Pope Francis reverses Benedict

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

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    For having a very low opinion of himself and his fellow man ... And notably he lost his theological debates when he argued with the Dominicans. He was a tortured soul, if we accept a scaled-down version of his character. He seemed to have embraced guilt on a large scale ...

    and I don't disagree with you, but I am trying to offer a third-party reader some balance?
     
  2. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    He did not choose the easy way.
    That would be normal for an Augustinian monk? He was a scrupulously devoted monk, an exemplar. Mea culpa was a large part of that life?

    As a monk his devotions used to pile up for days, when the abbot required him for other duties, so he would spend all his spare time catching up his prayers, in order to avoid the guilt of not doing so, completely exhausting himself.

    He was a coarse, unmannerly person, but I really do not believe Luther could be accused of insincerity?
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2021
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  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Not so much me, as we all know.

    Not sure that he did?

    I think we need discuss this.

    Referring to the above, take witchcraft.

    Scripture, the Old Testament: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." (Exodus 22:18), "There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch" (Deuteronomy 18:10)

    The only close mention in the NT is in Acts 8 with Simon Magus – I detail at length becomes it covers ground discussed elsewhere:
    "Now there was a certain man named Simon, who before had been a magician in that city, seducing the people of Samaria, giving out that he was some great one ... But when they had believed Philip preaching of the kingdom of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized ... Simon himself believed also; and being baptized, he adhered to Philip... wondered to see the signs and exceeding great miracles which were done... (Jerusalem) sent unto them Peter and John... he (the Holy Spirit) was not as yet come upon any of them; but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw, that by the imposition of the hands of the apostles, the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying: Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I shall lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost..."
    (The point being, it appears that a tripartite baptism was instituted in Jerusalem but not yet among Christian outreach communities ... be I digress)

    The persecution of perceived witches (both men and women, the term later became applied to women only) were widespread in pre-Christian Europe, and was written into Germanic law. The influence of the Church resulted in the revocation of these laws in many places, bringing an end to traditional pagan witch hunts.

    A witch could be condemned on the most dubious grounds: My cow died, my crop failed, my roof fell in. A midwife is successful, she's a midwife. Lose the wrong child, she's a witch ... you want their land? They're witches. Interfering mother-n-law, etc.

    Throughout the medieval era, mainstream Christian teaching denied the existence of witches and witchcraft, it was seen as pagan superstition. That failed to eradicate folk belief.

    Note: Until the Romance era of the 19th century, faeries were always and everywhere malevolent spirits. Capricious and dangerous. It was believed faeries kidnapped babies, and replaced them with their old, bitter and complaining faeries who did nothing but scream and cry. The defence that a murdered child was in fact a faery was a recognised legal strategy. Now, of course, we see post-partum depression...

    The fierce denunciation and persecution of primarly sorceresses in post-Reformation German states were not generally found in the first thirteen hundred years of the Christian era. Meanwhile local folk practice blended with prayer and petitions of intercession to local or patron saints to ward off ill-luck, to protect cattle or ensure a harvest. Bonfires were always seen as a purifying force that could deflect catastrophes or deter ghosts and fairies.
    Plants, often harvested under particular conditions, were deemed effective in healing.

    An old Norfolk woman cured my children's warts by rubbing the echinacea sap on them. The look of awe on their faces! Echinacea is an irritant, there is a scientific explanation, but the story-telling was half the treatment, and empowered it. For months after, my daughters would play at making 'potions'.

    It worked, ergo, she's a witch!

    Magic was generally dealt with through confession, repentance, and charitable works of penance. Irish canons treated sorcery as an excommunicable offence until adequate penance had been performed.

    The prosecution of witchcraft generally became more prominent in the later medieval era, perhaps driven partly by the upheavals like the Black Death, climate change (the Little Ice Age of the 15th-19th centuries). Witches were blamed. I bet there was a thriving trade in witch-related preventatives and/or cures of disease and crop failure (as there was in relics) and failing, there was a backlash ...

    Dominican Heinrich Kramer, assistant to the Archbishop of Salzburg. He seemed obsessed with evil. In 1484 he requested Pope Innocent VIII clarify his authority to prosecute witchcraft in Germany, having been refused assistance by local ecclesial authorities. Kramer failed and was expelled from the city of Innsbruck by the local bishop, who ordered him to stop making false accusations. Bishop Golzer described Kramer as senile in extant letters. Kramer justified his position in his 1486 book Malleus Maleficarum ("Hammer against witches"). Kramer declared witchcraft was to blame for bad weather. The book is also noted for its mysogyny (go figure). The book was condemned by the clergy at Cologne for advocating views that violated Catholic doctrine and standard inquisitorial procedures. In 1538 the Spanish Inquisition cautioned its members not to believe everything the book said.

    Not pagan.

    Nope.

    My point is that the Reformation changed nothing other than theological details.

    Changes taking place, the new bourgeoise, the printing press, etc, were not the fruits of the Reformation. I'm trying to suggest it was the other way round. The Reformation would have liked things to go on much as they always had, only without the 'bells and smells' and a rationalised Christianity.

    None at all. It's what everyone did.

    OK, but it did to them.

    I dispute that, on the grounds of common psychology. Show me a religion that does not have its rites and rituals. Even Zen. It's an expression of a natural desire ... and the point is that the art and artifice of mediaeval churches was, to the simple peasant, highly educational and spiritually uplifting.

    I once wanted to introduce theology talks at my local Dominican Church. It's on the borders of uber-rich Hamstead and uber-poor Kentish Town. The parish priest was very guarded. "This place," (And it is quite a place) was paid for by the subscription of Irish immigrant families, who wanted a place of worship. Don't forget them."

    When I was a kid, I wanted to waer jeans to Mass. "No," my mum said. "Look at the men. They're all labourers (we lived in a poor Irish immigrant area) but they all have a suit for Sunday. It's a matter of respect."

    That's what is at the heart of it: respect. To make an effort, because it's worth it. But then that is not to decry the humble chapel or the roadside calvary, it's all a piece.

    I used to attend Sunday Latin Mass at Brompton Oratory. Very fashionable church. Brilliant theological homilies which is why I went and no-one else did :D 8.00am, me a three others ... I went to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve and, to my horror, embassy limos were parked two abreast, and a red carpet ascended to the church, it was standing room only for us common folk, and I stood there fuming: "Where the **** were you at 8.00 on a Sunday morning?" I think it's called 'righteous indignation'.

    Religion the world over, always and everywhere, has its 'bells and smells' ... the Jews did, and they continue to do so, and there is no reason that Jesus did not participate in the Liturgies of His day, with the incense and singing, the robes and what have you.

    Hypocrisy, yes, He raged against that, but that's a different issue.

    Here endeth the sermon for today ... :oops:
     
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  4. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    A: I'd ask you to scan this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_revision_of_the_Inquisition
    B: On a theological matter, such as witchcraft, trial by inquisition was more favourable to the defendant than trial by the local justice.
    C: Yes, there were injustices, and massive ones, but again, as ever, mentiuon the inquisition and people immediately think of rivers of blood ...

    The Inquisition is an office that ran for centuries, and has to be treated as such, you can't just blanket condemn it. Look, for God's sake, at the civil courts. Kids were hung for stealing a bread roll. Matthew Hopkin, the Witchfinder General, the richest man in the world, near enough, because there was no institution to keep him in check. He was paid by the witch, and his wealth surpassed that of kings.

    And all that pagan stuff is trying to manifest that sense of it ... which any religious authority would be wise to see, beyoind the prejudice, and wise to entertain.

    Give it time.

    Jesus warned against it ... you think we should throw it out?

    Depends what denomination, I suppose. Once you break with tradition, things like the devil become defined according to the zeitgeist.

    Keep an eye out for African churches, of which we've had some experience here in the UK. It thrives, and dubiously so ... for all the wrong reasons ...
     
  5. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    No, but I fear he was sick with doubt. In extremis his theology can be quite bleak: the idea that humanity is fundamentally sinful ... ?
     
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  6. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I would dearly like to discuss what it means to you, and ask if you can see that it is that, the meaning of things, that I defend as important and something desecrated by the Reformation?

    When I was a kid we were going on a family holiday, and stopped by Maiden Castle. I just lit up. I was running over the dykes and ditches, my folks had to drag me away. If I believed in reincarnation, I'd say I once lived there!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2021
  7. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Clearly I have touched a nerve unintentionally.

    I had thought to go through point by point, but that will only further the aggravation. That is *not* my intent.

    Your point of view is all over this site, even during the many years of my absence. If a third party has a right to an alternate view, I would think mine to be that alternate, yours is quite thoroughly infused all through this site.

    Volume doesn't infer correctness. Might does not make right.

    I have, all along, allowed that you and everyone else are free to your own pursuit of the Divine. Why am I not allowed the same?

    My view is not heretical. My view is not inflammatory. My view is not in any way, politically or militarily, threatening. So what gives?

    The attitude I see displayed right now only furthers my resolve, and increases my determination that the path I am on is the correct one, *for me.*

    The Catholic Church has done great things through the centuries. Likewise, when it held absolute authority, the Catholic Church routinely abused that authority. This is historically undeniable. That doesn't make every adherent of the Catholic faith a monster. I have known MANY decent Catholic persons in my lifetime, I count you among them, and I have also known some real snakes that claimed to be ardent, devout Catholics.

    This isn't limited to Catholism, there are good and bad in all humans, and that includes Protestants. The mere act of distancing from a Central Authority does not deserve to engender automatic hatred.

    And once again, for emphasis (this makes 3 times in this conversation alone, I know I have made the same or similar statements before), if the "bells and smells," art, music, song, dancing, laughter, etc assist you in your devotion - BY ALL MEANS, DO SO. I would not take that from you if I were able.

    But the point I see Jesus making is that none of this is required, none of this is necessary, I have the means and the right to reach out to the Divine all by my little self. Your mileage may vary.
     
  8. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    But is this limited to the Catholic Church? All traditional religions have had to adapt to changing circumstances, as the world changes?
     
  9. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    In my view that is irrelevent. Doesn't matter which faith, the universal truism is that the individual has the means ingrained, the wherewithal built in, and the G!d given right to exercise those tools without going through any form of "human authority." Some are naturally adept, others do need "schooling" at first, but all persons are born with the equipment to do so.
     
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  10. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    But traditional religions are still completely valid to those who choose to come under their umbrella. A Catholic is entitled to explain to someone wishing to dismiss it why Catholicism is still valid ? This is not aimed at you @juantoo3

    @Thomas has for two decades here defended Catholicism against anyone wanting to dismiss it as irrelevant. I have never perceived him to be insisting that it is the only way, or that everyone should be Catholic. The opposite, in fact?

    Sorry. I probably shouldn't get more involved here ...
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2021
  11. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    But I have not the right to defend my position? Show me where I have *ever* "dismissed" Catholism? It isn't the path for me, but it is the path for multitudes of others, I have *never* dismissed that.

    How many times in how many ways can I possibly say "to each their own?" How many ways can I say "find your way up the mountain?" How many times can I say "find your way to heaven, I'll meet you when you get there?" What more can I possibly do to say "live and let live?"

    But I am the bad guy???
     
  12. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    No I am not saying you do.

    I think @Thomas is saying exactly the same thing

    Not implied or insinuated.

    Sorry, I'm out of this one ...
     
  13. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    @juantoo3
    Sorry, in case of misunderstanding, I have edited my comment here from:
    To:
    This is not aimed at you @juantoo3

    Apologies for any misunderstanding :)
     
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  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    No, you really haven't, and I am really sorry if I gave that impression. I have a great and growing respect for you and your viewpoint. I think it's a bit one-sided at times, perhaps, but I respect it, nonetheless.

    Perhaps I'm misreading you? In my view, there is generally – not you, necessarily – a tendency is to condemn Roman Catholicism entirely. That Christianity is a paganising of Judaism. As such, that view is generally the norm, among critics of Catholicism. Why I enjoy discussing with you is you are at least well informed, and often more informed than me.

    You are, you absolutely are. I do not question other's beliefs, I only sought to balance certain pejorative views of Catholicism.

    OK. You have said that before, I should have acknowledged it more fully.

    I agree totally.

    O only stressed this because the Reformation, depending on where and when it was in play, sought to remove all that, the 'art, music, song, dancing, laughter' ... not universally, but the general tendency , I think, was to replace it with a quiet piety, that found its exremes in Puritanism, where any sign of joy was perceived as the devil at play.

    I never intended to say that you can't ... rather only to say that for 'them', the art, music, song, dance, etc., was integral to their life.

    +++

    I do not condemn the Reformation outright. Nor do I defend Rome.

    There were abuses, and they went on long after the Reformation, right up until present times. But as there were similar abuses of authority in the non-Catholic world, I see that as part and parcel of human nature. Yes the Catholic Church has done terrible things, but the only thing I would say is that its quite likely that were there some other institution with its reach and its authority, the abuses would be there.

    The challenge to Rome was inevitable as the bourgeoise emerged and gained presence. It came as a surprise that it came from an Augustinian monk, but Luther was soon left in the wake of the march of events.

    For someone who wants a knee-jerk critique of Catholicism, there are certain go-to topics: The Crusades, The Templars, Galileo, The Inquisition, but in every case the reality is never quite so bleak or black as people readily assume. I know you're better informed than that.

    Again, my apologies if I've offended. Perhaps I should have added more question marks to take the edge off my comments. Mea culpa.
     
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  15. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    But this may not be the best analogy -- in fact a good demonstration of where a guide might come in useful, lol?
     
  16. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    From Master of My Fate:

     
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  17. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    It can be painful to look in the mirror sometimes, yes?

    If it had not come from a Monk, it would have been burned to the ground and paved over. Had it come from any other quarter as you pointed out, the Church would have moved in militarily and put an end to it. That the people's champion, the "Cause Celeb" happened to be one of the Church's own gave greater impetus and meaning to the cause.

    Indeed, but consider that this may be because there is some degree of merit. As you say, it may not be as bleak as some wish to make it out to be, nevertheless it is not reason to dismiss out of hand either. "Warts and all" I believe is a favorite phrase?

    This wouldn't be the first time I've been misinterpreted around here, but it is always surprising when it comes from you. I value our friendship too much to watch the conversation get out of hand. I would rather shake hands and walk away and try again some other day. :)
     
  18. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Absolutely, but I think the critique of the Roman Catholic church often comes from a place of great disappointment, and also often a place of schadenfreude, because the RC church is not just any ancient, powerful institution, but quite vocally one that claims to have been instituted personally by God, and which claims to receive guidance directly from God.

    Admirers and detractors alike take this claim very seriously.
     
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  19. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    The Catholic Church has done 1000% good more than 50% harm to humanity. Get over it imo ...
     
  20. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I don't know it is a case of "get over it." If we were talking "my faith is better than your faith" school yard bluster, yeah, you have a point. As an historian and anthropologist I can't do that and still be honest and truthful. I have no axe to grind, I am not beholding to any institution (school or church or gummint), so I can afford to look at "warts and all." I try very hard not to do so in a mean spirited way (unless provoked, as we also know), so I also tell it like I see it. There are occasions I don't have the full story, and I learn from Thomas as well. But telling me to "get over it," from my point of view, is an invitation to jump right in with both feet. Not saying you did or that your statement was directed to me, but I know I am not the only one that thinks along the path that I do, some of whom are not so accommodating.
     

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