Saturday, August 21, 2010

Concordat Watch

Concordat Watch is a website dedicated to exposing the truth about agreements, called concordats, made between the Catholic Church and the governments of countries.
Here is one web page on the website that shows how the innocent are trampled in the Roman Catholic Church's quest for power and money. The article begins:
The Polish Government can afford to subsidise Church influence in every corner of society, from chaplains throughout the civil service to holiday pay for the monks and nuns who teach religion in state schools. Yet it is unable to provide free school lunches for Polish children, a quarter of whom are malnourished. This is an itemised list of state subventions to the Church for 2008.


Here is a FAQ page that gives some basic questions and answers about concordats. Following is one quote from the page about what a concordat is:
It's a commitment to give the Church certain legal and financial privileges forever, unless the Church agrees to relinquish them. You can change a law if enough representatives vote to do so, but you cannot change a concordat without agreement from the Vatican, because it is classed as an international treaty. Once in place, therefore, concordats are removed from democratic control.


The basic premise of the website is that these 'concordats', which are sometimes called by other names to disguise what they are, are a danger to the civil rights of the citizens of the countries where they are enacted. Concordat Watch calls for true separation of church and state. I want to clarify that there is a true concept of separation, which our founding fathers endorsed; and there is a false concept of separation which today's liberals call for. The false concept is that there can be now mention, symbol, prayer, etc. of Christianity in or related to any state-run property or organization. They don't seem to care if other religions are represented; only Christianity, especially Biblical Christianity, is abhorred.
The true concept of separation of church and state is that the state shall make no law that inhibits the free practice of religion, and that no church shall control the government and so inhibit the civil rights and free practice of religion for the citizens. Thus, there is a wall of separation between church and state, but not so that no mention of God is allowed on state property, for example.

Here is another section from the FAQS page about how the concordat effects the citizens:
What powers are conferred on the Vatican and what liberties do citizens of concordat nations sacrifice, if any?

It varies from country to country, because concordats demand whatever the Vatican thinks the market will bear. Current concordats in countries like Poland and the Dominican Republic forbid anyone married in a Catholic Church to ever sue for a civil divorce. The Polish concordat phrases it with great delicacy (1993, Article 10.2), calling for the state to put in place the enabling legislation which would enforce "concordat marriage". But the Dominican one (1954, Article 15.2) is franker: "by virtue of contracting Catholic marriage, spouses renounce the possibility of divorce, which shall not be applicable to these Canon marriages". Here we see how a concordat can deny some citizens their rights under civil law in a direct fashion.

Generally, however, this is done in a more roundabout way. The concordat grants taxpayers’ money to Catholic social services (for example in Germany Catholic hospitals are funded to 98.2% by the state) yet it also stipulates that Church institutions are to be run according to Canon (Church) Law, and not civil law. This means that if you work at a Catholic school, hospital, care home, etc., you can be fired for changing your religion, being gay, living with a partner, or even remarrying. Thus you can be denied your rights under civil law indirectly, that is, if you want to retain your job.

Furthermore, with such generous state subsidies there are many places in, for example, Germany, where Catholic social services are the major or even sole employer in some field. This can result in people feeling they must go to church and even force their families to attend, in order to have a chance to get a job. It’s this unofficial erosion of liberty which is the most worrying thing. No concordat is going to come right out and say: “You must give money to the Church if you want to make sure that someday your handicapped child gets a place in a Church-run (yet state-subsidised) sheltered workshop.” But the concordat sets things up so that this can happen.

My conclusion:
Is the church meant to be a political state that makes agreements that enable it to entwine itself into the workings of governments in order to gain power over the citizens and money for its own purposes, to the detriment of the weakest members of society? OR is the church meant to be the body of Christ that appears in local bodies all over the world and which live to love God, love each other, love their neighbors, and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey the commands of Christ; not by compulsion and power of a hierarchy, but by the word of God worked out in love by each member.

140 comments:

Christine said...

http://www.amazon.com/Anti-Catholicism-America-Last-Acceptable-Prejudice/dp/0824523628/ref=pd_sim_b_2

This is what you're part of, Jennie. It is sad. To see who you'd ally yourself with in some of your links tells me that your loyalty to Christianity is eclipsed by your irrational animosity toward Catholism. You think we haven't read your various posts - we have, they just aren't convincing or even credible because of the angle you're always coming from. So, this is basically a huge waste of time - trying to achieve understanding and respect. Too bad.

John said...

Amen. "Concordat Watch" are you serious? Just a minimal amount of checking that site reveals it's true motivation. If you expect to be taken seriously, do a better job of checking your sources. That site has an obvious agenda and should not be remotely relied upon for a balanced viewpoint regarding religion, Catholic or otherwise.

Christine said...

The Catechism on Church-State relations:

"The Church, because of her commission and competence, is not to be confused in any way with the political community. She is both the sign and the safeguard of the transcendent character of the human person. The Church respects and encourages the political freedom and responsibility of the citizen.

"It is a part of the Church's mission 'to pass moral judgments even in matters related to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it. The means, the only means, she may use are those which are in accord with the Gospel and the welfare of all men according to the diversity of times and circumstances."

This is beauty and truth. I thank God every day that I am a Catholic.

What other body officially speaks for Christianity on behalf of the unborn and oppressed. No one else even claims to do so.

Christine said...

The catechism on Protestants:
" . . . one cannot charge with the sin of the [Protestant] separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted]from the separation and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . they have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."

Why can't you return this respect and affection? Because it would be a threat to you in some way, which I can't figure out.

Christine said...

Taking a closer look at Concordat Watch, I'm mystified by your link to it. Most of it is talking about how the Catholic Church is taking a stand for life and for motherhood and for Christian rights. Are you pro-choice? I do not get it, Jennie. Please - what are you thinking?

Leo said...

Amen to what Christine and John have both just said...just when I think there is light at the end of your spiritual tunnel of darkness, it turns out to be another locomotive. You stop blogs when they are not going your way and redirect to confuse the issues.

On the last post, I asked you to list any evil organizations that support the Catholic Church and you provide the Jesuits and Opus Dei, both orders within the Church. That is just an absurd response. You probably are a fan of the DaVinci Code which is pure fabricated drivel with no factual basis and is an infantile source.

The Jesuits are an order that we Catholics sometimes joke, "I remember when the Jesuits used to be Catholic.", and they have those within that teach contrary to the Faith. But so what? We have many wolves in sheep's clothing but they do not speak for the Church when they contradict her teaching.

You still have failed to provide one evil organization that has anything good to say about the Catholic Church, yet you persist in aligning yourself with them. Stop doing the work of Satan's minions by attacking the Church. You really are like Saul, holding the robes of those stoning the faithful disciples.

Again, scripture that says that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. Jesus was referring to the fact that He taught and worked against what those aligned with Satan did and He said no one on the dark side would do that.

So, show us one evil organization that supports the Church in her mission. You can't because Satan hates the talk against abortion, homosexual activity, artificial contraception, divorce, fornication, etc. He will not be divided against himself.

Why do you persist in remaining on his side by helping him attack the Church?

Leo said...

Christine,

It is almost like you read my thoughts. The site acts as if it is a right to have an abortion, to live an unmarried relationship, to marry someone of the same sex, etc.

Jennie, perhaps we should ask that as well.

1. Do you agree that abortion is a grave evil and is always wrong?


2. Do you believe that it is homosexual activity is gravely disordered?

3. Do you believe that sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is always wrong?

John said...

I said earlier that I do not believe you are bigot. You say you are not a bigot and I take you at your word. However, when one reads your posts it is understandable how one could conclude that the purpose of your blog is not to arrive at a true understanding of Catholicism but an attempt to smear, using any and all sources, regardless of their intellectual worth. Then you post "Concordat Watch.". No,it is not difficult to see how someone, hopefully incorrectly, might conclude that the shoe does fit.

Leo said...

Jennie,

To add on to what John is saying, no one doubts your sincerity in what you are doing. However, your refusal to listen to reason and to never question your sources reflects the intransigence of your position.

Just imagine how you would react if we used atheistic sources to attack the teachings of your church. Rare is the occurrence when you can challenge the credibility of our sources, and we retract and apologize. You would be sure to call us out if we didn't, anyway... ;-)

For some reason, it does not seem to bother you in the slightest when you are completely wrong or when you use a source that is shown to be bent on hating the Church and repeatedly attacking it without basis in Truth.

Honestly, I don't get it. There must be more to the story about you and the Church that causes you to take that approach.

We are a Church of believers and sinners, certainly speaking for myself on both counts. Why do you continue to judge us by our greatest sinners and not by our saints?

Jennie said...

Hi ya'll,
I've been busy today with church and family. I'll comment more later. Here's an interesting post I found that shows one reason I deplore the 'concordat' and other ways that the RCC interferes in governments. It's an article about historic Baptists as opposed to today's Baptists (in general) that stresses that unfortunately sometimes when churches get off track the unbelievers have more understanding of what is right than they do. The Baptists 200 years ago understood the separation of church and state as it was understood by the founders, not as liberals try to spin it today. I find I have more in common with those Baptists than many today. It's unfortunate that unbelievers have to tell us what's right, and that's what these two sources I used, which you all so objected to, are telling us. The church has in many ways, lost it's saltiness and it's original commission. The world can see this, and it is shameful that they are in some ways better than we are. I in no way agree with abortion or homosexuality or atheism, but I do believe the church is not to be linked to governments and gain power and money from them. Their words are a judgment on the church.

Jennie said...

Here's the article:
http://mainstreambaptist.blogspot.com/2010/05/atheists-more-conscientious-than.html

Christine said...

You don't think that the church should be the voice for the voiceless in a world that doesn't believe that God is the author of life? The followers of Jesus Christ should not act decisively with their votes, words, purchasing power, etc., to promote Christian morals and values? We should and we must. Otherwise we are saying "be warm and well-fed" but doing nothing. Otherwise we are the goats of Matthew 25.

Jennie, as a mother of five (I am too!), I can't really accept that this is how you think. You've obviously chosen to value life and be open to life, against the trends and anti-life culture we find ourselves in. But you'd still rather be allied with atheists than Catholics. You think there's more integrity there. Seriously?

John said...

I see. The distorted onpinionated views of the site in question are reliable. Whose work will you quote next to support your learning about the Church. Check Stalin out or perhaps Mao. Sure they were athiests, but there must be something they have to say about the Church you can use in your fair minded inquiry.

John said...

"It's unfortunate that unbelievers t have to tell us what's right," no, what is unfortunate that you used that site at all. Just reading it's definition of a concordat and further statements on that site make it pefectly clear they have no interest in presenting the truth but are clearly presenting garbage that promotes their agenda. Sort of familiar to me after reading your blog for some time.

Jennie said...

You don't think that the church should be the voice for the voiceless in a world that doesn't believe that God is the author of life? The followers of Jesus Christ should not act decisively with their votes, words, purchasing power, etc., to promote Christian morals and values? We should and we must. Otherwise we are saying "be warm and well-fed" but doing nothing. Otherwise we are the goats of Matthew 25.

Yes. The followers of Christ should do all those things. That is not the same thing as the hierarchy and the vatican state enacting condordats and treaties to gain power. Look at the church in Acts, and the Apostles lives, and then look at the hierarchy for the last 900 years or so. Can you picture Peter and Paul living in the way the pope lives, and acting the way he does, sitting on a throne wearing a crown, and controlling vast amounts of money, visiting heads of state and having them bow and kiss their hands? It makes me queasy to think about it.
The church is not the magisterium; it is the congregation of the saints; each of us who have been redeemed, doing those things that you said. The church has no right to be a government.

Jennie said...

But you'd still rather be allied with atheists than Catholics. You think there's more integrity there. Seriously?
I'd be allied with individuals who stand for what's right any time; with Catholics who stand for life, and even atheists who stand for life. I won't be allied to the hierarchy that as far as I can tell, stands against civil rights and freedom of conscience, and makes itself into a government that links with other governments. and saps their resources for itself.

Jennie said...

And no, I don't think there's more integrity there with atheists than with individual Catholics. It just depends on the person, like in the article about Baptists. There are plenty of people of all kinds with integrity. I'm talking about governments, including church ones, not individuals.

Christine said...

No, sorry. The backtracking isn't going to work this time. You've linked your links and you've repeated your falsehoods, and I'm not buying your recantation. You DO ally yourself with atheists and anti-life voices. Contrary to your assertions, the Catholic Church does uphold freedom of conscience, and therefore your right to ally yourself with anyone you want. Read what the Church's position is back on my posting yesterday at 11:54. But you choose to believe what atheist anti-life folks SAY the Church believes, thereby allying youself with them against Catholics. Period. End of story.

Jennie said...

The Catechism on Church-State relations:

"The Church, because of her commission and competence, is not to be confused in any way with the political community. She is both the sign and the safeguard of the transcendent character of the human person. The Church respects and encourages the political freedom and responsibility of the citizen.

"It is a part of the Church's mission 'to pass moral judgments even in matters related to politics, whenever the fundamental rights of man or the salvation of souls requires it. The means, the only means, she may use are those which are in accord with the Gospel and the welfare of all men according to the diversity of times and circumstances."


Christine,
you quoted the above statements from the catechism. I see that the RCC is saying one thing in the catechism and doing another thing in its actions in enacting concordats and other agreements. Just because the catechism says something doesn't mean the 'Church' (as in the hierarchy of the RCC) is doing that. Hierarchies do what they want for their own good, just like the hierarchy of the Jews did when they 'taught' the people the laws but behaved in a different way themselves to promote their own power. Jesus warned the disciples of this:
Matthew 23: 1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do to be seen by men.

Christine said...

Don't you get it? The catechism is the official source of Catholic doctrine. Concordat Watch is nonsensical leftist hogwash.

No, I'm afraid that you yourself are doing what you accuse the Church of. You say you are pro-life, but in your actions you put all your faith in the other side, the anti-life, anti-Christian political liberals.

I would like you to answer this question, and I am dead serious: Should we take your word that you are pro-life and a Christian, or should we infer from the links you've posted that you are a secular anti-Catholic atheist? Answer that question - with either "I am a pro-life Christian" or "I am an atheist".

Jennie said...

Christine,
I've already answered you, and I'm not going to answer to dictation. I told you that I don't agree with the political and social and religious views of those sites, but that the fact that they are seeing the things the Church is doing wrong should be a warning. These things are documented by others too, not just atheists and liberals, or libertarians. If you read the article about the Baptists above, you will see that I believe as I said in the separation of Church and State as the founders and old Baptists did, and as Roger Williams did, who founded Rhode Island. I don't agree with the liberal definition of it. I am definitely pro-life, but also pro freedom of conscience and against hierarchies that link together for their own good.

Jennie said...

Don't YOU get it, Christine? The Jewish rulers murdered Jesus, Stephen, James, and many others to protect their own interests, all the while supposedly sitting in Moses' seat. The RCC murdered many thousands of believers over the years, all the while supposedly sitting in Peter's chair. Your church uses that passage above to prove that Jesus taught that the priesthood is the authority no matter what they do. They have condemned themselves by comparing themselves to murderers.

Jennie said...

Here's some history on one concordat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concordat_of_Worms

Is this what Jesus wanted from His church? Is this how the Apostles behaved, becoming involved in political power struggles for influence in the kingdoms of this world? Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” John 18:36

Christine said...

Okay. By your logic, you are not a pro-life Christian. You are a pro-abortion atheist. Because I say so. Because you link to Concordat Watch. Because lots of Protestants cooperate with evil by contracepting. Because it serves my argument. Because otherwise I'd have to be fair to you as a sister in Christ.

I agree with you that too much involvement in politics undermines the Faith. But I see that much more in the evangelical circles - but I grant their good intentions and respect them doing as their conscience dictates.

Jennie said...

Christine, I haven't said anything about you personally, as you have of me. I keep saying that I'm talking about the political actions of a hierarchy that has set itself up to rule over people for its own interests, while hypocritically saying the opposite. I used those sites to illustrate something, which I've already explained to you.
There is alot of political involvement in some evangelical circles, and I've talked about how some of the leadership has behaved, which is terribly wrong. It's just as wrong for your leadership to do this, and they've had much longer practice at it.

Jennie said...

Again, I'm not talking about individuals doing as their conscience dictates, which is right; but about the Church becoming a government and having power over people.

Christine said...

When you malign my Church, you malign me. And obviously, I'm trying to show you what your treatment of us is like.

However, having said that, I believe that you are hopelessly entrenched in your Catholic-hate that serves you somehow.

I like the Jennie that has five girls and struggles with irritability and impatience. She is someone I could talk to.

The Jennie who never listens or acknowledges correction, and knows the Catholic Church better than her members, is someone else.

Jennie said...

Christine,
I like you too, and all of the Catholics that have come on here. But,
You haven't answered my question at the end of my post yet. If you would please look at the information and think about the question I asked, and then see if possibly that things are not really as you think they are. Is it not true that the church should not be doing those things, but she has done them for a long time.

Jennie said...

I like all of you because I can see that you are good and sincere, and have faith in Christ, and I understand why you are angry with me because what I am saying is hard to accept; so I don't take it personally when you each have said things about me that aren't true. I wish that you could see from my perspective. I do understand your perspective; I just think there is more to it than what you see.

Christine said...

I'm sorry - could you ask the question again and I will answer it.

Jennie said...

It's at the end of the post about concordats.
Is the church meant to be a political state that makes agreements that enable it to entwine itself into the workings of governments in order to gain power over the citizens and money for its own purposes, to the detriment of the weakest members of society? OR is the church meant to be the body of Christ that appears in local bodies all over the world and which live to love God, love each other, love their neighbors, and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey the commands of Christ; not by compulsion and power of a hierarchy, but by the word of God worked out in love by each member.

Christine said...

The latter comes close to the Catholic view of the Church. The "local bodies" being parishes that are united in faith with the universal Church.

The former is not the purpose of the Church, since the Church interacts with politics and government in order to DEFEND the weakest members of society. Nor does the Church compel anyone to join.

What is the Church meant to be? Everything that scripture and Tradition say, including the "pillar and foundation of truth", the "body of Christ", the "bride of Christ", and more, of course.

Leo said...

"Can you picture Peter and Paul living in the way the pope lives, and acting the way he does, sitting on a throne wearing a crown, and controlling vast amounts of money"

Jennie, are you kidding me? The Holy Father does not sit on a throne or wear a crown. Comments like those make you sound just like Jack Chick.

He lives in a sparsely furnished room and spends most of his days in prayer. When the papal photographer was asked how many days the pope got off, he replied, "heck, even I don't have a single day off during the year."

Priests who had the opportunity to minister to the pope had the following information. They saw the pope on his knees in the chapel when they went by at 6:00 am on the way to breakfast, and he was still there on their way back from breakfast. He then said Mass and spent the day either on official duties or in prayer during any break. This went on until ending with prayer in the chapel, long after everyone else was in bed. Four hours later, it started all over again.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Please clarify the following for me, because I am honestly not sure where you stand. Your response will help me to understand where you are coming from.

1. You said that you are against abortion. Does that mean that you believe that abortions should be illegal and that the unborn child should be protected under the law? Or, do you feel you are personally opposed to abortion, but that the mother should have the ultimate authority to determine whether or not to have an abortion?

2. You said that you are opposed to homosexuality. However, does that mean that you support the concept that the law should restrict marriage to being between one man and one woman?

Jennie said...

Leo, I'd be happy to live in a palace even in a sparsely furnished room, and have everything provided for me. The point is that the popes and bishops are not living as the Apostles lived. They wield wordly governmental power and live in palaces.

Jennie said...

Leo,
1. I believe abortion is murder and should be illegal.
2. I believe marriage is between a man and woman as God ordained, and should be the only marriage recognized under the law.

Christine said...

The notion "sitting on a throne wearing a crown, and controlling vast amounts of money" is a cartoon caricature kind of like when liberals accuse all Bible Christians of being racists, ignorant, homophobes, etc.

Leo said...

"That is not the same thing as the hierarchy and the vatican state enacting condordats and treaties to gain power."

Jennie, the pope is always trying to ensure that governments acknowledge God and allow citizens to practice their faith freely. He also wants to ensure that Catholics are free to live according to their consciences. In other words, the Church will not submit to any earthly authority in proclaiming the Gospel.

You may not be aware that the Holy Father was heavily and intimately involved as the European Union was writing their Constitution. He pleaded that they include mention of God and that they recognize that their history is deeply rooted in the Christian faith. He requested the recognition of Almighty God as Creator and for laws to follow natural law in recognition that all true values come from God alone.

He asked for the recognition of the unborn as persons and for the constitutional protection of the most vulnerable in society. He requested the recognition of the sacredness of all human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death.

He was denied on all counts...but he was the voice crying out in the wilderness. What did your church do to help? Has your church at least been involved in working with our own government officials to protect the least of our brothers and sisters?

Leo said...

"Hierarchies do what they want for their own good, just like the hierarchy of the Jews did when they 'taught' the people the laws but behaved in a different way themselves to promote their own power. Jesus warned the disciples of this:
Matthew 23: 1 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe,that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do to be seen by men."

Jennie, a couple of points on this post...

1. Jesus commanded His disciples to do as they were instructed by the scribes and Pharisees.

2. The undue burdens were the 613 'Works of the Law', as they were called. This is what is regularly referred to in scripture as not being saved by the works of the law. It does not negate the 10 Commandments.

So, please enlighten us as to what undue burdens the Church places on the faithful.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Thanks for those answers. There are many 'Catholic in name only' politicians who gave the original answers you gave but are not really pro-life because it's the personally opposed nonsense type of thing.

We really are on the same side on those issues and it does my heart great good to hear you say that.

Jennie said...

Let's get back to the subject of my post: Looking at what concordats are and how they are being used in the countries where they are enacted: is this the business of the church that Christ commanded us to do? Or is it the opposite?

Christine said...

We need an accurate source for current concordats. Concordat Watch is not one.

John said...

With Jennie's help I have now seen the light. The pope and the cardinals sit around all day smoking cigars, comparing crowns, while at the same time figuring out new ways to take over the world. All the good work the Church does is just a cover for the real plan. A plan no doubt conceived by the Jesuits. Heck they even have managed to pack the supreme court. Of course I could be mistaken or living in some fantasy.

Leo said...

"The point is that the popes and bishops are not living as the Apostles lived. They wield wordly governmental power and live in palaces."

Jennie, the Church needs to be recognized on a global level in order to be heard. Jesus adapts her to fit the times and places so that His message might be preached to all the ends of the earth.

Can you imagine an itinerant preacher today getting the audience of a world government? Of course not. Ronald Reagan gave JPII credit for the collapse of the Berlin Wall. George Bush signed a law preventing money for further embryonic stem cell research out of respect for JPII and Church teaching.

Yes, the pope no longer walks everywhere in sandals. He takes cars and planes and uses TV, radio and the internet. I am sure your pastor does too. So would have Paul and Peter were they on earth today.

The pope does not live a life of opulence, but rather one of fasting and self-denial. You may be surprised that his title is actually "Servant of the servant of God". The only true authority is service.

Jennie said...

Christine, here's a post of a video done by Berean Beacon about Slovakia. I know you don't like this source either, but the man in the video from Slovakia is a citizen there, a pastor who has experienced first hand what the concordat does in his country. http://pilgrimsdaughter.blogspot.com/2010/03/slovakia-and-political-influence-of.html

John said...

I have seen numerous videos from Berean Beacon. Granted this is my prejudice,but William Bennet strikes me as a bit of a nut case. I have the same level of trust in anything he says about the Church as I would have had in Ted Kennedy driving my younger sister to the senior prom, zero.

Leo said...

Jennie,

The major problem with the Berean Beacon is that it was founded by and is run by a disgruntled priest who sadly never learned the faith. If you read his testimony, you will see his claim that the Church teaches that baptism wipes out all tendency to sin due to our fallen nature.

What strikes me about that is that this concerns one of the basic teachings of the Church. Baptism restores our membership into the family of God, but our concupiscence(fallen nature) remains. We are thus susceptible to sin and we inherited this weakness from our first parents.

It's almost as if he is bitter because he expected the tendency to sin to go away. Well, that is hard work and we must continually seek and depend upon sanctifying grace from God. This is a cross we are to carry as we work out our salvation in fear and trembling.

So, if the sin remains, it is much nicer if we simply be forgiven and not need to work on sanctification. In other words, if God accepts us the way we are, there is no real need to change.

Life is a struggle and we are meant to be perfected by the time we leave this world. We are called to enter through the narrow gate as scripture says many will try to enter otherwise but will be too weak. It is our very struggle against our fallen natures that strengthens us and helps us to overcome with God's grace.

Let no one be deceived. Everyone receives enough sanctifying grace during their lives to merit heaven immediately upon their death.

Anyway, I know a number of ex-priests and none of the ones I knew ever learned the faith or truly believed...unless they fell into sin.

John said...

Shoot me an email Leo. I posted my email address to your comment on my blog.

Leo said...

Jennie,

One of the common threads I have found is that anti-Catholics seem never to be concerned with absolute truth. I have yet to find a Catholic apologist who is not a stickler for getting the facts straight. Those against the Church, on the other hand, repeatedly spout fabrications and falsehoods from unreliable sources with seemingly reckless abandon.

Let's go back to your Berean Beacon source. Ex-priest Fr. Bennett claimed to be troubled by the 'inner emptiness' of Rome and never learned about direct personal prayer, except by accident. He also claimed not to know his way through the bible, which is silly in and of itself. Since the entire book is at least read through every 3 years during Mass, he should have been able to deal with any problematic passages long ago. As I posted earlier, he doesn't even seem to grasp 2nd grade Catholicism.

Well, you need to understand something about 'ex-priests'. They don't seem good at telling the rest of the story and the evidence is there in his case as well. He mentions in his biography that he spent 8 years in a Dominican order "studying what it is to be a monk."

Dominicans are friars and not monks and there is a HUGE difference which anyone in either order would be totally aware of. Monks live in monasteries and their main focus in life is prayer. Friars, on the other hand, are apostolic in nature and go out into the world in service, teaching, and preaching the Gospel.

Jennie, this may seem insignificant to you, but it is impossible for someone to have been a friar for 8 years and call himself a monk. It would be akin to a baseball player referring to himself as a hockey player.

Perhaps he was kicked out or perhaps he was never a priest in the first place. By the way, Jack Chick's quoted 'ex-priest' was never a priest at all.

John said...

I too have some doubt as to Mr. Berean Beacon's pedigree. After lots of google searching I can find nothing to verify or disprove his story. It may be true, but something smells a bit fishy. The bottom line he is a gross distorter of Catholic doctrine. But then he is not alone in that category. Perhaps someone has a link that can be checked that might assist in verifying his story.

Jennie said...

Leo,
several people here have mentioned that Dominicans are not monks when I use Berean Beacon as a source, but since I don't know anything about it personally I googled the term Dominican Monk. Here is a wikipedia page with a list of abbeys and priories in Ireland, which is where Richard Bennett is from. The page has a table with a list of these places, and it says 'Dominican Monks' next to the names of some of them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_abbeys_and_priories_in_Ireland

Here is the search results page for Wikipedia on 'Dominican Monks':
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ASearch&search=dominican+monk&fulltext=1

Jennie said...

Until I learn otherwise, I have no reason to doubt Richard's testimony, so maybe watching some of the video would give some idea about the Slovakian pastor's experience with the concordat in his country.

Jennie said...

There are also several search results where articles on Catholic Answers use the term Dominican monk:
http://www.google.com/cse?cx=008187825485874300314%3A1bfkl0u3vji&ie=UTF-8&q=dominican+monk&sa=Search

Jennie said...

One of the common threads I have found is that anti-Catholics seem never to be concerned with absolute truth. I have yet to find a Catholic apologist who is not a stickler for getting the facts straight. Those against the Church, on the other hand, repeatedly spout fabrications and falsehoods from unreliable sources with seemingly reckless abandon.

Leo,
I think some people over at aomin.org, TurretinFan's blog, and Beggar's All would have alot of things to say to show the exact opposite, so let's just forget that subject. The Slovakian pastor is an eyewitness who has genuine concerns.

Let's go back to your Berean Beacon source. Ex-priest Fr. Bennett claimed to be troubled by the 'inner emptiness' of Rome and never learned about direct personal prayer, except by accident. He also claimed not to know his way through the bible, which is silly in and of itself. Since the entire book is at least read through every 3 years during Mass, he should have been able to deal with any problematic passages long ago. As I posted earlier, he doesn't even seem to grasp 2nd grade Catholicism.
Since there is a wide variety of experiences within the RCC and other denominations, why don't you give him the benefit of the doubt? You don't know any catholics or priests who couldn't care less or don't know anything about the Bible? Reading through the Bible in bits and pieces in three years is not conducive to study and intense learning, though the Spirit can work in any situation of course. Christians need more than that. In Baptist churches we're taught to read and study personally every day. Everyone doesn't of course, but it is a good thing.

John said...

Give him the benefit of doubt? He obviously hates the Church. Former priest or not, it makes as much sense learning objectively about the Church from him as it would learning about Judaism from Hitler. But then you have already demonstrated you willingness to use any source that supports your viewpoint.

Jennie said...

John,
Richard Bennett doesn't 'hate the Church'. He sees things that are wrong, and he has become a protestant. That doesn't make him a liar any more than becoming Catholic makes someone a liar. I think they are wrong, and you think Richard is wrong, and that's that. But why don't you just watch the video and see what the Slovakians protestants are concerned about?

Christine said...

Jennie - I'm sorry I don't have the kind of time that would allow me to watch the video. The very beginning is already a problem, since he has the goal of convincing Catholics to leave the church. It seems to me that concordats, if they exist, should be readily findable in a brief written form. So I guess I can't comment on them. We don't deny that the Church speaks to those in government, but for good. Always in the defense of vulnerable people, born or unborn. It is not for power or money. I showed you what the Catechism says, and therefore if any Catholic leader is acting in conflict with that, then they are not following the Church. The Church is clear on its role in politics and government, and to be respectful, you should at least acknowledge that the Church does not allow power-grabs by clergy. They MUST speak for the voiceless, and thank God that they do. Otherwise, Christianity is irrelevant to today's world.

Find objective sources. For example, if I wanted to find out what the differences are between the ELCA and Missouri Synod, I would not trust anyone with an ax to grind - why? because I want to fair and hear from the horse's mouth. I'm sure I'd find official statements of belief easily - and I wouldn't pretend to have secret knowledge greater than that of the denomination's own statement.

You discount my plea for "fairness" but it really is unfair to continually seek out biased information, and then ask us to explain over and over what the Church says. And being fair is being honorable. Being fair is having integrity in a discussion. It matters, it really really does.

Christine said...

Okay - it took me exactly two seconds to find out what the concordat is about:

"Sylvia Pimentel of Brazil took exception to Slovakia’s concordat with the Holy See, particularly on the right of health care workers to conscientiously object to performing or aiding in abortion. Pimentel claimed that it is “discriminatory to refuse to legally provide reproductive health services to women” and that CEDAW state parties “must refrain from obstructing women from pursuing their health goals.”

If this is the concordat, then I endorse it with all my heart, and it falls within the Church's self-described role of being the voice for the voiceless and the voice for those who are pro-life and don't want to perform abortions.

Go Catholic Church! - you alone have the authority to confound those in high places.

John said...

As I said before I have seen his videos. It is abundantly clear what his views are and the distortions he uses to support those views. That you do not see that is clear. The point is that he comes with an obvious bias. If you do not see that, I do not know how I can make it any clearer. But because of his obvious bias a reasonable person would be wise enough to not rely on anything from or produced by him as a source to arrive at the truth.

Jennie said...

Here is a page on the Concordat Watch site that has the texts of Slovak concordats and other church-state documents:
http://www.concordatwatch.eu/showtopic.php?org_id=849&kb_header_id=755

Christine said...

Two seconds more, and I found this:

"the Draft Treaty currently under consideration by the Slovak Republic may lead to. . . a violation of the obligations of the Slovak Republic under Council Directive 2004/113/EC of 13 December 2004 implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services [abortion].

"The biggest problem resides in article 4 (b) which states that The right to exercise objection of conscience shall apply to performing certain acts in the area of healthcare, in particular acts related to artificial abortion, artificial or assisted fertilisation, experiments with and handling of human organs, human embryos and human sex cells, euthanasia, cloning, sterilisation or contraception. In paragraph 2 of the same article they add that The Slovak Republic undertakes not to impose an obligation on the hospitals and healthcare facilities founded by the Catholic Church or an organisation thereof to perform… one of the just mentioned activities."

So the concordat asks for a ban on cloning and other anti-life actions, and asks that the right of people to conscientiously object to performing or participating in abortions be respected.

Pretty evil, all right.

Christine said...

Actually, it just asks that people be allowed to refrain from the anti-life procedures.

Jennie - how can you possibly object to this? Maybe you do, and that is fair if you acknowledge what the truth actually is. Maybe you believe that even this is too much interference, and we can respectfully disagree, but you can't say it's about power or money.

Now I simply must feed these people who are in my care - namely husband and children. Feed them once, they expect it every day . . . :)

Jennie said...

Christine,
obviously the Slovakian pastor is not objecting to the concordat(s) because of abortion. I'm sure he's pro-life, as are all reformed people like Bennett. Abortion is probably only one issue of many involved in the concordats. Read the pages in my last comment that have the documents and other commentary.
I wish you could watch some of the video at least.

Jennie said...

And no, I don't believe in the right to abortion. That is never mentioned in the concerns about concordats by the protestants. It is about religious freedom.

John said...

Forgetting for a moment the problems with the reliability of Concordat Watch and the source they use for the translations and if the translations are even accurate, what in the translation is it that you find objectionable? Please cut and paste from the translations.

Leo said...

"There are also several search results where articles on Catholic Answers use the term Dominican monk:"

The fact that some people at Catholic Answers do not understand the difference is not surprising. Most Catholics do not realize there is a difference. It would be like asking me about cricket or curling.

It has nothing to do with the Faith, yet it is important to those who are monks and friars. Please do not dismiss my comment so lightly. It would be next to impossible for a friar to call himself a monk. Plain and simple, there is no way an 8 year friar would call himself that. Don't forget that Satan is the father of lies. You simply cannot just say, "oh, let's just take him at his word.", when his word is not good.

Liars can be quite clever but they sometimes get so clever, they trip themselves up by being too creative. As I have said, I have tried to have some deep discussions with ex-priests, and it has been impossible in 100% of the cases. They have been easy to trip up and the nicey, nicey facade falls away when challenged. God will not be mocked.

Leo said...

"There are also several search results where articles on Catholic Answers use the term Dominican monk:"

The fact that some people at Catholic Answers do not understand the difference is not surprising. Most Catholics do not realize there is a difference. It would be like asking me about cricket or curling.

It has nothing to do with the Faith, yet it is important to those who are monks and friars. Please do not dismiss my comment so lightly. It would be next to impossible for a friar to call himself a monk. Plain and simple, there is no way an 8 year friar would call himself that. Don't forget that Satan is the father of lies. You simply cannot just say, "oh, let's just take him at his word.", when his word is not good.

Liars can be quite clever but they sometimes get so clever, they trip themselves up by being too creative. As I have said, I have tried to have some deep discussions with ex-priests, and it has been impossible in 100% of the cases. They have been easy to trip up and the nicey, nicey facade falls away when challenged. God will not be mocked.

Leo said...

Jennie,

By the way, when Martin Luther was asked by a student as to how to respond why he added the word alone to the verse 'justified by faith...', he responded, "just tell them Dr. Luther, who is the greatest Christian expert said it is so..."

The quote may not be perfect as it is from memory, but the gist is certainly there.

Jennie said...

Leo,
On that supposed quote from Martin Luther, you had better get documentation on that if you want me to take it seriously. I doubt he said that, and if he said anything who knows whether he was serious. I say all kinds of things sarcastically or ironically and sometimes people who don't know me might think I'm serious. I don't think he was known for his tact.

Jennie said...

John, I'll try to cut and paste some things from the documents, but maybe you could meet me halfway and watch the video to see the concerns of the protestants there.

Christine said...

Jennie - I think I'll take a pass on any more concordat investigation. I did find that pro-life sites liked it and pro-choice sites did not. The only truly reliable way to evaluate it would be to obtain the actually text of the entire treaty and I couldn't find that.

I'm satisfied with what I've seen of it, that the intentions are right in line with goodness and human dignity. It seems to have advocated for religious schools of all denominations be allowed to exist without discrimination.

I'm not even positive that the treaty was ratified. I hope it was. It was heavily opposed by family-planning organizations and secularists - I wasn't able to confirm that the concordat is in force, only that it was proposed in 2004, and subsequently opposed by left-wing factions in Slovakia.

Not worth any more of my time, I don't think. Interesting, though. Again, go Church!!

Christine said...

If you don't like Martin Luther being quoted without documentation - you have to admit it's a taste of your own medicine.

Jennie said...

The (2004) Concordat on Catholic Education is one of the things that the protestants were very concerned about. This is a later supplement to the earlier Basic Concordat in 2000.
http://www.concordatwatch.eu/showkb.php?org_id=849&kb_header_id=755&order=kb_rank%20ASC&kb_id=1225

There is a description on that page by a former teacher that objected to the way religious instruction was carried out. There were two choices given, RE (religious instruction by Catholics) or EE (Ethical Education). The RE was given favored times, and the EE students were made to feel inferior and that they would go to hell if they didn't take the RE. Parents were not informed that this was optional. The treaty was used to get this in and then not followed according to what was agreed. The protestants are upset that Catholic education is being enforced on all students this way.

Jennie said...

Here's an article on Concordat Watch called 'Why Slovakia?' It explains some of the history and politics behind the Catholic Church's involvement in Slovakia. It also shows another example of saying one thing and doing another, and attempting to revise history to cover up wrongdoing.
http://www.concordatwatch.eu/kb-1216.843

Leo said...

"you had better get documentation on that if you want me to take it seriously."

Gee, what's good for the goose is apparently not good for the gander.

Okay, here is the quote and I had mangled it quite badly but the message is the same.

"And finally, he admitted adding the word 'alone' to Rom. 3:28 of his own volition: "If your Papist annoys you with the word ('alone'), tell him straightway, Dr. Martin Luther will have it so: Papist and ass are one and the same thing. Whoever will not have my translation, let him give it the go-by: the devil's thanks to him who censures it without my will and knowledge. Luther will have it so, and he is a doctor above all the doctors in Popedom." (Amic. Discussion, 1, 127,'The Facts About
Luther,' O'Hare, TAN Books, 1987, p. 201.)"

Leo said...

Here is another quote from Luther:

"Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides... No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day." ('Let Your Sins Be Strong, from 'The Wittenberg Project;' 'The Wartburg Segment', translated by Erika Flores, from Dr. Martin Luther's
Saemmtliche Schriften, Letter No. 99, 1 Aug. 1521).

Leo said...

Two more quotes:

"...with regard to God, and in all that bears on salvation or damnation, (man) has no 'free-will', but is a captive, prisoner and bondslave, either to the will of God, or to the will of Satan." (From the essay, 'Bondage of the Will,' 'Martin Luther: Selections From His Writings, ed. by Dillenberger, Anchor Books, 1962 p. 190.)

"...we do everything of necessity, and nothing by 'free-will'; for the power of 'free-will' is nil..." (Ibid., p. 188.)

Leo said...

Luther even supported polygamy based on sola scriptura:

""I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the word of God. In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter." (De Wette II, 459, ibid., pp. 329-330.)

Gee, I'll bet you never heard those things, did you?

Leo said...

Jennie,

My point in the last points was to get you to look at yourself more objectively. We should not spend our time attacking the past or windmills, as it were, but we should try to understand Truth and how we got here.

I work for the cause of life and I can tell you that anyone working for that cause acknowledges the Catholic Church's leadership in that fight.

Human Life International was started by a priest and is led by a priest. HLI works in hundreds of countries to prevent abortion from becoming the law of the land. They work with governments, including ours, to educate about the sanctity of life and have been successful in many nations to protect the unborn.

Priests for Life works to educate priests and the faithful about the Gospel of Life. Please visit their website to see the great work they are doing to educate the world about the evil of abortion:

http://www.priestsforlife.org/

The Population Research Institute was founded by Steve Mosher, a dear friend of a good friend of mine. He was a PhD candidate from Stanford and an agnostic when he went to China at the request of our government. He went at the beginning of our relationship with them. He realized that God must exist because only He could prevent what happened in China from happening everywhere for he saw what man was all about. He is a devout Catholic and fights to educate world governments about the evils of abortion, human rights abuses, and the sanctity of human life.

The American Life League fights tirelessly for the unborn and works to expose the truth about abortion and the industry.

Jennie, I have gone to many links at your request, so please return the favor and go to:

http://www.priestsforlife.org/
http://www.hli.org/
http://www.pop.org/
http://www.all.org/

You will see what the Church and faithful Catholics are all about.

Please do me the courtesy of spending some time on these sites.

Leo said...

Jennie,

You are a rare person who is willing to stand up for what you believe with a passion. You are sadly devoting much of your time attacking your brothers and sisters in Christ, rather than working with us to bring Christ to the world by feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, providing hope for the hopeless and protecting the most vulnerable.

We are called to act with justice, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with God.

And, by the way, I say a prayer for Martin Luther's soul when I think of it. We are all fallen and need each other's prayers and support.

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always!

Jennie said...

Leo and Christine,
about Luther: this post contains the quote you used and the info. about Luther using the word 'alone' and explains it under 'Question 2':
http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/search?q=+he+is+a+doctor+above+all+the+doctors+in+Popedom.

Now can we get back to the subject, as I don't remember what Luther had to do with anything?

Jennie said...

Leo,
I am aware that Luther said some strange things, but since my faith doesn't rest on Martin Luther, but upon Christ and His word, it doesn't shake me when I see that he was human and did and said some things that are confusing or questionable. I don't know what the context was of all those things, and also I don't think Luther did everything right. He's not my authority or foundation. This isn't the subject of this thread.

Jennie said...

Also Leo, I know that there are many Catholics who do good things in obedience to Christ, just as in all denominations. The Body of Christ is everywhere. The question is, are we standing upon the sinking sand of a hierarchy of men, or upon the Rock who is Jesus Christ? If we are commanded to 'come out of her' and recognize her sins then, will we? Will we trust in men and then be shaken when they are shown to be shifting grains of sand?

Christine said...

To answer your question, we are standing on the foundation that is Christ, and part of the Church he said he would build, and did.

"Come out of her" isn't speaking of the Catholic Church. You and others have invented an interpretation of Revelation that serves you in justifying Protestantism.

We don't pretend to know what each symbol in John's vision means. You can speculate, but you are sinking sand indeed if Hal Lindsay is your source of truth.

Jennie said...

I believe that though all men and churches may sin and fail, that God alone is true and unfailing. I believe that this is one of the main themes of scripture. I believe that the Israelites failed, yet their failure gave mercy to the gentiles. I believe that the church failed (though there's always a remnant) but that their failure gave mercy to many as God's word again exploded across the world in the Reformation. I believe the Reformation wasn't perfect and has failed in many ways over the years, and that at the end the great apostasy will leave only a remnant again. I believe that tribulation will test many and call them back to Him through many hardships and that again many will be shown mercy as they see these testimonies. See these scriptures:

Romans 3: 1 What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. 3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.


Romans 11:28 Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, 31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. 32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
34 “ For who has known the mind of the LORD?
Or who has become His counselor?”
35 “ Or who has first given to Him
And it shall be repaid to him?”

36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

Christine said...

You say "the Church failed". If true, then Jesus didn't keep his promise that the "gates of Hell will not prevail" against His Church.

"God alone is true and unfailing" - amen to that! We agree. We also say that the bible is true and unfailing but only because it is God-inspired. Catholics say the Church is true and unfailing but only because it is God-inspired.

Romans passage - Glorious to all of us!!

Jennie said...

If true, then Jesus didn't keep his promise that the "gates of Hell will not prevail" against His Church.

Christine that's not what that verse means. That passage means that when the church is standing on the Rock then it will storm the gates of death with His gospel and those gates will not be able to stand against it. Jesus is our foundation and His word is our final word. All men may fail, but God will lift us up.

Christine said...

Where's the conflict? Catholics don't disagree with what you say here.

I find these types of sentences funny: "Christine that's not what that verse means". I didn't even give an interpretation, just quoted it.

Jennie said...

No, you said if the church failed then Jesus didn't keep His promise. The churches have all failed in many ways, yet when we do stand upon HIM who is the Rock then the gates of death will not prevail. When we don't stand upon Jesus and His unfailing word, then we will fail.

Christine said...

Jesus said "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it".

Is that not a promise? Maybe it just a fact. If Jesus says it, it IS.

If the "church failed" what could be more like "the gates of hell" prevailing?

Is it another scripture pretzel that allows Jennie to be in the exclusive tiny remnant of true Christians? You can't let the verse mean its face value?

Jennie said...

Christine, Peter is not the Rock, but he is one small stone, along with the other Apostles, that is built upon Christ. Christ is the Rock. If we are built on 'Peter' then when Peter, who is a created being of flesh that fails, then when he falls so will we.

Jennie said...

When Jesus said 'upon this rock' I believe He was speaking of Himself as declared in Peter's confession. And in declaring that confession, Peter became the first stone built upon the Rock of Christ. All other scriptures confirm that Jesus, as God, is the Rock.

Jennie said...

And I don't think I or the protestants are the remnant. I think the remnant is in all the churches that confess Jesus as God and Saviour, who came in the flesh and died and rose again.

Christine said...

Responding to your three posts:

1. - Tell JESUS, not me, that Peter is not the rock. Jesus is the one who said it, in Arabic, "You are Cephas, and on this Cephas I will build my Church", etc.
2. - Jesus spoke of both Peter and himself as the rock. Peter's rock-ness exists only by the grace and power of Christ, of course.
3. - You've said before, and I understand, that you do not believe Protestants to be the Remnant. The Catholic Church certainly confesses Jesus Christ as God and Saviour who came in the flesh and rose again.

Let me ask you a question - do you know the Nicene Creed; if so, is there anything that you do not agree with? I'm sincerely just wondering.

John said...

I believe there is more than your understanding of the whole "rock" at play. Significant is Christ changing Simon's name to Peter. It is also clear that Peter occupied the place of prominence among the twelve. Also the very early history of other bishops looking to
Rome as a source for guidance in matters regarding the governance of the early Church. Even the Orthodox recently agreed that he, the Bishop of Rome is the first among equals. In fact Catholic and Orthodox reunification, I believe, is closer than it has been in a long time. Of Course you may see that as an indication of the Church's somehow evil goal to establish a one world religion and fullfill the whole "harlot church" belief (a phrase not occuring in the Bible, but a term that has been wrongly used to describe the Church by those that incorrectly interpret the book of Revelation when it is clear to most legitimate scholars, Catholic and Protestant that the author was referring to pagan Rome and certainly not to the Church)nonsense. There is no reliable early evidence that early Christians interpreted Revelation the way you choose. You may disagree with the Church, but I am convinced you have been sold a bill of goods in your understanding of Revelation.

Christine said...

Thanks, John, for mentioning the most obvious thing of all - the actually RENAMING of Simon. It is hard to argue that the rock he meant was himself when he just got done actually naming Simon "Rock" in the very same sentence. And some Protestants try to differentiate between petros and petra ("you are Petros, and on this petra I will build . . ."), but that argument disappears when you remember that Jesus spoke Aramaic (did I say Arabic before? Sorry!) and so both usages would have been Cephas or Kipha.

John said...

Further as said on my blog, which I rarely post to, there is a logic to belief in the Papacy.
http://catholicquestioning.blogspot.com/2008/09/logic-of-catholicism.html

John said...

And just to lighten our debate, I wanted to share this short video my cousin Brian, a single parent of a severely autistic sone, sent to me earlier. It brightened my day, hopefully it will do the same for all of you.

http://www.stservicemovie.com/

John said...

That should read "son." I often think faster than I type.

Christine said...

John, I love it. I work at a Catholic high school and we want to work on positive messaging and making a difference. Would this be something that could be used by anyone? For example in a student assembly? Or would there be copyright issues?

Jennie, thanks for allowing us on your blog. I do hope we can agree to disagree sometimes.

John said...

Use it all you want. It brought a tear to my eye when I saw it and realized what a blessing my cousin's son Ian is to all of us.

Jennie said...

1. - Tell JESUS, not me, that Peter is not the rock. Jesus is the one who said it, in Arabic, "You are Cephas, and on this Cephas I will build my Church", etc.

Christine (and John, who also mentioned this),
The New Testament was written, and inspired, in Greek. I believe it was written just as the Holy Spirit wanted it to be, since in Greek one can tell the difference between 'petros' and 'petra'. Petra is the immovable Rock, and petros is the stone built upon Him. Why don't you argue with the Holy Spirit about the language He inspired the N.T. in? I think it's clear all throughout scripture that creatures are movable rocks, as Abraham and Peter; and God Himself is the only huge immovable Rock, Petra.

Christine said...

Thank you. John, the post on your own blog is great. This question there is the one that started me on the road to the Church:

"Did He desire that the Christianity would be split into countless factions, each with their own monopoly on truth?"

What freedom there is in not trying to re-invent every wheel, with two thousand years of wisdom close at hand.

As for faith in action, our own local parish is truly a family. My young husband had a hemorrhagic stroke last year with resulting paralysis, and our parish (without being asked) supported us for a year as well as bringing meals 3 or 4 times a week. Our morning mass regulars pray for us every day, and sometimes when under stress you can't pray for yourself well.

The Church's theology of suffering is so beautiful and profound - as one discovers when it is your own turn.

Jennie said...

Let me ask you a question - do you know the Nicene Creed; if so, is there anything that you do not agree with? I'm sincerely just wondering.
I know I've read it, but it's been a while. I don't think I disagree with anything in it.
I just went and looked it up, and I agree with everything in it. I think we might not agree on the definition of 'one holy catholic and Apostolic church.'

Christine said...

Jennie - I have heard that argument about petra and petros, and that is a credible point - that the Holy Spirit inspired the language. Could be. One answer to that is that Matthew in putting the Aramaic name into Greek couldn't use "Petra" as a name for a man, because it's the feminine form.

Christine said...

If we both believe everything in the Creed (except maybe the definition of the Church) then don't you think that is a heck of a lot in common?

I do.

Gotta go - again with the feeding . . .

John said...

Wow again. I wish I had an answer for everything. What was I thinking? I had completely forgotten the apostles and Jesus all spoke inspired New Testament Greek. No wonder some did not understand his message, it was all Greek to them.

Jennie said...

John, thanks for sharing the video; it has a very good message. I'd like to post it on facebook.

Christine, thanks for sharing about your husband and your church. That is a great picture of what the church should be. I hope your husband is doing better now.

A while back I was feeling kind of unconnected from the people in our small church, because I'm shy and because people stick to their own comfortable little groups, and we didn't have a way to really get to know each other closely. Through what I've been studying about the church the past few months the Lord gave me the idea to start a ladies' prayer group so we can pray for each other and lift up each other's problems to the Lord. We can understand better what it means to be members of a body that need each other, and that each have a specific function. We're just getting started, but I think it will be great. Small things can make a big difference.

Jennie said...

John,
I didn't say Jesus spoke Greek when He was living and teaching on earth, but that the N.T. was written in Greek.

John said...

Right. Now keep thinking. You may get it.

Jennie said...

You want me to think? I warn you I'm on cold medication. Who knows what I'll come up with. I'm kind of foggy.

Reminds me, I read some commentary about that passage, saying that Jesus had taken the disciples to Caesarea Philippi and was speaking to them there in Matthew 16. There is a large mountain there, Mount Hermon, which had pagan temples all over it, and which had a cave that pagans thought of as the gates of the underworld. I believe Jesus was comparing Himself to the mountain, which some think is the place where He was transfigured, and that the pagan gods and the very gates of death can not prevail against Him, or His church if we stand upon Him.

Here's a several-page article I just found about it:
http://www.followtherabbi.com/Brix?pageID=2065

John said...

What you need to think about is that it is not logical that Jesus would give Peter a feminine name as well as the significance of the name change or His three time request to Peter to feed His sheep. Peter means something to us and he clearly meant something to the Church. So many things point to the importance of Peter even before the name change. This Peter/rock discussion was not even a debate in the early Church, but becomes prominent really only in post-reformation thinking.

Jennie said...

Augustine said that Peter represents or stands for the church. Here's a quote from a passage in Augustine's writings, taken from an article by William Webster about Matt. 16:
Remember, in this man Peter, the rock. He's the one, you see, who on being questioned by the Lord about who the disciples said he was, replied, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' On hearing this, Jesus said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jona, because flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you'...'You are Peter, Rocky, and on this rock I shall build my Church, and the gates of the underworld will not conquer her. To you shall I give the keys of the kingdom. Whatever you bind on earth shall also be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall also be loosed in heaven' (Mt 16:15-19). In Peter, Rocky, we see our attention drawn to the rock. Now the apostle Paul says about the former people, 'They drank from the spiritual rock that was following them; but the rock was Christ' (1 Cor 10:4). So this disciple is called Rocky from the rock, like Christian from Christ.
Why have I wanted to make this little introduction? In order to suggest to you that in Peter the Church is to be recognized. Christ, you see, built his Church not on a man but on Peter's confession. What is Peter's confession? 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' There's the rock for you, there's the foundation, there's where the Church has been built, which the gates of the underworld cannot conquer.1

Its clear, you see, from many places in scripture that Peter can stand for, or represent, the Church; above all from that place where it says, To you will I hand over the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall also be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Mt. 16:19). Did Peter receive these keys, and Paul not receive them? Did Peter receive them, and John and James and the other apostles not receive them? Or are the keys not to be found in the Church, where sins are being forgiven every day? But because Peter symbolically stood for the Church, what was given to him alone was given to the whole Church. So Peter represented the Church; the Church is the body of Christ.13


Peter himself describes Jesus as the living stone and chief cornerstone upon which other stones are being built.

1 Peter 2:
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,


“ Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

John said...

You started out fair enough but then logic started twisting and turning. I am sure it all makes sense to you.

Jennie said...

Where is the logic twisting and turning? My last comment was all Augustine and Peter's writing.

Leo said...

It's fun to just sit back and read once in a while...I love the humorous exchanges.

Getting back to Peter, you cannot call a man by a feminine name. In Greek, it would be like calling Peter Rockette...can't be done. Incidentally, you cannot call Jesus Rockette either, or you can deal with Him. ;-)

It is both in Hebrew and Aramaic that there is only one word for both Rock and Peter.

Did you get a chance to really visit those 4 websites in detail?

Leo said...

By the way, the Nicene Creed came from the Council of Nicea to address all of the heresies at that time. That is why Protestants don't even argue those points anymore. We repeat it every Sunday so we continually remind ourselves of the Truth.

No Church, no creed. The Church is there to also give us the Sacraments which are a supernatural means of receiving sanctifying grace.

Leo said...

Jennie,

I posted the pro-life websites purposely because Satan is attacking life. The abortion industry is evil and many of these sites are all about abortion on demand. Satan is working in many areas and corrupting people as he did when Terri Schiavo was murdered by judicial activism. Make no mistake that Satan controlled everyone involved in the evil deed and our nation stood by and did nothing to stop it. This was despite millions of prayers, so Satan clearly has been given much power in this generation.

Christine said...

The writings of Augustine don't undermine the Catholic position. We agree with him that Peter alone was given the keys, that Peter represents the Church in a sense, that Peter's rock-status is solely derived from Jesus Christ's rock status.

Here's where the keys come into focus - all the disciples listening to Jesus speaking to Peter of the keys would have known they were keys of authority since Jews knew their OT and would have recognized Isaiah's passage about Eliakim:

Isaiah 22, verse 20 "In that day I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. 21 I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. 23 I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will be a seat [a] of honor for the house of his father.

It's really quite wonderfully fascinating. The one receiving the keys is a "father" standing in for HIS father. This is what "pope" means: father. Not king.

Now, the thing is that Catholics don't really play the "prove this from scripture" game. Because it's all one. Scripture/Tradition/the Ancient Faith just all confirm each other and harmonize together as a coherent whole, and it's only for your sake, Jennie, that we pick apart the verses. We're trying to speak your language so we can share. Why - because of the world's ills that Leo refers to. We as Christians cannot afford to be divided. There's too much to do.

John said...

First the passage is clearly about the founding of the Church. Jesus does not go on to say do not forget all the other rock references in scripture. Second, it is Peter's confession that Christ that acknowledges is revealed by the Father. Third, Jesus says I give YOU the keys. He does not in this Church founding episode say and by the way I will give the keys to everyone.

Jennie said...

I posted the pro-life websites purposely because Satan is attacking life. The abortion industry is evil and many of these sites are all about abortion on demand. Satan is working in many areas and corrupting people as he did when Terri Schiavo was murdered by judicial activism. Make no mistake that Satan controlled everyone involved in the evil deed and our nation stood by and did nothing to stop it. This was despite millions of prayers, so Satan clearly has been given much power in this generation.

Leo,
thanks for posting the web sites; I have looked at them all a little. I admire people who have dedicated their lives to the cause of protecting those who are defenseless and can't speak for themselves.
The Terri Schiavo case was a terrible time for our country. I and my husband prayed and watched continually, hoping that Terri would be spared and could go live with her parents. It was so heart-breaking to see what happened there. It's awful to feel so powerless to help someone. I know that God is in control, and justice will be done in time.

Leo said...

Jennie,

Reading your response about Terri Schiavo, I am convinced that you are aligned with us in oh so many ways. If I may digress a little, I was deeply involved in that situation and the way Satan worked is chilling and a reminder why we should work together as Christine said.

You may all know this but here are just a few of the deeper details.

1.There is evidence that her injuries were inflicted by her husband in the first place. She had numerous bruises when admitted and a number of old injuries.

2.She was in therapy and was able to sit up, respond, eat jello and was improving daily.

3. When her husband got the settlement, he stopped all treatment, locked her in a dark nursing home room and forbid any stimulation at all, as well as visitors.

4. Twice she went into insulin shock, and each time was immediately after her husband visited her. The nurses coincidentally found an empty insulin ampule in the trash each time.

5. She was never in danger of death and simply needed food and water to live.

6. The nurses often found numerous unexplained injuries to her body, related to her husband's visits.

7. Her husband had three children from another woman while Terri was in the home.

8. The judge and sheriff both belonged to the Hemlock Society and were part owners of the nursing facility.

9. The archbishop was silent but was exposed with homosexual activity.

10. All Terri's parents wanted was to get her home and her husband was allowed to keep all of the money.

I believe that we are called to work together to correct such injustices. Sorry for digressing, but this incident just broke my heart. You may remember that JPII was also on a feeding tube around the same time to send a message of the value of human life.

Leo said...

Jennie,

When you speak of the spiritual remnant, the world is basically divided into two camps...the Canaanites and the Sethites from a spiritual standpoint. Regardless of religion or race, one can see that some are aligned with evil in their hearts and some with good.

This is why Peter said, "I have come to realize that everyone who fears God and acts uprightly is pleasing to Him."

I think you know by now that John, Christine, Elena and I are of the same spiritual ilk and that we are not 100% evil and deceived.

You can tell by the websites and I can give you plenty of others to see the good the Church does throughout the world to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, house the homeless, take care of widows, etc.

If the Church were not as large as she was, the resources would not be there. By being faithful contributing Catholics, we can raise our families while participating in the mission of the Gospel.

The Sacraments were given to us as a gift, as is the guidance on Faith and morals. You can argue about what we believe, but we can each tell you that everything we hold to as Catholics serves only to lead us into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

We are not asking you to pray to Mary or any of the Saints. We can only tell you that they bring us closer to Jesus, who is our life and our hope and our salvation.

Please at least consider the thought that the time you spend attacking the Church could perhaps be more wisely used to work with us to establish the kingdom of God on earth. If the Church were the evil you portray it to be, I can assure you that we would not be in it, and I feel confident speaking for my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Vivat Jesus!

Leo said...

Christine,

I just read your post about your husband and will pray for him as well...oh, yes, for you too...

Just curious, which Catholic high school do you work/teach at? Three of our children teach in Catholic schools as well.

Jennie, hope you don't mind the momentary diversion...

Christine said...

Thanks for the prayers and kind comments. My husband is still in bad shape.

I work at Academy of Holy Angels in the Twin Cities, MN area.

John said...

A better Catholic response than any of mine regarding Peter:

http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0291.htm

Jennie said...

I'm reading all that all of you have said, and there is alot to respond to; so, since I have lots going on, I'll have to respond as I can. I don't want to say anything hastily, without taking time to think, read, and pray. Just so you all know I'm not ignoring you if I don't get to it today.

Christine said...

Jennie - I think you might like this blog of an English homeschooling mother with an interesting conversion story.

http://mybattlementsofrubies.blogspot.com

Jennie said...

Christine,
I've interacted with Clare from my battlements of rubies blog before, I think on Elena's blog. I don't remember if she's been on mine; if so it's been a while. I just read her 3 posts about her conversion story. I've actually read quite a few conversion stories because I'm very curious about what makes people convert one way or another.
One thing I think I've been learning is, while I don't agree with many specific Catholic doctrines and practices, that God deals with people where they are and in different ways. Since I have come to recognize that the Baptists and other protestants don't have everything right either, I am seeing that God can lead us to Himself in any church where He is worshiped. Like in Revelation 2 and 3 where He speaks to the different churches about their strengths and sins, and expects them to obey Him and repent of those things: the Baptists have things to repent of, and the Lutherans, and the Episcopals, and the Catholics. When we think we have it all together is when we are most likely to fall. There certainly are things that keep us apart, and there are things on both sides that hinder the gospel message to others.
I believe those who are redeemed and trust in Christ from any denomination are brothers and sisters, but I will never be able to accept that the papacy is right, or statues and prayer to Mary and saints, or some of the explanations of salvation. I believe it's between each person and God as to what they do, and how and when He shows them things that they need to deal with. I believe we can learn from each other, and give correction in love if needed, without necessarily having to make the other into our own image. As long as God is making us into His image.

Christine said...

Ok Jennie, sounds better. "Never" is a long time though . . . :)

Maybe someday you'll be frustrated by how individuals can all claim to teach from the Holy Spirit's inspiration - and yet teach things that contradict each other, and about matters that MATTER!

Peace to you, and I'm all for learning from each other in how we live our faith ever more lovingly. Your ladies' bible study sound nice, and I hope it is a support to all of you.

Maybe you could post sometime about something good that Catholics do or believe or say, that Evangelicals could embrace without hesitation. There are many such, and vice versa.

Leo said...

Just a sample daily teaching from our Cardinal in Chicago:

In the dog days of August, hotter this year than in recent years, reports compare the temperature at the airports and at the lakefront with reports from other parts of the country. When the temperature outside reaches uncomfortable heights, we receive advice on how to stay cool inside. Extreme heat is especially hard on babies and older people and the sick, and fans and air conditioners are not luxuries but necessities on some days. Staying inside keeps one physically safe.

The parables of the Kingdom of God told by Our Lord sometimes speak of a feast, with guests safely inside and others, who were invited but didn’t show up on time, on the outside. The difference between those on the inside and those left out is discipleship and the eager, attentive love that is its hallmark.

The Lord loves everyone and died so that all would be saved and live in his Kingdom forever. But not everyone loves him in such a way that their eternal salvation is assured. Jesus respects our freedom and doesn’t save us without our cooperation. Who is in and who is out we leave to the Providence of a God who loves us and desires that we spend eternity with him; but in the meantime, in our time, we also watch, alert to the signs of his love and grace, the signs of his presence in our times. Watching for the Lord each day in order to do his will is like following the temperature reports so that we know how to live safely.

Francis Cardinal George, OMI

Christine said...

Thanks. Cardinal George is someone I admire.

Leo said...

John,

By the way, I sent you a number of suggestions for your search...sorry Jennie, I just want to make sure he received it.

Jennie said...

I won't be commenting much today. Please pray for the Bergmann family in our homeschool co-op. Mike Bergmann, the dad, was killed last night, leaving his wife Alisa, son Mills, and two older daughters. It was of course a great shock, but Mike is a believer and we know he is with the Lord now.

Christine said...

Oh no! So sorry about your friend. Praying . . .

Jennie said...

Thanks Christine, for praying. I don't know many details. Mike Bergmann, along with his wife Alisa, was the bookkeeper for our homeschool co-op. He was on their roof last night and fell off, but I don't know why he was up there. I believe he died when he fell, or soon after. The family is having visiting hours at their home tomorrow evening, and the funeral will be Saturday morning.

Jennie said...

John,
I haven't finished reading the Peter article yet. I'll comment or post on it as soon as I can finish it.

Leo said...

They are in my prayers...

Jennie said...

Thanks Leo, I appreciate that.

Jean Jeanniton said...

Good news, Jennie! I have discovered that Christine is aiding and abetting the vatikkkan 2 conciliarist lobby that calls itself the Roman Catholic Church! I have discovered that Christian has deliberately dissembled and innovated in her own professed faith of being a catholic! The following traditionalist Catholic websites exposes her flatteries and meretricious dissimulations: http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/m013rpProtestantsChristians.html! Read it for yourself and you will see that the "roman kkkatholic kkkatechism" Christine appeals to contains exactly the same "heresies" that the website I sent you condemns as contrary to Roman Catholic Dogma of Pope Pius IX!!