Tuesday, November 11, 2014

BILL, BILL, BILL, THE CUMMINGS AND GOINGS OF AN ARROGANT, SELF-REFERENTIAL EDITORIALIST

Dr. Bill Cummings is a inactive, non assigned priest who lives in the Macon area and writes commentaries for the Macon Telegraph. He has been emboldened by Pope Francis thinking that he and the Holy Father are on the same page. The only problem is that Pope Francis is humble, a practicing Catholic and the pope. Dr. Bill is none of these things but I would be grateful if he would clarify his participation in the Church, meaning if he is married was he laisized and married in the Church and does he practice his Catholic faith in an minimal way, such as Mass every Sunday and Confession at least once a year if he has a mortal sin or two. Only Dr. Bill can clarify this for us.

Dr. Bill lives out today through Pope Francis his glory days in the seminary in 1960's and its mentality evidently his glory days long gone and never actually to return, but don't tell Dr.Bill he can't go back to that period of time. They are over and their is less time to live in the Church of today than there was well over 50 years ago and the period of time when he blew it.

But even if his best days were in the 1960's (whose weren't for that matter?) can't he at least be honest when he writes about the pope and the Church for the Macon Telegraph whose dwindling readers make the Church's problems with participation look mild in comparison!

But I digress.

Some of his delusions revolve around the idea that he and the pope are on the same page concerning the Church. Dr. Bill, the pope prays the liturgy of the hours everyday (using the Latin Brievery BTW)  and celebrates Mass everyday and goes to confession regularly and once quite in public to be a role model for you and all of us in the Church, especially non-practicing Catholics.

While the Holy Father can change human elements of Canon Law, His Holiness cannot change Divine Law. The pope is not the master of Divine Law but its servant as it is revealed to all of good will through natural law and specifically to Catholics through Scripture, Tradition and the Church's Magisterium.

Pope Cummings, I mean, Dr. Bill thinks that the Church's tacit approval of slavery which slavery was a part of many cultures  (which is also tacitly approved in the New Testament and by Jesus himself who uses slave/master rhetoric in his parables) is the same as the Church's teaching on marriage being for one man and one woman. Just as the Church condemned slavery eventually, the Church could condemn its narrow view of what constitutes marriage. The Church could approve of same sex marriage. But these are not the same and Dr. Cummings is intentionally trying to deceive Catholics and the few others who read the Telegraph or Dr.Bill is stupid. I don't think he is stupid. He's just dumb.

Marriage between one man and one woman is Divine Law. Natural Law enables those of good will to know this and informed them in the past. Catholics have other sources for this divine truth. It is not a human law or approval based purely on human law.

Here are some of the other falsehoods of Dr. Cummings in this past Sunday's commentary in the Macon Telegraph. He lies about the context of what the Pope said when he said "Who am I to judge" as it had nothing to do with same sex marriage or approval of unchastity for priests since it was a commentary on the so-called gay lobby in the Vatican and thus about priests.  Furthermore the Holy Father said if there is a gay lobby in the Vatican this is BAD!

Dr. Bill also lies about canon law, some of it human law, regulating marriage in the Church and regulating annulments which is a pastoral outreach of the Church to assist Catholics whose marriages have ended in permanent separation!

Here is Dr. Bill Cummings and goings:

Two weeks ago, I said the pope and I felt the same way about church laws. We continually ask the question: “What good are they?”

Two days ago, Douglas Harden wrote a letter to the editors with grave and coherent objections to my column. His first correction was absolutely on target: I did not distinguish between the violation of a dogma (heresy) and the violation of a church law (mortal sin). Most Catholics inadvertently merge the two just as I did, but Harden -- to his credit -- doesn’t.

The second point of his well-researched and extremely well-written letter was this, and I quote: “the infallibility of the Magisterium does not and has not changed in the 2,000 year history of the faith.” 

This is the first place where we differ. Just one example: the Magisterium (the teaching arm of the church) sanctioned slavery for more than a thousand years, and then changed its position. It could change its position again for gay marriage and remarried Catholics. Even though these church laws were labeled: “irreformable and definitive” when they oozed out of Rome, Pope Francis is free to ask: “what good are they now?”

Third, Harden said I misquoted the pope on gays. I didn’t. The pope said “Who am I to judge?” I think Harden wishes the pope had said: “Well, gay marriage is sinful, but we must love these sinners.” But he didn’t say that. He said: “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?” You can spin and twist “accepting the Lord” and “goodwill” into “give up gay marriage,” but that’s not what he said.

Now I am not saying the pope is sanctioning gay marriage and remarried Catholics, but he has questioned the necessity of both laws that punish these people. He is admitting that these laws exist, but he is encouraging all of us to ask if they are still relevant.

Americans have been questioning President Obama’s policies for several years. Last week, they went to the polls and made a change. Catholics, who incidentally are part of the Magisterium, can do the same thing, and certainly, the pope, who is the head of this teaching body, can issue his own “executive orders.”

Next, Harden mentioned that valid Catholic marriages can only be broken by the canonical process of annulment -- as if this were some sign from heaven that the marriage really wasn’t valid from the beginning. The pope said last week that this was up for questioning, too. I’m glad. Ask any priest who has worked in the Bishop’s Chancery office (where annulments are issued) what percentage of the annulment is theology and what percentage is money and politics. This hypocritical system must be eliminated.

Finally, Harden talked about canon law as if it were static. It isn’t. The church has been writing laws since the year 325 A.D. when the newly converted emperor herded the bishops into the town of Nicaea and forced them to write the “laws” of the church, and bishops and popes have been rewriting and changing them ever since.

But I understand Catholics like Harden. They would love to have a church that is stable and solid and unchanging. As they look back in history, they disguise the changes the church has already made and try to hold onto this myth as if it were history. It’s more comfortable that way. I hear there’s a movement underway to depose Pope Francis and reinstall his conservative predecessor, Benedict XVI, who never questioned church laws. Some people just can’t stand change.

Pope Francis sees the church as ever-changing and continuously trying to meet the changing minds and hearts of people everywhere. He finds no problem with making the church relevant even if this means making changes.

Otherwise, as the two of us have always said: “what good is it?”
Dr. Bill Cummings is the CEO of Cummings Consolidated Corp. and Cummings Management Consultants. His website is www.billcummings.org.

Read more here: http://www.macon.com/2014/11/09/3412983/dr-cummings-church-laws-what-go.html?sp=/99/203/941/#storylink=cpy





8 comments:

qwikness said...

The Telegraph gives him a platform to criticize the Catholic Church. I wonder if they knew what they were getting when they signed him up to write for them. He always seemed nice enough on WMAZ. Sort of a retired business consultant/self-help guru. Religious stuff never came up. Now he can't leave it alone. Who would care about his thoughts other than upset Catholics or former Catholics or Anti-Catholics. Even his non-religious stuff is no good. Boring and useless. Maybe writing about religion gets him attention. Why the Telegraph allows it is a mystery. Maybe they think he'll eventually stop. Maybe they like it.

rcg said...

Here's a hint: nobody pays him for any of the other stuff in his consultant head. It is only interesting if you don't already know what he is writing is wrong. Sounds like a job for the local priests.

Bee said...

Sad, these people are out there writing this kind of stuff, sowing the seeds of confusion among the "bruised reeds" and "smoldering wicks" and those who chafe at the yoke of Christ. Too bad they have a voice. His article kind of reminds me of the work of Fr. Andrew Greeley in the '70's and '80's.

Rorate Caeli had a wonderful interview with Archbishop Athanasius Schneider and Fr. Jerabek highlighted this quote from it on his blog:

"Cardinals, bishops, priests, Catholic families, Catholic young people have to say to themselves: I refuse to conform to the neo-pagan spirit of this world, even when this spirit is spread by some bishops and cardinals; I will not accept their fallacious and perverse use of holy Divine mercy and of “new Pentecost”; I refuse to throw grains of incense before the statue of the idol of the gender ideology, before the idol of second marriages, of concubinage, even if my bishop would do so, I will not do so; with the grace of God I will choose to suffer rather than betray the whole truth of Christ on human sexuality and on marriage."

Nov. 2014http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/11/bp-athanasius-schneider-on-synod.html#more

Flavius Hesychius said...

Here's my beef with Cummings (aside from his necroposting here) as well as those with whom he tends to have an ideological similarity—

None of them ever seem to possess the ability to answer one simple question:

If everything is subjective (and thus changeable)as they posit, why then must I be content to follow man-made societal rules when I can create my own? Why should I care about any issue when I can feel much better pursuing a purely selfish and hedonistic existence?

Operating under the assumed veracity of liberals' claims, not only are Catholicism and Orthodoxy wrong, but so is the entire basis of Christianity. As far as I'm concerned, this means that there is no God, no objective morality, nor any true meaning to life. As such, killing millions of homosexuals is directly equivalent to giving those same millions the "right to marry".

I know Dr. Cummings reads this blog from time to time—and, if he should read this response, I challenge him to provide me an answer to my question.

Thankfully, however, I'm free to think ideas like his are idiotic and hold no veracity.

George said...

Dr. Cummings "thinks that the Church's tacit approval of slavery which slavery was a part of many cultures (which is also tacitly approved in the New Testament and by Jesus himself who uses slave/master rhetoric in his parables) is the same as the Church's teaching on marriage being for one man and one woman." Slavery is a human created institution. Marriage is a Divine created one (most explicitly and definitively as a Sacrament). With human institutions where a moral dimension is involved, there is prudential judgement and also determinations base on moral philosophy and theology. If Christ and St Paul and the rest of the apostles had gone around and preached against and condemned slavery, what good would it had done? It could well have instigated a slave rebellion which would have been brutally crushed, with many slaves massacred. It would not have ended slavery. This of course would also have set back the spread of Christianity.
St Paul dealt with the issue as it existed in his time :"Slaves, be obedient to your human masters" and "willingly serve the Lord and not human beings", and to their Masters:" act in the same way toward them, and stop bullying, knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven and that with him there is no partiality". It is the Gospel which laid the foundation for the abolition of slavery. There are those who will use the issue of slavery to attack certain of the Church's teachings which they contend can be changed. They cannot be changed since they come from God Himself.



qwikness said...

No where does the Bible command that one must own a slave. It does say that one must not have gay sex.

Flavius Hesychius said...

Hell, qwikness, Cummings defeats himself by assuming there exists some magical rule-book stating slavery is wrong, just to turn around and say morality is subjective.

If the Church is wrong about "gay marriage" (which he suggests) then the Church *might* have been wrong when it "turned against" slavery.

Oh wait... Cummings is part of that super-secret and elite liberal club that possesses arcane knowledge about the true nature of the universe, a knowledge of which we miserable and unenlightened plebeians could only ever hope to gain a miniscule glimpse.

In a world quickly moving toward nihilism (and it is—even if the humanists think they've won the day) one might be willing to question concepts like democracy and liberty, and ask "what good are they now?".

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting & necessary blog to elucidate what is written in the Telegraph. I have also been reading Bill Cumming's articles in the Telegraph and found them disturbing. Your questions about his status is very appropriate. Has he answered them? You might not have seen this column in the Telegraph and the discussion that followed by some of the readers.

http://www.macon.com/2014/11/13/3420211/faria-religion-and-civil-discourse.html