Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Towards What?"I lost my faith", said a lady sometime ago, "I went to Mass at St X and Bishop Y was there and he said it was very unlikely to be true that the three kings came to Bethlehem and anyhow we didn't have believe it". "Well it occurred to me if we didn't have believe that, Father, we don't we have to believe anything. So I started questioning everything I did believe and I decided I didn't believe in anything, even in God". Remove one brick an the Temple falls. I have known priests and even bishops, sad individuals, who seemed to delight in destroying faith rather building it up.

As a priest I am conscious of how frail God's gifts are, how slight our grasp on them can be, we hold on to them by gossamer threads, which are easily broken. Faith is easily damaged, maybe because it is the most supernatural gift of all, it can thrive in prison and under torture but it is the most vulnerable to damage through the Church and her ministers. Religious practise is often the last thing to disappear, for clergy they will always drag themselves to the altar, not being strong enough to dig or too proud to beg, but once faith goes, so does hope and eventually the practice of charity breaks down too. Mgr Charamsa is perhaps an example of this.

Those things which were once a joy can become a terrible burden.  Prayer once a delight becomes a bed of thorns, a mess of distractions, poverty or simplicity of life once happily embraced becomes a condemnation to bleak hopelessness, chastity a constant reminder of emptiness.

 At the Synod and now afterwards I wonder if some senior clergy are deliberately setting out to destroy, to take away just one or two bricks so the whole Temple collapses, it is as if their own faith has left them and they resent other people's faith.

Priests and bishops are supposed to build up faith, not break it down. If we do, "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin".

I know we priests can easily live in our own little bubble and meet only people who share our views, I know a very few Jews, a few Muslims, a few Orthodox but the majority of people I know are Catholics and Catholics of a particular sort. I was thinking last night I do not know any Methodists, or Quakers, or Unitarians, or for that matter Jesuits! Most of the priests I know all seem to be unhappy with the direction the Church seems to be being nudged into taking. Priests tend to be reflective and introspective, we have learnt to keep our own counsel, most don't blog, most don't write to newspapers, even Catholic one's. Most are unlikely to write to their bishop or even talk much to him, especially about their concerns for the Church, especially if he is unlikely to agree with them. But then so many bishops seem equally confused.

Following the Synod, some who might be in the know, like Cardinal Nichols, hint that change is in the offing, see his recent Pastoral Letter on the Synod on the Family. Other Bishops, Cardinal Pell for example, assure us that there will not be, or cannot be change in doctrine, perhaps they are a little less definite nowadays about changes in pastoral practice, and even less definite about about changes to the faith itself. We can tell ourselves that the Church is unchanging, that Christ is with her until the end of time, but we have seen the Church changing a great deal in the last fifty years since Vatican II. At one time we were told the Mass was unchangeable, when the Mass changed, our belief in the Eucharist was unchanging but as I have said before, compare the Eucharistic faith of the children of Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin with the South American child whose bishop spoke approvingly of him at the Synod, who broke the host in half to share with his divorced and remarried father.

A friend was at one of those Catholic literary lunches and met a writer for that 'Catholic' weekly, who said, 'I do hate the Catholic Church, don't you?' She then continued, 'I do think Pope Francis is so good for the Church'. It seems like madness to me but then there are those in the Church who do actually hate it and want its ruin or destruction. Judas after all sat table with Christ and the bishops. After Simon made his profession of faith and is called Cephas, Peter, the next time Jesus addresses him, he calls him Satan, 'Get behind me, Satan, for your thoughts are man's, not God's'.

the truth // lion // defend // leo: Leo Thang, Leo I, Leo Richard, Leo Lionesses, Leo Women, Leo Stuff, Leo Girls, August Leo, Leo QuotesFrom the Patristic exegesis of Pope Benedict which tended to build up faith, we have moved to dark world of confusion and ambiguity. From letting Truth go free to defend itself we have moved into a period where there are truths and then there are truths. Uncertainty and confusion are not of God, they damage faith, they do not build it up. In this environment the old debates about the Papacy of Bellarmine and Suarez have suddenly taken on a new life, maybe not with intellectual giants like 'people who disagree with the Pope because they don't like him', Cdl Wuerl or elitist American academics (why do they always want to address emotions and never address arguments?) but with many ordinary Catholics, clergy especially, thinking laity too. It is not something new for Catholics to ask, what if the Pope... is misguided, is in the pay of the Spanish, French or Austrians, is captured by Muslims, is a heretic, is evil, is suffering from megalomania, or is going senile or mad, these questions were asked before and are being asked now by people trying their best, for the good of the Church, to understand the mess we appear to be in. Under Pius XII the question was what if the Pope is captured by the Nazis or drugged by Communists.

communist crossThe apparent cruelty and still unknown charges against the Franciscans of the Immaculate, the extraordinary speech in Paraguay, accusing the Paraguayan government, and specifically the president, of the abduction of Edelio Morinigo, which he put into a context of the worst atrocities of the Nazis and Communists, Morinigo in fact turned out to be a policeman abducted by rebels against the government, the agreement to accept that extraordinary Marxist crucifix and decorations in Bolivia, the support of child abuse covering up bishops like Bishop Juan Barros in Chile or Cardinal Danneels who was invited to the Synod apparently as a reward for his support in the Conclave, his returning again and again to the journalist Scalfari, who apparently misreports him, his packing of the Synod with pro-Kasperians, his apparent manipulation of both the extraordinary Synod last year and the ordinary Synod this year, his promotion of the now arrested Chaouqui and Vallejo Balda (Chaouqui, if you remember, was bought in to manage the papal image and public relations), these are some of the reasons questions are being raised quite openly in the Italian press and increasingly by the media elsewhere. It was these incidents that raised concern over the Holy Father's health and in the rather overblown Italian style, the suggestion of a brain tumour, but this was the most extreme end of concerns and perhaps the most easily dismissed in order to scotch others.

Msgr. Fabian Pedacchio Leaniz in the Vatican on June 23, 2013. Credit: Alan Holdren/CNA.It is of note that Lifesite carries questions about the influences of the Pope's involvement with the 'gay mafia', and at least raises in my mind question of his own complicity with the St Gall group, no-one has suggested, yet that he attended the St Gall meetings. It seems from the reports that was merely passive, their candidate', but then there were all those faxes or emails sent from the Congregation of Bishops to the office of the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires by Mgr Fabián Pedacchio, who is now the Pope's Secretary.


Highland Cathedral said...

It does not matter what the Synod recommended. It does not speak for the Catholic Church. It does not matter what Vincent Nicholls says. He does not speak for the Catholic Church. All that matters is what the Pope says. If he writes an Apostolic Exhortation which gives even a hint or a wink towards Communion for the divorced and remarried the game is up. Or he is. Either he goes or the claims of the Church are in tatters. Communion for the divorced and remarried, unless living in a state of continence, is the acceptance that people can receive Communion in a state of mortal sin. There are many things the Church can change and still be the Church. One thing it cannot change is the definition of a valid Confession and the requirements for receiving Holy Communion. If that were to change then the claim of the Church to be infallible would be in shreds. To be infallible you cannot change the things that are infallible. If you do then you can no longer claim to be infallible. But the Church is infallible so the Magisterium cannot declare anything which undermines that claim. So the Pope cannot give even so much as a nod or a wink towards Communion for the divorced and remarried. Can he?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Haven't we had enough winks, and nudges too?

Anonymous said...

I think it was Hilaire Belloc who said of the Catholic Church in his day:

"An institution run with such knavish imbecility that if it were not the work of God it would not last a fortnight."

Be comforted, Father. We have been here before and the gates of hell have not prevailed. Nor will they.

Joseph Golightly said...

Father Ray. I fear the clergy have themselves to blame for what is wrong in the church today. The molesting of little children is monstrous and for many little has been done to condemn those responsible whereas there seems to be utter condemnation of those who were/are in horrible marriages. For many the granting of an annulment is rather a strange procedure and seems to revolve around sex as though that is the most important aspect of married life. Be more Pastoral and less legalistic when dealing with human relationships. I have heard that it is almost certain that all marriages have the ability to be "defective" but of course if you have enough money you can get what you want form the Church just as in the secular world.

Viva Cristo Rey said...

As far as the Synod is concerned.........did they do one thing at all to help real families?

Cosmos said...


I would like to tie 3 things you said together:

1) "Well it occurred to me if we didn't have believe that, Father, we don't we have to believe anything. So I started questioning everything I did believe and I decided I didn't believe in anything, even in God".
2) "I know we priests can easily live in our own little bubble and meet only people who share our views"
3) "From the Patristic exegesis of Pope Benedict which tended to build up faith, we have moved to dark world of confusion and ambiguity."

Educated Catholics have been taught to roll their eyes, stick up their nose, and dismiss as simpletons anyone who accepts the historicity of scripture (where historical accounts are being relayed) or fails to show unquestioning acceptance of whatever scientific theory is held at the moment. "Thank God we don't have to believe what the uneducated fundamentalists believe! That's a relief!"

It is true that we believe that Science and faith are 100% compatible (depending on how you frame miracles). But it does not follow that whatever contemporary scientists believe is, therefore, true. Scientists are often wrong and/or biased, especially when it comes to theories like the big bang and evolution that cannot--even theoretically--be reproduced directly in a lab. So how safe is it really to simply brush aside special creation and Genesis and rewrite them around what Richard Dwakins insists upon? Why are we so confident that it can't be harmful? IMO, the answer is group think.

It is also true that we believe that inspiration conforms to the genre of the inspired text (Dei Verbum). But it does not follow that we get to simply create new genres (like myth) that allow us to dismiss historical accounts in the Bible because they are deemed fantastical. And some things, like the existence of Adam and Eve, are not only confirmed by Christ's words, but form the foundation of key doctrines like original sin. Brushing them aside has serious ramifications for our understanding of the Church as a reliable teacher.

Yet within the educated Catholic bubble, we do simply brushes aside the real challenges that things like evolution or biblical skepticism presents to the faith. We insist that they don't while so many in the world clearly testify that we are wrong. Our explanations smell of a God of the Gaps theology that implies God will melt further and further away as we learn more.

But the real issue is one of authority. If what the Bible seemed to say, and what the Magesterium seemed to teach, was not reliable, why should we believe the current Magesterium?

And I simply disagree that Benedict was helpful in this regard. I think he embraced so much of higher biblical criticism, historical realism, and scientific authority that is confusing everyone. His early teaching on evolution is borderline heretical (spirit arose from matter through an evolution with telos). He did provide a very noble and compelling attempt to reconcile them with the Tradition, but I believe he ultimately helped shift the foundation of Catholic theology to a new foundation which has proven much shakier than we hoped. The same for JPII in his insistence of a subjective, personalist, phenomenological approach to philosophy.

Unknown said...

Our Lady of Fatima, LaSellete warned about the distruction of the church from the Top down...the very top. What we are seeing is what was predicted to occur before the Era of Peace promised at Fatima. The church will be in such disarray and there will be such confusion and at one point they will be sacked and closed but in the end The Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph and bring in the New Era of peace. Prepare for persecution too the point of having to give up your life for is not far away. Pope John Paul stated this in the 1980's if I am correct. STAY Strong and faithful remain!

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

"Well it occurred to me if we didn't have to believe that, Father, we don't have to believe anything." One degree of separation. It is the contradiction that destroys Faith. It is the apparent overthrow of the Rock, that causes people to overthrow Christ.

I know a few 'Methodists, Quakers, Unitarians' = Protestantism...the giving up of faith to oneself as 'god'. And they are delighted to be proven 'right' that a 'pope' could be an antichrist. Other than that, they hate Catholicism too.

Saint Bellarmine assented to Holy Mother Church in teaching that 'ravening wolves' and the true shepherds of the Eternal Order of Melchisedek are as belial to Christ. Revolutions and pretenders to thrones are not unheard of. The posit that the Church to which Zelie and Louie Martin could place their total trust (and so all their children) with a return of truly given faith, is not what now dominates, is devastating; unless the Faith is known and practiced and proclaimed. Which it always will be, if outside the usual buildings, as in the times of Saint Athanasius. New Order 'popes'; exactly who was it that placed a new order for Catholicism? And from whom?

Equiti Albo Crucis said...

Yes the clergy have much blame to shoulder. But then so do we of the laity for we get the priests we deserve.

Doodler said...

Where does it say that there were THREE KINGS?

Anil Wang said...

Towards what? Towards purification and renewal. We've been forced to pick sides and the comfortable middle road is increasingly no longer available to us.

For too long bishops and priests have placed the burden of defending that faith in the hands of the Pope because we've been fortunate enough to have a string of good Popes. But that's also precisely why the current mess exists. The Pope is just a man. The burden is just too much for him, so he has to rely on others and many either they should not have been trusted (e.g. Annibale Bugnini), or simply accepted the mess being created because the Pope was solid and things would eventually work themselves out (i.e. the bulk of Traditionalists/Conservatives). Had bishops and cardinals done their jobs after Vatican II, they would have rejected the NO mass because it was not what VII asked for and even contradicted it. Had our current crop of fighting bishops and cardinals at the last synod been around when the "Spirit of Vatican II" was spreading it's ugly tentacles, the Humanae Vitae rebellion, the education rebellion, and LCWR rebellion were in full swing, we would not have the current crisis today.

Fortunately, this isn't the first time we've been here before. The repeated pattern of the Book of Judges is the history of the Catholic Church (we get lazy and take God for granted, we lose our way, things get really bad both inside the Church and outside, we cry out to God in our desperation, God responds and we do as well in faith, prosperity returns until we start to get lazy again and we repeat the cycle). The tide is turning, but it will not come without a cost from each of us and we may not see the day when it ends.

Matthew Roth said...

I agree there are problems in modern thought, but Benedict and JPII embraced the best of them. As far as personalism goes, well, if you are not one, your Catholic thinking needs fixing. And the “turning to the subject” helps illuminate problems of earlier thought, like the nature of love and participation theory.

Anonymous said...

Alas, as a convert to the Church from Protestantism with a masters degree from a Wesleyan theological seminary, and having helped bring almost all my family to the Church, I am pretty much every day shocked by what I see in the Catholic faith. I feel as if I just got adopted into a dysfunctional family with a drunk dad who is either kicking the dog thru the hedge or telling his wife she can't cook while he sings the praises of the neighbor's drug addict son and whorish daughter.

Recently I obtained a copy of Denzinger and frankly, it has been an immense help to me in my faith. For in its many pages I see many times in the history of the faith where troubles came up and caused, well, trouble, and then eventually were solved. I readily admit that we have been waiting for a long time for solutions to the drunk-and-disorderly conduct I see everywhere in the Church, but I think that day will come, too. Yes, I agree with Cosmos that there are troubling aspects of all three of the pontificates he mentioned when compared to past pontificates, much did we really know about them? We live in an era of cheap and easy technology and instantaneous media coverage and mouth-running pontiffs and every time the pope belches we can smell the garlic from last night's lasagna.

So I pray, argue with any "Catholic" who supports sodomy and adultery, pray and argue with any Catholic who tells me it is time to adapt to modern mores and pray get the picture. Hang in their Father. If all others fail you, you have a friend in the mountains of Idaho with a good stack of books and unending views of God's great creation and...PRAISE FSSP parish about a couple hours away!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Doodler, I tell people there were probably 40, as I think Chrysostom says. The idea that the Magi were philosopher-priest-kings is pretty ancient. it is part of our patristic legacy. I think we can lead people into a greater understanding of the Truth. this lady had faith was knocked down not built up, not deepened.

GOR said...

Pope Francis constantly calling Catholics to dialogue, to speak freely, to ‘make noise’ and to question everything, sounds so 1960s to me – the naiveté of the young and immature.

To what point is all this questioning? We have the True Faith, in its fullness - period. There are no new theological truths to be revealed - as if somehow lying undiscovered for the past 2100+ years, but now revealed by the secular world.

Last I checked, Our Lord said: “Go, teach all nations, baptizing them…” He didn’t say “Go, dialogue with all nations…” “Go, question all nations…” or “Go seek the truth from all nations…”

He gave us the Truth. We may have trouble understanding the Truth or living up to the Truth, but there’s no denying – for a Catholic – that we have it. Or, are we ashamed of it? Unsure? In doubt?

If we are, the answer is prayer for an increase of Faith, because He also said: “Ask and you shall receive…”

Sadie Vacantist said...

I do agree that resistance is better organised as commented upon above. The key problem is that the late Martini and his extant followers are unaware of their roles as agents of neo-imperialism. The resistance emerging in Eastern Europe, Russia and Africa is more political than it is moral at this stage but we need to expose this pope's own role in provoking it.

JARay said...

I urge you Father not to give up yourself. I feel that your writings of late hint that you are having a struggle. I turn to your blog daily even if I don't always leave a comment. Stick in there. We have the truth and we are so loved by God that it is simply amazing. I too struggle a bit at times but I am certain that I am truly blessed and so are all who are on the same path as we are.
Yes, I used the plural "we"!

MTMajor said...

Thank you Father for your thoughts; they give us all pause for consideration. Thank you Valdemar, I agree with your post and will start on Denzinger asap. I too am a convert, since 1981; the Francis pontificate has given my family grave concerns for what's happening in our Church. Orthodoxy isn't a Fortunately, history tells of many heretical bishops and cardinals whose thoughts are now long past and forgotten. Yes, our clergy have long needed the background shown by Fr. Ray, Fr. Z, Archbishop Sheen, etc. Perhaps the weening is around the corner!

Jacobi said...

Steady the Buffs! Do I detect wavering in the ranks?

It would be nice if the pre-Vatican II Church of my youth was still here to carry us into the sunset. But that is not to be. History has not come to an end.

With November 11th coming I note that three of my immediate family were killed in the WW I/II and I don't suppose they had a particularly untroubled exit. And I see conflicts in the near future for the next generations. So we have no right to expect anything different - and no right to waver in our duty to preserve the Mystical Body of Christ on this Earth, intact. We do that, as Catholics by holding to Scripture, Revelation, Tradition, all as expressed in the Magisterium of the Church - and by taking our particular allocated Crosses. Not by wavering

So, straighten up there, and face to the front!

Chloe said...

Joseph, having been granted a decree of nullity many years ago I can assure its not 'all about sex'. It had nothing whatever to do with my case. Also your remark that 'if you have money you can get anything you want from the church' is rubbish. I was told there was a fee for the tribunal process. That if I couldn't pay it, to approach my parish to ask them to pay it and if they couldn't or wouldn't, the proceess would go ahead anyway. I was able to pay and it wasn't a lot. I had very little money at the time but it didn't break the bank. I was very grateful to them for their help, but they also warned me that if I wasn't entitled to one, I wouldn't get one. My reaction that knowledge was "Deo gratias!"

Orak said...

Like JARay, I read Fr Blake's blog every day. I also agree with JARay's sentiments. I also agree with Chloe's response to Joseph. My local tribunal does not charge a fee if the applicant is unable to pay. Also, leaving aside cases of non-consumation and the like, and possibly serial adultery by the respondent, I fail to see how any nullity case can be "all about sex". Domestic violence can involve sex, but domestic violence comes in many different forms. Orak

Nicolas Bellord said...

The Lifesite News article on homosexuality to which you gave the link is very good indeed and probably very accurate.

I agree with Jacobi that we need to keep calm. Pope Francis has not yet indorsed communion for those living in adultery. In the meantime we should pray hard. Perhaps some special service could be organised - a day of prayer somewhere? I have been reading Cardinal Sarah and he emphasises the need for intercessionary prayers at all times.

Savonarola said...

Could it be that the unaffected gesture of that South American child shows more insight into the true meaning of the Eucharist, of Christ's body broken and given for the sins of the world, than all the pretentious posturing, the whinging and whining of those who love to congratulate each other on how orthodoxly Catholic they are, who never miss a chance to excoriate anyone who does not measure up to their standards and can be contemptuously dismissed for their heresy and apostasy, who seem to be far more in love with religion and ritual than they ever are with God and humanity? It must be a hard lesson to learn that God cares just as much, if not more for the sinners and heretics than he does for those already saved (or who consider themselves to be saved), but is that not what our faith teaches? Just asking!

Jeremy said...

I have long felt that Francis is the wrong man for the job. He was set up as an antidote to Benedict and has since undone much of the stability Benedict brought to the post. But his leadership is often either wholly lacking or incomprehensible. The synod was a disaster. No wonder so many of us worry. Just what is his agenda?

Recusant said...


I would like to second Chloe's comment. I too had my marriage annulled in 2008. Sex didn't even figure in any of the, thorough, investigations. As to costs, they were very low, considering the time put into it by the canon lawyers, but I was told that if I couldn't pay, I didn't need to.

The main point was that it was made clear to me that it would be a proper and thorough adjudication. No rubber stamping a preordained outcome. That gave me great comfort: I wasn't interested in anything that could be bought cheaply and I was prepared to be denied. I wanted the church to take its sacraments seriously; my worry is that Francis is playing fast and loose with two millenia of hard won faithfulness to satisfy a crowd - the modern, Western, secular world - who don't give a damn about it in any case and would only be grateful for the view it gives of the Catholic church crumbling before them.

Jacobi said...


I looked up your reference to the St Gall group and here is a note that followed. If you think it inappropriate don't show. I won't be upset!

The article in Catholic Voice is important . A Gay Mafia exists in the Catholic Church.

Homosexuals comprise 1 ½ % of the population but the Church became a refuge for them in the 70s/80s. I guess that they comprise 30% of the clergy and bishops.

Their presence goes a long way to explain the failure of Faith and morale in the post-Vatican II Church and the persistent attempts to insert a homosexual agenda into the Synod on the Family.

This priest has raised the matter of Cardinal O'Brien. Coming as I do from the north, I certainly have. However many consenting bums O'Brien patted in the 70s/80s, his crime was to reform and speak out publicly against homosexual practise. The Gay Mafia savaged him for that. Which is why he lingers in some cold, dark, rain-soaked Cumbrian bothy while Ricca who led a public homosexual life style in the Nuncio in Monteivideo some fifteen years ago ( Magister, July 2013) enjoys a nice job in the Domus Sanctae Marthae in the Vatican, well protected by the Vatican Homosexual Mafia.

The answer lies in the seminaries. No man with deep seated homosexual tendencies can be admitted.

There are those in groups like “COURAGE”who although homosexually inclined maintain chastity.

They get no recognition or support from the Gay Mafia, or from the clergy, or the Catholic press, or ordinary Catholics. That must change.

Lepanto said...

It was interesting to read the theory that those who have lost their faith wish the same fate on others. I believe that this is probably true of some (many?) modernists. However I don't think that the motive is consciously evil, I think that they want to share their 'truth' with what they consider to be the poor benighted idiots who actually believe that Scripture, with its miracles and prophecies (which are obviously 'merely literary devices') is a true account of historical events. They have been there for years and now want us all to join them in their uncertainties and fears which they consider proper for every 'grown up' Catholic (except perhaps for the old ladies with their rosaries who are beyond hope).

Cosmos said...


You aren't "just asking" anything. What you are doing is implying that people who have been Catholic for decades and care deeply about their faith and their Church are blind Pharisees because they have serious intellectual issues with what is going on right now.

But I think you have been misled about the nature of Christianity. The faith did not emerge in 2013. Its an ancient religion that simply doesn't always square with contemporary sentiment. We are not greater than our teachers. Yet the criticism you level at these Catholics, would also apply Our Lord and St. Paul:


"For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery.”

"Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division; for henceforth in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against her mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”


"For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died."

"It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with immoral men; not at all meaning the immoral of this world, or the greedy and robbers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. 'Drive out the wicked person from among you.'"

Savonarola said...

Cosmos, you may not like my question or think there is anything in it, but I am just asking. We have had 2,000 years of the Christian religion and of course it has done a huge amount of good, but I do wonder to what extent it really transforms people's consciousness in the way that Christ offers: lose your life in order to find it etc. I think religious people get too caught up with the intellectual issues and miss what the Gospel and God are really about. I know this because I do it myself.

Scott W. said...

As is often the case, getting specific is a disinfectant. For instance, Cardinal Weurl offered this, “The frame of reference now is no longer the Code of Canon Law. The frame of reference is now going to be, ‘What does the Gospel really say here?’” The problem of course is that this a whopping strawman. Cardinal Weurl could not name one person who believes even by implication that Canon Law is our frame of reference, and even if he thought he could, he wouldn't because a). everyone is so used to barfing up these straw generalalizations that no one expects to be challenged on them and b). it would require evidential support, which would require thinking and fortitude. Canon lawyer Ed Peter's, after demolishing the Canon-Law-is-our-reference porkie pie, asked a good "just asking" question: "some people railing against canon law need to ask themselves whether it is law they don’t like, or the truths such laws defend."

Cosmos said...


My two points are:

(1) those of us who are wary of glossing over God's commandments are well aware of our own sin. The two things are not at all mutually exclusive. In fact, we know our own sin because we do not augar coat sin in general. How would you know you need an operation if their is no diagnosis?

(2) what the Gospel is "really about" is, at the very least, what Jesus and his Apostles told us that it was about. If we think it's something else, we may be creating a new religion, however noble and well intentioned.

The good news is this: God loves us so much that has opened a door for us to return to him, free and clear, and with his assistance. But we must chose to leave our old lives behind and embrace the new one.

To pretend we can know God or experience his mercy without repentance and attempted conversion is a cruel lie.

God bless, and sorry for my Internet tone!

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

@Savonarola. Your question is as twisted as a very unstraight thing. If you hate orthodoxy, just say it. We live in times where one can say it 'loud and proud'! But fear not, for those who despise orthodoxy don't need to waste time excoriating those who cannot renege it because they know it - know it and cannot renege it any more than one could deny a mother or father. Once you are an Orthodox Catholic it is too late. You must love the same (at times bear it) or become a conscious enemy of it. If you are not yet an Orthodox Catholic Savonarola, beware - Christ is courting you.

Savonarola said...

Viterbo, I don't hate orthodoxy if it really is orthodoxy. I hope Christ courts you too.

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

"If it really is 'true'". Christ gives us the straight road so we don't have to guess. If the rock is a matter of guessing, despite two hundred something true Popes, and Crusades against calumny of the hopes of an immortal soul for five or six centuries, then, yeah, let's gamble on novelty.

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...