Saturday, June 11, 2016

CAN THE THREE MAJOR CAMPS IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BE CATHOLIC, MEANING, BE UNITED?

The Episcopal Church touts itself as the bridge between Protestantism and Catholicism. It is a combination of both, although in the last 50 years it has become a bridge to chaos and devolved into a mushy universalistic cult.

In the Catholic Church today and brought about by the upheavals of the Second Vatican Council and its "misimplementation," are three distinct camps:

1. The Traditionalists want nothing to do with Vatican II. The Society of Saint Pope Pious X (SSXP) exemplifies this part of the Church. It is a small cult but very vibrant although rigid. The symbol of their traditionalism is the Mass as it was celebrated prior to Vatican II along with the ethos of a community encircled fighting the enemies opposed to them which for the SSXP includes the Magisterium. They are fundamentally opposed to ecumenism, interfaith relationships and dialogue with the world, i.e agnostics,atheists and secularists.

2. The Reform of the Reform camp (which I include myself) believes that Vatican II properly implemented, which it hasn't been, is what God desires for His Church which is a living, breathing and moving reality as was the People of God, the Chosen People of the Old Testament. We believe that Vatican II reiterated all that preceded this ecumenical council but called for a new way of relating to the world and a new pastoral approach within the Church that is more humane and Christ-like, thus more divine and thus less rigid.

The center of the Reform of the Reform in Continuity with Tradition Camp is the Mass. The Ordinary Form of the Mass simply needs to recover the ethos of the Extraordinary Form but without ditching the major reforms of the Missal to include it additional Masses, prayers, lectionary and vernacular.

For the Reform of the Reform camp, the Mass celebrated completely in English using chant even in English which resembles Gregorian Latin Chant is the way to go rather than acquiescing to the secular trends of musical idioms set to religious words, be it rock, punk, folk, or the so-called contemporary sounds all of which are built on fad not substance.

A recovery of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, the EF's Offertory Prayers, Last Gospel, EF rubrics and the quiet prayers of the priest in the EF Mass and elements of the EF's Calendar but added to the Ordinary Form's current missal is a major goal and already realized by the Ordinariate's wonderful new "Divine Worship, the Missal." This includes the Mass being celebrated ad orientem and kneeling at the Communion Railing to receive Holy Communion with the Precious Blood offered by way of intinction. Latin prescribed for the fixed parts of the Mass would be a goal as well as we are a part of the Latin Rite, after all, of the Catholic Church!

3. The Progressive camp of the Church is the most divisive and difficult. It is clearly a breach with the Church's Tradition and a new religion or worse yet, post-Catholic or post Christian. It's god is serving the poor  as though this is something distinctively Catholic. Serving the poor is common to most religions of the world and atheists and agnostics are good at this too. It is built into our genes as all of us are created in the image and likeness of God. Thus it flows from our humanity.

Its major heresy is universalism. 

Catholicism, on the other hand, which of course has as its ethos serving the poor and marginalized, especially within our own families, is about orthodoxy (right belief) and orthodpraxis (right behavior, or correct morality).

If traditional Catholicism is rigid and easily at a breaking point because of it, progressive Catholicism is like a reed blowing in the wind; it can't stand up to anything because it bows towards all.   Its substance is doss.

Of course my camp is the best camp, traditional, open to change and orthodox and pastoral at the same time. Concern for the poor and marginalized is present and services are provided. But clear Catholic identity is asserted amidst the confusion that the world provides. It is counter cultural, swims against the tide and is willing to face martyrdom, white or red, for its principles. 

To answer my question in the title of this post, my answer is no with a codicil. Traditional Catholicism and Reform of the Reform in Continuity Catholicism can be united and coexist very well. Progressive Catholicism is the most divisive form of Catholicism out there because it isn't Catholic, it is post Catholic, post Christian. It needs to die and and it is through nature. 

125 comments:

johnnysc said...

More Christ like and less rigid? Yeah because Jesus never talked about sin, satan and hell.

Marc said...

SSPX is a "small cult" that has:

3 bishops
600 priests
190 seminarians (with 6 seminaries)
350 religious
About 600,000 laity

Just at the SSPX parish we go to there are:

5 priests in residence
12+ Franciscan sisters
1,000 families
And a school attached

Jan said...

No, I think that the liberals in the Church have cast themselves adrift from the Church and have all together a radically different belief.

Yes, I think traditionalists and reform of the reform Catholics could co-exist peacefully but only if the EF of the Mass is left alone and no attempt is made to subsume it into the OF of the Mass or some form of hybrid Mass. If that occurred there would definitely be a rift.

Of course there are Catholics who attend both forms of the Mass quite happily and so I think that shows the two forms of the Mass can co-exist in a parish. I was also surprised to hear that one bishop who I know has been very radical in the past stated that if the SSPX are regularized he would be happy to work with them and offer Mass as well. He has said the EF of the Mass several times for diocesan approved Masses. I believe he has also in the past invited SSPX priests to attend functions of the priests in his diocese and they have attended. Wonders will never cease!

Anonymous said...

And if we are very honest and objective which of the three does the Pope clearly try to signal that he belongs to? No protecting the office or tryimg to be as charitable as we can or putting a brave face on things. Which would a disinterested honest bystander reasonably conclude?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

In Catholic usage the term cult is not negative, like cult of the saints, cultic etc. Sad that you think of cult as the world does!

rcg said...

A reasonably good thesis. I think that there is an effort to invent and attach flaws to traditionalists in a misguided attempt at fairness toward the progressives who are, simply, heretics.

Marc said...

Father, I was reacting to "small" not "cult." Hence why I cited numbers and not other facts.

Henry said...

"And if we are very honest and objective which of the three does the Pope clearly try to signal that he belongs to?"

Well, surely it cannot be progressive Catholicism because it is, as Fr. M says, "the most divisive form of Catholicism out there because it isn't Catholic, it is post Catholic, post Christian."

So the question must be whether the Pope is a traditionalist or a reform-or-the-form Catholic. Given the choice between just these two possibilities, the answer is hardly obvious, is it?

Anonymous said...

Good article but you should have included a survey to see where your readership places themselves. Personally I would be about a 1.75,that would be a strong "reform the reformer" with a slight leaning towards the "traditionalist."

Marc said...

Henry, why can't they pope be in the progressivist category?

Henry said...

Marc, could a pope validly elected in conclave by their eminences the august cardinals of the Holy Roman Apostolic Catholic Church be regarded as "post Catholic, post Christian"?

Marc said...

Henry, yes, he could.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said... 2. The Reform of the Reform camp (which I include myself) believes that Vatican II properly implemented, which it hasn't been...

Few Catholics adhere to the "Reform of the reform camp," and almost no one in the hierarchy cares to do anything about it. "Traditionalists" sure don't believe in it; neither do "radicals." The overwhelming majority of Catholics couldn't care less.

It is not plausible to believe that Vatican II has not been properly implemented. The idea implies that five decades of popes and thousands of bishops didn't know how to implement Vatican II, including the very bishops who attended that council and then returned to their dioceses to oversee the implementation of that council's texts.

Further, what is also implied by that statement is that the popes and thousands of bishops have been completely negligent because they have refused, after five decades no less, to adhere to what was called for by a general council of the Church, one in which thousands of them personally participated.

With all due respect, it is not plausible to think that, over 50 years after Vatican II ended, a lone priest, who did not attend Vatican II, knows how to implement it, but the thousands of bishops who actually comprised that council did not.

This is the reason why "Traditionalists" and "the Reform of the Reform camp" cannot coexist. Traditionalists admit the truth, the reform crowd does not; and that is, the council was implemented in exactly the fashion its major proponents intended.

And because the Church keeps getting more radicalized as time advances, more and more people come to the realization that there is not going to be a "reform of the reform." It is either a return to Tradition or nothing.

There will be a return to Tradition, in God's good time, but not without a universal chastisement. However, we have Our Lady's promise, and Her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

DJR

Anonymous said...

Henry
Thanks for engaging. So - I agree with our kind host's three way categorisation. The question remains - into which one does the current Holy Father most closely fall? The inplications are profoundly disturbing. Corbinian's Bear has a thought provoking article on the Cain Mutiny. I fear we are in the midst of our worst crisis since the Golden Calf and how best to react is far from clear. But surely correctly diagnosing the problem is the best place from which to start.
Ceile De

Marc said...

I agree with DJR. Traditionalism is Catholicism. The "reform of the reform" people are just playing at it, and the progressivists aren't even pretending to be Catholic anymore. The faith is an all-or-nothinf proposition, and only one of these categories recognizes that and puts it into practice.

The reform of the reform is nothing other than modernist immanentism with a veneer of Catholic piety and aesthetics.

Henry said...

Actually, DJR, though from a traditional viewpoint I agree with the "sentiment" of much of what you say, all I've read (and recall) about Vatican II inclines me to the belief that a large majority of the bishops at Vatican II were quite traditional themselves, and did not realize that in Sacrosanctum Concilium they were approving a "pig in a poke" that would set off a chain of events they themselves would later not be able to control, resulting in the liturgical chaos that's with us now. So I do think that Vatican II was highjacked and sidetracked instead of being implemented.

As to whether it can or will be implemented in the future as a "reform of the reform", it seems significant to me that all the young (ordained since 2000) TLM celebrating diocesan priests I know are fervent reform-of-the-reform types. As pastors they will carry out the OF reform of the reform in their parishes--as some of them already are doing--and this is visibly a (slowly) growing movement. How fast or how far it will go is unclear, but surely the future of the Church is ultimately in the hands of the younger generation of priests, rather than the tired old post-Vatican II generation now wheezing its last gasp at the top of the Church.

Anonymous 2 said...

I agree that Father McDonald’s tripartite schema is a helpful heuristic. But like all heuristic devices it has limitations and can lead to errors in any given case. To capture the full range of positions perhaps the schema should therefore be more nuanced, both in allowing for more categories than three and in identifying sub-categories within each category as well as different combinations of subcategories/features across the categories.

Things are rarely as simple as we would like them to be. Once we are willing to recognize complexity, we may be better able to avoid the Procrustean temptation to force people (whether Pope, other members of the hierarchy, or laity) into our preconceived boxes.

I speak personally here as I do not clearly identify completely with any of the three categories. Nor, I believe, would Pope Francis.

johnnyc said...

Very simple Anonymous 2.....There is only one box that matters and leads to eternal salvation. Jesus said.....

If you love me you will obey my commandments. And since Jesus founded the Catholic Church, in fact, Jesus and His Church are One and the Same then that means obeying His Church, the Catholic Church.

About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they're just one thing, and we shouldn't complicate the matter. - St. Joan of Arc

Seems you are complicating the matter with your many boxes and categories. Not that you might be one but this is a tactic of liberal element as they seek to bury the Truth in relativism.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres." - JC (Not THAT JC, the other one, Julius Caesar.)

While Gaul may have been divided, I have it on the best authority that the Church is, and will be "world without end," One.

These sorts of divisions can be useful for discussion, but they are rarely, if ever, accurate portrayals of reality.

This notion is not a "liberal tactic." It is a clearer portrayal of reality. Most Catholics don't fit neatly into one or the other group. There is, rather, a continuous spectrum of belief and behavior - orthodoxy and orthopraxis - and where one fits on that spectrum probably changes from time to time.

If you want to "tag" all the Catholics in the Church, the only division that makes sense theologically is "Saints vs Sinners." None of us claims to be the former; all of us know we are the latter. One can be a liberal sinner or a conservative sinner, a tepid or an ardent sinner.

Jan said...

I think DJR has put it very well. From my experience, the "reform of the reform" people in the Church largely belong to Opus Dei, who celebrate the OF of the Mass to the rubrics and I have been told that in some of their houses the OF Mass is celebrated ad orientem and in Latin. Most of the conservative priests I know are Opus Dei co-operating priests.

The head of Opus Dei Msgr Fernando Ocariz said in his article in L’Osservatore Romano about the assent that he said is required to the Second Vatican Council:

"A number of innovations of a doctrinal nature are to be found in the documents of the Second Vatican Council: on the sacramental nature of the episcopate, on episcopal collegiality, on religious freedom, etc. These innovations in matters concerning faith or morals, not proposed with a definitive act, still require religious submission of intellect and will, even though some of them were and still are the object of controversy with regard to their continuity with earlier magisterial teaching, or their compatibility with the tradition."

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=9793

That is where traditionalists and the reform of the reform conservatives part company, because it seems to me there is a definite reluctance by the reform of the reform to want to change these documents that are the root of the problem, preferring to adopt a "sweep them under the carpet and they'll go away" mentality.

Due to that the Church has largely been thwarted in Her mission of converting the nations as all religions - even from what Francis tells us - are an equal means by which people can get to heaven, even without belief in Jesus Christ ...

Not only that but inculturation and so on has led to situations of pagan culture being permissible in the Mass etc. I have even heard reference to the God of the trees etc by lay people in pseudo-sermons at Mass. In Brazil some still practice white magic side by side with Catholicism.

There are indeed serious problems and while I believe that the two groups can co-exist, I firmly believe that the reform of the reform Conservatives will simply die out in time.

Jan said...

Henry, the book "The Second Vatican Council - An Unwritten Story"
by Professor Roberto de Mattei available on Amazon with a number of reviews seems to sum up what you say. Have you read it?

The following is a review which I think sums up the book well.


"I recommend this book highly but only to those Catholics who are not 'faint of heart'. It is a great work of history which supplements nicely Romano Amerio's "Iota Unum" (available through Amazon). Whereas Amerio's work is about the radical theological and philosophical changes in the Church begun in the Council, de Mattei's work gives a history of the Council beginning with chapters on the Church of Pope Pius XII and a long chapter on the prepatory phase leading to the Council and chapters on each of the 4 sessions followed by a chapter on the aftermath of the Council.

The strength of his book are the many extended quotes of the Council Fathers, their expert advisors, and other commentators. Among the most powerful quotes are those by Bishop Rudolph Graber of Regensburg Germany who said effectively that the changes to the Church were not incidental or passing but about the "whole thing" meaning the very nature of the church as a Supernatural Institution founded by Christ.

Another quote called the Council a shift from a "theocentric" (God centered) to an "anthropocentric" (man centered) view of reality. Again, one Bishop at the end of the first session (end of 1962) said the two contending parties of Bishops and theologians (both minorities) were the Roman and Thomistic and the anti Roman and anti Thomistic. The anti Roman and anti Thomistic side won out to a significant degree, because they were better organized and more motivated, but one commentator said about this, that abandoning Thomist Theology and Philosophy meant abandoning the precise language of the Church. It is very clear to me, that the ambiguities of the Council's wording and the many and often conflicting interpretations have been continually evident in the past 50 years.

Certain Cardinals, Bishops and theologians speak for themselves and prominent figures like Cardinal Suenens, Fr. Rahner and Fr. Congar clearly intended the radical changes to the church and her liturgy, without however, foreseeing the profound consequences evident in the great confusion among clergy and laity in our present day.

The split in the Council leaders is reflected in the split in the Church today between the 'liberal' Catholics and the 'traditional or conservative' Catholics; I would also argue it resulted in the split of the Democratic political party, in that the last party platform in 2008, which included gay marriage and abortion, was anti God (as noted by Archbishop Vigano, Papal Nuncio to the U.S.), but in my experience many Democrats seemed not to know or not to care.

De Mattei's book also includes some quotes from various diaries of Council figures such as Cardinal de Lubac who was somewhat 'progressive' at the beginning but later expressed grave criticism of the Council's results. Pope Paul VI after the Council asked Cardinal Charles Journet, Jesuit Swiss theologian, what he thought of the results of the Council and he answered "tragic".

Really a great and highly informative book but it might be unsettling to a traditional/conservative Catholic, especially one who believed there was a real unanimity among the Council Fathers and that it would produce positive results. The extensive footnotes are on the whole valuable but sometimes overwhelming to a non scholar like me. I think Roberto de Mattei is a great historian who is on the traditional side of the Church but his objectivity is clear and he lets the Council participants and commentators speak for themselves and they speak 'volumes'."

https://www.amazon.com/Second-Vatican-Council-Unwritten-Story/product-reviews/1622920023/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_paging_btm_next_2?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=recent&pageNumber=2

Anonymous 2 said...

Johhnyc:

Yes, simple indeed, yet paradoxically also complex, as Father Kavanaugh also suggests.

Let’s assume, for example, that I accept all that is taught in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and also accept as legitimate all those practices (liturgical and other) currently approved by the Church. Into which of the three boxes do I fit?



johnnyc said...

Wow Father.....you really don't see it huh? Liberals don't believe they are sinners. There is no need for mercy because there is no sin.

Remember Father.....Jesus said he who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.

The Catholic Church is certainly divided....that is the reality. Anonymous 2 maybe unintentionally showed exactly how satan is undermining the Church Jesus founded.....many boxes and categories.....hey one can support homosexual marriage and still be 'catholic'....one can support abortion and still be 'catholic'.....



Catholic Mission said...


How would you reconcile this ?

Cardinal Muller, Archbishop Di Noia and Bishop Fellay's theology is based on hypothetical cases being explicit exceptions to the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus
http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2016/06/cardinal-muller-archbishop-di-noia-and.html

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

johnnyc - Proof-texting doesn't work.

The Gospel of Luke also says, "Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.”

Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”

rcg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
johnnyc said...

Father Kavanaugh I don't see a discrepancy. Those people were outside the Church and doing good. We encourage them in that while making clear that they need to come into full communion with the Church that Jesus founded, the Catholic Church. They weren't claiming to be inside the Church trying to undermine it as liberals do by promoting evil.

Henry said...

Yes, Jan, I've long since studied de Mattei's authoritative account as well as Amerio's book. I also recommend Wiltgen's classic inside view of Vatican II, "The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber".

All the young diocesan priests I know personally are serious about both the EF and the OF reform of the reform--in ordinary parishes; I have no experience with Opus Dei priests. I've committed most of my own 3 T's to the TLM--which I attend exclusively for Sunday Mass--but I suspect its larger significance for the future may be in anchoring the new generation of mainstream "priests of the restoration".

Anonymous said...

As of today June 12th in the year of Our Lord 2016 over 50 innocent human beings who happened to be "gay" were butchered by an Afghan MUSLIM man in Orlando Florida at a nite club on Saturday nite. Just 3 days ago Homeland Security was warned that ISIS had a "KILL LIST" for Florida and would carry out its demonic deeds soon, and it was IGNORED Ladies and Gentleman, I watched in disgust this morning how MSNBC and CNN tried in vain NOT to say it was connected to RADICAL ISLAM but the over whelming evidence was too much for them and they had to say RADICAL ISLAM, I hope this wakes up the gay community for ISLAM will kill all of them given the chance.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Jan said... Henry, the book "The Second Vatican Council - An Unwritten Story" by Professor Roberto de Mattei available on Amazon with a number of reviews seems to sum up what you say. Have you read it?

Monsignor Fenton's diaries, some of which were written during the council, are also an eye opener. He was a devout priest and was an eyewitness to conciliar events.

Caveat: May be sedevacantist sympathies at the link.

http://www.betrayedcatholics.com/free-content/reference-links/1-what-constitutes-the-papacy/the-personal-diaries-of-msgr-joseph-clifford-fenton/

DJR

Anonymous said...

Blogger Henry said... As to whether it can or will be implemented in the future as a "reform of the reform", it seems significant to me that all the young (ordained since 2000) TLM celebrating diocesan priests I know are fervent reform-of-the-reform types. As pastors they will carry out the OF reform of the reform in their parishes--as some of them already are doing--and this is visibly a (slowly) growing movement. How fast or how far it will go is unclear, but surely the future of the Church is ultimately in the hands of the younger generation of priests, rather than the tired old post-Vatican II generation now wheezing its last gasp at the top of the Church.

I agree that the young are the hope of the Church, but the "reform of the reform" movement is, to a large degree, a U.S. phenomenon. There is very little interest in it in other countries, and in some areas it does not exist at all, while, in those same places, Traditionalists are present.

For places like France, the statistics are in. In the not too distant future, as the old guard dies out, there will be as many priests offering the old Mass as offer the new.

For the most part, the French involved in such matters are not the least bit interested in a "reform of the reform"; they are interested in a return to Tradition.

Examples could be multiplied.

DJR

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - Amazing that you know the sexual orientation of each and every one of the victims in Orlando - this, even when their names are just being released.

The "Afghan" Muslim man was, to borrow a lyric, "born in the U.S.A." New York, as a matter of fact.

According to those who knew him, he was not very religious.

He was, again according to those who knew him, unstable. His former wife said that he was violent - that she was beaten many times.

Your hysteria is exactly the result any terrorist seeks. Congratulations, victim.

Jusadbellum said...

I think Fr. K is much more on the money here with respect to the POINT of being Catholic. The POINT is to become a disciple of the Master.... to be more and more fully 'dedicated' to God and God's action in and through one's life (i.e. to be "holy").

Now the MEANS by which we grow closer to the Lord may be divided into spiritualities or charisms or 'rites' or even the above division into traditionalist, reform of reform, and 'progressive' camp and we can thus distinguish whether a given means is more or LESS adequate TO THE GOAL OF BECOMING HOLY...

If one hyper-focuses on the rubrics of the liturgy and other rules "qua" rules as though an idol, one could become a Pharisee and let all manner of evil fester in one's life, thinking that it's in the raw obedience to ritual actions that matter.

But if one obeys all the rules out of love for the Lord then one could become a saint.

Of all the means though, I think the Progressive camp is least likely to bring people to either maturity or holiness because of all the silliness and heresy percolating in the "God loves me just the way I am" hoo-ha.

It's silly to think the Lord, the Giver of Life "loves me JUST THE WAY I AM" as though "just the way I am" isn't in need of conversion!

The lax conscience that justifies virtually every form of sin in the name of "being myself" will more speedily lead a person into diabolical narcissism than anything.

Nevertheless, mere membership in any of the above groups is no guarantee. I think plenty of shallow and ill educated Catholic progressives can certainly be on the path of heroic virtue because the Holy Spirit is always at work: we're not on our own.

Jusadbellum said...

Underneath the entire modern project is the presupposition that if God exists He or It is not involved in human affairs and that consequently we are on our own and society, culture, and civilization (including law, morals, etc.) are whatever the elite of our given societies determine them to be.

And we can fall into this heresy with respect to our American and Catholic POLITICS as well: reducing all actions and results to purely the effect of human causes rather than acknowledge the reality that we are in a God "haunted" universe (to quote Frank Sheed). We are in a battlefield between Heaven and Hell and both sides are actively involved in our realities.

Our problems are not entirely caused by fellow human beings....and neither are our solutions entirely dependent on fellow human beings either.

Jan said...

Henry, I certainly agree with your comment: "I suspect its larger significance for the future may be in anchoring the new generation of mainstream "priests of the restoration".

I personally would prefer to go to the TLM but it isn't provided in my diocese on Sundays because the young priests I know are committed to the Reform of the Reform rather than to the TLM as such. Hence I believe priests from traditional orders are necessary for the TLM to flourish.

Jan said...

Anonymous at 7.03, the attack was perpetrated on a gay nightclub and, therefore, the vast majority of those slaughtered were gay as reported.

The perpetrator a Muslim man attended a Mosque in Orlando which mosque had as a guest speaker - I will let the report speak for itself:

"A firebrand Muslim cleric noted for sermons calling for gay people to be executed reportedly preached at an Orlando-area mosque just weeks before a homegrown terrorist gunned down at least 49 people at a gay nightclub.

Sheikh Farrokh Sekaleshfar, a British-born scholar who currently lives in Iran and travels the world to spread his hateful message, preached at the Husseini Islamic Center in the Orlando suburb of Sanford last month. The sermon -- delivered behind closed doors -- was titled, “How to deal with the phenomenon of homosexuality” and raised the ire of local LGBT community leaders.

The sermon came just three years after Sekaleshfar had spoken at another engagement in the U.S. where he discussed his twisted idea of “compassion” for gay people.

“Death is the sentence. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about this. Death is the sentence,” Sekaleshfar said during a 2013 sermon at the University of Michigan, according to Orlando-based WFTV 9. “We have to have that compassion for people. With homosexuals, it’s the same. Out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.”

Officials for the Husseini Islamic Center said that they were not privy to the sheikh’s prior comments."

Born in the USA or not is irrelevant. It is obvious that some Muslims are being radicalised in your country just as they are in other countries.

The comments of the Husseini Islamic Center would be laughable if it wasn't that one of their members committed such an evil act, no doubt thanks to their recent invitee, and unfortunately there will be more because liberals just won't face the fact of what Islam is and what Islam preaches ...

Anonymous said...

Yes, Jan, the fact that the perp was born in the USA is relevant. Anon's comment - "an Afghan MUSLIM" - is factually wrong.

Also, Anon did not say anything about the "vast majority" being gay, now did he? No, once again, we have unsupported assertions that are based on highly suspect speculations.

Was the perp present to hear Sekaleshfar's sermon? You don't know, so you are making a connection that you don't have the factual evidence to support.

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

Even though, once again, you fail to give the source of the report you quote, I found it on the internet. I don’t know, of course, which edited version you were reading but here is the link to the report given by Fox News:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/06/13/imam-who-called-for-execution-gays-preached-at-orlando-area-mosque-weeks-before-massacre.html

As you can see, the fuller report paints a rather different picture from the extract you quoted. Perhaps you would be good enough to post the omitted parts as well so that readers can have an account that is fairer and more balanced (to quote a phrase).

Jan said...

Anonymous 2, yes, there are many sources of information about this man who spoke at a mosque in Orlando a few weeks ago. The Daily Mail reports:

"An Islamic preacher who has called for gay people to be executed gave sermons in Orlando just weeks before the Pulse nightclub massacre.

Farrokh Sekaleshfar - a British-born doctor and Muslim scholar - has gained a following by urging Muslims to 'get rid of' homosexuals.

And in April, he took his speech titled 'How to deal with the phenomenon of homosexuality' to the Husseini Islamic Center in Sanford, just outside Orlando, Florida.

Two months later, 29-year-old Omar Mateen carried out the worst massacre in US history by opening fire on a gay club in the same city.

Mateen's father has said he believes the attack was motivated by his son's homophobia.

Seddique Mateen told NBC his son was enraged after seeing two men kissing in front of his wife and son during a visit to Miami a couple of months ago.

The father then condemned the shooting - but shocked many as he said: 'God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality. This [killing] is not for the servants.'

It is not clear whether Port St Lucie-based Omar Mateen attended Sekaleshfar's event in Orlando in April.

Previous versions of Sekaleshfar's speech have been posted online, showing him say that gay people should die.

'DEATH IS THE SENTENCE. There's nothing to be embarrassed about this. Death is the sentence,' Sekaleshfar says in one sermon, dated in 2013.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3638438/Orlando-shooting-Controversial-anti-homosexual-sheikh-spoke-Florida-shooting.html#ixzz4BVuSJuNK
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There is a video online where you can hear him say about homosexuality that "Death is the sentence. There is nothing to be embarrassed about". He goes on to say that we should be kind to people and that putting to death homosexuals is a kind act.

I hear nothing, as usual, from Anonymous 2 to condemn this sort thing. For mosque to invite such a man and claim they have no knowledge of things he has said in the past, just beggars belief!


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3638438/Orlando-shooting-Controversial-anti-homosexual-sheikh-spoke-Florida-shooting.html#ixzz4BVtvl08R
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Jan said...

Anonymous, the fact that he was born in the US is not relevant. The fact is Muslim immigrants and children of Muslim immigrants, as in this case, are killing innocent people. The fact is they are doing it for religious reasons. It is high time people like yourself and Anonymous 2 faced the facts and stopped trying to sweep things under the carpet.

Anonymous 2 completely denies the mounting video evidence online. It has and it will keep coming. There are cases being reported all over Europe and the UK of Muslim immigrants raping, attacking, punching and kicking innocent citizens of countries that have given them hospitality. There are court cases of groups of men attacking and raping young women.

Shame on both of you. This sort of PC claptrap has got to stop. Jews and Christians are being targeted, plain and simple. Women are being targeted plain and simple. Now gays are being targeted, plain and simple.

How many killing, rapes, and cases of violence will have to take place before you both shamefacedly admit the truth?

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

Alright, as you seem unwilling to post the missing part of the report on Fox News, I suppose I will have to do it. Here it is:

“Officials for the Husseini Islamic Center said that they were not privy to the sheikh’s prior comments.

‘The management at the Husseini Islamic Center were unaware of these remarks when he was invited,’ a representative of the Orlando mosque told Fusion.net. ‘Please understand that the singular views of guest speakers do not represent those of the Husseini Islamic Center. We want to reiterate that nothing, absolutely nothing, can justify yesterday’s atrocious actions.’

The news site also received comment from Sekaleshfar via Facebook in which he referred to shooter Omar Mateen as ‘an ill and perverted, animalistic entity who has abused an ideology to satiate his sad, twisted desires.’

‘I am totally against the barbaric act of violence that has happened. In no way at all can such a killing be justified Islamically,’ he said.

When asked about his alleged comments in March in Orlando regarding gays, Sekaleshfar chalked it up to ‘academic discussion’ and that he was describing a ‘theoretical angle as to what Islam says.’

‘I never gave the call to a death sentence,’ he told Fusion, adding that his speech in 2013 had been taken out of context. ‘I was explaining what Islamic law – in a country whose people democratically desired Islamic law to be exercised – states in relation to NOT homosexuals, but rather in relation to when the act of anal copulation is executed in such an aforementioned public.’”

Now it is of course a different question how credible such disavowals are. But surely it is not appropriate simply to omit the remainder of the report in an act of politically correct censorship, as I suspect several so-called news sources are doing (as usual, it should be added).

Thus the question is not whether I condemn these barbaric actions (of course I do, and it is a low blow on your part to intimate otherwise). The question is whether the Orlando mosque and the visiting imam in question condemn these actions—they do—and whether their statements are credible.

To help evaluate this latter question it may help to have a broader context regarding the Islamic position(s) on homosexuality and homosexual behavior. The following Wikipedia essay will suffice to introduce this context, which is, as is so often the case, far more complex and nuanced than the distorted views ignorantly and irresponsibly peddled by so many pundits and bloggers:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_in_Islam



Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

Even the Daily Mail report from which you selectively quote has the imam speaking in the same sense. Why do you do the very same thing you accuse others such as Mark Thomas of doing, that is, to quote selectively and misleadingly on various topics—in your case especially Islam and Muslims?

Jan said...

Anonymous 2, surely you are intelligent enough to realize that I cannot post the entire article. I posted the entire beginning of the article and it wasn't edited at all - unlike Mark Thomas who cut and pasted sentences together to make it read as though Bishop Schneider was saying something he wasn't saying.

Why don't you post the parts of the article that you think redeem this man's earlier statements about homosexuals, "Death is the sentence. There's nothing to be embarrassed about this. Death is the sentence". The video evidence of what this man says is there for all to see on the Daily Mail article.

By refusing to condemn this man I can only assume that you think it is okay for someone to make such a statement that homosexuals should be killed because it is part of Islamic law.

As far as I am concerned, you continually use smokescreen tactics to try to cover over the obvious murderous, violent behavior of Islamists in many different countries around the world including the US.

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

My short comment about “Even the Daily Mail etc.” (11:20 p.m.) was intended as a P.S. to a longer comment replying to you. As has happened before, this longer comment apparently did not make it through the cyber-gauntlet again (this has happened to a number of my comments). Here, again, is the longer comment:

Alright, as you seem unwilling to post the missing part of the report on Fox News, I suppose I will have to do it. Here it is:

“Officials for the Husseini Islamic Center said that they were not privy to the sheikh’s prior comments.

‘The management at the Husseini Islamic Center were unaware of these remarks when he was invited,’ a representative of the Orlando mosque told Fusion.net. ‘Please understand that the singular views of guest speakers do not represent those of the Husseini Islamic Center. We want to reiterate that nothing, absolutely nothing, can justify yesterday’s atrocious actions.’

The news site also received comment from Sekaleshfar via Facebook in which he referred to shooter Omar Mateen as ‘an ill and perverted, animalistic entity who has abused an ideology to satiate his sad, twisted desires.’

‘I am totally against the barbaric act of violence that has happened. In no way at all can such a killing be justified Islamically,’ he said.

When asked about his alleged comments in March in Orlando regarding gays, Sekaleshfar chalked it up to ‘academic discussion’ and that he was describing a ‘theoretical angle as to what Islam says.’

‘I never gave the call to a death sentence,’ he told Fusion, adding that his speech in 2013 had been taken out of context. ‘I was explaining what Islamic law – in a country whose people democratically desired Islamic law to be exercised – states in relation to NOT homosexuals, but rather in relation to when the act of anal copulation is executed in such an aforementioned public.’”

Now it is of course a different question how credible such disavowals are. But surely it is not appropriate simply to omit the remainder of the report in an act of politically correct censorship, as I suspect several so-called news sources are doing (as usual, it should be added).

Thus the question is not whether I condemn these barbaric actions (of course I do, and it is a low blow on your part to intimate otherwise). The question is whether the Orlando mosque and the visiting imam in question condemn these actions—they do—and whether their statements are credible.

To help evaluate this latter question it may help to have a broader context regarding the Islamic position(s) on homosexuality and homosexual behavior. The following Wikipedia essay will suffice to introduce this context, which is, as is so often the case, far more complex and nuanced than the distorted views ignorantly and irresponsibly peddled by so many pundits and bloggers:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_in_Islam

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

And surely_you_are intelligent enough to realize that not posting the parts of the article I have now posted leaves an entirely misleading impression on the reader. The same applies to posting sources that are highly questionable, which many of your sources, not all, have turned out to be. Thus, many of the videos you have posted are pure junk, as even minimal fact-checking would reveal.

I am afraid I must be brutally honest now, Jan. You do this so consistently, and indeed continue to do it so consistently despite my consistently pointing out these distortions, that I am beginning to think you must be doing it not as an innocent (albeit gullible) consumer of information but as part of the concerted deliberate attempt to mislead that such practices seem to be. And you don’t just post the beginning of articles, Jan. Recently, for example, you omitted the highly relevant and important (but inconvenient) middle of an article, and when I pointed this out you claimed that something must have happened with the transmission or some such thing. I hope I am wrong but the evidence is mounting. The end does not justify the means. We should not lie, and one can lie by omission as well as by commission.

Of course, to judge by Donald Trump’s disgraceful performances, including yesterday’s, I realize that public lying is the thing to do nowadays. Politicians have always lied but at least they generally regret being caught in the lie. Trump doesn’t seem to care and indeed seems to make public lying a virtue. And the sad part is, most of those who follow him will probably never know that half of what he says are lies because they never expose themselves to a source that would reveal the truth to them.

Anonymous said...

Jan - When someone says facts in this discussion are not relevant there's really nothing much left to say.

FACT: The perp was an American citizen, not an "Afghan MUSLIM."

FACT: We have no idea what the perp's reasoning was. From the FACTS reported so far, it seems he was psychologically disturbed.

FACT: He "swore allegiance" to ISIS. But you choose the only reported evidence that you think suits your position. It has been reported that the perp "swore allegiance" to ISIS and to other radical groups that ISIS opposes. So where does that leave the "Muslim" connection...?

Jan said...

Anonymous please tell me why the murderer being born in the US makes such a difference?

Fact: The murderer was a Muslim.

Fact: The murderer claimed to support ISIS.

Fact: ISIS called for killing in Ramadan.

Fact: The killings were carried out during Ramadan.

Fact: ISIS has said that it was carried out by "one of the soldiers of the caliphate".

Fact: The murderer's parents were immigrants.

Fact: The murderer's father said God should have punished the victims and not his son.

Fact: The murderer killed over 50 people at a gay nightclub.

Fact: Many of those murdered were gay.

Fact: Sharia law says that homosexuality is punishable by death.

Fact: There are ten Muslim countries where homosexuals can be punished by death.

Reported on Fox News that his brother-in-law saw no evidence of mental illness. Also reported:

"U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley said at a Monday news conference. "It is still in the early stages. We don't know if anyone else will be charged in connection with this crime." He went on to say. "There is an investigation of other persons. We're working as diligently as we can on that. We have teams of prosecutors, as well as teams of agents, working around the clock getting search warrants, court orders. If anyone else was involved in this crime, they will be prosecuted."

Other news outlets are reporting that there will be further arrests soon. It very much depends on your news source and I guess we will just have to wait and see who is the more reliable - mainstream news or the others - but I guess you'll continue to remain in denial that Islam is anything other than a religion of peace

Jan said...

Anonymous 2, the important thing is what the man said that was inflammatory and may lead Muslims to kill homosexuals, not what he or the mosque says later after a mass killing. It would be naive to expect that they would do anything else than try to distance themselves.

And finally you have at long last said you condemn those barbaric actions whereas, prior to that, your posts served merely to defend Sekaleshfar. As the majority of your posts try to paint Islam as a religion of peace. You might be interested to read about the 10 Islamic countries that condemn homosexuals to death.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/06/13/here-are-the-10-countries-where-homosexuality-may-be-punished-by-death-2/

The difference between you and me is summed up by the Pathos post that the words from the mosque and Sekaleshfar are hollow:

"Said Sekaleshfar:

“Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this, death is the sentence…We have to have that compassion for people, with homosexuals, it’s the same, out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.”

A spokesman for the mosque told a TV reporter that in the United States, he and his co-believers have a right to invite anyone to speak, “on any topic.” Besides, it was “a private event,” he added.

Currently, the mosque’s website is no longer so defiant, with its home page sporting a message of mourning about yesterday’s unprecedented bloodbath at a gay club in Orlando. (To be sure, this was not the shooter’s mosque.)

[We] stand united with our fellow Americans in categorically condemning this attack. We share the grief and sorrow of the nation and stand united with the Central Florida community and City of Orlando. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the families and loved ones who are victims of this tragedy.

BUT INVITING SOMEONE WHO TALKS SO NONCHALANTLY OF KILLING GAY PEOPLE SPEAKS LOUDER than publishing some copy-pasted boilerplate as soon as 50 people are shot dead and you begin catching heat. And tellingly, nothing in the mosque’s statement says anything about repudiating or condemning the belief that those with same-sex attractions ought to be put to death.

THIS MORNING, SEKALESHFAR HIMSELF PLAYED THE SAME GAME. He posted a statement on his Facebook page offering his “sincere condolences to the friends and families of those massacred.”

Sincere, people!"

The videos I have posted show multitudes of Muslims attacking people, turning over cars in France and other places, throwing water and food on to railway lines - all pretty hard to fabricate I would have thought - unless you bring in a cast of hundreds - and only someone like yourself, with his head buried in the sand right up to his ankles, would choose to dismiss them.

I don't agree with everything Donald Trump says but what he says on immigration I fully support. If immigration from Muslim countries is allowed to the extent it has occurred in Britain and the US the whole fabric of life in the US will be altered forever. Videos don't lie. The daily attacks reported in those countries by immigrants on innocent members of the countries that have graciously taken them in are atrocious. The published reports of court cases involving Muslim men in England and elsewhere raping young women don't lie. If US citizens would like more of the same in the US then I suggest they vote for Hilary Clinton because that is what they will get.

Anonymous said...

Born in the USA. Not an "Afghan MUSLIM". That you are unable to understand this is all we need to know.

Jan said...

Yes, another Muslim terrorist, Anonymous, a natural born Frenchman stabbed to death a policeman and his wife in front of their two-year-old child:

"Larossi Abballa, a Frenchman previously convicted of taking part in a jihadi recruitment network and claiming allegiance to Islamic State, streamed a video of the fatal attack on Facebook Live."

Tell me, Anonymous, what does it matter where these Muslim terrorists were born? Born in the US, born in France - all the same - murderous beasts.

Try telling the families of those who died in Orlando that all they need to know is they were born in the USA - you know what their reply will be !!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Jan - I didn't bring up the peep's nationality. I pointed out the factual errors of the person who did.

You have repeatedly argued that such facts don't matter.

That's why your arguments are unpersuasive.

Jan said...

Anonymous 2, good that you finally condemned the latest US Muslim terrorist. Up until then your sole aim seems to have been defending the Muslim cleric Sekaleshfar. Here is what Patheos had to say. I agree with Patheos that the attempts of the mosque to distance themselves and the cleric from the murders is rings pretty hollow after inviting a speaker liable to incite violence to their mosque:

"Said Sekaleshfar:

“Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this, death is the sentence…We have to have that compassion for people, with homosexuals, it’s the same, out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.”

A spokesman for the mosque told a TV reporter that in the United States, he and his co-believers have a right to invite anyone to speak, “on any topic.” Besides, it was “a private event,” he added.

Currently, the mosque’s website is no longer so defiant, with its home page sporting a message of mourning about yesterday’s unprecedented bloodbath at a gay club in Orlando. (To be sure, this was not the shooter’s mosque.)

[We] stand united with our fellow Americans in categorically condemning this attack. We share the grief and sorrow of the nation and stand united with the Central Florida community and City of Orlando. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the families and loved ones who are victims of this tragedy.

BUT INVITING SOMEONE WHO TALKS SO NONCHALANTLY OF KILLING GAY PEOPLE SPEAKS LOUDER than publishing some copy-pasted boilerplate as soon as 50 people are shot dead and you begin catching heat. And tellingly, nothing in the mosque’s statement says anything about repudiating or condemning the belief that those with same-sex attractions ought to be put to death.

This morning, Sekaleshfar himself played the same game. He posted a statement on his Facebook page offering his “sincere condolences to the friends and families of those massacred.”

Sincere, people!"

The videos on the internet speak for themselves. They show violent Muslims rioting, turning over cars, attacking innocent citizens in countries that have given them sanctuary, throwing away good food and kicking away bottles of water onto the railway tracks. It would take a cast of hundreds to fabricate those videos. Let alone the press reports of Muslim gangs raping young women in the UK and Europe, bashing up women. I don't agree with everything Trump says but on immigration he is absolutely right. If US citizens want to import the type of thuggery and mayhem that is happening in Europe and the UK to become widespread in the USA they will certainly get that if they vote for Hillary.

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

Regarding two of your purported “Facts”:

“The murderer's father said God should have punished the victims and not his son.”

It’s all about syntax. The father is using “his son” as subject not object, so this is a good thing that the father has said. Catholics say the same – judgment and punishment is for God not for man. Indeed, the father states that his son’s actions are not supported by Islam:

https://news.vice.com/article/orlando-gunman-omar-mateen-father-seddique-mir-mateen-punish-gay-people

“Sharia law says that homosexuality is punishable by death.”

Related to the first point, it all depends on which particular version of Shari‘a one is talking about, doesn’t it? So many people talk as if the Shari‘a were one set of rules such as those set out in the Catholic Catechism. It isn’t. It is more analogous to the differences among Christian denominations. Thus the various jurisprudential schools and various sects subscribe to different versions of Shari‘a. This is true whether one is talking about women’s dress, contraception, abortion, homosexual conduct, rules of inheritance, and on and on. And here we are not talking about “liberal Islam” and reform of the traditional classical Shari‘a, but about the traditional classical Shari‘a itself.

So, who are the best allies in the fight against these radical Islamic jihadists, who subscribe to an extreme non-mainstream version of Shari‘a, and their attempts to radicalize others towards violent jihad? Traditional Muslims, of course, including some of those (such as the Muslim Brotherhood) you might be inclined to label “radical” because they want to live under Shari‘a as a total system rather than under a mixed system containing some Shari‘a law and other, more modernized law that reforms various aspects of the Shari‘a (as is the case in most Muslim majority countries). Those tempted by the Jihadists Siren songs will not listen to “liberal Muslims” or “liberal” anything else, but they may well listen to “traditional” Muslims, including “radical” Muslims, who share some of their same values but reject their methods as un-Islamic.

Now do we finally understand why President Obama and Hillary Clinton have been so unwilling to suggest that we are at war with “radical Islam,” a phrase that is sure to be “heard” differently by Muslims than by those ignorant hotheads who understand very little and who want to score cheap political points by chastising the President and others for not using it?

The “war” or “battle for the soul” of Islam and Muslims is too important and serious for cheap politics. When I watch people like Sean Hannity and his cronies ignorantly opine about Shari‘a, based on their cherry picking of certain purported “Shari‘a rules,” as I have been doing these past few days, it makes me cringe. How can we be so stupid! It would also make me cringe to hear others ignorantly opine about Islam being a religion of peace that contains no warrants for harsh punishments and violence, because it does, although (as indicated above) Muslims disagree about the conditions under which such punishments can be imposed and such violence perpetrated. What everyone needs to do is indeed to “get the facts” and to do so impartially and objectively. Then, and only then, will we be in a position to see clearly and to know what to do. On these issues, based on their two post-Orlando Massacre speeches, it does seem that Hillary “gets it” and Donald does not.

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

“good that you finally condemned the latest US Muslim terrorist. Up until then your sole aim seems to have been defending the Muslim cleric Sekaleshfar.”

You can’t even get the facts about our exchange on this thread right. Please go back and read it more carefully.

As for the Muslims rejecting food and water, you posted one video claiming that they were doing this because the provisions were from the Red Cross and had a cross on them – despite the explanation by spokesman from the Red Cross itself that this had nothing, I repeat nothing, to do with the incident! This is just one example, among many, of fabricated or otherwise spurious videos you have posted. By the way, some Muslims did the same sort of thing in the early history of Islam. They fabricated hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad to support their position. Did you know, Jan, that there are at least 400,000 purported hadiths, the vast majority of which are unreliable? Did you know that Muslim scholars classify them according to degrees of reliability and unreliability and that only a few thousand are regarded as completely reliable? I bet you didn’t.


Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

Here is another inconvenient fact for you—the actual video of Sekaleshfar’s speech at the University of Michigan in 2013. I find it absolutely shameful how people are reproducing one small extract (at about 59 minutes) and totally distorting what this man actually said. For the proper context please look at 51 minutes to 1:02 minutes. Then you will see what the first comment notes:

“He clearly says death sentence only applies if all of these conditions apply:

1. The act takes place in an Islamic nation where Islamic law applies.
2. Homosexual intercourse has taken place in public NOT in private.
3. There has to be a minimum of four witnesses for it to be considered public.
4. The death sentence is given by a judge who has an option of forgiving the person.

Throughout the rest of the video he is actually condemning violent actions such as the beating of a man's wife. Get out of your bubble of bigotry and try to analyse something objectively.”

Here is the link to the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRRsCtJLTQo

Shame on all those who rip things out of context and who lie by omission! Shame on them!


Jan said...

Anonymous 2, so you think that what the Muslim cleric Sekaleshfar said was okay because it was in the following context?

“He clearly says death sentence only applies if all of these conditions apply:

1. The act takes place in an Islamic nation where Islamic law applies.
2. Homosexual intercourse has taken place in public NOT in private.
3. There has to be a minimum of four witnesses for it to be considered public.
4. The death sentence is given by a judge who has an option of forgiving the person."

So, because he is saying it in the above context you think it is okay to say about homosexuals the following?

"Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this, death is the sentence…We have to have that compassion for people, with homosexuals, it’s the same, out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.”

Shouldn't you, as a Christian, be condemning any such statements of violence of any kind against homosexuals?

As regards the kicking away food and water I was referring to the following video which I linked in addition to the Red Cross video that you claim was later denied.

There is not a Red Cross person in sight in the following video. Do you think it was okay to do what they did?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfowF3ingmg

Jan said...

I am afraid Anonymous 8.20 the first Anonymous - although he might have mistakenly said the perpetrator was an Afghan Muslim rather than a US Muslim - shows much more empathy with the victims than you have in all your comments harping on about the perpetrator being a US Muslim. That doesn't actually matter a jot to those murdered or their families, does it? You haven't even bothered to condemn the perpetrator.

Jan said...

Anonymous 2, the real shame lies on those who stick up for Muslim clerics who state that homosexuals should be put to death for any reason. Shame on those who don't condemn such clerics ...

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

Please stop changing the subject.

You started this entire exchange by posting an extract from a news report stating that "[a] firebrand Muslim cleric noted for sermons calling for gay people to be executed reportedly preached at an Orlando-area mosque just weeks before a homegrown terrorist gunned down at least 49 people at a gay nightclub” and you gullibly (or not so gullibly – as I said before, I am becoming unsure about your bona fides with these posts) bought into the line, shamefully being propagated by anti-Muslim commentators and blogs, that the sort of rhetoric he employed incited the Orlando mass murderer to commit his evil act. To support this unfounded contention these commentators and bloggers cherry picked one sentence out of his speech in 2013, the one you and others continually quote.

This is a typical and nefarious tactic nowadays and I have learned always, and I mean always, to doubt the accuracy of any impressions conveyed by such selective quotations abstracted from their context. Context is everything. Radical jihadists quote selective passages from the Qur’an out of context to justify their evil acts and Western commentators and bloggers do exactly the same sort of thing. They even buy into the jihadists’ distorted interpretations to score political or rhetorical points, thereby of course unwittingly furthering the jihadist cause. The actions of both disgust me. It is wrong and it is stupid.

And so, following my instincts, I did the research—which, by the way, you should have done before further propagating this nonsense (but of course you never do and you never will). And guess what? Surprise, surprise, when you read that one sentence IN CONTEXT, it means something totally different from when it is ripped out of context, and it becomes abundantly clear that there is no way that what the cleric said could have incited the massacre (assuming he said the same sort of thing again). Thus the cleric’s subsequent disavowals and expressions of regret are most definitely credible.

And if you knew the first thing about Islam and the Shari’a (which you evidently do not), you would understand this. Moreover, before you or anyone else reach a judgment about the Shari’a death penalty for homosexual anal sodomy (or adultery for that matter), you should first learn about the applicable law and the extremely onerous conditions that have to be satisfied for a successful prosecution. Then, and only then, can we have a meaningful conversation about penalties. Otherwise it’s just noise.

I am sorry if I come across as harsh, Jan, but I am sick and tired of the lethal combination of ignorance and arrogance that has led to the lamentable situation we now find ourselves in, beginning of course with the hubristic invasion of Iraq in 2003, which let the genie out of the bottle and started off the entire mess.



Anonymous 2 said...

P.S. When the cleric did finally talk about the death penalty, he made some metaphysical/theological assumptions about divine forgiveness that are also highly relevant to understanding and evaluating the quoted statement. They too are an essential part of the context.

Let me ask you: Did you watch the 12 minute segment of the video as I asked you to do? If you didn’t, there is nothing more for us to discuss.

Marc said...

Anonymous 2, I don't want to get between you and Jan, but I have a serious question for you. In your post at 1:47, you wrote, "Radical jihadists quote selective passages from the Qur’an out of context to justify their evil acts . . . ."

What impact do you think that the life of Mohammed himself plays into your contention? How is it not just as likely that you are wrong in your interpretation of Islam and that the so-called radicals have it right? In other words, given the fact that the founder of the false religion was himself a terrorist, isn't it more likely that the "radical jihadists" are quoting the text and attributing to it its intended meaning?

And while you're thinking about that, consider this: If one were to take some out-of-context quote from the text of the New Testament, wouldn't we Christians respond back by pointing to the peaceable nature of our Lord as evidence that the quotation was being used contrary to its contextual meaning?

Anonymous said...

Jan is among the Islamophobe Gnostics of the day. She knows - without any evidence, with contrived or twisted evidence, with out-of-context evidence - all that a "Christian" needs to know about Islam.

And anyone who DARES to disagree with her or to challenge her errors is, ipso facto, wrong. No amount of correction, no pertinent facts, no well-documented evidence is going to alter her views. They are, after all, sacrosanct.

It's a blissful life, this kind of self-constructed, not to mention self-delusional, certitude, don't you think?

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

Thank you for your first question, which is an important one. But how can I even begin answering it seriously and talking meaningfully about the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad when you make the conclusory statement “given the fact that the founder of this false religion was himself a terrorist”? Like Jan, you seem to have made up your mind before the conversation even begins. And by the way, good luck trying to win allies among Muslims with that attitude! Those who make such sweeping derogatory statements must really ask themselves whether they want to be part of the solution or whether instead they want to continue to be part of the problem and, if the former, what else they need to learn.

Marc said...

So you're not going to try to answer my question, then? I'll rephrase it.

Since it is a teaching of Islam that Mohammed was the perfect man and a model for all Muslims, does it impact the analysis of the Koran when it's troublesome passages are viewed in light of the historical facts surrounding the person of Mohammed, namely his tendency to start wars and to wage them in an unrelenting fashion?

I am not trying to win allies among Muslims here. You are not a Muslim. And I don't think there is anything else that I need to learn about Islam. I've read their book and studied their false religion. I am comfortable with my working knowledge of Islam. I hope you'll answer my question because I think it is an important one.

Jan said...

Anonymous 2, can you explain what the cleric means by saying the following:

"Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this, death is the sentence…We have to have that compassion for people, with homosexuals, it’s the same, out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.”

And of course the cleric - due to speak in Australia - took off from Sydney Airport before his visa could be revoked. The Australian Government said he should have been on a watch list after making those comments in 2013 and should never have been granted a visa to enter Australia.

So, it seems you are in a minority supporting the comments of Sekaleshfar. Taken in or out of context, they mean exactly the same thing and could most definitely incite people to violence against homosexuals as the Australian Government rightly concluded.

Jan said...

Anonymous 5.11 - "She knows - without any evidence, with contrived or twisted evidence, with out-of-context evidence - all that a "Christian" needs to know about Islam."

This statement makes it so obvious that you don't have a clue about the violent history of Islam that is maintained to this present day. You obviously live such a secluded life that you are not aware of the vast numbers of Christians slaughtered by Islamists - as Christians reported - even by their neighbors.

No evidence?????? Absolute rubbish as the [now] hundreds of videos on the internet show: the violent behavior of Islamic immigrants. The attacks on women in Germany at New Year. Overturning cars, throwing away good food and water.

You have buried yourself in the sands of denial up to your ankles. Either that or you are living on another planet. One thing is for sure, people can see the video evidence for themselves and decide that they don't want the kind of people coming to the US that are likely to cause the mayhem they have caused in Europe and the UK.

And Marc is absolutely correct in his comments as well.

Anonymous said...

Q. E. D.

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc;

If you have studied Islam, then you do not really need me to explain to you that the Sunnah of the Prophet (his sayings, teachings, deeds, etc.) is viewed as the second primary sacred source of the Shari’a and that his life is a guide to the guide (the Qur’an) as it were. Thus the Sunnah is indeed very important for interpretation of the Qur’an. You also do not need me to tell you that the literature (especially the hadith literature) that evidences the Sunnah itself requires interpretation both regarding the level of reliability of the over 400,000 hadiths (only a few thousand are accepted as completely reliable) and sometimes regarding their meaning. Nor do you need me to tell you about the two primary secondary sources—ijma (consensus of the community) and qiyas (analogy)—or about other secondary sources such as public interest that are needed when neither the Qur’an nor the Sunnah clearly answers a question. Nor, again, do you need me to tell you that the classical Shari’a was built up over centuries as a result of “ijtihad” or independent reasoning by the religious and legal scholars using these sources and that one of the great issues today is whether the “gate of ijtihad”, which most scholars consider was “closed” several centuries ago, should be reopened to adapt Islam to the modern age. The preceding account reflects Sunni jusriprudence (the Shia have somewhat varying sources; moreover, for them the gate of ijtihad was never closed).

Similarly, you do not need me to tell you that the statement you make that Muhammad was a “terrorist” or that he had a “tendency to start wars and wage them in unrelenting fashion” is a very controversial, indeed offensive, statement for Muslims and indeed that most, if not all, mainstream Muslim scholars would disagree with it (although radical jihadists with their extremist, non-traditional interpretation of Islam likely would not).

But, as you have read the Qur’an and have studied Islam, you know all this already, so why ask me?

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

Yes, I can explain it. Watch the video as I asked you to do. This will explain it for you.

As for the ban by Australia, which appears to have been based on Sekaleshfar’s 2013 lecture, the Australian government either had not watched the video either or considered that they had no alternative politically because so many people like yourself had only watched the cherry picked extract in which he utters that one sentence (very likely if the situation in the U.S. is anything to go by) and were outraged by what they did not understand, doubtless goaded on by irresponsible media. And I’m sorry, Jan, but the sentence does not mean the same thing in or out of context and to suggest that it does displays a lamentable grasp of the canons of linguistic communication.

Moreover, it may not be a stretch to accuse the Australian government of political and moral cowardice. But, this said, I do not have all the facts about their ban. Here are two reports about the Australian ban that, again, suggests that this man is being pilloried for one sentence ripped out of its context:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/farrokh-sekalesh-leaves-australia-visa-warning-160615041301485.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/islam-scholar-australia-visa-ban-orlando-shooting-farrokh-sekaleshfa-a7081096.html

And even if I am in the minority, Jan, that does not make me wrong and the ignorant mob right. You should know better than to suggest it does.


Anonymous 2 said...

Anonymous:

Q.E.D. indeed.

It does indeed seem pointless to try. Even so, I would respond to her latest comment by pointing out that the history of the Christians has been just as, if not more, violent than that of the Muslims and that those Muslims who are slaughtering or otherwise persecuting Christians (and of course fellow Muslims as well) today are acting out of their own extremist interpretation of Islam and contrary to the classical Shari’a. But, again, what’s the point, especially as I have no more time today.



Jan said...

Anonymous 6.51, si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses

Marc said...

Okay, Anonymous 2. I see you don't actually want to have a conversation. It was worth a shot, but I'm not going to waste time with you. Have a nice weekend.

Anonymous said...

Marc has turned into a real bundle of "You can kiss my grits" kinda of "Catholic" of late. He needs a good dose of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, methinks.

He's rapidly becoming another all-knowing, unfailing Jan.

Now we have 2 infallible gnostics. How comforting...

Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

I am perfectly willing to have a conversation with you. But we both have to come to the conversation with a mind open to persuasion through reasonable argument that examines the relevant sources and acknowledges accepted modes of legal reasoning in the classical Shari’a.

You may have the opening move if you like. Using the relevant sources and accepted modes of Islamic legal reasoning in the classical Shari’a, please argue in favor of the proposition that the Prophet Muhammad was a “terrorist” or had a “tendency to start wars and wage them in unrelenting fashion.”

I will concede at the outset that Muhammad, unlike Jesus, did indeed raid caravans and engage in battles with the pagan Meccans after the hijra (emigration to Medina in 622 A.D.). The issue is not whether the Shari’a approves of violence and armed conflict—it does—but under which circumstances and subject to which conditions.


Jan said...

I am sorry, Anonymous 2, taken in context or out of context, it is complete evil to suggest that any homosexual should be killed for committing a public act in a Muslim country or elsewhere. There is no context in which those comments can be justified - but you are justifying them. The Australian Government got it right. It's a pity that such a man was admitted to the States to spout his hate-filled agenda. If you can't see that then you've got a big problem ...

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

Have you viewed the 12 minute segment from the video of the cleric’s 2013 lecture at the University of Michigan as I asked you to do? There is no point in discussing this matter further with you unless and until you do so. I look at your video links, junk and non-credible though many of them are. The least you can do is to reciprocate the courtesy by viewing this credible video of a formal public lecture at a university. And if you refuse to do so, then you who have another kind of problem. Of course, if you have already done me the courtesy of viewing the video, please tell me that and we can proceed.

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

P.S. I am not justifying Sakeleshfar’s statement. To do so would be inconsistent with my many previous posts on the subject of homosexuality.

No, I am trying to_explain_his statement (something quite different from justifying it) by getting you to understand_his_Shari’a based justification and that a lecture such as the one he gave in 2013 at the University of Michigan could not incite Mateen or anyone else to “take the law into their own hands” and massacre patrons of a night club. It would be quite clear from the lecture that such a heinous act has no justification under the Shari’a. Indeed, it is my understanding that not even the ISIS executes homosexuals without some sort of trial beforehand.

Jan said...

Anonymous 2, yes. I have listened to the video. He says at 7.40 that Muslims aren't homophobic but then he says the negative stance of Islam is based on love and it okay to kill homosexuals as he goes on to say. I agree with many of the comments from others commenting on the video, that it is alarming that this man can sit there - quite calmly and clinically - and say that homosexuals who commit a public act in a country with Islamic law can be killed and, in fact, should be killed out of compassion and that "we should be happy for that person" because it is merciful to do so. There can be no justification for what he says. And, yes, I think that what he said, even in the context of a university discussion, could incite people to kill homosexuals. One has to question the group who invited him: students for Academic Awareness.

In countries like Australia there is not such freedom of speech as in the US, and that is why this type of speech, even in a university context, is not acceptable.

It is interesting to think back to what Pope Benedict said about Islam in the context of a university context. How did Islam react? They reacted by killing several nuns.

This cleric obviously sees nothing wrong with what he said but civilized people do.

Jan said...

Yes, Marc, exactly, and the commentaries on Rorate Caeli sum it up the general feeling:

"In this specific instance, it must be said once again that this is a vain exercise: based on this Pope's personality, he will never resign. Ever. Not only that: his supporters, the forces that made every possible effort to have him elected (including sabotaging the two previous pontificates), would never allow this to happen. So, yes, Francis is staying in the Vatican -- as "titular" Pope, just to be clear, never as "emeritus" -- until his last gasp, and the faithful should not be surprised if a comatose pope is still creating cardinals many years from now..."

"Spaemann: “Even in the Church there is a limit to what is bearable” - I agree and I am now praying to God that He will do something to help the Church in these dark days when the worst attacks are coming from within ...

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

Thank you for watching the video. Yes, it is troubling to see Sakeleshfar calmly and clinically justify the execution of homosexuals—even though he emphasizes that in practice such a penalty would rarely, if ever, be imposed if the Shari’a rules are properly followed, including, again:

1. The act takes place in an Islamic nation where Islamic law applies.
2. Homosexual intercourse has taken place in public NOT in private.
3. There has to be a minimum of four witnesses for it to be considered public.
4. The death sentence is given by a judge who has an option of forgiving the person.

But others (myself included) also find it troubling to see supporters of the death penalty in the United States calmly and clinically justify the state sanctioned killing of criminals guilty of various offenses. Just a few weeks ago, for example, Georgia executed a devout Catholic, Joshua Bishop, after rejecting his clemency petition. Along with many others, I wrote a letter in support of the petition, and one of my law school faculty colleagues and several of our students worked on the case, yet to no avail even though, if ever there was a case for clemency, this was it. So we are civilized but this cleric is not? (Many in Europe think that we too are not civilized because of our imposition of the death penalty, by the way.)

Moreover, should the Australian government therefore also ban any Americans who want to give a public lecture in which they seek to justify the death penalty in the United States, or perhaps even if they just want to lecture on the criminal law and its penalties, because it might incite some disturbed person to go out and take the law into his own hands? The late Justice Scalia was an avid supporter of the death penalty. Should he have been banned from speaking on this topic anywhere? Oh, and I assume that Australia had better not permit any Christian preachers who invoke Leviticus chapter 20, verse 13:

13. If a man lies with a male as with a woman, they have committed an abomination; the two of them shall be put to death; their bloodguilt is upon them.

No, Jan, we will have to agree to disagree. People like Justice Scalia should not be banned from expressing their support for the death penalty, and certainly not from explaining the criminal law, unless perhaps there is an immediate threat to public order. Other than that, I tend to agree with the view that the cure for objectionable speech is more speech. Thus, I would have been happy to have Sakelseshfar come to our university to present (and even defend) the classical Shari’a rules on homosexuality and to challenge him on the subject, including regarding the reliability of the hadiths on which justification for the penalty is mainly based.

Because of several distinguishing factors, the reaction to Pope Benedict’s Regensburg address in which he repeated a Byzantine Emperor’s slur on the Prophet Muhammad ("Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”) does not show that the perpetrator of the Orlando massacre, Omar Mateen, would have reacted in a similar fashion to Sakeleshfar’s 2013 lecture or any similar presentation he may have made at the Orlando mosque Mateen attended. But even assuming for the sake of argument that it does, then by your logic one assumes that Pope Benedict should henceforth have been banned from any country in which he might have been minded to repeat the lecture, even though this sentence was also ripped out of its context by those reacting to it.

Jan said...

Yes, Anonymous 2, we will have to agree to disagree because I certainly don't agree that this cleric should have been allowed to preach death to homosexuals, whether in the context of a discussion at a university or not. Also, under your belief in free speech, I suppose that you say that the Christian preacher who publicly claimed that it was a shame that the Islamic shooter didn't finish the job was okay to say that?? Personally, I think unfettered freedom of speech when it is of an inflammatory nature is even more dangerous in the US than the gun control laws, because you can kill people with or without guns if incited by inflammatory speech to do so ...

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

My response to your latest comment is already contained in my previous comment, which you evidently have not understood. You might want to read it again.

Jan said...

Anonymous 2, my answer to you still stands that we have to agree to disagree. Also, for Benedict to repeat a statement such as, "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached” cannot be compared to what the Muslim cleric said about homosexuals: "Death is the sentence. We know there’s nothing to be embarrassed about this, death is the sentence…We have to have that compassion for people, with homosexuals, it’s the same, out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now.”

The only thing that those two statements have in common is Muslim violence in response to them - proving Benedict was correct to say what he did ...

Gene said...

It is really too bad that Anon 2 was not around in Nazi Germany. He would have immediately been given Goebbel's job...amateurs cannot be allowed to remain in the presence of true professionals.

Anonymous 2 said...

Jan:

Clearly you still have not understood. Please read my comment again, more carefully this time.





Jan said...

If what you are getting at is the death penalty, well, I am pro life and I don't support the death penalty. However, you can't equate the death penalty which is imposed by some states for the taking of the life of another with Islamic states' imposition of the death penalty on homosexuals for public acts or Islamist extremists who carry that out.

Also, the Islamic cleric said "out of compassion, let’s get rid of them now", so that to me is definitely inflammatory and could have resulted in the Orlando massacre. No one will ever know for sure or be able to say for sure that it didn't have an effect either.

I don't usually agree with Obama on anything he said but this statement of his I think sums up the average person's view on the death penalty:

“This is something that I’ve struggled with for quite some time,” Obama said. “There are certain crimes that are so beyond the pale that I understand society’s need to express its outrage. So I have not traditionally been opposed to the death penalty in theory, but in practice, it’s deeply troubling.”

Gene said...

I find nothing at all troubling about the death penalty. It is employed neither immediately nor frequently enough. It is no longer a theological issue (i.e. the State being the temporal arm, etc.) because the State has rejected any theological connections in our so-called enlightened political philosophy. So, it is a mater of the State doing its job. To those who argue, "Oh, it just isn't appropriate in a "civilized" society," I respond, "What is civilized about allowing murderers, rapists, child molesters, kidnappers, and drug dealers to rome freely in our society because liberal judges and parole boards have drunk the cooled of Enlightenment liberalism?" A truly civilized society protects its citizens from such felons and justly executes them, not only in righteous fulfillment of its laws, but in righteous justice and retribution. To refer to our present society as civilized is a bit of a stretch, anyway.

Marc said...

Gene is correct. The Church definitively does not condemn the use of the death penalty. In fact, the Church supports the use of the death penalty as promoting the sanctity of life.

There may be practical issues with the way that the death penalty is imposed in America, for example. But that does not affect the general teaching of the Church that the death penalty is acceptable.

This is a good example of how a pope can muddy the waters with regard to the Church's teaching by uttering incorrect statements -- we can see here that people who normally disagree about things (A2 and Jan) agree with John Paul II's erroneous statement on this topic. It is important to be careful to adhere to what the Church teaches and not simply latch onto every opinion held by the popes since the popes can and do err in their personal opinions just like the rest of us.

Gene said...

If we really respect the sanctity of life as a gift from the Creator, then we should, indeed, be ruthless and righteous in our war against those who treat it cheaply, scorning it and abusing it as an obstacle to their evil goals or as a mere condition for their self-indulgence. A quick death is much too good for these evil people, but we are not allowed to draw and quarter in public anymore.

BTW, does anyone else find it interesting that most liberals who say they hate the death penalty are just fine with abortion?

Jan said...

Actually, Gene and Marc, I used to believe in the death penalty until one day I had a discussion with a lawyer I worked for who was a great pro life man and fought until his death for the rights of the unborn. He said to me, "How can you be pro life and yet believe in the death penalty?" We argued the toss but his argument was stronger and he won. It boiled down to the fact that, although I do believe there are such heinous crimes that merit the death penalty, in the end if we decide to take someone's life then their chance to repent may be taken away, so yes while their crimes may be heinous the loss of their soul is greater. Having said that, I believe that life imprisonment should be life imprisonment with hard labor. But I accept, yes, that the Church is not against the death penalty.

The lawyer I worked for believed in life from conception to natural death, and I couldn't argue with him because he truly believed that that choice was down to God alone. He died of bowel cancer. His last High Court case was a case against the blasphemous movie, "Hail Mary". I always remember his words in Court that the film was blasphemous to Catholics because to Catholics he said, "Mary is immaculate" and he recited the Hail Mary to the judge. He was a Presbyterian who became a Catholic before he died and I am sure that is one of the reasons why and of course his battle against abortion which impacted on his legal practice and brought ignominy on him from his fellow partners.

He presented a paper at the Medico legal conference in Gent one year which set out how the Germans were able to kill the Jews. He said human nature is corruptible. If you are fed on a diet of pornography you will become corrupt. He said the Germans first legalized abortion, then they euthanized their mental patients and it was only a hop, skip and a jump then to kill the Jews because they had become corrupt. They lost respect for life and, he said, once you lose respect for life at any stage of life you will become corrupt and do anything. I only have to look at Planned Parenthood to see how all those years ago he was right.

Marc said...

Jan, I am an attorney, and up until a year ago, I represented people on death row. So I have had many discussions with these men. My view that the system is problematic as it is applied in America is based on personal experience.

That said, the Church teaches that the death penalty promotes the sanctity of life and is wholly consistent with supporting life from conception until natural death.

There may be prudential reasons why the death penalty should not be applied in particular instances, times, or countries, though.

Gene said...

Jan, I would differ with you on the death penalty issue because infants in the womb are innocent and have committed no crime. Felons, on the other hand, witness their scorn and contempt for life through their actions. RE: Their repentance...they should have thought about that while they were doing all that criming. Indeed, let God sort them out. We the People have the right and just burden of administering earthly punishment for their crimes. Many felons die willfully unrepentant, scorning the law and their victims until the end. They need to suffer both on earth and in Hell.

Marc said...

Here is a helpful article summarizing the Church's teaching on the death penalty.

Pope Pius XII stated pretty much what Gene is saying:

“Even when it concerns the execution of a man condemned to death, the state does not dispose of the individual’s right to live. It is reserved then to the public power to deprive the condemned man of the benefit of life, in expiation of his fault, when already, by his crime, he has dispossessed himself of the right to life.”

Jan said...

As I say, Marc, his argument that changed my view was the one about the possible loss of a soul - surprising that I learnt that from a Presbyterian and someone who I would have to say was a right winger too, not a liberal in any way, shape or form. He dealt with the argument very much on a spiritual level and, as you can probably gather, I am not someone easily persuaded away from my own personal view but I had no answer for what he had to say.

Jan said...

Gene, I understand how you feel when we see case after case of such heinous crimes committed but, as I read once, if we really understood and knew how bad hell really is we wouldn't wish anybody there. That's a very salutary thought. I suppose one person we can look at in that regard is St Maria Goretti's murderer:

"Alessandro was sentenced to 30 years in prison. At his trial, he blamed Maria for her own death claiming that he was defending himself from a sexual attack that she herself instigated. In prison he was locked in isolation as his anger would lead to outbursts of physical violence against other inmates.

One night, six years into his prison sentence, Maria appeared to Alessandro. She appeared in a garden picking 14 white lily flowers, handing them to him one by one. This gesture of forgiveness, this act of love, filled Alessandro with light and the Holy Spirit. He immediately became contrite for what he did to that little girl.

He finished the rest of his sentence in tranquility. In fact, his behavior became so docile, and the transformation of his person was so dramatic, that he was released three years early. Shortly after his release he sought out, and received, the forgiveness of Maria’s mother. He eventually joined the Capuchin Franciscans and, as a lay brother, worked as a gardener, porter, and general laborer. He died in the peace of Christ, with the love and admiration of those that knew him, at the Cappuchin convent at Macerata, Italy, on May 6, 1970.

Following his death, the Capuchin friars with whom he lived found a sealed envelope among his personal effects. It was his spiritual testament, written in the form of an open letter to the world. It contains an appeal that all follow the way of Christ. It also paints a dramatic and touching picture of a man who was able to regain his dignity through the generous mercy that those he wounded extended to him."

Gene said...

Perhaps some of you have seen what the new Philippine President Duterte is doing to restore civilization to his country...he is sending the police out to "extra-judicially" execute known drug dealers and gang members. I am sure that many of you are horrified but, guess what, that is what it will take to end the drug crime and violence in this country as well. As long as it is not used as a cover for eliminating mere political enemies, I applaud it.

Gene said...

Jan, there is also a very common phenomenon among the prison population known as "chain gang religion." All of a sudden these sociopaths find Jesus and voila, I'm saved! They write books, get a lot of press, and usually find a following among the other cons. Of course, we cannot know a man's heart, but I view these things with a degree of skepticism.

Anonymous 2 said...

This has been a good discussion of the death penalty.

I have looked at the article Marc linked. However, one thing puzzles me about it. The author, who wrote the article in 2002, does not acknowledge the very significant changes that were introduced in the second, definitive edition in 1997, compared to the first provisional edition in 1993. He quotes the earlier edition but does not mention the second edition. Isn’t this somewhat misleading?

Here is the text of CCC 2226 and 2227 in the second edition:

2266 The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people’s rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and the duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people’s safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.

2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity with the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm—without definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself—the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

And here is an article discussing the Church’s evolving view on the death penalty, including the morality of the death penalty in light of these changes between the first and second editions of the Catechism:

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=8506

Anonymous 2 said...

The second sentence at beginning of my previous comment should of course read: “The author, who wrote the article in 2002, does not acknowledge the very significant changes that were introduced in the second, definitive edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1997, compared to the first provisional edition in 1993.” Apparently the continuation of my previous comment once again did not make it through, so here it is again:

[continued]

The author notes that:

In the short span of time between the first edition of the text and the final official Latin version issued in 1997, the section pertaining to the death penalty was significantly revised. What brought about this change in the catechetical presentation of the church's moral stance?

The key distinction between the original and the official versions of the catechism's exposition of the morality of the death penalty is the way in which the purposes of punishment are defined. We see that in the provisional, or first, edition the section on the death penalty upheld a traditional Catholic principle, namely, "the right and duty of legitimate public authority to punish malefactors by means of penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime, not excluding, in cases of extreme gravity, the death penalty."

The 1992 text then asserts that "the primary effect of punishment is to redress the disorder caused by the offense." Finally, it states, "If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person."

This earlier edition of the catechism retains the traditional teaching of the church, permitting the use of capital punishment to defend life and protect public order, thereby redressing the disorder caused by the offense. The preference for the use of "bloodless means" is in line with the whole tradition of the church because, even in lawfully carrying out justice for the sake of society, Christians are called to show mercy and not vengeance.

[continued]

Anonymous 2 said...

When the second edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church appeared in 1997, some readers were surprised to discover that the purpose of capital punishment as restitution of public order had been removed from the discussion. In addition, the corresponding notion of capital punishment as deterrence to further capital crimes was also reduced. Between the publication of the first edition and that of the official Latin version, Pope John Paul II had issued an important encyclical letter titled "On Human Life" (Evangelium Vitae, 1995) that took up a number of moral issues related to the defense of human life and dignity, including the death penalty. It appears that the late pontiff's analysis on capital punishment had an impact on the Vatican commission charged with overseeing the revisions of a teaching instrument that is normative for the moral discernment of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics.

Once the 1997 version of the catechism eliminated the protection of public order as an argument, the only justification for the deterrent value of capital punishment was that it defended human beings against an aggressor. In looking at the revised version of the text, one would have to conclude that the only purpose that would render an execution morally licit, according to Catholic teaching, is the defense of society from the particular criminal whose sentencing is under question.

The new paragraphs conclude with an assertion taken directly from Evangelium Vitae that the U.S. bishops understand to imply "a very restrictive application of the death penalty." The new text, based on John Paul II's moral analysis, maintains that "the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically nonexistent." It appears, then, that the revised Catholic teaching on capital punishment is closely associated with the influence of the late pontiff.

One other point should be noted about these changes in the Catholic catechism. By narrowing the permissible situations for the moral application of the death penalty, the editors of the catechism also followed John Paul II's lead in reorienting the issue to the broader discussion of legitimate defense. The late pope reasserts that the primary purpose of punishment is to "redress the disorder caused by the offense," which includes rectifying the violation of personal and social rights.

Yet punishment also provides the offender with "the condition to regain the exercise of his or her freedom." In other words, the legitimate use of punishment to defend the order of justice should include remedies for both the victims and the perpetrators of crime.

Gene said...

"Rehabilitation" is a dismal failure on all fronts. "Corrections" is a joke. You libs need to get your heads out of your apse.

Gene said...

Rehabilitation does not work, and the notion of a Dept. of "Corrections" is laughable. The good news is that we read of more and more felons being killed in the act by home owners and citizens who have made the very wise choice to arm themselves and shoot these little darlings of the Left before the court system can slap them on the wrist and the liberal parole boards release them back into society to commit more crimes. I look forward to seeing more of the same news..."xyz felon, with a record as long as your leg, was killed by a homeowner while in the act of breaking into the house." I love a happy ending.

Lulu said...

Gene - There you go again, putting your own personal views first and rejecting the doctrine of the Catholic Church that you SAY you have embraced because of Her theology.

While YOU think rehabilitation is a "failure" and a "joke," the Church thinks otherwise.

CCC 2266: The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people's rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people's safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.

I suspect you never even thought the Church might disagree with you or that She might actually have stated Her position. You certainly never looked into the teaching in this matter, assuming that your opinion is shared by the Church and your fellow Catholics.

You were wrong.

Gene said...

I read CCC and know exactly what it says. The facts on rehab are out there; the statistics are dismal. "Safeguarding the common good" means changing failed policies and dealing with crime in a harsher, more decisive manner, not parroting CCC in the face of failure.

Marc said...

In themselves, catechisms are not the doctrine of the Church. The statements in a catechism are only as good as the source it is quoting. There is no doctrinal source given for CCC 2266, just a reference to the Gospel, which requires explanation. Thankfully, the Church has explained its teaching on the death penalty quite thoroughly. (Unfortunately, the new catechism does not restate the Church's teaching on this topic very clearly, opting instead to provide non-magisterial musings of a singular pope.)

So, in this instance, one cannot simply quote the new catechism and say, "[t]he Church things" this. This is especially ironic because, by arguing that capital punishment is immoral, a person is arguing precisely contrary to what the Church thinks.



Lulu said...

Gene, you quote the wrong passage. "Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people's safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party."

The Church's doctrine is that punishments must, of necessity, contribute to the correction of the guilty party." That's rehabilitation.

Safeguarding the common good does not. of itself, mean "harsher" punishment. If you want to see a failed punishment, look at execution. Countries with high rates of execution have higher rates of capital crime. Killing to show that killing is bad doesn't work.

Lulu said...

Gene - You are also wrong about crime and punishment.

Harsher punishments without rehabilitation lead to higher rates of recidivism.

Criminal Justice Studies - Volume 25, Issue 2, 2012
A longitudinal analysis of reparative probation and recidivism
Abstract:
Longitudinal data on 9078 probationers were used to assess the impact of Vermont’s reparative probation program on criminal recidivism. A quasi-experimental design was employed to compare five-year reconviction rates of 6682 standard and 2396 reparative probationers sentenced during the years 1998, 1999, and 2000. Propensity score methods were used to address selection bias and to generate two equivalent groups of probationers for comparison. Results from a Cox regression model indicated that over the five-year period following the imposition of the original probationary sentence, reparative probationers evidenced a significantly lower risk of reconviction than standard probationers. This disparity in recidivism was maintained when holding constant probationer’s prior record, type of offense, age, and gender. Implications for policy are discussed.

Norway practices rehabilitation / Restorative Justice. While the US, with it's "get tough on criminals" attitude has a recidivism rate of around 76%, Norway has a rate of around 20%.

Lulu said...

As to the authority of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "In Fidei Depositum, Pope John Paul II said, "The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved June 25th last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion." John Paul II also stated that the Catechism "is given as a sure and authentic reference text for teaching Catholic doctrine."

Gene said...

The indisputable truth of capital punishment is that it is a final and lasting deterrent to the felon in question. That is good enough for me. Any prison warden will tell you that the system of pardons and paroles is a dismal failure (I have spoken to several, and one of my best friends is the retired head of inmate affairs in this state.) The Church is not an expert on criminal affairs or recidivism. She needs to quit playing in Caesar's sand box and pray for the souls of those the state puts to death. The Church has long pretended to be an expert on the conduct of war, criminal justice, the environment, race relations, political conflict, and social philosophy. She is good at none of them and neglects her primary role of preaching the Gospel of "repent and believe on Him who was sent" while sashaying around Caesar's ballroom. This Pope is a prime example of that.

Anonymous 2 said...

I guess this response to Marc did not make it through again, so here it is again. It is supportive of the position expressed by Lulu, although coming at the position from a different angle:

Marc:

“So, in this instance, one cannot simply quote the new catechism and say, ‘[t]he Church things’ [sic] this”

Perhaps not, but what one can do is to reason carefully about the traditional teaching of the Church on the death penalty and then to reach similar conclusions to those reached by Pope St. John Paul II and reflected in the Catechism. Please see the article I linked earlier for the reasoning involved. Here it is again:

https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=8506

Thus, the author of the article, Archbishop Wilton Gregory, argues that “the statements of the supreme pontiff and those of the American hierarchy over the last 40 years are by no means inconsistent with historical Catholic teaching on just punishment and the need to safeguard human life and social goods.” Doubtless some will dismiss his views because Archbishop Gregory has been a controversial figure in some respects but I hope that readers will, instead, evaluate the strength of his reasoning and arguments.



Marc said...

A2, I don't need to "reason" about the Church's traditional teaching on this or any other subject. I simply accept it as true because the Church teaches it. This is true even if I personally would like to think differently (as is my inclination in the case of capital punishment).

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

So, on these sorts of issues at least you would make common cause with the secular liberals and banish the Church from the public square?

If so, where should we look for moral guidance in deciding such public policy issues?

Gene said...

Now, Anon 2, is that what I said? Really? First of all, no one in the public arena looks to the Church or the Faith for moral guidance anymore, in fact, the State has pretty much rejected the Church as a factor in public policy issues. So, de facto, your question is meaningless. The Church's calling is to save souls, not set public policy or engage on political dialogue. The Church's mission is to make sinners aware of salvation in Christ and through the Church and to bring them in and save them from eternal damnation and God's terrible final judgement. Liberal theologians and faux Christians do not believe that, so "salvation" becomes a social gospel event. These are the ones who whine about political solutions and all this "good society" nonsense. Once again, when Satan offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, understood in the NT as political power and might, not only did He reject the offer, but He never questioned Satan's ownership of these realms and his right to offer them.

There is a certain radical (and I do not mean this in a political sense) aspect to NT theology and Christ's teachings that is often missed in the effort to square Biblical theology with Enlightenment political theory. This radicalness begins with the utter rejection of human/political solutions to spiritual problems. Christian theology, protestant and Catholic, has lost sight of this over time and it needs to be recovered.

Lulu said...

Gene says, "The Church has long pretended to be an expert on the conduct of war, criminal justice, the environment, race relations, political conflict, and social philosophy."

This is not correct, by a long shot. The Church has never claimed to be an expert in these matters

The church is, however, and expert on morality. And since all of these matters involve moral decision-making, it is not only good but necessary that the Church speak out on the morals of war, criminal justice, the environment race relations, political conflict, and social philosophy.

Gene, you misrepresent the Church's position on morality so that you an reject it. You do not embrace the faith, you try to use it as an excuse for your own corrupt opinions. You don't want to follow the Church's moral teaching because you believe your opinions are superior to the teaching authority of the Church.

In that you remain substantially Protestant.

George said...


What you say is true Gene, in that, if people have a right relationship to God, all good things will flow and follow from that. In that sense, to the extent there is order and morality in the public square, it is proportional to the convictions and principles of the people themselves, which derives from,and according to, their relationship to God, and of those others of good will who, while not Christian, accept these convictions and principles as being good and necessary for a rightly ordered and functioning society .

Government does not make people moral. It is the other way around.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

You articulate a clear and legitimate position, but in essence, yes, that is what you said. One problem I see with your position is that, unless you qualify the premise that “[t]he Church's calling is to save souls, not set public policy or engage on political dialogue” or (as stated in your previous post) “[s]he needs to quit playing in Caesar's sand box,” then it is difficult to see on what basis the Church has anything to say about any public policy matters, including, for example, abortion or indeed the criminal law generally.

Moreover, isn’t the reification misleading? The issue is not whether “the State” listens to “the Church” in the sense of State officials listening to Church officials. The issue is how individuals in a democracy, especially of course Catholics, should reconcile their identities as members of the electorate (or as elected representatives) with their identities as members of the Church. And the issue arose, of course, even before the era of democracy, once Christians were able to become part of the political power structure.

Christ rejected the avenue of political power for achieving the Kingdom and focused on hearts and the soul. But His choice was arguably not conclusive of the question for his followers in later times. And didn’t the Church in effect recognize this point theologically in its preference for St. Thomas’s Aristotelian position, rehabilitating the State as being in accord with man’s God-given nature, over Augustine’s more Platonist position which saw it as an evil necessitated by the Fall and Original Sin?

In any event, isn't my second question unavoidable? If not the Church, then to whom should a Catholic turn for moral guidance when participating in the exercise of political power?


Anonymous 2 said...

Marc:

“I don't need to ‘reason’ about the Church's traditional teaching on this or any other subject. I simply accept it as true because the Church teaches it.”

Perhaps I was unclear. I was not suggesting that you personally engage in independent reasoning to reach a similar conclusion to that expressed in the Catechism but that you try to understand the reasoning of the Church as it elaborates the traditional teaching of the Church when applying it to contemporary society in light of new facts and circumstances, for example, regarding, the various theories of criminal law punishment, especially general deterrence and specific deterrence. Indeed, CCC 2227 expressly claims to be anchored in the traditional teaching of the Church.


Gene said...

Anon 2,
And, I am Augustinian on the issue of the State...certainly Christians must live in society based upon their moral awareness as formed by their Faith and by God's Revelation. There is no way to truly reconcile their identities as members of the electorate with their Christian Faith. There will always be conflict...the old cliche' of voting being always for the lesser of two evils is actually a theological truth. I have Christian friends, theologically educated ones, who simply do not vote at all because they see it as theologically meaningless in the face of the fallen world and where it is headed. I still vote (holding my nose, generally), but am quite sympathetic to their radical theological views. The State cannot be rehabilitated (surely, you are not advocating Christendom)
...it is man's "social contract" entered upon as a means of keeping us from devouring one another. The State is all about power and order, as it must be in a fallen world, although political philosophy does not recognize that concept. Both Hobbes and Freud, neither a Christian, in spite of themselves, reveal a deep understanding of what we call original sin and concupiscence. I have always found that interesting.
The Christian's moral compass, based upon faith and the teachings of Holy Scripture and the Church is, in my view, only tangentially related to the political realm. There is no integration of theology and political philosophy. The Christian's moral behavior would be the same in any political system and would often be contradictory in the eyes of secular observers. We are forced to vote, for instance, for those who may be pro-abortion but advocate social policies that we judge to be more conducive to individual freedom and free enterprise...or, we may be forced to vote for a liberal candidate who violates many of our Christian beliefs because a conservative one is even more corrupt or vice versa. The Christian conscience is in a storm tossed sea when it comes to voting and assessing political parties. This is actually as it should be because politics can only offer worldly, humanistic solutions (however well-formed or well-intended) to what are at root, for the Christian, spiritual problems. All political problems, all social problems are spiritual ones. This is theology 101.
The Church, protestant and Catholic, has always been too quick to pronounce about political issues...whether it is Billy Graham and Richard Nixon walking into Shea Stadium with their arms around one another and the American flag waving in the background, or the Berrigans and other Priests speaking about the arms race or Viet Nam, or the Pope's ramblings about global warming and capitalism. The Church's primary message is apolitical...it is timeless and above a particular political milieu or zeitgeist.
As for Lulu Kavanaugh's comments above, he is so jaded and theologically stupid as to be best ignored.

George said...

Anon2
"And didn’t the Church in effect recognize this point theologically in its preference for St. Thomas’s Aristotelian position, rehabilitating the State as being in accord with man’s God-given nature, over Augustine’s more Platonist position which saw it as an evil necessitated by the Fall and Original Sin?"

From either perspective the state is of course necessary. Power and authority by which the people are governed must be focused in a central authority. There must be limits on the power and authority however, so as not to unjustly limit or abrogate the legitimate God-given rights of the members of the body politic. The Church's and any other religious body's influence is only effective in influencing the state to the extent that citizenry themselves are conformed to moral and spiritual principles which derive chiefly in our culture from Judeo-Christian teachings. When society loses its moral underpinnings, the courts and governmental institutions reflect that, as we are now seeing. This is also why you see political jurisdictions doing away with the Death penalty but at the same time having little or no legal restrictions on abortions, and this because there are so many today, even some among those within our Churches, whose faith has become weakened or non-existent and so they have become spiritually blind to see and recognize the worse evil that is right before their eyes.

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene and George,

Thank you both for your thoughtful responses. Now we having a truly serious conversation, which are perhaps the only truly meaningful ones, because we are engaging at the level of first principles or fundamental values underlying the more superficial positions (in the sense of more visible because closer to the surface) we may take on the issues of the day.

I think you identify the central challenge, Gene. I too can understand the position of your friends who do not vote. I was exposed to similar views when I was growing up. My mother never voted in an election in her life. And as she grew up in Hitler’s Germany and saw the darkest side of humanity both during and immediately after the War, it is perhaps not difficult to understand why she was so cynical about politics. Although she never put it in these terms, she was essentially Augustinian. I do know that she found much to like in both Augustine’ City of God and Spengler’s Decline of the West. My father, on the other hand, voted Tory all of his life (except for one brief moment when he voted for Labour Party immediately after the War but this is perhaps understandable after such a traumatic experience).

I take a different course. Although I wrote about reconciling our identities as members of the electorate and as Christians, I did not mean to suggest that this would be smooth or easy. Indeed, to a large extent we must live in the tension between these two identities. No, I agree with you, Gene, when you say that “[t]he Christian conscience is in a storm tossed sea when it comes to voting and assessing political parties. This is actually as it should be because politics can only offer worldly, humanistic solutions (however well-formed or well-intended) to what are at root, for the Christian, spiritual problems. All political problems, all social problems are spiritual ones.” But this is precisely why I look to the Church as a rudder to help me navigate on this sea and to avoid coming to grief on the reefs and rocks. Now perhaps the rudder could stand improvement but, for me, it is better than the alternative of trying to make my way rudderless. And therefore I did, and do, take seriously the Church’s stated position on the issues of the day and on the approach that should be taken to them as in the USCCB document “Faithful Citizenship.” Herein, for me, lies is the wisdom of Lulu’s position. And yes, it means that I did vote for Obama, because I saw more than one danger to avoid and more than one way to do so.

None of this is meant to deny that the Church’s_primary_mission is the apolitical task of saving souls and therefore attending to our citizenship in the City of God or that the most important jobs in our society (seen from our perspective) are those of the priest and members of religious orders. It_is_to say that the Church also has a secondary mission of guiding Her flock as they interact with and participate in the structures of, and as nominal citizens in, the City of Man, which is necessarily related to the primary mission as well if we are held responsible for our own actions in the world.

Gene said...

Well, Anon 2, fair enough. We agree on some things. I believe the Church is currently a rudderless ship with a Papal Ahab stalking the decks in search of the egalitarian White Whale. We know how that turned out.

Lulu said...

Gene - When you find an argument too difficult to respond to, or when you find your assertions are shown to be wrong wrong, as I did above, you resort to name calling and ignoring people. As the saying goes, "Nuff said."

Anonymous 2 said...

Gene:

What about the moral guidance from the Catechism and the previous captains of the ship, including Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict?

Gene said...

Lulu/Kavanaugh, I have responded to you in argument many times with both theological and philosophical discussions, as have Marc and others, but you only continue to perseverate and repeat your standard mantra. Your inability to intelligently discuss theological/Biblical theology issues is so glaring that further efforts at such with you are hopeless. I will continue to point out your apostasy and disingenuous behavior, however.

Gene said...

Anonymous 2, I continue to use the Catechism for clarification and guidance. I see no conflict in doing doing so because the Catechism attempts to provide timeless guidance not based upon cultural or political tides. However, if the whale sinks the ship, previous guidance becomes irrelevant.