“I ain’t a bum. I’m a human being.”
April 25, 2013
April 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm
As far as the homeless man in the clip is concerned, does he know about private or public agencies that can help him get "cleaned up" and made presentable for interviews? Do they know about him? Somebody in Chicago needs to make the connection. This man doesn't have to be homeless.
April 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm
Joseph, you need your own blog. I can see what you are against, but I can't see what you are for.
@ Joe. Trolololololololol. Way to take a post about the humanity of the poor and turn it into an angry rant.
April 26, 2013 at 8:22 pm
You know what's fascinating? All of you respond to legitimate criticism of the Catholic Church with personal criticism of me. I assure you that if I had never been born, the church would act no differently than I described; it has done so for centuries.
Wake up, people! Your church membership will not save you. Only Jesus Christ can. Time is short. Fight for Jesus — and against your church authorities — or risk divine judgement.
April 27, 2013 at 1:19 am
Piece of advice: if you're going to attack the spiritual authority of the Catholic Church you should avoid relying on the visions of 19th century popes. It sounds less like "legitimate criticism" and more like insane hypocrisy.
April 27, 2013 at 2:21 am
Joseph, I agree with gothmog. I am very curious why when you are very skeptical about many other things you take that supposed vision of Pope Leo the thirteenth seriously and believe those really are Jesus' words?
People have attempted to trace that story with no luck. It seems fair to assume it's a pious fabrication. This wikipedia link is the best I can do at the moment, although the first deconstruction of the pious fable that I read was from a more mainstream source than wikipedia – wish I could remember where. This will give you the idea, though: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_to_Saint_Michael Scroll to "speculation about the origin of the prayers."
The best attested evidence we have for words spoken by Jesus are those recorded by those who knew Him while He was on earth – Sacred Scripture. If you have found something in Scripture that you think indicates the Catholic Church is not the Church founded by Christ, well, while I would disagree with the conclusion but would at least agree that you were starting on the right basis.
But to use a vision other people claim a Pope had (that the Pope himself did not claim to have had). Well. That's just not a real strong basis for drawing conclusions against the Church's divine origins.
April 27, 2013 at 8:08 pm
Well, if it's a pious fabrication, then why was the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel ever accepted? Now, if the pope was hallucinating and his subordinates felt the need to cover for him, I can understand that. But that's the only reasonable counter-explanation.
BTW, my criticism isn't based solely on one pope's vision. It's based on a lot of more substantial factors that I've mentioned earlier and that nobody can deny.
Speaking of denying…
Denial isn't just a river in Egypt. It's also a river that runs right through Rome… and has a lot of Catholic bloggers drinking out of it.
April 27, 2013 at 8:10 pm
BTW, let's just assume for the sake of discussion that Jesus did found the Catholic Church. Do any of you seriously believe that He would be pleased with the goings-on of the last few centuries, especially at the top?
April 27, 2013 at 8:25 pm
Let me put it another way. Did you know that God Himself "founded" the Israelite nation through Abraham and made a covenant with it through Moses, one that He said He would never abandon? Did you know that the Israelites flirted with (if not embrace outright, at times) idolatry for centuries?
How do you think God reacted? He allowed first the Assyrians, then the Babylonians, to conquer the Northern (Israel) and Southern (Judah) kingdoms, respectively, and send their residents into exile. Oh, by the way, the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple.
When the religious authorities of Jesus' day rejected Him in favor of their own political power and theological ideas, how do you think God reacted? See the above paragraph, only with the Romans in 70 A.D. playing the part of the Babylonians.
How much different do you think the Catholic hierarchy is from the first-century Pharisees? Do you think that Wuerl, Gumbleton, Mahony, Law, Weakland, Dolan et al are any different than Caiaphas and his lot?
God is not mocked, people. Your ostensibly privileged position as Catholics means nothing to Him. Rome is ripe for divine judgment; the blood of those sexually molested by priests over the centuries cries out for it. So are (metaphorically speaking) Wittenberg, Canterbury, Geneva, Moscow and Colorado Springs ripe.
Time is short, people. Do not fall into the traps of bad theology, disregard of Christ's sacrifice and intellectual fashion that so many Catholics, mainline Protestants and Orthodox have fallen into.
April 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm
This is too much fun.
So, when Christ said that he would leave the Holy Spirit to guide and protect his Church I suppose what he really meant was that in roughly 1,500 years he would send the Holy Spirit to lead a group of dissident religious factions who largely define themselves as being separate from the institution which was officially founded in 325 AD and could draw direct lineage back to the earliest Christians? Maybe the Donatists had it right all along? Or maybe the Holy Spirit was just waiting for you to preach the Truth?
Since your primary issue with the Church appears to revolve around the clerical abuses which have plagued the Church for centuries I will address this issue. Unfortunately, I have some bad news: God allows people to sin…even priests. The Church is an institution administered by fallible humans, and in 2,000 years of history there have been horrible tragedies as well as great triumphs. We can either choose to accept this fact and do our best to overcome the evil of a fallen world or we can…become you? I would also point out that St. Peter Damian didn't run away from the the Church. Rather, he spent his life fighting to reform the Catholic hierarchy in the name of Christ. He probably wouldn't be too pleased with the modern Church, but I doubt he would support abandoning and openly attacking it.
And I feel silly being forced to point this out but…even if Rome were struck by Divine Judgement it would not necessarily negate the original contract between Christ and his followers. The Hebrews were named as God's chosen people, and in spite of their many failures and punishments God did not abandon them.
It must be very frustrating when people don't appreciate your "legitimate" and "undeniable" arguments. You must feel a little like Noah…or that crazy guy with the doomsday sign by the highway.
April 29, 2013 at 4:04 am
Gothmog, so what that "God allows people to sin"? God created people in His image, which includes free will. But that certainly doesn't mean God isn't distressed or angered by people who claim authority in His name, yet misuse that authority to feather their own nests and refuse to look at particularly grotesque sin among their own leaders.
Read Ezekiel 34. Read 1 Samuel 2:12-36. They'll show you what God thinks of such "false shepherds."
God demands righteousness, gothmog. Your blase attitude reflects the attitude of all-too-many Catholics toward pastoral malfeasance.
The clerical sex-abuse crisis — which, as I pointed out is at least a millenium old — reflect a far more pervasive evil than solely the sex abuse. It demonstrates that the Catholic Church is not a fundamentally moral institution. Catholicism (especially in the leadership cadre) is not about morality; it's about power, pride of membership and blind obedience to superiors who spout a bunch of esoteric nonsense that might or might not reflect divine revelation.
That's why I left, not solely because of the sex-abuse crisis. Besides, fighting from within is impossible because many (if not most) Catholics — such as you, for example, gothmog — refuse even to admit that the problem exists, let alone confront it.
Of course, other churches have such problems but
Catholicism claims to be the "One True Church" that proclaims "the fullness of the Gospel." Well, how can make such claims when it can't even get basic morality right?
Judgement falls first on the House of God. St. Peter wrote that and quoted Isaiah in doing so. The Catholic Church can't have it both ways. It can't claim to be the "One True Church" and act as if it's immune from divine judgement for its theological and pastoral malfeasance.
You must feel a little like Noah…
Well, gothmog, Noah was right, wasn't he?
April 29, 2013 at 4:42 am
Regarding the pope's vision, visions are for the benefit of the visionaries. Why do you think that the pope was allowed to see or hear this? Especially if "The Catholic Church is nothing but a religious Mafia operated by and for the bishops and their clericalist sycophants." It seems to me most likely that this entire vision was for the benefit of the pope and the Church, to warn us about difficult times. The meaning of ALL divine revelation must be discerned in light of previous divine revelation. Christ has said that his Church would not be destroyed. Therefore She will not be.
You also say, "it long ago sacrificed its spiritual patrimony on the altar of wealth, power, prestige, secular influence, monarchistic trappings and institutional arrogance." OK, so at what point, exactly, did it become a danger to a person's salvation to be a member of the Catholic Church?
You seem to take that pope's vision quite seriously. If I were you, I would consider carefully that in the context of that vision you are on the side of the Devil, attempting to destroy the Catholic Church.
April 29, 2013 at 7:04 pm
"the 18,000 Catholic parishes spent an average of $200,000 on the needy every year beyond what they contribute to [Catholic Charities]
And then there is Catholic Charities:
With Catholic Charities:
All told, this would equal about $30 billion. So how does that slice compare to the entire pie?
National Center for Charitable Statistics researchers tallied up expenditures by nonprofits in the broad category of "human services," which includes nutrition, employment assistance, legal aid, housing, disaster relief and youth development. In 2010, the most recent year available, they came up with total expenditures of $168 billion in that category.
So by our estimate, Catholic-affiliated charity amounts to 17 percent of the funds spent by nonprofits on social service"
And the Catholic church has about 20% of all the hospitals in Africa.
April 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm
@Joe. You make my day. For someone who claims that others misunderstand them you're certainly quick to suggest that I don't care about the clerical abuses. I do. I converted to the Catholic Church while the scandal was in the midst of breaking years ago, and I had to answer to my entire family while they asked me "why" and pointed at the news. The clerics responsible for this tragedy and all such tragedy will be held accountable before God, and His condemnation will fall more heavily upon them than anything I could ever do or say. I've come to terms with that. It's a shame that you couldn't.
And Noah WAS right. Sorry that the sarcasm didn't translate.
April 29, 2013 at 7:46 pm
….visions are for the benefit of the visionaries. Why do you think that the pope was allowed to see or hear this? Especially if "The Catholic Church is nothing but a religious Mafia operated by and for the bishops and their clericalist sycophants." It seems to me most likely that this entire vision was for the benefit of the pope and the Church, to warn us about difficult times. The meaning of ALL divine revelation must be discerned in light of previous divine revelation. Christ has said that his Church would not be destroyed. Therefore She will not be.
Well, John, if what you say is true, then why hasn't the hierarchy repented of its institutional arrogance, monarchist trappings and obsession with power and wealth? The behavior of bishops when confronted with sexual sin by their priests shows that they haven't. Not until their financial holdings were threatened did they even try to do something!
As far as discerning revelation in the context of previous revelation…well, as I suggested to gothmog, read Ezekiel 34 and 1 Samuel 2: 12-36, when Catholicism didn't exist. Then tell me how the behavior of bishops and popes over the centuries is any different.
While you're at it, try to explain to me how John Paul II's arbitrary, revisionist, abolitionist position on capital punishment for murder fits your paradigm concerning revelation, considering that it contradicts teaching from such notables as Thomas Aquinas and Augustine, let alone Genesis 9:5-6.
You're right in saying that "God's Church will not be destroyed." Who says that Catholicism is "God's Church"? Just because of the self-serving way that church interprets Matthew 16: 18-19…which, btw, is not the only interpretation?
OK, so at what point, exactly, did it become a danger to a person's salvation to be a member of the Catholic Church?
Why don't you start with an Internet search on the term "papal pornocracy," then get back to me.
I would consider carefully that in the context of that vision you are on the side of the Devil, attempting to destroy the Catholic Church.
John, I suggest you start reading anything by Malachi Martin, a witness to Vatican II and a distinguished scholar. Martin effectively states that Satan already is in the Church! Besides, even if Martin is wrong, the Catholic Church has effectively destroyed itself.
Anonymous, you mention Catholic Charities, which once has a solid adoption service. Because of the church's stance against same-sex marriage, CC had to fold its adoption service if it wanted to continue receiving Federal money, since it would not grant adoptions to homosexual couples. The solution is simple: Catholic Charities should refuse Federal money! That way, it can maintain its adoption service without compromise.
But Catholic Charities' continued acceptance of Federal money, and the bishops' lack of insistence that the group refuse to do so, show what the leadership's priorities really are.
April 29, 2013 at 7:50 pm
One final thing, John: Yahweh told Abraham that He would bless those who blessed him and his descendants, and He would curse those who cursed his descendants. Well, for centuries, anti-Semitism pervaded Holy Mother Church. It also pervaded Germany, Russia, Spain and the Islamic world, for starters.
Tell me if you can, John, how the latter four entities have experienced history. Now tell me why Yahweh should not consider Holy Mother Church in the same boat? Are not the problems Catholicism is experiencing today a possible divine judgment for how it treated Jews in the past?
April 30, 2013 at 1:27 am
The clerics responsible for this tragedy and all such tragedy will be held accountable before God, and His condemnation will fall more heavily upon them than anything I could ever do or say.
True, gothmog, but since when does divine condemnation relieve humanity of fighting for the innocent, especially when God's name is dragged through the mud by people who claim authority in that name?
It's a good thing that people like Fr. Tom Doyle and Stephen Brady (the president of the now-defunct Roman Catholic Faithful — as differentiated from Voice Of The Faithful) didn't take the passive approach you took.
April 30, 2013 at 2:58 am
Pfffft. You seem to think I am far more influential than I actually am. Or maybe I should have gone out and killed one of these priests to prove…something. My moral superiority? What exactly did you do "for the innocent?" Running away from the problem isn't an answer. Anyone can run away from the problem. It solves nothing, but by all means wrap yourself in this cloak of self-righteous indignation and accuse others of mocking or otherwise ignoring God.
April 30, 2013 at 10:17 pm
gothmog, here's your answer (I'm a free-lance writer):
The pen is mightier than the sword. Just ask Luther…. 😉
May 1, 2013 at 7:50 am
Besides, gothmog, if you doubt my original thesis that the Catholic Church is effectively apostate, then read the post and the comments from another thread in this very blog:
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