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00Saturday, July 28, 2007 5:26 PM
I thought I would make it easy for those who have a problem initiating a discussion or posting a comment at their convenience - i.e., not necessarily tied to a particular post, and even if it is, at some time after the original post - so here is an open thread that will always be 'in evidence' and never pushed back by newer entries for open use... I HOPE IT SERVES THE PURPOSE.

7/31/07 P.S.
It's been a couple of days since I've opened this thread, but no one's has used it so far.

By the way, this obviously doesn't stop anyone from posting comments, idle thoughts, whatever, on any of the other threads, but it's an added convenience to make oneself heard. SO SPEAK OUT!


BTW, since I tend to comment simultaneously on items that I post myself, and almost immediately on posts by other members, you will excuse me if my participation in this thread will be minimal.

00Wednesday, August 1, 2007 11:42 PM
Thank you
I think this is what I was looking for - a place for discussion, where people's opinons wouldn't be separated by reams and reams of news items, which disturb the flow.
As soon as a discussion topic springs to mind, we can begin here.....
But it's too late for me tonight!! [SM=g27824] [SM=g27824] [SM=g27824]

I could say: Did you notice that Papa seemed to be wearing very dark brown or black loafers at today's audience? That's a bit of a shallow discussion for someone of my deeply intellectual ilk [Laugh Out Loud!!]

But, seriously, topics will certainly crop up very soon.
00Friday, August 3, 2007 11:31 PM
Apologies to Protestants? No!
One of the recent news items posted in full states that a German Catholic bishop has apologised to protestants for the Pope's recent statement that the Catholic Church is the one true Church.
Let's get one thing straight first: this short document comes from the CDF and was signed by William Cardinal Levada - some people seem to think that Joseph Ratzinger still heads this congregation! Even so, he was instrumental in the compiling of "Dominus Jesus" by the CDF and this latest document is clarifying "Dominus Jesus" as well as re-stating some of the truths of the Second Vatican Council.

We don't apologise for what we know is true. The protestant denominations have many graces and we should have friendly relations with them, so that we can find out more about them and tell them more about the Catholic Church and why we believe that it holds the full truth of Jesus Christ.

I happen to know - because I've been on the receiving end of it - that some extreme evangelical protestants do not think the Catholic Church is a Christian church at all and they are not afraid to say so, in a dogmatic, foot stamping way. But that's all right is it? No it isn't!

I was talking yesterday to a very sweet, well-educated lady who happens to adhere to the Church of England. In the course of conversation she said: "I don't think it matters whether you are Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Jew or anything else"
In other words - she is not equating Christianity and Catholicism. To her Catholicism is a different RELIGION!!!!
How do we dispel these falsehoods?

Now I've seen a news item on Yahoo about a new book which claims to prove that the Pope is wrong to state that the Catholic Church is the one true Church of Jesus Christ!!!!!!

In that case, why do we bother to be Catholics? We bother because we know we have the whole truth and all the Sacraments - we have the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist!!!!!

Anyone want to join in here?
00Saturday, August 4, 2007 9:18 PM

I wouldn't apologize to anybody for the CDF's statement. These people need to read what was released instead of starting with the theatrics. I don't hear anybody apologizing for saying Catholics practice idolatry when they use intercessory prayer or cheer for the Pope when he comes into town. Or any of the other many comments making generalizations about our Church.

We might as well not as say the Creed during Mass if we are going to bend backwards to please everybody. This is what we believe. We are members of the Church established by Jesus Christ. The various Christian demoninations are either break-offs or break-offs from those who have broken off. Its a fact. Some people need to read a bible & a history book.

Mary, I have run into some people with similar attitudes. They say things like "Oh, it doesn't matter what Church you belong to as long as you believe in/love Christ." Or "As long as I treat everyone good and don't do anything terribly bad, I'll be fine." Many of those same people feel like they don't need to pray, read the Bible, go to Church, adoration, join a cell group (not a happy clappy youth group with little teaching), practice the Sacraments, etc. do you get closer to Christ then? Err...I do remember Christ saying something along the lines of 'He who loves me keeps my commandments.'

Before my conversion, I was quite content to sit at home on Sunday and not attend non-denominational service, not pray or read the Bible. I believed in Christ, but there was no urge to do any of these things. There are many who think 'I believe in Jesus...well thats it! I don't really need any of that other stuff.' Christ is calling us to be saints! Christ is calling us to deepen our prayer lives & use the many other resources that we have (THE SACRAMENTS !)to have a closer relationship with him.

To your question: How do we dispel these falsehoods? I think it starts with Catholics being well educated about their faith and having the courage to speak up when someone is repeating falsehoods as truth.

00Sunday, August 5, 2007 7:27 AM
You had to know that it was only a matter of time till I had to add my opinion here. I will be sounding off on 2 separate issues.

Issue #1. I think all individual Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants need to sit down and take a long-serious-unbiased look at our histories. It was because of differences of opinion regarding the Virgin Mary that the Orthodox split. Even then Christian killed Christian all in the name of God. Things became even worse with the Reformation. Catholics and Protestants alike were tortured, maimed, killed all in the name of God. We denied that the other was truly Christian because they didn’t believe exactly as we did. We forced Jews to convert to Christianity or die. Most missionaries were peaceful and bought the message of God’s love to indigenous people all over the world… but others brought the message to convert or die. We learned to only trust those people in our own groups who we knew believed as we did because there had been a time when faith could get you killed.
As many of you know, I grew up Methodist. It is where I first learned about God, to pray, where I surrendered my heart to His will. Something made me read the Bible from cover to cover only to read the annunciation for the first time. Curiosity made me question why my denomination didn’t teach on it. I could handle looking to other Protestant denominations for the answers. But to look at the Catholic Church was very difficult. I thought it would call for too many changes in my beliefs. Human nature is to resist major changes like that. Gradually my defenses were worn down. I converted on April 15, 2006. But not every Protestant feels the need to change. This is a change you really have to want to make it work. Yes the Roman Catholic Church was established and commissioned by Christ, I can’t argue with that fact. I also believe that the RCC is still the Church that adheres to that commission. The Protestant denominations all carry part of the commission. They lead souls to Christ. As politically correct as we all have become lately, there is still the old fear… by now it is almost a reflex to mistrust anyone not is our own group. Before I even started instruction classes I read the Catechism as well as other books on Catholic beliefs. But, it was the people I talked to that brought me in. No amount of screaming or shouting or insisting that the Catholic Church was the only way would have brought me in. In fact I would have run as fast as I could in the opposite direction. The best conversion tool is knowledge of our Catholic Church. When asked why we believe a calm voice speaks above all tantrums.
Shortly after his death Life magazine published a commemorative issue on the life of Karol Wojtyla. The forward was written by The Reverend Billy Graham. In 1978 Rev. Graham had been invited to do a preaching series in Poland that included several Catholic cathedrals. He had been invited by Karol Cardinal Wojtyla for tea and to preach in his home church, St. Anne’s in Krakow. The meeting was cancelled however because the Cardinal was called back to Rome after the unexpected death of John Paul 1. But their meeting was only delayed… postponed. John Paul 2 welcomed Rev. Graham several times at the Vatican. Despite their very different backgrounds these 2 great men of God developed a warm friendship. Neither tried to convert the other but rather acknowledged the Christianity of the other. Rev. Graham has also received a lot of protest from other evangelical ministers for his pro-Catholic stand when it was more popular to bash Catholics.
Sadly there are no easy answers. There will always be individuals on both sides who will not acknowledge any other way but their own. I am truly offended by people who try to bully and badger their will on others. It doesn’t matter who is doing it, it is wrong. Yes we need to have knowledge of our beliefs and when asked we need to be able to explain. Loving God and LIVING His love speak much louder to the human heart than the loudest voice.
In the final years of his pontificate, when the affects of his Parkison’s disease, arthritis and age had all taken their toll on his body, Pope John Paul II publically apologized for wrongs committed by Catholics against other religions as well as other Christians. He didn’t do this to gain attention for himself. He did it because it was the right thing to do. I think all Christians need to look at our history, apologize to each other but most importantly, apologize to God.

Issue #2. Why do we need yet another sticky thread??? Already we have members that hardly post anymore because our moderator for this section posts articles in rapid succession before anyone can read them much less comment on them. Some of us feel stifled. When we do post, this same moderator will open our post and write her comment. None of the other moderators do this. We already know she’s a moderator; does she have to also hold it over our heads that she could change our posts if she really wanted to? She can start a new thread whenever she wishes to, yet we, the members have to ask her permission. That isn’t fair. Does that seem fair to anyone else???
00Sunday, August 5, 2007 12:36 PM
Dear Nan -

I said I epected my participation in this htead would be minimal because I already make my comments simultaneous with my posts or shortly after someone makes a post a I want to comment on.

However, the second part of your post above makes this inevitable.

First, I opened this post on 7/28 because Mary wrote more than once that she wanted a place for discussion. I said in answer to her initial post - either one could use the "Quote" system, which enables anybody to comment on any post no matter how far back by simply quoting the entire post or a relevant part of it; or start a new Discussion thread if anyone wanted to, at which point I made it clear that obviously, no permission for this was needed at all, because anybody could start any thread any time as in any forum, and as people have done in this section before.

No one acted on either suggestion. Therefore, some three weeks after the initial to-do, I decided to open the thread myself to urge a start to the much-desired discussions. Finally, Mary herself started to use it on 8/1 and welcomed it.

The reason it is a 'sticky' is so that it does not get shoved to the back page of the section board eventually, if no one uses it for days or weeks.

Second, as I explained the first time I started doing it months ago, I make my comments within posts in order to leave the member's name on the board for as long as possible until there's a new 'article' post (or comment post by anybody else). Since I tend to comment or answer posts that require commenting or answer almost immediately, this avoids having the board showing my name all the time as the last 'post' on any thread.

If I do go ito a post to add my comments, I do not change anything in the post itself, obviously - if I did, I would certainly have heard from the member concerned by now; I simply add on what I have to say. An exception was when I translated Janice's post of a Magister blog in Italian - for obvious reasons that I also stated within the post.

Third -

Already we have members that hardly post anymore because our moderator for this posts articles in rapid succession before anyone can read them much less comment on them. Some of us feel stifled.

Is it now being held against me that I post articles 'in rapid succession'? I post articles as I find them,and as I am able to translate those that I think need translating in order to be shared. How long am I supposed to wait between articles to post? Suppose nobody ever comments on the article for the rest of the day - or ever, as often happens? Does that mean I should stop posting anything new?

The mechanics of posting is such that when one finds something one thinks is worth posting, then one posts it right away because that is the most efficient way, and one wants a post to be as timely as possible. What am I supposed to do? Write down somewhere a list of all that I want post,and then go back and revisit all the sites to look for the post I want when it is 'time' to post them? When is the time to post if not when you find the item - or when it has been translated if it needs to be?

Even doing that - posting ASAP - already takes up a lot of time. If I postpone doing anything, then other new things will simply pile up and I would never be able to catch up in a timely manner. Even when I manage to post items during my regular working-day at my regular job, I still need about two hours in the morning before going to work and three hours at night before I go to bed to do what I have to do for the Forum on a regular basis.

Much of this time is spent just looking for material- none of it falls into my lap conveniently - and reading through whatever one comes across in order to evaluate it, and sometimes, looking for appropriate pictures, as whenever I start a thread or a 'coverage section' about the Papal trips. And then, the translations. Even the relatively easy news articles still need time to be translated, let alone the more difficult analytical pieces! But I have been doing all this cheerfully and willingly because it is my way of sharing information with others, especially those who do not have the time I have - time that I deliberately, consciously decided to 'make' - to devote to the Forum. I would have thought more information was welcome, instead of being resented.

I would dearly love to hear from other members who feel 'stifled' because I post 'articles in rapid succession'. I do not post articles because I am the moderator. Even if I were just a regular user and not a moderator, I would still post the same articles in the same number and at the same pace as I find them, because the purpose of this particular forum is mainly to share information about Pope Benedict and the Church. I just happen to be the moderator because Ratzigirl made me moderator of the section, since I asked her to start it for us. I didn't ask for it.

Anyone can write Ratzigirl or the other administrators an open letter on the forum or by FFZ mail to replace me as moderator. I have no problem with that whatsoever.

Lastly, whenever I do or write anything, I always make sure I explain myself first. I am sorry that you appear so offended by my actions as moderator.

Obviously, I had to open a new post, as you object to my commenting within a post - which means that for now, my name will appear on the board as the last post on this thread, instead of yours.


00Sunday, August 5, 2007 8:23 PM
RE: Apologizing to Protestants
As you know, I was born into and raised in a Protestant home, in a predominantly Protestant country. I had no say in the matter, like most of us who open our eyes in an environment not of our choice (except if you believe in reincarnation!) As far back as I can remember I knew the RCC's position on the one, true Christian Church. My father was a parson in the Reformed tradition, not Lutheran.

As I had said elsewhere, the CDF declaration is really nothing new. People who react strongly to it are uninformed about the RCC and what it stands for, its doctrines - and especially its dogmas - and its history. There are millions of Protestants who do not even know the history of their own denominations, when and where it sprang from. They scarcely know they are the faith-historical products of the Reformation and that people like Luther and Calvin had been Catholics first!

I have taught music history for many years and have experienced the progressively shocking low level of general knowledge, and the dismal abyss when it comes to knowledge and insight in the history of the development of Christianity. There is almost no reference framework to even start a discussion on this matter. The Western mind (with the usual exceptions, of course) has become quite vacuous. If you ask a young person today when and why the Reformation took place, they look at you with vacant eyes. A few will mumble something like:"Because the Catholics think you can pay money to have your sins forgiven and reach heaven." As you can see, they speak in the present tense, as though the happenings and abuses of the late 15th and early 16th century are still being kept up by the RCC. Not that they really care one way or the other.

I do not know anyone in my circle of friends (apart from the few theologians I know) who ever felt the need to to get aquainted with the history of the Christian Church before and after the Reformation; not to speak of trying to study the dogma of Roman Catholicism.
I am not even sure they understand the dogma of their own tradition.
Human beings are lazy. It is much easier to repeat (vaguely) clichés and stereotypes picked up on the school playground (forty years ago for people my age!) or from bad movies that bash either Catholicism or Protestantism or Christianity in general.

Nan is right: we are uninformed about many important things pertaining to the Christian faith. And I am convinced this is something you also find among Catholics. We have stereotyped ideas about each other's doctrines. I'll repeat on or two here:

"Catholics place Mary, the Pope and the Saints higher than Jesus Christ. Even if they say they don't, their actions show the opposite." Wrong. But where does one start explaining?

"Protestants believe only in the Bible. They know nothing of tradition. The Bible is their Pope. It has become and idol and they cannot point a finger at us to accuse us of idolatry." There is some truth in this when you look at certain Charismatics and fundamentalist Protestants and I really enjoyed reading the famous Karl Barth accusing sectors of his own tradition of these very same stances.

It will take hard work to clear up false perceptions like those mentioned above on grass root level. The theologians of both the RCC and the Protestant traditions do not hold these un-nuanced, undifferentiated ideas. If we could follow their lead and their example much could be gained. But the honest, direct and fully informed manner of their debates and dialogues hasn't reached the minds of the people in the pews yet. Their debates (if that is what it can be called) are a disgrace for Christianity and civilization because it is mostly based on disinformation and emotional, knee-jerk reactions based on the flimsiest of knowledge about each other's belief systems.

IMO the German bishop who apologized to Protestants for the CDF document was a fool. He squashed a very good opportunity for Protestants to start thinking and evaluating themselves and their "denominations" again.

Someone mentioned in a post that Jesus Christ created/founded the Roman Catholic Church. One reads this many times on Catholic blogs. You mean well and I understand what you mean, but it will also be a good thing if people can be more precise in their formulations. The Church that Jesus asked his disciples to carry on and build had to be universal, therefore catholic. He did not speak a word about Rome, or that it should be Roman Catholic per se. At that stage Rome was synonomous with the hardships suffered by the Jews in Palestine! I think Ignatius of Anthioch was the first person who used the term "catholic" in the first century, to describe the universal aspect of the Christian message and mission. By the time of St Augustine it was normal to speak of the catholic Christian faith and the bishop of Rome had become an important point of reference in squabbles between Christians of different parts of the Roman empire. I can't remember when precisely the designation ROMAN catholic Church became the norm, but it was of course not in the lifetime of Christ after his resurrection and before his Assumption.

About the moderator: I have read quite a few times that she asked us to please start new threads if we want to. Teresa, I've thought about Nan's words. Perhaps it does intimidate some members if you comment inside their posts, although I understand your reason for doing this: to keep other names visible as "last" posters. I suggest that you answer/comment in a seperate post for a while, to see whether this policy will contribute to more frequent postings from other members. If it doesn't, we will know that your comments inside members' posts are not the real reason for the present situation.
00Sunday, August 5, 2007 8:58 PM
As I still do not know how to edit mistakes in my own posts, I'll have to do it here. Sorry!

"Their debates (if that is what it can be called) are a disgrace for Christianity and civilization because it is mostly based on disinformation and emotional, knee-jerk reactions based on the flimsiest of knowledge about each other's belief systems. " - I was speaking here of the debates between members of the RCC and Protestant traditions, NOT of theologians in dialogue, of course.

I checked the dates of Ignatius of Antioch. He lived from c.35 to 107 AD. The first written mention of the word "catholic" was in Greek (katholikos)by Ignatius in the year 107. Scholars take it that this designation for the universality of the Christian message must have been around since the last quarter of the first century.
00Sunday, August 5, 2007 11:42 PM
I don't know how many of you live in the United States, but here, at least, the Catholic Church is having, in my own opinion (and let me stress that), a problem with evangelicals who convert and then want to bring in their evangelical beliefs into the Catholic Church as if there is no difference. They often say things, such as: "I am now a completed evangelical," or "I'm still a Methodist at heart." And many of them are now evangelizing on behalf and in the name of the Catholic Church. It seems to me that there is now the hermeneutic that Catholicism is only "more" of what evangelical Christianity is, or what Lutheranism, etc., not qualitatively different. And I think this is beginning to distort Church teaching, ecclesiology, etc. For instance, in the case of converted evangelicals, they are teaching potential converts and even some Catholics in parishes that they need a more "personal" relationship with Jesus, but they never mention the Eucharist or the Church. In fact, one of them wrote: "I would much rather be called a follower of Jesus Christ than a Roman Catholic."

Have any of you noticed anything similar where you are?
00Monday, August 6, 2007 1:44 AM

NanMN, I think that apologizing for past wrongs committed by Catholics is one thing. But to apologize for a CDF statement restating what the Church has taught for a long time is another thing.

In my conversion experience, I didn't have any screaming or shouting that the Church was the only way. If I did, I would have wondered why one chose to use that manner of speaking. I don't feel like shouting/screaming is the best way to communicate ones message. I hope that people in the forum don't feel like I do after reading my first comment.

My conversion was not something that I had spent many years contemplating. It was not something I had even thought about in the past. At that time, I was fine with believing in God, but not going to Church, not praying, not reading the Bible. I don't mean to imply that I'm a perfect Catholic now or anything like that. God has helped me to have spiritual hunger and to want know him better. I am so thankful for that and have a different perspective on everything. I came into the Church on April 7, 2007. My parents are not Catholics. I am 18 yrs old. I had no one persistantly urging me to join the Church or telling me that I would go to Hell if I didn't join the one true Church when I was in RCIA or speaking to others while contemplating conversion. At lunch time in high school, most young people tend not to want to talk about religion. But I had became curious about the Catholic faith. God put the right young people in my life at the right time. He put a great friend in my life who I could talk to about the Catholic faith when I was just in the early stages of finding out about the faith. It was never forced on me by anyone I had met. I just feel that if you don't know your faith, its difficult for you to live it fully. This is an ongoing process; learning your faith.

Crotchet, if you look above your post that you want to edit, there is a button. The third button is the edit one.

Teresa, I don't feel offended that you comment into my posts. Your comments are interesting and often make me think about the topic in ways I didn't before. Or sometimes you add an article that adds more to the one already posted. If anyone is offended by this, they should talk to her personally through email. That's my two cents as they say. [SM=g27828]

Janice0Kraus, I haven't experienced anything like that in the US. Very interesting.
00Monday, August 6, 2007 5:04 AM
JaniceOKraus hello and welcome. I live in the USA. I agree, the Catholic Church is not more of what evangelical Christianity is. Dominus Iesus made it very clear. The Catholic Church is the Church commissioned by Christ. The other churches and Christian communities are her daughters. The RCC is NOT an extension of a Protestant denomination. Rather the Protestant denomination is a fracture… incomplete… of the RCC.

The Doctrine of Justification approved by the Lutheran World Foundation and the Catholic Church on 31 April 1999 states that it is through God’s grace alone that we are saved. John Paul 2 taught and now Benedict 16 teaches that we must have a deep inner conversion of the heart. I know Catholics and Protestants alike, who went to church every Sunday, were on more committees then they had time for but had as much chance of getting into Heaven as Hitler and Stalin. This inner conversion teaching is what Catholics and Protestants have in common. Yes I had had my inner conversion before becoming Catholic. But as a Catholic I am even more in love with Christ and His Church on Earth. That’s why I converted. My question to these converted evangelicals who are saying these things is why did you convert?

Yes there are differences, big differences. But Christians have to learn to respect and love one another. Growing up I heard “Catholics worship idols, the Pope”; “they think the Pope is perfect”; “they worship Mary”. I have lost Protestant friends who obviously only wanted to be associated with me when I was the younger sister of a Methodist minister. I will forever remember and thank God for my Methodist roots, because it was while questioning the teachings of my denomination that I found the RCC in all her glory.
00Monday, August 6, 2007 11:39 PM
So many things we have to defend!
I've read all these comments with interest. As Catholics we have to defend so many aspects of our faith. We have to explain, for a start, that we don't "worship" Our Lady, but revere her as the Mother of God. We have to explain why we ask for her intercession and the intercession of all the saints. I usually say that we ask them to pray for us, just as we would ask our own mother to pray for us, or a friend. We often say to a friend "I'm having a spot of trouble -I am worried about something - please pray for me". What's the difference?
Palestine at the time of Christ was a province of Rome - hence Christ was himself a Roman, in a sense. But Catholic means universal, purely and simply. It was only after the so-called "reformation" that we had to tag on Roman Catholic to distinguish ourselves from the Anglo-Catholic [almost Catholic!] wing of the Anglican Church.

I don't like the word "reformation", because it suggests reform of the Church. In fact what happened was that protestants broke away from the Church - they didn't reform it from within. Luther is the prime example. Later on that century [16th century] we have our own reformation: the so-called Counter or Catholic Reformation, encapsulated in the Council of Trent, out of which came the Missal of Pius V, which was intended to be the once and for all Missal. Hence, many Catholics are relieved that we now have free use of this Missal [Tridentine Missal] for Mass once more, alongside the Missal of Paul VI.

Crotchet - there was indeed much abuse in the Church just before the reformation, including the selling of indulgences! This has, of course, long ceased.

I was brought up Anglican, but I feel strongly against it now, unlike Nan who has happy memories of her Methodist upbringing and of her devout brother. I was misled by an Anglican "priest", who prepared me for confirmation in that Church. At 12 years old, when someone tells you something you accept it. I didn't know the Catholic Church existed, let alone that it held the fullness of Truth. I do now!!!!

When you all have time [and if you can read the tiny print!] get hold of an Anglican Book of Common Prayer and read the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion. It's vehemently anti-Catholic. It also states that there are only two sacraments - baptism and confirmation. Not holy orders - so it's small wonder that we don't recognise Anglican clerical orders.

The trouble with a lot of Catholics these days is that they have become self-apologetic and afraid to stand up and be counted. A lot of this, in England, goes back to penal times when we would have been imprisoned and executed for being Catholic and for harbouring priests. In England [not so much in Scotland, Wales or Ireland I think], this mentality lingers.

Finally, if you have EWTN, do watch "The Journey Home" - it's the best!

God bless and love - Mary x
00Tuesday, August 7, 2007 5:51 AM

, I read that article too about that German bishop apologizing for the CDF statement that basically reaffirms Dominus Iesus and B16's views on the primacy of the Catholic Church. The bishop's position irritated me far worse than subsequent criticisms and complaints from non-Catholics. I suspect that he was one of those poor misguided members of the hierarchy who weren't exactly thrilled to see Joseph Ratzinger elected pope and was using this opportunity to put B16 in his place. I imagine the bishop considers himself more knowledgeable, charitable, diplomatic, and Catholic than the pope even though his comments make him sound more anti-Catholic than most non-Catholic critics of the Church. He has probably become Mr. Popularity to many who detest the Church or this pope and perhaps that is exactly what motivated him to sound off.

Teresa, regarding the subject of your posting within our posts, I recall that you explained a couple of times why you were doing that and I think that was a valid reason for doing so. I personally have no problem with you posting within my space. As I've written before, sometimes I deliberately post articles that I know are going to goad you into commenting because I enjoy reading your responses. I find that many times you express what I want to say far better than I can and far more colorfully. So feel free to continue to insert your remarks into my posts whenever the mood strikes you. Having said that, I think I will try to find an article I saw a few days ago about a "woman-priest" who uses a Protestant church to hold her version of Mass and who was invited to speak before a Catholic lawyers' group in California, which created quite a flap. I'm sure you will find the story fascinating. Ha, ha.
00Tuesday, August 7, 2007 4:44 PM
Woman "priest" - to the stake with her!!!!
benefan - I almost laughed when I saw what you wrote about a "woman priest" and hiring a protestant church to say her version of Mass!!!! Heresy! To the stake with her!!!!
I remember a sort of conversation with a friend in my parish [it wasn't a proper discussion, because she is very "liberal" and I am "not to be trifled with", so unless it was pistols at dawn, we couldn't continue to talk about it]......about Lavinia Byrne and her book "Woman at the Altar". She told me I couldn't comment unless I had read it. I said I didn't need to [nothing would induce me to!]: the title says it all!
I think it was Wulfrune who told me that, although Ms Byrne complained that her book had been "burnt by the Inquisition" or words to that effect, she has found a different publisher and is still raking in money from sales. In case she reads this and tries to sue me, it's only what I've heard - I could be wrong. I certainly haven't set eyes on the book myself - thank God!!!!!
00Tuesday, August 7, 2007 7:29 PM

Mary, I posted the "woman-priest" story and its follow-up on the Odds and Ends thread. Be consoled. At least, it didn't take place in England.

00Tuesday, August 7, 2007 9:57 PM
RE: 49 articles
Hallo Mary - I'd like to read the Anglican's "49"! To see if it contains less anti-Catholic stuff than the catechesis (spelling?!!) book I had as a kid. I think though that in my tradition these things do not appear in the new catechesis books. BUT I WANT TO MAKE SURE ABOUT THIS, because I'm a bit on the war path about my church, although I never attend services there anymore. Yes, I know the selling of indulgences had been a temporary thing - and it happened more in the German speaking parts of Europe in those days. I don't think it was universal.

00Thursday, August 9, 2007 3:33 AM
In the hope that this may bring forth the cascade of comments that it calls for and deserves - it will be four months soon since JESUS OF NAZARETH came out in English. And I've tried to post every worthwhile review about it.

Except for initial short bits by Yvonne, Sue and LutheranGuest who said they had it and were reading it, and Crotchet's diligent monitoring of the reviews, no else has wrtten anything about what, I think, more than any other book written by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, is an inexhaustible, multi-faceted, multi-level experience, which I think is evident to anyone who reads it.

I observed at the beginning it is not something about which one post would suffice, and that everyone should feel free to comment about it in any way at all - not necesarily a book 'review', that is - at any time and no matter how many times. You may do it here or in the BOOKS thread (which is where I hope to limit my own comments, which are generally reactions to book reviews and commentaries about it).

So please share your experience with the rest of us - as many times and in as many ways as you wish to. About JON or anything else that the Pope says or writes, for that matter, as he is an infinitely inexhaustible source and resource.

00Thursday, August 9, 2007 7:06 PM
The "problem" with JON is that it is spiritually (Geistlich) so rich that one doesn't know where to begin with comments. I have to read it again - my two copies have been passed on from friend to friend. My one and only reading of the book thus far has been too fast. I went through it like a ravenous locust. But, I realised very quickly that it is a book to be savoured in smaller doses. And these units need to be contemplated and interiorized. To this I am really looking forward when I tackle JON for a second time.

I can report that one of my friends, a true Christian, remarked several times that it is perhaps the most beautiful testimony of its kind that she has ever read. She is 73 years old, a highly intelligent woman, and very erudite. Because she is a widow with very little means, she cannot order JON from overseas, so she asked if she could keep the book a bit longer so as to copy BY HAND Papa's whole exposition and discourse on the Sermon of the Mount.... she has read many exegeses of the Sermon before, but says Papa's is the most magnificent of the lot. (I also found it extraordinary.) I told her to keep the book as a gift. I know she will fully make it her own.


What a beautiful beginning, dear friend! The first time I read it, in addition to all the highlighting and marks I made, I also kept a list of page numbers with the corresponding gist of whatever citation or reflection I particularly found striking...and the list grows every time I reread a chapter....It is an inexhaustible fountain, a continuing feast. The format is so convenient I take it everywhere with me.

The story about your friend is so touching. I envy you - I don't have any outreach in my situation, because the two closest friends I have from the Philippines have not been practising Catholics for decades and have 'no patience' for 'religious reading', and there are no other Catholics where I work.


00Thursday, August 9, 2007 8:48 PM
Crotchet, 09/08/2007 19:06:

The "problem" with JON is that it is spiritually (Geistlich) so rich that one doesn't know where to begin with comments. I have to read it again - my two copies have been passed on from friend to friend. My one and only reading of the book thus far has been too fast.

This is so true. As I told you a little while back, Crotchet, I have begun my second reading of it and only now are certain things becoming clearer. It is a relatively small book but it is spiritually vast. My biggest mistake was to try and read it during a period of high stress at work. [SM=g27829] The result was that it initially came across as very disjointed and stilted, which it actually isn't. I really couldn't give it the attention it deserved, ended up reading it late at night and often fell asleep whilst reading it (which is very unusual for me when reading one of Papa's books).

Teresa, I too feel very hesitant to comment on it at the moment, as I still need to fully absorb and get to grips with certain parts of it. I really wouldn't do it justice otherwise.


Whenever you're ready, Pax! But the very difference you noted in how you reacted to the book under different circumstances is exactly what I mean by the many individual ways one can experience the book. Thank you for sharing. TERESA

00Thursday, August 9, 2007 9:14 PM
One of the things I have realized about the Pope's book on Jesus of Nazareth is its profound wisdom. I was reading some of the reviews of the book and they tend to concentrate on his caution about historical criticism and, in the case of the Commonweal review, the person actually said it was not a "scholarly book," but a "patchwork." I thought about it and realized that what passes for learning today is only knowledge (scientia) and how many footnotes you can put after every paragraph to show that you've read all the "relevant" literature. But few of these historical-critical scholars have really understood and appropriated the message of the NT. And simply footnoting them does nothing but attest that their theories have been acknowledged. These scholars tell you a lot about the circumstances around Jesus in His day, but not much about Jesus Himself.

In Pope Benedict's book, with his great knowledge of the Old Testament as well as the New, I not only learned factual data, but I experienced Jesus as the Second Moses, the true Messiah and the fulfillment of the Scriptures. Pope Benedict truly embodies what it says in Isaiah 7.9b: "If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all." Faith is a way of knowing and it does uphold us. It is taking a stand as to our worldview and the Pope surely shows that in this book. As a result, without a lot of footnotes or "scholarly" digressions, he has managed to provide a real portrait of Jesus Christ that does not reduce Him to one or another aspect of all that He is.

JANICE, THANKS! "I experienced Jesus..." is a beautiful way of expressing what happens...And I, too have, resented reviewers who review the book for what they think it should be rather than for what it is. TERESA

00Saturday, August 11, 2007 12:37 AM
This is Jesus as Benedict "knows" him
How I agree with you about scholarly books! So many of them have footnotes which take up more space on a page than actual text. I've always thought that such people are just showing off and I've never been able to read their books, because I'm put off - if I don't follow up the footnotes, will I really have "read" the book? So I just don't bother.

Joseph Ratzinger doesn't need to prove that he's a great scholar! We know he is! So, he can now write for us, present to us the real Jesus - God and man. It is a book of emotion and truth and one to cherish and re-read. I think the reason so few of us have written about this book is that we are almost afraid to comment - I certainly am. I am in awe of it!

Crotchet - I'll check my copy of The Book of Common Prayer. As far as I know the 39 Articles still stand and have never been refuted by the Church of England. The language used is archaic; 16th Century English. But the "no Popery" message is loud and clear! I would be interested to see the anti-Catholic material in the books you have read.
00Saturday, August 11, 2007 9:59 PM
Please go to this link and read.....

I feel ashamed to be English! This book of essays is full of criticisms of our Papa. I despair!
Hope the link works!
Papa Benedetto rules OK!!!!!!
Sorry, the link above is to the original article, then there is a link to the block at the bottom of that page - you should read the article first
00Saturday, August 11, 2007 11:07 PM
Leaving the sheepfold gate open......
Yay, Mary!!.... and people are welcome to leave comments and feedback at the bottom of the article. Please note that almost all responses are very favourable to the Pope and shocked by this latest initiative by our shepherds. The Church in England and Wales is not entirely rotten, just remember the faith of its sheep!!!!!

I hope that all thinking Catholics and indeed Christians who wish our church well, will read this as the more response there is to this act of outright disloyalty, the better. It's really time for Benedict to take note.
00Wednesday, August 15, 2007 8:50 PM

Another bishop gone asunder

Mary and Wulfrune,

Don't feel that "bishop problems", shall we say, are more prevalent in England than elsewhere. Please note the article I just posted in News about the Church regarding the Dutch bishop who thinks we all should refer to God as Allah in order to get along better with Muslims. I would love to see Papa's reaction to that news item.

00Wednesday, August 15, 2007 11:10 PM
Thanks, benefan!
Thanks for telling us about this, benefan. Is the whole world going crazy or what?
I have a dear friend at church [she won't read this, as she doesn't have or use a computer]. She has four sons, one of whom became a Muslim, has changed his name and now wears Pakistani clothes. Ostensibly, he converted because the Muslims were the only ones to help him get off drugs. This is almost unbelievable. What a reason for converting to Islam! As a Catholic, he could have got help from the Catholic Church, surely. Of course, I didn't say anything, as she seems happy with this outcome.
00Thursday, August 16, 2007 2:10 PM
The people are so easy to be manipulate.
Here many people who have some problems with his wife, husband, children or love, health problems they are going to the witch. Yes, to the witch. This witches makes a lot’s of money from people’s naivety.

00Thursday, August 16, 2007 4:32 PM
Yes, I am sure you're right
Dear Palma, I hope I meet this man, as he's coming to stay with his mother soon. I would like to ask him about his conversion, very gently, of course, as his mother will be present and she is a very dear and rather old, frail lady.
Do you mean literally "witches"? I'm intrigued. Where do you live?
There are even witches in my town; the house where they live is on the way down to our Catholic church! People say they are "white witches" and practise something called "wicca".....I find it frightening.
Mary x
00Friday, August 17, 2007 2:12 PM
I am living almost for two years in Romania, an orthodox country. I heard first about witches ("vrăjitoare" in romanian) from two Politehnica University students. First I thought they were joking with me, but theirs gaze and theirs voice were so serious. Actually they explain to me how with the help from witches you can control your husband or wife without theirs volition. The withes are older women with supernatural power gave by the dark side.
Later I met a married couple with two children. Their marriage is not so happy, because he like to drink a lot. She went to the witch to cure her husband from drinking. She spent a fortune and was defraud by the witch (her husband still drinking). I convince her to testify to the police. The police’s work was sabotage by the witness, because they were to frightened.
It’s amazing how some people are so naive.

00Friday, August 31, 2007 8:07 PM
That's amazing, Palma! The witches in our town are younger women. I've no idea what influence they may have. But the whole concept is very frightening. The Inquisition had a point!!
00Saturday, September 1, 2007 1:42 PM
About the SSPX
I've just read the article posted by Teresa; an interview with Bishop Bernard Fellay. First of all, is he one of the bishops who was ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre without the permission of the Pope? I am not sure about that. If that is the case, then he isn't a valid bishop. And excommunication followed that invalid ordination.
From this interview it seems to me that he's making all sorts of excuses. He says they [the SSPX] are not schismatics and that, by issuing the Motu Proprio Benedict has more or less stated that they are, indeed, NOT schismatics. But they are! They do not accept the authority of Rome. They do not accept any Pope since Pius XII. According to them they are in a sede vacante.
To me the answer is simple. They should accept the authority of the Holy See and acknowledge Pope Benedict XVI. What could be easier? I have a feeling that they rather enjoy being different. Sadly, they are causing an awful lot of heartache to the Holy Father and for that reason alone, I would say to them "Come back into the fold of the true, Catholic Church".

What do other members think?
Mary x [SM=g27811]
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