washy!!! So abortion is part of an economic system today. As is stem-cell research. Does that make it right? NO IT DOES NOT. Also, you say 'over time the Chruch grew in its condemnation'....er, not exactly mate. It still accepted slavery in 1866! That was 1833 years after Christ's death - not exactly a rapid growth. the Church did NOT 'grow' in its condemnation, just as it did not 'grow' in its acceptance of the Copernican system. it abandoned its resistance to popular morality/thought when it had no option but to do so. In 1866 it could get away with still defending slavery (just about(, as it had done for hundreds of years (since Paul). In the early 20th century it could not do so. That is not a 'moral tradition', don't make it out to be.


you then 'turn it around' anbd ask:

"In what way, do you consider, homosexuality to be objectively and morally ordered?

What is good about it?"

Back to gays are we? What is objectively good about heterosexual love? Well, I suppose it's good to love people (better than hatred). if two men get off on that, so be it

you say:
"If the condition of it does not tend towards an intrinsically evil act, then in what way does the condition tend towards an instrinsically good act?"

Note how this is an either or. If it isn't 'intrinsically evil' it must be 'intrinsically good'. So is gardening intrinsically evil or intrinsically good? Is twiddling my thumbs good or evil. Or is it part of that class of actions encompassing 95% of what we say or do and which have no vearing on morality insofar as they do neither good nor evil
Peter Howden said…
p.s. note how, once again, your 'all or nothing' logic is at fault here, not the acts in question. For instance, you say:

"If homosexuality is not a disorder of the natural sexual state, then . . . There are no moral disorders! Everything is natural! Welcome to the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Bestiality/Pederasty inclined Paradise!"

Note how the premise does not support the conclusion (as in every single one of your arguments). If I don't think it is wrong to be homosexual, then I implicitly support pederasty. How does that follow? Contrary to the RCC, I don't think there is an intrinsic evil in two men expressing their love. Contrary to the RCC, I do think there is an intrinsic evil in raping children. Contrary to the RCC, I think this is a greater evil than reporting the crime to the police

You call it heresy, I call it good sense
You only believe that there are perversions of the natural order when it suits you.
Peter Howden said…
You only act on the belief that there are perversions to the natural order when it suits you. Then hide behind a banal, simplified, twee, chocolate-box Victorian moral dichotomy that insists something is either intrinsically good or intrinsically evil in the hope that it will make amends

Moral theology cannot be as simple as you claim; we know this because there is a 1500 year tradition of incredibly sophisticated moral reasoning within the Church. Have you read Aquinas, or Julian of Norwich? These people did not pose simple answers to moral questions as you do, they embraced the complexity of human life
Of course, St Thomas Aquinas, were he around on Earth today, would wholeheartedly agree with you on this matter. I admit, I am unlearned, but I think he had quite a lot to say about natural law.

I think he would see homosexuality as a perversion of the natural order, but, obviously you know better, Peter, O wise one.

It must be wonderful being an unofficial Doctor of the Church, Peter. I'm sure one day the Holy Father will invite you for a private audience to show his appreciation for you tireless work in defending the One True Church.

People who uphold and defend Catholic doctrine are just nutty aren't they?
Peter Howden said…
Why not read him for yourself and find out rather than assuming you have got the interpretation correct. From the Standford Encyclopedia I quite:

"The most influential formulation of natural law theory was made by Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century. Integrating an Aristotelian approach with Christian theology, Aquinas emphasized the centrality of certain human goods, including marriage and procreation. While Aquinas did not write much about same-sex sexual relations, he did write at length about various sex acts as sins. For Aquinas, sexuality that was within the bounds of marriage and which helped to further what he saw as the distinctive goods of marriage, mainly love, companionship, and legitimate offspring, was permissible, and even good. Aquinas did not argue that procreation was a necessary part of moral or just sex; married couples could enjoy sex without the motive of having children, and sex in marriages where one or both partners is sterile (perhaps because the woman is postmenopausal) is also potentially just (given a motive of expressing love). So far Aquinas' view actually need not rule out homosexual sex. For example, a Thomist could embrace same-sex marriage, and then apply the same reasoning, simply seeing the couple as a reproductively sterile, yet still fully loving and companionate union."
Peter Howden said…
And on...

"Aquinas does allow that how broad moral rules apply to individuals may vary considerably, since the nature of persons also varies to some extent. That is, since Aquinas allows that individual natures vary, one could simply argue that one is, by nature, emotionally and physically attracted to persons of one's own gender, and hence to pursue same-sex relationships is ‘natural’ (Sullivan, 1995)."
Peter Howden said…
Also, Aquinas himself was aware of some easy challenges to the theory of Natural law. for instance, circus performers walk on their hands. The purpose of a hand is not to be walked on, that is the purpose of a foot. A man who has no arms may use his foot to paint, or write (as in the film, My Left foot). Is he acting contrary to natural law? Well, surely he is, if everything has a purpose, then the purpose of the foot must be walking. To use it to paint is as sinful as to use a man for sex if you are a man
Okay, dear. You keep filling you head with the ideas of modern theologians. Of course St Thomas Aquinas was all for gay sex and would have declared the disposition to be in keeping with the natural order, if only he had remembered to.

What was that famous Aquinas quote. Oh, that's right. "If it feels good, do it!" That's why he was made a Doctor of the Church, wasn't it?
Peter Howden said…
Oh also, Aquinas was not opposed to abortion, so if you agree with him you agree with that view presumably. See Joseph F. Donceel, "Immediate Animation and Delayed Hominization," Theological Studies, vols. 1 & 2 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1970), pp. 86-88. (on google books)

Aquinas argued that there was no soul in a baby until around 20 weeks ('animation' as it was known) and therefore to abort the baby was not the sin of murder (you can't murder a being without a soul)
Peter Howden said…
Here's the world's best theologian, Hans Kung, on this point:

http://www.calcatholic.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=bb8b8714-bdda-46a3-9550-3c17ee8f7aa4
Next you'll be telling me Aquinas taught masturbation is not sinful or something.
Peter Howden said…
Ok, one last try at getting through to your brain (which you have battened shut lest a nice, non-self-loathing thought enter).

Earlier you said the Church could be wrong about FACT, but not about VALUE. Ok, so I quote an article on Aquinas from The National Catholic Reporter [January 14, 2000, p. 20.]

"St. Thomas lacked good information on what constitutes the difference between men and women. According to the Greco-Roman view of procreation, a view that predominated until the 18th century, there exists only one sex, but in two forms. A female person is a watered down variant of the male. The act of generation is accompanied by ‘heat’, by the ‘vital spirit’, which is the element that causes the difference between men and women. Only men have enough heat to produce seed which they cast into their partner’s womb as seed is cast into the earth.

Foetuses develop their full potential, their maleness, if they amass a decisive surplus of ‘heat’ or ‘vital spirit’ in the early stages in the womb. Females are the result of insufficient heat being absorbed by the foetus. What could have been a full man, then turns out to be a woman. Thomas himself says: "A female is deficient and unintentionally caused. For the active power of the semen always seeks to produce a thing completely like itself, something male. So if a female is produced, this must be because the semen is weak or because the material [provided by the mother] is unsuitable, or because of the action of some external factor such as the winds from the south which make the atmosphere humid" (St. Th. I, q. 92, 1, 1). Thomas saw woman’s deficiency confirmed in her inferior intellectual powers. Living in a state of subjection to man, woman is not fully an image of God, as every man is."

I could go on, butyou get the point. The naturality of sexual conduct was not based on ethics, but on science. And on incorrect science. Well, since we no longer agree with the science, why do we agree with the ethics based upon it?
Hans Kung: The World's Best Theologian!

Oh, that is priceless!
Peter Howden said…
well are you a better theologian? I suspect not. Therefore he at least has authority over you. And he disagrees with you

p.s., Hans Kung gave Ratzinger his first job, at a time when the two were ideological friends. If he didn't know he was on about, then you must be discrediting the pope
Hans Kung has no authority over me. He and the Holy Father are miles apart theologically.

The Holy Spirit guides the Church into all truth.

Keep hoping, and praying if you wish, that the next Pope will be a liberal like you...but don't hold your breath!
Peter Howden said…
Wait, that's silly. It's like saying Newton has no authority over you because he was not a Catholic. Surely you don't ONLY follow the head of the RCC? Surely there is authority in reason for you?

In any case, my point can be summarised:

1) You accuse others of selective reading/selecting bits of theology that appeal to them. This contrasts with your own selective, ahem, 'reading', which is based on not really having read any of the people you cite

2) you repeatedly support your moral OPINIONS by appealing to theological sources you have evidently not read, but when you are presented with evidence to the contrary, you calim the truth is being twisted to suit an agenda (a claim you could have no means of assessing since you have not read the ideas you claim to follow)

3) When presented with a wider, contextualised range of theology from the same authorities (e.g. Aquinas on abortion) you will SELECTIVELY ignore the points that you don't like

4) When an internationally respected scholar of Catholic integrity, a scholar who was elected peritus by Pope John XXIII, is cited, you claim his detailed research is worthless because you don't like his conclusions. Again, an a priori selectivity based on irrational prejudice

In summary, you lack the critical faculties required to discuss theology with an adult. Perhpas you should become an RE teacher
Hans Kung has no authority over ANYONE.
Peter, just keep looking in the mirror and repeating, "I AM THE CHURCH! I AM THE CHURCH!"
Because that's more or less what Hans Kung does.
Peter Howden said…
No he doesn't. He actually bothers to read the sources upon which Church tradition is based and comments on their work intelligently. He was part of the Church, and was thrown out for declaring that Papal infallibility had no meaning under to catholic Tradition, was a new idea, and was directly opposed tot he historical views of the papacy as an institution. Now you may disagree with him here, but to refuse to read a single line of his work because you have already decided he must be wrong are the actions of an imbecile. Like I said, you're only interested in selectively reading ideas you already agree with, and are therefore guilty of the same crime you charge your opponents with to a far greater degree (most people at least bother to read the idea they are trying to refute in order to give it a fair hearing)
It was St Pio who said, apparently, that many souls go to Hell because of reading bad books that lead them astray.

Kung was 'thrown out of the Church' was he? I don't think he was excommunicated, just that his theological navel gazing was discredited and then ignored.

Thanks be to God!
But then, you probably don't really believe in Hell, or Purgatory, or Heaven.
Peter Howden said…
This would be the Padre Pio canonised for his (literally) incredible stigmata and whom Vatican archives reval to be a fraud who many popes knew was pulling a fast one?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Padre-Pio-Miracles-Politics-Secular/dp/0805089055/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1292337712&sr=8-7
O my...Oh dear.

Well, you can discuss that one if, God willing, you meet him in Heaven, Peter!

Good grief. You don't believe in anything, Peter.

Of course, we are not bound by the Magisterium to believe that St Pio received the Stigmata, but really, what utter tosh.

Enjoy PrayTell, Peter, enjoy it, you belong there, but nobody disses my friends. Go and spread your heresies, if you must, elsewhere.
Uh-huh, and bilocation, yeah and the gift of reading souls. Peter, I can't be in two places at the same time, and I can't read souls and I'm no Saint, but from everything you've posted here I can pretty much tell that the God that you believe in, is not the same God proclaimed by the Catholic Church. Your poor mind has been addled by Kung and other modern theologians. It is your loss.
Peter Howden said…
"the God that you believe in, is not the same God proclaimed by the Catholic Church"

There you go again. You mean presumably the God I believe in is not the God YOU believe in. As there is only one God i can only conclude that you do not believe in God

If you wish to tell me that I am making a theological error, or that my understanding of God is incorrect (even though we did not discuss His nature) then I am prepared to listen. To do this you must do what I have done, and what other commenters have done - refer to compelling arguments or sources. You can't just tell me your OPINION and then conclude that, since I disagree, I do not believe in the correct God. You are incapable of learning from your errors so I see no point in pointing them out to you constantly. One last try - you can't pass your belief off as fact. I do not try to pass my belief off as fact, I put together an argument based on sound theology, evidence, and respect for the sources of the Church Tradition. You do not (and, I can only assume, are mentally incapable of understanding what these sources say).
No, I mean you do not believe in the God proclaimed by the Catholic Church.

You make God in your own image. I believe what the Church teaches. Why are you so angered by that? You think I am a fool for believing what the Church teaches, in your arrogance.

I believe what the Church teaches concerning the truth about God and the truth about us, and that it has been revealed by God to His Church.

You can call me an unlearned simpleton if it pleases you, but Truth, by its very nature is liberating. It exposes dark corners of the soul, it exposes the truth about us - it is "truth that sets us free". In truth and in freedom, in Jesus Christ, Who is the Truth, we find happiness and He can never be separated from His Church.

The saddest thing of all, that I can see from commenters like yourself, is that falsehood, however you pursue it, because it seems to satisfy your intellectual thirst, does not make you very happy at all.

How can you possibly give an account of the Faith to others, when you pour scorn on the Magisterium of the Church?

It is so depressing exchanging comments with you, because you can't abide that there is an Authority higher than yourself, namely Christ and His Holy Church.
No but, this, yes, but this, no but that, no but this theologian said this, no but I don't trust the credibility of that Saint, yes I believe that, but I don't believe this, on and on and on in endless circles when, in fact, the Church has already spoken and you wait for Her to speak again and change Her mind.

Poor soul. Poor, poor soul, yearning for Jesus Christ and His Truth.
You think I am sad, and well you may. I am a bit pathetic, to be honest, but it is far sadder to be pouring through the books of theologians and modern ones at that, hoping to find something to confirm your prejudices, something that will help you in your mind that the Church needs to change Her Holy Doctrines and to no avail.

Remember, that Christ did not reveal His Truths to the learned, but to the simple and humble of heart. They are the happy ones, those who rejoice in the Truth.
Peter Howden said…
"I believe what the Church teaches" TAHT'S PRECISELY WHAT WE WERE DISCUSSING. I was trying to explain why it does not teach what you think it does. I quoted Aquinas. Your only evidence is that YOU think these things, and from that you conclude the Church teaches it

You then say: "Christ did not reveal His Truths to the learned, but to the simple and humble of heart."

So are you a Catholic or not? I find it hard to reconcile the idea that the learned are somehow 'missing the point' with the intellectual hierarchy of the Chruch. How does one become Pope in your opinion? Who rises through the Church that professes truth? is it the unlearned peasant woman of simple faith or the brilliant young theology student who pours over the weighty tomes of other theologians?

Clearly the latter. Now, if a senior bishop was to correct my error, to point out where I was going wrong with my theology, I would listen and abide. But you have no more authority than I do. As such, we can only settle a dispute with words and reason.

That you refuse to does not make you more of a Catholic, or a better Catholic. the whole machinery of the Vatican is based on learning, and educating (remember, before the provision of state education the Church alone educated Europe's children).

My soul may be crooked. Only God knows. but your own assessment is based on my refusing to agree with your own moral prejudices. You claim these come from the Church, yet are unable to give a shred of supporting evidence that such is the case. When you are rpesented with contrary evidence from Church sources you fall back into a beside the point piece of hysteria.

The issue here is clear. You aint interested in theology. Or faith. Or Catholicism. You only care about your self.
Peter Howden said…
Also, you speak of 'authority' endlessly, but never define what you mean. The Oxford etymological dictionary defines it as having historically 9i.e. traditionally) meant:

the "book or quotation that settles an argument," from O.Fr. auctorité (12c.; Mod.Fr. autorité)

this is how the Church understands its own 'authority'.

Furthermore, 'tradition' was not defined in the Roman Catholic Church until 1546 by the Council of Trent (a response to the Protestant Reformation that sought for scriptural 'authority'). The Council decreed:

"seeing clearly that this truth and discipline are contained in the written books and the unwritten traditions which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ Himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Ghost dictating, have come down even unto us, transmitted as it were from hand to hand, following the example of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates, with an equal affection of piety, all the books of the Old and New Testaments....and also the said traditions...preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession." (The Question Box, Rev. Bertrand L. Conway, p. 78).

As you can see, there are two sources of 'authority' in RCC history. 1) the quotes I have been giving you, 2) the system of theology defined at Trent (part of the process of constructing an argument I followed)

You seem to have a third position in mind, that is, 3) what Laurence England thinks personally about a subject (which almost invariably is, or has reference to, homosexuality)

As a number of your readers seem to have detected, and as you by now must realise, your arguments are never far from a warped anti-gay agenda that always contains a fragment of self-confession (phrases such as 'believe me, I know') being common.

Can I just say, this may be a personal tragedy for you, a difficulty, a cross to bear etc. Ok, but it is not theology, or authority. You can't throw big words around willy-nilly when it is in fact you who are falling foul of authority and tradition as defined at Trent

pax
I believe what the Church teaches on this issue, as I believe on all issues. If someone showed me the Catechism and asked, "Do you believe all this?" I'd say, "Yes, most certainly I do."

As things stand, you couldn't say that. How could you possibly catechise others, when you yourself are in total confusion as to what the Church's position is!

You are the blind one! Leading the blind into error and confusion! You and all your liberal, Tablet reading friends! Everywhere you go you urinate on the Gospel!
I am not saying your soul is crooked, I've no idea whether you are in a State of Grace or not. I wonder whether you believe such a State exists or not, but that is besides the point.

I am saying that you strike me as being a miserable soul because you are cynical about various Teachings of the Church and you do not trust the Authority of the Church to teach it.

The people you admire are the very people who, also, under the guise of having a 'questioning Faith' seek to undermine nearly every tenet of Faith which Holy Mother Church holds dear.

In other words, you strike me as being a Protestant who goes to Mass! You are constantly protesting against the Teachings of the Church. What can such a situation inspire, but endless misery, and everywhere you go you spread your misery, distrust, cynicism, error and vile heresy!

You are a man without Christian joy because you doubt every tenet of Faith that comes up for discussion - and no, I'm not just talking about the Teaching on homosexuality!
I am sure there are plenty of homosexuals in Heaven. I also think it is most likely that there are eminent theologians in Hell for the error they spread, because in their arrogance, their lack of humility and obedience to the Church, thinking themselves wiser that Her and wiser than Her Divine Founder, they spread their confusion, error and heresy abroad to as many as they could, damaging and weakening their Faith!

That is what you do! You weaken the Faith of others. You don't uphold Faith, you destroy it!
Peter Howden said…
Ok fine, you convinced me, I will stop going to Mass. If it means associating with morons like you then I say it - Damn the Church and its litany of morons. I hereby base my faith ont he Bible and Theology alone.

You disgusting attitude convinces me there can be nothing good in your beliefs and I Apostatise in your name.
Brian Stevens said…
''Remember, that Christ did not reveal His Truths to the learned, but to the simple and humble of heart. They are the happy ones, those who rejoice in the Truth.''

Maybe but then the simple and learned listened to what he said and reflected on it to discern the the meaning (cf scriptures). They didn't decide what he was trying to say before he said it and then insisted that they were right when what they were insisting was contary to the actual words spoken.

Having said that, Jesus came to speak to and save ALL. He certainly did also speak to the learned eg he preached to the synagogue elders among others.
Brian Stevens said…
''...in fact, the Church has already spoken and you wait for Her to speak again and change Her mind.''

Except the church's teaching has not been infalliably defined and is open to further discernment and development upn this metter - particuarly in light of the findings from science. It is therefore perfectly acceptable for theologians and others to discuss the nuances of catholic teaching in this regard. This isn't a make and break issue for being a catholic.
Christ gave the Church to the World so that the World should not have to be in confusion as to the truth, so that through the Church, the Ark of Truth, men and women might be saved through Her, the Instrument of Salvation.

Our Blessed Lord did not die in agony on the Cross in order to establish a Church in which, until the End of Time, when He comes in Glory, we might all sit around discussing what is a sin and what isn't a sin, what constitutes a moral disorder and what does not.

Every time you recite the Creed at Mass you are saying, "I believe" or "we believe" not just in God, but in all that the Church teaches.
Colin Longbridge said…
''No but, this, yes, but this, no but that, no but this theologian said this, no but...''

This sounds like you spluttering to vindicate your unfounded interpretation of catholic beliefs and unfounded scientific assrertions. It's a good impression of 'the only gay in the village'.
Wrong sketch, Colin.

Does every single tenet, every single Church teaching have to be infallibly defined, so the Holy Father has to do so, ex cathedra, from the Chair of St Peter, in order for you to believe it? If he does not do this, the Church is just musing on stuff? Umming and ahhing?

You do not trust the Church to teach. You think you are wiser, but you're not. You're just another liberal Catholic with a problem with obedience to the Magisterium.
Brian Stevens said…
Lawrence - the truth is often confusing that it is why it needs critical discernment. The church certainly does NOT teach that the truth is simple. It does however teach that the truth must be compatible with reason.
Brian Stevens said…
The church seeks to be AUTHORATIVE no AUTHORITARIAN. The church does not demand blind obedience but obedience in conscience.

If i have a problem with obedience then you have a problem with authority. In fact i would summise that the genesis of your psychological problems and internal conflicrs are related to some kind of experience of authority in your early life - perhaps you even found that experience sexually stimulating. It would explain a lot!
Peter Howden said…
look you delusional twat, YOU have massive problems with authority, mainly because you are a mental and emotional cripple who, like the suicide bomber who talks constantly about the lack of authority int hw West, do not trust your own (admittedly inadequate) brain to form intelligent opinions. I have just explained that the notion of Authority is not what you think it is. The Catholic Tradition (whichb you have convinced me to abandon with your sins) is on my side. You only like appealing to authority that you don't really understand because it explains your own self-hatred to you. Fuck off and leave spirituality to the spiritual you bitter tosser. Jesus, no wonder no one will employ you, you're quite literally intollerable
Colin Longbridge said…
Funny you should mention obedience because there's a good post about obedience on pray tell blog...

In both cases, obedience is understood to be most perfect when it is “blind” obedience, when we bend our will to the will of another without seeing rhyme or reason behind the rule. If you seek to understand why you are commanded to do something . . . that is something less than obedience in its purest form. Legalists and libertines differ in that the former embrace such blind obedience and the latter reject it, but they agree that obedience is a matter of one will submitting to another.

Of course blind obedience has a venerable place in the history of the Church, as in the counsel found in the Rule of St. Benedict that a monk who is commanded by a superior to do the impossible “trusting in God help, must obey” (RB ch. 68). Obedience is sometimes blind because there are some cases where you don’t see the reason for the rule, and if you have committed yourself to a particular order of things, you obey and trust that enlightenment will follow. But these are the exceptional cases and, to some degree, to be lamented. Just as blindness is a privation of sight, so too blind obedience indicates some degree of failure: either because the one commanding is unclear in conveying the reason for the rule, or because the one being commanded is simply too thick to understand it, or because between the two there is not sufficient trust for one to learn from the other what the right course of action is.

But true obedience is not necessarily blind obedience. In fact, in true obedience I do not need to submit my will to another at all. Rather, I see the reason behind the rule, and the only “submission” involved in my will submitting to the truth proffered by my mind. As the late Herbert McCabe, from whom I’ve cribbed most of my ideas here, put it: “the real obedience is to be found in those who share the common agreement. . . . A totally obedient community would be one in which no one was ever compelled to do anything” (God Matters, 229). This is, of course, somewhat utopian, which is why we have recourse to blind obedience. But it should also be the norm, since it is the sort of obedience Christ shows toward the Father (at least in the traditional high Christology to which I subscribe). Christ’s obedience to the Father is perfect because he knows all that the Father knows.

So perhaps the liturgical legalist should not be too quick to judge as disobedient those who ask for the reason behind a rule. Perhaps they are seeking to be more perfectly obedient. And perhaps the liturgical libertine ought not to be too quick to judge as inauthentic those who think that asking about the rule is the first step in seeking the reason. Perhaps they are seeking authentic obedience.
It is you who are bitter.

You have nothing good to say about the Catholic Faith. You despise it.

You don't say anything good about the Catholic Faith. Both of you, if indeed you are different people, are the kind of Catholics who would go to Mass, then go to the pub.

Among yourselves you would discuss the particular Feast and say,

"Anyway, about this Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Lady thing...What do you reckon?"

"Personally, I think its bollocks."

"Yeah, me too. I read a theologian who said it was bollocks."

"Yeah."
Tell you what. I don't want to hinder your obvious talent for proclaiming the Catholic Faith in Spirit and in Truth, since you are so faithful and full of charity, truth and justice.

Why not you start a blog and let's see what you write and see if you are able to communicate, in any shape or form, the One True Faith. You need an outlet for your genius and your esoterical knowledge, hitherto hidden from we unlearned, unscholarly Catholics who uphold the Magisterium 100%.

Go now, you have your vocation. Let's see what you write, let's see how well you communicate to Souls the merciful love of God for sinners.
Peter Howden said…
that would be the Immaculate Conception invented by Pope Pius IX in 1854 would it? Just checking.

Don't take MY word for it, but the Catholic Encyclopedia [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm]says:

"No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture."

AND

"In regard to the sinlessness of Mary the older Fathers are very cautious . . . these stray private opinions merely serve to show that theology is a progressive science."

WHAT!!!!????

Theology is a PROGRESSIVE SCIENCE.

Progress (KA-BOOM)

Sceince (whicht he Church can err in)

You
Daft
Twunt
Peter Howden said…
We then come to the PROOf of the Immaculate Conception, in a passage entitled 'Proof from reason'

Oh oh - REASON??? You mean we can THINK in order to get to the Truth, we don't have to just obey?? Bloody hell, you're wrong again!! And the Church says so

The continue:

"st. Bernard [1090 - 1153] was perfectly justified when he demanded a careful inquiry into the reasons for observing the feast" of the Immaculate Conception.
Justified? Perfectly justified?

And

"Not adverting to the possibility of sanctification at the time of the infusion of the soul, he writes that there can be question only of sanctification after conception, which would render holy the nativity, not the conception itself (Scheeben, "Dogmatik", III, p. 550). Hence Albert the Great observes: "We say that the Blessed Virgin was not sanctified before animation, and the affirmative contrary to this is the heresy condemned by St. Bernard in his epistle to the canons of Lyons" (III Sent., dist. iii, p. I, ad 1, Q. i)."

NOT SANCTIFIED BEFORE ANIMATON. That is, before the foetus MOVES (20 weeks) NOT a person. Abortion they say is Ok, even for the Virgin mary

Here the PROOF of the dogma you uphold is arrived at by abstract discussions held by medieval theologians (who you refuse to read). check it out dumb head, you might learn a bit about the ideas you profess to love
Peter Howden said…
And on:

Alexander VII [1655] was the first Pope to accept the idea of Immaculate Conception. It was not official until:

"Pius IX, surrounded by a splendid throng of cardinals and bishops, 8 December 1854, promulgated the dogma. A new Office was prescribed for the entire Latin Church by Pius IX (25 December, 1863), by which decree all the other Offices in use were abolished, including the old Office Sicut lilium of the Franciscans, and the Office composed by Passaglia (approved 2 Feb., 1849).

In 1904 the golden jubilee of the definition of the dogma was celebrated with great splendour (Pius X, Enc., 2 Feb., 1904)."

So, the official, authoritative encyclopedia of the Church itself, printed and distributed freely for Catholcis to educate themselves about their faith, does not support your assumption
Peter, it has been decided, defined as an Article of Faith, by the Church.

And talking of assumptions - Do you believe in the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady into Heaven?

I mean, do you actually believe in it as an Article of Faith?
Peter Howden said…
yes, I do. Now do you accept that it was not until 1854 that this belief became True? That in 1853 there was no dogma of immaculate conception and that if internet blogs existed people would have written polemics against the heresy of Immaculate Conception? Do you accept that there is a distinction between something being an Article of Faith (that is, saying I accept X because it was set as Church policy by a Council and I abide by it becasue I liket he idea of Authority) and something being reasonable (that is, saying there are hundreds of Church documents, including OFFICIAL pronouncements by Popes, contradicting this same belief)
Okay, well that is good, but these questions, theological questions of monumental proportions, were discussed and developed (though it has to be said that belief in the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady was widespread from the Apostles onwards) by THE CHURCH. And, Peter, you are not the Church. You are not even ordained.

Your take on the Church is that it is in fact a democracy. It is anything but. You are, I think (at least I hope) a layman. What right have you to challenge Church teaching with such vigour?

The theology that you widely draw upon, you say, is that of Hans Kung. And yet, far from having been embraced by Holy Church, even you yourself say that his writings have been discredited.

In other words, Hans Kung's theology has grabbed the attention of some laity, some priests and even some Bishops, but as far as impressing Popes enough for key doctrines or teachings to be changed, or liberalised, it hasn't happened.

You are one of these 'Catholics for a Changing Church'. The Church indeed, as shown by the wellspring, the spiritual growth of Orders that embrace the Traditional liturgy, is changing and moving ahead, yet what is taking place before your eyes, you cannot abide.

You had hoped, in the wake of Vatican II, that the Church would liberalise doctrine to accept various social sciences, psychological precepts and humanism as doctrine, yet She hasn't. And so, justifiably perhaps, you are disappointed. The change that you were hoping for has not come about and I very much doubt that it will.

You scour the internet and read theologians whose works you admire and convince yourself that the Church is moving in the direction that you see fit, and yet, She isn't.

Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have been theologically conservative (an awful phrase, but it will have to suffice). In other words, both of these Popes and I think very likely the next, do not see themselves as Masters of the Church, but Servants (Servants of the Servants indeed). These are servants, indeed, of Holy Tradition.

In other words, they do not see themselves as masters of the Teachings, but Guardians of it. That is, the Deposit of Faith. What has been revealed and passed down is held as sacred and holy.

What is more, the modernism of the 1960s, liturgically at least, has proven to be a dramatic failure, weakening, not increasing faith.

I don't know. Maybe you're right, maybe I'm just an ignoramous, a stupid simpleton who isn't clever enough to "work it out for himself", but I very much trust the Holy Church because She is Holy, a Divine Institution founded by God Himself.

Please, enough of this now. You have said your piece, but I would appreciate in future that you do not use my blog as a vehicle for your opinions, which, as they stand, run contrary to the Magisterium as expressed through the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I do not think that they really serve Catholics very well and much of what you have said is more than a little scandalous.

I don't know how you feel about it, but I found yesterday frustrating and tedious. Our debate, I found very depressing. You want this to be a forum for dissent and 'we are Church' debate. That is certainly not how I want this blog to be. We are meant to be as one mind, one heart on the Faith and I don't want it to become a forum for squabbling. It gives scandal for two Catholics to be fighting thus and being so lacking in charity.

Like I said, I suggest you start your own blog, as you have so much to say, or say it on PrayTell, where it will doubtless be very welcome.

God bless you and have a happy Advent and Christmas.