Pope Francis’ letter on the present scandal in the U.S. Catholic Church. In the original blog’s comments Gertrude had an interesting analysis of the letter.
“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Cor 12:26). These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons. Crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in…
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One of the points that I was revealing to me in this particular interview was Dreher’s story of catching up a reporter on the sex abuse scandal of 2002. He began to explain to the reporter that much of what has led to this secrecy within the Episcopate was Homosexuality. The reporter, from FoxNews, informed Dreher that they had been instructed by the higher-ups not to address those issues within the context of the entire story.
How can people ever begin to know the truth and seek justice unless we explore every possible avenue!
Listen to the entire interview: http://issuesetc.org/2018/08/16/2281-the-sexual-abuse-crisis-in-the-roman-catholic-church-rod-dreher-8-16-18/
To: Cardinal Wuerl CC: Pope Francis
Your many actions as bishop of Pittsburgh, thoroughly documented in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, are deplorable.
You covered up sexual abuse and shuffled predatory priests between parishes, endangering children’s safety.
You failed in your duty as a shepherd. The human cost of your actions and inaction – lives ruined, faith destroyed – is incalculable.
I call on you to resign as Archbishop of Washington immediately.
This scandal has irreparably marred your episcopate. Step aside so the victims of the priests you oversaw – and the Church – can begin to heal.
Bishop Paprocki does call for this investigator and committee to be led by the laity, but as he says his view is for those names to be sent to the Pope for the removal of Bishops, it is still within this culture of clericalism that the those in the Church who call for action still operate with the Church and outside of the secular law. It stops short of what absolutely needs to be done; the investigator and committee need to provide names and evidence to the secular judicial system to arrest, to try, and to send to prison any citizen, whether it be a member of the clergy, for breaking both secular and divine laws.
I urge every Catholic to demand a different approach from the leadership of the Church. And let’s face it, the only power the laity has is the power of the purse. So, if the USCCB is still unwillingly to do what is needed, and it still appears to be the case, do not give one penny to any parish or diocese. Donate your funds to self-sufficient apostalates instead. It has to be a complete and utter shock to the Bishops that we will take no more.
Demand it! Stop posting normal Catholic posts, actually DO something, write a letter, stop your offerings, request meetings with priests and bishops. If you hear something that’s wrong in a meeting or even a homily–say something!
“A voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. ” Mk 1:3
I do enjoy the new voices with different traditions that have come here recently to converse, although, in many ways with their short departure, I believe they lack the understanding of this community, a once a community of Christians. It was a place a both peaceful tension; a both/and, and many of those voices who made it such have left for various reasons. Here, I’ve come across one of the voices of a Baptist that I’ve missed Geoffrey RS Sales on original sin and justification–may his voice add to our conversation on Free Will, Divine Sovereignty, and Original Sin.
My understanding of the answer to this question in a Christian context is ‘hell-fire’. You can take whatever understanding your tradition gives you of original sin and theorise, but I don’t think you can take your own life and get away from the conclusion that you have not followed God’s ways. I may be preaching here to a bunch of folks who are outraged by such a suggestion, and who have so conducted themselves that they ‘deserve’ salvation. But were that the case Paul need not have written Romans, and, indeed, Christ need not have hung on that Cross. You can take whatever theory of the atonement your tradition offers you, but I don’t see you can escape having to have some theory, and that theory has to encompass the idea, outrageous to the unsaved, that Christ suffered and died for us – yes, for me, and for you, and…
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ƒ*Below is a combination of two conversations that I’ve had with reformed Christians on the debate between Free Will and Divine Sovereignty. I listened to a podcast where the Professor said he often had his students construct dialogues. I liked the idea; most of this is not based on my imagination but actual conversations, as my first attempt. The bulk of the text is based from one reformed Christian ideas; however, many of his points I thought were weak, so I did tweak them a bit with another reformed Christian’s comments of a debate I’ve had almost a year ago. However, in both cases, it appears that when presented with either proof texts and philosophy they both relied on a sort of personal revelation conclusion. I still think the arguments are weak but I surmise it’s not due to reformed Christians not having good arguments. The two that I had conversations with seemed to want to rely on short deflective statements rather than a development of their position. Again, in searching for truth, I’d ask for any reformed Christian who reads this to comment and present their arguments for dialogue. There are many authors and commenters on AATW and it can be a good experience to develop our ideas. Also, note, the conversations at the behest of the reformed Christians avoided philosophy so topics like determinism were never brought into the conversation.*
Vinnie: Free will is a myth. It’s a philosophical concept that has nothing to do with theology. The concept of Free will is a contradiction of God’s Divine authority based on the idea that the individual’s will is outside the authority of God’s word.
Tomas: I believe you’ve mistaken the permeance of God’s omnipotence and the idea of what constitutes free will.
Vinnie: God is in control of every aspect of our lives. God is the creator; he sustains us and everything in His dominion. Why do you make petitionary prayers for a new job or a promotion, good health, or to have a safe trip unless God is completely sovereign over all things?
Tomas: Much of what you say is true, God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, etc. Of course, prayers are for our own good whether we receive what we’ve asked for or not, it’s purpose to build our habits of virtue through God’s grace. For we cannot pray without the Spirit. I suppose I need to ask, “Do you believe the Bible is the word of God?”
Vinnie: Of course! And the scripture shows that Free Will is a myth! Genesis 50:20!
Tomas: Oh yes, the intention of harm being a part of God’s plan for the greater good. Naturally, I have to ask why does the passage necessarily support God’s Divine Sovereignty instead of humanity’s free will? You believe God to be supremely in control and yet you’re willing to put constraints on His power by declaring that because He has Divine sovereignty.
Vinnie: I understand your point and I agree that there are certain ideas within Christianity that don’t make a lot of sense if God is sovereign. Nonetheless, I believe He is.
Tomas: Interesting, so you’re admitting to rejecting observations within your own ability to reason?
Vinnie: Things can be logically proven and still be wrong.
Tomas: Careful down that rabbit hole, The ole’ atheist quip, to argue against a concept of free will one must have a sort of prior knowledge of actions being a free choice of the will. A prior knowledge acts as a sort of proof by the definition itself and admits to the existence of free will by your own argument against it.
Vinnie: This is a prime example of why philosophers make poor theologians. I don’t accept your point, because I believe God is in control, and God has complete freedom. So there is free will, but it’s God’s freedom and not ours. As creatures under God’s sovereign control, we are not free in relation to God’s will.
Tomas: And yet you’re not presenting any substantial proofs for your positive claims here.
Vinnie: To simply state, Reformed theology gives theological answers to theological questions in the context of the Reformed and Covenantal tradition in which it is presented. It really doesn’t advance the argument to erect straw men just to burn them down…
Tomas: Well, you’d have to show how I’ve erected a straw man on your position, which again you provide no proofs for such a claim. Furthermore, I can only surmise that your proofs would be weak arguments that Free Will doesn’t exist. In fact, what you do do is create a tautological argument by repeating words “reformed” and “theology” without implying anything of substance. Furthermore, as you indicate that only true theology can be done by doing theology—see the Tautology there?—you’ve erected a sort of Every True Scotsmen fallacy, as your saying, “Every true theologian uses theology, not philosophy.” I will use both philosophy and scripture as proof for the existence of the Free Will.
Thomas: If free will is a myth, it contradicts the theological doctrine of Original Sin and that of an omnibenevolent God. Naturally, if God creates and sustains all, including all of humanity’s will, then wills a programmed fall from grace; doesn’t give grace sufficient for all to be saved then he ultimately would be responsible for all subsequent evil actions made by humanity. Of course, in such a scenario, a judgment would be made on some who have no opportunity to cooperate with His grace–reprobate–to atone for sins they could not freely choose not to commit. As these concepts contradict with the essence of Divine Justice one cannot articulate the Augustinian view of the elect as double predestination because Augustine, in his Confessions book 7, explains quite clearly that humanity is solely responsible for evil, as it has no substance, as all of God’s creations share in his goodness and that evil is a privation of said goodness.
Furthermore, God gives humanity, government, the authority in scripture to punish criminals–Romans 13: 3-4. To give authority to punish criminals who are not responsible for their actions would be intrinsically disordered within the frameworks of divine justice. The Theologian makes the argument that the judgment of any action would be illogical if free does not exist unless of course, one argues that society’s response is a predetermined one.
Vinnie: if God has free will and man has free will, if the two come into conflict God’s free will wins. It’s called the Sovereignty of God…
Tomas: Okay, now take that to its conclusion. No Free Will means God is responsible for Adam’s fall. Therefore, it would contradict the need for atonement as Adam could not create a free act of disobedience against God, which consequently renders Christ’s ransom of our sins meaningless. So, let’s make this clear so a straw man argument cannot be claimed. if God’s will wins out, there’s no need for atonement of sins that one did not freely choose on their own. No need for atonement, no need for Christ. You’ve rendered Christianity as needless.
Vinnie: As I said, if God is truly sovereign (i.e. omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent) then this creates problems for the Christian worldview, which you rightly point out. Nevertheless, I believe that God is Sovereign because of the Divine revelation of scripture.
Tomas: So let’s move into scripture and let’s not forget the whole context of Hebrews 10:26-29:
26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?
Vinnie: The context in reformed theology expressed by James White is that “he was sanctified” means Christ. Your argument is not with me, but it seems at minimum you fallen into Semi-Pelagian heresy.”
Tomas: Shall we take the sentence to a linguist to graph the sentence? I would presume that the vast majority will choose the man as the one who was sanctified by Christ being God would have no need for sanctification. The heresy of Semi-Pelagianism is starting with Free Will without God’s grace. Of course, this isn’t the position I’m claiming to hold. Now, your statement is a prime example of a straw man fallacy, so let me explain why…
God’s grace gives each person sufficient grace to choose Him. It begins with Him but then we’re allowed by God, who is sovereign, to cooperate with Him. After this initial grace, we can certainly pray, choose to do his will through his Church; however, this isn’t a radical separation from God’s will. As God is existence, our will’s do not function outside of God. By God’s omnipotence, he can certainly will us to have free will and still operate within his Divine Providence. So, when we pray, help others as Christ commands in Mt. 25, or fast as Christ mentions in Mt. 5, etc. God continues to give us perseverant grace to actualize our will through His Grace to order our will toward His own. The will isn’t radically free but formed through the habits of virtue and vice. Again Hebrews 10:26-29 illustrates this by acknowledging those who are sanctified can fall from God’s grace.
Vinnie: It’s not that I’m mildly impressed with your ability to move effortlessly conflating one category with another but at some point to engage in such novelties is unproductive. I believe God is Divinely Sovereign. Good day.
I’ve read a great many articles about the change made by the Pope in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Many apologists, who seem to want to stay both loyal to the Pope and the tradition of the Church’s teachings for the past 2000 years have made attempts to create a bit of ambiguity about what the Pope means by the death penalty is ‘inadmissible.’ What does Pope Francis mean by ‘inadmissible’? Well, in his newly released book titled, A Future of Faith: The Path of Change in Politics and Society, he states quite clearly what he means by this particular language:
“And you French have a lovely phrase from the fifth century–it’s from Vincent de Lerins, a French monk and theologian–which says that “tradition is a movement.” I’m sorry. He say’s that in Latin: “Ut annis scilicet consolidetur, dilatetur tempure, sublimetur aetate” “Even the dogma of the Church must follow these laws, consolidating over the years, developing over time, deepening with age.” Tradition moves forward, but in what ways? So that, over the years, it consolidates itself to grow over time and be sublimated with age. The principles of tradition don’t change, the essence doesn’t change, but it grows, it evolves.
For Example, about the death penalty. We bishops decreed the death penalty in the Middle Ages. The Church says more or less–and we are working to change the catechism on this point–that the death penalty is immoral. Does that mean tradition has changed? No, but conscience evolves, the moral conscience evolves.”
– Pope Francis, A Future of Faith: The Path of Change in Politics and Society (New York: St. Martin’s Essentials, 2018), 222.
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (Getty) The Pope has ordered him to maintain a life of ‘prayer and penance’ Pope Francis has accepted the resignation from the College of Cardinals of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired Archbishop of Washington, and has ordered him to maintain “a life of prayer and penance” until a canonical trial examines accusations that […]
Know the face of a Predator.
As a concerned Catholic, I’ve been following the tag list for Catholic blogs on WordPress for several days, and there has been little to no mention of Cardinal McCarrick sex abuse scandal with seminarians and now potentially teenage boys. In fact, the only mention I can find are from Protestant sites attacking the Catholic Church, but let’s take a look at what they have to say in their condemnations since they do still carry the weight of truth:
“Sadly, the vocal or visible Catholic religious and laity alike seem “publicly to agree that victims should “just get over it,” and even fault survivors for not forgiving. They are conflating our need to forgive with their wish to avoid the topic. This extends the wounds in relationship, because these strong voices blur, like our bishops in the United States of that era, the critical distinction between forgiving and enabling, between predator and priest. I grieve the persistence of this confusion deeply, but my life in God is testimony enough to refute their falsehood.”
Posted July 24th, 2018: I admit, I was a little angry at the quote when I first read it until I thought, well I can’t really disagree with the guy. https://patrickwalts.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/praise-of-deatb/
“but the Catholic Church should perhaps put as much effort as they apparently do warning people about Santa Muerte into not being a pedophile factory. The Catholic Church fully endorses the fucking of children by its leadership. Bold statement, I know, but if you routinely, as an institution, facilitate and cover up pedophilia, that to me is an endorsement of that kind of sick behavior. So pump your brakes, Catholic Church.
What is at stake with your silence fellow Catholic bloggers and trying to go about your day normally? Complicity!!! Enough is Enough! The Catholic Church is going to have a synod of World Meeting of Families which one of the leaders of this synod is U.S. Cardinal Kevin Farrell, who is a protege of Cardinal McCarrick–in fact, his style and Bishop Coat of Arms are styled after Cardinal McCarrick’s own.
Starting to see a trend in leadership?
But don’t forget the darling of the progressive church in the United States Fr. James Martin will give a talk at the same synod. The Evangelical Ex-Catholic Tom who loves to point out scandal in the Catholic Church, in fact, uses Fr. James Martin’s book in a recent post:https://excatholic4christ.wordpress.com/2018/07/12/but-doesnt-scripture-call-homosexuality-a-sin-no-problem-just-avoid-all-of-those-problematic-scripture-passages/
“Martin calls for the church to repent of its bigoted past attitude towards active LGBT members, just as he calls upon active LGBT members to repent of their disrespectful attitudes towards the church’s “overburdened” and formerly intolerant hierarchy.
Although there are several references to Scripture passages that appeal to love and acceptance, the Bible passages that identify homosexuality as a sin are noticeable by their absence.
All of the above is essentially a moot point because Roman Catholicism does not teach the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. But as a Vatican observer, it’s interesting to watch the liberal and conservative factions of the church jostling for advantage in this mounting controversy. Pope Francis has already overturned church dogma by lifting the ban on communion for remarried divorcees and by leaving the question of intercommunion with liberal Protestants up to each bishop. Will Francis also be able to overturn the church’s teaching on same-sex relationships and marriages or is the 81-year-old pontiff pragmatically preparing the way for his successor?”
Fellow Catholic bloggers the only way this gets resolved is if we Catholics do not let this get swept underneath the rug. You must say something, one might wonder if saying nothing will be committing the sin of omission. It is your duty to the virtue of justice, it is your duty to Jesus Christ.
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