Anti-Catholicism: A Phony Issue

The idea that anti-Catholicism is a significant force in American life today is a complete canard, perpetrated by theologically and … Continued

The idea that anti-Catholicism is a significant force in American life today is a complete canard, perpetrated by theologically and politically right-wing Roman Catholics–a minority among the Catholic laity–and aimed at anyone who stands up to the Church’s continuing attempts to impose its values on all Americans.

The people who scream “anti-Catholicism” at every opportunity use the same tactics as
right-wing Jews who charge that any criticism of Israeli policies is anti-Semitic. And just as the Jewish Right attacks liberal Jews, the Catholic Right attacks liberal Catholics as well as liberal non-Catholics.

The major organization promoting the falsehood that there is significant discrimination against Catholics is the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, whose president, William Donohue, has conned the news media into treating him as a “spokesman” for all American Catholics.

One of the biggest blind spots in much of the press’s coverage of religion is that it tends to treat groups like “Catholics” and “evangelicals” as if their members marched in lockstep. In fact, there are liberal Catholics and conservative Catholics, just as there are liberal Protestant evangelicals and conservative fundamentalist evangelicals. Liberal Catholics have much more in common with liberal Protestants than they do with the kind of Catholics whom Donohue’s organization claims to represent.

The majority of American Catholics, as demonstrated in repeated public opinion polls, reject the league’s arch-conservative views on such matters as the separation of church and state (the league wants as much religious intrusion into government as possible); abortion rights; and stem cell research.

Last month, Frances Kissling, president of Catholics for a Free Choice, announced her resignation after 25 years as head of the organization. Here is a portion of the press release, charmingly titled “Good Riddance to Frances Kissling,” issued by Donohue’s mean-spirited Catholic soldiers:

“Ex-Catholics for Abortion would be a more accurate name for Kissling’s anti-Catholic front group, but we won’t quibble now that she is quitting. For a quarter century, Kissling has misrepresented herself to the public, pretending to be the head of a bona-fide Catholic organization. Twice condemned as a fraud by the Catholic bishops’ conference, Kissling would have found another job long ago had it not been for her friends in the establishment. The Ford Foundation, the Warren Buffet Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Packard Foundation, the Playboy Foundation–these are just some of Kissling’s donors…I hope she takes her tapestries of Tibetan Buddhist deities with her when she exits her office, as well as any New Age paraphernalia she may have acquired over the years…”

What really upsets the Catholic Right is not discrimination but disagreement.

Right-wing Catholic leaders would like to turn the clock back to the days when most American Catholics let their priests and bishops do their thinking for them. When I was attending parochial schools in the 1950s, priests were treated like gods by the laity.Those were the good old days (for priests who enjoyed being treated as deities). Those were the bad old days for Catholics who, in spite of the relentless propaganda to which they had been subjected, insisted on thinking for themselves.

Today, a majority of lay American Catholics have turned a deaf ear to a number of particularly benighted bishops who have attacked prominent Catholic politicians solely because they support freedom of reproductive choice and embryonic stem cell research.

There is indeed a long and ugly history of Protestant anti-Catholicism in the United States, dating from the dawn of the republic. Yet even at a time when Catholics still encountered significant social discrimination, the Church was extraordinarily effective at writing its social and sexual agenda into law through state statutes that obstructed access to contraceptives and contraceptive information. These laws were only struck down in the early 1960s.

But the church has still not given up trying to force its version of morality on other Americans. In alliance with right-wing Protestant fundamentalists, the Catholic Church supports such hospital practices as denying rape victims information about the morning-after pill. It is one thing to say that medical practicioners should not be required to provide treatment that violates their religious beliefs; it is quite another to say that they should not be obliged to provide referrals for patients with different religious beliefs–and still be supported by taxpayer dollars from Medicaid and Medicare.

Indeed, one of the most extraordinary political developments of the past thirty-five years, in view of the history of American Protestant anti-Catholicism, is the alliance between Protestant fundamentalists and the American Catholic Church. This alliance centers around the abortion
issue, but it also extends to many other “values” issues.

Let’s look at the facts. Five of the nine Supreme Court justices are now Roman Catholics. (How did that happen if there is so much “discrimination” against Catholics?) One Catholic justice, Anthony Kennedy, has been criticized by the Catholic Right because he has upheld various laws opposed by the Church (including Oregon’s physician-assisted dying law).

The other four Catholic justices–Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito–are extremely conservative. One of them, Antonin Scalia, has already said that if there is a conflict between church doctrine and American law, the Catholic office-holder should resign. Yet Roberts and Alito were basically given a pass during their confirmation hearings on the issue of potential conflict between their interpretation of their faith and the Constitution. They were given a pass because politicians, too, have been intimidated by the idea that to raise a question about conflict of loyalty is to be “anti-Catholic.”

President Bush (or, more likely, his advisers) knew what he was doing when he chose politically conservative Catholics rather than politically conservative Protestants for the Supreme Court. The Bush White House understood quite well that senatorial questioners would be mindful throughout the proceedings of accusations of “anti-Catholicism” waiting in the wings. If Bush had appointed a right-wing Baptist, he or she would have faced much stiffer questioning than Roberts and Alito did.

The Roman Catholic Church is unique because it is the only religious institution to claim that its leader, the pope, is infallible in matters of faith and morals and that loyal Catholics are
duty-bound to assent to the papal judgment. John F. Kennedy understood this issue very well, and that is why he declared unequivocally, “I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.” Of course, Kennedy’s position on the separation of church and state would undoubtedly make him a bad Catholic in the eyes of Donohue and his ilk.

No one can look at the immense social, economic, and political influence of American-born Catholics today and seriously think that anti-Catholicism is a real impediment to their progress. Heard anyone call Catholics “papists” lately? What about the pejorative “mackerel snapper” (a reference to the former Catholic prohibition against eating meat on Friday), once commonly used to denigrate Irish Catholics?

Most Americans under 40 don’t even know what these terms mean, because the widespread prejudice that gave rise to such ethnic/religious pejoratives has gone the way of of parents who disown children for marrying outside their faith.

Do some people make fun of certain Catholic beliefs and say things that the Church would find offensive? Of course. People also make fun of the Protestant fundamentalist belief that the earth was created in seven days. Depending on your point of view, these jokes reflect prejudice, skepticism about religious belief in general, or bad taste. What they do not constitute is discrimination.

Discrimination is denying someone a job, an education, or the right to live in a particular neighborhood simply because of his or her religion. Discrimination is refusing to vote for someone solely because of religion–and, I should add, irreligion. An overwhelming majority of Americans say that they would never vote for an atheist. If Americans felt that way about Catholics, those who charge “anti-Catholicism” would have a case. Their case is that they don’t want anyone to say anything critical of their religion.

The accusation of anti-Catholic discrimination, like the labeling of all critics of Israel as
anti-Semitic, is a cover for what is essentially a dispute between conservatives and liberals (both within and outside the Catholic Church). I wouldn’t vote for a Catholic like Donohue, but then I wouldn’t vote for an atheist, a Jew, a Muslim, a Protestant or (what was it?) a believer in “Tibetan Buddhist deities” who shared Donohue’s views.

A Catholic wit, looking back on the certitudes of American Catholicism in the fifties, once remarked that “it was the only THE church.” Not any more. And never, thankfully, in America. Catholicism, like every other religion, enjoys no immunity from secular criticism in our nation.

Susan Jacoby
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  • halozcel

    Catholicism,Catholic church founded by St.Peter who was the fisherman and fisher of men.Vatican Palace,Basilica of St Peter is believed to be built on the burial place of St Peter.It is unfortunately not correct.Tomb of St Peter is in a cave in Turkey.Pope is against abortion,evolution and preservative(he is right because he doesnt have sex)And over one billion people believe in Catholicism.Long Live Catholic Church.

  • Anonymous

    Peter did not start the Catholic Church. The term “Catholic Church” wasn’t even used until around the year 110, and referred to a small group of Roman Christians who followed specific beliefs and interpretations.

  • Eagleburger!

    Where is Donna Freitas?!?I needs my Donna fix……pronto!

  • victoria

    well- susans jewishnss was superimposed on her at a later age- she was raised in the catholic faith as a catholic in their school systems- so she made a choice to identify herself as a jewish person- her youth was spent as a catholic- the point is still the same- just as i wouldnt presume to speak for the prejudice youve experienced- i think its presumptious of susan to claim to speak for catholics and their level of discriminatory experiences- it belittles and demeans someones suffering to simply deny that it exists and i just reasonably pointed out that she wasnt privy to discrimination precisely BECAUSE she wasnt walking in catholic shoes! how is that discriminatory? she herself has stated that she left the church young so we can assume she hasnt presented herself in society as a catholic person to be biased against one way or the other! and even if she DID present herself in society as a JEWISH woman- which she self acknowledges she hasnt- it STILL wouldnt give her any insight into how CATHOLICS have been discriminated against! wow- what a massive over reaction- im not a fan of jacobys- she speaks often of things she knows not- personally i just find it hypocritical to speak for other people in a public forum- ex- irish catholic novitiate

  • Ambassador for Christ

    Hi Candide,You said, “I join Voltaire in saying and writing: Ecrassons l’infame. (Let us crush that infamous thing –namely Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular).”I say this in a jokingly manner, but may I offer another of Voltaire’s quotes: “One hundred years from my day there will not be a Bible in the earth except one that is looked upon by an antiquarian curiosity seeker.” The ironic part is, one-hundred years later, the Geneva Bible Society had purchased Voltaire’s home and was using it as a warehouse with Bibles stacked to the ceiling!

  • Observer

    To extend Ms. Jacoby’s argument,

  • Susan Jacoby

    I really must correct the many misapprehensions about my background and for whom I claim to speak.I speak for no one but myself. I am an atheist who was raised as a Catholic by a Catholic mother and a father who was a Jewish convert to Catholicism. My parents could both be described as “liberal” in their interpretation of Catholicism. My Jewishness was not “superimposed” on me: the straightforward fact is that I am a half-Jew, American-born. Any of you who have read Saul Bellow’s “The Adventures of Augie March” will recognize the allusion. My ideas about history, religion, and the history of religion are the result of an adult lifetime of scholarship and reflection. The fact that I spent eight years in parochial schools in the 1950s does give me a firsthand insight into what everyday Catholicism was like in that era. But this complex personal experience does not give me the right to speak for Catholics, Jews, or, for that matter, atheists. One of the most maddening signs of the dumbing down of American culture is the widespread assumption that people’s ideas are shaped entirely by their personal experience. I also have ideas about racial discrimination in America, and this does not mean that I am “speaking for” either white Americans or black Americans. The responsibility of a writer, on this panel as in any other forum, is to speak the truth as she sees it–to speak it for herself, not for anyone else.

  • Jimmy S. Snuka

    Susan, you are adorable!

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone else find the source question even a touch ironic.After all, “outside the Church there is no salvation.”In any case, my grandfather was the child of Irish-Catholic immigrants, and it is an insult to history to paint the discrimination he went through with the same brush as whatever minimal discrimination a Catholic might encounter in today’s society.Not that anyone has done this, mind you, but I think the point should be made.As Ms. Jacoby pointed out, the MAJORITY of Supreme Court Justices are Catholic. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority in the United States. It his hard to take allegations of serious discrimination against Catholics seriously in light of this fact alone.

  • twstroud

    Perhaps it is best to think of my favorite Catholic heresy: Donatism. According to the Church, one must respect the office rather than the person. If a facist is pope, he must be respected as pope. If a bishop is a child molester, he must be respected as a bishop. An office holder’s office, not his behavior, demand respect. Pay no attention to the fondling behind the curtain. If there is anti-catholic sentiment, it is against the church for such an absurd position – not aganist catholics per se. Just as there is increasing anti-evangelic sentiment as the most rabid leaders emerge with feet of clay. Jesus had 2 commendments: love god and love your neighbor like yourself. In general, I think that we are seeing a widespread negative reaction to so-called Christians who forget these commandments and preach hate and exclusion instead. That reaction does not equate with anti-catholicism.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    B16 continues to show weak leadership which will probably lead to added discrimination against Catholics. A strong leader would have banished Cardinal Law and his fellow “silent” cardinals and bishops to the lockup of rehab centers for the remainder of their stay. A strong leader would delete Limbo and original sin from Catholic theology and thought. A strong leader would ban homosexuals from the priesthood. A strong leader would eliminate the rule of priestly celibacy. A strong leader would permit women to become priests. And a strong leader would admit that the Bible has myths and embellishments and tell us what they are.

  • candide

    To: Ambassador for ChristYes, Voltaire was too optimistic. He could not imagine that people would retain their childish faith for so long. But Europe at least has at last abandoned Christianity. Can America be far from that? I hope not.

  • speed123

    Try and say that anti-semitism is a “phony” issue and you will be strung-up; yet, say the same about discrimination concerning Catholics (in the liberal and secular media) and you are a hero.Jacoby is a hypocrite and a bigot.

  • speed123

    “Catholicism, like every other religion, enjoys no immunity from secular criticism in our nation.”This closing line is almost ironic; there is one group who IS immune from secular criticism and it is definitely NOT the Catholics.Can you guess who it is? Here is a hint: the majority of the neo-cons subscribe to this faith.

  • Ba’al

    Ms. Jacoby makes a bunch of pretty good points. Institutions are made of people, but they are not people. Very large collections of people exhibit unpredictable emergent properties, some good, some bad. It seems to me that some of the harshest critics of the Catholic church are American Catholics! I have almost never met one who marches in lock step with all of the Vatican’s pronouncements. Well, perhaps except for Mr. Donahue, who is a parody of himself.

  • Mavaddat

    Speed,Obviously, if Susan believed that Catholics no longer experience significant amounts of discrimination in America, then obviously she will think it’s a not a significant issue. There is no hypocrisy here.

  • Mavaddat

    Speed,Obviously, if Susan believed that Catholics no longer experience significant amounts of discrimination in America, then obviously she will think it’s a not a significant issue. There is no hypocrisy here.

  • Mavaddat

    Speed,Obviously, if Susan believed that Catholics no longer experience significant amounts of discrimination in America, then obviously she will think it’s a not a significant issue. There is no hypocrisy here.

  • Mavaddat

    Speed,Obviously, if Susan believed that Catholics no longer experience significant amounts of discrimination in America, then obviously she will think it’s a not a significant issue. There is no hypocrisy here.

  • Brambleton

    Candide,I’ve noted about 5-6 posts from you on two of these threads regarding anti-Catholicism and not a single one has been on point. Do you not have anything constructive to offer? Or, perhaps, your intimacy with this subject matter is too limited to offer anything more than childish rants. Sad, really.TWStroud,As an aside, and not to be nit-picky, but Jesus did not have just 2 commandments. He considered the two you mentioned to be the greatest of His commandments. I get your point nonetheless and find some truth to it.Speed,I’m interested to know what faith the majority of neo-cons (whatever that means) subscribe to.

  • Jihadist

    Concerned,I humbly propose that you start up you own religion and seek special exemptions for the state. Easy to do so in the US if you call your new church a religious entity and what is stopping you? You can ban homosexuals from your new church’s priesthood and have married and female clergy as you wish. Of course, the Bible of your new church, shall we call it “The Reformed Catholic Church” or the “Post Modernist Papists” will one that is Crossanized and have no myths and embellishments that you so dislike. If subscribing to religion is apparently difficult, better to be an atheist rather than a tortured believer. Then one truly be the Christian Now Liberated, and from homophobia too. I respect atheists more than purported believers who cannot reconcile their faiths with anything, is unable to apply their faith and beliefs in a positive and constructive way, and then to blame organized religion or other religions for what is personally unable to be addressed, reconciled and accepted. It comes out as anger, frustration and, dare I say, hatred at the whole world.

  • person unknown

    Ms. Jacoby is spot on. Anti-catholic bias is as much a red herring as the alleged anti-Jewish beliefs of anyone who is critical of Israel. It parallels the anti-Christian bias claimed by the Christian right. Given the present levels of power of these groups, it’s not much of a claim.One of the biggest hurdles JFK had to overocme was the idea that if elected, the Pope would really be the one in charge. Now, the present pope is advocating exactly that. Will I pay attention to the religious beliefs of candidates? You bet. Will I vote for a Catholic – good question.

  • John M.

    I don’t know if Catholics will like this, but here goes:I don’t think someone is Catholic just because they call themselves Catholic. The way the Catholic church has been designed, there is a hierarchy that establishes doctrine and church ‘rules’. Someone who rejects those beliefs and policies is patently not Catholic.I read in the “Catechism of The Roman Catholic Church” (1994, 1997) that the church demands that all Catholics follow ALL of the teachings of the church. That would mean that the church would probably not consider most Catholics to be truly Catholic if they knew what they believed.Oddly, many, many priests are in that category of Catholics who do not believe everything the church teaches.I don’t think catholics will ever be successful telling their leaders how to run the church. I left the Catholic church because I could not embrace their doctrines. I now attend a local church that teaches the Bible, with no extras. The sermons I hear weekly are completely in tune with what I believe. There, I am surrounded by people of like beliefs and faith.I know it’s hard to break from tradition and your upbringing, but I would encourage disenchanted Catholics to leave the church and find one that supports the Truth more consistently. The sad thing is that many Catholics leave the church and stop going to chuch completely. I think that is the REAL reason there are so many atheists now in Europe: there are just not that many alternatives to Catholicism, as we have here in the U.S.So, I guess I am saying that disenfranchised Catholics should not try in vain to change a church that doesn’t want their input. Instead, find another church!I truly hope I have not offended anyone. This is just my personal story, and if it helps someone, that’s good.

  • Mavaddat

    John M., I’m sorry, but there is no such thing as a “real Catholic.” The idea of a “real Catholic” is what spurned the Inquisitions, and it is based on a fallacy of confusing one’s own ideal as the metaphysical category to which others must conform.Although its changes must be measured in geological time, Catholicism is a plastic, mutable religion that has been embracing new values and changing its old ones ever since its inception. The Catholic Church of today has implemented all of the original suggested changes of Martin Luther except for allowing clergy to marry.If someone calls his or her self a Catholic, then goddammit, they are a Catholic.

  • Mavaddat

    John M., I’m sorry, but there is no such thing as a “real Catholic.” The idea of a “real Catholic” is what spurned the Inquisitions, and it is based on a fallacy of confusing one’s own ideal as the metaphysical category to which others must conform.Although its changes must be measured in geological time, Catholicism is a plastic, mutable religion that has been embracing new values and changing its old ones ever since its inception. The Catholic Church of today has implemented all of the original suggested changes of Martin Luther except for allowing clergy to marry.If someone calls his or her self a Catholic, then goddammit, they are a Catholic.

  • Mavaddat

    John M., I’m sorry, but there is no such thing as a “real Catholic.” The idea of a “real Catholic” is what spurned the Inquisitions, and it is based on a fallacy of confusing one’s own ideal as the metaphysical category to which others must conform.Although its changes must be measured in geological time, Catholicism is a plastic, mutable religion that has been embracing new values and changing its old ones ever since its inception. The Catholic Church of today has implemented all of the original suggested changes of Martin Luther except for allowing clergy to marry.If someone calls his or her self a Catholic, then goddammit, they are a Catholic.

  • Mavaddat

    John M., I’m sorry, but there is no such thing as a “real Catholic.” The idea of a “real Catholic” is what spurned the Inquisitions, and it is based on a fallacy of confusing one’s own ideal as the metaphysical category to which others must conform.Although its changes must be measured in geological time, Catholicism is a plastic, mutable religion that has been embracing new values and changing its old ones ever since its inception. The Catholic Church of today has implemented all of the original suggested changes of Martin Luther except for allowing clergy to marry.If someone calls his or her self a Catholic, then goddammit, they are a Catholic.

  • John M.

    No. I don’t think so.You can’t be anything by just calling yourself it. A Catholic is not a Catholic if they don’t believe what their leaders tell them to believe. And, the church DOES tell their ‘faithful’ what to believe.And, I am not saying that the church does not continue to add doctrines. That’s the problem I have with the church. God has not changed; nor has His Word. Why should new doctrines continue to be added?I think I was just being honest by realizing that I was not truly a Catholic, so I had to leave. Maybe that’s just me.

  • candide

    Bill Donohue is a thug: integrist Catholics like him are just one step from total Fascism.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Who thought up this laughable question?Roman Catholics are said to make up 25% of the U.S. population.Five of the nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court are Catholic.No group is less likely to be discriminated against than Catholics.Next time, genius question writers, try Jews, Wiccans, Moslems, and Nonbelievers. Meantime, take a public school course on religion, discrimination, and question writing.

  • James

    Ms. Jacoby said: “has gone the way of of parents who disown children for marrying outside their faith.”It still exists in my corner of the world, at least. My girlfriend actually has been disowned by her Protestant family for wanting to marry me. I almost got disowned by my own Protestant family for converting to Catholicism.I agree largely with John M. says, although as I said, I chose the opposite path and joined the Church out of Protestantism, as opposed to the other way around.

  • James

    Ms. Jacoby said: “has gone the way of of parents who disown children for marrying outside their faith.”It still exists in my corner of the world, at least. My girlfriend actually has been disowned by her Protestant family for wanting to marry me. I almost got disowned by my own Protestant family for converting to Catholicism.I agree largely with John M. says, although as I said, I chose the opposite path and joined the Church out of Protestantism, as opposed to the other way around.

  • James

    Ms. Jacoby said: “has gone the way of of parents who disown children for marrying outside their faith.”It still exists in my corner of the world, at least. My girlfriend actually has been disowned by her Protestant family for wanting to marry me. I almost got disowned by my own Protestant family for converting to Catholicism.I agree largely with John M. says, although as I said, I chose the opposite path and joined the Church out of Protestantism, as opposed to the other way around.

  • James

    Ms. Jacoby said: “has gone the way of of parents who disown children for marrying outside their faith.”It still exists in my corner of the world, at least. My girlfriend actually has been disowned by her Protestant family for wanting to marry me. I almost got disowned by my own Protestant family for converting to Catholicism.I agree largely with John M. says, although as I said, I chose the opposite path and joined the Church out of Protestantism, as opposed to the other way around.

  • Johnson

    Bill Donohue does not deserve to be thought of as a thug. He is merely a clown.Catholic, you have some ‘splaining to do….

  • Thomas Doyle

    Susan Jacoby is 100% on target. I am a priest. Those who scream “anti-Catholicism” whenever the faults, crimes or evils of the Church or Church men are brought into the open are either in deep denial or completely fail to understand that the Catholic Church is not supposed to be a power and money hungry monarchy but a community of believers prompted by love. The official Catholic Church, clergy and professional Catholics have been responsible for way too much hurt, evil and crime. They are accountable just like anyone else. Using the religion as a cover is an insult to authentic Catholicism the center of which is Christ and not the Pope or the Vatican.

  • Ms. Trane

    Thomas Doyle,You sure don’t sound like a priest.

  • candide

    Rightwing “integrist” Catholics began with their opposition to the Enligtenment of the 18th Century and to the French Revolution. They sought for culprits and found Protestants, Liberals, Free Masons and Jews. This gave an idea to the Fascists a century and a half later. Catholicism is the antechamber to Fascism.I join Voltaire in saying and writing: Ecrassons l’infame. (Let us crush that infamous thing –namely Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular).

  • John Conolley

    With all respect to Father Doyle, I strongly believe the Catholic Church is a power structure, and has been since Constantine put the power of the Roman Empire behind it. As evidence, I offer the statement of John M.:”You can’t be anything by just calling yourself it. A Catholic is not a Catholic if they don’t believe what their leaders tell them to believe.”Boiling it down, you can’t be a Catholic unless you believe what you’re told to believe. And John M. believes this. Talk about power. Full disclosure: I came up in the Catholic Church, and I hate the Church with an ice hard hatred. I think they’ve been destroying lives since they started rounding up the Gnostics, and they’re still destroying them to this day. They very severly damaged mine, and if it turns out that we atheists are mistaken and there is a God, then I look forward to holding the Catholic Church accountable before Him. Her. It.

  • Brambleton

    Don’t know if I would call it “discrimination” but there certainly is a sharp divide when it comes to feelings regarding the Catholic church. I’m sure there are a number of issues surrounding this, the greatest of which is the number of cases of child abuse. The Catholic church will need to give a herculean effort to regain the trust of not only its parishoners, but the community at large as well.Given that the Washington Compost’s question is directed specifically at Cathoics, I guess that as a Baptist, I can enjoy a week or so off from the anger, hostility, and illogical/dumbfounded comments that too often make their way onto these threads.

  • victoria

    wow – ms jacoby sure has some issues- they all seem to revolve around donohue- this is a funny piece- she states there is no anti-catholic sentiment- then goes on a long-winded anti-catholic rant. Since her connection to the church was consciously disrupted some 40 years ago (right in step with all the boomers rejecting their personal establishments) id say one somewhat mean spirited article by a right winger isnt exactly the most scathing of indictments- Aside from the very big pedophile scandals of the church ou still have to give credit where it is due- also the social conditions which gave rise to it no longer exist. (Sidelining homosexuals into the priesthood) But still no one can deny alot of incredible good done by the servants of the church- who helps new immigrants in america? not the protestants, jewish people, atheists- its the catholics across board- Also the comment about mackeral snappers was just plain silly- what irish person has been called a “mick” lately? It just wore out in time as vatican II changed the prohibition about eating meat on friday- not because the discrimination disappeared- what loopy made up reasoning is that? also id say shes the last person to ask about what constitutes discrimination-(white middle class jewish women dont have much opportunity to experience it) one never knows if they didnt get a job because of their religion- they dont exactly tell you- there are many subtle forms of discrimination- i wonder how many catholics ms jacoby employs? its incredible someone makes a statement that it doesnt exist then goes on a discriminatory diatribe. This is why i rarely read her posts.

  • Kevin Jones

    “Those were the bad old days for Catholics who, in spite of the relentless propaganda to which they had been subjected, insisted on thinking for themselves.”This is simple cant. Thinking for oneself is impossible, since thought is a communal act. We’re dependent rational animals. Mindless egoism lacks even the minor virtues of mindless obedience.

  • Kevin Jones

    “Those were the bad old days for Catholics who, in spite of the relentless propaganda to which they had been subjected, insisted on thinking for themselves.”This is simple cant. Thinking for oneself is impossible, since thought is a communal act. We’re dependent rational animals. Mindless egoism lacks even the minor virtues of mindless obedience.

  • Kevin Jones

    “Those were the bad old days for Catholics who, in spite of the relentless propaganda to which they had been subjected, insisted on thinking for themselves.”This is simple cant. Thinking for oneself is impossible, since thought is a communal act. We’re dependent rational animals. Mindless egoism lacks even the minor virtues of mindless obedience.

  • Kevin Jones

    “Those were the bad old days for Catholics who, in spite of the relentless propaganda to which they had been subjected, insisted on thinking for themselves.”This is simple cant. Thinking for oneself is impossible, since thought is a communal act. We’re dependent rational animals. Mindless egoism lacks even the minor virtues of mindless obedience.

  • Paganplace

    You know, I’m really not even going to dignify that like it was a rational argument for anything. How about, ‘Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for Justice, cause they’re *so outta here.*Blessed be, man.

  • Josh

    It is ironic. Jacoby says that we cannot pigeon-hole all Catholics, or all Evangelicals, into one hole. That they do not march in step. If this is true, then criticizing one Catholic, or Catholic organization, is not criticizing them all. And, yet, this is the very charge that Victoria makes about Ms. Jacoby!What credit where what credi is due? What are you talking about? You are right, though, there was [and probably still is] a horrendous problem with the Catholic Church’s defense of child rapists. Not to mention how their absolutist stance on family planning, and their political maneuverings on that issue, have only helped remove a roadblock to the spread of AIDS in Africa and elsewhere. Furthermore, pedophiles are in general not homosexuals; they are pedophiles. Someone who likes to diddle little boys [or girls] likes to diddle little boys, not grown men.

  • Josh

    Kevin–do you believe that people are not able to reform their views or their aims in life after reflection, whether by themselves or with others? I believe this is the idea that Jacoby is talking about.

  • D.

    victoria wrote:”also id say shes the last person to ask about what constitutes discrimination-(white middle class jewish women dont have much opportunity to experience it) one never knows if they didnt get a job because of their religion- they dont exactly tell you”Those are extremely discriminatory statements. You have no idea what kind of discrimination still exists for Jews – including Jewish women – unless you’ve lived the life of one. I have had more than my share of discrimination, hatred, and evil aimed at me because of being Jewish. The rest of your prejudiced rant is not even worthy of a reply.

  • Ralph

    TONIO, I don’t know. I perceived that it was American version of RU486, rather than birth control pills that have been legal in the United States for decades. I remember it as being one of several Wal-Mart stories in summer of 2005 or 2004.The pharmacists’ professional objections might not be completely consistent either, but most prescribed products have some defined positive medical benefit to the consumer. Also, the Muslim cab drivers at the Minneapolis airport who refuse service to people carrying any type of alcohol might overlook mouthwash and cough medicine, and they likely overlook people who have recently consumed alcohol on the plane ride in. But their religious objections are respected.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Anonymous,Thanks for your latest post. I don’t want us to argue either, so this post will end my side of our conversation about my post.I’ve once again reread my post that you took exception to. I didn’t mention anybody else’s religion or denigrate it. Bill O’Reilly would classify me as a secular humanist, but I don’t call myself that. I also can’t discern any movement of people like me, and I’m certainly not part of any such group movement, if it exists at all. And I still can’t find the language that you found “bullying.”My post to Papist ended with: “Thanks & best wishes to you.” How often do you read that around here? Bullying?!So I guess I’ll still continue to be baffled by what disturbed you – whatever it was. But then, life is full of baffling occurences.Best wishes.

  • E favorite

    Papist, could you explain the meaning of “traditional religion” “traditional values” and traditional morality.”Thanks

  • Phaedrus

    Papist Writes:”The moral fabric of marriage is the natural coming together in union of man and woman, their complementary natures coming together to create a diverse and complete “one person.” A one flesh union of both masculine and feminine.”While this may be lovely language,(though contradictory, in positing a “coming together” in “diverse” fashion) it is also your personal opinion. There is no legal stricture against your right to conceive of and make official your personal view of marriage. This is altogether proper. What is improper is the attempt to prevent others from making their views of marriage “official.” Neither you, nor your marriage, is harmed in any way if two men, or two women marry one another. Your verbiage is simply an effort to cloak an entirely religious argument in obfuscatory language so as to avoid running headlong into the establishment clause. I have no problem with religiously-inclined people governing their own lives according to their beliefs. But I, and many others, have a rather acute problem when those same believers extend their God-derived prohibitions on those of different orientations. And tarting things up with purposely nebulous prose to argue from a “pseudo-secular” angle for legal cover, is more than a bit transparent.

  • Tom Eure

    Who wouldn’t like the world’s largest financial institution ? Just because they take money from the poor and abuse children doesn’t mean they are all bad.

  • John M.

    John Conolley:I think you may have misundestood me. When I wrote “A Catholic is not a Catholic if they don’t believe what their leaders tell them to believe”, I was referring to written doctrine of the church. This is not my own idea.You wrote:I want to clarify that I don’t believe what the church teaches, and so I left. Why would anyone want to stay in a religion if they do not agree with its doctrines and practices? The idea that people can rally to change doctrines is silly. This is not a committee or a company. It is a religion. The Catholic church choses to run its organization by exerting complete control and telling people what to believe. If you like what they teach, stay. If you don’t, leave.But, is that any different from other religions? If someone reads the Bible and believes it and obeys it, they are a believer in the Bible. If someone reads it and does not believe it, they are not a believer in the Bible.I still don’t believe you can call yourself something and then just become it. I think we sometimes think of Catholicism as an ethnicity. It is not. People CHOOSE to be Catholic. Most are raised with that faith, but a Catholic has to choose to be Catholic. An Atheist who was raised in a Catholic home is not Catholic. Neither is someone who calls themself ‘Catholic’ yet does not follow the church’s teachings.When I realized that I was not really Catholic by the church’s own definition, I left to worship with those who share my biblical beliefs. I recommend it. It has completely changed my life.

  • Mike K.

    Victoria, one can observe discrimination without being part of the group that is discriminated against. I’m not Catholic, nor Jewish, nor African American but I’ve witnessed discrimination against two of those groups. I can’t speak for Susan, but I think that was her point as well.I’ve not witnessed any discriminatin against Catholics. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, only that I haven’t seen it. However, I have seen a number of Catholics *claim* discrimination when they found themselves unable to force their morality upon others. I’ve also seem that claim when they were unable to place their religious symbols on and in public buildings. But, of course, neither of those two things constitute discrimination.

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Papist,I’m sorry to disillusion you but there is no “secular progressive movement”.That’s an invention of Bill O’Reilly’s – just like his phony and nonexistent “War on Christmas”.It’s great that you want to joust in this religious tournament. But, in the interests of reality and fairness, please thrust your lance at a real opponent, not at a phantom straw horseman.Thanks & best wishes to you.

  • Ralph

    It’s always disappointing to see people fail to denounce hate, bigotry, and discrimination when it is directed against those with whom they disagree politically. But it does serve to remind us that things are just politics as usual.She seems to say that denying someone work because of their faith is discrimination, and she cites as an exception the example of public employees not referring patients to places where they can obtain information on products that are antithetical to some. She however forgets about the pharmacists who were subjected to discrimination because their faith prohibited them from dispensing a product. Their professional objection was that the product which is prescribed to end pregnancies did not impact or cure any medical problem. I don’t recall whether reasonable accommodations were made for these employees in the same way that others are permitted to wear madrassas at work or to refuse taxi service to passengers carrying closed containers of alcoholic beverages.

  • Tonio

    Ralph, I had read that the pharmacists’ issue wasn’t with products to end pregnancies, but with products to prevent pregnancies. Is that not correct?

  • Phaedrus

    You and your spouse are solely responsible for whatever your marriage was, is and will be. Those who assume that their particular moral injuctions should govern the world’s behaviors are merely tyrants by proxy.

  • phaedrus

    You have every right to believe this, and to say it, and to live by it. You have no right to demand that anyone else believe, say, and live by it however. If your beliefs were as strong as you say, I do not think that what others do in their private lives would concern you as much as they obviously do.

  • Anonymous

    Norrie,According to many on this forum, this entire thread is comment on a “phantom straw horseman”; don’t pick on Papist just because you don’t agree with him. He was giving his thoughts on the topic; I would suggest you do the same, rather than using up forum space to bash a poster who is simply giving his response to this thread’s discussion. It is a fact that there are many people who believe in some sort of “secular progressive movement”. Just because you say it doesn’t exist doesn’t make it so.People should be able to discuss differences in opinion here without having to put up with verbal attacks; it’s grown-up bullying, and it really has no place here.

  • John Conolley

    Papist:If you look closely at your response, you’ll see you still haven’t told me what a moral fabric is. You’ve told me that it’s used by people like you (“people like you” is usually an insult; are you sure you mean it?) in a connection where the word “fabric” doesn’t seem to make any sense literally or metaphorically. And as a poet, I know from metaphors, bubba.Dig it: a fabric is “a cloth produced especially by knitting, weaving, or felting fabrics.” Metaphorically, it’s “a complex underlying structure.” (Both definitions from The American Heritage Dictionary.)Your statement: “[T]he natural coming together in union of man and woman, their complementary natures coming together to create a diverse and complete ‘one person,'” is not a complex underlying structure. It’s a straightforward definition of marriage (by your lights.) And what makes it moral? (Not saying it isn’t, but I’m looking for a little clarity here.)I think the phrase “moral fabric” is a trick for sneaking in the word “moral” as a way to intimidate people into not answering you. I think your reply is a lot of hand-waving to distract us from noticing “moral fabric” doesn’t mean anything.John M.:That you left the Catholic Church because you don’t agree with their definition of a Catholic shows that you believe it. More, it shows that you let the hierarchy define you. They bullied you out.Listen, most of the Catholics in the world disagree with the hierarchy on important matters, yet permit the hierarchy to define them out of existence. Why don’t Catholics exert the power of numbers to defy the hierarchy? It’s their church at least as much as it is the bishops’. IT’S THEIR CHURCH. What makes a few bishops so special? Why let them decide what constitutes the church?Oh, wait, I know. Because it’s a power structure.

  • Mavaddat

    Anonymous,There are more than one straw men being attacked here. Those who say there is significant Catholic discrimination attack on straw man, those who say there is a secular progressive movement attack a wholly different straw man. Don’t pick on Norrie just because you don’t think his criticism of Papist is valid. We should identify all the straw men in the room.It is a fact at that there are many of us who think that Papist is attacking straw men and phantoms. Just because you think that he might be right, doesn’t make it so.People should be able to scrutinize one another’s ideas without having to be criticized for being critical.

  • Mavaddat

    Anonymous,There are more than one straw men being attacked here. Those who say there is significant Catholic discrimination attack on straw man, those who say there is a secular progressive movement attack a wholly different straw man. Don’t pick on Norrie just because you don’t think his criticism of Papist is valid. We should identify all the straw men in the room.It is a fact at that there are many of us who think that Papist is attacking straw men and phantoms. Just because you think that he might be right, doesn’t make it so.People should be able to scrutinize one another’s ideas without having to be criticized for being critical.

  • Mavaddat

    Anonymous,There are more than one straw men being attacked here. Those who say there is significant Catholic discrimination attack on straw man, those who say there is a secular progressive movement attack a wholly different straw man. Don’t pick on Norrie just because you don’t think his criticism of Papist is valid. We should identify all the straw men in the room.It is a fact at that there are many of us who think that Papist is attacking straw men and phantoms. Just because you think that he might be right, doesn’t make it so.People should be able to scrutinize one another’s ideas without having to be criticized for being critical.

  • Mavaddat

    Anonymous,There are more than one straw men being attacked here. Those who say there is significant Catholic discrimination attack on straw man, those who say there is a secular progressive movement attack a wholly different straw man. Don’t pick on Norrie just because you don’t think his criticism of Papist is valid. We should identify all the straw men in the room.It is a fact at that there are many of us who think that Papist is attacking straw men and phantoms. Just because you think that he might be right, doesn’t make it so.People should be able to scrutinize one another’s ideas without having to be criticized for being critical.

  • Mavaddat

    Papist,History shows us that war and killing are natural states for humans. Does that make it moral? Civilization itself is an unnatural union of humans against nature. One does not find civilization anywhere else in the animal kingdom. Does that make it immoral? Recent anthropology tells us that cannibalism is a natural part of most ancient human tribes. Will you pardon me for eating my neighbour?Homosexuality may be natural or unnatural. The burden is on you to show why an action’s being natural is relevant when considering whether it is right or wrong.Incidentally, this criticism goes for those who say that homosexuality is fine because it is natural or inborn. Nothing follows from this reasoning except a list of facts. Without some presumption of values, no moral judgement is forthcoming from a mere list of facts.

  • Mavaddat

    Papist,History shows us that war and killing are natural states for humans. Does that make it moral? Civilization itself is an unnatural union of humans against nature. One does not find civilization anywhere else in the animal kingdom. Does that make it immoral? Recent anthropology tells us that cannibalism is a natural part of most ancient human tribes. Will you pardon me for eating my neighbour?Homosexuality may be natural or unnatural. The burden is on you to show why an action’s being natural is relevant when considering whether it is right or wrong.Incidentally, this criticism goes for those who say that homosexuality is fine because it is natural or inborn. Nothing follows from this reasoning except a list of facts. Without some presumption of values, no moral judgement is forthcoming from a mere list of facts.

  • Mavaddat

    Papist,History shows us that war and killing are natural states for humans. Does that make it moral? Civilization itself is an unnatural union of humans against nature. One does not find civilization anywhere else in the animal kingdom. Does that make it immoral? Recent anthropology tells us that cannibalism is a natural part of most ancient human tribes. Will you pardon me for eating my neighbour?Homosexuality may be natural or unnatural. The burden is on you to show why an action’s being natural is relevant when considering whether it is right or wrong.Incidentally, this criticism goes for those who say that homosexuality is fine because it is natural or inborn. Nothing follows from this reasoning except a list of facts. Without some presumption of values, no moral judgement is forthcoming from a mere list of facts.

  • Mavaddat

    Papist,History shows us that war and killing are natural states for humans. Does that make it moral? Civilization itself is an unnatural union of humans against nature. One does not find civilization anywhere else in the animal kingdom. Does that make it immoral? Recent anthropology tells us that cannibalism is a natural part of most ancient human tribes. Will you pardon me for eating my neighbour?Homosexuality may be natural or unnatural. The burden is on you to show why an action’s being natural is relevant when considering whether it is right or wrong.Incidentally, this criticism goes for those who say that homosexuality is fine because it is natural or inborn. Nothing follows from this reasoning except a list of facts. Without some presumption of values, no moral judgement is forthcoming from a mere list of facts.

  • Anonymous

    Mavaddat,Scrutiny is one thing; it involves observation and study. One can make observations about someone’s comments without criticizing the poster and his/her beliefs. Maybe you need to pay more attention to your own writing: “I have decided to stop criticizing other people’s ideas and try to describe how religion changes our lives, why I think people join religion, and what religion offers the world.” (from Mavaddat’s website)

  • Norrie Hoyt

    Anonymous,I think that my comment to Papist was a perfectly normal, non-bashing comment for these threads.What I suggested was that there’s no real, organized “secular-progressive” movement, and that the concept was the invention of Bill O’Reilly. Who but Bill and other rabid Foxes use that secular-progressive term?Have you ever heard anyone on the face of the earth say “I’m a secular-progressive” the way people say “I’m a Catholic”?Where is the secular-progressive movement’s headquarters and where are its branches?All I did was suggest that Papist, like Don Quixote, was doing battle with a nonexistent phantom, this time one conjured up by right-wing cable blowhards.Why is saying that “bullying” Papist?Anonymous, are you actually Papist, using a nom de plume to pretend that someone else is on your side?Regards & PBUY. Amen

  • John Conolley

    Papist:”Same Sex Marriage- will undermine the moral fabric of marriage. The procreative and masculine and feminine dimensions of marriage will be hidden.”A couple of questions:What’s this “moral fabric of marriage” I keep hearing about? What is a “moral fabric?” It sounds like an argument from intimidation to me.How is the procreative dimension of anything going to be hidden, with the human race running in the billions?With straight couples everywhere, how is “the male and female dimension” going to be hidden? And what does “dimension” mean in this context anyway?

  • Anonymous

    Norrie,No, I am not Papist. I am just someone who has been viewing and occasionally commenting in these forums who has gotten a little turned off by some of the posts in here that come off as attempts at pomposity and border on vitriolic. Perhaps I am a bit too sensitive; it’s the wording that gets to me. Your post didn’t merely “suggest” he was wrong as much as it insisted upon it because of their religion. I really don’t want to start any kind of argument with you. I’m simply someone who knows the power of language, and sometimes someone’s choice of words gives a connotation that hits me the wrong way. Sorry about that.And for what it’s worth, my comment on this thread is that this is a ridiculous question to begin with. I don’t agree with Ms. Jacoby much of the time, but this time I do. Prejudice is one thing, and there will always be that, for all types of people. But discrimination; I just don’t see Catholics being denied jobs, housing, education or other rights.

  • Garak

    I guess the response to Donahue for his comment about Kissling taking “tapestries of Tibetan Buddhist deities with her when she exits her office, as well as any New Age paraphernalia she may have acquired over the years…” is that when Donahue leaves the Catholic Defense League he’ll have to pay his NAMBLE dues himself.

  • Garak

    I guess the response to Donahue for his comment about Kissling taking “tapestries of Tibetan Buddhist deities with her when she exits her office, as well as any New Age paraphernalia she may have acquired over the years…” is that when Donahue leaves the Catholic Defense League he’ll have to pay his NAMBLE dues himself.

  • Anonymous

    Mavaddat,Many of those books that you mention above have been shown by biblical and archaeological scholars to be writings done over 100 years after the death of Jesus, and by people other than whom they claim to be. Because they weren’t written by first-hand witnesses, they were excluded.

  • Marco Polo

    Anonymous: The Bible’s books were also not written by first-hand witnesses, yet we keep it around. Some were also not written by people claiming to be who they said they were, and were also borrowed from other cultures. And I also believe the books were also written well after Jesus’s death………..mystifying.

  • Phaedrus

    Papist:In response to EF, regarding the definition of “traditional moral values,” you respond that these are based on a largely dichotomous view of right and wrong. In contrast you state that “non-traditional” values are relative in nature. Then you write this:”Traditional values are those which people hold to based on adherence to traditional morality.”This implies that all “people” espousing a dichotomous view of right and wrong share a “tradition” on which they base their view. This is demonstrably false. Or, are you meaning to state that there are many sets of “traditional values” according to the different sets of “people” who hold to them? In which case you are making a fine argument for moral relativism.

  • Anonymous

    Marco Polo,You must be speaking of another Bible; or are you referring to the Old Testament? I was speaking strictly about New Testament.Your information (if pertaining to the New Testament) is according to secular “scholars”. The theologians and archaeologists who spend their lives studying these things disagree with you.

  • E Favorite

    Papist – I wasn’t being cute, I was quoting you – when you said traditional religion was “Christ based” I thought that’s what you meant. If you meant something broader, please let me know.Thanks for your other definitions.

  • Marco Polo

    Yep, I was referring to both Old and New……..And as a side note, you’d think if four guys wer egonna write about Jesus, they could have gotten their stories straight. and as for revelations? it was written by a banished servant of rome who basically wrote it as a symbol of rome and its downfall.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, right. OK Marco, whatever you say…

  • Brutus

    Sounds like Anonymous needs a lesson in humility. Way to go Marco!Just goes to show that there is another person of faith who fails to read his Bible with open eyes, or look into how it came about.

  • James

    Mavaddat said:’Catholicism was itself founded on a majority vote, so it is ridiculous to suggest that “truth is not determined by a majority vote.”‘And:’Here is a list of books arbitrarily excluded from the Bible by these “Church Fathers” by majority vote:’The list is not arbitrary at all. The criteria of the New Testament is that the books were to be written by the Apostles or the direct successors of the Apostles (such as Luke or Mark) within the 1st century timeframe.It’s also important to remember that simply because a book isn’t in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s not factually or theologically correct; merely that its authorship according to the above criteria is doubtful. For example, it’s common practice for orthodox Catholics to quote from the Didache or, sometimes, the Protoevangelium of James. However, these aren’t weighted with the same authority because they are most likely 2nd century documents.The Bible, one should remember, was originally a liturgical book, like the Roman Missal. The canon of the Bible’s books were the only ones authorized to be read from in the Mass, to keep a manageable, reliable standard. One couldn’t even substitute a letter from the currently reigning Pope for these.It is not that much of a concern, since Catholic Christianity is not a “religion of the book”. The Bible is not the solution for everything, and I don’t believe it should be seen as that. In fact, Catholics consider “sola Scriptura” to be a heresy.

  • James

    Mavaddat said:’Catholicism was itself founded on a majority vote, so it is ridiculous to suggest that “truth is not determined by a majority vote.”‘And:’Here is a list of books arbitrarily excluded from the Bible by these “Church Fathers” by majority vote:’The list is not arbitrary at all. The criteria of the New Testament is that the books were to be written by the Apostles or the direct successors of the Apostles (such as Luke or Mark) within the 1st century timeframe.It’s also important to remember that simply because a book isn’t in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s not factually or theologically correct; merely that its authorship according to the above criteria is doubtful. For example, it’s common practice for orthodox Catholics to quote from the Didache or, sometimes, the Protoevangelium of James. However, these aren’t weighted with the same authority because they are most likely 2nd century documents.The Bible, one should remember, was originally a liturgical book, like the Roman Missal. The canon of the Bible’s books were the only ones authorized to be read from in the Mass, to keep a manageable, reliable standard. One couldn’t even substitute a letter from the currently reigning Pope for these.It is not that much of a concern, since Catholic Christianity is not a “religion of the book”. The Bible is not the solution for everything, and I don’t believe it should be seen as that. In fact, Catholics consider “sola Scriptura” to be a heresy.

  • James

    Mavaddat said:’Catholicism was itself founded on a majority vote, so it is ridiculous to suggest that “truth is not determined by a majority vote.”‘And:’Here is a list of books arbitrarily excluded from the Bible by these “Church Fathers” by majority vote:’The list is not arbitrary at all. The criteria of the New Testament is that the books were to be written by the Apostles or the direct successors of the Apostles (such as Luke or Mark) within the 1st century timeframe.It’s also important to remember that simply because a book isn’t in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s not factually or theologically correct; merely that its authorship according to the above criteria is doubtful. For example, it’s common practice for orthodox Catholics to quote from the Didache or, sometimes, the Protoevangelium of James. However, these aren’t weighted with the same authority because they are most likely 2nd century documents.The Bible, one should remember, was originally a liturgical book, like the Roman Missal. The canon of the Bible’s books were the only ones authorized to be read from in the Mass, to keep a manageable, reliable standard. One couldn’t even substitute a letter from the currently reigning Pope for these.It is not that much of a concern, since Catholic Christianity is not a “religion of the book”. The Bible is not the solution for everything, and I don’t believe it should be seen as that. In fact, Catholics consider “sola Scriptura” to be a heresy.

  • James

    Mavaddat said:’Catholicism was itself founded on a majority vote, so it is ridiculous to suggest that “truth is not determined by a majority vote.”‘And:’Here is a list of books arbitrarily excluded from the Bible by these “Church Fathers” by majority vote:’The list is not arbitrary at all. The criteria of the New Testament is that the books were to be written by the Apostles or the direct successors of the Apostles (such as Luke or Mark) within the 1st century timeframe.It’s also important to remember that simply because a book isn’t in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s not factually or theologically correct; merely that its authorship according to the above criteria is doubtful. For example, it’s common practice for orthodox Catholics to quote from the Didache or, sometimes, the Protoevangelium of James. However, these aren’t weighted with the same authority because they are most likely 2nd century documents.The Bible, one should remember, was originally a liturgical book, like the Roman Missal. The canon of the Bible’s books were the only ones authorized to be read from in the Mass, to keep a manageable, reliable standard. One couldn’t even substitute a letter from the currently reigning Pope for these.It is not that much of a concern, since Catholic Christianity is not a “religion of the book”. The Bible is not the solution for everything, and I don’t believe it should be seen as that. In fact, Catholics consider “sola Scriptura” to be a heresy.

  • Anonymous

    Brutus,You have no idea how much I have studied. I simply refuse to argue with Marco (or you for that matter). He’s going to believe his interpretation no matter what I say. It’s not my job to convince him of anything.Humility? I believe bowing out of this argument was the most humble thing I could have done. I do not see pride or arrogance in my posts. But I do see it in yours. Perhaps you are the one needing a lesson…

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    A few references suggested for review with respect to the historic Jesus, basic founder of the Catholic Church but remember only with the help of the “necessary accessories”. i.e.1. Pilate (He did not have to crucify Jesus. He could just as easily sent him to the salt mines),2. Joseph of Arimathea(No tomb, no rock to roll back, no angels and weeping women),3. Paul, (Did he raise Jesus from the physical dead with his epistles or did he simply raise the sayings and ways of Jesus? Most contemporary NT exegetes believe the latter scenario).4. Constantine’s Sword (no explanation needed).The other references:A. B.

  • Brutus

    How much have you studied Anonymous? Seems if you had studied, then you’d know what was goin on in regards to the Bible and its history.

  • James

    I forgot to add my opinions to the article itself.I agree that anti-Catholicism is not a major force in the American political sphere, as it once was up until President Kennedy. We have a lot of Catholics in the U.S. Supreme Court, for example, most of whom are also strong to Church teaching. For this, I am grateful, and to complain about anti-Catholic discrimination in the workplace would be like how the ADL’s Abe Foxman sees an anti-Semite hiding under every bed.Anti-Catholicism does exist, though, of course, as a general prejudice (see Philip Jenkins’s book, :Anti-Catholicism in America: The Last Acceptable Prejudice).My experience has been largely the religious kind. In my mom’s Seventh-day Adventist church, I vividly recall one sermon which warned us against the looming threat of papal/Jesuit invasion armies coming to take over the United States and make Americans worship on Sunday by law (the “mark of the [papal] beast” according to them, as they believe in Saturday Sabbatarianism). The sermon continued saying that good Protestants should do well to start memorizing the entire Bible, as the Catholics would soon take over and burn all the Bibles in the country.Of course, this is an extremist viewpoint (these people also believe that John Wilkes Booth was a Catholic and was employed by the Jesuits to assassinate Lincoln), but it is still commonplace in many Protestant circles to view the Catholic Church as a foreign, evil institution in which all/most priests are sexually disturbed child molesters and nun-rapists simply because they’re celibate, and that because the churches are well-decorated, they must always be demanding money. The reality is that 99.9% of priests are not sex abusers and that Catholics give less to their churches than every other denominational group (only 1% of their income, I’m not proud of this statistic) in the United States. I’ve also seen a lot of patronizing: the idea that most Catholics are essentially poor, ignorant peasants who are controlled by the hierarchy. Example: “poor Jim, he’s a Catholic. His church forces him to worship saints and he’s not allowed to read the Bible. If we teach him the Bible, he’ll repent and become a Christian.”Of course, in reality, a lot of former Protestants who are well-educated in the Bible, the Church Fathers, and the doctrines and differences between Protestant and Catholic thought, convert anyway and really enjoy being Catholic. My church is very traditionally Catholic with Latin Masses, Communion only on the tongue, and Gregorian chant; but most of the parishioners are not born Catholic, but rather, were converts who are also too young to know what the Church was like before Vatican II. My priest was a Protestant minister, and thus, a typical day at my church goes from the sermon preaching (in an evangelical way) about the simple gospel message of Jesus, to the same priest incensing the high altar and the people singing “Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth….” And I think this is how things should be; a liturgy and worship that embraces the developments of the medieval and Baroque eras, while not forgetting the basics of the Christian gospel and the martyr spirit of the early Church.

  • James

    I forgot to add my opinions to the article itself.I agree that anti-Catholicism is not a major force in the American political sphere, as it once was up until President Kennedy. We have a lot of Catholics in the U.S. Supreme Court, for example, most of whom are also strong to Church teaching. For this, I am grateful, and to complain about anti-Catholic discrimination in the workplace would be like how the ADL’s Abe Foxman sees an anti-Semite hiding under every bed.Anti-Catholicism does exist, though, of course, as a general prejudice (see Philip Jenkins’s book, :Anti-Catholicism in America: The Last Acceptable Prejudice).My experience has been largely the religious kind. In my mom’s Seventh-day Adventist church, I vividly recall one sermon which warned us against the looming threat of papal/Jesuit invasion armies coming to take over the United States and make Americans worship on Sunday by law (the “mark of the [papal] beast” according to them, as they believe in Saturday Sabbatarianism). The sermon continued saying that good Protestants should do well to start memorizing the entire Bible, as the Catholics would soon take over and burn all the Bibles in the country.Of course, this is an extremist viewpoint (these people also believe that John Wilkes Booth was a Catholic and was employed by the Jesuits to assassinate Lincoln), but it is still commonplace in many Protestant circles to view the Catholic Church as a foreign, evil institution in which all/most priests are sexually disturbed child molesters and nun-rapists simply because they’re celibate, and that because the churches are well-decorated, they must always be demanding money. The reality is that 99.9% of priests are not sex abusers and that Catholics give less to their churches than every other denominational group (only 1% of their income, I’m not proud of this statistic) in the United States. I’ve also seen a lot of patronizing: the idea that most Catholics are essentially poor, ignorant peasants who are controlled by the hierarchy. Example: “poor Jim, he’s a Catholic. His church forces him to worship saints and he’s not allowed to read the Bible. If we teach him the Bible, he’ll repent and become a Christian.”Of course, in reality, a lot of former Protestants who are well-educated in the Bible, the Church Fathers, and the doctrines and differences between Protestant and Catholic thought, convert anyway and really enjoy being Catholic. My church is very traditionally Catholic with Latin Masses, Communion only on the tongue, and Gregorian chant; but most of the parishioners are not born Catholic, but rather, were converts who are also too young to know what the Church was like before Vatican II. My priest was a Protestant minister, and thus, a typical day at my church goes from the sermon preaching (in an evangelical way) about the simple gospel message of Jesus, to the same priest incensing the high altar and the people singing “Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth….” And I think this is how things should be; a liturgy and worship that embraces the developments of the medieval and Baroque eras, while not forgetting the basics of the Christian gospel and the martyr spirit of the early Church.

  • James

    I forgot to add my opinions to the article itself.I agree that anti-Catholicism is not a major force in the American political sphere, as it once was up until President Kennedy. We have a lot of Catholics in the U.S. Supreme Court, for example, most of whom are also strong to Church teaching. For this, I am grateful, and to complain about anti-Catholic discrimination in the workplace would be like how the ADL’s Abe Foxman sees an anti-Semite hiding under every bed.Anti-Catholicism does exist, though, of course, as a general prejudice (see Philip Jenkins’s book, :Anti-Catholicism in America: The Last Acceptable Prejudice).My experience has been largely the religious kind. In my mom’s Seventh-day Adventist church, I vividly recall one sermon which warned us against the looming threat of papal/Jesuit invasion armies coming to take over the United States and make Americans worship on Sunday by law (the “mark of the [papal] beast” according to them, as they believe in Saturday Sabbatarianism). The sermon continued saying that good Protestants should do well to start memorizing the entire Bible, as the Catholics would soon take over and burn all the Bibles in the country.Of course, this is an extremist viewpoint (these people also believe that John Wilkes Booth was a Catholic and was employed by the Jesuits to assassinate Lincoln), but it is still commonplace in many Protestant circles to view the Catholic Church as a foreign, evil institution in which all/most priests are sexually disturbed child molesters and nun-rapists simply because they’re celibate, and that because the churches are well-decorated, they must always be demanding money. The reality is that 99.9% of priests are not sex abusers and that Catholics give less to their churches than every other denominational group (only 1% of their income, I’m not proud of this statistic) in the United States. I’ve also seen a lot of patronizing: the idea that most Catholics are essentially poor, ignorant peasants who are controlled by the hierarchy. Example: “poor Jim, he’s a Catholic. His church forces him to worship saints and he’s not allowed to read the Bible. If we teach him the Bible, he’ll repent and become a Christian.”Of course, in reality, a lot of former Protestants who are well-educated in the Bible, the Church Fathers, and the doctrines and differences between Protestant and Catholic thought, convert anyway and really enjoy being Catholic. My church is very traditionally Catholic with Latin Masses, Communion only on the tongue, and Gregorian chant; but most of the parishioners are not born Catholic, but rather, were converts who are also too young to know what the Church was like before Vatican II. My priest was a Protestant minister, and thus, a typical day at my church goes from the sermon preaching (in an evangelical way) about the simple gospel message of Jesus, to the same priest incensing the high altar and the people singing “Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth….” And I think this is how things should be; a liturgy and worship that embraces the developments of the medieval and Baroque eras, while not forgetting the basics of the Christian gospel and the martyr spirit of the early Church.

  • James

    I forgot to add my opinions to the article itself.I agree that anti-Catholicism is not a major force in the American political sphere, as it once was up until President Kennedy. We have a lot of Catholics in the U.S. Supreme Court, for example, most of whom are also strong to Church teaching. For this, I am grateful, and to complain about anti-Catholic discrimination in the workplace would be like how the ADL’s Abe Foxman sees an anti-Semite hiding under every bed.Anti-Catholicism does exist, though, of course, as a general prejudice (see Philip Jenkins’s book, :Anti-Catholicism in America: The Last Acceptable Prejudice).My experience has been largely the religious kind. In my mom’s Seventh-day Adventist church, I vividly recall one sermon which warned us against the looming threat of papal/Jesuit invasion armies coming to take over the United States and make Americans worship on Sunday by law (the “mark of the [papal] beast” according to them, as they believe in Saturday Sabbatarianism). The sermon continued saying that good Protestants should do well to start memorizing the entire Bible, as the Catholics would soon take over and burn all the Bibles in the country.Of course, this is an extremist viewpoint (these people also believe that John Wilkes Booth was a Catholic and was employed by the Jesuits to assassinate Lincoln), but it is still commonplace in many Protestant circles to view the Catholic Church as a foreign, evil institution in which all/most priests are sexually disturbed child molesters and nun-rapists simply because they’re celibate, and that because the churches are well-decorated, they must always be demanding money. The reality is that 99.9% of priests are not sex abusers and that Catholics give less to their churches than every other denominational group (only 1% of their income, I’m not proud of this statistic) in the United States. I’ve also seen a lot of patronizing: the idea that most Catholics are essentially poor, ignorant peasants who are controlled by the hierarchy. Example: “poor Jim, he’s a Catholic. His church forces him to worship saints and he’s not allowed to read the Bible. If we teach him the Bible, he’ll repent and become a Christian.”Of course, in reality, a lot of former Protestants who are well-educated in the Bible, the Church Fathers, and the doctrines and differences between Protestant and Catholic thought, convert anyway and really enjoy being Catholic. My church is very traditionally Catholic with Latin Masses, Communion only on the tongue, and Gregorian chant; but most of the parishioners are not born Catholic, but rather, were converts who are also too young to know what the Church was like before Vatican II. My priest was a Protestant minister, and thus, a typical day at my church goes from the sermon preaching (in an evangelical way) about the simple gospel message of Jesus, to the same priest incensing the high altar and the people singing “Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth….” And I think this is how things should be; a liturgy and worship that embraces the developments of the medieval and Baroque eras, while not forgetting the basics of the Christian gospel and the martyr spirit of the early Church.

  • John Conolley

    James:Thanks for your reply. It helps me see the appeal (although, of course, there is no appeal that will cut through my animus to the Church). I’ll merely point out that the Apostolic Succession is made up. Historically, there’s no trace of the succession from Peter until sometime in the second century, _pace_ Benedict XVI. Yes, I’ve seen the list of popes. It’s buncomb.Papist:You are aware, are you not, that the “new person” formed by marriage is a figure of speech? They really are still two people. Also, if you want to show that something is moral, it helps to state your standard of value.

  • John Conolley

    James and Mavaddat:”In fact, Catholics consider ‘sola Scriptura’ to be a heresy.”Not to put too fine a point on it: the Catholic Church feels they wrote the Bible, and they can change it any time they want to.

  • John Conolley

    Catholic Church feels IT wrote the Bible. I really do understand English grammar.

  • James

    John Conolley:You’re welcome.”I’ll merely point out that the Apostolic Succession is made up.”The church of the 1st century didn’t have very much written literature outside of the New Testament and some other letters. This doesn’t mean that the idea of Apostolic succession is made up. The Acts of the Apostles, as an account of 1st century Church practices, makes it clear that no one in the Church has authority until he is ordained by an Apostle or another ordained successor. For example, the Acts records (in acts 9:17-19) that although St. Paul saw Christ on the road to Damascus, he still had to go to the Apostles to be ordained by them before being able to have any teaching, administrative, or sacramental authority. Throughout all of Church history, even those who have visions of Christ or Blessed Mary (such as St. Teresa of Avila, St. Juan Diego, the three children at Fatima, or whoever) do not have any Church authority without being ordained; nor did they seek it. St. Teresa of Avila even willingly submitted herself to be examined by the Spanish Inquisition. Being a Catholic requires a very strong spirit of obedience, and I understand how/why this turns a lot of people away, especially given that American culture emphasizes independence. But this is a religion that believes that God Himself became born a man, learned obedience to the laws and ways of the world, and washed the feet of His Apostles (“For as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners: so also by the obedience of one, many shall be made just.”) And going back to the point of why I say all this, is just showing that the Catholic faith has, in all things, a top-down government, and if this were to change, it would no longer be Catholic. You also said: “Historically, there’s no trace of the succession from Peter until sometime in the second century, _pace_ Benedict XVI. Yes, I’ve seen the list of popes. It’s buncomb.”Note that apostolic succession is a different subject than the succession of popes (bishops/priests/deacons are orders that people are ordained into by the hands of their superiors, all the way back to one of the Apostles; popes are nowadays acclaimed by a conclave of appointed electors, called cardinals, after the previous pope’s death).As I said, there aren’t many historical records from the 1st century; however, the bishop of Rome exercised universal authority even in the 1st century. In the year 96, there was a schism in the church at Corinth, in which the “diocese” revolted and kicked their bishop out. During this time, the Apostle St. John would have still been alive at Patmos, which was much closer to Corinth than Rome. However, the bishop at Corinth appealed not to John on Patmos, but to the bishop of Rome, the fourth successor of Peter, St. Clement I. Here is an excerpt of Pope Clement’s letter:”Owing to the sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes which have befallen us, we must acknowledge that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed. . . . Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him [God] through us [i.e., that you must reinstate your leaders], let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. . . . You will afford us joy and gladness if being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will root out the wicked passion of jealousy” (Letter to the Corinthians 1, 58–59, 63)It would be very unusual for the bishop of Corinth to appeal to the bishop of Rome instead of an actual Apostle, unless it was believed that the bishop of Rome was indeed a successor to Peter and had universal authority.

  • James

    John Conolley:You’re welcome.”I’ll merely point out that the Apostolic Succession is made up.”The church of the 1st century didn’t have very much written literature outside of the New Testament and some other letters. This doesn’t mean that the idea of Apostolic succession is made up. The Acts of the Apostles, as an account of 1st century Church practices, makes it clear that no one in the Church has authority until he is ordained by an Apostle or another ordained successor. For example, the Acts records (in acts 9:17-19) that although St. Paul saw Christ on the road to Damascus, he still had to go to the Apostles to be ordained by them before being able to have any teaching, administrative, or sacramental authority. Throughout all of Church history, even those who have visions of Christ or Blessed Mary (such as St. Teresa of Avila, St. Juan Diego, the three children at Fatima, or whoever) do not have any Church authority without being ordained; nor did they seek it. St. Teresa of Avila even willingly submitted herself to be examined by the Spanish Inquisition. Being a Catholic requires a very strong spirit of obedience, and I understand how/why this turns a lot of people away, especially given that American culture emphasizes independence. But this is a religion that believes that God Himself became born a man, learned obedience to the laws and ways of the world, and washed the feet of His Apostles (“For as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners: so also by the obedience of one, many shall be made just.”) And going back to the point of why I say all this, is just showing that the Catholic faith has, in all things, a top-down government, and if this were to change, it would no longer be Catholic. You also said: “Historically, there’s no trace of the succession from Peter until sometime in the second century, _pace_ Benedict XVI. Yes, I’ve seen the list of popes. It’s buncomb.”Note that apostolic succession is a different subject than the succession of popes (bishops/priests/deacons are orders that people are ordained into by the hands of their superiors, all the way back to one of the Apostles; popes are nowadays acclaimed by a conclave of appointed electors, called cardinals, after the previous pope’s death).As I said, there aren’t many historical records from the 1st century; however, the bishop of Rome exercised universal authority even in the 1st century. In the year 96, there was a schism in the church at Corinth, in which the “diocese” revolted and kicked their bishop out. During this time, the Apostle St. John would have still been alive at Patmos, which was much closer to Corinth than Rome. However, the bishop at Corinth appealed not to John on Patmos, but to the bishop of Rome, the fourth successor of Peter, St. Clement I. Here is an excerpt of Pope Clement’s letter:”Owing to the sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes which have befallen us, we must acknowledge that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed. . . . Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him [God] through us [i.e., that you must reinstate your leaders], let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. . . . You will afford us joy and gladness if being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will root out the wicked passion of jealousy” (Letter to the Corinthians 1, 58–59, 63)It would be very unusual for the bishop of Corinth to appeal to the bishop of Rome instead of an actual Apostle, unless it was believed that the bishop of Rome was indeed a successor to Peter and had universal authority.

  • James

    John Conolley:You’re welcome.”I’ll merely point out that the Apostolic Succession is made up.”The church of the 1st century didn’t have very much written literature outside of the New Testament and some other letters. This doesn’t mean that the idea of Apostolic succession is made up. The Acts of the Apostles, as an account of 1st century Church practices, makes it clear that no one in the Church has authority until he is ordained by an Apostle or another ordained successor. For example, the Acts records (in acts 9:17-19) that although St. Paul saw Christ on the road to Damascus, he still had to go to the Apostles to be ordained by them before being able to have any teaching, administrative, or sacramental authority. Throughout all of Church history, even those who have visions of Christ or Blessed Mary (such as St. Teresa of Avila, St. Juan Diego, the three children at Fatima, or whoever) do not have any Church authority without being ordained; nor did they seek it. St. Teresa of Avila even willingly submitted herself to be examined by the Spanish Inquisition. Being a Catholic requires a very strong spirit of obedience, and I understand how/why this turns a lot of people away, especially given that American culture emphasizes independence. But this is a religion that believes that God Himself became born a man, learned obedience to the laws and ways of the world, and washed the feet of His Apostles (“For as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners: so also by the obedience of one, many shall be made just.”) And going back to the point of why I say all this, is just showing that the Catholic faith has, in all things, a top-down government, and if this were to change, it would no longer be Catholic. You also said: “Historically, there’s no trace of the succession from Peter until sometime in the second century, _pace_ Benedict XVI. Yes, I’ve seen the list of popes. It’s buncomb.”Note that apostolic succession is a different subject than the succession of popes (bishops/priests/deacons are orders that people are ordained into by the hands of their superiors, all the way back to one of the Apostles; popes are nowadays acclaimed by a conclave of appointed electors, called cardinals, after the previous pope’s death).As I said, there aren’t many historical records from the 1st century; however, the bishop of Rome exercised universal authority even in the 1st century. In the year 96, there was a schism in the church at Corinth, in which the “diocese” revolted and kicked their bishop out. During this time, the Apostle St. John would have still been alive at Patmos, which was much closer to Corinth than Rome. However, the bishop at Corinth appealed not to John on Patmos, but to the bishop of Rome, the fourth successor of Peter, St. Clement I. Here is an excerpt of Pope Clement’s letter:”Owing to the sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes which have befallen us, we must acknowledge that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed. . . . Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him [God] through us [i.e., that you must reinstate your leaders], let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. . . . You will afford us joy and gladness if being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will root out the wicked passion of jealousy” (Letter to the Corinthians 1, 58–59, 63)It would be very unusual for the bishop of Corinth to appeal to the bishop of Rome instead of an actual Apostle, unless it was believed that the bishop of Rome was indeed a successor to Peter and had universal authority.

  • James

    John Conolley:You’re welcome.”I’ll merely point out that the Apostolic Succession is made up.”The church of the 1st century didn’t have very much written literature outside of the New Testament and some other letters. This doesn’t mean that the idea of Apostolic succession is made up. The Acts of the Apostles, as an account of 1st century Church practices, makes it clear that no one in the Church has authority until he is ordained by an Apostle or another ordained successor. For example, the Acts records (in acts 9:17-19) that although St. Paul saw Christ on the road to Damascus, he still had to go to the Apostles to be ordained by them before being able to have any teaching, administrative, or sacramental authority. Throughout all of Church history, even those who have visions of Christ or Blessed Mary (such as St. Teresa of Avila, St. Juan Diego, the three children at Fatima, or whoever) do not have any Church authority without being ordained; nor did they seek it. St. Teresa of Avila even willingly submitted herself to be examined by the Spanish Inquisition. Being a Catholic requires a very strong spirit of obedience, and I understand how/why this turns a lot of people away, especially given that American culture emphasizes independence. But this is a religion that believes that God Himself became born a man, learned obedience to the laws and ways of the world, and washed the feet of His Apostles (“For as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners: so also by the obedience of one, many shall be made just.”) And going back to the point of why I say all this, is just showing that the Catholic faith has, in all things, a top-down government, and if this were to change, it would no longer be Catholic. You also said: “Historically, there’s no trace of the succession from Peter until sometime in the second century, _pace_ Benedict XVI. Yes, I’ve seen the list of popes. It’s buncomb.”Note that apostolic succession is a different subject than the succession of popes (bishops/priests/deacons are orders that people are ordained into by the hands of their superiors, all the way back to one of the Apostles; popes are nowadays acclaimed by a conclave of appointed electors, called cardinals, after the previous pope’s death).As I said, there aren’t many historical records from the 1st century; however, the bishop of Rome exercised universal authority even in the 1st century. In the year 96, there was a schism in the church at Corinth, in which the “diocese” revolted and kicked their bishop out. During this time, the Apostle St. John would have still been alive at Patmos, which was much closer to Corinth than Rome. However, the bishop at Corinth appealed not to John on Patmos, but to the bishop of Rome, the fourth successor of Peter, St. Clement I. Here is an excerpt of Pope Clement’s letter:”Owing to the sudden and repeated calamities and misfortunes which have befallen us, we must acknowledge that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the matters in dispute among you, beloved; and especially that abominable and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few rash and self-willed persons have inflamed to such madness that your venerable and illustrious name, worthy to be loved by all men, has been greatly defamed. . . . Accept our counsel and you will have nothing to regret. . . . If anyone disobey the things which have been said by him [God] through us [i.e., that you must reinstate your leaders], let them know that they will involve themselves in transgression and in no small danger. . . . You will afford us joy and gladness if being obedient to the things which we have written through the Holy Spirit, you will root out the wicked passion of jealousy” (Letter to the Corinthians 1, 58–59, 63)It would be very unusual for the bishop of Corinth to appeal to the bishop of Rome instead of an actual Apostle, unless it was believed that the bishop of Rome was indeed a successor to Peter and had universal authority.

  • Tonio

    “For example, the Pope could not suddenly declare that Jesus is no longer God, because that would be like a senior board of scientists suddenly declaring that air is no longer composed of oxygen; it’s simply a false statement, and the Pope’s whim can’t make it otherwise.”That comparison is invalid, in my view. How can any claims about the supernatural be treated as fact? The claims cannot be tested scientifically like natural phenomena. One can analyze the elements of air (and such analysis has shown that nitrogen is the most common element, by the way). What evidence does the Pope or any religious leader have that would prove their religions’ supernatural claims? While I think it’s possible that there is a divine, I contend that all religions are in the same boat regarding the absence of proof. Some people have faith through various religious revelations, and I wouldn’t deny them those experiences. My point is that one person’s faith does not constitute everyone else’s fact.

  • Mavaddat

    Tonio is absolutely right. Catholicism was itself founded on a majority vote, so it is ridiculous to suggest that “truth is not determined by a majority vote.”As a reminder for the uninformed, here is the history of the Bible which I posted before:Before the fourth century CE, nearly every Christian group adhered to a somewhat different set of scripture. Around the fourth century, however, some Christian groups got together and decided which texts to consider canon (authoritative) by majority vote. They subsequently imposed their views on the other Christian groups, calling the others heretical if they did not follow suit. One church emerged from this mass of Christian groups to rule them all: The Roman Church. The Roman Church chose Jerome’s Latin translation of their canon (Vulgate) as authorized by majority vote. At the famous Council of Trent (1545–63), the Roman Church chose the books already contained in their canon as the definitive set of holy scripture, again, by majority vote.In summary, a bunch of powerful dudes chose by majority the books they liked best to represent their god’s opinions.Here is a list of books arbitrarily excluded from the Bible by these “Church Fathers” by majority vote:* Gospel of Thomas

  • Mavaddat

    Tonio is absolutely right. Catholicism was itself founded on a majority vote, so it is ridiculous to suggest that “truth is not determined by a majority vote.”As a reminder for the uninformed, here is the history of the Bible which I posted before:Before the fourth century CE, nearly every Christian group adhered to a somewhat different set of scripture. Around the fourth century, however, some Christian groups got together and decided which texts to consider canon (authoritative) by majority vote. They subsequently imposed their views on the other Christian groups, calling the others heretical if they did not follow suit. One church emerged from this mass of Christian groups to rule them all: The Roman Church. The Roman Church chose Jerome’s Latin translation of their canon (Vulgate) as authorized by majority vote. At the famous Council of Trent (1545–63), the Roman Church chose the books already contained in their canon as the definitive set of holy scripture, again, by majority vote.In summary, a bunch of powerful dudes chose by majority the books they liked best to represent their god’s opinions.Here is a list of books arbitrarily excluded from the Bible by these “Church Fathers” by majority vote:* Gospel of Thomas

  • Mavaddat

    Tonio is absolutely right. Catholicism was itself founded on a majority vote, so it is ridiculous to suggest that “truth is not determined by a majority vote.”As a reminder for the uninformed, here is the history of the Bible which I posted before:Before the fourth century CE, nearly every Christian group adhered to a somewhat different set of scripture. Around the fourth century, however, some Christian groups got together and decided which texts to consider canon (authoritative) by majority vote. They subsequently imposed their views on the other Christian groups, calling the others heretical if they did not follow suit. One church emerged from this mass of Christian groups to rule them all: The Roman Church. The Roman Church chose Jerome’s Latin translation of their canon (Vulgate) as authorized by majority vote. At the famous Council of Trent (1545–63), the Roman Church chose the books already contained in their canon as the definitive set of holy scripture, again, by majority vote.In summary, a bunch of powerful dudes chose by majority the books they liked best to represent their god’s opinions.Here is a list of books arbitrarily excluded from the Bible by these “Church Fathers” by majority vote:* Gospel of Thomas

  • Mavaddat

    Tonio is absolutely right. Catholicism was itself founded on a majority vote, so it is ridiculous to suggest that “truth is not determined by a majority vote.”As a reminder for the uninformed, here is the history of the Bible which I posted before:Before the fourth century CE, nearly every Christian group adhered to a somewhat different set of scripture. Around the fourth century, however, some Christian groups got together and decided which texts to consider canon (authoritative) by majority vote. They subsequently imposed their views on the other Christian groups, calling the others heretical if they did not follow suit. One church emerged from this mass of Christian groups to rule them all: The Roman Church. The Roman Church chose Jerome’s Latin translation of their canon (Vulgate) as authorized by majority vote. At the famous Council of Trent (1545–63), the Roman Church chose the books already contained in their canon as the definitive set of holy scripture, again, by majority vote.In summary, a bunch of powerful dudes chose by majority the books they liked best to represent their god’s opinions.Here is a list of books arbitrarily excluded from the Bible by these “Church Fathers” by majority vote:* Gospel of Thomas

  • E favorite

    Papist – thanks for answering part of my question. I now know that in your opinion, traditional religion is “Christ centered” – thus excluding, I presume, any non-Christian religion, such as Judaism, Buddhism, etc, and also any Christian religion that doesn’t require acceptance of Christ’s miracles.I’m still curious about the rest of what I asked -How would you define traditional morality and traditional values?

  • phaedrus

    Bill L:Irony is newsworthy. When a person or organization is caught in violation of one of its own public dictates, it naturally attracts attention. Thus, when an organization that holds itself out as the embodiment of God’s will on Earth, is found to have covered up criminal conduct by its clergy, conduct that does significant harm to the largely defenseless, people “should” pay especial attention. The same would be the case when a virulent nationalist is found to have committed treason, or when a defender of the first amendment is found to have sanctioned censorship. And neither of these examples contains the “moral” gravity of those who claim to speak for and represent God. It is true that as historical religious prohibitions begin to fly increasingly in the face of esatblished scientific knowledge and the evolving social mores of a society, conflict between secularism and religion increases. That is a large part of the story of the Rennasissance and the Enlightenment, and change in these areas is even faster today. The church would come in for far less criticism were it not seen as standing in the way of civil rights issues such as gay marriage. The parallels between this issue and others in church history such as racial equality requires no significant stretch. So, I don’t think that assigning cause for this social conflict to a “vast left-wing conspiracy” does justice to the issue (not that you did this specifically, though others have) And, I should also say that I do not single Catholicism out for this critique. The evangelical right is actually more virulent in its stances than is the Catholic church.

  • Paganplace

    What I’m questioning here, is the idea that some Christians have …that these ideas of perfection will somehow be worked out later after making America a Christian dominion.Guess what.That never works.Meanwhile, Americans are trying to live.

  • Paganplace

    Btw, what part of *That Never Works* don’t you theocrats understand?

  • James

    Concerned said:”But there are problems also with the Catholic Catechism.”I didn’t say that the Catechism was perfect. However, I find no fault with its explanation of what Catholics believe about Scripture. Some of the criticisms on the website are incorrect, in my opinion; it’s hard to believe, for example, that the 1992 Catechism has “outdated theology”, as it’s considered more liberal than previous catechisms (see its statements on Islam, for example).An example of a clear error on that article is when the doctor says: “Once this is said, it is clear that those who marry really do not wish “to follow the Lamb wherever he goes” and are really “not intent upon the things of the Lord.”” The Catechism does say, in 1604, that “Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'””It is also clear, though, that consecrated virginity is considered “superior” to marriage, in that it allows a person to devote himself or herself entire to God. This is why a nun wears a bridal gown when taking her solemn vows, to symbolize being married to Jesus Himself. The superiority of celibacy isn’t a new idea, though. You can certainly find it in, for example, the Catechism of Trent here. You can also find it in the words of Christ. Example: “For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mothers womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.” (Matthew 19:12)

  • James

    Concerned said:”But there are problems also with the Catholic Catechism.”I didn’t say that the Catechism was perfect. However, I find no fault with its explanation of what Catholics believe about Scripture. Some of the criticisms on the website are incorrect, in my opinion; it’s hard to believe, for example, that the 1992 Catechism has “outdated theology”, as it’s considered more liberal than previous catechisms (see its statements on Islam, for example).An example of a clear error on that article is when the doctor says: “Once this is said, it is clear that those who marry really do not wish “to follow the Lamb wherever he goes” and are really “not intent upon the things of the Lord.”” The Catechism does say, in 1604, that “Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'””It is also clear, though, that consecrated virginity is considered “superior” to marriage, in that it allows a person to devote himself or herself entire to God. This is why a nun wears a bridal gown when taking her solemn vows, to symbolize being married to Jesus Himself. The superiority of celibacy isn’t a new idea, though. You can certainly find it in, for example, the Catechism of Trent here. You can also find it in the words of Christ. Example: “For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mothers womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.” (Matthew 19:12)

  • James

    Concerned said:”But there are problems also with the Catholic Catechism.”I didn’t say that the Catechism was perfect. However, I find no fault with its explanation of what Catholics believe about Scripture. Some of the criticisms on the website are incorrect, in my opinion; it’s hard to believe, for example, that the 1992 Catechism has “outdated theology”, as it’s considered more liberal than previous catechisms (see its statements on Islam, for example).An example of a clear error on that article is when the doctor says: “Once this is said, it is clear that those who marry really do not wish “to follow the Lamb wherever he goes” and are really “not intent upon the things of the Lord.”” The Catechism does say, in 1604, that “Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'””It is also clear, though, that consecrated virginity is considered “superior” to marriage, in that it allows a person to devote himself or herself entire to God. This is why a nun wears a bridal gown when taking her solemn vows, to symbolize being married to Jesus Himself. The superiority of celibacy isn’t a new idea, though. You can certainly find it in, for example, the Catechism of Trent here. You can also find it in the words of Christ. Example: “For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mothers womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.” (Matthew 19:12)

  • James

    Concerned said:”But there are problems also with the Catholic Catechism.”I didn’t say that the Catechism was perfect. However, I find no fault with its explanation of what Catholics believe about Scripture. Some of the criticisms on the website are incorrect, in my opinion; it’s hard to believe, for example, that the 1992 Catechism has “outdated theology”, as it’s considered more liberal than previous catechisms (see its statements on Islam, for example).An example of a clear error on that article is when the doctor says: “Once this is said, it is clear that those who marry really do not wish “to follow the Lamb wherever he goes” and are really “not intent upon the things of the Lord.”” The Catechism does say, in 1604, that “Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator’s eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: “And God blessed them, and God said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'””It is also clear, though, that consecrated virginity is considered “superior” to marriage, in that it allows a person to devote himself or herself entire to God. This is why a nun wears a bridal gown when taking her solemn vows, to symbolize being married to Jesus Himself. The superiority of celibacy isn’t a new idea, though. You can certainly find it in, for example, the Catechism of Trent here. You can also find it in the words of Christ. Example: “For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mothers womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.” (Matthew 19:12)

  • Bill L

    THOMAS DOYLE, Judas was an Apostle! There isn’t a significant anti-Catholic issue in America today, but it is an underlying sentiment. The more issues such as abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, capital punishment and the like come to national attention, anti-Catholicism will rear it’s ugly head! In the future, the Catholic issue will re-emerge with different elections and people will say ” keep your faith in your own home and not in public” even as they push their own {enviromentalism, secularism, etc}.

  • Phaedrus

    Bill:Yes, the Nazis’ treatment of Jews was a state-sponsored intensification of what was a largely accepted societal norm of the time (anti-semitism), not limited to Germany, but generalized to much of the Christian world. The same with the Armenian Turks, and to a greater or lesser extent, every region that has observed ethnic cleansing. When the law’s power is added to such destructive mores, the outcome is likely to be viewed critically by those who look back on it. This is largely due to changes in moral sentiment between the time of the actions and that of the review. We see this in Germany today, where one can be arrested for expressing pro-Nazi sentiment. “Norms,” if one takes as a rough definition “what is behaviorally and attitudinally most common for a particular population,” are different from morals, and change even more rapidly over time. For instance, pre-marital sex is now the norm in America, despite its continuing to be seen as “immoral” by a large part of the population. The acceptance of homosexuality is a good example of a shifting norm right now, with moral (and legal)arguments being made on both sides of the issue. Inter-racial marriage is another example. But, the moral, normative, and legal perspectives differ from one another in clear and important ways.You actually provide evidence for what I am saying when you point to these historical violations of present mores, which were not violations at the time. Mores, the larger moral conceptions on which they are based, norms, and laws are ever-changing. They have to be if they are to continue to serve the regulatory functions societies need in the face of constant pressure to adapt.

  • Bill L

    Phaedrus, then we must be saying the same thing because the morals don’t change even if the norm or the legal status does. The reason being is that morals are not of mankinds construct, but a natural and devine one! Like the old saying, “whats wrong is wrong even if everyones doing it, and whats right is right even if no one is doing it”!

  • Phaedrus

    No Bill, we actually do disagree, because morals very definitely do change, just not in lock-step with norms and laws. I have provided examples of this by citing inter-racial marriage, and gay rights. You yourself have mentioned slavery. The ultimate source of our disagreement is that you believe in God-derived moral absolutes, whereas I see morals as dynamic, and having been “selected for” by natural forces.

  • John Conolley

    James,I’m awfully tired and don’t know if I can make sense, but…If there was little literature in the first century, and if the succession of the popes is not the same as the apostolic succession, how do you know there is an apostolic succession? How do we know that the bishops of today were ordained by someone who was ordained by someone in succession back to the apostles? It seems pretty sketchy to me. I’m pretty sure the apostolic succession was made up some time in the second century, although I’m seriously too tired to go look up my reference right now.

  • John Conolley

    Maybe this is a good place to ask this:I just came from the bookstore where I glance through a book by a party named Einhorn entitled something like “The Jesus Mystery.”Einhorn, whose academic training was in medicine, and whose vocation is filmmaking, proposes the hypothesis that Jesus Christ and Paul the Apostle were one and the same.I merely glanced through her arguments, and am not prepared to argue the issue, but I have to admit the same idea has occurred to me. Does anyone here have an educated opinion on the proposition?

  • James

    John Conolley:Ah, do get some sleep. I hope you’ll feel better.”If there was little literature in the first century, and if the succession of the popes is not the same as the apostolic succession, how do you know there is an apostolic succession? How do we know that the bishops of today were ordained by someone who was ordained by someone in succession back to the apostles?”It is a matter of faith; just like faith that the books of Scripture contain the same words written by those who originally wrote them; and faith that, for example, Christ really rose from the dead. I wasn’t there, but I believe it happened. I’m not saying that matters of religious doctrine are empirically provable (I may have misrepresented myself before), but there is strong evidence for this belief in the New Testament, as I cited before.”I’m pretty sure the apostolic succession was made up some time in the second century, although I’m seriously too tired to go look up my reference right now.”I have a couple of references from sources dating right at the edge of the first and second centuries. “And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, ‘I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.’… Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry…For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties.” Pope Clement, Epistle to Corinthians, 42, 44 (A.D. 98).”For what is the bishop but one who beyond all others possesses all power and authority, so far as it is possible for a man to possess it, who according to his ability has been made an imitator of the Christ off God? And what is the presbytery but a sacred assembly, the counselors and assessors of the bishop? And what are the deacons but imitators of the angelic powers, fulfilling a pure and blameless ministry unto him, as…Anencletus and Clement to Peter?” Ignatius, To the Trallians, 7 (A.D. 110). “Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed…Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians, 6 (c. A.D. 110).

  • James

    John Conolley:Ah, do get some sleep. I hope you’ll feel better.”If there was little literature in the first century, and if the succession of the popes is not the same as the apostolic succession, how do you know there is an apostolic succession? How do we know that the bishops of today were ordained by someone who was ordained by someone in succession back to the apostles?”It is a matter of faith; just like faith that the books of Scripture contain the same words written by those who originally wrote them; and faith that, for example, Christ really rose from the dead. I wasn’t there, but I believe it happened. I’m not saying that matters of religious doctrine are empirically provable (I may have misrepresented myself before), but there is strong evidence for this belief in the New Testament, as I cited before.”I’m pretty sure the apostolic succession was made up some time in the second century, although I’m seriously too tired to go look up my reference right now.”I have a couple of references from sources dating right at the edge of the first and second centuries. “And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, ‘I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.’… Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry…For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties.” Pope Clement, Epistle to Corinthians, 42, 44 (A.D. 98).”For what is the bishop but one who beyond all others possesses all power and authority, so far as it is possible for a man to possess it, who according to his ability has been made an imitator of the Christ off God? And what is the presbytery but a sacred assembly, the counselors and assessors of the bishop? And what are the deacons but imitators of the angelic powers, fulfilling a pure and blameless ministry unto him, as…Anencletus and Clement to Peter?” Ignatius, To the Trallians, 7 (A.D. 110). “Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed…Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians, 6 (c. A.D. 110).

  • James

    John Conolley:Ah, do get some sleep. I hope you’ll feel better.”If there was little literature in the first century, and if the succession of the popes is not the same as the apostolic succession, how do you know there is an apostolic succession? How do we know that the bishops of today were ordained by someone who was ordained by someone in succession back to the apostles?”It is a matter of faith; just like faith that the books of Scripture contain the same words written by those who originally wrote them; and faith that, for example, Christ really rose from the dead. I wasn’t there, but I believe it happened. I’m not saying that matters of religious doctrine are empirically provable (I may have misrepresented myself before), but there is strong evidence for this belief in the New Testament, as I cited before.”I’m pretty sure the apostolic succession was made up some time in the second century, although I’m seriously too tired to go look up my reference right now.”I have a couple of references from sources dating right at the edge of the first and second centuries. “And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, ‘I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.’… Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry…For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties.” Pope Clement, Epistle to Corinthians, 42, 44 (A.D. 98).”For what is the bishop but one who beyond all others possesses all power and authority, so far as it is possible for a man to possess it, who according to his ability has been made an imitator of the Christ off God? And what is the presbytery but a sacred assembly, the counselors and assessors of the bishop? And what are the deacons but imitators of the angelic powers, fulfilling a pure and blameless ministry unto him, as…Anencletus and Clement to Peter?” Ignatius, To the Trallians, 7 (A.D. 110). “Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed…Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians, 6 (c. A.D. 110).

  • James

    John Conolley:Ah, do get some sleep. I hope you’ll feel better.”If there was little literature in the first century, and if the succession of the popes is not the same as the apostolic succession, how do you know there is an apostolic succession? How do we know that the bishops of today were ordained by someone who was ordained by someone in succession back to the apostles?”It is a matter of faith; just like faith that the books of Scripture contain the same words written by those who originally wrote them; and faith that, for example, Christ really rose from the dead. I wasn’t there, but I believe it happened. I’m not saying that matters of religious doctrine are empirically provable (I may have misrepresented myself before), but there is strong evidence for this belief in the New Testament, as I cited before.”I’m pretty sure the apostolic succession was made up some time in the second century, although I’m seriously too tired to go look up my reference right now.”I have a couple of references from sources dating right at the edge of the first and second centuries. “And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus saith the Scripture a certain place, ‘I will appoint their bishops s in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.’… Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry…For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties.” Pope Clement, Epistle to Corinthians, 42, 44 (A.D. 98).”For what is the bishop but one who beyond all others possesses all power and authority, so far as it is possible for a man to possess it, who according to his ability has been made an imitator of the Christ off God? And what is the presbytery but a sacred assembly, the counselors and assessors of the bishop? And what are the deacons but imitators of the angelic powers, fulfilling a pure and blameless ministry unto him, as…Anencletus and Clement to Peter?” Ignatius, To the Trallians, 7 (A.D. 110). “Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed…Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.” Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians, 6 (c. A.D. 110).

  • Jihadist

    Concerned the Christian Now LiberatedThank you for sharing the latest theological advances of your faith. Well done.As for the issue of discrimination, it still remains within and outside the church, by Catholics themselves and non-Catholics. By non-Catholics, I would not characterise it as discrimination, but bigotry and prejudice. Perhaps you may wish to consider the possibility that being a “professional believer”, as opposed to being a “personal believer”, may handicap one’s realisation of the real world when it comes to discrimination, poverty, pain and suffering.Please think of the concept of “professional believer” as opposed to “personal believer” and know the difference. Surely you would realize the difference. Theology is a fine pursuit, but surely God would not want us to speculate too, too much on Its nature and state, but on the nature and state of our earth and fellow men. Surely doing God’s work here on earth is a familiar principle being taught in theological schools. The Brazilian and Latin American Catholics, both the clergy and laymen, are the ones making the Catholic Church vibrant, dynamic and responsive. Theological discussions, musing and speculations are the excuse for not doing anything, to justify organized religions and to deflect from our failures in addressing the issues before us – including over-population and poverty.To all sober-minded non-believers and believers, my apologies for irreverently indulging Concerned across oceans and chasms in beliefs, cultures and gender. Concerned chose to be an e-crusader on Islam and Muslims and sometimes I am happy to engage him as an e-mujahidin on that for a lark. Especially since he cannot make any difference at all on what Muslims and Catholics and/ or Christians think, feel and belief by his methodology of persuasion to his thinking 🙂

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    James,If the Catholic Church does not believe in the literal interpretation of Matt 19:12 why not delete/change it? And I doubt very much that your married pastor gets only $7000/yr. If he does, your parish should be ashamed. Your pastor also beat the celibacy rule. This cannot make celibate priests very happy but of course your pastor will now reside in some lower state of Heaven based on your reasoning. And when a married Catholic reads your evaluation of the necessity of celibacy, what is she/he to think about God since apparently they also will be relegated to some lower echelon of Heaven or maybe they won’t even be able to get in. Professor JD Crossan’s book The Historical Jesus is recommended as a good source of rational thinking regarding what really happened 2000 years ago. By the way, please note the negative sign on the previously referenced page. It means Matt 19:12 was not said by the historical Jesus by Dr. Crossan’s analyses. And Professor Crossan’s views about atonement theology is very relevant to this discussion since commiting filicide mocks God and His Goodness and is a source of ridicule/discrimination against Catholics/Christians.

  • Phaedrus

    Bill L:I think that you are confusing and superimposing words and concepts such as:moral, legal, and normal. These are not at all the same things, nor should they ever be if a society hopes to remain free. Moral values change over time, they evolve like anything else. Any effort to peg all moral values to those of a particular point in history have just guaranteed future immorality. And that is if you could ever get agreement on what all should be considered moral or immoral in the first place, which you will not be able to do. Where the church runs into difficulty ultimately is when it tries to equate what it sees as normal and moral, with the state’s power to determine what is legal, in an issue in which there are no victims created, such as gay marriage.

  • John Conolley

    James,”It is a matter of faith…”Then there’s no use contending about it, is there? You won’t convince me with faith, and I won’t convince you with textual analysis or patristics. (Which I’m new to anyway, and probably couldn’t convince anyone of much of anything.)

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Jihadist,It is not about theology. It is about who wrote the “good books” and why and what can we deduce from them(theology). For example (to reiterate): There is no archeological evidence that the Moses et al of the OT ever existed. The scribes who wrote the OT, embellished many old Jewish tales/legends/myths to fit their concept of Monad and to keep the general tribal communities in line with oral tradition/guilt. The trails/trials of Noah, Abraham, Job and Moses were concepts for tribal nomads/peasants/shepherds/ordinary folk living in the age of illiteracy, short life spans, hardships, diseases, and “dirt poor” living conditions. Mankind has advanced and these concepts although wise for the ages, are not historical.

  • Jihadist

    ConcernedAnother term for you to consider as a “professional believer” : “functional religion”, or if you like, “functional beliefs”.Both are not the same as faith. Faith do remain in spite of all evidence to prove otherwise on organized religion and institutionalized beliefs.Theology is about the “intellectualization’ of religion and “rationalization” of beliefs including looking for “reason in faith”.When one seek “reason in faith”, is it an admission that the faith in question was irrational and illogical in the first place due to pervious creative rationalizations of beliefs by way of dogmas?

  • Bill L

    Phaedrus, I believe the priests and bishops involved should be punished to the full extent of the law! I was comparing how some didn’t want to enforce the laws equally. I understand what you’re saying about their position in society, but what about teachers and others of similar standing? Also secularism does reach the point of religion to some, but why do your ideas of right or wrong outweigh mine? Who dictates whats normal for society? Should it be as it has been, or should it change as the polls go? Slavery was legal at one point and who knows what will be accepted in 20 or 50 years? Will the use of trees for firewood or construction be banned in the future to protect nature? What about euthanizing retarded or very deformed people for the best interest of society? Immoral to us, but what about a genetically inhanced future?

  • Bill L

    Phaedrus, 1930’S Germany had a norm giving the ok to abuse Jews. At the start of the twentyth century it was the norm for Turkey to commit genocide against Kurds. In S. Africa apartheid was the norm. 150 years ago slavery was the norm here. Does this all mean these are not moral issues? Or were they moral at the time and may be again in the future?Anonymous, were “scholars” present at Jesus’ speaches? Were they in the bed of Alexander the Great to know he was gay? Like you stated about your own beliefs, they are an opinion! Like *holes, everyone has one. Just because you don’t like or believe in a practice doesn’t make it any less true! Professor Crossan claims to be a Christian, but denies most tennants of Christianity. It sounds as if you’re putting faith in a dishonest person. If you don’t believe in the KKK would you want to belong? Only if you’re tring to undermine it!

  • John M.

    I’d like to take a whack at the “Apostolic Succession” thing.I am a Christian with no denominational affiliation. I follow the Bible, which was written by, and describes the first century faith and practices of, the apostles. That makes my faith apostolic, as I see it. I am not sure how any denomination that teaches extrabiblical doctrines can claim that they are following in the tradition of the apostles.I like to use this analogy. What if you were the only survivor of a shipwreck, and you had never before heard of Jesus, Christians or the Bible? Along with you washes up on the shore a Bible. It has no commentary or notes in it. Just the text of the Bible. If, after reading it a few times while you’re on this uncharted island, you come to believe it, what would you believe?That’s a question I use to challenge myself all the time. I can’t trust men, I can only trust what the Bible says. (This is directed at believers, because nonbelievers obviously think I am foolish to take the Bible seriously.) But, if you do take the Bible seriously, why would you follow human teachings that are not found in the Bible, and that are actually contrary to what it says from start to finish?

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Jihadist,As usual, you fail to address the problems of the Koran, your “good” book. I repeat: “The Koran with its militarisitic passages and anti-female messages is far from being a “good” book. This point is made clear by the 24/7 butchering of Iraqi Shiites by the Iraqi Sunnis and vice versa. And the horror is supported by the followers of the Koran in Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia.”As noted by Eboo Patel in his commentary, his son is being cruely treated in school because he is a Muslim. I abhor this but until Islam eliminates the offending passages in the Koran, the discrimination will unfortunately continue. And please don’t slide into some historical review of what faith is or what Catholics did to Jews years ago etc. Deal with the present threat to world peace i.e. the fanatic Muslims of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Egypt by simply stating fanatic Muslims should be banned from society. And yes so should any religious fanatic preaching death to non-believers. The problem is that you cannot bring yourself to condemn Islamic fanatics nor the root cause of this behavior, i.e. the Koran.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Elizabeth,The Dark Ages of Oregon have passed. Welcome to the modern world.

  • Anonymous

    Uh, John M:maybe most christians do not follow the entirety of what is written in the Bible because they do not wish to spend the balance of their lives in jail for rape, genocidal murder…..

  • Elizabeth

    Susan Jacoby has obviously does not know anything about America’s anti-Catholic history. She has never known about the “Know Nothing” party formed in America specifically to oppose Catholic people and Jewish people. I doubt she studied Oregon ‘s historically (and other states) extreme Anti-Catholic government and sentiment. (For example the Oregon public outlawed Catholic schools, and was documented firing public school teachers who were Catholic.) Necktie hangings of Catholic’s (and Jewish people) in Oregon was not a rare event either.She shows her pervasive ignorance clearly in this article.

  • Elizabeth

    Susan Jacoby has obviously does not know anything about America’s anti-Catholic history. She has never known about the “Know Nothing” party formed in America specifically to oppose Catholic people and Jewish people. I doubt she studied Oregon ‘s historically (and other states) extreme Anti-Catholic government and sentiment. (For example the Oregon public outlawed Catholic schools, and was documented firing public school teachers who were Catholic.) Necktie hangings of Catholic’s (and Jewish people) in Oregon was not a rare event either.She shows her pervasive ignorance clearly in this article.

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Jihadist,More Muslim “wishy-wash” in your last posting.Simply admit your “good” book was not god-inspired and was written by militaristic, women-hating scribes. Why is that so hard? Is there an Islamic truth squad reading your comments? If I lived in Iran, I would been stoned to death years ago. Wow that is scary!!!

  • Tim

    Frances Kissling and Bill Donahue are kindred spirits. Neither represents the church or mainstream Catholic political thought. And in more than 40 years of active Catholicism, I have never come across anyone who belongs to either of their organizations – which suggests (but does not prove) that neither can claim to be a populist leader among lay Catholics. They do, however, boast a tremendous following in the media. Lazy reporters call them for quotes on Catholic issues and both are more than happy to comply. That said, is anti-Catholicism a phony issue? Not quite. I often hear people (in one notable case a New York Times reporter speaking informally) dismiss inflexible thinkers with Irish, Italian or Polish names as “Catholic- school types,” even if the subjects of the epithet turn out never to have set foot in a Catholic school or church. Surely there are nimble-minded Catholics and dogmatic non-Catholics. But the existence of real anti-Catholicism begs other questions: Is it a vital force? Does it really affect the lives most Catholics lead or the opportunities they enjoy? Those are separate questions, and the answer to both is, “No.” Anti-Catholicism isn’t a phony issue; it’s just an issue insignificant enough to render the unsolicited services of Bill Donohue unnecessary. It does matter – although not to an alarming degree – that Catholics comprise the largest religious denomination in the United States, and yet there has been only one Catholic president – elected nearly 50 years ago. There are demographic reasons for that – and many having nothing to do with religious bigotry. But the factoid does make one wonder. Several years ago, the House Republicans hired a Catholic chaplain – and many Protestant members had no qualms about voicing their objections to the appointment. That suggests (but doesn’t prove) that anti-Catholicism is not a phony issue; but it also suggests that it isn’t as significant an issue as a Donohue might claim.

  • John Conolley

    As an ex-Catholic, I’m sure the phrase “Opus Dei” had impinged my brain at some point or other, but I didn’t know what it is–which I immediately rectified by Googling.I haven’t found yet that they’re the power brokers Mr. Breathnach believes them to be, but what I’ve found is creepy enough.Thanks for the heads up.

  • Lantz Stephenson

    You do not become a Catholic by declaring yourself one, you join the Church (if you so desire) by studying what the Church teaches about its two pillars (Scripture and Tradition)… AND by pubically declaring your allegience to ALL the Church teaches…for those who balk at the tradition piece recall that Christianity had a long rich tradition long before it had a cannonized Scripture (check your history)…as to the claim that the root of the tree is Catholicism look into the definition of Protestantism (BTW Luther was a Catholic)…nevertheless, if one cares to join they will be informed that they are joining an eternal supernatural/natural organization that by its nature trancends time and space (on earth they will be in the Church Militant, after life, if they follow the teachings they will be either in the Church Expectant or the Church Triumphant)… also interestingly the official teaching on salvation (Check the Catechism of the Catholic Church if you care to) is that the fate of an individual soul (person to you atheists) cannot be determined by those in the the Church Militant (on Earth)… I would say that Bill D. is taking the Militant part to heart (though I sometimes agree that his writings lack a certain Christian charity)…at any rate, merely check the postings above and see if you don’t detect some anti-Catholic bigotry. Oh well, its nothing compared to being eaten by lions or hung on a cross to die. Peace.

  • David B.

    “Not to put too fine a point on it: the Catholic Church feels they wrote the Bible, and they can change it any time they want to.”That is completely untrue. where did you get such an idea?

  • Anonymous

    “Anti-Catholicism: A Phony Issue “And yet the article and most of the thread is loaded with anti-Catholicism. talk about a self- negating statement.

  • David B.

    “And, I am not saying that the church does not continue to add doctrines. That’s the problem I have with the church. God has not changed; nor has His Word. Why should new doctrines continue to be added?”What new doctrines?

  • Anonymous

    “What really upsets the Catholic Right is not discrimination but disagreement.”I don’t know how it is in Ireland, but in America, that is not the case. John Edwards, a presidential candidate, hired two women who said some of the worst things about Jesus and His mother that were ever written. At first, he didn’t fire even one of them. If they had said hateful things about Jew, blacks, or homosexuals, he would’ve thrown them out on their ears. Rosie O’donnel mock Catholicism daily on her show, yet no one complains. yup, no anti-Catholicism in America. Especially Not in this combox.

  • Andrew

    pure ironyI wonder how it would sound to say something like this: “I don’t hate all Jews, just the one’s who still follow the Torah.” Believing that the Church’s hierarchy does not have God-given authority is the definition of protestantism. To argue that a protestant who calls himself a Catholic is in fact a Catholic is to be a fool. Why not just sort your labels out so you can distinguish the people you hate from the people you don’t?

  • Judith M.

    Freethinker? I think not. Jacoby is lockstep with her pro-death buddies and their doctrine of death. I get sick of people like her referring to Catholics as “liberals” and “conservatives.” Neither of those labels means a thing with respect to the faith. What I want to know is whether a Catholic is obedient or disobedient to Church teachings. If they are disobedient, they should be honest with themselves and stop calling themselves Catholic. Would you call yourself a vegetarian if you ate meat? Of course not! Why call yourself a Catholic when you don’t believe the things Catholics must believe? Start your own religion and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  • mee

    The author and many of the commenters give the lie to the point of her column. Ah, irony!

  • John

    I don’t understand how some people can actually say there is no such thing as anti-Catholicism in our society. Just look around, Mel Gibson said something about the Jews and he gets torn apart by everyone, but people mock Catholics and Catholism and its ok. Anti-Catholicism takes place on TV, in universities, and in newspapers. People are just desensitized to this and thats why it is so tolerated in our country. If you want to be Catholic you MUST obey what the church teaches. It may be difficult for some journalists or others who think that no one knows more than them, but accepting that there is a higher source out there that actually knows more than you, can take you a lot further in life. Priests and Bishops for the most part should be respected due to the fact that they gave up a lot (wife and family) in choosing to serve God’s people.Finally, Bill Donahue is not a clown or a thug. We need more people like him to help defend the Church from people who believe it is ok to bash Catholicism but not any other religion.

  • Ayojed

    Most of you are definitely anti-Catholics and a lot of you are in denial. Admit it you hate us Catholics. I hope you people have a change of heart. Catholics had done a lot of good in this world.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    After reading this bigoted anti-Catholic rant, it reminds me of the fact that the most hate-filled and vicious people are the ones who deny and deny it as this writer did in various ways. As for discrimination, polls repeatedly show that there are very, very few orthodox Catholics or orethodox Christians employed in the MSM. Only a moron or fool would believe that this is by accident.

  • Anonymous

    Ms. Jacoby say there isn’t anti-Catholicism, and then she attacks those who defend Catholic teaching! What could be more anti-Catholic than attacking Catholic who stand up for their faith, and saying things like this: “How the Hell is that not anti-Catholic, Ms. Jacoby? You repeated the lie than priests believe that they are God, and slandered thousands of good, holy men! “So you don’t hate the Church, you just hate her people spreading her teachings. But that isn’t anti-Catholic, is it. Sorry, but that is the

  • David B.

    The above was posted by me.

  • Tim W.

    This article should be retitled: Susan Jacoby: A Phony Writer.

  • DJP

    Ms. Jacoby:Sounds like you have some serious mental and emotional issues. Get some therapy. You sound like a very unhappy and unfulfilled and bittered woman.Most Catholics don’t share yours or Donahue’s views. You are an extremist, hell bent on creating a personal Catholicism that has no resemblance of authentic Christianity.Go and get some help. Better yet, try going to confession. At least, it’s free.

  • Julie

    Ms. Jacoby,

  • Julie

    By the way, I am grateful to Donohue for being able to spur the removal of a billboard put up on a busy thoroughfare by some wacko church that advertised on this very large posting that the Pope is the Anti-Christ. Like I said, some anti-Catholicism is not so subtle.

  • Tim W.

    DJP,What’s wrong with Bill Donahue’s defense of Catholics?

  • Momx3

    In the end three things remain. Love, Faith and Hope and the greatest of these is LOVE.

  • WannabeAnglican

    Have Susan Jacoby, Newsweek, and the Washington Post no shame?Her rant reminds me of someone insisting there is no racism in America, then trotting out every possible anti-Black stereotype and the N-word in doing so!

  • WannabeAnglican

    Have Susan Jacoby, Newsweek, and the Washington Post no shame?Her rant reminds me of someone insisting there is no racism in America, then trotting out every possible anti-Black stereotype and the N-word in doing so!

  • WannabeAnglican

    Have Susan Jacoby, Newsweek, and the Washington Post no shame?Her rant reminds me of someone insisting there is no racism in America, then trotting out every possible anti-Black stereotype and the N-word in doing so!

  • WannabeAnglican

    Have Susan Jacoby, Newsweek, and the Washington Post no shame?Her rant reminds me of someone insisting there is no racism in America, then trotting out every possible anti-Black stereotype and the N-word in doing so!

  • Julie

    John M.

  • Julie

    And John M. Did you know that Sola Scriptura “Bible only” was unheard of in Christianity until 1500 years after it was established? Does Christ work that way? C’mon. That’s ridiculous. Where in the Bible does it say Bible only? The Bible says the Church is the Pillar of Truth. The Church. There was one church in existence when the Bible was written. The Catholic Church.

  • Conoscenzo

    Actually, I have been called both a Papist and a Mackerel Snapper lately…odd timing..but true.

  • FrJ

    I am a priest. I have encountered discrimination. I have been spat upon and publically insulted. Anyone who claims that Catholics do not suffer from discrimination is probably one of the ones doing the discriminating. Of course they see it as “just.” Let them walk in my shoes for a mile.

  • M Norman

    I blieve in calling out anything when it is wrong or evil. So when Catholics do wrong at any level absolutley call them out, but I also believe in consistancy. If you call out a Catholic Priest for pedophila with young boys I think it is also appropriate to say that he is a Gay Priest.

  • James

    Mr. Candide. Last I heard the lunitic fringe of the French Revolution was responsible for locking men of the clothe inside churchs’ and burning them alive. Would you support a movement that would treat you in such a way?

  • Anonymous

    ,Seamus Breathnach,I was only talking Anti-Catholicism in America and in Ireland. Nothing else. I don’t know what Ireland you come from, but in the one that I know, People spit on those Priests who wear the Priestly garb in public. Your post was full of hate, and I would only like to answer a couple of glaring untruths.First, you seem to think that the Church ever officially taught or sanctioned forcible conversion. It did not. The natives of Mexico were prevented from murdering thousands for their gods, but none was forced to convert. Secondly, if you were implying that the church killed witches, you are wrong. the spanish inquistition, at the time of the american hysteria of ‘witches’, studied each case of supposed witchcraft and dismissed most of them as baseless. Some of those ‘wronged’ ethnic groups, such as the Jews, have actually been helped, not hurt, by The Church. No doubt, you will dispute these facts. Some one who has been fed such hateful lies and spreads such baseless hate won’t hear the truth. May God shed his grace on all of us, sinners that we are. Amen.

  • ubi_deficiunt

    Ms. Jacoby’s post is a window into a mind that cannot think outside of secular concerns, and thus interprets everything as political. She evidently thinks that Catholicism is some sort of ethnicity, like Judaism, and thus in her myopic secular view, there is no bigotry against “ethnic Catholics”. In this narrowly defined sense, she’s correct.Outside of Ms Jacoby’s footsoldier status, there is, of course, a grand cultural clash between those who actually believe in things beyond our senses, and those who pretend that they only believe what they can touch and taste. Ms Jacoby thus reasons that there is no anti-Catholic bias since it is not Catholics she hates, but orthodox Catholics, and she hates orthodox Protestants just as much, so there you go! No bias!Freethinkers are the most hidebound of people. It’s quite frustrating dealing with them. They are so completely bound up in the spell of their own imaginations that it makes them easy prey for the civic dogmatists. They question virtually none of their assumptions because they are thoroughly convinced that their version of reality is the only legitimate answer. Unlike the typical “believer,” they never suffer doubt. And because they never suffer doubt, they never question, never evaluate, never probe, analyze, or reason. It is deserving of great pity, for it is an anemic, shallow life that the Jacobies of this world must live – constantly defined by what they oppose, always in the shadow of what they fear.Ms. Jacoby, I will devote a decade of the rosary to pray that your mind be opened and that your heart be thawed. You may think it a waste of my time, but miracles have been known to happen…

  • mike

    Sue Jacoby’s article focuses on sexual matters. Such as, if catholics won’t hand out the pill for casual sex, lets fool them and tell them it was rape. Never mind that one can go to a secular hospital for these matters because Jacoby simply hates the church.

  • Andy

    What a silly woman!

  • JC

    Simply put, Ms. Jacoby hates Catholics who actually believe the teachings of the Catholic Church. And many of those teachings, such as opposition to abortion and contraception, are merely principles of natural law that are binding on all people, regardless of religion. She agrees that it’s OK to hate “ultra-right wing conservative” Catholics, so therefore there’s no such thing as anti-Catholicism. So-called “Comedians” go around saying derogatory things about Catholics, the Church, the hierarchy and even Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and it is called “acceptable comedy.” But somebody like Don Imus, who has made a career of being obnoxious and insulting, makes a “racist” comment, and the whole country is clamoring for his show to be cancelled (as it should have been a long time ago).

  • JC

    Simply put, Ms. Jacoby hates Catholics who actually believe the teachings of the Catholic Church. And many of those teachings, such as opposition to abortion and contraception, are merely principles of natural law that are binding on all people, regardless of religion. She agrees that it’s OK to hate “ultra-right wing conservative” Catholics, so therefore there’s no such thing as anti-Catholicism. So-called “Comedians” go around saying derogatory things about Catholics, the Church, the hierarchy and even Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and it is called “acceptable comedy.” But somebody like Don Imus, who has made a career of being obnoxious and insulting, makes a “racist” comment, and the whole country is clamoring for his show to be cancelled (as it should have been a long time ago).

  • JC

    Simply put, Ms. Jacoby hates Catholics who actually believe the teachings of the Catholic Church. And many of those teachings, such as opposition to abortion and contraception, are merely principles of natural law that are binding on all people, regardless of religion. She agrees that it’s OK to hate “ultra-right wing conservative” Catholics, so therefore there’s no such thing as anti-Catholicism. So-called “Comedians” go around saying derogatory things about Catholics, the Church, the hierarchy and even Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and it is called “acceptable comedy.” But somebody like Don Imus, who has made a career of being obnoxious and insulting, makes a “racist” comment, and the whole country is clamoring for his show to be cancelled (as it should have been a long time ago).

  • JC

    Simply put, Ms. Jacoby hates Catholics who actually believe the teachings of the Catholic Church. And many of those teachings, such as opposition to abortion and contraception, are merely principles of natural law that are binding on all people, regardless of religion. She agrees that it’s OK to hate “ultra-right wing conservative” Catholics, so therefore there’s no such thing as anti-Catholicism. So-called “Comedians” go around saying derogatory things about Catholics, the Church, the hierarchy and even Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and it is called “acceptable comedy.” But somebody like Don Imus, who has made a career of being obnoxious and insulting, makes a “racist” comment, and the whole country is clamoring for his show to be cancelled (as it should have been a long time ago).

  • Chris

    The venom of Ms. Jacoby is a classic sign that deep down, she knows the Truth, but can’t conform her will to it. Ex-Catholics are the cruelest of critics of the Church, hands down. It’s not because they’re inherently angrier people, it’s a perverted reaction of the conscience that wants to believe but can’t because of pride and self-aggrandized notions of the meaning of life.Sadly, Jesus promised that “few” would stay on the narrow path to eternal life. As Benedict re-iterated last week, hell is a reality. And it’s not empty. This thread is just a microchosm of the deep-seated hatred that many have for Christ. They crucified Him in A.D. 33, and they crucify Him today. I’m saddened not that my Church is persecuted, but that those who persecute have no idea what they are doing.

  • Dano

    Does anyone else find it slightly ironic that Ms. Jacoby first pronounced that Anti-Catholicism doesn’t exist in modern America, and then went on a virulent Anti-Catholic screed using arguments and phrases that were common among the worst kind of Nativists, Know-Nothings, and Anti-Catholics in 19th century America? If the date were April 1st instead of March 14th, I would be unable to believe this was anything but a bad April Fools’ joke.

  • Catholic Irish-American

    Whether Ms. Jacoby ever was a Catholic or went to Catholic schools is quite beside the point. If true, it just shows that she is now doing a Catholic “Steppin Fetchit” gig. Her claim that “[t]he idea that anti-Catholicism is a significant force in American life today is a complete canard….” is preposterous, and the best proof of that is some of the vile hate written in response. This stuff, though, is not worth much comment because protestant hatred of Catholicism is something taken in at a very early age and generally is immune to rational analysis or dialectic. Protestants have to believe badly about the Catholic Church because if they didn’t, they would have to answer the question: what is the Church that Jesus founded? It obviously can’t be any of the Protestant Churches because they are all breakaways from Catholicism or prior breakaways from Catholicism. And confronted with the fact that they claim to believe in Jesus, their refusal to belong to His Church has to be justified. So they set themselves up in Judgment of His Church and, of course, find it wanting That just begs the question: who left them in charge of the Church? Actually, as the Ananias and Sapphira episode shows, it was the other way around. Thus, Protestant Anti-Catholicism is really just a justification for a refusal really to believe in what Jesus did. That is about all the response this canard of a thread merits.

  • David B.

    Seamus Breathnach,I’m not afraid. You say That some have been engaging in personal attacks. I have tried to avoid doing so. You, however, have steeped you posts in hate and personal attacks, not the least of which is you bullying of posters to reveal personal information that has no bearing on the subject. You, sir, are the best defense that the Church could’ve hoped for. Thank you.

  • Tony

    “I want to clarify that I don’t believe what the church teaches, and so I left. Why would anyone want to stay in a religion if they do not agree with its doctrines and practices?”Because they believe it is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ? I believe what the Church teaches. I don’t understand yet the logic of much of it, but I’m sure I will. If not in this life, in the next.

  • Tony

    “I want to clarify that I don’t believe what the church teaches, and so I left. Why would anyone want to stay in a religion if they do not agree with its doctrines and practices?”Because they believe it is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ? I believe what the Church teaches. I don’t understand yet the logic of much of it, but I’m sure I will. If not in this life, in the next.

  • Tony

    “I want to clarify that I don’t believe what the church teaches, and so I left. Why would anyone want to stay in a religion if they do not agree with its doctrines and practices?”Because they believe it is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ? I believe what the Church teaches. I don’t understand yet the logic of much of it, but I’m sure I will. If not in this life, in the next.

  • Tony

    “I want to clarify that I don’t believe what the church teaches, and so I left. Why would anyone want to stay in a religion if they do not agree with its doctrines and practices?”Because they believe it is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ? I believe what the Church teaches. I don’t understand yet the logic of much of it, but I’m sure I will. If not in this life, in the next.

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  • Maria Janna

    @ Seamus BreathnachA few remarks concerning your article. There is a difference between religion (incl. faith) and the *history* of religion. Unearthing the origins of a religion or a cult, in this case Christianity’s solidly proven origin from the cult of Divus Iulius, does not diminish the religion itself or the faith of people. You have been asking a few questions, and they need to be put into perspective, because you’re obviously giving the wrong answer (see also conclusion below). Will Christians now and in the future…a) believe in the Resurrection? Not only the Ascension, but especially the Resurrection of Caesar (both of them important parts of the ancient Roman apotheosis) is a proven fact: e.g. it is shown on a Roman denarius from 44 BC, where Caesar resurrects on the funeral pyre. There is a source by St. Augustine, which unquestionably states the Christ’s resurrection by *fire* is a *condicio sine qua non* for becoming a divine entity, and there is at least one early Christian source, which proves that the ancient Romans actually and specifically did believe in the resurrection of Caesar. (And generally speaking, the sources and evidences concerning Caesar as God, i.e. Divus Iulius, are abundant.) If the Resurrection of the lord Caesar is a historical fact, then why should one not believe in the Christian Lord’s Resurrection… and Ascension… and Apotheosis… and divineness?b) the immaculate conception? The immaculate conception is based on the ancient lore about the conception of Caesar’s divine son, the Divi filius, the “Son of God” Augustus. His coming was heralded as the coming of a new king, ruler and benefactor for the whole world, he was conceived by the god Apollo (virgin birth), he was literally born at the “heads of the oxen”, which is a place in Rome. Born into a meagre life at first, he shortly afterwards lived in a small and paltry storeroom in Velitrae (the manger)… and yes, the Romans even planned to kill all newborn children, because the Senators feared that they would lose their power to the new “king”. (The good women of Rome intervened, because they themselves were looking for power as the possible mother of the new “king”, but in any case the story obviously lives on! As part of the Christmas legend, which is everything but a “legend”.)The immaculate conception of the Marian Atia, mother of Augustus, was originally a maculate one, because she carried a mark, a stain from the conception onwards. What this stain (and the conception) originally was, is unknown… it could have been infidelity, or a rape, and the stain a wound/scar from a forceful assailant. But the true reason is irrelevant, because the legend of the “Son of God” having been conceived by the gods themselves overlayed any Anti-Augustan propaganda, and (probably for reasons of decency) the divine aspect of the conception was used to turn the maculate into an immaculate conception. This the people also believed. Why then should one not believe in the immaculate conception today?c) the Last Supper? Caesar’s Last Supper was at the house of his magister equitum, Lepidus, who would later be his successor as pontifex maximus in Rome. Not only during the Last Supper in the Gospel, Jesus spoke ominously about his imminent death, he not only said that he would prefer it to be a quick death. No, also Caesar in the historical sources spoke about his death and that he would prefer a quick death! So the Last Supper (with all the ingredients, properties and theological implications) was a historical fact. Why then should one not believe in the Last Supper?d) the changing of water into wine? Caesar had not prohibited his people the drinking of wine, but he himself, although he liked to attend festivities (like Jesus by the way), abstained from any sort of alcohol (apart from being a vegetarian), because he hoped to keep the effects of his epilepsy at bay (epilepsy = Jesus falling on the Via Crucis!). But those of his followers, who wanted to be pure believers, also followed this example: e.g. the Marcionites, who also did not prohibit the consumption of alcohol, but used only water during the Eucharist.The changing of water into wine (Wedding at Kana) is based on the historic feeding of the multitude by Caesar, the feast in the camp of Pompey. You have written yourself that the victorious miracles of the Christ are based on the miraculous victories of Caesar. (Every single one of them, one has to add!!) In this specific case he had conquered Pompey’s camp, and after a long period of hardship, relinquishing, hunger and drinking only water, Caesar’s soldiers were suddenly rewarded with all the luxury: food and especially wine… all because of Caesar’s “miracle” of defeating Pompey. The ancient sources clearly state that water jars were emptied and filled with wine. Furthermore the Caesar sources show the same elements and attributes, which we also find in the gospels: the silver, or the money (two hundred pieces of silver); the meal outside in the open and in groups and on green grass; the abundance after hunger; the food baskets with the leftover pieces; the bread; the wine; the complaint that it was not enough (Carotta 1999/2005).The Wedding at Kana is however only mentioned in John, and while many properties are extracts from other feasts (see above), the origin behind this specific episode was also the feast in honor of Julia in Rome. John obviously had a different (most notably a Greek!) manuscript of the original sources here, which can explain, why the Synoptics don’t mention Kana, because they were based on Latin manuscripts and Latin-Greek intermediates (philologically explained in detail by Carotta).But in any case… since the changing of water into wine is explicitly a historical fact, why then should one not believe in the changing of water into wine, also in the context of liturgy?e) the walking on water? It has to be noted that when the biblical character called “Jesus” walked on troubled waters, his men were afraid, and they saw him as a ghostly appearance, a spirit. But Jesus assured them not to be afraid. In the original sources Caesar and his men were facing rough seas, they became afraid, but Caesar assured them not to be afraid, because Caesar’s spirit, his luck, would sail with them. So in essence, the Christ’s spirit walked across the water, and Caesar’s spirit floated across the sea. Same episode, same story, with only marginal changes. There have been numerous scholarly publications on Caesar’s spirits, which were “holy spirits”, his clementia, but also his luck (fortuna). The sources (and archaeological evidences) are abundant. So if Caesar’s divine spirit actually and demonstrably “walked” over water, why then should one not believe in the walking on water in the Biblical context?CONCLUSION:Why not believe in all of that? You say that, after reading Carotta—or even after reading the writings of those Piso- and Atwill-freaks, who, unlike Carotta, are nothing but pseudo-scientist crackpots and modern conspiracy theorists—and finally one day settling for the truth about the origins of Christianity from the cult of Divus Iulius, Christians cannot but stop believing in all of these things. This is a false assumption, because not only did everything in the New Testament actually happen—as historical fact (which Carotta clearly proves), albeit regionally and culturally transposed—, but also because you misrepresent Carotta’s research and misuse him for atheist purposes.But Carotta is NOT about atheism, and not about destroying God, let alone the historical Christ. It is not Carotta, who says that Jesus never existed. The majority of NT text critics, who were before him, came to the conclusion that the biblical Christ cannot have existed. This “unhistorical Jesus” has been floating around the scientific community since the Enlightenment. Carotta on the other hand counters this conclusion and restores the historical Christ to full glory, simply by showing with a synoptical comparison that the story is true, but that it happened elsewhere and was rewritten, adapted and newly interpreted in the process of a *diegetic transposition*. His book is—if anything—a piece of elaborate Christian apologetics, not something to utilize for the atheist cause, a cause which is bound to fail anyway, because the gods (including the concept of “God”) are beyond doubt a historical fact. Just go to a museum or a church, and there’s proof that they exist and existed. And yes, it’s as simple as that! God exists because people believe in him. Whether he was Julius Caesar in a historical sense, is irrelevant for the faith. But it helps us understand and strengthen our religion.So it’s actually a nice thing that you’re propagating Carotta’s research among believers, but your intentions are completely wrong… the conclusion you base on Carotta’s book is wrong. There *was* a historical Christ!!! That’s what this book is about.Oh, and PS: did the papacy know about Jesus = Divus Iulius and the “historical Jesus” = Julius Caesar? That would be a bit of a stretch, because this is not some “Holy Blood Holy Grail”-thing with a conspiracy going on behind those big walls. But yes, there are subliminal as well as obvious references to the Roman god Divus Iulius and His cult in all of Christian art and aesthetics, liturgy, tradition, scripture, belief system etc. pp. throughout the ages. It has only been reinterpreted and redefined as Christian. Nobody had bothered to ask the “Roman question”. And for a long long time it wasn’t even necessary (or even possible), because it was there all the time! Only in the wake of secularist, modern and scientific tendencies, did people start to ask questions, but these were the wrong questions, as we now know. The problem in your case however is also that you’re giving the wrong answers. Christus as “Divus Iulius incognito” does not diminish the Christian religion in any way. On the contrary: it will re-introduce the historical fundament needed for a sustainable religion that can withstand this completely silly atheist trend.The “historical Jesus” of modern times has at times and by some been reduced to merely a joke, but the Christ in general, the Christ as God and divine ruler is no joke, not by a long shot, He never was. And with Divus Iulius finally entering the equation again, the Christ cannot be a joke either, now even less than ever. And on the other hand it’s also not about saying “farewell to the Mediterranean myth”. It’s about embracing that myth again, a myth that has been part of Christianity all along. Carotta’s research finally realigns this religion with the cultural and political history of Europe again, recreating the integrity, which had always been felt subconsciously, but which had never really been *understood*. As a ROMAN Catholic I can only thank Carotta for his magnificent book!

  • Maria Janna

    Hi Seamus,I think that you are mistaken in the way you apply Carotta’s unquestionable findings. You occupy one of the polar positions, which have been outlined in the Introduction to Carotta’s book. It’s the view of the atheist, who after reading Carotta now feels impelled to proclaim: “Haha! See? Told you! Jesus never existed!”. But this is only applicable for the literary figure interpreted as the Jewish itinerant preacher from Galilee, the character the world at the moment assigns the name “Yeshua of Nazareth”, the character everyone has been searching for in vain, the character that Benedict XVI has written an insignificant book about. Until now this character from the Gospel has not been proven to have had a historical existence, and even without Carotta we can safely say that there’s a 99% chance that “Yeshua/Jesus of Nazareth” never existed.But in the age AC (“after Carotta”) everyone, including atheists, scholars, believers etc. needs to make the paradigm shift toward Romanocentrism, away from Palestine. And there are no buts about it: Carotta clearly shows that there *was* a historical person behind the Gospel-character called *Jesus*, namely Julius Caesar. Carotta clearly shows that the god we know as “Jesus Christ” is a transformation of the Divus Iulius, similar to what happened with the Iranian world colossus, who influenced Mithras, who in turn had an effect on Sol to evolve into Sol Invictus. Carotta furthermore clearly shows that every single bit and piece in the Gospel is based on historical fact, with the qualification that it can only have happened elsewhere at a different time in history. We are dealing with a *diegetic transposition*. Sure, Joyce’s “Ulysses” is a work of fiction—like “Jesus” his main character never existed!—, but his novel is a diegetic transposition of an ancient source on the life of Odysseus, who was a historical person, although his life was probably a bit different from what we read in Homer’s “Odyssee”. Same here, with the difference that not thousands of years, but only a few generations lie between the writing of the Ur-Gospel, the “Historiae” by Asinius Pollio, ca. in 32 BC, and the formation of the first “gospely” Gospel under Flavian rule.So if everything in the Gospel happened as historical fact, albeit at a different place and time, why should this harm Christianity in any way? It may change Christianity—even fundamentally so, because after all Carotta has for the first time revealed the historical *fundament* of this religion—, and many Christians could be alienated, but in the long run this new-found basis can only mean a strengthening of the religion. The house built on sand is now gone. So I do not accept your notion that “Jesus” never existed. He did: his name was Julius Caesar.The people baaing “Jesus said” from the pulpit are not farcical, because they are talking about the things Caesar said. There are problems however: since the New Testament is a diegetic transposition, some words are completely corrupted, some words of Caesar are now spoken by others (like the blind man < CAECVS < CAESAR), and some words uttered by Christ do not even originate with Caesar, but with other people close to him, even his enemies like Pompeius. An example is: "who is not on any side is on my side", which is 100% Caesar and therefore 100% Christ. A different account in the Bible text (but not in every gospel) has Christ saying "who is not with me, is against me [i.e. is my enemy]", which is contradictory to the former saying, but completely explicable if traced back to Pompeius and a transpositional error. By tracing events and sayings in the Gospel back to their original sources, Christians can now ascertain, which is the correct "Christian" utterance, the real-life event behind certain passages. So it's not the time to say good-bye to Christianity, but to engage in a new, historically correct exegesis. But you are right: we have to put truth over faith, history over belief, reason over religion, historical sources over hagiography. But since the hagiography of Jesus is the basis of the Christian faith, and will in all probability remain so, it must either be rewritten and corrected, stripped down or at least be interpreted according to the original sources on Caesar. Or the Gospel needs a synoptical arrangement vis-a-vis of the original sources, including a substantiated commentary. This should be the basis for those sermons from the pulpit. It would be a wonderful thing: the Enlightenment finally entering the churches! One has to see it as the beginning of an evolutionary process, not as an annihilation.In terms of your examples that I've answered (Resurrection, Last Supper, Walking on water etc.) I stand with what I wrote: they are all anchored in history, the history of *Caesar* that is. The only thing necessary is to make the connection. If Christians don't do that, they are lost and remain without fundament, left in their slim existence with faith alone. So naturally I stand with what I wrote, because it's a logical consequence of realizing that the historical Jesus was Caesar. There is one little exception however, and that's the immaculate conception. You seem to be an intelligent person, and I noticed right away that you noticed that the argument there was (to say the least) a bit messy. (^_^) And I can tell you why: the immaculate conception is (a) originally a maculate conception which was only reinterpreted as immaculate, and (b) although there was a historical incident where it was all said to have happened, the concept of "immaculate conception" and virgin birth from divine conception was from the very beginning a concept of faith and belief, the ancient Roman faith, a legend told about the supernatural birth of the Son of God and God from God Augustus. If anyone in the age AC will still care about Christ, one would then maybe need to separate the wheat from the chaff. It would mean that the virgin birth has got to go, the immaculate conception has got to go, the Trinity with father & son has got to go in favor of the currently inofficial mother/son/spirit-trinity, the Nativity has got to go (but not necessarily Christmas) etc. pp.. That would be the most radical approach, and since I'm not a huge fan of Augustus, I would not oppose such actions, if they're done wisely. But the problem is that Christianity only exists, because the cult of Divus Iulius didn't perish in the new conflicts after Caesar's death. And it's Augustus victory that anchored the cult as the blueprint for the imperial cult. It's Augustus who has to given the credit, even if it meant changing the Caesarian guise of the new religion to correspond with his new vision of Roma resurgens and Augustan empire and principate. And although I hate his guts, Christians have got to bite the bullet that there's a brutal and ruthless tyrant and murderer called Augustus at the heart of Christianity's origin.So discarding everything, even the Augustan parts, might not be the best thing. But in any case I'm with you on the quest for historical truth and propagation of an "open liberal and informed mentality". This is the most important thing of all, but you have to realize that religious belief and faith alone usually clouds every spark of scientific pursuits. But since you're an atheist I guess this is no news for you. But when people only make these pursuits in order to destroy the religions and send the gods into oblivion, they have to expect all the wrath I can possibly muster, because science and knowledge must result in changing and modernizing religions, not their destruction. We have to realize who the gods are, who they were as humans, as political rulers, ancient heroes, gods in the flesh, and what religions actually mean. If religions will actually vanish one day, they must do so on their own. First priority should be to try to save and improve them, because they are part of everyone's heritage, even if one's an atheist.In closing I can only say that as a Catholic Carotta's book has not hurt me at all. On the contrary: it has had a profound healing effect. But it's not because of new faith—I've never been much of a "faith-person": I'm strictly against any metaphysical conjectures, and I see my religion only as a form of social obligation, of loyalty by oath and of ritual and traditions. So it's not about faith, but about *fides* and deeper knowledge, including knowledge *about* the faith and its origins, including an acquisition of a much deeper respect for religion, because after all, none of them are based on lies but on historical truth, even if it means that Jesus is actually Divus Iulius, even if it means that all religions originate from and also define themselves through conflict, war and violence. Saying it's all only a lie, is wrong, because religions always evolve over time. Even the gods evolve and have a half-life. Divus Iulius "decayed" shortly after Constantine, i.e. he transformed into Christus, who is kinda like his "religious daugther nuclide". The "religious radiation" emitted in this long process at certain times triggered new decay- and transformation-processes: the imperial cult, Marcion, heretic Christians, Gnostic churches, Islam, later the Reformation etc.. But that doesn't mean that Christianity or any of these religions is a lie. It's the nature of things.With greetings,

  • Maria Janna

    Seamus Breathnach wrote: “You have an elephant in your room — a Roman Elephant –and you do not see him.”MJ: Oooooh, I DO see him… I’ve dedicated the last five years to this elephant… and I’m f*ckin glad he exists. He’s a weapon to fight both believers and atheists. Wonderful!Furthermore:SusieArviso is talking BS. Early Christianity was a sect? Where’s the proof? The only proof we have is that Christianity was EVERYWHERE ALL OF A SUDDEN! The biggest religious hype of antiquity one could ever imagine! … a *sect*???And btw: SusieArviso sounds rather like a Protestant.SB: Do you imagine he gives a cabaiste about the dreadful life he has prepared for these people?MJ: The Pope didn’t *prepare* anything. He’s just spreading the “faith”. In the end he’s just a poor human, who doesn’t know any better. The problem is that there are a lot of those who don’t know any better.SB: Is this done in Caesar’s name?MJ: A lot today is done in Caesar’s name. He’s only called “Jesus”. It may be in his *name*, but very often it’s not in *accordance* to what Caesar (and the original Jesus!) stood for.SB: If we count the number of subversive colleges of the Jesuits alone in the USMJ: The Jesuits are special… yes… but they were the first to endorse Carotta’s theory (at least in Germany).SB: the canabalism of the MassMJ: BS. It seems to me that you have not read or understood Carotta. There is no *cannibalism* in the Mass/Eucharist. Either you’ve been brainwashed by Atwill and his gnomes… or you’re clinically anti-Roman and anti-Christian.SB: there is no comparison between the Roman lies about their origin in Caesar and their conduct throughout the world.MJ: The Romans never *lied* about their origins. The first two Caesars remained important until the fall of the empire.SB: Caesar was a man and would therefore never have made such stupid prosleytising — even two thousand years ago!MJ: Absolutely wrong. Caesar had been flamen Dialis destinatus and pontifex maximus before he went to Gaul. After crossing the Rubicon he was God for many Romans. After his death he became God for all Romans, eternal, backwards and forwards… a true Divus. So he may have been a man… but he was first and foremost a god, THE God. And even as God he proselytized: back then they called it RECRUITMENTS!!! The civil war! You don’t seem to understand a thing.SB: I want to thank Susan Jacoby for making such a site available […] If I have expressed my appreciation before, then let me do so now. Thank you, Ms Jacoby.MJ: I second that. I don’t know if you’re reading this, Ms Jacoby, but you’re very intelligent and I always welcome your thoughts.