Pope Francis reverses Benedict

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by juantoo3, Jul 16, 2021.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    While others – not necessarily Catholic – regard the treatment of Galileo as 'enlightened' compared to the mores of the day.

    I'm not trying to refute, the Church got itself into 'an unholy mess' here and should have been better led. Still, today, we're wrangling over whether this document or that is binding, whether this or that is ex cathedra. That so much wrangling and apologia goes on does suggest we're making excuses and does not shed a good light ...

    But here I would like to distinguish between the Reformation and the Enlightenment, much later.

    Martin Luther:
    "There is talk of a new astrologer who wants to prove that the earth moves and goes around instead of the sky, the sun, the moon, just as if somebody were moving in a carriage or ship might hold that he was sitting still and at rest while the earth and the trees walked and moved. But that is how things are nowadays: when a man wishes to be clever he must . . . invent something special, and the way he does it must needs be the best! The fool wants to turn the whole art of astronomy upside-down. However, as Holy Scripture tells us, so did Joshua bid the sun to stand still and not the earth."

    Copernicus published De Revolutionibus in 1543. It had been finished in 1530, but not published until the year of his death – because of fear of backlash from the Church. He dedicated the book to Pope Paul III. The published book contained an unsigned preface by Osiander – a Lutheran reformer – defending the system as useful for computation even if its hypotheses were not necessarily true. An escape clause.

    John Calvin:
    Preached a sermon denouncing those who "pervert the order of nature" by saying that "the sun does not move and that it is the earth that revolves and that it turns".

    Pope Urban VIII encouraged Galileo to publish the pros and cons of heliocentrism. Galileo's response, Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems (1632), follows a common model of a supposed dialogue between master and student. Some ecclesiastics interpreted the book as characterising the Pope as a simpleton – a fact not challenged by later scholarship – Galileo was many things, but gracious he was not.
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    True, but that was never the Reformation's intention – and 'The Enlightenment' was the plaything of rich, white, entitled men. They were the new order, as it were. A new college of cardinals.

    The Reformation enabled the rise of the Ruling Class. Of the various aristocracies. Capitalism. Consumerism. Corporatism.

    I think the Reformation was a symptom, not the origin.
     
  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Georges Lemaître, 'the father of the big bang theory' was a Catholic priest:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lemaître

    Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître (17 July 1894 – 20 June 1966) was a Belgian Catholic priest, mathematician, astronomer, and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Louvain. He was the first to theorize that the recession of nearby galaxies can be explained by an expanding universe, which was observationally confirmed soon afterwards by Edwin Hubble.

    He first derived "Hubble's law", now called the Hubble–Lemaître law by the IAU and published the first estimation of the Hubble constant in 1927, two years before Hubble's article. Lemaître also proposed the "Big Bang theory" of the origin of the universe, calling it the "hypothesis of the primeval atom", and later calling it "the beginning of the world" ...
     
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  4. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Short term. Long term, too many factors weigh in ...

    No, I really don't.

    In the Reformation, the Pastor replaced the priest. The old order was overthrown, a new order instituted. All the symbols of faith removed – that cannot be underestimated. People need their Maypoles and Medals.

    For those below, nothing much changed, just fewer holidays.

    Quite. And there was no rush to do that.

    And that continued after the Reformation, and indeed after the Enlightenment, really.

    Education was for those who could afford it, and the need of the emerging ruling class for people who could read to serve their needs...

    Don't think so, really ...

    No. But universal education was still a long way away.
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I think a new emergence laid the groundwork for the Reformation, that's my point. The Reformation was a byproduct.

    And the rise of that new system, the Ruling Class, would have continued regardless of Reformations, and changes would have been worked. Perhaps not as quickly, nor as drastically, but the Church would have changed as she does ... she's the longest-surviving institution on the planet, for all her ills.
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    But English wasn't forbidden. The poor weren't forbidden to learn to read ...

    The Reformed Churches continued that rule.

    To people who, under a Catholic repressive regime, nevertheless, could read!

    Yes. A Catholic 'Book of Hours' – the liturgical hours of the monastic life – was mass produced in Europe. 50,000 in English.

    To those who could read ... or find someone to read it to them.

    I'm not arguing against the whole premise, simply that the Reformation and the Enlightenment are two different things. The Reformation was not really scientifically 'enlightened' – it believed in Geocentrism and would have told its parishioners to reject Galileo and his infernal ideas. A woman was burned at the stake for putting flowers on her husband's grave – in Zwingli's Swiss cantons, such was demonic superstition.

    The witch-hunts arose in the Reformed states, they were not so much a phenomena in Catholic countries.
     
  7. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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  8. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    :)

    This is why I tend to hesitate discussing this, but at least we are being cordial.

    If by "rise of the Ruling Class" you mean what I understand as "Middle Class," then I might agree. The Ruling Class always was and continues still. The Middle Class has typically been a bit of a minefield over the past 500 years with Lower Class folks wanting into it and Ruling Class folks using them / taking advantage of them.

    I think Luther was in a position to speak for the masses who saw the excesses and contradictions of the Church and was in a place to make the Church sit up and take notice - which clearly he did. So the symptoms long preceded Luther, Luther had balls enough to speak up. Others before him that tried (John Huss) were burned at the stake, so Luther understood full well what he was getting himself into and still felt strongly enough to do something about it. Do you honestly think the peasants in the fields didn't feel the same way? But they were not in a position to make their voices heard.

    The Church Luther founded is basically "Catholic light," including their version of "bells and smells." Luther wasn't against the underlying teachings and he continued with what he knew. He was against the abuse of authority (which has been my theme here in this thread), and a read of the 95 theses demonstrates this conclusively. If there is a downside to Protestism, it is that it allowed the next protest to modify the faith a bit more, which led to another protest which created another denomination...etc, etc, etc, until we end up with so many splintered factions of which I doubt Luther would recognize but a small fraction. Humans aren't accustomed to moderation, it would appear that extremism tends to be the order of the day. What Luther put into motion he was unable to stop, which says all the more that the grievances enumerated at Wittenberg were understood on a visceral level by many more than just one disgruntled Priest.
     
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  9. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Yes...but this was LONG after the Reformation *and* Enlightenment. I suspect but have no way to prove apart from pointing again to Galileo that prior to these events, as a Catholic priest, Lemaître would not have been allowed to pursue this line of thought without repercussion.

    "G!d said it, I believe it, that settles it!" was more than just a pithy saying, it was a mantra. Questions of "how" were answered with "it is G!d's will, my child. It is not ours to question." That answer left a lot of people over those centuries wanting and confused.
     
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  10. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Initially the Church changes were minimal, pretty much just severance from the Central Office at the Vatican, all else effectively remained the same in the Church Luther founded. Later denominations modified their worship practices. The Episcopalians are another denom that is essentially Catholic light.

    But this also goes back to something you said earlier, and it puzzles me, and has for years. This may be, I suspect, one underlying theme of why some Protestant denoms make such concerted effort to distance from Catholism. So much of the teaching of the Bible, Old and New Testament, decries Paganism and goes to lengths to separate and distinguish apart from Paganism. There were those even in Luther's time who could see the melding of Christianity and Paganism, and question that specifically based on the very Book they held as Sacred.

    Now, I get it, Paul went to the Pagans and introduced the faith. If the Legend of Glastonbury has any modicum of fact then Jesus himself carried the faith to the Celts of Cornwall. By the time of Nicea, "appeasing" the Pagans was a foregone conclusion, and clearly the Catholic Church has capitalized on that very principle, and the examples around the world are too numerous to mention just now, from Haiti to China, Mexico to Africa. You have in the past called this "baptizing," but I can also relate to those who stand aghast that such would even be considered.

    Seriously, would you personally enter a Catholic Church in Haiti and look on approvingly at the sacrifice of a chicken? I do not wish to disparage Voodun, but Voodun is Voodun, and Christianity is Christianity, the two are not the same, and blending the two seems to my sensibilities even more bizarre than a gaggle of Protestant denominations that can't agree over whether women can wear blue jeans.

    So diminishing the number of "holidays" is irrelevent if those holidays have no bearing or relationship to Christianity or the foundational Judaism to begin with. In other words, "so what?" So many of the Saints' feast days are "baptized" and localized Pagan appeasement.
     
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  11. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    If you can't afford to buy a book or go to school, then you are effectively forbidden even if legally you are not.

    Outside of the cities, the poor rural folk tended to live on vast estates owned by various nobles and "Ruling Class," and were treated almost as property. Not quite slaves, neither were they free to go about as they pleased.

    In a college town. Let that sink in. A town built around an institution of learning. One would expect that there was a higher concentration of lettered persons in a college town.

    50K? for a population estimated at how many hundreds of thousands? Was that one for every ten people, one for every one hundred people...

    And those who could read it to them were as likely to be clergy, and who may or may not in fact have their best interests at heart. Look, the local Vicar that probably lived with "his" parishioners, shopped at the same markets, visited the same barber to get a tooth fixed, probably on the whole had his flocks' best interests at heart. But I think we both know that if and when, and those times did occur, that the Vatican ordered something contrary to the best interests, it put the Vicar in a place to choose which side to support - and while some did defy the Vatican (the more successful were *after* the Reformation), some would find a way to support the Vatican at the "expense" of their flock.

    I never personally conflated the Reformation with the Enlightenment, the two while peripherally related in my view are not the same instance or founded on the same motivation. The Enlightenment took advantage of the situation on the ground once the Reformation caused the Church to retreat.

    And the Catholic Church has never supported exorcisms?
     
  12. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Yes

    I think history shows he spoke more for his own disturbed psychology, and his bishop!

    The Reformation in Germany was an expression of social change in the 16th century. The rising bourgeoisie was fertile ground for the idea of a break with the Old Order, the Church. Before then, the papacy was often subjugated to the will of the Holy Roman Emperor, the kings and princes, and whoever stumped up the money to pay for the pope's defence. The Avignon Papacy, and all that.

    The Reformation movement began with Wyclif in England, continued with Hus in Bohemia and culminated in Germany. Popular social opposition became part of it.

    But the upper middle-class patricians realised that the Reformation aspired beyond Rome. They supported the papacy as a bulwark against change. Luther himself feared the effect his challenge to Rome’s hierarchy had on the peasants. His theological reforms did not challenge social (class) divisions.

    Thomas Müntzer led the Peasant War. Luther, along with the bourgeoisie, rallied support against them, set back major social change by centuries. The poor of town and country, were crushed. Müntzer was beheaded.

    The lower social classes were still "not in a position to make their voices heard."

    But he had no qualms about indulgences pouring monies into his own bishop's purse. It was money passing out of the German state that vexed him.

    All I'm saying is, it's too black-and-white to say "Church = Bad/Reform = Good.
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Don't underestimate the effect of the removal of art, the ritual, the pomp and the ceremony. This meant a lot to the common folk. It always has, and always will. It's hard to see from our POV because we're used to it, but for them, the world changed, and became dull by comparison. All that stuff at local level was a 'sensible comfort', and it was taken away, to be replaced by the bourgeoise elite.

    OK

    Well initially the Church was defending the misinterpretation of its teachings. It's the 'Hellenisation of Christianity' kind of debate.

    Depends what paganism they're talking about. The Reformers wanted to cast Catholicism as pagan superstition. De-mystify it.

    Really, really unlikely, though.

    Don't see it there? The Catholic Church was really starkly against paganism until about the 6th century?

    Then it grew more relaxed. So the pagan remembrance of the dead was transformed into all Souls and All Saints. I'd say wiser eyes saw 'shadows of truth' in pagan practice, whereas before pagan practice was assumed wrong.

    Again, you'd have to look at particulars in context.

    A family friend of ours, a missionary in Uganda, baptised a local chief, all his wives, and gave his polygamous marriage a blessing. He saw it was not his place to change cultural custom. Was his mission a universally bad thing? No. He ran a hospital, provided much needed medicare. He was thrown out by Idi Amin, who was buying European clothes by the container-load to enfore his rule that everyone should dress like a civilised person. Fr Franco loved local culture. His best friend lived, worked and died in a leprosarium, when no-one else gave a flying ****.

    [
    Again, a broad term.

    No. How can the Church stop it?

    But the locals believed it, and one could argue that 'natural mysticism' fits with Christianity, it doesn't necessarily oppose it. And many saints were Christian myths ...

    That's the Reformation stripped simple folk of their right to express their faith as they understood it, no? They were allowed to read Scripture, but they weren't allowed to interpret Scripture, that belonged to the authorities.

    I've heard it argued that by disallowing people a belief in 'mystical Christianity' gave rise to a reappearance of paganism, eg: witchcraft! Not so sure, but people need their myths, their stories, and the Reformation wanted to remove all that. It was cold and sterile, whitewashed churched with plain glass windows were drab and dull by comparison.

    Celtic Christianity is even more pagan and naturopathic – whereas the Reformation was contra nature, the Enlightenment saw nature as 'a wanton woman' that needed to be tamed by science.
     
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    The Reformation didn't change that.

    Ditto.

    Yes, but my point is the Reformation is no different. Anglicanism is no different. Read Trollope (eg: Barchester Towers). Now the vicar was the son of the landed gentry who purchased his parish ...

    You think the reformed churches don't?
     
  15. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    For having a conscience? For seeing things as they actually were instead of what they were being told?

    I don't disagree, but I also think any one sided story is going to dismiss the other side.
     
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  16. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I don't underestimate the effect. At the same time it is foreign to me. The Jesus I read in the New Testament stripped away those trappings, those veneers, those whitewashes. Yet somehow by 400 AD all of that returned with a vengeance, and it only progressed from there.

    We just had this conversation. Swapping Shabbat for Sunday. Swapping (Pagan!) Easter for Passover. Chastising for "Judaizing." Pagan Christianity gained the upper hand with the Diaspora, and never looked back. So I do not understand how you can say this...

    There is no denying, very good works have been done by Catholics and the Catholic Church. For the most part I believe it is sincere, but there are also moments of virtue signaling that are undeniable. (Reichskonkordat)

    Your personal broad term.

    I see so much "have cake and eat it too" I don't know where to begin. None of this changed with a finger snap. I don't understand why you would think things would be so different among early Protestants accustomed to what they were taught for generations by the Catholic Church?

    I feel like where it suits you impose the attitudes of those in the cities onto those in the rural areas, and those of seats of learning onto those who were effectively denied education. It is two distinct worlds, and by the time you factor in nation, culture, language, etc, there are significantly even more. The Catholic Church had already shown for hundreds of years it was willing to go to war to preserve its power political, so why should it come as any surprise that continued?

    I get that the trappings, the "bells and smells" as you put it, are meaningful to you, and clearly to multitudes of others. I honestly don't wish to deny you any of that. But none of that means a hill of beans to me, Jesus does not teach me to enter a worshipful attitude because of vestments and stained glass, He teaches me it is a frame of mind, a place in my heart that does not require *any* outside reference - least of all some other human claiming political jurisdiction over what I can and cannot believe. Therein is a large part of where you and I will always differ. I do so respectfully, but I do not require the Catholic Church, or truth be told *any* Church, to come to G!d.

    When it is convenient for the Church to dismiss "Pagan Superstition," it does so. When it is convenient for the Church to adopt and adapt "Pagan Superstition," it does so. Seemingly willy-nilly to an outsider, and why I asked about the chicken sacrifice.

    Your missionary friend has my respect.
     
  17. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    The Reformed Churches didn't bother with Inquisitions...

    Look, religion itself has an element of Supernatural, this is a given, this is part and parcel of the entire concept going back to the painted caves. Pointing at one when you have 3 fingers pointing back, or pots calling kettles black, is a meaningless argument. The "devil" in the details had a brief highlight among the Protestant denoms and then subsided to where now it is almost meaningless, very seldom discussed and when it is it typically is in some form of jest. It isn't typically accorded any seriousness. Not so in Catholism, where maybe it always was on a low simmer, but that low simmer has maintained all along. The subject garners a great deal more seriousness among Catholics. Personally I think the dismissive attitude of Protestants is in error, but as with all things does require perspective.
     
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  18. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    It would appear the Vatican thought otherwise:
    CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Glastonbury Abbey (newadvent.org)

    "In the year 63 A.D.St. Joseph of Arimathea with eleven companions was sent to Britain from Gaul by St. Philip the Apostle. The king of the period, Aviragus, gave to these twelve holy men the Island of Ynyswitrin and there, in obedience to a vision, they built a church in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This church, called the vetusta ecclesia or lignea basilica, from its being constructed of osiers wattled together, was found more than one hundred years later by Fagan and Deruvian, missionaries sent to Lucius, King of the Britons, by Pope Eleutherius. Here therefore the missionaries settled, repaired the vetusta ecclesia, and, on their departure, chose twelve of their converts to remain in the island as hermits in memory of the original twelve. This community of twelve hermits is described as continuing unmodified until the coming of St. Patrick, the Apostle of the Irish, in 433, who taught the hermits to live together as cenobites, himself became their abbot, and remained at Glastonbury until his death, when his body was buried in the vetusta ecclesia. "
     
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  19. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Many religious temples are wonderful art and architecture. It is a homage to the Divine that upraises the spirit, imo

    There is a fine old red stone church in Paignton in Devon where all the faces of the beautifully carved statues have been hammered off by Cromwell's puritans.

    Where the faithful are encouraged to praise God in song, why not in pomp and art also? Should the eternal Creator not be entitled to at least a similar level of respect from believers as do human kings?
     
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  20. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Are you sure?
    Such a good series
     

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