A rhetorical question

Thomas

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This weekend, in the Catholic liturgical calendar, the gospel reading was of Luke 10:25-37, the Parable of the Good Samaritan, an example of the New Covenant — to love God, and love one's neighbour.

Here at CR it's effectively open season on Catholicism. In Quahom's recent leave of absence, my voice was the only constant defence of that faith, against a stream of criticism that followed the publication of a very technical document aimed at correcting certain errors creeping into Catholic exegetics.

In defending my position, it was like the Reformation never happened. In defending my position, I was offered not one challenge on the basis of the content of the document in question, but rather a stream of often angry reaction without foundation other than the weight personal sentiment. I wonder how many had actually read the document for themselves.

How dare I be so presumptious to suggest that the miraculous does not occur in a Rite which is common to my own and other denominations, when that particular denomination has expressed the doctrinal conviction that the miraculous does not occur in what is not a rite but a simple memorial?

The line I have taken consistently is one has to confront issues and understand them if one is going to resolve them.

A lesson of the Good Samaritan is that one might find one's neighbour to be actually physically repulsive. Or mentally so. Or emotionally, or morally.
It does not matter. I must love him.

Does that mean I become craven, or subject, or tell myself that underneath he's a nice person, really? That we're both the same? No. That's not truth, no matter how much it poses as charity ... that's self-deception.

Did Christ, calling on His Father's forgiveness, pretend nothing was happening when He was being nailed to the Cross? That these were lovely guys, really? That it wasn't personal? Perhaps they were just obeying orders? That it wasn't laughter he heard?

Likewise the idea that perhaps it is better to remain silent. Let's pretend we're all one church, all believe the same thing, all love one another ... if we don't make a big deal of it, then maybe, if we're lucky, God might not notice our duplicity.

Is that being outspoken?

+++

Perhaps, but then, in defending my position, I was met with the hope for the Pope's immanent death and the election of someone more suitable ... or palatable ... or whatever ...

It did cause me to wonder that if I, as a known and I hope not uncharitable Catholic, had posted a similar sentiment, hoping for the death of the spiritual leader of another tradition, the Dalai Lama say, for expressing the conviction of his own belief, would it have passed without comment?

Somehow, I think not.

And I asked myself, not for the first time of late ... what the hell am I doing here?

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you;
going forth from thence, shake off the dust from your feet for a testimony to them."
Mark 6:11

Thomas
 
Out of sight out of mind? What the hell is the point? If -you- KNOW that you are avoiding something because of the work/risk/effort/trouble it may make.... And you KNOW there is a god..... Then,... Call me stupid, but wouldn't he know what you know lol, and just being avoidant of "duties"?

There is a difference between knowing better, and not knowing at all.... The one who should know better... Shame is on his shoulders.
 
I haven't anything against this particular Pope. I just don't pay attention to any of it, sorry. Being brought up (brainwashed) Catholic was enough for me.
 
Here at CR it's effectively open season on Catholicism.

And I asked myself, not for the first time of late ... what the hell am I doing here?
Namaste Thomas,

Don't quite know how to answer rhetorical question posts...do you really wish a response with that title?

I don't see it as open season...I can see how you do though...but who shot the first volley?? and it surely wasn't over the decks as a warning...your fearless leader sent a broadside at every other Christian denomination saying they are all bogus...meanwhile his predecessor said their were Buddhists and Hindus and such in heaven!! You think we should not be upset at such a turn of events??

And then you feel it your responsibility to defend such statements...are you and he not desecrating what John Paul stood for for years?? I have no clue how you reconcile that in your faith. When GW Bush, throws our collective American asses in the waste basket of the world...those that disagree stand up and say so.

Much like the world is aghast that good Muslims all over the world don't stand up and decry that Al Queda and radical groups are wrong and not Islamic....We would expect good Catholics to stand up as well.

I love your discussion and insights....but what is being spewed from the top sure doesn't sound like interfaith....and I know some folks are saying out of context...but I don't see a Vatican correction...
 
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Thomas,

What is it you really expect on a Comparative Religion board? Is this not a forum to discuss differences in the respective religions? Do you not see how the exclusive statement the Pope made might just be a little out of tarts for some people here?

Thomas said:
And I asked myself, not for the first time of late ... what the hell am I doing here?

Good question. Just what ARE you here for?
 
Thomas said:
Here at CR it's effectively open season on Catholicism. In Quahom's recent leave of absence, my voice was the only constant defence of that faith, against a stream of criticism that followed the publication of a very technical document aimed at correcting certain errors creeping into Catholic exegetics.

Open season on Catholics? Who is firing the shots here?

Was this document intended purely for the Catholic masses, or was it also for the rest of the world?

If it was also for the latter, I could go into a point by point discussion why I don't think the Catholic Chruch is exclusive in it's claim, particularly from a biblical point of view. I don't believe a discussion or debate in such matter constitutes "open season", but rather an attempt to gain a better understanding, even if we don't always agree. Yes, I'm going to disagree with you. But I, for one, have learned a great deal about the Catholic faith, from you and Q, among others. I'm still learning. In fact, I am far less dogmatic about my view of Catholics in regards to salvation that I used to be. I'm hoping to see the common ground we both share. That doesn't mean I expect you to relinquish the faith you already have. If it brings you to a closer relationship with God, more power to you.
 
Thomas,

Under Pope John Paul we saw in the UK a new resurgence in people returning to the Catholic Church and indeed a steady stream of people, many high profile, converting from C.O.E. to Catholicism. This was because John Paul nurtured and sponsored the idea of inclusion of all into the fold of God's love. In this he gained the respect of many millions of non-Catholics and his opinions were listened to by them.

In contrast the current Pope seems more of a control freak politician than a spiritual leader. He has a shady past and has shown insensitivity at best or outright contempt for all who do not share his narrow regressive ideas. This is an interfaith site where you can expect to find people who have strong animosities toward views that belittle their beliefs. Q said I have no right to comment on Catholicism, even tho it effects my daily life as much as it does his. Do you feel too that I am not entitled to an opinion? The Pope acts like he is The Law and indeed his opinions carry great weight well beyond Catholicism. I do not attack Catholicism itself, neither here nor with my partner who's faith I deeply respect. But when the Pope starts unravelling the laudable advances gained under John Paul and slighting the billions that do not share his narrow view then I will speak out whether you or any other cares to hear it or not.

I do not see any "question" in your post at all. It is up to you and you alone who you choose to support. But if you expect everybody to respect a man regardless of what he says just because he is the Pope then I think you naive. There are enough Islamic and Christian fundamentalists already trying to drag us back into the dark ages. The last thing we need is Catholicism going the same way.

Regards

Tao
 
I suppose I rather naively thought someone might actually want to understand where Pope Benedict was coming from ... and discuss the issues raised, that there might be a genuine interest in 'comparative religion' rather than a knee-jerk reaction and (it would appear) a blind following of the media line ...

... instead of assuming him to be sophistric, casuistic, arrogant, ignorant, smug, self-righteous, offensive, inbred, ridiculous, insensitive, pompous self-important fool, venomous, moral bankrupt ...

...and better off dead.

Thomas
 
It was a rhetorical question, although I seem to have my answer ...

Thomas.
 
If you pin my hand to the table with your dagger, will you expect me then to sit and take tea as we play chess???

Or, if you like, turn that around. You are one of the most patient people I (virtually) know, Thomas. But will you set there, bleeding, as we discuss the pleasantries?

Methinks not ...
 
This weekend, in the Catholic liturgical calendar, the gospel reading was of Luke 10:25-37, the Parable of the Good Samaritan, an example of the New Covenant — to love God, and love one's neighbour.

Here at CR it's effectively open season on Catholicism. In Quahom's recent leave of absence, my voice was the only constant defence of that faith, against a stream of criticism that followed the publication of a very technical document aimed at correcting certain errors creeping into Catholic exegetics.

In defending my position, it was like the Reformation never happened. In defending my position, I was offered not one challenge on the basis of the content of the document in question, but rather a stream of often angry reaction without foundation other than the weight personal sentiment. I wonder how many had actually read the document for themselves.

How dare I be so presumptious to suggest that the miraculous does not occur in a Rite which is common to my own and other denominations, when that particular denomination has expressed the doctrinal conviction that the miraculous does not occur in what is not a rite but a simple memorial?

The line I have taken consistently is one has to confront issues and understand them if one is going to resolve them.

A lesson of the Good Samaritan is that one might find one's neighbour to be actually physically repulsive. Or mentally so. Or emotionally, or morally.
It does not matter. I must love him.

Does that mean I become craven, or subject, or tell myself that underneath he's a nice person, really? That we're both the same? No. That's not truth, no matter how much it poses as charity ... that's self-deception.

Did Christ, calling on His Father's forgiveness, pretend nothing was happening when He was being nailed to the Cross? That these were lovely guys, really? That it wasn't personal? Perhaps they were just obeying orders? That it wasn't laughter he heard?

Likewise the idea that perhaps it is better to remain silent. Let's pretend we're all one church, all believe the same thing, all love one another ... if we don't make a big deal of it, then maybe, if we're lucky, God might not notice our duplicity.

Is that being outspoken?

+++

Perhaps, but then, in defending my position, I was met with the hope for the Pope's immanent death and the election of someone more suitable ... or palatable ... or whatever ...

It did cause me to wonder that if I, as a known and I hope not uncharitable Catholic, had posted a similar sentiment, hoping for the death of the spiritual leader of another tradition, the Dalai Lama say, for expressing the conviction of his own belief, would it have passed without comment?

Somehow, I think not.

And I asked myself, not for the first time of late ... what the hell am I doing here?

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you;
going forth from thence, shake off the dust from your feet for a testimony to them."
Mark 6:11

Thomas

I'm backkkkkkk! :eek: Sorry Thomas, I was delayed elswhere. Who's a what's it on where? Catholics under fire? By whom? No one wants to scrap with a knuckle headed Irish Catholic...do they?

(rolls up the sleeves, and swigs pete bog bourbon), but then maybe some do... (lol):D

v/r

Q
 
I suppose I rather naively thought someone might actually want to understand where Pope Benedict was coming from ... and discuss the issues raised, that there might be a genuine interest in 'comparative religion' rather than a knee-jerk reaction
Namaste Thomas,

Are you indicating that the Pope did not make himself clear, and you are his emissary to dissect his speech to indicate where he is coming from and what he meant by his statements? The world is reacting, not only us on CR...I was off camping in the woods with the scouts...I received the news via a Catholic Scout Leader who came in and told us, I asked the Monsignor about it and discussed it with him...neither were apologetic of him...but apologetic to us for his words...both were mostly ashamed.

It is the Pope that either needs to retract or make himself clear...currently his statements are a thorn in the side of Christians as the President of Iran's words are a thorn in the side of Jews.

Now if you wish to post his words which are raising a furor and line by line indicate to us where he is coming from I'd be glad to read it.
 
okay, it was me who said they wanted the pope dead... and nothing has changed. I hate him. Just like you love him. Neither of us know him.

And maybe that's the point. You're not a fool, Thomas, you can see what's going as much much as the rest of us can. If you want to set yourself up as the spokeman for catholicism then sure, that's your choice. If you want to try and tell us how wrong we have got Ratzinger and how great he is really then by all means do so. But as time passes, you will see that there is a lot less ppl on your side of the fence than mine.

I admire you, Thomas, as you appear to be a decent Catholic. Sure, you are a hardliner, and yes, you sound like your still in the seminary, sometimes, but your heart was in the right place.

You use the story of the samaritan... allow me to give you a Noughties take on it.

Where I live we get flyers through the door asking us if we have any old clothes for charity. Now, like the good folk we are, we all searched through our cupboards and filled a few bags to put out for collection.

Next week we discover that those clothes, which we normally give to Oxfam, didn't go to charity at all, and in fact they were sold to the highest bidder. The money didnt go to charity. It went into somebody else's pocket.

And that's what's happenning with the church now. JP2, god bless his cotton socks, was a traditionalist too. He was a hardliner, like yourself. But, he was loved by the people. And why was that? Because when he asked if you had any old coats for the poor you knew that he'd make sure they got them. He didn't rummage through the bags and take the good swag for himself.

Ratzinger is doing untold damage to the church everytime he opens his mouth. Sure, catholics like you will be okay- the church will be nice for u. Might even be better. But for humanity in general; the sinners, the muslims, the jews, the buddhists- he's had a bash at them all over the past few weeks, and he's been far from complimentary.

He is the figurehead of one of the largest organisations in the world. That should mean he also has some of the best advisers too. If nobody is trying to stop him, then what he says must be said deliberately. And, if what he or his pals are saying is so deliberate, then the church has changed, and instead of
bring all the lost sheep into the fold he is deliberately being provocative and wants us all to choose a warped catholicism over real xtianity.

Cool. The ranks of Opus Dei will swell. But the church on my corner will eventually close, as nobody wants to be associated with an organisation that spews forth such rubbish and pretends its from God.
 
If you want to try and tell us how wrong we have got Ratzinger and how great he is really then by all means do so. But as time passes, you will see that there is a lot less ppl on your side of the fence than mine.


I hope that there’s more than two sides to this fence. I’m not a Catholic, clearly I don’t condone child abuse and if this has happened and then the perpetrators protected from justice by the Catholic Church, then I don’t belong on that side of the fence.

However if the people on the other side of the fence are ones who declare their hope of someone being assassinated, burnt to death or just generally dead sooner rather than later, instead of, say, “brought to justice” (if that is appropriate) then I don’t want to be on that side of the fence either.

s.
 
Kindest Regards all!

Special nod to Thomas!
I hope that there’s more than two sides to this fence. I’m not a Catholic, clearly I don’t condone child abuse and if this has happened and then the perpetrators protected from justice by the Catholic Church, then I don’t belong on that side of the fence.

However if the people on the other side of the fence are ones who declare their hope of someone being assassinated, burnt to death or just generally dead sooner rather than later, instead of, say, “brought to justice” (if that is appropriate) then I don’t want to be on that side of the fence either.
In general terms I am going with snoopy on this. I have avoided this discussion and it seems by doing so I have missed a lot of crossed sabres. I have avoided this because I am not familiar with it, I have not heard the "news" (which is usually scandalized for the sake of increasing readership anyway). So I can claim a legitimate, if intentional, ignorance on the subject. Frankly, it is a battle of words I prefer not to enter.

However, lest my silence be interpreted as agreement, or worse, apathy, (thank you Luna for the reminder), I feel that I should make my voice heard.

This is a classic example of why I prefer to walk my walk as a solo. I have nothing against this Pope personally...I could care less what he or any other person thinks of me. I have only One to answer to, and it is not the Pope. It is not the Dalai Lama. It is not an Imam, or a Rabbi, or a Preacher/Priest/Reverend. I have only to answer to G-d, and G-d alone. I may learn from any of these, or none. But I answer to no human, and they do not answer to me.

Thomas, I love you as a brother. Your path is suitable for you. You are not beholding to my opinion in your choice of path. No other is beholding to you in their choice of path. You see your path as "superior," rightly so, for you. I do not see your path as superior to mine, else I would be following the incorrect path, no? Yet my heart and my spirit are quite content that my walk is quite suitable for me.

Others are free to disagree...they do not walk your path, they do not stand in your shoes. They each must walk their own path, and stand in shoes that are proper for them, the only caveat being that these shoes and paths must ultimately be acceptable to G-d. (There are paths and shoes that are not acceptable, but I will not address that now)

I understand how the disagreements of others can become virulent and emotional, humans are humans after all, none of us are perfect. It can be difficult to hold one's ground under withering fire. Yet, it is also under fire that gold is separated from dross. I have had my beliefs challenged before, and I have challenged others' beliefs before. Even though in the moment I might take something personally, after a time I realize it is not me that is challenged so much as my beliefs...and where I am strong I hold my ground, and where I am weak I seek reassurance and reinforcement from He who gives willingly to those who lean themselves towards Him.

I would hate to see you leave because of challenge, Thomas, I sincerely thought you to be a bigger man than that. You have been a staunch defender of Christianity in general around here, no less specifically of Catholism, and I for one find your input invaluable. Even when I disagree.

Having spoken my peace, I do not wish personally to engage in any angry rhetoric on either side. If it is true that some are so...unthinking? uncaring?...as to stoop to the level of wishing a person dead or worse, this tells me such people are overloaded with emotion and are not thinking straight. Such people are "just as" intolerant as those they point finger at, and only seek excuse to vent their intolerance.

If it is true, that this current Pope is now attempting to harden the hearts and minds of the Catholic Institution, it is my opinion he is doing Catholics and non-Catholics all a great disservice. Nevertheless, I do not stand in his shoes. Such is a hard, command decision that thankfully I am not responsible to make. But it matters not to me in the end what he declares, it is not incumbent upon me...that is, until someone busts down my front door in this Pope's name, and then all pleasantries of tolerance are off...if it ever comes to this.

:cool:
 
Kindest Regards, Francis King!
there is a lot less ppl on your side of the fence than mine.
Since when did faith or spirituality ever become a numbers game? Is this about mob rules? The end justifies the means? Majority rule?

Should everyone convert to Buddhism solely because it has the most adherents in the world? (presuming on my part that it does)

Should everyone become Chinese because China is the most populous country? Should everyone speak, read and write Chinese because it is the most common language?

Should everyone be mandated to be heterosexual because that is the majority sexuality? Or maybe everyone should be female because the female gender is the most common?

Maybe cockroaches should rule the world because there are more of them than humans?

Do you see yet the error in your reasoning? ;)

I'm sure glad that foresighted people can see beyond the status quo, and mob rules. Sometimes it only takes one to start a revolution that benefits all others. Someone with enough gonads to go against the grain of the mob.
 
Thomas,

I have tremendous admiration and respect for you. You have the stones to stand up and take the hit for saying what you believe, you have the ability to say what you're thinking. You have been a tremendously important resource for me. My brother Mark held you in the highest esteem, and often, very often spoke of the positive influence of your words on his understanding, and his evolution toward being able to put away the anti-Catholic programming we were both subjected to as children. We talked about some things you had written the night he passed. We shared our common appreciation of you.

You do what you need to do, but you're not leaving here before I say how I feel. I'm crying brother. I don't want you to go. Please don't go.

Chris
 
Whew! A bit of a week.

The lesson for me in all this, as well as listening to others, is to listen to oneself.

I stand here as a self-declared Catholic, and as a traditionalist, although I hope not (as the term invariably implies) one with right-wing sympathies.

So if I'm going to do that, I should be, and usually am, happy to take the blows. If you can't stand the heat, as someone said, and I am a Gael after all, we love nothing better than standing up for lost causes and hopeless cases, God Lord, we've defended the English for long enough!

+++

If you let something 'in', the risk is always of infection. The metabolism goes into self-defence — heightened temperature and fever being the symptoms — the body is at war with itself.

I have been too quick to answer, too slow to check myself, too slow to pick up on the signals — maudlin sentimentalism and/or callous cynicism both being sicknesses of the heart — and both of which snouted their way in, the former towards myself, the latter towards my brothers and sisters here.

Steps have been taken. I might not be able to put the Catholic Church to rights (you'll have to wait for my papacy for that), but I can put my own house in order. A few blows got under my guard, the old knees wobbled, but now I have rallied to the colours of my calling (Quahom will know what I'm blethering about), found my footing, and affirmed myself in what might actually turn out to be my vocation.

So having kicked this whole thing off, let me declare this particular game of 'pass the parcel' stops right here. With your collective agreement and hopefully a sigh of relief, I have the parcel, and I intend to just let it go. "No names," as the saying goes, "no Pack Drill."

And a last big thank you to all for your support and understanding ... you could just as easily have said, "well, f**k off then... "

(but if someone says 'group hug', I'll puke)

Thomas
 
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