“I Love the Catholic Church, But …”

church, reform

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I can’t believe how often I hear people who call themselves Catholic make explicit statements of unfaithfulness. It usually goes something like: “I love the Catholic Church and I believe most of what She teaches. I just disagree on a few of Her positions.” Usually the disagreements revolve around sexual morality, sins against the 6th and 9th commandments, and marriage.

The First “Cafeteria Catholic”

This is a much more serious stance than might otherwise be assumed in this age of hypersensitivity. To choose to disagree with the teaching of Holy Mother Church when one claims to be a Catholic has natural consequences that follow as surely as water flows down a stream. A momentary consideration of what exactly follows after discovering what really takes place may give a few of our fallen-away Catholic brethren enough pause to return to the narrow path.

When people who call themselves “Catholic” pick and choose what doctrines, dogmas and articles of faith they are willing to believe, they are called by the modern world “cafeteria Catholics.” This doesn’t sound quite so severe as the more accurate term heretic. The word heresy coms from the” Greek hairesis, meaning “choice.” But when a “cafeteria Catholic” chooses to believe what they want to believe instead of the revealed truth of God, several things happen.

God’s brightest and most beautiful angel Lucifer caught a glimpse of his own beauty and chose himself over his Creator. He was the first subjectivist, because he arrogated to himself the authority to reject God’s authority. Lucifer willfully declared, “I will not serve.” When Catholics reject one of the unchanging and unchangeable teachings of the Church, they echo the original declarative rejection. The original heretic who put his will above the will of the Father committed such violence against the nature of truth, goodness, and beauty that his treachery swept away a third of the angels from heaven. We are guaranteed to suffer a similar fate as the original fallen angel if we imitate him.

The Assent of Faith to the Teachings of the Church

This is an age of disbelief, material reductionism, and subjectivism. It is increasingly difficult to give our full assent to Holy Mother Church’s teaching because they are difficult to reconcile with our modern ethos. One may rightfully object that there are many things about which men of good will can disagree, but the unchanging, dogmatic articles of faith of the Church are not among them. If we are going to be authentically Catholic, we are not at liberty to dictate what Christ would have us believe.

It ought to be remembered and well considered that faith is one of the three theological virtues. It is a gift from God to those who choose to love Him more than they love themselves. Fully believing the revealed truth is well-nigh impossible for us mere humans in our present condition after the Fall. We are left with a darkened intellect, weakened wills and an inclination towards sin and these three defects make us susceptible to the temptations of the king of lies and at the same time constitute three road blocks to true belief. Those who submit their wills to the will of the Father are infused with the supernatural virtue of faith and only then can full assent to the revealed truth be grasped and embraced.

To give assent to the fullness of the Faith is an all or nothing proposition. M.V. Dougherty’s enlightening and erudite article, “Opining the articuli fidei: Thomas Aquinas on the Heretic’s Assent to the Articles of Faith” (The Thomist 80.1, pp. 1-21), demonstrates how St. Thomas Aquinas consistently defends the position. If one chooses to disbelieve a single article of faith, then the gift of infused faith is no longer available and he can then no longer give full assent to any of the teachings of the Church.

According to St. Thomas, the heretic is deprived of all supernatural intellectual gifts and left to his own fallen devices to discover truth. A heretic can encounter truth in a natural sense and he can even still claim to believe many of the teachings of the Church, but he is incapable of enjoying the fullness of truth and at best can only hold agreement to the certain articles because of his opinions.

Thomist Cognitive States

Saint Thomas describes an ascending hierarchy of natural cognitive ability. The lowest is simply a lack of knowledge. Next is ignorance which he characterizes as knowledge one should know. Next is doubt, which he explains is one who vacillates between two contradictories. Next, one who suspects is firmer than the doubter in that he may lean towards one contradictory over the other. Further, one who tends to give assent to one of the two contradictories is one who surmises. Next is one who fully embraces one of the two contradictories and he is one who rests firm in his opinions.

Dougherty goes on to explain that the four cognitive states of doubt, suspicion, surmise and opinion all involve the will of the subject, or the “cognizer”. The reason that beliefs on this level require a participation of the will is that there is not enough intelligibility in their position to demonstrate truth in certitude. In other words, “Aquinas is careful to distinguish the assent that takes its origin from a volitional act from the assent in which the intellect is compelled in virtue of the intrinsic intelligibility of a truth” (page 7). Thomas goes on to explain that the right kind of consent to truth occurs in two different types of cognition.

The two highest ways of natural knowing Thomas calls intellection and science. Science is used here in not in the modern sense, but in the scholastic sense as the theological and philosophical knowing that follows the discovery of the intelligibility of self-evident propositions and demonstrated truths. As Faith is supernatural, so belief in the articles of faith requires supernatural help. Dougherty summarizes Thomas’ explanation of what happens to the heretics’ cognition:

By choosing to deny certain articles of faith, heretics forfeit the supernatural help of assenting to the other articles of faith. And of course, heretics do not enjoy the benefit of having the intrinsic intelligibility of the articles of faith exercise causality upon their intellects to compel assent. … The natural limitation of the human intellect renders humans unsusceptible to such causality. The cause of assent for heretics, therefore, must be an exercise of their own wills whereby they choose to assent to a subset of the articles of faith” (page 9).

Going After the One Sheep

In the end, the “Cafeteria Catholic” who claims to agree with some of Catholic Doctrine can only do so by his opinion by a force of a disordered will. When the heretic is faced with an article of faith and its negation, sometimes by opinion, he ascribes to the article of faith instead of its negation, but it is elected by human judgement and a purely human choice.

The fact that we are so reluctant to call a heretic a heretic will only impress the pathological onlookers of this weak-kneed age. We ought to be more concerned with impressing the One who made us.  It is an act of charity to demonstrate that those who disbelieve even a single article of faith are putting their immortal souls in grave danger. If even one comes back to reality instead of to subjective opinion, heaven will rejoice over the recovery of a soul that had once been lost.

Christ goes after the one sheep. Let us in imitation of the one true teacher, speak the truth in charity so that the lost sheep may return to the fold and to the fullness of truth embodied in our articles of faith.

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77 thoughts on ““I Love the Catholic Church, But …””

  1. This is bad writing. Good writing would know that “articles of faith” is a very restricted term in Catholicism and does not include all issues under the sun. Good writing would know that cafeteria Catholicism has been happening in three Popes who have declared war on the death penalty and none of them will put Romans 13:4 in writing during their attacks on the death penalty.

    1. Being confused is not exactly the same as “bad writing” Elijah- but surely you are right that confused writing cannot be good- I also agree with you that my writing is bad, but perhaps your own confusion is even more immense than mine- I intended to convey that Church Doctrine and Dogma including articles of faith are non-negotiable items for belief however they are categorized, not “all issues under the sun.” Your claim that cafeteria Catholicism has been happening with the last three popes is hardly authoritative. I think you may have missed the nuance is St. Pope John Paul II’s discussion of the death penalty. Nothing permanent has changed, if it has perhaps you should demonstrate it with a little more clarity than ideological conjecture.

    2. Sixteen years of Catholic school here…thanks…8 with Jesuits, Dean’s list, minor in Theolgy. No more snow please.
      St. JPII called the death penalty ” cruel and unnecessary” in 1999 in St. Louis. All three recent Popes have sought its abolition which very seeking contradicts scripture and tradition and their own ccc #2267…which is a prudential judgement that doesn’t belong in a catechism but it’s better than their seeking abolition. Your own citing of the Catholic dictionary is implicitly against what they have done.
      Here is Romans 13:4…in the nab…” for it is a servant of God for your good. But if you do evil, be afraid, for it does not bear the sword without purpose; it is the servant of God to inflict wrath on the evildoer.” Does that sound like the Holy Spirit who authored Rom.13:4 ( see Dei Verbum )…does it sound like He wants three Popes seeking abolition in a world where the two largest non death penalty Catholic countries, Brazil and Mexico, have murder rates of 24 and 20 per 100,000…( China has a rate of 1.1 per 100,000 partly because it unwittingly obeys scripture in this one tiny area.) Brazil had 50,674 murders in 2012….which would decrease to c.2000 if it had China’s adult murder rate. Affluent countries are entirely different…their murder rates are low regardless of punishment. But poor dominated countries have horrendous murder rates when they don’t have the death penalty. Check the UN stats on world homicide. This Pope hasn’t looked at them once because he has infused knowledge in an area unsusceptible to infused knowledge.

    3. Well so much for a “good Jesuit education,” a “Catholic education” and the deans list. You make sweeping reductionist generalizations that are nearly meaningless if not outright incoherent. I hope you have better evidence against the Holy Father then those three words spoken in 1999. Even so they are ordered and loving words and do not constitute in the least the exhortation to abolish the death penalty. It does not contradict Romans 13:4- it doesn’t even address it. Your murder stats for Brazil and China ignore countless important realities and that alone renders your point just about meaningless. I don’t know what you mean by “snow” but really Elijah, your words are approaching the reckless for their simultaneous harshness and vacuousness.

      Elijah, before you accuse a saint of heresy you ought to consider who wrote paragraph 2267:

      ‘Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
      If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

      Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

      St. Pope John Paul II did not deviate from this paragraph as far as I know, but if he did, and you claim he did, the onus is on you to demonstrate it. I will repeat that you don’t have the authority to make the claims you make (except for about my bad writing), but if you think you do, you ought to present evidence, not the above reductionist rants. I think almost everything you have said here is unsubstantiated. I don’t have any Catholic education which at this point appears to be to my advantage.

    4. You’re conning yourself and the audience by avoiding Brazil lol…and avoiding that each Pope has publically called for total abolition of the death penalty…because your income is coming from Catholic schools like many converts in writing some of whom make their income from the speaking circuit like Mark Shea who again is always 100% non critical of reining Popes. You people will never criticize a Pope because your every monthly bill is connected to the affirmation of Popes.
      In section 39 of Evangelium Vitae, St. JPII cites Gen.9:5-6 but he removes the center of the couplet which is the death penalty mandate. Check it. A cardinal in the CDF office must have noticed the sleight of hand and that Cardinal tried to oppose EV and ccc 2267 by writing ccc 2260 which gives the whole of Gen.9:5-6 without JP’s deletion of the center.
      The plot thickens. In Evangelium Vitae, St. JPII waxes long on God protecting Cain from being executed by other men but JPII sees this as instructive for us but he neglects to tell the audience of EV that that same God was protecting Cain from vigilantes since there was no government until Gen.10:8 with Nimrod and it is governments that God affirms as killing criminals in Rom.13:4. The God who protected Cain from vigilantes gives a death penalty for murder right prior to the first government under Nimrod. St.JPII hid this from his audience in effect. Get a non Catholic job and you’ll write more truthfully because your income won’t be tied to the Church.

    5. Your words are irresponsible Elijah and slanderous. I don’t get my paycheck from the Church. I have respect for the office and Holy Mother Church more than I value my opinion. I had a non-Catholic job for 23 years before working for a private independent Catholic school for 2 years that is not affiliated with the archdiocese- if you look at my writing when I was with the public schools you will see that I still did not badmouth the Popes, it is just not a thing I do mostly because I don’t arrogate to myself the authority or license to claim to know things I couldn’t possibly know. You are wrong and if you have honor you will apologize.

    6. “It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples’ lives from an unjust aggressor.”

      -Pope Francis Address to the Delegates of the International Association of Penal Law Vatican City, October 24, 2014

      “…I draw the attention of society’s leaders to the need to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty and to reform the penal system…”

      – Pope Benedict XVI Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Africae Munus Benin, November 19, 2011

      “I renew the appeal…to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.”

      -Pope John Paul II Homily St. Louis, MO, January 27, 1999

    7. People who call for replacing the death penalty with extended terms of incarceration seem to have no thought or care for the souls and lives of the men who will be guarding the incarcerated.

    8. The recent Popes were conservative on birth control which provides orthodox image….and they were raving liberals on biblical exegesis. See Verbum Domini section 42, wherein Benedict finds the herem massacres to be sins rather than mandated by God as scripture repeatedly notes.
      Read section 40 of Evangelium Vitae wherein St.JPII insinuates the same of the Pentateuchal death penalties. Hence no criticism now by Benedict of Francis….and that is stunning real conservatives but not moi.

  2. “When Catholics reject one of the unchanging and unchangeable teachings of the Church, they echo the original declarative rejection.”
    What are faithful Catholics to do if a pope changes “unchanging and unchangeable” teachings of the Church regarding unrepentant divorced and remarried and abortion and gay ‘marriage’ advocates, aka Cafeteria Catholics, being admitted to Holy Communion?
    Do we abide by the ‘new and improved’ Church teaching?

    1. A pope cannot and will not change the teaching of the Church and I admit that it is difficult to see that at the present moment, but you can be assured that the “gates of hell will not prevail against the Church.” Jesus tells us “judge not by appearances, but judge right judgement.” The world is a mess right now, expect our interactions with it to be difficult to judge accurately. But put your faith in the Holy Word, not in our own interpretations of things we cannot possibly fully comprehend. There is no “new and improved Church Teaching” it is as it was and always will be.

    2. Sounds too much like ‘leading from behind’; nah, can’t do it.
      We follow Jesus- it’s an act of the will that takes courage, not a passive surrender to the prevailing culture.

    3. Good comment Delphin! To surrender to the prevailing culture is to embrace the culture of death and about the worst we could do. We have to be willing to be fools for Christ in the eyes of the world.

    1. Nothing outside of the truth even has the potential to be charitable- what do you suggest, “tolerance?” But how about instead of the ad-hominem attack you give an example of “pathologically uncharitable”? I do think this is one of your better observations and one of your more charitable ad-hominem attacks though Adam, keep up the good work.

    1. The Catholic Church embodies the fullest freedom of conscience, so I suggest one abandon ideology and self-reference and embrace the fullness of Truth and Go to the God the Father through Christ. And then by humble inquiry make the effort in cooperation with the graces which flow from the Holy Spirit to discover why the Teaching of the Holy Roman Catholic Church embodies the fullness of Truth. Being a heretic is self-defeating and contradictory to the nature of reality.

    2. ” Being a heretic is self-defeating and contradictory to the nature of reality.”

      Steven, has it ever crossed your mind that the Holy Spirit might use heretics to make course corrections in the CC ? How do you think something so unwieldy and old keeps itself abreast of the ever developing spiritual maturity in man. New wine and voices are what commissioned Vatican 2. Old ways of envisioning God in religion fall down in order to advance our unity on a grander scale. Your idea that the church is entrenched with a moat around it is defunct. Of course, your orthodoxy is as absolutely necessary as those who are tugging the other end of the rope. It’s not that the starting point has moved even an inch – but the rope has stretched far and long no way is either end going to yield …or break. Neither of us is right and wrong

    3. James you are so far out in left field you’re no longer even in the ballpark. Heresy is not a vague term of condemnation but a precise legal concept. It is defined, along with the related crimes of apostasy and schism, by canon 751 of the Code of Canon Law: Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt, after the reception of baptism, of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith [credenda]. A “divine” truth is one revealed by God Himself. So a heretic by definition is a person who is denying a truth revealed by God. But you are arguing that God (the Holy Spirit) would implant a notion that is contrary to a divine truth He Himself revealed to get the Catholic Church to make a course correction! That is ridiculous nonsense.

    4. ” …but a precise legal ( oh, that’s why its a “crime(s)” ) concept.’

      And we know what Jesus thought of scribes and lawyers. You’re not even in the game Gus – and quit with the smoking scandal for God’s sake. Some young Catholic kid may think its cool to try.

    5. Well that makes you zero for four. You don’t understand dogma, theology, how Canon Law is applied, or what constitutes heresy. Or is it zero for five since Jesus only had a problem with the “scribes and lawyers” who were phonies. And of course, because you can’t refute my argument you have to resort to attacking me. By the way, there is nothing wrong with smoking. It’s even ok with the Catholic Church if I choose to smoke. So I guess that makes you zero for six.

    6. “Using” freedom of conscience? That’s not how it works.

      Yes, the Church teaches that a man must follow the dictates of his well-formed conscience. It also teaches that he must be permitted to do so – in other words, the Church won’t force him to act contrary to his own conscience.

      However, the Church also teaches that there are both temporal and eternal consequences for doing so. One who follows his conscience into heresy, schism, or grave public sin faces ecclesial consequences (e.g., excommunication, denial of the sacraments, etc.), though they are rarely imposed these days. Likewise, when he faces judgment, it will not fly to say to his Master: “My conscience told me that your Church was wrong; I just didn’t believe what She taught.”

      So, when a Catholic decides for himself that the Church’s teachings on sexual morality are “wrong” and that he need neither believe in nor abide by them, he may be following his conscience straight to hell.

      A Catholic who has doubts about a Catholic teaching to which all Catholics are required to give assent should do everything they can to conform their conscience to the mind of the Church. This requires humility – a willingness to accept Church as a higher authority than one’s own will.

    7. ” …faces ecclesial consequences (e.g., excommunication, denial of the sacraments, etc.), …”

      Here’s what the devil’s dictionary says about Excommunication –

      This excommunication is a word
      In speech ecclesiastical oft heard,
      And means the damning, with bell, book and candle,
      Some sinner whose opinions are a scandal –
      A rite permitting Satan to enslave him Forever,
      and forbidding Christ to save him.

      What do you think BXVI, is it better to be a heretic or just join another church using freedom of conscience ?

    8. That little poem contains much bad theology. Excommunication serves the purpose of protecting the sheep from scandal, but it also serves the purpose of (hopefully) shocking the heretic or public sinner into realizing the error of their ways. Read 1 Corinthians 5. And, of course, there are lesser penalties than excommunication.

      My point was that if a man’s conscience leads him out of the Church, he’s free to go. What he’s not really free to do is to stay and act as though he is in “full communion” as an open heretic or flagrant public sinner.

      My answer to your question: the options you present are equally bad. One cannot be more dead than dead.

    9. “Shocking the heretic” !! In this age, BXVI !!! We’re still trying to get over the scandals of the last 40 years.

    10. Paul’s too over the top, that’s why all the baptists go ga ga for him. And if the early
      church had heretics it proves that the grain of truth in their claims will not be buried
      and that’s why things are still surfacing 2000 years later. Slivers need to come out
      not be absorbed.

    11. I guess I will stick with St. Paul – and the Church – rather than going with the Gospel according to someone named “james” in an internet comment box.

    12. Sometimes just adopting an inner disposition of humbly submitting to the Church as Christ’s conduit of truth is sufficient. Unfortunately, we pit our ego and will in opposition to Christ and His Church.

    13. ” …humbly submitting…”

      That’s an Islam thing, Phoebe, not the mark of a vibrant church which no one here will even
      recognize in the next 500 years no more than the first Christians would recognize the pomp
      and majesty of the Vatican today – never mind clutter like canon law 751.

    14. Actually, humble submission is the essence of Catholicism. To be Catholic is to admit that the Church is a higher authority than oneself and to live accordingly. You cannot “believe whatever you want” and remain in full communion with the Catholic Church. Catholics are required to give religious submission of the will to certain doctrines. If they refuse, then they have separated themselves from the Church, whether or not that fact is formally/publicly recognized.

      Faith

      2087 Our moral life has its source in faith in God who reveals his love to us. St. Paul speaks of the “obedience of faith” as our first obligation. He shows that “ignorance of God” is the principle and explanation of all moral deviations. Our duty toward God is to believe in him and to bear witness to him.

      2088 The first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it. There are various ways of sinning against faith:

      Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. Involuntary doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness.

      2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

    15. ” Catholics are required to give religious submission of the will to certain doctrines”

      I like that word “certain”. Can you give me a list and separate out the disciplines since they are not doctrine ?

    16. James, why don’t you start here:
      What Catholics are Free to Believe or Not
      Paperback – September 22, 2016
      by Fr. H.G. Hughes

    17. No, James, I am not going to do that. Get yourself a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church if you want that. My guess is that’s not what you really want.

    18. They are the same thing. Anyone who claims Christianity, but goes to any non-Catholic church is a heretic. The only difference is the one who claims it, but stops attending Mass and presenting themselves for Holy Communion is at least an honest heretic.

    19. And I’m all for people following Jesus and getting to Heaven. He told us certain things that we needed to do. One of them is “Except you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood you shall not have life in you.” Another is “If you love me, keep my commandments.”

    20. I truly hope you are shooting for better than that. I am. I want to be a saint! Failing spectacularly, but I figure if I aim high, maybe I’ll at least hit high enough for purgatory, though I know I won’t get myself even there. 😉

    21. Aiming high for purgatory, failing spectacularly … why not try to be one of the 144,000 elect. A spiritual Martha you are, pannw.

    22. Impressive judgments on my character through the interwebs, james. Regardless, since Jesus loved Martha, I’ll not take offense. Far better that than being a heretic. You are too clever by half, james. Bless your heart.

    23. The Magisterium of the CC does not teach there is no salvation outside the CC. Period. BTW the people in the other Christian churches are our brothers and sisters in Christ, heirs of the promise, loved and saved by Him as Catholics are. They are not heretics. Try some love. Being judgmental is ugly and never pleasing to God.

    24. Do you know the definition of Heretic? The CCC states: “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same.” CCC 2089

      One of the things that the Church teaches that all Catholics must assent to is the infallible authority of the Church in matters of faith and morals. Protestantism rejects that authority and would give it to each individual for private judgment, hence the huge disparity of beliefs on things like contraception, divorce, homosexuality, abortion, etc. etc. It is a heresy to believe in sola scriptura. The Perpetual Virginity of the Holy Mother is a doctrine of the faith and must be believed, else one is a heretic. Shall I go on?

      Protestantism is a heresy. It is not judgmental to state facts. I do not believe God is displeased when His people tell the Truth. “Try some love”? Give me a break. There is no ‘love’ in covering up the Truth and your judgment on me that I am being ‘ugly and displeasing to God’ is a nice bit of irony. Physician heal thyself.

      As to salvation outside the Church, that is up to Jesus and His unfathomable Mercy, but He told us certain things we must do, like ‘eat the flesh of the son of man…”. He established a single Church; He prayed that we be ONE, and established a single chair to maintain that unity. I sincerely hope that there is salvation outside the Church, as many I have loved have been, but as for my own soul, I am not taking any chances. He established the Church and gave authority to Peter, and only Peter of all the Apostles, to ‘Feed my sheep’ for a reason.

    25. At least you took me seriously. Thank you for that. However, your response is more ugly than your first comment. What a sorry point of view. No mercy, love, or justice with you. A little humility therapy would help you a lot. So glad you are not God!!!

    26. What a silly statement here guest. The Church teaches that there is no salvation outside the Church, but it might take a little more time than we have to flesh that out. Are you aware of the fact that your statement “being judgmental is ugly and never pleasing to God” is in fact judgmental? Of course you are wrong, but isn’t that funny? Jesus tells us “judge not by appearances, but judge right judgement.” We are instructed by our Lord to judge, but judge rightly, you have made some very poor judgments here and I guess the question here is whether the Lord would find my judgments pleasing, or yours pleasing or neither or both. Your confusion is that it is the world that makes the absurd judgment that judgment is ugly and never pleasing, you have the wrong god here guest.

    27. I don’t believe in your god; that god produced your merciless view of salvation. How sorry to be so judgmental——-and a bit silly, to use your word.

    28. Laurence Charles Ringo

      “Anyone who claims Christianity, but goes to any non-Catholic church is a heretic”.—Wow, pannw…I didn’t get the memo stating that Almighty God had suddenly relinquished His Position as Savior,Judge, and God…Frankly,given how much ruin,destruction and murder The Roman Catholic Church has dealt to those they have deemed”heretics” in direct violation of The Savior’s express commands, I’m ALWAYS astonished when a Roman Catholic utters that word.( By the way,your Catechism disagrees with you; no doubt you disagree with it,despite the fact that your sainted Pope John Paul II endorsed it.Go figure…) At any rate, nowhere in the New Testament is the murder of ANY supposed “heretic” called for. But throughout history your church has never hesitated to put to death all who dared to disagree with its dogmas, doctrines, and dictates, has it? No.Even your so-called”Angelic Doctor”, Thomas Aquinas, advocated the murder of so-called “heretics”. It’s disgusting, and there is NOTHING that can EVER convince me that MY Savior would found a church that would endorse ecclesiastical murder in that fashion. It’s utter nonsense, and it’s no wonder your pope asked pardon and repented of such blatantly unScriptural and criminal actions.

    29. You filthy prot, I see you are up to your calumniating again. The Epistle of St. James 2:10 and Galatians 1:8-9 contradicts you. You prots and the heretic scum that preceded you such as the albigensians, waldensians and hussites &c. are of the same ilk as the arians, marcionites and other assorted slaves of satan. You hate the Church because you hate the light as is written in the Gospel of St. John 3:20. You dare to call murder the lawful and rightful execution of accursed sectaries who were the willing agents of satan going about deceiving and murdering souls? Those who executed that worthless filth were heroes who ought still to be honoured today. In the other comments sections you said you would answer me. You never have you worthless coward. Let’s see your answer now you dirty prot cockroach. Scurry now now and shut your flipping mouth you malicious rat.

    30. Laurence Charles Ringo

      Hey,M.!!?–My apologies; I actually got distracted after our last exchanges by another issue someone raised and had to engage in some fairly heavy research,so…I’ve been busy. “Dirty prot cockroach”. “Malicious rat”.”Worthless filth”. “Heretic scum”. Sigh…?. Didn’t take long, did it? I find it interesting that you so blindly hate people you don’t even know,M.; that you have so idolized Roman Catholicism that you count as heros murderers and killers of women and children. It’s like reading a propaganda post from ISIS. But then again, I shouldn’t be surprised; many professed” christians” have the heart and souls of murderers–1John

    31. I’ll bet you did ha ha ha! You didn’t answer because you have no answer. Your fake made up religion is as defensible as the wilful robbery and murder which were its motives in the 16th century. Tell us how St. Ignatius of Antioch denied the Real Presence as idolatry as your disgusting piece of maggot-infested carrion Calvin did. Why don’t you do so prot filth? It’s because you can’t, St. Ignatius who knew St. Polycarp, who knew St. John the Evangelist believed in it. Tell us how Christians are to Hold God’s Most Holy Mother in utter contempt as you members of satan do; why don’t you? You can’t, Marian devotion has always been in the True Church founded by Christ. Read St. Ephraim the Syrians beautiful writings in Her honour and tell us it ought not be so you dirty sectary. Know that God’s justice will overtake you prot. Your hatred of His Church will not go unpunished. He has you in His sights even now you louse. Doing penance and abjuring your doctrines of demons would be best.

    32. Laurence Charles Ringo

      Wow, M. I have NEVER,EVER ran across someone so eager to spew venom and hatred as you; I was barely finished with my last post to you!!?—You’d better not miss confession tomorrow; you’re going to be there awhile! ?—PEACE IN CHRIST,ALWAYS!!

    33. I see you have no answer. You are incapable of refuting what I wrote. I wouldn’t speak to a decent prot who honestly didn’t know better in such a way. You have proved by your multitude of posts attacking Christ’s Church on Catholic sites that you are not a decent prot, but rather a malicious one. If you were possessed of a good will you would long ago have converted in the face of the overwhelming evidence which proves beyond the shadow of a doubt which religion is true. The fact that you have not demonstrates that you are like unto those Pharisees that dared to blaspheme Christ by saying that He worked His miracles by the power of the devil. I can’t help but wonder if you are an apostate from Catholicism. This would explain quite a lot. The apostate is always the most virulent enemy of Christ and His Church. I probably ought not to have so freely insulted even the likes of you, but it’s hard not to be angered upon seeing such diabolical malice.

    34. Laurence Charles Ringo

      Sigh…I have no answer,as you put it M., because at this point I’ve lost track of what exactly the question is; reading your venomous,hate-filled diatribes is VERY trying,buy

    35. Don’t give me that rubbish prot, you know full well what the question is. Are the doctrines of Christ’s Church which He founded to be adhered to; or are the pernicious doctrines of heretics, accursed novelties and innovations dreamt up 1,500 years afterwards to be followed? It is the same question asked by Josue in Josue 24:15. Answer it prot.

    36. Laurence Charles Ringo

      Sorry,M.,I pushed the wrong button and didn’t finish my train of thought.BUT…to answer the question,now that I know what it is: Since I have already made it clear that having studied,and am still studying, the Roman Catholic religious construct for over 25 years, I find absolutely no evidence that this particular institution was founded by My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; in every logical examination Roman Catholicism comes up WAAY short as a viable Christian entity; while it contains some authentic Christian elements,on the whole, almost the entire history of this institution testifes against regarding it as “christian”; it is a man-centered, pseudo-theological,quasi-political religious construct in which the Lord Jesus Christ is conspicuously absent and has had precious little influence on its development. I’m more than willing to concede that throughout the long history of Roman Catholicism there have been many,many authentic Christian men and women who have done tremendous good in the world,in genuine imitation of The Savior’s Life and in obedience to His express Will, but the man-centered religious construct known as Roman Catholicism—not so much.As I said,your long,atrocious history and the tremendous pain,ruin,and destruction your Church has wrought throughout history simply rules out any claims of being the type of authentic Christian Assembly The Savior would be proud of, and any honest historians,especially Catholic historians will acknowledge that, M. I’ve read some of the works of the various churchmen you keep bringing up–So what? They’re not the be-all and end-all of Christian thought.I happen to greatly admire Athanasius, but when all is said and done,like the others he was a mere man,used mightily of Almighty God,but still a fallible,sinful human being prone to error like all men (and women for that matter.

    37. There you go again spewing your poison Ringo. By the same logic the administration of justice to criminals on the part of the state commanded by God in Romans 13:4 cannot really be from God as the execution of murderers &c. caused a great deal of pain and suffering. Do you think that the murderers’ families weren’t grieved when one of their own received the recompense his deeds warranted? In this world there can never be the Millenarian utopia you types expect. Christ said He came to bring a sword (Gospel of St. Matthew 10:34). Criminals, whether they be of the common variety, or the much more dangerous spiritual type must get what they’ve got coming to them, otherwise the entire society descends into anarchy as one sees today. You dare to say that Christ’s Church is man-centred? It is the spiritual pestilence of protestant heresy which exalts man above God. It is your doctrines which tend to antinomianism. It is your preachers who wilfully deny the very Scripture they claim to revere by negating those teachings they find displeasing such as the Epistle of St. James 2:14-26. Our Lord, really present in the Most Sacrifice of the Mass is the very Life of His Church. Catholics worship Christ, you prots adore yourselves and your ever variable opinions. You prots change your doctrine at a whim thereby demonstrating that you do not really hold it to be the truth as truth does not change. You dare to calumniate the Saints and learned Doctors? Let us see you endure the persecution St. Athanasius endured, and do his works then. They were God’s faithful friends and you contemptuously disparage them as being no more dear to Him than any tom dick and harry. This shows forth your raging pride. You prots are possessed of a spirit of egalitarianism like all revolutionaries. You can’t bear the thought of hierarchy and a rightful order of things, as this conflicts with your disordered, nay outright delusional view of yourselves being exalted personages inferior to none, not even to the Saints and Martyrs, indeed, not even to the Almighty Himself as see fit to freely amend His Commandments when they irk you. You will not hear the Saints just as the brothers of Dives would not hear Moses and the Prophets (Gospel of St. Luke 16:31).

    38. “indeed, not even to the Almighty Himself as see fit to freely amend His Commandments when they irk you.”

      God the Father said ” an eye for an eye” you foul mouth idiot, M. Jesus said ” Wait up Dad, I ‘m giving a new commandment, and that’s to love one another he said, you disordered Catholic throwback. Finally the Holy Spirit was set free and perched in the Vatican where in 1960 Pope John said, it’ stuffy in here and let the Dove out to transform the world spiritually, you fool of a pseudo theologian. This very last transformation will last a very long time in earth years but in the end ‘all will be one’ M.

    39. Lawrence, your own words are a pretty good characterization of your own silly statements

      “it is a man-centered, pseudo-theological,quasi-political religious construct in which the Lord Jesus Christ is conspicuously absent and has had precious little influence on its development.”

      Your diatribes are the worst historical thinking I have ever seen expressed and clearly self-referential. (surely there are worse, I just don’t have the occasion to read them, for clearly there are many with your intellectual errors) You have no idea what the Catholic Church is all about and perhaps even less of an idea of the nature of history- it is hilarious that you say “let me do the research.” Surely I can’t be the first to mention it to you, but you seem perfectly incapable of articulately expressing something honest, truthful or charitable. Your words demonstrate a certain type of ignorance that is clearly intractable.

      It is sad to see an empty conversation like the one between you and M- but your end of things is as pusillanimous as anything I have seen disgrace the interweb pages called Catholic Stand. I only send this note to lodge my disappointment at the clear indecency of your mean spirited and vacuous words. You are no historian, you are ignorant of things Catholic and the vast majority of your words are devoid of truth.

    40. Laurence Charles Ringo

      Truth hurts,doesn’t it Steve? Let’s try this: Are you aware that with the issuing of the papal bull “Dum Diversas” in 1452, pope Nicholas V was directly responsible for instigating the European Slave Trade? This bull gave the Spanish and the Portuguese carte blanche to conquer and enslave all that they encountered during their exploratory depredations up and down the West African coasts; why do you think that one of the largest population of descendants of Africans on this side of the Atlantic reside in Brazil, a former Portuguese colony? No doubt you think that they voluntary emigrated, no? NO.Portuguese slavers brought them here. Since this is long-established historical fact, hoe do you think that I,a descendant of slaves, should feel about that, Steve? Here’s something that you might find shocking: I am 62 years old, a life-long reader,a history buff, and it took a Roman Catholic historian to inform me of existence of this papal bull just a few months ago.(This particular bull actually had a follow up issued by another pope whose name escapes me at the moment.) So…if you want to delude yourself that I’m ignorant of your Church’s long, ugly history of its dealings with non-Christian peoples,among other things,you go right ahead,Steve…I think that Catholics simply hate to be reminded of how utterly NOT like Christ you’ve conducted yourselves throughout history but you have baggage that you will NEVER be able to put down; baggage that makes all your much-vaunted,hubristic claims about yourselves just so much drivel.Now, you and I can agree to disagree here,or you can bring it on, your choice, Steve.No doubt I can expect Catholic Stand to block me sooner or later,but until then…well: “Here I stand”. Peace in Christ ?.

    41. Laurence, There is nothing you say that hurts except for my heart at your own ignorance.

      There is no peace in your words and there is very little truth except that I take you to be sincere. Your take on Dum Diversas is ideological, self-referential and most of all anachronistic. You words demonstrate ideological reductionism, and I have no doubt that a real conversation between us is impossible. Your claim to being a “history buff” is of little value if you are bereft of an understanding of historicity, and it is clear here that you are. Although your statement is far too blunt and generally sweeping, no Catholic ought to argue the point that Holy Mother Church is a hospital for sinners, and that we Catholics are some of the worst in history, but how absurd to judge the Church by bad Catholics like myself or those who actually violate Christ’s law when we have the saints. To judge the Church you have to look at those who lived by Her precepts, not those who broke them.

      It is clear that you are ignorant of much more than just the Church’s history, but of history itself and the grammar, logic and rhetorical skills to know the orders of reality, thought and language enough to have an adult conversation with someone interested in truth more than their own opinions or how they feel about that. Your feelings and the truth about Pope Nicholas V and what he meant by “perpetual servitude are not in the least related. I suspect you and I would feel the same about slavery, but my feelings about it have nothing to do with the actual historicity of what transpired in 1452. There is so much more to history than your opinion, but it doesn’t come easy, it requires honest, arduous inquiry grounded in the desire to discover the truth, not justifications for your feelings.

      I am not bringing it on Laurence, there is nothing you can say here that corresponds to reality, and therefore we have nothing to gain by empty banter. Catholic Stand probably won’t ban you, but don’t expect them to agree with you. It saddens me that grown men might be so vacuous as to hold convictions with no evidence beyond self-reference and feelings, but alas here you are and there you speak as an emotive ideologue with nothing but sound, fury and false peace.

      But honestly Laurence, go on disparaging the One True Church as long as you please but don’t count on making any converts to the self-referential church of Laurence and know that I wish you true peace, not the mocking sneer you wish us. Do go in peace there is no conversation here.

    42. You loathsome prot, it was the Popes and the Catholic Kings of Spain who ordered that the Indians should be treated humanely. There were of course scoundrels who disobeyed them, but what a far cry that is from the demonic conduct of your prot heroes such as Cromwell who carried out an extermination campaign in Ireland slaughtering old and young and turning out the survivors to starve driving them off land their ancestors had owned for countless generations. They considered this a glorification of their fake made up religion, rather than a disgrace as faithful Catholics considered the conduct of certain avaricious hidalgos in New Spain. Your beloved Luther showed his true colours when he first stirred up the peasants of the Germanies to revolt against their princes and then turned on them like the snake he was and encouraged those same princes to exterminate the miserable horde of peons by any means necessary which they gleefully did. He knew that princes would keep him in much greater opulence than peasants ever could. Protestantism is the evil seed which ultimately brought forth Marxism. One can certainly see it in the bloodthirsty prots terrorism and taste for robbery and murder on a scale Genghis Khan would have heartily approved.

    43. M, I like what you have said except for the name calling. Laurence, by his posts, appears to be about as dense, unintelligent, misinformed and prideful as one can possibly be. His statements are so breathtakingly stupid he hangs himself by his own rope. I can certainly understand the anguish and frustration he causes you by the sheer ineptitude of his thinking, but we can’t forget that he too is made in the image and likeness of God and the appropriate response after fraternal correction is pity. He is a pitiable and pathetic figure in need of salvation just as we are. I could really get behind what you have said if you cut out the name calling, it would give your posts more gravity. Besides we are called to return good for evil. We ought to let him spew his ignorant diatribes and return truth charitably, unlike his disingenuous “blessings.”

    44. Thank you, I see your point and will try to keep to keep it in mind in the future. It is very difficult when these especially virulent prots spew calumny and nonsense continuously. One gets thoroughly fed up with it.

    45. Oh I know M, I really know. The real enemy wants us to be confused with who the enemy is and it is not Laurence, he is an unwitting dupe. He actually may be incorrigibly indoctrinated and ideological, but we can’t let that take our peace of soul. I will see you soon! I pray that you and your family rest in Christ’s peace!

    46. Thank you, I pray the same for you. I believe the Chastisement foretold by Our Lady of Fatima to be imminent, the late Fr. Amorth (May he rest in glory.), Chief Exorcist at Rome said that we may well see its beginning before the end of the year. May God save those who are His.

    47. You imbecile, it is written in the Holy Scriptures that your kind claim to revere that slaves ought to obey their earthly masters in everything except sin. Read Ephesians 6:5, Colossians 3:22 and I Peter 2:18. The Church began ameliorating the conditions slaves lived under at once after Constantine’s conversion. As for the negroes, their own chiefs willingly sold them. In Catholic countries they were much better treated than in those lands dominated by your contemptible new religion. Their families, for instance, were not allowed to be broken up, this was done routinely in protestant America. Another thing, you crap-brained prot, is that the Church brought into existence by far the greater part of the blessings you take for granted. Were it not for the Church you would probably be some pagan’s slave today, hewing wood and bearing water. Perhaps that would be better for you, then you would be unable to accumulate ever more guilt by writing your ceaseless calumnies you dirty liar. Who invented the heavy iron plough which so greatly improved agriculture in the early middle ages? A Catholic. Who fashioned the first cannons and muskets thereby enabling for the first time in history the weak to easily defend themselves against the strong? A Catholic. Who invented spectacles, the printing press, the first balloon which permitted man to leave the surface of the earth for the first time in history, the process of pasteurization? All Catholics. If it were up to your kind we’d have a world populated exclusively by degenerates, a bizarre combination of Moonies and their like, hippies, madmen and criminals, all living in mud huts or something similar.

    48. One last thing, you wouldn’t know the truth if it hit you across the face, you love lies and work tirelessly to spread them just like the devil whom you so eagerly serve. The demon is your master whether you are conscious of that fact or not. When prots try to exorcise a possessed person they generally have to give up and call a Catholic priest. This is because they have no authority over the demons because they have not received Holy Orders and for that matter not even Christians. The priest does have the necessary authority, just as he has the authority to absolve a penitent from sin as is written in the Gospel of St. John 20:22-23. Just remember this vile prot: When your new religion has been relegated to the dust-bin of history, when it has joined the ranks of the jovinians, arians and so on; then will the Holy Catholic Church still stand, firm as a rock, as it will stand unmoved until the day of Judgement, as was promised by Jesus Christ Himself in the Gospel of St. Matthew 16:18. You have already lost. You and your kind never had a chance. God laughs at you as is written in the 2nd Psalm. You can lie, you can strike at the heel so to speak with your calumnies, but in the end your master’s head will be crushed by Her heel. Know that prot and weep.

    49. This is more than disgusting!!!! You need to wash your mouth out and cease to reply on any blog about faith and religion. Try humility therapy. You shame the church!!!!

    50. Now there’s an argument against the Church, founded upon the Rock, aka Peter, by Jesus Himself, I’ve never heard before! /

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