Thursday, November 5, 2015

THIS MAKES NO SENSE UNLESS IT'S THE 1970'S ALL OVER AGAIN AND THEN IT MAKES SENSE



For those who are much younger and don't remember the immediate post-Vatican II decades, I can tell you that in my diocese including the parish that I am currently pastor, that a one time pastor allowed Episcopalians to receive Holy Communion at Mass here especially for weddings and funerals.

In my former parish a visiting priest (now deceased) celebrated a nuptial Mass. I happened to be in the sacristy and it was time for Holy Communion. I heard the priest invite every single soul at the Mass, regardless of faith or denomination to come and receive Holy Communion. I castigated him afterwards and told him he would no longer receive delegation from me to celebrate any Mass there.

Other priest passively allow the reception of Holy Communion at weddings and funerals by non-Catholics simply by ignoring any need to invite only baptized Catholics, properly prepared to receive Holy Communion.

And now that the 1970's Pandora's Box is being pried open again in the Franciscan era, a box that Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI tried mightily to nail shut, we have this from a committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and I fear it will be approved by the Vatican or sent back and simply made a local decision. Of course this sort of thing has been tried in all the dying Churches of Europe, especially Germany.

It seems to me that before Holy Communion is shared with Lutherans, that they should re-institute the sacrificial Sacrament of Holy Orders, valid deacons, priests and bishops and recover apostolic succession.  Then they should recover the Sacrament of Penance and Anointing of the Sick and declare Holy Matrimony to be a life long sacrament of one man and one woman.

Then they should recover the Catholic dogma of the sacrificial aspect of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Then they should find organic union with Eastern Orthodoxy. Once that occurs that along with the Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans and Catholics could share in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for special reasons, be these ecumenically contrived, or at weddings and funerals or when a member of either communion attends the Sacrifice on Sunday.

But this proposal is simply embarrassing and flawed and contrived and smacks of the 1970's silliness which will be recovered by my age priests and older. It's the end of the world again!

Bishops Committee Recommends Opportunities for Shared Communion with Lutherans

(Copied from Deacon Greg Kandra: a pretty big deal:
A U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops committee on ecumenical and interreligious affairs plans to send the Vatican a bold suggestion for “expansion of opportunities for Catholics and Lutherans to receive Holy Communion together.” The 118-page text of “Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry, and Eucharist [PDF],” unanimously affirmed by the committee in October, will be submitted to Cardinal Kurt Koch, the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity at the Vatican.
Promotional materials call the declaration a “unique ecumenical text that draws on 50 years of Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in preparation for the 500th Reformation anniversary coming in 2017.” A news release from the bishops claims it “marks a pathway toward greater visible unity between Catholics and Lutherans.”
The Most Rev. Denis J. Madden, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore, has suggested the document stands in the service of what Pope Francis has called a “culture of encounter”: “This Declaration on the Way represents in concrete form an opportunity for Lutherans and Catholics to join together now in a unifying manner on a way finally to full communion.”
The U.S.C.C.B press release: 
Drawing on 50 years of national and international dialogue, Lutherans and Catholics together have issued the “Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry and Eucharist,” a unique ecumenical document that marks a pathway toward greater visible unity between Catholics and Lutherans. The October 30 release of the document comes on the eve of the anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting the 95 Theses, which sparked the Protestant Reformation.
“Pope Francis in his recent visit to the United States emphasized again and again the need for and importance of dialogue. This Declaration on the Way represents in concrete form an opportunity for Lutherans and Catholics to join together now in a unifying manner on a way finally to full communion,” said Bishop Denis J. Madden, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Catholic co-chair of the task force creating the declaration.
“Five hundred years ago wars were fought over the very issues about which Lutherans and Roman Catholics have now achieved consensus,” said ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton. “Church, ministry and Eucharist have been areas of disagreement and even separation between our two churches, and we still have work to do both theologically and pastorally as we examine the questions. The declaration is so exciting because it shows us 32 important points where already we can say there are not church-dividing issues between us, and it gives us both hope and direction for the future,” she said.
At the heart of the document are 32 “Statements of Agreement” where Lutherans and Catholics already have points of convergence on topics about church, ministry and Eucharist. These agreements signal that Catholics and Lutherans are indeed ‘on the way’ to full, visible unity. As 2017 approaces, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, this witness to growing unity gives a powerful message to a world where conflict and division often seem to drown out more positive messages of hope and reconciliation The document also indicates differences still remaining between Lutherans and Catholics and indicates possible ways forward.
In October both the ELCA Conference of Bishops—an advisory body of the church—and the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) received and unanimously affirmed the 32 Agreements. ELCA bishops requested that the ELCA Church Council accept them and forward the entire document to the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly, the denomination’s highest legislative body.
The document seeks reception of the Statement of Agreements from The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU). The LWF is a global communion of 145 churches in 98 countries worldwide. The ELCA is the communion’s only member church from the United States.
The conclusion invites the PCPCU and the LWF to create a process and timetable for addressing the remaining issues. It also suggests that the expansion of opportunities for Lutherans and Catholics to receive Holy Communion together would be a sign of the agreements already reached. The Declaration also seeks a commitment to deeper connection at the local level for Catholics and Lutherans. 
In December 2011, Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the PCPCU, proposed a declaration to seal in agreements in the areas of the church, ministry and the Eucharist. The ELCA and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded to the Cardinal’s proposal by identifying Catholic and Lutheran scholars and leaders to produce the declaration, drawing principally on the statements of international dialogue commissions sponsored by the LWF and the PCPCU and a range of regional dialogues, including those in the United States.
A significant outcome of the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in the United States and internationally is the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ), signed in 1999 in Augsburg, Germany. With the JDDJ, the LWF and the Catholic Church agreed to a common understanding of the doctrine of justification and declared that certain 16th century condemnations of each other no longer apply.
The text of the Declaration on the Way and more information are available online:http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/ecumenical/lutheran/declaration-on-the-way.cfm


98 comments:

Gene said...

A few years back, Carl Braaten, the premiere Lutheran theologian and a professor at LSTC in Chicago, and nineteen theology students left the Lutheran church and became Catholic because of the Lutherans move into modernism and such nonsense as ordaining girls and LGBT love. This was a factor in my decision, as a Presbyterian, to join the Catholic Church. Why on earth would Catholics want anything to do with those who are essentially unbelievers?

Gene said...

PS I say "unbelievers" as opposed to "non-believers" because there is a difference and I do not want the cry to come from some that, "Oh, you don't want to evangelize or have anything to do with those who need to hear the Gospel," which is nonsense. Unbelievers are those within the Church, many of them seminary profs, academics, Priests, and ministers, who have lost their faith but who remain in the Church, anyway. They teach and believe a "theology" of self-renewal and existential awareness, social action, and collectivist political ideology and do not believe the articles of the Creed or that Christ rose from the dead or that He will return again in Judgement. Resurrection is an internal epiphany on the part of individual "Christians" based upon being somehow wowed by the life of Jesus and his "authentic existence" (throwing up yet?). These people are basically living a lie, saying all the right things but meaning something totally different from what is normally understood as belief/faith. One of their favorite phrases is "Christ is risen in us" or "in you." Sounds nice and innocuous, right? If you can corner one of these apostates with their like-minded peers (which I have done on several occasions, much to my own delight) and confront them in front of their own ilk, and force the issues with the right questions, they have to admit their unbelief in order to remain in good faith with their colleagues. This is especially fun if you can do it with a bunch of students around who are actually believers and think their double-talking professors or pastor are, too. They really get mad, and one professor, whom I confronted in class and who had to come clean in front of a bunch of first year seminarians, asked me to leave and drop the course, which I did. His words were ,"Now, you are really making me angry. You need to be over at Bob Jones University with the rest of the Bible whackers. I want you to leave my room and have a drop slip on my desk in the morning." Several other students also dropped the course. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of that.

Non-believers, of course, are a different story...those who have not heard the Word or had it presented in a compelling way, for whom we should be praying and evangelizing every day, trying to bring them into the Church. Unbelievers are unrepentant, aggressively against the Church, and should be considered deadly enemies of the faith...smiles, kind words, and clerical collars notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

What the hell is going on in the Church! Are all these bishops insane and heretical. I don't want to be a Protestant. If they do then they should leave the Church and formally become the Protestants they truly are.

Gene said...

At any rate, the Pope and the USCCB will have a looooong way to go to top Vanderbilt Divinity School. They have a (ready for this) black, lesbian minister as Dean of the Divinity School. That must have been worth a million liberal orgasms! Seriously, it sounds like a joke, doesn't it? Well, it ain't. I guess Pope Francis better get a move on if he is going to top that, else he will be considered an amateur.

Marc said...

In my view, these ecumenical agreements are misguided. It should be clear by now that the Protestant denominations are not going to convert en masse and enter the Catholic Church. Even if they did, whatever agreement was made with the Protestant denomination is meaningless at that point since some will convert and some will not. What happens, then, is always an individual conversion.

Individual conversions are not brought about by joint agreements with so-called theologians. The only result of such agreements, to the extent anyone cares at all, is for (1) the theologians to have a false sense of accomplishment toward "unity," and (2) the laypeople to get the impression that there is no need to convert.

While I am sure that these discussions are interesting to the so-called theologians who engage in them, they are a waste of time at best and a destroyer of souls at worst.

The idea that Catholics can have a joint statement with Lutherans on the Eucharist illustrates how shallow these statements are. Lutherans do not have the Eucharist, they have bread. Given the lack of faith behind such joint statements, one wonders if that isn't the case in most Catholic churches these days, as well...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I agree that these kinds of initiatives are very shallow but also very deceptive. And given the fact that it is also very 1970's, one has to understand what was happening to the Sacraments (unofficially) but promoted by people like the bishop of this initiative:
1. The sacrificial aspect of the Eucharist was obscured.
2. The ordained priesthood was also being obscured in favor of a laityism of sorts
3. Confession was denigrated by general absolution or placing general absolution within the context of the Penitential Act of the Mass

The three things above contributes to accepting the Protestant version of these which is a rupture with Scripture and Tradition and would lead to anyone celebrating the Eucharist, even someone not ordained as has been advocated by the Dutch for decades and in some places experimented.

Although Pope Benedict XVI's papacy is being erased currently, his legacy will survive the erasure and reassert itself in the future.

His form of ecumenism is the way to go and it is crystallized by the Anglican Ordinariate which takes care of all the problems with Protestant Anglicanism and resolves the Sacramental nature of this Communion in a Catholic way. It leads to true organic unity. This same principle could be applied to Lutherans and Presbyterians.

Marc said...

While I agree with the sentiment that "this same principle could be applied to Lutherans and Presbyterians," I disagree with that as a possibility. Opposition to the Catholic Church is, in a special way, the sine qua non of both Lutheranism and Presbyterianism.

In the case of modern Lutheranism, there is no need to accommodate their particular "traditions" as was the case with the Anglican Ordinariate -- the Novus Ordo is already the Lutheran service. Whatever other "traditions" they might have, in a certain sense, they are antithetical to Catholicism in their essence.

This latter is even more true for Presbyterians. To suggest that such people could somehow be both Catholic and Presbyterian in any meaningful way is to show utter contempt for their theology, which, at its root, is an attack on Catholic fundamentals. In other words, to synthesize the two is necessarily to eradicate the Presbyterian elements or to have a false conversion. There is no middle way since their theology is what it is.

The Anglicans were a special case given the way their theology both developed and remained static. Such is not the case for Presbyterians, and again, Novus Ordo Catholicism is essentially Lutheran already, so there's no need to take steps to further accommodate them.

Gene said...

The only meaningful theological discussions have to do with dogmatics. There is plenty of basis there for Protestant/Catholic dialogue and some ecumenical common ground. This maintains the conversation at the level of doctrine and keeps it from running afield into the "new hermeneutic," social gospel, and philosophy of religion. I would strongly encourage such dogmatic discussion and ignore "theologians" at large, who are mostly a joke.

Gene said...

Good points, Marc. I would only point out that, paradoxically, there is a greater basis for dialogue between Catholics and Calvinists than between Catholics and Lutherans. Catholics and Calvinists have a love for and reliance upon Augustine in common, both have very clearly stated doctrines and a body of dogmatics that intersect at certain points, and there are five clearly stated points of dogma in Calvinism that provide a ready basis for discussion (TULIP). I'm not saying the twain will ever meet, but I think a mutual understanding is much more possible between them than with the vague and subjectivist meanderings of Lutheranism.
I never will forget the first time I met Fr. MacDonald after calling him for an appointment. I walked in, shook his hand and said, "I am a TULIP Calvinist considering joining the Catholic Church. Do you know what a TULIP Calvinist is? He said he did not, so I recited TULIP and said, "I have a feeling that the first tenet is the one you and I will have the most disagreement over." He replied,"Yes, indeed we will." We laughed and got down to talking...for six months.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I think an ordinariate with Presbyterians would be a more difficult endeavor compared to Lutherans. European Lutherans, especially in Germany, are very high Church liturgically and otherwise and some call their Liturgy the Mass. Their bishops look like bishop in dress. Not so much the case in the USA though.

Of course as with the Anglicans, an ordinariate with other Protestant communions would entail a great deal of purification and adding on.

John Nolan said...

Gene has hit the nail firmly on the head. I was born and brought up a Catholic and for my entire adult life have been exposed to the sort of bilge he so rightly castigates, and used my discernment to reject it and read instead the many sane and orthodox writers who have always been around (even in the 1970s). I have no interest in anything that emanates from the CBCEW (our equivalent of the USCCB) and its committees comprising mostly laymen/women with impeccable liberal credentials who openly dissent from Catholic teaching. In the 1980s they were pushing the Labour Party agenda but it didn't stop me voting for Margaret Thatcher.

altar boy said...

Speaking of voting, are there any USA residents here who are willing to admit who their favorite for president is. I have found that, generally, conservatives...Republicans will not say who they want. (I want Clinton.) Any good Catholics for Carson? How about Trump?

Gene said...

Fr, you are way ahead of the game. I was not thinking about an ordinariate with Calvinism or Lutheranism...just a meaningful dogmatic understanding that might allow dissatisfied protestants of Calvinist backgrounds to ease into the Catholic Church without feeling they had bought a pig in a poke, so to speak. An ordinariate with Lutherans would be worse for the Church for a lot of reasons. There are strong factions of Calvinism that have rejected progressivism and who still believe and preach Biblical theology. Lutherans are all over the place, except for the Misery Synod, who are much like Southern Baptists and very intransigent with regard to "Papists."

Jusadbellum said...

altar boy, why do you think Hillary would make a good president? What about her tenure as senator and secretary of state gives you a sense that she'd be a dramatically good leader of the free world?

As for the conservative side...I suspect most of us don't opine because we have a lot of good, viable choices still. Cruz, Carson, Trump, Jindal would all be good choices and all are accomplished men who have actually done good for people without the need for a fawning press serving up soft balls or the need for a massive coverup to keep the wheels of their campaigns running. None of them have the types of skeletons in their closets that Sanders, Clinton, and O'Malley have.

So we can afford to wait.

Gene said...

I am strongly for Ted Cruz, but, I will vote for Trump if he is the candidate. Anyone who votes for Hillary Clinton needs their head examined. I will never understand why Catholics profess all this devotion, etc, then turn around and vote for the most Leftist, pro-abortion, LGBT loving candidate available. I consider all of you enemies of the Church and the country...I'm serious.

Marc said...

I will not vote because all the candidates are terrible -- that is the technical term that I learned when I was getting my political science degree.

The possibility of Trump versus Clinton illustrates the absolute decadence into which our country has fallen -- I think it's time to shut down the experiment and call it a day.

altar boy said...

"I would vote for Trump"......Yikes...you're even wackier than I imagined. Only one mention of Ben Carson...the crazy Christian...He's one of us. Don't y'all think that the ark was an actual boat...with two of EVERY KIND of ANIMAL inside (dinosaurs too)....and that the world...the universe, I guess, was all done in 144 hours?

Jusad...I don't do debates. I just say what I think...what I want to say. You can take it or leave it.

Anonymous said...

Father M. with regard to your suggestion about Lutherans declaring marriage a sacrament, a lifelong union of man and woman....well, the Catholic Church allows Eastern Orthodox to receive communion (but not vice versa---and Orthodox canons do not allow for reception of communion in another denomination), and the Eastern Orthodox do allow divorce and remarriage (not sure if there has to be just cause like adultery, abandonment of faith or whatever). In fact, I think they allow up to 3 marriages. That of course is one difference between them and us (just as the two differ on the papacy and the flioque). They cite a Biblical reference of Jesus allowing for divorce in the case of adultery.

While Rome does not recognize Anglican orders, it is interesting that Episcopal/Lutheran unity never happened here because of the former's belief in apostolic succession---something the "lower church" Lutherans in this country were not keen on.

Father, that is you in one of those pictures obviously in an Episcopal Church, judging by the woman cleric and the background (altar and choir stalls on each side)? I guess somewhere in southern Georgia---maybe Albany?


On politics, I agree with Gene (unlike earlier with his praise of another Gene, like of the Talmadge clan years ago in Georgia) that I can't understand why any Catholic would back Hillary, or any of the other Democratic presidential candidates. Ever since the McGovernites took over the party in 1972, it has been far-left on social issues, even when Carter was president. But Republicans need to choose wisely and carefully; the Electoral College map favors the Democrats (18 states with a combined 242 electoral votes have voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1992---6 in a row), and you only need 270 to win. It is unlikely a Republican will win without carrying Florida, Ohio and Virginia. I'm not sure what Trumps' ideology is---at times he sounds like a big government Democrat like on Medicare---and Carson lacks political experience and depth on the issues. But we have about 4 months til the Georgia primary to sort things out...


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Regarding Lutherans and Apostolic Succession - The joint Lutheran-Episcopalian document "An Agreement of Full Communion - Called to Common Mission" includes the following:

"As a result of their agreement in faith and in testimony of their full communion with one another, both churches now make the following commitment to share an episcopal succession that is both evangelical and historic. They promise to include regularly one or more bishops of the other church to participate in the laying-on-of-hands at the ordinations/installations of their own bishops as a sign, though not a guarantee, of the unity and apostolic continuity of the whole church. With the laying-on-of-hands by other bishops, such ordinations/installations will involve prayer for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Both churches value and maintain a ministry of episkope as one of the ways, in the context of ordained ministries and of the whole people of God, in which the apostolic succession of the church is visibly expressed and personally symbolized in fidelity to the gospel through the ages."

A Lutheran Proposal for a Revision of the Concordat of Agreement - As amended and adopted by a more than two-thirds majority vote (716-317) as a relationship of full communion with The Episcopal Church by the 1999 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on August 19, 1999, at Denver, Colorado.

On 1999-AUG-19, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) voted 69% to 31% to accept the CCM, at its Churchwide Assembly. A 2/3rds vote was needed to pass.

On 2000-JUL-11, the Episcopal Church also passed the accord, but by a much larger majority than did the ELCA.

The Most Reverend Frank T Griswold, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church issued a statement on JUL-8, which said in part:
"...the Episcopal Church is now, as of today, in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on the basis of a shared ministry in the historic episcopate and for the sake of common mission in proclaiming and serving the Gospel. Constitutional changes will be implemented as of January 1, 2001."


Gene said...

Altar Boy, I have a better one...do you believe that, if you had been at the tomb that morning three days after Calvary with your trusty little Nikon, you could have gotten Jesus walking out of the tomb on camera? Do you believe that, one morning in the historical future, the graveyards are going to be the busiest places in town when angel songs awaken the dead in Christ? So, Altar Boy, tell us what you think.

Gene said...

So what? Both the Episcopal church and the ELCA are non-christian social organizations living a lie and dedicated to assuring that as many people of any gender have sex with as many other people of any gender (not excluding beasts of the field and inanimate objects) as possible in as many ways as possible. Copulation, paraphilia, and abortion are their sacraments, and the Bible is great to stand on if you can't reach your partner...

Carol H. said...

Gene, that last paints one ugly picture- belongs in Dante's Inferno.

Gene said...

Carol, there is a medieval/early Renaissance painting of three panels, maybe Giotto, that reminds me of these unbelievers. It shows a man sneaking into the Church and stealing the Host. He brings it home and the wife pops it into the oven with blood running out of the Host, and the final scene shows the Devil and his demons dragging them both off to Hell. Christ have mercy!

Jenny said...

Carol H, thanks. When I read Gene 8:47, I couldn't believe Fr. M allowed it through...

Anonymous 2 said...

JusadBellum:

I have hesitated before posting this comment because it could easily be misconstrued as an “attack” on someone. I am not trying to attack anyone but I am trying to stimulate conversation about a troubling phenomenon that increasingly seems to infect our public discourse.

I appreciate what you are trying to do, Jus. Indeed, I have tried to do the same myself but to no avail. I have never met Gene (although I have suggested it, he refuses to meet me for reasons explained in the third point below) and therefore I am only able to form an opinion based on his posts here. My sense is that Gene’s intentions are sincere and good. But—Gene seems to be a True Believer (as opposed to a true believer). I first encountered this animal at university over four decades ago. That particular True Believer was a member of the British communist party. In Gene it seems I may have encountered another such animal. And, of course, we are aware of their existence throughout the world and throughout history. ISIS seems to be full of True Believers, for example. In my observation, and without attempting to explore the underlying psychology, True Believers of all stripes share several characteristics:

(1) They are unflinchingly uncompromising in their views, because only they have access to The Truth;

(2) They have an answer for everything and therefore live in a simplified world of absolute certainties;

(3) They have little or no time for those who do not share that world with them, for fear of contamination or for some other reason, and indeed demonize such others, regarding them as “enemies”;

(4) They will, however, through persuasion or coercion as appropriate, seek to straighten the crooked timber of humanity and convert these “enemies” into friends who come to share that same world and indeed may view such efforts as acts of love;

(5) They are quite prepared to break this crooked timber in the process when necessary. Thus, when they have had access to the means, True Believers have probably been responsible for more oppression, death and destruction throughout history than any other group, including those who overtly seek external goods such as power, wealth, or fame as ends in themselves;

(6) They worship and are enslaved by the greatest external good of all, The Idea, which helps to explain the five preceding characteristics.

By contrast, true believers, while principled, also differ in important ways in each of these respects. Moreover, because of the third characteristic listed above, it is virtually impossible for a true believer to break through the armor of a True Believer because any such attempts are viewed as assaults by “the enemy.” Indeed, perhaps only divine grace is capable of doing so.

If I have been unfair in my assessment of True Believers in general or any given True Believer in particular, I trust that someone will correct me.

Gene said...

Jenny, Once in a while, Fr. allows us to take of the gloves or use live ammo. Not often enough, but sometimes.

Gene said...

Where's Altar Boy, anyway? I want a straight answer to my questions @ 6:16.

Gene said...

Anon 2, You cannot believe how incredibly full you are of a well-known substance.

Gene said...

Jusad, Then there are the Pseudo-Catholic-Progressive in Camo who share these characteristics:

1. They are unflinchingly compromising in their views because they only have access to prevarication.

2. They have an answer for everything only you cannot understand it because it is couched in such double-speak and rationalization that you fall asleep before they get to the end of their non-statement.

3. They do not care who shares their world with them because all values are the same, morality is relative, and they feel so damned guilty they are unable to draw lines of any kind.

4.They will, however, attempt to straighten the crooked timber of conservative, believing humanity and convert these enemies into friends by lying to them, employing Leftist propaganda, and appearing to believe the same things.

5. They are quite willing to live a complete lie in order to achieve their goals. When in power, liberals have probably been responsible for more oppression, death, and destruction throughout history than any other group.

6. They worship and are enslaved by the greatest external good of all, The Idea...the Hegelian one...whiuch helps to explain the five preceding characteristics.

To wit, notice how Anon 2 attempts to schmooze Jusad, one who mostly agrees with me but who seems milder mannered to Anon 2 and, therefore, more able to be manipulated into an alliance against me. He likes to capitalize "True Believer," attempting thereby to give it some stereotypical stigma (Anon 2 will avow how he hates stereotypes, but notice how he and other libs quickly run to them when they want to attack conservatives) in order to attack it as a straw man.

Thjs man (Anon 2) is slight of build, dresses like an academic, and speaks with a muted British accent which, to some, seems quaint, charming, and even endearing. Beware, the first goal of the deceiver is to disarm and then endear themselves to their intended targets.

Carol H. said...

Gene, I like that kind of art- we need it to educate this current generation. No one seems to comprehend that our decisions in this life have eternal consequences. The work you describe should be able to convey that message to those with even the smallest of attention spans.

Flavius Hesychius said...

Strange A2, that Gene and I get along just fine, since, according to your 'analysis' we should not...

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

I was speaking of True Believers of all stripes, including liberal stripes. You notice I hope that the first True Believer I encountered was a communist one. So, there is really no need to reformulate my propositions, as they apply equally to liberal True Believers who believe, paradoxically, in the Truth that there is no truth.

And when someone has to resort to_literal_ad hominem comments (slight of build, etc.), we know they are in trouble with their argument. And then, of course, we have the usual slur that I am a liberal. No, to repeat what I have said many times before, in common with that genuine conservative Russell Kirk I reject ideologies of all kinds as being anathema to real conservatism.

I must have struck a nerve to provoke such a strong response from you. That is a hopeful sign.

To return to the original point of this exchange, perhaps you will explain to JusadBellum and other readers why you adamantly refuse to have anything to do with me or, I assume, Father Kavanaugh. Based on some of your previous posts, I imagine it is because you define us by the extent to which you consider we have deviated from your True Path. In this respect you are nothing like JusadBellum.



Anonymous 2 said...

By the way, I need to clarify that I must have inadvertently posted my comment on the wrong thread. I meant to post it on the thread “How the Media Is Deceiving Catholics” etc. (originated November 4) in which JusadBellum said complimentary things about both Gene and Father Kavanaugh and was apparently attempting to achieve some sort of rapprochement between them. I apologize for any confusion my posting on this thread may have caused.

Anonymous said...

A2,

While Gene clearly did go all ad hominem, he makes important points I'll expand on. The main point, in brief, is this: you must include, in your list of True Believers, those who believe in process, development, and the quest for Truth. Every one of your 3:05 statements applies to them. Thus they don't care for other flavors of True Believers (for instance, those who believe that Christ literally rose from the dead in a way that could have been recorded by a camera), whose only difference from themselves is that their substantive truths are less malleable than the "process True Believers."

C. S. Lewis, in the Great Divorce, speaks to this kind of True Believer when he has someone--and yes, I believe him to have been an academic--agrees to go to heaven as long as freedom of inquiry will be alowed there. Lewis can't convince him that in heaven the puepose of that inquiry is completely achieved and that inquiry is thus pointless. (Not buying into Gene's ad hominem here--I am an academic myself. But to be fair I have run across many in academe who do fit Gene's description. The most fascistic mindsets I've ever run across have been those of professors who, in committiee (or class), appealed to and begged for dialogue, diversity, discussion--and when said dialogue didn't result in everyone agreeing with the fascist, they came down on dialogue with a sledgehammer and nastily dictated the result that they wanted all along. I've seen this happen over and over again in many meetings in many institutions. (I myself prefer an honest Stalin to a hypocrite.) Stereotypes usually have their genesis in at least a germ of truth.

To expound on this, I have attempted on this blog--for years--to engage certin persons in a genuine debate and search for truth. In my attempts to do this, I (or more usually my questions and hypotheticals) have repeatedly been called "absurd," "prepostorous," "silly," etc. What usually hasn't happened is that my critics honestly and seriously respond to and engage my questions and ideas. And these are the people who profess to believe in development, progress, process.

Gene, Marc, and I have been talking of late about how modernists profess an objective, unchanging, absolute, and True nature of God and meaning of doctrines, but they also adopt a relativistic philosophy to the effect that our understanding of this truth is always in process and changing, thus demanding continued inquiry (and "development"). This can (possibly must) have the effect of rendering the objective Truth irrelevant for all practical purposes. For the modernist this is a feature. For traditionalists it is a heresy. If you keep in mind my first point--that relativists can also be True Believers--and you have the basis for the fight amond traditionalists and modernists.

Anonymous said...

By the way, re my use of the term "Fascist": The word can be used so many different ways, I here use the definition of Jürgen Habermas as my jumping off point. My own Habermas-influenced definition is that of an ideologically leftist authoritarian hypocrite--one who pays lip service to dialogue, discussion, progress, diversity, and egalitarianism, but who is actually tyrannical, intolerant, elitist, and (in the sense he has power and wants to keep it that way) conservative. In short, fascism as I define it here is completely at odds with the progressive world-view that it espouses. It is inherently hypocritical.

Mere authoritarianism thus isn't fascist. Right-wingers usually aren't fascists according to the above definition, because (in my experience at least) they tend to be far more open about the fact that they're intolerant and opressive.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anonymous 8:58 - Divinely revealed Truth does not change. Our understanding of that Truth does - it has to, since that is the nature of human understanding.

If you can point to some Truth that, at some point in history, the Church has understood with complete clarity, taught with utter perfection, and proclaimed with unalterable certainty - please cite it.

This is not a "modernist" approach to theology - it has been the very nature of the Church's understanding of revealed Truth since day one. That our understanding of Truth advances/develops/evolves is not heresy.

This approach does not render Truth irrelevant. In fact, it cannot do so, since Truth is, well, Truth.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Kavanaugh: Did Christ rise from the dead, physically, corporeally, or did he not?

Is the Host more than the atomic structure of the matter that constitutes it, or is it not?

Let's start with those two.

Anonymous said...

And, by the way, Fr. K, your response shows the exact sort of ideological devotion to a concept that I described. Whether or not "it has been the very nature of the Church's understanding of revealed Truth since day one" is utterly irrelevant to my point. If you're unwilling to consider the possibility that you're wrong in making that statement, you're a True Believer. I'm just attempting to get you to admit it.

I have other responses, but I'll hld off for now since I don't want to derail the current narrow questions.

Gene said...

Anonymous @ 8:58, You and I agree on most stuff, but I must ask the question, for the benefit of others, "In what other way could Jesus rise from the dead other than in such a way as to be recorded by a camera?" Anything else is existential/philosophical rationalization and a denial of the Resurrection and the meaning of the Christian Faith, Incarnation, and everything else. That is really what all this is about...Vatican Two, Synods, USCCB nonsense, modernist "theology," the "new hermeneutic," and the Pope. If you do not believe that God broke into history and the natural order (which He created) in a dynamic way that interrupted cause and effect and the laws of physics and biology, has done so in the lives of the Saints, and that He will do so again at the end of historical time, then what are you doing calling yourself Christian or Catholic?
This is why modernists are the worst kind of anathema, they live a lie and intend to incorporate this lie into the life of believing Christians through deceit, manipulation, and false teaching. Academia (seminaries and grad schools) are full of them, charming students and pretending some kind of "belief" while destroying the faith of thousands with their modernist interpretation of Holy Scripture. They see the Church as nothing more than a social organization with huge financial and human resource potential that can be used to create their hoped for socialist utopia on earth. There Biblical stories, the life of Christ, are nothing more than useful myths that keep people compliant (Marx) and help hypnotize them into good little socialists. They are actually more dangerous than a Muslim army marching on Rome because they work from within and appear to be believing Christians. I fully understand why heretics and false teachers were executed in former times. Now, that is considered to be naughty, but it does not mean it would not be deserved.
SO, here it is...if you do not believe in the literal understanding of the articles of the Creed and that Jesus of Nazareth is who He says he is and that His promises are true, then Jesus is a liar, the Faith is meaningless, and you are a liar if you remain in it.

I guess that is about as plain as I can make it. I hate and detest these people as enemies of the Church and do not believe Christ intended us to allow them to dominate and shape His Church. I do not feel guilty for hating them, and I do not feel the need to go to Confession for doing combat with the enemies of Christ and all of His flock. The Church has righteously and properly done physical battle with them before and should do so again. If you mealy-mouth around, rationalize voting for the enemies of the Faith and Judeo-Christian culture, and believe that all philosophical/religious beliefs are equally valid and deserving of "ecumenical" consideration, then I consider you a pretender and an enemy of the faith.

Anonymous said...

Gene,

I have to put it the way I did in order to try to nail down a particular meaning and exclude other meanings. If I say that he rose from the dead, I could conceivably mean "a metaphorical resurrection in our hearts," a quotation I once heard during a homily from someone identifying himself as a Catholic priest. If I neglect the camera element or the corporeal element, then my statement could be taken to mean that Christ's resurrection wasn't an historical event, as you describe but rather a "trans-historical event," a term used by another person identifying himself as a Catholic priest, Fr. Richard McBrien, in his book _Catholicism_, which was heartily recommended to me by yet another person holding himself out as a Catholic priest. (I should note that this book was so far in left field that even the USCCB criticized it.) Thus, I fall back on lawlerly ways and try to exclude misunderstandings by putting in a lot of qualifiers that in normal parlance wouldn't be needed.

I suppose I could add further things--definition of death as irreversible cessation of biological functions including brain activity, etc., to prevent my statement being misunderstood as countenincing the "swoon theory," etc., etc., etc., but I have other things to do today besides write such a lengthy complex statement as I could imagine.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anonymous - Are you suggesting that the Church's doctrine regarding the Resurrection or the Eucharist has never developed?

And since I missed your point earlier, could you state it again?

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, for people to re-state the points you have missed on this blog would require a NASA computer team working in shifts...

Anonymous said...

Fr. K,

You didn't answer my questions. I'm not wasting any more of my time on this thread trying to have a dialogue with you if you refuse to have a dialogue with me. Good day, sir.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Anon - I am trying to have a dialogue. You seem to be desirous of having a one-way question and answer period.

There were many "points" in your 8:58 post. One you called a main point: " you must include, in your list of True Believers, those who believe in process, development, and the quest for Truth."

You made other points - CS Lewis' notions of heaven, academics with sledgehammers, your preference for Stalin, your failure to get answers from others, to name a few.

If you want a response to what you call your main point then I would say of course, True Believers come in all shapes and sizes, from both ends of the theological spectrum. They come with all sorts of opinions about what is and his not "heresy." And, of course, everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. But everyone is not entitled to his/her own facts.

Anonymous 2 said...

Flavius:

All I have to go on are Gene’s posts on this Blog. Perhaps he is different in person. I would like the opportunity to find out. However, as I said, he refuses to meet me. He still has not told us his reasons on this thread I notice, even though my last post asked him to do so. He has given reasons in the past; I would like him to do so again for the benefit of readers. I could say it myself but I think he should. Of course, Gene rightly senses some kind a trap here, because if he answers truthfully it will confirm point 3 in my list and distinguish him from JusadBellum and many others here. And then there is point 5 but that is for another post.

Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous at 8:58 a.m.:

Thank you for your post. I hope you noticed that in my post at 12:06 a.m. I did indeed recognize that dogmatic relativists can be True Believers.

But for anyone to be a True Believer as I define the term, they must possess all six characteristics. This is an important point. Based on his posts on this Blog I have concluded that Gene does indeed possess all six characteristics.

Anonymous 2 said...

Perhaps I should explain what prompted my comment about True Believers. It was Gene’s posts at 3:29 on November 5 (about voting) and at 8:47 on November 5 (about Lutherans and Episcopalians). The latter was simply beyond the Pale. My wife is Episcopalian; I hope she never sees that post.





John Nolan said...

'And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.' (1 Cor 15:14). Since those words were written, how has the Church's doctrine concerning the Resurrection 'developed'?

Gene said...

Anon 2, That post was right on the money. She remains in an apostate church that condones and promotes aberrant and perverted acts. There is nothing Christian about the Episcopalian church; it is a joke, a cipher, a pit, a scandal. You need to snatch your wife out of there and send her to the Baptist Church (if she wants to remain protestant) or anywhere they believe in God.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, you need to answer Anonymous' questions at 10:23 AM. I mean truthfully...the Bishop does not care and I am sure your parishioners will still love you.

Gene said...

Be reminded, Kavanaugh has already refused to answer these very same questions before on the grounds that it was a trap. LOL!
He also said it was beneath him to answer them. Can you believe that? Let's see what he does this time.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

“There is nothing Christian about the Episcopalian church.” Really?

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

You demand that Father Kavanaugh answer Anonymous’ questions and yet you apparently refuse to answer mine, presumably, as I suggest, because you sense a trap.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

You demand that Father Kavanaugh answer Anonymous’ questions and yet you apparently refuse to answer mine, presumably, as I suggest, because you sense a trap.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene, you are wrong, again. I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church teaches, believes and proclaims to be revealed by God.

Now, while this statement is sufficient for the Church, you, because you consider yourself to be above the Church and its teaching, will not accept this. That's your hubris talking and, I must point out, your tragic error.

Carol H. said...

There is no reason for Gene to meet with Anon 2. Each has their own opinions and neither will be swayed by the other's arguments.

Gene said...

Anon 2, what question of your's have I not answered? And, no, there is de facto nothing Christian about the Episcopalian church..."ye shall know them by their fruits."
Oh, and Anon 2, maybe you should answer Anonymous at 10:23's questions, as well. How could that possibly be a trap? And for a Priest...please. I notice that other Anonymous on another thread never answered the question, either. Boy, when you lib/progressives are asked to put up or shut up you don't respond too well...well, you never shut up.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh, you did not answer the question, just made some pat statement about believing what the church teaches. You are great at parroting and cut and pasting CCC and making glib comments, but you are deeply dishonest and a prevaricator. I guess we will just have to judge for ourselves...that's right judge. LOL!

Gene said...

Should I try one more time, guys...LOL! Hey, Kavanaugh, if you were transported back in time to the tomb that morning three days after the Crucifixion with your handy little camera/I Phone, or whatever, could you have captured on film Jesus of Nazareth walking out of the tomb? Yes or no will be fine.

Anonymous 2 said...

Carol,

With the sincerest respect, because I know you mean well, you miss the point entirely. What is the point you ask? I cannot answer that in advance because it is something that can only be revealed in the mystery of the encounter. That’s the way it works.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

Regarding my question, I ask the question in my post at 12:06 a.m. and refer to it again in my post of 3:22 p.m.

Regarding the Episcopal Church, nothing, Gene, nothing at all? Are you sure?

Regarding your question, I have already answered it both expressly (when you demanded an answer upon my first joining the Blog several years ago) as well as by implication from many posts about our fundamental problem nowadays being metaphysical. I do not need to answer it again. Look up my previous posts. Or check in the Thought Police archives; I am sure it is filed away there somewhere.

Regarding the by now oh so tiresomely predictable liberal/progressive slur (yawn), I have noticed that anyone who does not agree with you completely in everything, from matters of faith to matters of politics, is a lib/progressive, so that slur is completely meaningless coming from you. But, of course, such an attitude is precisely what one expects from a True Believer. I rest my case.





Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

Regarding your extremist assertion that “There is nothing Christian about the Episcopalian Church,” you might wish to explore the following (check out the Catechism summary while you are at it):

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/episcopal-church-core-beliefs-and-doctrines

Gene said...

The Episcopalian has long been a joke among other protestant denominations. The apostasy and silliness of the Episcopalians has long been taken for granted.

Gene said...

Be reminded, Anon 2, any group can call itself Christian. Many of the so-called "Christian cults" do so...Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Christian Scientists...even Methodists (LOL). All are heretical in their teaching, and protestant groups such as the Episcopalians advocate behaviors and life styles that are patently un-Christian. Their female Bishop has said in interviews that she does not believe Jesus is the son of God...what more proof do you need? Hell, Hitler said he was a Catholic Christian...
Now God, in his inscrutable wisdom and mercy, can certainly pluck certain believers from the maw of such sinful groups and use said groups (churches) as vehicles for His grace. But, the fact that God can use evil to bring good does not make the evil good...and it does not make the Episcopal church Christian.

Carol H. said...

Anon 2

Ah, yes, a secret knowledge that only YOU have access to. THAT explains it all.

Gene said...

*crickets chirping*

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

So let me get this straight: Pope Francis and certain other members of the Catholic Hierarchy can say or do questionable, even allegedly heretical, things but the Catholic faithful can nevertheless be Christians and good Catholics. But when something analogous occurs in the Episcopal Church, there is “nothing” Christian about that Church or its members despite their Creed, Catechism, etc. That sounds like a double standard but, of course, this isn’t the main point, is it? Isn’t the main point that you would say the same about the Episcopal Church even if the things you mention had not occurred because, in your view, all Protestants are apostates, heretics, etc.? Or do I misunderstand your position in this respect?

Anonymous 2 said...

Carol:

There is nothing secret about it. What I am talking about is a common human experience. It is easy to demonize people we have never met and reduce them to one dimension; much harder to do so when we meet them face to face. Of course, we hide this from ourselves and we hide from one another in the impersonal cyber world we have created (one almost suspects the hand of the true Enemy in tempting us into this world and its demons).



Anonymous 2 said...

Carol,

One further thought – It takes courage to come out of hiding and encounter people who make us feel uncomfortable. I wonder how many of us have that courage.




Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

* cattle lowing *

Gene said...

Well, I think we can be pretty certain that Kavanaugh's response is equivalent to a "no." So, if he is ever chosen for a time-travel experiment to Jerusalem at the time of Jesus, he won't need a camera.
This is twice now, on this blog, in answer to the direct question if he believed in the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus, that Kavanaugh has refused to answer. I think we know what we are dealing with.

Gene said...

You do misunderstand my position, Anon 2. The Episcopal church has chosen an unbelieving woman as Bishop, it has knowingly ordained active and defiant homosexuals to the priesthood, performed gay marriages, and other outrages. That is very different from what the Catholic Church has done (to this point). You are also wrong regarding my views of protestantism...at this point, I would say that the Calvinist churches like the PCA, and the Southern Baptists' leadership reflect a truer embodiment of Christian doctrine and pastoral practice than ostensibly the Catholic Church does. Perhaps we should learn from them.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

The situation appears to be a little more complicated than you describe.

First, Presiding Bishop Schori was elected in 2006. When did she make her questionable statements?

Second, the Episcopal Church elected a new Presiding Bishop at its General Convention this summer. Presiding Bishop Curry assumed office on November 1. He clearly supports same sex marriage, but it would be interesting to know about his other views and whether they are as radical as Bishop Schori’s:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/us/episcopal-church-elects-its-first-black-presiding-bishop.html?_r=0

Third, it is my understanding that the General Convention also voted to permit same sex marriages nationwide but individual bishops can refuse to celebrate them in their dioceses and individual priests can refuse to celebrate them in their parishes. Needless to say the issue was (and is) very controversial:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/07/01/why-the-episcopal-church-is-still-debating-gay-marriage/

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene - You are wrong, again. What you are "dealing with" is a person who is not cowed by you and your tactics. I suggest you get used to it.

Gene said...

Anon 2, thanks for making my point. Schrod has said this in several interviews over time. What does it matter when she made her statements? Did her suddenly being elected bishop cancel her statement, or did she somehow magically become a believer when elected...in that case she is a sociopath. Your efforts to rationalize this are embarrassing from a man of presumed high intelligence and impressive education.

Kavanaugh, I personally am not interested in your being "cowed" by me or anyone else. You are a liar and a pretender, proven over and over again by your comments and non-responses on this blog. If I want to intimidate somebody, you can be damn sure I'll choose a far more worthy and challenging opponent.

Gene said...

Above should read Schori...spellchecker is weird on here.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene - You are wrong, again. You don't choose opponents, worthy or unworthy. You attempt to bully anyone who does not agree with you or who has the temerity to call you out on your errors. You've chased others away with your boorish behavior, but I'm here to stay.

By that very fact, I challenge you. Which is why you keep up the baseless and immature attacks.

Jusadbellum said...

Oh dear...

This is why face to face meetings tend to be more effective means of communication since so much of communication is non-verbal.

A couple of random points: 1) it's impossible to 'bully' people in chat rooms. The worst any of us can do is go 'ad hominem', casting aspersions, denigrating the other's words, argument, motives, and person.

2) distinctions are in order - and I do appreciate the distinction between Capital T and lower case t "true believers". One would hope we are ALL "true believers" in the Gospel. But more, that we've all experienced the mysterious encounter with the Risen Christ. Perhaps if only a glimpse, perhaps if only a twinkle of a star "seen in its rising" that set us on our journey to encounter the new born King of the Jews...

3) I love the chase and the verbal sparing. But I also have a temper and thus have - by long trial and error - concluded that I must always seek to understand not just a man's words but also his motives because people are always more complicated than we first imagine others to be. No one is "just so", neatly pigeon holed in a box. Thus all the more reason for face to face to settle big disputes.

4) I believe Jesus rose physically from the dead - and I believe the Shroud of Turin is proof of the bodily resurrection - the human body spontaneously 'energizing' to escape the cloth and winding clothes - but in a way that allows Jesus to re-materialize at will so as to share a meal, speak with disciples, touch and be touched. The dogma is there. The only development is in teasing out more reasons to believe it's metaphysically and physically possible given all we know of Spirit and matter. The more we learn of either, the more we'll understand why it's possible for the Lord to have been raised up AND HOW consequently our own resurrection of the body can be effected.

5) The mystery of the Eucharist is bound up in the mystery of the Incarnation. Answer one and you'll understand the other. How did the Word become flesh without ceasing to be the Logos of God? How did the flesh truly become one with the Logos without ceasing to be flesh? Jesus was 100% a human being while also being 100% God. The molecular, chemical signature of bread or wine remains...but when we say 'substance' we're not talking chemistry but relationship. The Word was in relationship with the flesh so we could truly say Jesus is true God. In an analogous way can't we say the same about the Eucharist? Real food, real drink while simultaneously really Body and Blood of the incarnate Son of God. Substance is defined as relation and thus this isn't Luther's con-substantiation argument.
I THINK that's accurate but I submit all to the Church's review....

6) One cannot choose evil that good may come of it. In the world of prudential decisions one is choosing between various goods, not good and evil. Jus ad bellum is not about conditions where it's OK to choose intrinsic evil but conditions when one is choosing between different levels of good or at most choosing a good as the primary goal with a second and not directly intended evil side effect (double effect). In politics and religion Jus ad bellum still holds.

Jusadbellum said...

Secondly,

As for the list of features about True vs. true believers..

"1) They are unflinchingly uncompromising in their views, because only they have access to The Truth;"

This depends on what THE TRUTH is. Are we talking about some gnostic private revelation or some publicly accessible font of truth about which they feel themselves subject experts?

If we're talking Catholicism, I would hazard a guess that only gnostics, modernists, and so-called "progressives" can be "uncompromising" inasmuch as they are ultimately their own arbiter of right and wrong and not some objective external standard against which they themselves are beholden. It's a fundamental distinction as to yard stick: subjective or objective?

"(2) They have an answer for everything and therefore live in a simplified world of absolute certainties;"

This is an ad hominem claim. Even Gnostics don't have an 'answer for everything' or reduce all of reality to a 'simplified' world. St. Irenaeus' takedown of Gnostics' cosmology shows how convoluted and complex a pantheon of critters and creatures they conjure from the Gospels. So too, Political Correctness is anything but simple. Just try to keep track of the totem pole of most favored minority and you'll see it. Complexity is their stand-in for God. That's why the love massive bureaucracies - for their complexity and despise subsidiarity as hopelessly naïve (too simple). True Believers - inasmuch as they make themselves the measure of right and wrong, will ALWAYS err on the side of complexity not simplicity.

"(3) They have little or no time for those who do not share that world with them, for fear of contamination or for some other reason, and indeed demonize such others, regarding them as “enemies”"

And yet True Believers can't shut up, can they? I think TRUE Believers do have time for non-believers. We live rent free in their minds. It's why they seek totalitarian mechanisms to enforce their complex set of rules. It's not fear of contamination it's fear of their idol being revealed to be just an idol and not God.

"(4) They will, however, through persuasion or coercion as appropriate, seek to straighten the crooked timber of humanity and convert these “enemies” into friends who come to share that same world and indeed may view such efforts as acts of love;"

Careful. This critique can fit anyone's shoe size. Literally EVERY regime, EVERY polity, and EVERY culture on earth fits this bill. I don't think this number "proves" anyone an irrational TRUE Believer as it doesn't differ from a rational true believer.

For example, literacy and basic hygiene: Governments the world over will seize children from parents for lack of education and basic hygiene (according to our standards) and we'll do it out of love.

(more following)

Jusadbellum said...

Continued

"(5) They are quite prepared to break this crooked timber in the process when necessary. Thus, when they have had access to the means, True Believers have probably been responsible for more oppression, death and destruction throughout history than any other group, including those who overtly seek external goods such as power, wealth, or fame as ends in themselves;"

Not all Communists, fascists, Nazis, and socialists actually believed the ideology. Sociopaths exist. One ought not excuse evil on account of ideology. Many use ideology as a cover to simply stuff their lives with the 7 capital sins. Killing ideology is not therefore any guaranteed protection from sinful people exploiting power to their own selfish ends.

"6) They worship and are enslaved by the greatest external good of all, The Idea, which helps to explain the five preceding characteristics."

True in some cases. Plenty of sociopaths have abused authority and power simply for the hell of it and not on account of some "big idea". But all genocides and all mass injustices have been perpetuated by evil men THROUGH government for the simple reason that any organized group of men will be stronger and more efficient for any action than individuals.

I believe we all need grace to see the error of our ways. I believe ideology is real and may lead someone to a dark place, but in my experience human beings are complex and so our motives are often a mix of ideas and vices, daydreams and nightmares, traumas and aspirations, echoes of childhood and hopes of finding ultimate meaning and justification....

Thus, Our Lord did not send us to merely preach the Gospel but to a) heal the sick, b) liberate them from evil (the devil) and then c) preach the Gospel. Every human being needs healing and liberation (of body, of will) before their intellect will be healthy enough to face the Gospel and all its implications.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jus - I disagree about bullying. Calling names, making vulgar comments, using racist epithets, making false accusations - these are all forms of on-line blogpost bullying.

Some people are not up for what you call "the chase," so they make a few posts here, get attacked by the resident True Believers, and decide to post elsewhere where civility is observed.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

Of course it matters when Bishop Schori made her statements if you want to argue that by electing her the Episcopal Church endorsed those statements or were indifferent about them.

As you so often do, you engage in the rhetorical ploy of accusing others of doing exactly what you are doing yourself in an effort, I presume, to deflect the argument and change the subject. It is you who seek to rationalize your extremist and unsupportable statement that “There is NOTHING Christian about the Episcopalian Church” [emphasis added]. It seems you want to double down on this preposterous claim (another rhetorical technique) despite the very considerable evidence I have adduced (Creed, Catechism, etc.) to show that there most certainly are many things that are Christian about the Episcopal Church.

Anonymous 2 said...

JusadBellum,

Thank you for your detailed response to my post on the characteristics of True Believers. Much of what you say is consistent with what I say. I will have to respond later in greater detail when I have time.

Gene said...

Kavanaught, several people other than me have challenged you on this blog and you have refused to answer. But, they know what you really are, so it really does not matter anymore. But, I do live in the area and will certainly, whenever your name is mentioned, fill people in regarding who you are. Then, like the folks on the blog, they can decide for themselves.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Gene - I tremble....not.

Flavius Hesychius said...

A2,

I don't disagree. Many (if not most) Episcopalians are Christians. On the other hand, I think the ECUSA, on an institutional level, is so deep in heresy it's drowning. It's a shame, too. I love their (I love most Anglican liturgies) liturgies and their classical theology is quite interesting. I even used the '79 BCP when I first was learning how to pray; but, I also think the hierarchy of the ECUSA has thrown it all away to 'accommodate' modern attitudes. Oh well. May they enjoy the fruits of their labours, I guess.

George said...


Jusad:

" The only development is in teasing out more reasons to believe it's metaphysically and physically possible given all we know of Spirit and matter. The more we learn of either, the more we'll understand why it's possible for the Lord to have been raised up AND HOW consequently our own resurrection of the body can be effected."

>Can we ever really know or understand what you say above with just our human intellect alone and what we can discover using it? Certainly,when it comes to matters of faith, we do not wait for understanding something as contingent on belief in it. From faith and belief come the "understanding beyond understanding"- and acceptance of things which transcend mere intellect. This is a gift from God to those who are open to receive it and this allowance of reception is a likewise a gift from God whereby we co-operate with His grace in unison with the use of our reason. Faith and reason are not mutually exclusive but work together according to what, and in the way God intended.

".but when we say 'substance' we're not talking chemistry but relationship"

>We are not talking about either one. In the Incarnation of the Word, there exists an inseparable unity between the human and Divine.

" Real food, real drink while simultaneously really Body and Blood of the incarnate Son of God. Substance is defined as relation and thus this isn't Luther's con-substantiation argument."

>What you describe above is consubstantiation. The Eucharist is not food and drink (more correctly bread and wine) while simultaneously also the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ. After transubstantion the bread and wine are no longer there in substance (only the accidents)-what is fully there is Christ in His human and Divine substance.

Anonymous 2 said...

JusadBellum:

In response to your comments on the six characteristics (and somewhat in haste):

1.We could be talking about either type of Truth claim.

2. Someone can live in a world of “simplistic certainties” even if that world is a complex one. Their beliefs may be complex; their simplistic certainty about them is not and whatever challenge one might make to this or that aspect of their belief system will be met with an answer dismissing the challenge.

3 and 4.Those who deviate from the “True Path” are not worthy of consideration except as objects for potential conversion. Every regime on Earth may well use power to impose its will on others but not every regime is controlled by True Believers. That is why I distinguished those who seek power, wealth, or fame as ends in themselves from those who seek them as means to impose their True Beliefs. I think you recognize this sort of distinction in your comment to the sixth characteristic.

5 and 6. I tried to be careful to bracket out the psychological underpinnings of the True Believer, which I believe would acknowledge your points here.

Finally, I should repeat that the True Believer possesses all of these characteristics, not just one or a few.

Thank you again for your comments, which certainly help to refine the propositions.

Jusadbellum said...

George, I submit my thoughts on the incarnation and Eucharist to the Church. If by substance we mean chemistry while the 'accidents' are the visual spectrum only, then consubstantiation might be right. But - and I'm open to correction here - Aristotle and Aquinas' view of what a substance is, is not our modern understanding of chemistry.

I readily admit it's a mystery and we can't know how it happens while we may know something of what happens.

Fr. K, we'll just have to disagree about bullying on line. If we're anonymous, it's not like some on-line adversary can threaten our persons, employment, or social milieu. They can only type words more or less agreeable to us and our arguments. We can just as easily call them names like doo-doo head and stupid bunny and then LOL our way to high fiving the lurkers while declaring victory (thus driving them crazy).

EXAMPLE: "so anyway, having thus utterly defeated your silly doo-doo head, stupid bunny "arguments" with yet another masterful reply, I retire satisfied in my complete victory...again".

See? Easy peasy. What's some would-be bully going to do in response? He can't retaliate, he can't attack except using words... which puts us on equal footing...

A2, seeing Gene's style, (hyperbolic, exaggerated for effect...but also his tendency to cut to the chase) I can see why he would call Episcopalians "non Christians". If I may, might we distinguish the church from the believers? How many Episcopalians still hold to the traditional understandings of things while their leaders have marched off into apostasy? I knew one who believed in the Real Presence and 7 sacraments... somehow he always believed it until the local pastor went off in a 'new' direction and he discovered the local Catholic parish.

So you might both be right. The official church leadership are heretics (from a Catholic point of view) and many have fallen into apostasy...while the rank and file are all over the theological map.

From my perspective, if you love someone you want the best for them. The best is full communion in the Mystical Body of Christ wherein the fullness of the means of salvation are reserved as a gift to the world. Sure we may gradually work on folk but my attitude is that there are 2 types of people on earth: Catholics and "not-yet-Catholics". Jesus' great commission did not carve out exceptions "go ye therefore and make disciples of all the nations (except for the Jews, except for the Muslims, except for heretical groups of Christian brothers...)

Now, HOW, we make disciples matters. If you would convert a Jew (and Muslim) you will need miracles - literally - of healing and exorcism. Converting others may be relatively easier. With some consistent, heroic kindness or charity may work. Each tribe and nation is different as the history of evangelization shows us. But the key thing is to bear witness in love for their best good. We're not here to 'win' arguments but to 'win' souls to our beloved, Jesus Christ.

So heal... everyone is exposed to the world, flesh, and devil. We're all broken vessels in need of the Christ... we all need healing.... we all need liberation from evil...we all need the full Gospel.

For all our squabbles, surely we can see the forest for the trees. We can see ecumenism as collaboration where it's possible for the sake of peace while we simultaneously strive to convert everyone - absolutely everyone without exception to the encounter with the Risen Lord. Not to our fellowship but to Him.... we don't preach that people come join us perfect souls...but that they come and see Him.

From this perspective anything that's not Catholic is defective Christianity in that it lacks a good that is available and was made available by Our loving Lord....

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jus - Words can threaten persons, employment, or social milieu. Hence, laws protecting people from libel. Words can damage reputations, expose persons to public ridicule. These, in turn, can lead to damage of a person's employment and/or financial well being.

Jenny said...

"But the key thing is to bear witness in love for their best good. We're not here to 'win' arguments but to 'win' souls to our beloved, Jesus Christ."

Thanks, Jusad. All of your posts instruct us, but this one absolutely inspires the best outcome. Thanks again!

George said...



Jusadbellum said...

" George, I submit my thoughts on the incarnation and Eucharist to the Church. If by substance we mean chemistry while the 'accidents' are the visual spectrum only, then consubstantiation might be right. But - and I'm open to correction here - Aristotle and Aquinas' view of what a substance is, is not our modern understanding of chemistry."

You need to read up on the Church's teaching on transubstantiation. After the bread and wine are consecrated or confected, the substance of Christ's Body in Blood along with His Soul and Divinity is what we receive in communion. The appearance and taste remain though. It is a mystery which cannot be completely understood from our limited human perspective. With the Incarnation, in the person of Christ there is an inseparable unity between the Divine nature and the human nature, between the Divine substance and the human substance. This by the way IS consubstantiation. With the Divine substance , you need to get away from the notion of just physical matter.
This is what I meant by "We are not talking about either one. "
Some Lutherans , Episcopalians and Anglicans believe in consubstantiation when it comes to the their belief in what to them is the Eucharist(which we know as Catholics is not the actual Body and Blood of Christ anyway). With the Catholic Church it is transubstantiation. One of the problems with consubstantiation is the
problem of the Living God co-extant together with inert, inanimate matter. This is why the Church teaches that after the consecration, the bread and wine are no longer there but what is there is fully the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.

Flavius Hesychius said...

PS--there is no way for Lutherans and Orthodox to have 'organic' communion. That would require Lutherans submitting to Orthodoxy, and ipso facto undoing the Reformation.

Jusadbellum said...

Fr. K, you prove my point about bullies.

Precisely because this site allows for anonymity, no one can bully your or I. All anyone has is words.

Now, I suppose as you are a public person you are vulnerable for someone taking their animus off line, in 'meat-space', but then that means bullying is possible off-line.

On-line all we have is words. Written words.

Gene can't bully you or me or anyone. He can strongly disagree, he can go ad hominem to his hearts content....but then so could any target of his wrath!

Strong disagreement is not "bullying". Even strong disagreement mixed with ad hominem vitriol is not "bullying".

Really, about the only thing on a chat room filled with anonymous folk that approximates bullying behavior would be if EVERYONE ganged up on one poster with ad hominems and carping as the essence of bullying behavior is "other-izing", making a target an outcast from the group.

But in a group of anonymous souls, there IS not group from which to be cast out!

When I was younger I did experience bullying for years so I intimately know what it's like. I also know what it's like to physically take down bullies in front of their peer group (it tastes delicious if you don't mind the taste of your own split lip and the bruises). But I later learned an ever more effective method from a kindred spirit who was constantly bullied by bigger, stronger kids and that was the judicious use of irony, sarcasm, and above all, mirth. Mirth really, REALLY wigs them out.

Start laughing at the world (in which they are but a small part) and they don't know what to do. You're not insulting them, you're not ignoring them either. You just find their presence hilarious. There's not much defense against laughter but to join in.

George - I submit my thoughts on the topic of Incarnation and Eucharist to better minds than my own. I don't think Aristotle or Aquinas' concept of substance is co-terminous with "chemical makeup". I THINK that their accidents would translate as chemistry while substance would translate as 'relationship' or dynamic enduring relationship.

How might a thing be in constant flux (as any living organism is) and yet remain itself? Accidents (size, volume, shape, etc.) are constantly changing and yet the man remains himself. The Oak is an oak despite growing from acorn to massive tree. Its substance is "oak" but its accidents changed from nut to tree....

Now, transubstantiation is a miracle and there are no analogues to it in nature. There is no other thing whose accidents remain despite its substance being removed besides the Eucharist.

Every substance is composed of matter and form. It determines the Is-ness. I think - and here I submit to authorities - that we're talking about RELATIONSHIP. Accidents are the matter, substance is the form of that matter. Take away the form and the matter 'disintegrates'. The oak turns into a rotting log or pile of ash.

But what is the Hypostatic union again? Is that not also The Logos, the Word, "becoming flesh"? Being in relationship to that particular flesh "born of the Virgin"?

So substance is not accidents, it's not chemistry, it's relationship. And God became man by taking to Himself a human body, mind, and soul via relationship from conception, thus Jesus is a divine person....

Heady stuff. Deny the one and I can't see how you don't deny the other. In my humble (and quite possibly utterly confused) opinion. ;-)

George said...

Jusadbellum

I've never read anything about the Eucharist where it is characterized as a relation.
The Incarnation either. I go by what the Church teaches. In transubstantiation, the bread and wine become completely the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Son of God. The accidents that remain are just an unexplainable mystery. There is no relationship, other than God with himself. We know at the Tranfiguration, Christ's fully human body emitted light. How was that possible? It is a mystery.
It all comes down to the Power of God to do things which transcend the physical laws
which are part of His creation.
In the natural order of creation, substance and accidents are chemistry and physics.
We know by faith that our Supernatural God is not limited by the laws of the natural order of things.

Gene said...

Bullying is nothing but the rallying cry of liberals who can't get their way or who cannot provide a compelling argument. Bullying is physical and personal and used to get dealt with back when people were allowed to have spirit, passion, and guts. Bullies in school never lasted long because a senior male or a football player would intervene and kick the bully's butt. Now, everybody gets all upset when anyone behaves in a virile fashion or justifiably intervenes physically. That is why our society is in the sad state it is in. I'm surprised urologists are still in business...there is nothing in males for them to work on.

Jusadbellum said...

Right.

So let's say I call Gene a thundering warmongering imbecile and all his posts, ever, to be sinfully sinful and awfully awful.

Now, have I been "bully" to Gene or merely an antagonist who employs ad hominem in place of actual argumentation?

Will he wilt before my withering fusillade of words? Probably not. He'd probably take the Dominican cigar out of his mouth, catch up a crystal class of bourbon, take a sip and then smile at the screen as he thinks of a devastating come back.

Hardly me being a "bully". No hair ruffled.

Almost by definition bullies threaten people with bodily or monetary harm as their 'or else' ultimatum for one's submission to their will or opinion. There is a real or implied power differential and a real implicit or explicit threat of immediate harm should one not snap to and obey.

In today's culture the bullies are almost always Left-wing, "progressive" professional agitators or their minions. They threaten people with termination or direct physical thuggery and mob violence should one stray from the PC plantation.

They don't keep things on-line. They go off-line to find a person's employer, seek to destroy the person's reputation, cut off his income, isolate him from friends and family, and drive people to contemplate either suicide or homicide all while they laugh sure in the general knowledge that they are rendered untouchable by the peanut gallery and general social conditioning.

Bullies in this situation almost always get away with their rude behavior (as do thugs, gangsters, mobsters, and other terrorists) because as a rule MOST PEOPLE will pay the protection money or say "uncle" rather than risk everything in confrontation.

But what threat do any of us pose to anyone else here on this anonymous chat room?



Anonymous said...

Good points all, Jusad.
I would add one more "what bullies do" from personal experience involving a progressive priest in my diocese: They keep huge notebooks listing all grievances within a parish assignment, and pass them onto the next assigned priest, all done secretly of course.