Sunday, July 13, 2014

GIVE THANKS TO GOD IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES

Many newspapers have what is called a whine line. Negative people whine about this, that and the other and lament about the good ole days that never where.

Some of the comments posted on this glorious blog fit the description of a whine. But when scrutinized many of these comments betray a lack of Catholic fortitude in the face of adversity and a crass consumerism when it comes to being Catholic. In other words some who comment are like those who refuse to settle for what life and the Church have given them and like a philandering spouse constantly seek what gives them the most pleasure.

The following is a good Catholic article on gratitude in the face of adversity:

"You'd Better Not Pout"

by Curtis A. Martin 

You've got to love a religion that commands you to rejoice. St. 
Paul tells us we should "Rejoice always. Pray constantly. Give 
thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ 
Jesus for you" (1 Thess. 5:16-18). 


 At first glance, he makes it sound easy. Why is it, then, that we 
have so much trouble doing something that seems so easy and that 
we want to do so badly? 

We all face problems at one time or another - some small, others 
daunting - and sometimes we can't help being irked by these 
problems and by those who cause them. But this article isn't about 
problems in life or those who cause them, but about us and how we 
should respond to the people and situations that tempt us to be 
angry, suspicious, or irritated. 

We Catholics have work to do for Christ. We don't have time to 
pout and wring our hands about problems in the Church. Acknowledge 
them, yes, but we can't let them discourage us. Discouragement can 
paralyze us if we don't take St. Paul seriously about being joyful 
in the midst of adversity. If we let discouragement get the better 
of us, we'll be incapable of helping the Church. 

Shipwrecked, starved, beaten, and stoned 

Joy is not for wimps. St. Paul's letters show 
that he was an 
intensely joyful man, but he was also tough. Think you face 
hardships and opposition in your efforts to live and spread the 
Catholic Faith? Look at what St. Paul went through: 

"[F]ar greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless 
beatings, and often near death. Five times I have received at the 
hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I have 
been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been 
shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on 
frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, 
danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the 
city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false 
brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in 
hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, 
apart from other things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my 
anxiety for all the churches" (2 Cor. 11:23-28). 

(Let's not forget that after all those hardships, St. Paul's 
enemies cut off his head. You and I have it pretty easy, when you 
think about it.) 

True joy - the kind that doesn't evaporate in the face of 
opposition and obstacles - must be anchored in the hope of 
salvation in Jesus Christ. The saints learned this secret, and we 
must learn it too. It's not easy, of course. Like weeds, obstacles 
to cultivating true joy spring up all around us: struggles at 
home, problems with finances, illness, failed relationships, 
difficulties in the workplace, and, most alarming, confusion, 
division, and dissent within the Church itself. 

Perfect love casts out all fear 

But we can take heart. Christ deals with these obstacles head-on. 
"I have said this to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the 
world you have tribulation; but take courage; I have overcome the 
world" (John 16:33). 

For a Catholic, joy in the midst of adversity is not merely a 
possibility or a suggestion, but an obligation. Our faith in 
Christ and our union with Him through the sacraments should 
produce in us a spirit of indomitability. If we really believe 
that He has indeed conquered the world, and that we can do all 
things through Him (cf. Phil. 4:13), then there's no need to let 
troubles and troublemakers get us down. 

Pope John Paul II has called Catholics to participate in a "New 
Evangelization." This mission has two components. First, we must 
individually recommit ourselves to Christ and His Church. Only 
through a deep, personal conversion to Christ will we be able to 
respond effectively in evangelizing others (we can't give what we 
don't have). Second, we must radiate to others our love for Christ 
and His Church, sharing it with family, friends, co-workers, 
neighbors ‹ everyone, whenever the opportunity arises. 

To do this, we need joy. Our commitment to Christ, a strong prayer 
life, and frequent reception of the sacraments will sustain and 
deepen our joy and will bear other good fruit: "love, joy, peace, 
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-
control" (Gal. 5:22-23). The absence of these fruits in our lives 
indicates a need for deeper personal conversion and recommitment 
to Christ and His Church. 

The foundation of abiding joy is the realization that God is our 
loving Father, Who allows all the trials and circumstances in our 
lives to work together for our good ‹ what we commonly call divine 
providence (cf. Rom. 8:28). Every difficulty we encounter is 
provided as an opportunity for us to demonstrate our trust and 
reliance upon our Father. If we truly have confidence in His 
loving care for us, why would we allow ourselves to become 
discouraged by the troubles that surround us? 

Use it or lose it 

Don't feel like you're a particularly joyful person? You can do 
something about it. Like building a muscle through repeated weight 
lifting, joy is strengthened by practicing natural virtues. God's 
gift of grace builds on nature, so by developing virtue, the 
treasure of divine life (cf. 2 Pet. 1:4) flourishes within our 
hearts. But this takes consistent effort. It means we must work to 
acquire fortitude, so that we don't give up when things become 
difficult; temperance, so that we don't give in to excesses in 
pursuing the pleasures of this world; justice, so we may 
prioritize and fulfill our daily obligations; and prudence, so 
that we may be truly wise and always able to evaluate our earthly 
circumstances in light of eternity. Without these natural virtues, 
our joy may be stolen from us. 

The Church prays in her Liturgy of the Hours, "Through Your Spirit 
unite us with Yourself, so that trial or persecution or danger may 
never separate us from Your love" (Morning Prayer, Thursday, 7th 
week of Easter). Developing our joy in Christ is a lifelong 
process, and distractions will inevitably arise that will divert 
our attention away from Christ and toward the difficulties of our 
daily lives. These distractions are all the more painful and 
challenging when they are encountered close to home ‹ within our 
own families and within the Church itself. And yet St. Paul 
exhorts us to "have no anxiety about anything, but in everything, 
by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests 
be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all 
understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ 
Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7). 

Each of us could compose a long laundry list of all the 
challenges, frustrations, and temptations to anger we encounter in 
our families and within the Church: Dissent from Church teaching, 
liturgical abuses, and division (to name a few examples) exist, 
but to become consumed by these problems would be to go directly 
against Sacred Scripture, which calls us to let our mind dwell on 
good and wholesome things (cf. Phil. 4:8). This doesn't mean we 
ignore or deny that these difficulties exist, but neither should 
we become preoccupied with them. 

We see the problems, yes, but our focus must be on the solutions. 
And even if there is no apparent earthly solution, we should 
maintain a sense of hope and thanksgiving for the eternal life 
that awaits us. 

Cry, and the world laughs at you 

Besides being an essential characteristic of the faithful 
Christian, joy is also a powerful element in leading others to 
Christ and His Church. It's been said that the greatest obstacle 
to Catholicism is often Catholics. When we come across to non-
Catholics as pessimistic, suspicious, and incessant complainers 
about problems in the Church, we aren't going to be very effective 
in evangelizing them. In fact, the more we Catholics appear morose 
and cranky, the less seriously the world will take us and the 
Gospel of Christ. We even run the risk of making the Church and 
its teachings appear ludicrous to non-Catholics when all they see 
is carping, name-calling, and rivalries among us. 

Christ came to give abundant life (cf. John 10:10). When we live 
that abundant life, we become walking, breathing advertisements 
for the truth and power of Christ's Gospel. 

St. Augustine once remarked that "our hearts are restless until 
they rest in Thee." This truth is the key to reaching people with 
the message of Christ and His Church. People are already seeking 
Him, even if they don't realize it. Each person we encounter is 
seeking true happiness, but without Christ he is destined to seek 
it in places and in ways that will never satisfy what he really 
craves - a deep, abiding joy that comes only from Christ. 

That's why it's essential that we manifest this joy to those 
around us! If the people we seek to evangelize see us as angry, 
pessimistic, and unduly aggravated by problems within and without 
the Church, why should they want to become Catholic? No. We must 
show those around us that, because of Christ, we are joyful, 
undaunted, and hopeful, in spite of the problems and obstacles 
that may surround us. 

Laugh, and the world thinks you're weird 

St. Lawrence the Martyr, while in the process of being grilled to 
death on a gridiron, is reported to have looked up at his 
executioners and said, "Excuse me, I believe I'm done on this 
side. You can turn me over now." That's a sense of humor the world 
doesn't understand. It flows from the joy of knowing and loving 
Christ. A similar sense of humor is necessary in ordinary life. 
(On the eve of my wedding, a friend, who had been married for 
twenty-five years and had nine children, gave me two pieces of 
advice. "First," he said, "be sure to maintain your sense of humor 
in marriage. And second, encourage your wife to breastfeed, 
because then you won't have to get up at night with the baby.") 

Joy in Christ leads naturally to evangelization. And we should 
remember that authentic evangelization doesn't mean imposing our 
views on others. It means offering in a charitable way what they 
are already seeking: the fullness of Truth. God has placed within 
each of us the desire for truth. Therefore, "It is in accordance 
with their dignity that all men, because they are persons, that 
is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore bearing 
personal responsibility, are both impelled by their nature and 
bound by moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious 
truth" (Vatican II, Dignitatis Humanae, no. 2). 

Invite them, don't incite them 

For Catholics who don't cultivate joy and charity, discussions 
with non-Catholics or poorly formed Catholics often become mere 
debates, futile and frustrating for both parties. But for the 
joyful Catholic, these encounters are opportunities for grace - 
not attempts to win arguments, but inviting the other person to 
the fullness of communion with Christ in His Church. 

We will, of course, encounter obstacles, difficulties, and 
rejection, but we can accept these as opportunities to deepen our 
trust in and reliance upon Christ and prove our faithfulness. This 
willingness to endure hardship, criticism, and sometimes even 
hatred for the sake of Christ is the same spirit exemplified by 
Moses, who chose "rather to share ill-treatment with the people of 
God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin" (Heb. 11:25). 

Pope John Paul II, in his recent encyclical on Christian unity, Ut 
Unum Sint, tells us that each and every culture possesses certain 
God-given truths. These truths are intended by God to lead people 
to deeper and more profound truths and, finally, to the fullness 
of truth which is found only within the Roman Catholic Church (Ut 
Unum Sint, no. 10). Our job as Catholics is to serve as lights in 
the darkness, helping people along their way to Christ. 

Momentary setbacks and even spectacular earthly failures won't rob 
us of our joy, because we haven't placed our joy in the things of 
this world. Our joy and hope are grounded in Christ and in the 
life to come. 

St. Alphonsus Liguori once said, "Those who pray are saved, those 
who don't are not." If we constantly converse with Christ through 
prayer, we need fear nothing. Think about the joy of the early 
martyrs. In one account of early Roman persecution, a Catholic 
suffered days of torture as the soldiers tried to make him deny 
Christ. The ordeal ended in frustration for his tormentors. An 
exasperated guard cried, "There is nothing we will be able to do 
to destroy this man unless we can get him to sin!" You and I must 
develop the same spirit of perseverance under pressure.  

Cultivating joy isn't easy, but it is simple - as simple as one, 
two, three. One: "Rejoice always." Two: "Pray without ceasing." 
Three: "In all things, give thanks" 

84 comments:

Gene said...

So, with regard to the Church, whatever is, is right and we are all fools and whiners while Priests like Ignotus and Modernists and progressives are all just great because they like the Church just like it is. What was it that the Bulls of Bashan left in the field when they moved on…?

Gene said...

PS …and giving thanks to God in all things is certainly not contingent upon liking what is going on in the Church right now.

Anonymous said...

Love it or leave it, preacher. Maybe your old church will take you back. Or, start your own. Then you could run it any way you want, because you would be the only one there.

Henry said...

"the good ole days that never were"

But some of us still remember the Church when it was generally agreed that the days were very good indeed. Who would say anything like that now?

Henry said...

While at the same time we can see a return of joy and optimism in the rising new generation of Church leaders, and the passing of the old generation.

rob said...

I'm curious as to why, on this blog and other Catholic blogs, that those who 1) want a mass, said according to the rubrics, ('Say the black do the red'), 2) sacraments administered without doubt of their validity because of some ad-lib by the minister of the sacrament, 3) a sense of reverence 4) clear catechesis, without mealy-mouthed ambiguity are derided?

I'm confused, because isn't it every Catholic's right to have these things?

(With regard to item 4,above, it seems to me that one can be clear about the sin, virtue and the 4 last things while still communicating compassion and true charity.)

Pater Ignotus said...

Major sum, et ad majora natus !

And, yes, Ad maiorem Dei gloriam.

Thanks for the mention, Pin/Gene.

George said...

Christian joy is different in that it has to do more with an interior disposition. It is deep and not superficial. It mitigates or sweeps away the what would normally be the external effects of difficulties and adversity. It is sadness at the plight of others without being sad, mourning over someone passing without succumbing to excessive sentimentality and emotionalism. This pre-eminent joy is that which shines through despite difficulties and struggles. Just as the light of the sun penetrates the clouds, such is this joy within the soul of the person that truly possesses it. It is serene, like the calm water of a pool and not like that in a river which rises and falls and has no constancy. It is this and more because it is (as we are taught) one of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Gene said...

Anonymous, clearly you do not get it, but no one really cares.

Richard M. Sawicki said...

Job 1:21: "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away...Blessed be the name of the Lord!"

Phlippians 4: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

If every one of us would commit these two scriptural passages to mind, we'd all be better able to get through the day, as well as apply our faith to whatever challenges there are to living in Christ (and they are legion!). I say this not as a "PollyAnna" looking through rose-colored glasses, but as a disciple of Jesus Christ who understands how one's disposition effects both my outlook as such, as well as my potential success as a witness to others who may be seeking Christ and His Church (possibly without knowing it themsleves!)

Gaudete in Domino Semper!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Gene's second comment.

It's hard to remain optimistic when we have a pope who apparently doesn't believe in the need for the Catholic Church and that "Evangelicals do not have to convert to Catholicism" because they can find Jesus where they are.
Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus..apparently it disappeared sometime in the 1960's perhaps?

If you were a potential convert and you read the the POPE said that, would you even see the need to convert. I would not have, but thank God I came into the Church under Benedict.

JBS said...

Anonymous,

Can you cite a source for your information, please?

Anonymous said...

JBS, and EVERYBODY. This is not a courtroom or some kind of legal proceeding. When somebody says something, you can take it or leave it, believe it or not. Those of you who constantly demand that someone cite a source or show you proof don't seem to know how an open discussion works.

Now...somebody ask me for a citation or an example or proof that that you do what I just said.

Anonymous said...

Here ya go

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/07/martyrs-witnesses.html?m=1

Nathanael said...

I never complain in the public arena.
Blog-dom makes it easy to lament what I never say in public. ;)

It is sort of like sneaking out with my Camel Unfiltered cancer sticks to enjoy and lament.

Jody Peterman said...

I've watched four sexual scandals unfold with Priest in this diocese since 2006 and said nothing. I've been cussed out by a Priest for asking for the NO mass be said AO and said very little. I've been made fun of at my church and been called the Latin Mass guy and I've said very little. If you want me to whine and I can whine. This site used to be somewhere for the orthodox to gather. No we are just the problem. I've dropped out of politics completely because there is no place for me. I'm out of the blogosphere now. Oh, I'll still get giddy on Saturday in anticipation of the Mass. But I'm through caring about liturgy or where the Church is going.

Gene said...

Anonymous, when someone puts something in quotes, it is not unreasonable to ask for a reference. That is different from someone just stating something in their own words. You been to school, right?

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous:

I read the quote from Pope Francis on the Rorate Caeli Blog and then read the article linked on that Blog from which the quote was taken.

Once again, context is everything. The article was written by Brian Stiller, the “Global Ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance” and appears on the WEA website. The author reports on a lunch meeting between the Pope, the author and the Secretary General of the WEA. Although the author supports cooperation with the Catholic Church, he expresses concern that many might question such a meeting because of their suspicions about, and even antipathy towards, the Church. Here is a taste of how “we” are viewed by “them”: “I know some will wonder if we lack discernment, dining as we did with the head of a church many see as heretical.” The author defends the Reformation but makes a counter argument “to those who might dismiss friendship with the Pope.” The author reports that he asked Pope Francis about his approach towards evangelization and then reports the Pope’s answer.

Given the context just described, what would_you_have said if you were Pope? Or would you have refused to dine with “the head of [an Alliance] many see as heretical”? Despite the Pope’s answer, the author says parenthetically, and one assumes with a wry smile, that of course Catholics and Evangelicals do still try to evangelize one another, but suggests that discussion is for another day.


rob said...

Why on earth should any Catholic be cursed out, for asking that mass be said Ad Orientum? Isn't that a valid option in the GIRM? So, why would/should any priest be upset over a Catholic asking for a valid option in the mass?

Anonymous said...

I am interested on how you are going to spin the third Scalfari interview. This should be good.

The pope gives another interview to an atheist who hates the Church and who, we are supposed to believe, makes up interviews. Confusion reigns, so what does he do? The pope gives him another interrview.There isn't any confusion. The pope is doing this purposefully. And anybody who has a mind that works knows this to be true. We have a pope who hates the Catholic Church and thinks everything about it is wrong.

Now he is accusing cardinals of being pedophiles , did any cardinal show him their pedophile cards? And, and, and the pope said celibacy is a problem. Gee I thought the problem was not living celibacy. Given the fact that the majority of todays post Vatican II priests are gay what does that mean?

And yet he does nothing to stop open heresy (VIENNA), nothing. Spin it Father, spin it.

JBS said...

"Anonymous, when someone puts something in quotes, it is not unreasonable to ask for a reference. That is different from someone just stating something in their own words. You been to school, right?"

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

We are faithful Carholics and papists no matter who is pope. I detect a divorce mentality amongst the negative here which indicates they are the problem not the solution to the crisis in the Church. Nothing like locating the speck in the pope's eye and missing the plank in your own eye.

Anonymous said...

So....if I say that Eugene and JBS are "pains in the b*tt", it's OK for somebody to ask for evidence....proof? Really?....REALLY?

Anonymous said...

The issue IMHO is that there are few clear trumpet calls - clear moral and theological leaders. So the laity in the pew who come to know some theology, philosophy, history, etc. come to educate themselves etc. and start paying attention....have questions that are not being answered by their local clergy or hierarchy.

They look for leadership and "a plan" on what to do (besides reacting and playing catchup, defense in the 11th hour that's doomed to fail) with respect to clear and present dangers on the horizon.

Take the whole sexual revolution - where is the clear, unequivocal, heroic and intellectual defense of our faith and promotion of our culture of life? Pope St. John Paul II had this courage and intellectual rigor and so did actively promote our faith over the culture of death. But other than him, how many bishops and priests picked up the baton and carried it?

Most seemed embarrassed and wanted to change the subject.

Thus precious few homilies not just on contraception but why it's harmful... not just briefly mention abortion as bad but WHY it's bad and harmful to women and marriages and relationships and families...

Don't just obliquely mention promiscuity but explain to the people who live in a secular hedonist soup 6 days a week, why is causes great harm and we should help one another avoid it and instead nurture healthy friendships etc.

We look for leadership and finding none, or little, many lay Catholics either sit on their hands and weep or try to provide it as best they can as lay people.

But without the local support of clergy it's necessarily a much harder proposition. Uncertain trumpets, confused mixed signals, timorous 'theologians' who never quite conclude in an unequivocal manner as to why the spirit of the world is wrong (but they will opine in no uncertain terms about why, say, certain conservative positions are downright evil).

People are sheep looking for a shepherd not just a nice guy who says consoling things occasionally and encourages us to feel groovy, think nice thoughts and go back to sleep "it'll all be OK".

Templar said...

I love it. The Church today. Stay, suffer and stop whining. The updated version of pray and pay. Yet the SSPX who stay and suffer are castigated for it, and repeatedly told to get out and embrace the schismatic position they are accussed of. They're hated by the rank and file in the Church. Not so the actual schismatics who have left and become Protestant, they are just seperated, and can likely find their way to God on their own because God is merciful. Any group or individual who stays in The Church to fight for it is a whiner, and ungrateful. But if you actually leave, heck, we'll be nice to you, we'll even have interfaith services, and all manner of co-hosted "stuff". It's farce. The Church has become a self licking ice cream cone.

JBS said...

Fr. McDonald,

I agree. I think the worry is rooted in fear of the unknown. But I've been reading various pre-papacy works of Pope Francis, and haven't encountered even the slightest hint of heresy.

Pope Francis is brilliant. He manages to get himself invited to a meeting of evangelicals, thereby making himself their spiritual father without them even knowing it. The cardinals should have elected a sneaky Jesuit pope years ago!

Marc said...

I am a Catholic, not a papist.

I don't think the "plank in the eye" thing applies to this situation with the pope. The pope's saying things that have been condemned as heresy is not a "speck" in his eye. It demands, in justice, to be publicly refuted by all Catholics to ensure as few fall into this error as possible.

Anonymous said...

People put lots of things in quotes. In the Bible there are many things that Jesus allegedly said, written 100, or so, years later, that are now presented in quotes. Was somebody following Him with a ballpoint pen and a legal pad...maybe a cassette recorder?

And, btw, I have went to school. Now I'm working to wards my GED, but I'm having truble with the english patr.

Gene said...

This Pope has a 6x6 in his eye…LOL!

JBS said...

Gene,

I think you should clarify whether you mean metric or U.S. customary.

JBS said...

The best way to respond to the sinfulness of others is to pray for them. I would carefully avoid making any accusations of heresy against a pope or a member of the clergy (or any other Christian, for that matter) without first ensuring there's no calumny involved and that there's a constructive reason for doing so.

The Holy Ghost dwells within us, and Christ's body, blood, soul and divinity are available to us both in Holy Communion and for adoration. That makes me joyful.

Anonymous said...

I live in the same town as Mr. Peterman and I know of whom and what he speaks. He is smarter than I--at least he kept his mouth shut. I spoke up and paid dearly for it. The "big tent" of the Catholic Church apparently no room for Catholics like him and myself. So I bide my time, waiting for the day and the opportunity to shake this place's dust from my feet and, hopefully, move on one day to a diocese that gives me enough hope to care again.

Marc said...

Is it not possible for one to identify another's statement as being heretical? It's really just a matter of comparing one statement to another. I think we have an obligation to do this during this time of crisis.

I am not saying we should do this to pass judgment on the pope or other clerics. But we should do so in order to avoid error and help others continue in the truth.

We should pray for the pope, of course. But that doesn't mean we close our eyes and ears and avoid stating the very clearly defined Catholic faith (even if the pope happens to say something contrary to it).

Henry said...

Many faithful Catholics have suffered liturgical, spiritual, and emotional abuse at the hands of the Church for 40 years. I'm not sure it does much good to tell these white martyrs to be joyful.

They might have more reason for joy if they were red martyrs. Indeed, history suggests that secular abuse can be spiritually beneficial, whereas I'm not sure the abuse of the faithful by the Church in recent decades has done them much good.

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc - Simply comparing one statement with another is rarely, if ever, sufficient to determine if either statement rises to the level of "heresy."

If someone were to post, "Jesus Christ is true God but not true man," you could compare that to CCC 464 which states, "Jesus Christ is true God and true man."
Statements here, rarely if ever, are that simple and accusations thrown at others are almost always hurled with no supporting evidence whatsoever.

I am accused of being a heretic - a "modernist" - frequently, but you and others to make the accusation don't offer as much as a definition of modernism in support of this accusation, much less a comparison of what I have said to what you believe to be orthodox statements of faith.

When the Church suspects an author of having strayed from orthodoxy, that writer is invited to explain his/her statements in a way that shows that they are, indeed, within the bounds of Catholic teaching. Those responsible for making a judgment don't simply compare this sentence with that sentence to see if the ideas match up.

And far too often, those with limited training in theology are among the first to start yelling their heads off about some statement or another, only to find, later on, that their own ignorance is the source of misunderstanding.

Marc said...

Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. -- Condemned.

I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism. I want people to find Jesus in their own community. -- Francis

I agree that heresy is rarely so easy to spot.

Anonymous said...

What do you think John Nolan? (I know you're there.)

Gene said...

Ignotus, you have said explicitly that you are a progressive..which to me says modernist.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - Show me 1) where I said explicitly that I am progressive and 2) where the Church defines a progressive as a modernist, or 2a) where your equation of progressive with modernist has the Church's support.

Marc - You leave out: "It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church."

Joe Potillor said...

Less is more, have not the people at the press office learned about the speed of how information travels? Less interviews, Less daily homilies, less, less, less...Let's call things spades that are spades and stop with the mental gymnastics to try to explain the rather obvious.

That said, perhaps this the vehicle of testing for us, and we should indeed give thanks for these things.

Anon friend said...

"I used to care, but things have changed.."
Look it up.
I'm done. John Nolan got it right.
May God have mercy on us all..

JBS said...

I am in agreement with Pater Ignotus on this one. I would observe the following:

(A.) A Catholic cannot convert an Evangelical. Rather, a Catholic can invite an Evangelical to convert. The Evangelical would be the one doing the converting.

(B.) If one attempts to convert an Evangelical using overt means, as I have done very frequently in the past, the conversation tends to quickly get bogged down, with neither side really listening to the other.

(C.) If, however, a Catholic priest or bishop (or pope) simply prays and studies with a group of Evangelicals, then there's an increased chance that this growing friendship will prompt these Evangelicals to become more open to the fullness of Catholic truth and life.

(D.) Stating clearly "extra Ecclesiam nulla salus" (as the CCC does) may make us feel good, but Evangelicals will just note that this phrase is not in their Bibles. Rather, we must develop friendships with Evangelicals so that through us they can gradually come to see the fullness of truth, a fullness found only in the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Folks, it's all about strategy, and Pope Francis is an expert strategist. "Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves."

Marc said...

I apologize for omissions in my previous post everyone. I should have added the following very clearly defined Catholoc teachings:

Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church. --Condemned

The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has persevered within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.

Marc said...

So, it is okay deny the truth of the Church so long as we do so in order to develop friendships...

I'm sure the martyrs are regretting not pinching just a little incense. They could have saved their lives, made some friends, and brought their new friends gradually to "the fullness of the faith" that they had just denied.

anon friend said...

"I used to care, but things have changed.."
Look it up.
I'm done. John Nolan got it right.
May God have mercy on us all..

Over the past 60+ years, I have given until it hurts. Years of scrimping to tithe, countless hours in sacristan/altar/physical plant work. When all looked bleak, then finally moving on to an Eastern Catholic rite to get a bit of peace before I die (which won't be much longer). The religious heritage I am leaving my adult children, grands and generations on has been my focus and effort. I grieve for my beloved family and my beloved Church. I love you desperately, but cannot control or change anything.
May God continue to bless you and lead you to eternal life.

Gene said...

Ignotus, Look it up yourself. You are the one who loves to dig through people's old posts. I remember you posting it, I'm sure you know you did. I really do not give enough of a damn about you to bother. Most of us on there blog know your true colors.

Anonymous said...

Back to quotation marks for a minute....there is a column in the "Southern Cross", the Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Savannah, today that has an interesting quote from Gandhi. It says first that he loved Jesus Christ and that he memorized the entire New Testament. The quote says that "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

Gene said...

"People are crazy and times are strange,
I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range.
I used to care, but things have changed."

Bob Dylan

Also, see:

"It don't take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.'

George said...

JBS:
Good post.
A Catholic cannot convert an Evangelical or anyone else for that matter who happens to adhere to another creed or religion. We can only help God (co-operate with Him and His grace) in converting others. We can only assist someone else to correspond to the grace of God which is freely given and available to all. As you say in (D.) "we must develop friendships with Evangelicals so that through us they can gradually come to see the fullness of truth, a fullness found only in the Catholic and Apostolic Church". We also cannot take every utterance from the Holy Father as being "ex officio" infallible or as being an addition or addendum to the Deposit of the Faith. He, like any human being is going to engage in some friendly social banter every once in a while. The Holy Father saying "I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism" is just acknowledging that Evangelicals do not want to convert and only God (not the Pope) in the end can bring about conversion.

Gene said...

So, who cares about Ghandi, anyway?

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

Thank you for the quote from the papal bull known as Cantate Domino, promulgated by Pope Eugenius IV in 1442. Here is a link to the entire text Council of Florence, Session 11 (Bull of Union with the Copts):

http://www.ewtn.com/library/councils/florence.htm#5

I would make two points:

(1) You know from your own legal training that no one who is untrained in the law can pull down a primary legal text such as a statute or an appellate decision and state with any degree of confidence that it means what it appears to mean at first sight. To be able to understand the correct meaning of such a primary legal text you have to put it into proper context and apply the proper techniques of legal reasoning. Failure to do so will lead to an erroneous legal judgment about the matter. Now, why should it be any different with magisterial texts? I have said before that I have no authority to interpret magisterial documents definitively – no formal authority for sure and no substantive authority based on any expertise (I am not trained in the ways of magisterial reasoning). Do you have such authority? It is not unreasonable, and indeed is probably mandated, for lay Catholics to defer to the formal and substantive authority of those who have it, namely the magisterium as reflected in the teachings promulgated in the CCC. Here again are the key teachings:

846 How are we to understand this affirmation [“Outside the Church there is no salvation”], often repeated by the Church Fathers. Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body.

Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.

847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience—those too may achieve eternal salvation.

848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”


[continued]

Anonymous 2 said...


(2) One further reason it it is not unreasonable, or is even mandated, to defer to the teachings in the CCC is that, when placed in its historical context, the quoted passage from Cantate Domino may not in fact be saying what it seems to be saying when it is read out of that context. Doesn’t it make a difference that this bull was promulgated to give guidance to the newly reunited churches in Greece, Armenia, and Egypt regarding the orthodox Catholic teaching on central tenets of the Faith and that at the Council of Basel eight years earlier, in 1434, which addressed the reunion of these churches in the East, the Council had made provision for teaching the Catholic Faith to Jews “and other infidels”, instruction that they were compelled to attend (see Decree on Jews and neophytes)? Is it not possible, then, to interpret this apparently stark language in Cantate Domino as addressing the situation of those Jews and others who had received instruction in the true Faith? If so, then arguably it does not speak to the situation of those who had been given no such opportunity. This would then be quite consistent with the position set out in the CCC. Here is a link to the relevant conciliar document (see session 19):

http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/FLORENCE.HTM#13

I cannot claim to have thought of this point myself; I discovered the argument in a comment on another Blog while researching the issue this evening. Remember, I am not claiming that this is actually the correct interpretation of the passage. I do not know how the magisterium interprets the passage. That is beyond my pay grade. But this line of inquiry does suggest that we should be very careful before we challenge or reject teachings of the magisterium as set out in the CCC.



Carol H. said...

Kyrie eleison.

Joe Potillor said...

It's important to remember that conversion is a work of the Holy Spirit, something that we do not do ourselves, we are agents through which conversion takes place.

I also think it's important for the Church to be honest with who She is. In other words, don't water things down. Teach the Truth, and nothing but the Truth. Help people get through their personal road blocks in so far as it's possible. That is to say I think it does a disservice when we leave out a teaching for the sake of being nice or whatever reason.

While I don't agree with the strategy that Pope Francis is doing, neither do I quite agree that it's always necessary to be abrasive with the Truth. Neither give a pinch of incense towards idols, nor treat people as if they're incompetent idiots.

The trouble in this age is the failure to recognize that dialogue is not an end but a means towards an end...ultimately the pursuit of Truth (which is of course in the Catholic Church under the Headship of Jesus through his vicar Pope Francis). It kind of feels like we're going back in time to the days when dialogue didn't lead to a conclusion...which is why there should be an office for Interreligious conclusions (not dialogue)

Anonymous said...

Yes, we must give thanks to God for all He has given us, but that must not prevent us from speaking out about what is wrong both in the Church and in society. There are those who do not like criticism, even though it is certainly warranted in the current malaise afflicting the Church and there is an attempt to use this false meaning of joy to prevent people from speaking out. Joy is love of Our Lord but I doubt the Apostles or Our Lady showed much joy when Our Lord was crucified on the Cross. And nor should we either when we see the wounds being inflicted on the Church by those who should know better.

The latest interview of Pope Francis with Scalfari is the latest in a number of wounds inflicted on the body of the faithful, but this time on good, holy and faithful priests. It is not good enough and it certainly fills me with the opposite of joy ...

Jan

Anonymous said...

So...preacher...you care about Bob Dylan, but not about Gandhi?

I think I get it. Dylan is a white guy.

Too bad that in studying for all of your impressive degrees, you never learned to spell Gandhi.

Marc said...

A2, are you thinking, then, that the pope believes this person to whom he was speaking was invincibly ignorant of the True Faith and the pope was afraid to tell him the truth because then he might be liable for his failure to accept it?

So, we'd rather people remain invincibly ignorant than "go out and baptize all nations"?

(If you want some further information on the doctrine, I suggest reading Ludwig Ott, not EWTN. I think that this would clarify for you that I am not interpreting these things for myself. I am reliant upon catechisms and secondary sources, just like you. It's just that my sources happen to cite councils and popes that happened before Vatican II, whereas your CCC pretty much only cites Vatican II and John Paul II.)

Marc said...

Addendum to my previous post:

The Church has always taught that those outside the church could be saved DESPITE their false religion (by invincible ignorance of the True Faith [I am going to leave out questions of baptism here]).

The Church has many times condemned the idea that people can be saved through their false religion.

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc said, "It's just that my sources happen to cite councils and popes that happened before Vatican II, whereas your CCC pretty much only cites Vatican II and John Paul II."

This is not correct.

The CCC cites Sacred Scripture more than 3,100 times. The Council of Trent is cited appx 83 times. (17 of the 21 Ecumenical Councils are cited.) Pius XII is cited 12 times. St. John Paul II, 108 times. St. Augustine, appx 85 times. St. Theophilus of Antioch, 1 time.

And there are many, MANY citations of other pre-Vatican II sources also. In fact, the VAST majority of citations in the Catechism of the Catholic Church are to pre-Vatican Two sources.

Marc said...

How many times is Vatican II cited in the CCC?

I'm not at home so I can't look at my copy.

Gene said...

Anonymous, Typo. I do not care about Dylan (he's white). However, he was very much in everyone's face during the 60's and 70's and many of his phrases and lines became standard cliches. Dylan, the Beatles, angry no talent folk singers…these were the beginning of the end. Oh, and if you are so jealous of my degrees, go out and get some of your own.

Pater Ignotus said...

http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/epub/index.cfm#

Marc said...

You could've just said that you don't know the answer to the question... I'm not going to count. It and e strange that you have the numbers for the other sources but not the Vatican II sources, but whatever.

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

Yes, I am thinking exactly that the President of the Evangelical Alliance “do[es] not know . . . the Church” and what they do know of the Church does not impress them. Try to look at it through their eyes and see what they see. It is different from what you and I see. I agree with Father JBS that Pope Francis is probably pursuing a wise strategy to help him (and others) get to know it. I believe this is a topic in the next thread.

What did you used to see, Gene? You were a Protestant minister after all. How about others who used to be Protestant?


Gene said...

Anon 2, as a theology student and pastor, my issues were mainly theological ones. Having attended large Divinity Schools, there was much dialogue between Catholic and protestant students and professors, so I was quite familiar with Catholic theology and doctrine and the major points of conflict or disagreement. Interestingly, in the 70's, there were still places where the TLM was regularly celebrated, and my memories of Catholic Mass from my HS years (my girlfriend was Catholic and attended St. Jo's) were all of the TLM. So, I viewed Catholicism, quite favorably, as the place where the Mystery of Christ's Sacrifice and the Mystery of God's Holiness were to be found in their most profound manifestation.
The doctrine of the Real Presence was never an issue for me, because I always thought protestants should believe that, too. I never found the veneration of Mary to be a problem because there is solid Scriptural basis for it. No, my issues were theological. I was a TULIP Calvinist, and Total Depravity was my favorite doctrine…LOL! I still have a warm place for it in my little heart of darkness, and so am very fond of Augustine. Also, Irresistable Grace made theological sense to me and is still acceptable if we understand it in light of God's perfect and permissive will. So, those were my big issues. I still laugh about my first meeting with Fr. MacDonald…I sat down and told him I was a TULIP Calvinist and asked him if he knew what TULIP stood for. He did not, so I recited it and said, "I have a feeling that the T is the one you and I will have the most difficulty with." He laughed and said, "Indeed so."
I became Catholic primarily for theological reasons and the worship aspects were secondary…but they quickly became primary because one cannot separate Catholic worship from Catholic doctrine ( as has been done post Vat II). With regard to Total Depravity, the first chapter of Romans was always a stumbling block for me regarding that doctrine. I came to see that the Church is right and that Calvinism ultimately leads to universalism and indifferentism and borders on denying the goodness of Creation.
So, I never had the anti-Catholic biases that many protestants grow up with. I always viewed Catholics as particularly devout and diligent about their faith and worship. I also had several powerful experiences with Catholic Priests during my pastorates and some personal moments of trial and grief which left me with a strong awareness of Christ's power in them. My transition to the Church was not difficult from that perspective. My struggle was to be sure I was being honest with myself about where God was leading me. Fr. MacDonald was a marvelous guide and mentor for me. He never pulled punches, he was straightforward, and his matter-of-fact faith and devotion were obvious to me the entire journey. Never let the fact that I do not always agree with him cast any doubt upon my absolute respect and gratefulness to him. All the Liturgical issues aside, he is the kind of Priest and pastor every Catholic should have.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

Thank you for sharing that history with us. It is very illuminating. I am still curious, though, what brought you to the Church finally – whether it was solely as a result of your own questing and the experiences you described or whether someone invited you to consider more seriously the possibility becoming Catholic. Would you be comfortable sharing that with us too?

I think I have described my own journey to the Church before and how evangelization in my case needed to be very low key and gentle. Anything more forceful would have driven me away; indeed it already had once before.

Gene said...

Anon 2, It was strictly a personal quest. I watched the protestant churches compromise their beliefs, doctrines (those that had any), and values in a headlong embrace of secularism, modernism, and unbelief. I said to myself, "Well, if we shall know them by their fruits, there is no way this is anything near Christ's church." The Catholic Church remained strong in her refusal to compromise her beliefs for cultural fads and social gospel nonsense. However, upon coming over, I see that the Church is under a huge threat from within to become just like protestantism. My sometimes strident and polemical remarks on this blog are my way of standing in the road and waving my hands and screaming, "Go back, you fools, turn around. You don't know what you are doing!" I speak from long experience and much grief.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - Regarding the "social gospel," the Catholic Church knows exactly what it is doing.

The Church is meant to be a leaven in the world, and that includes all aspects of the world such as finance, economic policy, international trade, defense, etc.

Decision made in these areas impact peoples' lives, so they are moral matters. And it is the right and duty of the Church to address areas of social injustice.

And no, including these areas does not distract the Church from the task of preaching the Reign of God and showing people the path to salvation.

Gene said...

Go back to sleep, Ignotus.

Pater Ignotus said...

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2419 Christian revelation . . . promotes deeper understanding of the laws of social living." The Church receives from the Gospel the full revelation of the truth about man. When she fulfills her mission of proclaiming the Gospel, she bears witness to man, in the name of Christ, to his dignity and his vocation to the communion of persons. She teaches him the demands of justice and peace in conformity with divine wisdom.

2420 The Church makes a moral judgment about economic and social matters, "when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls requires it. In the moral order she bears a mission distinct from that of political authorities: the Church is concerned with the temporal aspects of the common good because they are ordered to the sovereign Good, our ultimate end. She strives to inspire right attitudes with respect to earthly goods and in socio-economic relationships.

Wake up, Pin/Gene.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

Thank you for elaborating. I have always thought that your intentions were laudable and that your concern has been to protect the Church from what you see as error and to defend her against attacks from “enemies.” That said, we will, I suspect, continue to disagree about some things. The exchange with Pater Ignotus is a case in point. You have said before that you accept the teachings of the Church in the CCC. I find it difficult to understand, therefore, how you can be so dismissive of the “social gospel” of the Church (unless by that you mean something other than the “social teaching” of the Church as set out in the CCC and the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church). I also find it difficult to understand why you feel the need to be so disrespectful of Pater Ignotus, one of our priests, even if you do sincerely believe that he is a “progressive,” whatever “progressive” is supposed to mean in this context.

Anonymous said...

There's a direct connection between doxis and praxis. Between being afraid to preach Christ overtly and wondering why the fruits of the spirit aren't appearing via 'soft' evangelization.

My "beef" with "progressives" is that they're not really progressive! They're not really radical! Their socio-economic-political-and religious project is not some new idea leading to eutopia...but very old ideas, the default condition of humanity since Babel.

It's not 'progress' to agitate for a centralized state. The default government of human history has been tyranny. It's not progress to agitate for lessening of morals, wealth redistribution, bread and circuses, and various idolatrous fads... again, these are all default conditions.

Paradoxically it's the so-called "conservative" whose programs and projects are truly revolutionary and seeds of progress. Imagine a world where government is small because the vast majority of individuals in their families take moral responsibility for themselves and their fellow man!

Imagine a world where consequently police and militaries are small. Where there's no welfare state apparatus because the people take care of each other voluntarily via families, churches, associations.

Imagine a world where it's not a given that teens will be promiscuous, rebellious and insta-savages if left unsupervised!

Imagine a world where far from being considered a private affair, religion is publicly celebrated as vitally important to the health of individual, family and society.

The Church used to be the welfare safety net - the poor, the elderly, and sick, and all school children found refuge in the Church that was sustained by private enterprise.

But first kings and then secular states swept that all away and using the royal and then centralized state treasury began to supplant the Church in every area that touched on citizen's lives with the explicit goal of prying people away from Catholicism.

So those Catholics who cheer the ongoing US Federal government's continued encroachment in all areas of life are helping the enemy that will hang us all after undermining the faith of youth, elderly, minorities, etc.

The Conservatives among us thus are the radical progressives while the radical progressives are only about restoring humanity to the sad default setting.

Anonymous said...

There's a direct connection between doxis and praxis. Between being afraid to preach Christ overtly and wondering why the fruits of the spirit aren't appearing via 'soft' evangelization.

My "beef" with "progressives" is that they're not really progressive! They're not really radical! Their socio-economic-political-and religious project is not some new idea leading to eutopia...but very old ideas, the default condition of humanity since Babel.

It's not 'progress' to agitate for a centralized state. The default government of human history has been tyranny. It's not progress to agitate for lessening of morals, wealth redistribution, bread and circuses, and various idolatrous fads... again, these are all default conditions.

Paradoxically it's the so-called "conservative" whose programs and projects are truly revolutionary and seeds of progress. Imagine a world where government is small because the vast majority of individuals in their families take moral responsibility for themselves and their fellow man!

Imagine a world where consequently police and militaries are small. Where there's no welfare state apparatus because the people take care of each other voluntarily via families, churches, associations.

Imagine a world where it's not a given that teens will be promiscuous, rebellious and insta-savages if left unsupervised!

Imagine a world where far from being considered a private affair, religion is publicly celebrated as vitally important to the health of individual, family and society.

The Church used to be the welfare safety net - the poor, the elderly, and sick, and all school children found refuge in the Church that was sustained by private enterprise.

But first kings and then secular states swept that all away and using the royal and then centralized state treasury began to supplant the Church in every area that touched on citizen's lives with the explicit goal of prying people away from Catholicism.

So those Catholics who cheer the ongoing US Federal government's continued encroachment in all areas of life are helping the enemy that will hang us all after undermining the faith of youth, elderly, minorities, etc.

The Conservatives among us thus are the radical progressives while the radical progressives are only about restoring humanity to the sad default setting.

Gene said...

Fr did not choose to post my response, Anon 2. Not sure why except that I was explaining why I distrust Ignotus. It seems Fr is following the Pope's lead in dumping on traditionalists. Go figure. Doesn't really matter…everybody here knows Ignotus is dishonest.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous:

Thank you for your very interesting post.

The conservatism you describe is not, it seems to me, how conservatism is understood in today’s America. Instead most of those who identify as conservatives today are just liberals of another stripe, namely nineteenth century economic liberals or “classical liberals,” combined with “traditional morality” on other matters, especially sexual matters (unless of course they are “libertarian conservatives”). They divide on foreign policy. Such “conservatives” accept as given the modern bureaucratic state and free market capitalism. Of course, this taxonomy of contemporary conservatism is rather rudimentary.

I am not sure just how revolutionary and radical your vision is. Perhaps you can clarify. I understand that you want to challenge the modern bureaucratic state. But I am unclear what you envisage for economic arrangements. So, what does the vision entail for so-called free market capitalism and those other bureaucratic quasi governments known as corporations?


Anonymous 2 said...

“Everybody here knows Ignotus is dishonest.”

Not everyone, Gene. I have great respect for all of the priests who post on this Blog, and I bet I am not alone. Sorry.

Pater Ignotus said...

Pin/Gene - Nah, I'm not dishonest. What twists your shorts into a knot is that your third grade bullying tactics won't shut me up. Other are intimidated - I am not. It's as simple as that.

On top of that, I challenge your false hope that you'd joined a Church that supports your racism, that coddles your prejudices, and that dogmatizes you brand of politics.

You thought you had escaped from a "progressive" faith community and discovered a Church that mirrored your own skewed political views. In fact, the Catholic Church rejects much of what you want to believe, and I remind you of that regularly.

If I quote Scripture you resort to jokes about proctologists. If I cite Magisterial teaching, you resort to ad hominem attacks against me and those who support me.

No, I am not dishonest. I am Catholic, and it is being Catholic that troubles you so much.

Marc said...

Pater you are dishonest. And you are a bully. And you are condescending.

Setting aside our doctrinal disputes, if you demonstrate what it means to "be Catholic" then I would happily "be" something else because I would not want to be like you as a person, so smug and pretentious.

I find it remarkable that someone put you in charge of a flock of souls considering your personality is so terrible and hauty.

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc - Your struggle is with your own ignorance, not with my "haughtiness." Just as you know far more about the law than I, because you have studied the law, I know far more about Catholic theology than you, because I have studied Catholic theology.

The only shame in ignorance is not recognizing it.

If you call me smug because I know what I know, then I am guilty as charged. I don't think that that is smugness - I think it is confidence and trust in the Truth the Church teaches.

Marc said...

Pater, I call you smug not because of what you know (or think you know), but because of the way you present the information and yourself.

I have, countless times over many years, tried to engage you politely and systematically, and I have oftentimes admitted my ignorance where appropriate. Without fail, in your response, you disassemble and patronize. You are always quick to bring up admitted errors from years ago.

I have, in the past, asked you questions out of genuine and overtly professed spiritual need, and you respond in the most condescending way possible.

So, as I said, I do not agree with you on many things doctrinal. I think you are wrong on many things. But, my problem with you is not your doctrinal errors, it is with you.

I think you are a terrible person, especially considering your role as a supposed shepherd, because when I have asked you for fish, you gave me snakes. I can only hope that you are completely different in real life when dealing with your parishioners.

Gene said...

Ignotus, no one on this blog is intimidated by me…except maybe you. I notice you area the one doing the name-calling here. And, how do you know I'm a racist? What do you actually know about my political beliefs? Only what you surmise from a few posts. Your assumptions are all wrong, but you keep right on going. You are truly a pitiful soul with but the proverbial "little learning" which you attempt to cashier for actual knowledge. The truly intelligent people on the blog, with true knowledge of theology, doctrine, and Liturgics laugh at you…on and off the blog. So, keep on. You are a real hoot… and the only true bully on the blog.

Anonymous 2 said...

Re Gene, Marc, and Pater:

As you know I tend to agree with Pater a lot more than I agree with Gene and Marc. However, I still wish there were a way to “clear the air” and get beyond the perceptions created, rightly or wrongly, by comments on the Blog. The only way I know to do that is by meeting people in person. But Gene doesn’t want to meet Pater and even refuses to meet with me because I voted for Obama. I think Marc is open to meeting but he does not live in Macon. I do not know what Pater feels about this matter, but as a priest I imagine he has to meet all sorts of people. =)

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I agree. There is no need to trade insulting remarks or dinigrate people's knowlege, lack thereof. What should be debated are the comments. Leave acrimony out of it and insults.

Pater Ignotus said...

Marc - It is unrealistic for you to expect that you can make repeatedly all sorts of false accusations about me, the Church, popes, and bishops and then be responded to as if you were simply expressing "spiritual need."

Here's my response to your expressed need. "One ought to proceed with personal obedience of faith; one must submit one’s experience, insights, and wishes to the judgment of the Church’s teaching, prepared to reform oneself according to the mind of Christ (see Jn 12.44–50; Rom 12.2; Gal 2.2)."