When bishops go rogue

The word “agony” describes the rosary’s first Sorrowful Mystery. It also describes the pain felt in the clash of opinions … Continued

The word “agony” describes the rosary’s first Sorrowful Mystery. It also describes the pain felt in the clash of opinions between Catholic laypeople and some clergy. Such agonizing moments seem to be increasing, especially between Catholic politicians and bishops.

Consider two of the most high-profile clashes: U.S. Sen. Robert Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania and the erstwhile Bishop of Scranton, Joseph Martino; and U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island and Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence.

Both public officials come from prominent political and Catholic families. The Caseys have been in the vanguard of the pro-life Democrats who have pulled the party back from the liberal precipice of a Margaret Sanger approach to birth control, sterilization and abortion. There would have been no Clinton abortion policy of “legal, safe and rare” without the elder Casey, and the younger Casey has moved the Obama policy to the center in promoting adoption and limiting unwanted pregnancies. In the case of the Kennedy clan, there would have been no health-care reform — long supported by Catholic bishops — without the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s advocacy.

So if the bishops as a group support limitations on abortion and sweeping health-care reform, why would they threaten two Catholic politicians who have been instrumental in securing those goals? Bad theology from two bishops may be the cause. After all, both elected officials have acted within the norms of Gaudium et Spes (#43) which serves as part of the written constitution of the Church:

“Let the layman not imagine that his pastors are always such experts, that to every problem which arises, however complicated, they can readily give him a concrete solution, or even that such is their [the bishop’s] mission. Rather, enlightened by Christian wisdom and giving close attention to the teaching authority of the Church, let the layman take on his own distinctive role.”

Moreover, the same document (#76) reminds bishops that the theological and the political “are autonomous and independent from each other.” These documents do not argue for two theological positions, but permit different political options, giving preference to Catholic officials to know best how to produce legislation.

Nonetheless, Scranton’s bishop threatened to withhold communion from Senator Casey about a procedural vote (non-legislative!) to approve Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Bishop Tobin said he was not sure if Kennedy fulfilled “the basic requirements of being a Catholic,” based on the Representative’s statement that he could “disagree with the hierarchy on some [political] issues.”

Bishop Martino equated a vote for confirmation with a specific sinful act, overreaching his authority in Canon Law (See Canon 915). Bishop Tobin accused Kennedy of “a deliberate and obstinate act of the will” in voting to allow abortion – despite the fact that the bishop himself supports the Hyde Amendment that departs from Catholic teaching by allowing abortion in cases of rape and incest. If the Catholic bishops compromise doctrine for a larger common good, why can’t laypersons? Looking at Tobin’s interview with Chris Matthews, it appears that Bishop Tobin has not yet thought carefully about this issue.

Even if a Catholic layperson recognizes that sometimes the hierarchy adopts a double standard that is rife with political contradictions, challenging the clergy for overreaching is next to impossible. Going against your bishop – even when you have Church teaching on your side – is agonizing for believers. Sadly, being a faithful Catholic sometimes requires it.

  • Climacus

    Arroyo-Stevens never makes the case that Church teaching is on the dissenters’ side here. Church teaching on faith and morals is not removed from the sphere of a bishop’s authority simply because the context is political. Gaudium et Spes does not say that “the theological and the political” are necessarily autonomous and independent from each other. It says that “the Church and the political community in their own fields” are autonomous and independent from each other. Bishop Tobin *is* acting in his own field. Congress can act autonomously to adopt healthcare legislation, but if it contravenes Church teaching in faith or morals in so doing, then bishops may act autonomously to hold individual Catholic (or nominally Catholic) legislators to account where their own faith is concerned.Stevens-Arroyo says that “being a faithful Catholic sometimes requires” going against one’s bishop. One gets the impression that, for Stevens-Arroyo, “sometimes” means “whenever you strongly disagree”, and that it is more the rule than the exception. If, for example, Rome had condemned Tobin’s viewpoint, or his fellow bishops had done so (not merely declining to follow him, but actually teaching that his theological and pastoral position was gravely incorrect), there would be a serious basis for thinking that there was a sufficient reason for disobedience. That’s not the case here.Stevens-Arroyo omitted a passage from Gaudium et Spes #43 right before the part he quoted: “This split between the faith, which many profess, and their daily lives, deserve to be counted among the more serious errors of our age.”Has Stevens-Arroyo consulted recently with his own bishop?

  • Paganplace

    Ok. Wait a minute. Now they’re ‘rogue?’ Gods know the Church never intervenes when people start claiming anyone who upholds the Constitution must be ‘damned’ or ‘sinning,’ so vote GOP…Then they disavow it when claiming anyone they record as Catholic must be denied ‘communion’ over certain issues… invariably involving control of sex, With no regard for the other consequences.Then they say ‘Rogue’ when a bishop won’t ‘obey,’ …As they claim all Catholics and non catholics must? ‘Rogue?’

  • ccnl1

    Once again, some observations about abortion that “not his father” Casey and “just like his father” Kennedy need to think about when they support “laws” that allow the killing of defenseless children:It is obvious that intercourse and other sexual activities are out of control with over one million abortions and 19 million cases of STDs per year in the USA alone. “Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain STDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psychological consequences of STDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll.Direct medical costs associated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars.”How in the world do religious and political leaders and parents get this situation under control? Teenagers and young adults must be constantly reminded of the dangers of sexual activity and that oral sex, birth control pills, condoms and chastity belts are no absolute protection against STDs. Might a list of those having an STD posted on the Internet help? Said names would remain until the STD has been eliminated with verification by a doctor. Lists of sexual predators are on-line. Is there a difference between these individuals and those having a STD having sexual relations while infected???And Nature or Nature’s God is the #1 taker of everyone’s life. That gives some rational for killing the unborn or those suffering from dementia, mental disease or Alzheimer’s or anyone who might inconvenience your life??? We constantly battle the forces of nature. We do not succumb to these forces by eliminating defenseless children!!!!!

  • Paganplace

    “We constantly battle the forces of nature.”No, CCNL.”Forces of Nature” are our *home.*

  • marchoi

    “Even if a Catholic layperson recognizes that sometimes the hierarchy adopts a double standard that is rife with political contradictions, challenging the clergy for overreaching is next to impossible. Going against your bishop – even when you have Church teaching on your side – is agonizing for believers.”The Church teaches that a person ought to always follow his or her conscience – to do otherwise is a crime against the person’s individuality, rationality, and freedom. But the person also has a responsibility to form his or her conscience appropriately and in accordance to the truth that is both innate in the human person and revealed through the Church.You are halfway right when you say that the laypersons you mention are doing the right thing by opposing their pastors. You are right in the sense that they ought to obey their conscience. But you are wrong because they are responsible for forming their consciences, of which apparently they did a pretty poor job. If they had formed their consciences as well as they could and still had to oppose their pastors, that would be admirable. But any Catholic who has studied the Catechism should and would know where his or her conscience stands on the issues of abortion, subsidiarity, scandal. And as for you, Dr. Stevens-Arroyo, a half-truth usually does more damage than a lie.

  • marchoi

    “Even if a Catholic layperson recognizes that sometimes the hierarchy adopts a double standard that is rife with political contradictions, challenging the clergy for overreaching is next to impossible. Going against your bishop – even when you have Church teaching on your side – is agonizing for believers. Sadly, being a faithful Catholic sometimes requires it.”The Church teaches that every person has a duty to obey his or her conscience – to do otherwise would be an offense against the person’s dignity as a rational and independent human being. But the Church also teaches as the person has a responsibility to properly form his or her conscience.So you are half-right in saying that Casey and Kennedy should have disobeyed their bishops. You are right because Casey and Kennedy should obey their consciences first and foremost. But you are wrong because Casey and Kennedy should have taken care to form their consciences properly. Any Catholic (or non-Catholic, for that matter) who has studied the Catechism should and would know where his or her conscience stands on the matters of abortion, subsidiarity, and scandal, among others. It is apparent from what Casey and Kennedy state that either: 1) they failed to properly form their consciences, or 2) they formed their consciences properly but are ignoring them. Either way, the fault is theirs. If a layperson, after much deliberation and proper formation of his or her conscience, decides that he or she cannot obey his or her bishop, that’s one thing. But if a layperson decides that he or she will conveniently not study exactly what and why the Church teaches what She teaches, then that’s an issue of disobedience to the Church’s teachings.And as for you, Dr. Stevens-Arroyo, a half-truth usually does more damage than a full lie. So instead of being merely half-right, do your doctorate work justice and work on getting the entire truth. Thanks.

  • cornbread_r2

    I don’t think it’s by accident that both of the targeted politicians were Democrats.When is a bishop going to call to task the Catholic Supreme Court Justices who could have overturned Roe v. Wade almost three years ago?

  • tojby_2000

    marchoi wrote: … The Church teaches that every person has a duty to obey his or her conscience – to do otherwise would be an offense against the person’s dignity as a rational and independent human being. But the Church also teaches as the person has a responsibility to properly form his or her conscience. … ___________________________________________And when these two forces collide, the Church grants itself the role of tie-breaker. In the case of abortion, the RCC is in error. Fetus killing and infant abandonment were legal and routine throughout the world at the time of Jesus. And while he had a great deal to say concerning faith and morals, no gospel records his thoughts on either. Why would they? Exposure and abortion were held to be inoffensive to one’s conscience. While Church teachings have been anti-choice for a very long time, in the days of Jesus and Paul the Christians and Jews were pro-choice.

  • jimwalters1

    The problem is that the moral teachings of the Church have to intersect with political reality. As Dr. Stevens-Arroyo points out, the bishops have already implicitly acknowledged that compromises must be made to get half a loaf rather than none. If it were not the case then the bishops would have rejected the Hyde Amendment for not going far enough. Compromise is a matter of figuring out the optimum balance between the ideal and the practical. This requires both moral judgment and political judgment.The Church does not teach that individual bishops have infalibility, and they can take different sides on important issues. If individual bishops were infallible things like the Great Schism could never have happened. Still, the moral judgments of bishops must be respected. Bishops do not have any special authority or expertise on political matters, however. A bishop with absolutely perfect moral judgment but poor political judgment might fail by overestimating or underestimating what is politically possible. In these cases a person with excellent political judgment and merely average moral judgment might accomplish more. Politicians also have duties to the Constitution and their electorate. This constrains their actions in ways that the bishops are not constrained. Bishops have different constraints on them based on their roles and duties within the Church.Both the bishops and the politicians need to have the humility to acknowledge the limits of their own expertise, and to respect the duties and constraints that the other is bound by. If they do they can work together effectively for the greater good. If they don’t the result is acrimony and failure.

  • Schaum

    Jesus’ attitude towards a same-sex couple is described in Matthew 8:5-13: and Luke 7:2: One day a Roman Centurion asked him to heal his dying servant. Scholars of both Scripture and Ancient History tell us that Roman Centurions, who were not permitted to marry while in service, regularly chose a favorite male slave to be their personal assistant and sexual servant. Such liaisons were common in the Greco-Roman world and it was not unusual for them to deepen into loving partnerships….Jesus offered to go to the servant, but the centurion asked him simply to speak a word of healing, since he was not worthy to welcome this itinerant Jewish teacher under his roof. Jesus responded by healing the servant and proclaiming that even in Israel he had never found faith like this! So, in the one Gospel story where Jesus encountered people sharing what we would call a ‘gay relationship,’ we see him simply concerned about — and deeply moved by — their faith and love. Quite possibly, Jesus’ sensitivity towards the gay couple may have arisen from his own bisexual or homosexual orientation.

  • ThomasBaum

    ClimacusYou wrote, “Stevens-Arroyo says that “being a faithful Catholic sometimes requires” going against one’s bishop.”Didn’t Peter and Paul have disagreements?Did Jesus say, “Come follow Me” or did He say follow those that will be called bishops one day?Did Jesus say, “Come follow Me” or did He say follow My Church?Did Jesus say, “Come follow Me” or did He say follow those that say they are following Me?We are not called to be “clones” and in the real, everyday world people need to try to do what they believe God is calling them to do.Jesus did say, “Come follow Me”, He did not say follow Peter or his successors, but if you remember the present Pope said that we are to follow our conscience.By this Pope Benedict meant that we are to follow our conscience in following Jesus.We should listen to all but follow One.If we follow the “Church” then ultimately we are following ourself since we are the “Church”.Jesus also said, “Simon, thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build MY CHURCH”, He did not say to Peter that it is now your church, did He?People bring up the Catechism, the “Code of Canon Law”, and other things whereas Jesus said, “Love one another as I have Loved you”, simple and to the point, don’t you think?Seems as if we like to put many things above the only Law that there is, and that Law is Love.Jesus said, “Feed MY lambs…”, He did not say, figure out who are My lambs and if they measure up to your “figuring” feed them, did He?No one has the right to withhold God from someone else.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • LeeH1

    I agree strongly with the two bishops, Bishop Joseph Martino and Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, that God cannot be trusted to punish enough the girls who get pregnant out of wedlock. They must be punished on earth as well, since divine judgement and punishment is not enough.If they become pregnant, they must be humiliated, thrown out of Catholic high schools, and publically denounced.If they try to get out of this by having an abortion, then they must be executed as murderers, since abortion is murder.The alternative that Catholics must now change their morals, and support and love and protect unwed mothers is abhorrant and against all the teachings of the church. First, earthly punishment, then divine punishment.This is the way it has always been, and as it should always be. Not only shouod the Catholic church have a whip to punish these cinners, but they should also have a hook as well to keep them from running away.God is too easy on mothers who abort. We need stronger rules on earth now because we can’t trust His judgement.

  • coloradodog

    Whose Table is it anyway? Is it not the table of Christ? Does he not offer His invitation?Why is Tobin still hiding pedophiles while accusing Kennedy of “mortal” sin?

  • coloradodog

    Tell me again. Who is the gay couple to the right of Jesus in the picture of The Last Supper? Did not God create John and Peter as well as all of the rest of us?

  • ccnl1

    Hmmm, “Schaum” has made yet another appearance on this blog. The arrogance of some to continually violate blog rules by using multiple IDs!!!!

  • tonyprzy

    Catholic bishops and priests should not be “withholding” communion for anyone. It’s not a carrot on a stick that should be used for leading people in a chosen direction. If a sinful person receives communion, the only one who is harmed, according to doctrine, is the recipient. Jesus does not need us to protect him. It seems to me that all it can do is help. This whole thing reminds me of the Pharisees questioning Jesus for dining with tax collectors. The healthy man has no need of a physician. Let these politicians continue to receive communion, and Christ may soften their hearts toward unborn children.

  • Climacus

    Tonyprzy wrote: “If a sinful person receives communion, the only one who is harmed, according to doctrine, is the recipient.”Is that really an accurate statement of the doctrine? I would think that if a person is publicly known to be receiving communion in a state of serious sin, it could conceivably (from the Church’s point of view) cause scandal and be conducive to error in others.Even if the circumstances were not publicly known, the Church teaches that “There reigns among men, by the hidden and benign mystery of the divine will, a supernatural solidarity whereby the sin of one harms the others just as the holiness of one also benefits the others” (Indugentiarum Doctrina). Accordingly, to the extent that a person’s receiving Communion in a state of serious sin is itself a further sin, then one ought to conclude that, according to doctrine, the harm is not limited to the recipient.

  • ThomasBaum

    ClimacusYou wrote, “Even if the circumstances were not publicly known, the Church teaches that “There reigns among men, by the hidden and benign mystery of the divine will, a supernatural solidarity whereby the sin of one harms the others just as the holiness of one also benefits the others” (Indugentiarum Doctrina).”Jesus said, “Feed MY lambs…”, how simple and direct do you need it put?Jesus also said, “He, who is without sin, cast the first stone.”.Do you give equal footing, so to speak, to sin and God.Jesus said, “I have overcome the world”, do you believe it?Do you believe that Jesus took ALL OF THE SINS OF ALL OF HUMANITY upon Himself, like the Catholic Church teaches?Jesus said, “I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life…”, do you think that anybody’s walk with Jesus, the Way, is identical with anyone else’s?There are some that just don’t seem to know when to get out of the way of THE WAY so that He can be THE WAY for someone else, no problem, as Jesus said, “With God ALL things are possible”.God’s Plan will not be thwarted by the “good intentions” of us fallible human beings.God has had His Plan since before creation and God’s Plan Will come to Fruition.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ccnl1

    Hmmm, Thomas Baum, founder of “Baumianity” continues with his “thumptations”.See the previous comment about “I have overcome/defeated the world”. (John 16:33) Did the simple preacher man really say this and did he accomplish his mission??This particular passage appears only in John’s gospel i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically unreliable as is most if not all of John’s gospel.”Since the advent of critical scholarship, John’s historical importance has generally been considered less significant than the synoptic gospels. The scholars of the 19th century concluded that the Gospel of John had little historical value. Today, prominent historians, such as E. P. Sanders, look mainly to Mark, Matthew, and Luke for historical information about Jesus.[46] Some scholars today believe that parts of John represent an independent historical tradition from the synoptics, while other parts represent later traditions.[67] The Gospel was probably shaped in part by increasing tensions between synagogue and church, or between those who believed Jesus was the Messiah and those who did not.[68] The scholars of the Jesus Seminar assert that there is little historical value in John and consider nearly every Johannine saying of Jesus to be nonhistorical.[69] J. D. G. Dunn comments: “few scholars would regard John as a source for information regarding Jesus’ life and ministry in any degree comparable to the Synoptics”. [70]”I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life…”, John 14:6 Again, a single attestation found only in the historically unreliable gospel of John.

  • Climacus

    Thomas Baum, I confess it’s not clear to me much of the time what the replies you address to me have to do with things I’ve written.

  • ThomasBaum

    ClimacusI thought I wrote it pretty clear.Who/what are we suppose to follow? The Church or Jesus?The Church can be but is not necessarily a way to Jesus, there are many, many ways to Jesus, but Jesus is the Way to the Father, He told us as much, did He not?Is it about rules and regulations or about a relationship?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    ccnl1You wrote, “Thomas Baum, your god the father is guilty of filicide. You therefore really need to stop and think about your whole flawed theology!!!!”How can you possibly say that? We humans killed Jesus.God neither forced us to kill Jesus nor stopped us from killing Jesus but we are the ones who killed Jesus.Whether or not you believe what is written happened or not is immaterial, from what is written, we humans killed Jesus, didn’t we?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ccnl1

    Again Thomas, founder of “Baumianity”, Baum please read slowly and carefully the following reality about atonement theology:From Professor Crossan (from his book, “Who is Jesus” co-authored with Richard Watts)”Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us.” “Traditionally, Christians have said, ‘See how Christ’s passion was foretold by the prophets.” Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus’ last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God.” “In terms of divine consistency, I do not think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, including Jesus, brings dead people back to life.”

  • coloradodog

    Tell me again by what authority does the Catholic Church have the right to offer or refuse to grant invitations to Christ’s Table?Whose Table is it? Christ’s or the Church’s.If it is Christ’s Table, the invitation comes from Him to those who are willing to receive it in their hearts.If it is the Church’s table, they hijacked it from Christ to control and manipulate others including US politicians while fraudulent claiming US tax exemption and defiantly raising their collective middle fingers at US Criminal Justice by hiding their pedophiles.

  • coloradodog

    comes now Concerned Christian Now Senile 1 cutting and pasting his same weak excuses for the Church’s criminal complicity in hiding pedophile……

  • ccnl1

    We could pray to the hate-filled Coloradodog’s christ for said christ to show Coloradodog the way but it as with all prayers, it would do no good.Why?Prayer relates directly to the subject of religions and their foundations. And what has history, scriptural text reviews and archeology taught us about these foundations?1. Abraham is the reported founder of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Based on all we know now, Abraham was at best a combination of three separate individuals with 1.5 million Conservative Jews no longer believing he existed at all. (ditto for all the characters in the OT).references: National Georgraphic review on Abraham and 2. The founders of Christianity and Islam were both illiterate. i.e. neither one proof read or approved the NT or the Koran so we are taking the word of scribes and embellishers with their own agendas.references: NT exegetes from the last two hundred years and 3. Christianity is actually based on the whim of Pilate, the false prophesy of the imminent second coming, and the sword of Constantine. references: NT exegetes and their conclusions/books from the last two hundred yearsConclusion: Jewish, Christian and Islamic prayers have no foundation to rely on and serve only as useless “mind-stuffers”.

  • patricksarsfield

    Prof. Stevens-Arroyo writes:More likely, Bishop Tobin is not used to dealing with motor-mouths like Matthews who did not let him get a word in edgewise. Matthews acted like a smart-mouthed punk who knew that it was his show and that he could cut off the Bishop if he tried to push back.

  • coloradodog

    ccnl1, you call me “hate field” and then write your venom about “my christ” You think you and your troubled Catholic upbringing gives you exclusive rights to access to Christ as you believe you have exclusive domain over His Table and the governments of the lands where the Pope’s Ambassadors reign. Who’s “hate filled”?Like Gandhi, I love Christ as the best teacher who ever lived but really dislike more and more of his followers. You know nothing about me or what I believe or don’t believe. You just take a little time out from your incessant cutting an pasting to judge and dismiss me that is so characteristic of your kind.

  • ThomasBaum

    ccnl1 You wrote, “Abraham is the reported founder of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”Abraham was not the “founder” of Judaism, he was the first Jew. The Jews was chosen and formed by God, so one could say that God was the founder of Judaism.Christianity or “Christian” is derived from the title given to Jesus translated from the Greek, Jesus was a Jew, born, raised, lived and died a Jew. Originally, those that now call themself “Christian” called themself “People of The Way” taken from when Jesus said, “I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life…”Islam was started by taking what is in both the Old Testament and the New Testament and twisting it by the god-wannabe, some a little, some a lot. Islam came to us thru Muhammed from the god-wannabe, satan. As I have said, I do not hold it against Muhammed that he was deceived by satan.You also wrote, “Based on all we know now, Abraham was at best a combination of three separate individuals with 1.5 million Conservative Jews no longer believing he existed at all. (ditto for all the characters in the OT).”Do you really believe that whether something is true or not is based on whether or not people believe it? Something is either true or not.You also wrote, “The founders of Christianity and Islam were both illiterate.” I can not say one way or the other about Muhammed but Jesus read in the Temple. What difference would it make, one way or the other, if one or the other or both were “illiterate”? Does being “illiterate” make one less in your eyes? It doesn’t in God’s Eyes.You also wrote, “Conclusion: Jewish, Christian and Islamic prayers have no foundation to rely on and serve only as useless “mind-stuffers”.”Do you think that “prayer” is confined to “pre-fab” prayer?Even tho some of the “pre-fab” prayers are exquisite if people would take the time to pray them rather than just say them, prayer should not be limited just to the “pre-fab’s”.As I have said, God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not religious affiliations or lack thereof and It is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ccnl1

    Thomas, “professed Talker/Seer To/of Multiple gods and “professed Moses of the NT,Once again:There is only one place in the NT that suggests Jesus could read i.e. Luke 4:16. This passage is not attested to in any other NT passage or in any other related document making it a later addition or poor translation as per most NT scholars’ analyses. See also Professor Bruce Chilton’s commentary in his book, Rabbi Jesus, An Intimate Biography, pp 99-101- An excerpt:”What Luke misses is that Jesus stood in the synagogue as an illiterate mamzer in his claim to be the Lord’s anointed”. It is very unfortunate that Jesus was illiterate for it resulted in many gospels and epistles being written years after his death by non-witnesses. This resulted in significant differences in said gospels and epistles and with many embellishments to raise Jesus to the level of a deity to compete with the Roman gods and emperors. See Raymond Brown’s 878 page book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (Luke 4:16 note on p. 237) for an exhaustive review of the true writers of the gospels and epistles.And once again, Jesus did not say “I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life…”. This passage was invented by gospel writer, John, as a means to compete with the other religions in the neighborhood. Said passage again is a single attestation not found in any other reference.

  • edallan

    Per Mathew 25, there are nine Catholic senators, Republicans of course, who perversely have condemned themselves to eternal fire for obstinately refusing care to the sick, the poor, the needy. At least one of them, Sam Brownback, is actively complicit in plans to legalize the murder of gay and lesbian Ugandans. As far as I know, none of the Catholic bishops and archbishops whose flock they belong to have publicly said even, “Maybe you should reconsider your position.”Clearly there are a lot more than two rogue bishops in this country.

  • ThomasBaum

    edallanAs I have said before, I am thankful that God is my Judge rather than my fellow human beings.Seems as if many people all over the spectrum are so quick to “condemn” others rather then looking at themself.Seems as if Jesus said today: “He who is without sin, cast the first stone”, there would be many, many people, besides the accused, getting stoned since there would be stones flying from all directions, does it seem that way to you too?”When the son of man comes will he find faith?”, interesting observation and something to think about.It seems as if Jesus’s Message is too simple, direct and to the heart for some of the modern-day Pharisees to grasp, times haven’t changed all that much, have they?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ccnl1

    Paul converted many a Gentile with his prophecy of an imminent second coming. The faithful are getting tired of waiting and are leaving Catholicism in droves.

  • paulc2

    Dr. S-A,Furthermore, they were acting in the interest of the souls of Casey and Kennedy, warning them of their peril. I know that many of you don’t recognize this as a pastoral position, but that doens’t make it any less true.

  • paulc2

    CCNL:

  • ThomasBaum

    ccnl1You wrote, “The faithful are getting tired of waiting and are leaving Catholicism in droves.”Where are they going?Should one follow the “crowd”, so to speak, or should one follow Who/what they personally choose to follow?Truth is not based on “majority opinion” or any other opinion for that matter, Truth is Truth, for the simple matter that it is True.Jesus extended the invitation to “Come follow Me”, His invitation was not to follow “Catholicism”.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.