Less of Tim and more of HIM

Dear BeingFrank buddies,

Watch this video of the thankgiving Mass for Tim Cardinal Dolan in Milwaukee and ask yourself who is being worshipped. In a 15 minute homily Cdl Dolan spends about 80% of the time talking about himself. This is a debacle.

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    Comments: 110

    1. Dominican February 4, 2014 at 12:38 pm

      It has been said we get the clergy we deserve.  Lord have mercy on us,  Lord save your church.

    2. withhope February 4, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      For a start one gets the impression they are singing 'oh praise him' to his eminently the elvis in the building. At the end when he wiped his brow with a cloth I half expected him to toss it into the crowd amidst screams of delight.


      What this video teaches: Applause should be forbidden at Mass. Microphones should be forbidden at Mass. Lay readers and lay ministers should be banned. Sappy songs should be banned, jokes about God should be banned, the clerical version of the osmond family crowding around the altar should be banned. Let's just ban the New Rite, then all of the above goes away.

      This is what's become of Our Church, a self-congratulating milieu of laity and presider. And now Dolan has endorsed a book about how implementing more of the above mess will get that parish going again – following the pattern of the protestant mega-churches.

    3. Teresina February 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Yes, I concur with you both, Dominican and withhope – he sets the congregation up for applause with his comments on Brooklyn and the Bronx and "you'd better make sure your cars are locked" gets a second round.

      I had really high hopes for Cardinal Dolan but that soon evaporated after he was made Cardinal and to me it seems to have gone to his head, although I have to confess I don't know what he was like before. 

      I do think that the Novus Ordo Mass because it is not usually celebrated ad orientam has led the way for the priest/presider (as he's now called) to become an entertainer and some are revelling in it.

      I have also heard the view expressed by some lay women that the priesthood is a job rather than a calling from God.  With that view it is no wonder some priests end up on the slippery slope of viewing the priesthood as just that, with the main aim merely to keep bottoms on seats and the collection baskets full, and to do that in any way possible.  That means not talking about purgatory, hell or the devil.  In the States that has meant dressing up as Barney the bear, Superman, etc, and some lay people even dressing as the devil himself relegating him to being merely a colourful storybook character that nobody needs to worry about.

      Cardinal Dolan, although on the conservative end of the spectrum, is in his own theatrical way endorsing some of that …

    4. Teresina February 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Even the National Catholic Reporter had this to say:

      "Truth is stranger than fiction. But Cardinal Dolan's first tweet is an odd one in which he calls himself Timothy Cardinal Tebow. I'm not making this up. Cardinal Dolan's "exuberance" comes across as immature and out of place for the Archbishop of New York. If this is the "new evangelization," take me back to the old one, please God".  Comments were suspended for that post.

      Apart from tweeing it, that is the opening comment Cardinal Dolan makes in his homily in the Mass of Thanksgiving linked by Marty above in which even his skull cap is on skew-wiff!  For those like me who don't know who Tim Tebow is, he is a football player for the Cardinals.  Makes me wonder if Cardinal Dolan had employed a homily writer …

    5. JimmyG February 4, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      What a mess. Thanks Marty. I agree with all you guys.

      I love the "blessing" given to the deacon for the proclamation of the Gospel. What a blast: "You go proclaim that Gospel uncle Bob!…:" 

      Eucharistic Prayer 2 gets used. After all the time dedicated to Tebow-Inspired-Narcicism, Our Lord gets the shortest EP thrown his way. Probably less time spent in the EP than in the Dolan-Monologue.

      *shakes head*

      It's like he is a on drugs.


    6. Von Balthebrand February 5, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      Totally agree with you Teresina about how some priests have a tendency to become the centre of attention.

      Really disappointing from Cardinal Tebow – and to think he was spoken of as a papabile at the last conclave!

    7. withhope February 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      Since, under Bergoglio, the church of democracy is rising, maybe we should organise a reverential referendum on TLM V NO. Should NZ parishes continue on with the denigration of the Faith proclaimed in the NO? Or should all Roman Catholic Churhces in NZ be made to celebrate Mass exclusively Vetus Ordo? Included in this vote, those with cradle Catholic relatives get you use the vote of the dead back seven generations. 

      No more 'anything goes post-thomistic theologians' mutilating the catechism, no more Presider-Presley syndroms or pew fans. I realise that the task of celebrating Mass in the Old Latin Rite might seem insurmountable to our twitter-faithful, but in a few months of concerted effort, you'll wonder why you ever worried. Heresy will sink away, abominations at Mass will disappear, and people who are so disgruntled at the changes will probably go and join a protestant mega church where they always knew they belonged.


      Welcome people to your Catholic Bequest: Just a taste:








      The Second-Person Perspective in Aquinas's Ethics: Virtues and Gifts by Fr Andrew Pinsent.




      p.s. "[according to] Rabbi Sergio Bergman, a member of the Argentinian parliament and close friend of Pope Francis, who claimed the pope intends to define himself as the "Che Guevera of the Palestinians" and support their "struggle and rights."

      please note. Che Guevara was one of the most vicious murder machines the Castro's had the pleasure of letting lose on Catholic 'dissidThe revelation comes from Rabbi Sergio Bergman, a member of the Argentinian parliament and close friend of Pope Francis, who claimed the pope intends to define himself as the "Che Guevera of the Palestinians" and support their "struggle and rights."dissidents'.

    8. withhope February 6, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      p.s. that last paragraph is:  Che Guevara was one of the most vicious murder machines the Castro's had the pleasure of letting lose on Catholic 'dissidents'.


      Also the votes of the Catholic dead can only be applied to mass they would have attended therefore all the votes of the faithful departed go towards the Vetus Ordo.

    9. bamac February 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm


      Thank you for the links  even though I could not see some of them …One quote struck me ..:-

      Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand expressed himself in even more forthright terms: "Truly, if one of the devils in C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters had been entrusted with the ruin of the liturgy he could not have done it better."


      He put it so well … Thank you big time for the Holy Mass one,

      Mrs Mac


    10. withhope February 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      God bless, Mrs Mac. You are very generous with your responses. I can remember overseas that it was always the traditional churches who offered up, yes NO, but TLM as well, which gave a more reverent influence to the NO, in beautiful (and not ashamed of being beautiful) little or large Churches you would see the homeless, the down and out, the forgotten, sitting here or there in a place of beauty and worship throughout the day, and I know for a fact that at the London Oratory (and so I would assume many others) they didn't just kick them out and go, see ya, we'll be open again at 7, they were given food and shelter. St Mary Magdalen in Brighton East Sussex England, has  365 soup kitchen and, despite much abuse from vagrants who don't care, and very open door to those in need. The Church richest in treasures is the Church richest in giving, It's Christ's Bride, how could it be any other way.

    11. withhope February 7, 2014 at 9:06 pm
    12. Teresina February 7, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      Withhope, thank you for that fascinating video link.  Fr Malachi Martin died in 1999 but how relevant his words are today.  I have written a few notes of what he says on the video – but I would urge people to look at the video which clearly shows what Tim and other bishops are up to:

      Comments of Fr Malachi Martin S on the Judas Complex:

      “What we fail to realise is the enemies of the Church don’t want to destroy the Church structure, they want to use it because they know that religion is a stabilising factor in life.  You must have some religious and moral beliefs, otherwise there is chaos … the essential message about the Judas complex.  [Judas figured he had a better way of putting the Christian message across.  He knew better than the Master]  That’s the essence of it.  That was the essence of the Judas complex … he thought the best way was to curry favour with the secular authorities in Jerusalem … The parallel with our bishops today is tremendous in that.  That is why there is a Judas complex abroad and it is this.  There is no doubt about it that the inability or the refusal – put it like that – of the American bishops to really tackle abortion, really tackle pornography, really tackle homosexuality, public homosexuality, pedophelia, the refusal of the American bishops and the Canadian bishops is because they don’t want to lose their with the secular governments …  They want to be well behaved citizens.  They want to conform to the liberal tradition which is now rampant both in the United States and in Canada, so they think they know better how to do this rather than stand up and be counted and to say, “No, abortion is wrong.  No, we will fight this.  We’ll fight it in the streets.  We’ll fight it in the legislature.  We’ll fight it in our schools”.  They don’t do that.  They have decided they know better than the doctrine of the Church which says, “Abortion is wrong. And homosexuality is wrong and sex ed is wrong, it’s bad for the children” … [they want to be accepted by the world rather than follow the tradition of being a sign of contradiction.]  They don’t want that at all.  The difficulty is this that go back to the Second Vatican Council where it is said that the Church is there to help man to build his human habitat, to build a life on earth full of prosperity.  That is totally new.  If you look at the prayers of the Mass, the prayers of all the saints, the prayers of all the Masses up to 1965, it always says, “Lord, teach us to despite the things of this world and to seek the celestial things, heavenly things”.  There is no message at all that we’re supposed to build the human paradise.  But that is the message today of the Vatican Council and that’s what the bishops have taken as their ideal, so therefore you can limit families and you can practice contraception because they don’t really inveigh against contraception.  It’s nowadays you’ve got to limit the population.  So they will go along with that because that’s what the popular mind says. [… parallel to the Judas complex]  He [Judas] was thinking of an earthly kingdom, all the all the apostles were … they hadn’t been enlightened yet and even after the resurrection the apostles “Lord, are you going to in these days restore the kingdom of Israel?” …  the Judas complex is alive and well today … if you find any cleric, any bishop, any cardinal, any pope currying favour and not standing up and being counted, not professing the doctrine of Jesus, he is acting out the Judas complex.  And now I’m afraid we’re doing overall the whole lot because we’re going along with mostly what the secular powers ask us to do and that’s the difficulty.  Then the people feel abandoned.  They have no leader.  That’s not Catholic tradition.  You tell them “It is wrong to abort.  It is wrong to support abortion.  It is wrong to put people into office who support abortion”.  But what bishop does that here?  Cardinal O’Connor doesn’t tell people [Cardinal O’Connor is another example of one of these conservatives who has turned out to be somewhat of a disappointment] … He [Cardinal O’Connor] has gone along with the — the Judas complex again.  He does not want to fall out .  He likes to be popular. They all like to be popular.  Once you’re engaged in that popularity context you’re not going to stand up for the Lord Jesus and for the principles of the Church.  And they haven’t and, therefore, they don’t condemn politicians who are bad Catholics, who are members of the Masonic Lodge, who promote abortion and abortion funding and who see nothing wrong with homosexuality.  They don’t condemn.  They should be condemned in public.  They are public sinners.  Therefore if they can get to the bishops to be loyal servants of the state, which they have now become, loyal servants of the states.  Once the majority of the judiciary decide abortion is good, once they decide that homosexual marriages are acceptable then the bishops must agree.  That is the attitude of the secular mind.  And the attitude of the bishops is, “Well, we can’t do anything about it we’ll have to go along with it and respect the law”, instead of protesting forever, refusing to accept it.  Standing up and saying, “No, we won’t accept this at all.  We’ll be in perpetual rebellion against it, and not merely in words in actions, we’ll protest, and we’ll condemn the law givers who do this and we’ll form Catholics who will refuse to vote for you and refuse to vote money for you”.  But we don’t do that.  There is no militancy at all.  There is no attempt to counteract the secularism that is invading the bishops … they want favours.  … not snuff out the Church but make it obedient … but de facto we have allowed … the state to dictate the curriula and decide the psychological training of these children.  We have given in on this point because the state is now all dominant … a time coming … when a subtle persecution is going to start through taxation and through civil liabilities, as they call it, and it’s going to be impossible for a practising Catholic, for a practising bishop, a real Catholic Bishop to function any longer … we’ll have laws affecting children going to school and what they must do … submit to the lectures they give on civic behaviour.  That is all taken away and we’re not protesting.  We’ve given up two generations already of children to state curricula in the schools.  So we have lost the children in North America, the United States and Canada, because the bishops simply want to go along …”


      Noting that Malachi Martin died in 1999 it is interesting to see that now in Germany home schooling is against the law – one family has had their children taken off them into state care because it was thought they might flee to another country where home schooling is legal; another family in the US is fighting extradition back to Germany for the same reasons.

    13. withhope February 8, 2014 at 12:36 am

      T – thanks for putting together an abstract of a needing to be writ article.  I think most Catholics are  on the same page, but they need to say PO to the worldling 'editors' before the ground of that PO motivation kicks in.



    14. Teresina February 8, 2014 at 1:26 am

      Withhope – I was shocked to see Cardinal Dolan supporting LGBT – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) ministries.  He is certainly much worse that I realised.

      On the positive side I read that Latin Masses in the States are on the increase – deo gratias:


      KIRKSVILLE, MO. — With the number of Latin masses growing in the United States, one is coming to the Heartland this week.

      The Latin Mass Society of Northeast Missouri has teamed up with the Truman State University Catholic Newman Center and Mary Immaculate Catholic Church to hold the first Catholic Latin Mass in northeast Missouri in nearly 43 years.

      With Latin being the official language of the Catholic Church, this experience will help give parishioners from all over northeast Missouri a chance to connect with their heritage.

      "It's a very special language of prayer. It's a kind of set apart from English. Praying in Latin allows you to connect with generations of Catholics who prayed the exact same prayers with the same exact words for decades. For me it's very cool to do that," said Julie Phillips from the Catholic Newman Center.

    15. withhope February 8, 2014 at 2:42 am

      What instituion is permitted the sacred tongue…? the  lit-pc-ling of parliament; the synagogue, the hiassmekkafahhts, the judasbutler unimpeachable linguas, the BBCTVNZ what I just said or talk to the harry 8 hand; the bishoprickles funded by feckless fatefool wanna believes; or the vetus ordo vouchsafed by the Holy Ghost?


      show me a Catholic unafraid of the treasury of the One, True, Faith, and i'll show you a Catholic on the 'get 'im satan' list.



    16. withhope February 8, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      "Face the people, or face God? INTRODUCTION BY JOSEPH RATZINGER" [the following are Ratzinger's words exactly in English translation] from his foreword to U.M. Lang's Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer:

      "To the ordinary churchgoer, the two most obvious effects of the liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council seem to be the disappearance of Latin and the turning of the altars towards the people. Those who read the relevant texts will be astonished to learn that neither is in fact found in the decrees of the Council. The use of the vernacular is certainly permitted, especially for the Liturgy of the Word, but the preceding general rule of the Council text says, 'Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites' (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 36.1)."


      If Latin was still predominant in the Mass the sort of mess that Cardinal Dolan encourages could not happen. If the altar hadn't been turned into a turning away from God point, the messy gatherings left, right and centre wouldn't happen. What makes a Catholic a Catholic is the belief in the Real Presence. It seems most catholics have lost this indispensable Dogma of the Mind of the Church.


      Who is it up to restore the belief in the Real Presence? Bishops by and large don't seem to care. When a Bishop is the one ad-libbing the Eucharistic Prayer, he actually makes the Mass invalid. I once attended a Mass celebrated by a Bishop who, when he raised the Host, said, 'This is Jesus.' What happened to the Alter Christus, 'This is my body?' If a Bishop refuses to be a priest of the sacrifice, what hope the priests in his diocese? I see the 'spirit' of VII as nothing but a protest against the Real Presence, which is why they seem to be phasing out the priest, phasing in the compere.

    17. Teresina February 8, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      Withhope, and others who are interested.  This petition re the Franciscans of the Immaculate has just gone live world-wide and I urge you to sign it:


      Some info is available on the Ecclesia Dei New Zealand website where they say "Ecclesia Dei Society New Zealand is honoured to be part of a worldwide initiative spanning three continents":


      Also now reported on Fr Z's blog.

    18. withhope February 8, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      thanks for the link, T; will definitely sign.

      on the topic of petitions


      'The Devil, the World, the UN, and Holy Church'



    19. Teresina February 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Thank you for that line to Withhope – here is Fr Z's link which links straight through to the petition for the Franciscans of the Immaculate.  He also has a good item about hope people are not allowed to talk loudly at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier complete with video of people being told to quieten down and says if this is expected at a memorial then how much more should be expected of people attending Mass.


    20. Teresina February 9, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      This is the text:


      This came by email:

      On Saturday, five Traditional Catholic organizations from around the world will be launching a petition drive in support of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and of Summorum Pontificum. May we ask for your help in publicizing the petition by mentioning and linking to it on your blog? The English petition can be downloaded HERE. It is also being prepared in German, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

      The organizations are:

      Pro Missa Tridentina (Germany)

      Ecclesia Dei Delft (Netherlands)

      Vancouver Traditional Mass Society (Canada)

      Ecclesia Dei Society of New Zealand

      Una Voce Austria

      Signed hard copies of the petition can be sent by surface mail to Pro Missa Tridentina. Scanned copies of signed petitions can be emailed to Ecclesia Dei Delft, which will print them out. All of these hard copies will be mailed to the Vatican Secretary of State for delivery to the Holy Father.

      Thank you very much for your help, Father!


      Frank Chow
      Vice President, Vancouver Traditional Mass Society

    21. withhope February 9, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      Hey, T, here's a concise piece from the latest Remant:

      FFI and the Mass: It’s Not a Choice, It’s a Conviction
      By Louis Tofari 

      The ongoing saga of the unjust and tragic persecution of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate has demonstrated once again what is actually at the root of the post-conciliar liturgical crisis – namely the issue of doctrine in relation to the traditional Roman Mass versus the Novus Ordo Missae. Like cream rising to the top of a milk pail, recent news has affirmed initial speculations that the friars and sisters were being treated in a heavyhand fashion because some members were harboring “ crypto-lefebvrian and definitely traditionalist drift ” as related in a letter by Apostolic Commissar – err, Commissioner – Fr. Fidenzio Volpi.[1] So just what does this “ cryptolefebvrian and definitely traditionalist drift” actually refer to? According to a few reports, a discrete but general agreement with Archbishop Lefebvre’s (and thus his priestly society’s) theological stance on the Second Vatican Council as well as the problems of the Novus Ordo Missae – specifically, whether it conforms with the liturgical axiom of lex credendi, lex orandi .[2] In fact, it is safe to presume that this must be the case, for what other position could merit being labeled – or blackballed – as “ crypto-lefebvrian”,  and then additionally accused in an unmistakable negative connotation of having a “ definitely traditionalist drift ”? In light of this evidence, we are compelled to ask, how severe would Fr. Volpi pen his condemnation of his fellow Capuchin, Padre Pio, who manifested even stronger positions on Vatican II and the forthcoming New Mass?

      For those who believe that the Holy See’s persecution of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate stemmed solely (or even mainly) from the number of traditional Masses they were offering to the faithful, guess again. After all, many groups under the umbrella of the Ecclesia Dei Commission are doing much the same, yet they have not suffered a similar curtailment of the Masses they offer (at least not yet).

      Once again, we are witnessing an unmistakable recurring pattern. If the flourishing FFI had merely wanted to offer the Mass of All Time as a matter of preference, or due its ascetical, cultural or historical value, then there would have been no problem. Remember a similar situation was visited upon the Fraternity of St. Peter in 2000, merely because its Superior General, Fr. Joseph Bisig, instructed his priests to only celebrate the Immemorial Mass – thus prohibiting the New. Rome’s response to the FSSP was the Lead Mallet Treatment, an unjust sanction that appears to be specifically reserved for those of a traditionalist bent.[3] Thus whenever the legal or doctrinal legitimacy of the New Mass is called into question (such as affirming the traditional Roman Mass is actually the “ordinary form”), persecution is sure to closely follow. But like “ Archbishop Lefebvre, this great man of the universal Church” (to quote Pope Benedict XVI) we should not be deterred, knowing that we have a higher duty to “ obey God before men ” (to quote the first pope), particularly when it comes to upholding the Catholic Faith and thus ensuring the salvation of souls.

      The question now is: how will the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate react to their illegitimate persecution?

      Fortunately for them, they already have several examples they can follow, from St. Athanasius, to Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, to the Dominican Sisters of Fanjeaux – to name only a few. One could perhaps even refer them to their holy patron, St. Francis of Assisi, who forsook his natural father in order to follow his Heavenly Father. In the meantime, we must continue to pray for the FFI. 


      1 Cf. the recent news postings made on the Rorate Caeli blog, also citing La Stampa.

      2 Again… see the Ottaviani Intervention for details as well as Fr. Franz Schmidberger’s excellent comparative study, the Theology and Spirituality of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

      3 If only this same disciplinary device could be justly and swiftly lowered on liberal dissenters of Catholic doctrine and morals, let alone liturgical law!

    22. withhope February 9, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      p.s. on the topic of Catholic heritage:



      'Abp. Ignatius Kaigama, of Jos,once again shows himself to be one of the most assertive bishops alive, merely by defending what the Church has always defended – bravely supporting the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, 2013.'


      Would sound crazy to an average Catholic only twenty years ago. Now an average Catholic would either defend same-sex-marrage against the prohibition, or descreetly decline to evince a negative reaction at a party if a colleague asked them what they thought about same-sex-marrage. Nevertheless, the worlding colleague would go away shocked at the lack of the vehemence in the Catholic, not showing any outrage of discrimination of a man, and, a man, marraging, or a woman, and a woman, marraging, even though the liberal athiest is once heterosexually married, and beleives in monogomy. ?!? Why are we listening to this against-Godists?

    23. Teresina February 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      You're absolutely correct, Withope.  A recent survey details of which have just been published on Lifesite news confirms that.  Details below and comments from Michael Voris are spot on and back up what Marty points to" The Church, Voris maintains, has since the end of the Second Vatican Council in 1965 largely adopted a policy of ‘go-along to get-along’ this has also been pointed out in the link you provided to Fr Malachi Martin.  Here's part of the Life Site report:

      "ROME, February 10, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – For four decades, faithful Catholics throughout the western world have publicly lamented the near-total absence of teaching on moral issues from Catholic pulpits – now a Vatican survey has incontestably shown their concerns were justified.

      The German and Swiss Catholic bishops have issued the results from their countries of a survey initiated by the Vatican in October asking what Catholics believe and adhere to when it comes to Church teachings on sex and the family.

      The bishops’ conferences of Germany and Switzerland have issued reports on the findings of the survey that found nearly all Catholics dissent from Catholic teaching. The report conveyed the findings of all of Germany’s 27 dioceses and about 20 Catholic organizations. It said “‘pre-marital unions’ are not only a relevant pastoral reality, but one which is almost universal” and that the great majority of respondents felt Catholic teaching on sexual morality is “unrealistic.”


      “Between 90 percent and 100 percent of couples who seek a Catholic wedding are already living together, despite church teaching that sex outside of marriage is sinful. … Many, in fact, consider it irresponsible to marry without living together beforehand,” the German report said.

      The Swiss report, which surveyed Catholics who attend church regularly, found that while they “fully agree on the importance of sacramental marriage” it is “difficult to accept the Church’s doctrine on the family, marriage and homosexuality.” About 60 percent said that the Church should “recognize and bless” same-sex unions, and there was “strong disagreement” over contraception. The “number one” request of Swiss Catholics, however, was that people who had been divorced and remarried outside the Church should be allowed to receive Holy Communion.

      US Catholic apologist and media personality Michael Voris, who has been sharply critical of much of the Catholic hierarchy for what he says is its failure to teach or defend these doctrines, told LifeSiteNews.com that no one “should be surprised by any of this.” The Church, Voris maintains, has since the end of the Second Vatican Council in 1965 largely adopted a policy of ‘go-along to get-along’, and has downplayed, ignored and in some cases outright denied these teachings.

      “This is why the ‘church of nice’ must be obliterated,” he said, adding that it is ironic that O’Malley is one of those complaining that Catholics have not heard the Church’s moral teachings from the pulpit, since he is prominent among “the ones responsible for it.”

      “And the exact same response could be made to [New York’s Cardinal] Dolan or [Washington’s Cardinal] Wuerl,” Voris added. “They laid the dynamite and when the culture lights it and it explodes, they lament the results. And they continue to lay it, even while lamenting its results.”

      Voris, however, was supportive of the Vatican’s initiative in addressing the issue, however late in the day. Although the situation is known by everyone, “so far,” he added, “there has been no hard data except occasional Gallup polls showing folding parishes, the shrinking priesthood.”

      “I think something like this is very helpful for the cause of the authentic Church. Now we’ve got real data, that no one in the Church can refute, that we can use to pound the point home.”

    24. withhope February 11, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks for this clear comment, Teresina.

      "nearly all Catholics dissent from Catholic teaching". This is what I don't understand. If a person thinks the Church's teachings are unrealistic, then why not dissent into Anglicanism? Or any number of protest Churches? Why demand that the one Church that is Real, and that is the bulwark again the unreal, become like all the rest? It can take years to conform one's consciense to become Catholic, only to find that all over the Novus Ordo World, to be Catholic means you have to throw that conscience out and just be 'catholic' on a parish to parish basis. I will never, however, reconstitute my conscience to the teaching that serious sin has no consequences. If I do that, then I think I'll be off to the protest church.


      I think, where goes the Mass, there goes the minds of Catholics. While the Novus Ordo Mass remains the Ordinary Form, it will remain ordinary for Catholics to dissent from the Church's Tradition, Scripture, and Magisterium.


      There was an interesting homily I heard online and during a portion the priest said, 'I'm reminded of a story of a Priest who was talking to some children, and asked them, 'if they were there on Good Friday…how would they act, how would they behave and what would they be doing?' We can ask ourself the same questions. Two thousand years ago, what would we be doing? Well, the same thing we should be doing here at Mass. But the children answered the Priest when he asked these various questions; he asked, 'we you be playing around, joking and dancing?' They answered, 'No, Father, we would be very serious.' And the Priest asked them, 'Well, what kind of music would be fitting for that occasion? Something you would tap your toes to?' 'No, Father', they said. It had to be something serious. And he played a bit of Gregorian Chant and they said, 'yeah, Father', that this would be fitting music, for the hill of Golgotha. Then he asked, 'What would you wear?' They said, they would wear the best outfit they could find – the best that we can do for Our Lord. So we understand that when we are going to Mass we are going to Calvary, to the Crucifixion; we are going to have to behave differently. Because we should want to talk to Christ and hear the words of Christ from the Cross and what He has to speak to us. So there are various attitudes and positions we can take at Holy Mass, and we find them, in the bible, and the various people who were there at the foot of the Cross. Our Lady was there; constantly adoring her son who she knew was God, and we can do the same; praying from our heart, thinking of Our Lord, because the prayers of the Mass are trying to get us to focus on the life of Christ; because that is who our lives should revolve around; not around ourselves, not around the things of the world, but thinking of Our Lord in our daily life, and so we come to Mass and we place our focus entirely upon Him for that hour, ready to go for the rest of the week trying to remind ourselves to focus on Our Lord. There were others at the foot of the Cross. St Mary Magdalene, having sorrow for her sins, and so we can beg forgiveness for our sins. St John the Apostle was there behaving like the first altar boy; ready to do whatever Our Lord asked, 'Behold your Mother, take care of her.'


      The above thinking has no place in much of 'today's' Church.



    25. Teresina February 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      I have often throught the same: why do people who dissent from the Church's teaching stay?  Obviously they like the idea, perhaps, of being Catholic but they want the Church to conform to their own ideas and I think also there has been little or no leadership from the Bishops, many of whom have adopted a comfortable lifestyle and if you preach about sin you have to do away with comfort and popularity and they don't want to give that up.  They have consigned sin to the medieval era when the Church was just too tough!  So we have more of TIM and less of HIM, and this idea that we "party" at Mass which has been promoted as well, the whole message of Our Lord's death on the cross is forgotten.  That Our Lord died to make restitution for our sins – the Protestant idea that there is, therefore, no need to confess our sins; in fact there is no sin anymore as regards fornication, etc as we can see confirmed in this recent survey by the German and Swiss Catholic bishopes.  Of course they won't use that survey to promote a tightening up or more catechisis.  They will say "The law is an ass.  Do away with the law".  It's not hard to imagine now what this upcoming Synod of the Family is going to push for, is it?   

    26. withhope February 11, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      T said, 'It's not hard to imagine now what this upcoming Synod of the Family is going to push for, is it? '


      not really:


    27. withhope February 11, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      p.s. what's an 'ordinary' Catholic? 

    28. bamac February 11, 2014 at 9:11 pm


      Once we were all Catholics …. now we can be right wing , left wing , traditional, liberal,  and now ordinary   When I was with the missions in New Guinea many years back , there was quite a number of R C residents in Rabaul … some Roman and others retired ….. how things change!

      Mrs Mac

    29. Teresina February 11, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      So right, Mrs Mac, there was once a time when I thought all Catholics adhered to the Church's teachings because … well … they were Catholics.  That seems reasonable enough to me.  Those days are long gone.

      Thanks for the link, Withhope, and it really backs up the fact that since Vatican II things have gone from bad to worse – they opened Pandora's Box and look what we've got:


      "A poll of 12,000 Catholics in 12 countries reveals that they disagree strongly with the Church on a whole range of moral issues, all newspapers report today.

      Surprised? I'm not. It's blindingly obvious to most Catholics that – away from a few hives of traditionalism – the faithful have departed from official doctrine. What were once views held only by radical Catholics have become mainstream.

      To give you an idea, here are some figures from the Univision poll in question: 86% of French Catholics think priests should be allowed to marry; 82% of Spanish Catholics think divorcees who remarry aren't "living in sin"; 73% of Polish Catholics think abortion should be allowed in some cases; 93% of Brazilian Catholics support the use of contraception. Oh, and 54% of US Catholics support gay marriage.

      In other words, Pope Francis has an almighty challenge on his hands. If the Church's teachings aren't being taken seriously, what's the point of it?"

    30. Teresina February 11, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      What is the point of the poll if it's intention wasn't to liberalise the Church still further?

    31. Rubyshine February 11, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Teresina you said, "I have often throught the same: why do people who dissent from the Church's teaching stay?  Obviously they like the idea, perhaps, of being Catholic but they want the Church to conform to their own ideas" and I don't know that they want the church to conform to their own ideas, but rather they simply don't fully understand the teachings.

      I've returned after a 20 yr absence, I've loosely referred to myself as catholic over that absence, so you could say I never left. I have struggled with the church's views on: contraception, abortion, divorce, women priests and priest celibacy. I have made varying degrees of headway on those issues. Some of my views now completely allign with the church, and on some issues I think maybe the church and I will always just have to agree to disagree. I did originally think, "perhaps I'm just not a catholic."

      But it's not because I have wanted to change the church's mind on things. Rather my knowledge of catechism and scripture is just really poor. I don't know WHY the church teaches what it does, and therefore the void has been filled by the current social view. So it's a process of reading and researching, thinking and reflecting. 

      I also think my understanding of "sin" was really limited and immature. I thought of sin as some terrible evil that would see a person burning in hell for all eternity. Well, to my mind, how could using contraception be seen as some terrible evil, when compared to murder or child abuse? Then I came across this definition of sin, "Sin is more than incorrect behavior; it is not just a psychological weakness. In the deepest sense every rejection or destruction of something good is the rejection of good in itself, the rejection of God. In its most profound and terrible dimension, sin is separation from God and, thus, separation from the source of life. " (thanks to signing up to a daily email that teaches me the catechism) and it made me view sin in a very different way.

      Naturally the process is very slow, and I have struggled to find resources that speak with simple honesty, so whilst it's interesting to consider the wide range of views, I constantly feel a tension over confirming the validity of a source, which is exhausting in its own way.

      I also think increasingly our culture is taught to question authority, and taught that there opinion is valid and worth voicing, regardless of how unsubstantiated it is.

      As a slightly humourous aside, when I say my knowledge is really poor, I mean it's really poor. About 3 days before Christmas my parish priest was talking about St Joseph, and I thought, "hmm I don't know who St Joseph is, I should ask." but the priest was talking so confidently that I should know who he meant, and the moment for asking passed, so I let it go. Within the conversation it occurred to me exactly who he meant, and I was of course embarrassed at myself. But it does make me wonder how many people who call themselves catholic really have much knowledge. It's not that I don't know about St Joseph, but rather the different bible stories are not just there at the forefront of my mind. I haven't been immersed in the stories, the culture or the knowledge of the church, for many years.

    32. Benedicta February 11, 2014 at 10:33 pm


      What you have written is rather beautiful.

      I think you show that you are being given some  insight in light of what you need to  know, change, find difficult and which can wait for now. Grace is working with you in order that, in so far as you are open and it is given, appropriate the Truth.

      The daily email with catechetics sounds a lovely idea.

      Creating a daily habitus is a major breakthrough….becoming holy (what its all about…so we will see God) is keeping the good habits keeping on.

      I learned something the other day which struck me as very helpful (at least for me anyway). We ask 'what's God's will?" "What should I do?" etc etc. With occasional exceptions God wants this…'God wants us to want what He wants, in the same way that He wants it and for the same end'.  That could be a little summary of St Thomas Aquinas on charity…how we abide in charity with God. (I think you used the word 'align' which seems to be what this is saying to). The person who taught me also said (following St Thomas no doubt)…that great sinners can have great faith and great hope as regards God  but no charity….sin causes us to lose our relationship of charity toward God…and in the end its only charity that lasts.



    33. Teresina February 11, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      Rubyshine, I agree with Benedicta that what you have written is very well said and I understand where you're coming from.  When I made that comment I was thinking of those Catholics who obstinately dissent against the Church's teaching, such as those who comment on the National Catholic Register – a journal that claims to be Catholic while contradicting most if not all of the Church's moral teachings and their views are shared by the majority of those who comment on their blog.

      The difference is that you are honestly endeavouring to find out what the Church teaches and why.  All of what the Church teaches is founded on what Christ taught.  I remember when taught by priests when I was young that they were able to back everything up with what Christ said – unfortunately, that is not something that seems to be taught these days – although I am sure you would get that from any orthodox priest if you approach one  – and it is no wonder you have found it difficult. I suggest that you find some good Catholic apologetics and that will explain a lot to you.  Also, it may be worth getting information from the Catholic Inquiry Centre.  A lot of it of course is humility.  We live in the world and it is natural that we will feel the pull of the world and lean towards that.  It's not easy to constantly pull ourselves back from what our friends – good people in most cases – see as normal and good.  

      I have a good friend who is in the same position as you.  She came back to the Church about 10 years ago.  She never hesitates to ask me about anything to do with the Faith – even though she sometimes says, "This may sound silly or something I should know" but to me nothing is silly and I don't expect her to know.  I am just happy if I am able to answer her questions.  So if you are able to confide in someone that you feel confident in speaking to – or even raising things with a priest that you're not sure of, don't hesitate to ask.  One site that will give you what the Church teaches and is quite helpful is the Catholic Encylopedia New Advent – http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01165a.htm

      As I mentioned before, I admire those who come back to the Church and who struggle – that is a blessing that one day you will understand.  My friend actually has an athiest husband and so she has a little collection of Catholic books and pictures that she has to keep to herself which she can't share with him.  He has started to understand a bit more and is a little more accepting, but, as I said to her, it is difficult for him to because she changed course mid-stream as when they married she wasn't practising.  Not an easy situation for anyone!  

    34. Teresina February 11, 2014 at 11:54 pm

      Rubyshire, just to mention that if anything is raised in a sermon that you're unsure of the Catholic Encyclopedia mentioned above has an alphabetical listing.  For example, there is a page on St Joseph.  Here is a sample of what it says:


      Devotion to Saint Joseph

      Joseph was "a just man". This praise bestowed by the Holy Ghost, and the privilege of having been chosen by God to be the foster-father of Jesus and the spouse of the Virgin Mother, are the foundations of the honour paid to St. Joseph by the Church. So well-grounded are these foundations that it is not a little surprising that the cult of St. Joseph was so slow in winning recognition. Foremost among the causes of this is the fact that "during the first centuries of theChurch's existence, it was only the martyrs who enjoyed veneration" (Kellner). Far from being ignored or passed over in silence during the early Christianages, St. Joseph's prerogatives were occasionally descanted upon by the Fathers; even such eulogies as cannot be attributed to the writers among whose works they found admittance bear witness that the ideas and devotion therein expressed were familiar, not only to the theologians and preachers, and must have been readily welcomed by the people. The earliest traces of public recognition of the sanctity of St. Joseph are to be found in the East. His feast, if we may trust the assertions of Papebroch, was kept by the Copts as early as the beginning of the fourth century. Nicephorus Callistus tells likewise — on what authority we do not know — that in the great basilica erected at Bethlehem by St. Helena, there was a gorgeous oratory dedicated to the honour of our saint. Certain it is, at all events, that the feast of "Joseph the Carpenter" is entered, on 20 July, in one of the old Coptic Calendars in our possession, as also in aSynazarium of the eighth and nineth century published by Cardinal Mai (Script. Vet. Nova Coll., IV, 15 sqq.). Greek menologies of a later date at least mention St. Joseph on 25 or 26 December, and a twofold commemoration of him along with other saints was made on the two Sundays next before and afterChristmas.

    35. Boanerges February 12, 2014 at 5:16 am


      the survey the survey info is interesting that you refer to. 12000 doesn't seem a large sample size when spread across 12 countries. I'm always wary too of these types of things – is it like in the census, or like parents trying to get their children into catholic schools – people who identified as catholic, call themselves catholic yet never darken the church steps or have any real connection with the church? It always amazes me to read census data claiming our church is growing. It certainly isn't in the smaller centres and hasn't been for many years. 


      Rubyshine – thanks for sharing your story. Be assured you are not alone in sometimes feeling inadequate in your faith knowledge. I'm constantly needing to check things to make sure I have the right information or understanding of various topics. My parish priest is probably sick of my questions! Fortunately there are heaps of good resources on the internet so I don't always have to bombard him to find out answers. It amazes me how many practicing Catholics remain ignorant of basic teaching and theology in their practices. My grandparents talked heaps about the penny catechism that they grew up with, maybe it's time Parishes/ schools/ homes reintroduced such a programme of learning for our young! 

    36. Werahiko February 12, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Re the survey question on "should abprtion be allowed in some cases". This is exactly in line with Church teaching which allows indirect abortion, such as in the case of an ectopic pregnancy for sufficient reason. 

    37. John Whyte February 12, 2014 at 9:34 am


      Thank you for story also.  Don't feel too bad re St Joseph.  I was having dinner with a priest also called John a few years back.  He would have been 50ish.  And i asked him which John he was named after.  He said that when he was 30 he asked his devout mother, herself a cradle catholic whether he was named after John the Baptist, or John the Disciple.  And his mother said "Oh, are they different?"  

      So you are not alone, and it's not just converts.  

    38. bamac February 12, 2014 at 12:20 pm


         this just came into my inbox … it is along the lines of what you have been saying I think  … Thank you for all that you have shared with us Rubyshine … God Bless you heaps…


      Mrs Mac

    39. Teresina February 12, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      Yes, Boanerges, a 12,000 sampling over 12 countries doesn't seem very high but, of course, I think that Pope Francis has opened the door for this type of sampling since he called for the laity's opinion on certain moral issues.  Because it seems that the majority in the pews now have liberal views, due to a lack of catechesis over the years since Vatican II, then, obviously, these surveys and samplings will result in a liberal view being put forward to the hierarachy and you can see it will be used to attempt to persuade the Church to change her stance on certain moral issues. 

      As Rorate Caeli puts it the people chose Barabbas over Christ:

      A worlwide poll of nominal Catholics was conducted at the request of American Spanish-language network Univision (and published on Sunday by several newspapers worldwide):  the full poll results by country on several matters of moral doctrine and discipline, as well as "support" for Pope Francis here.


      Except for Sub-Saharan Africa (countries chosen: Uganda and D.R. Congo) and the Philippines,  where the fighting spirit of the missionary priests of the past remains strong, the results show several generations lost to the spirit of the world following the "opening" promoted by Vatican II. With bishops who do not want to lead, and often do not even themselves believe in the whole message of the Gospel, the flock has no leaders, and is dispersed


      One relevant statistical point, however, is this: though results may also be broken down in several different ways here, including attendance ("frequency" is not really defined in the poll), it seems that only weekly attendance at Sunday Mass would indicate the proper disposition of nominal Catholics on doctrine and discipline. Naturally, if a nominal Catholic does not even make the most basic and simple effort of Catholic life (it really is not that hard to accomplish it – attendance of Sunday Mass and confession and communion at least once a year), the willingness to embrace those doctrines that are more demanding in one's personal life is certainly quite diminished.


      The pollsters should also have made basic questions of Catholic doctrine, and this would be our tip for a next worldwide poll: it would be relevant to have cross-comparisons of those who accept abortion on demand (e.g. 32% in France, 24% in Spain) and those who do not believe in the Most Holy Trinity, or that Our Lord Jesus Christ is God Incarnate, or in the existence of hell.




      In the end, Holy Writ already tells us about polls and popularity: the people chose Korah over Moses; the people chose Barabbas over Christ.

    40. Teresina February 12, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks for that link, Mrs Mac, yes, that is indeed what I was referring to and really when we get more of Tim and less of HIM the result is what is set out in the article you link to – a tragic result!

    41. Werahiko February 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      I am always perplexed by the conservative response to these polls. The approach seems to be to claim that the people calling themselves catholic are not really Catholic because if they were they would not have these views. Tersina, above, tries this one on in suggesting that the polls be of people who attend Mass weekly, and communion and confession at least yearly. But this misses the point. The category "Catholic" in social reality (that is, what people experience in everyday life) is the category of people who say they are Catholic. That so many people who do not agree with the teaching of the church on so many things still want to call themselves Catholic should be seen as an opportunity, not a problem. If I were selling Coke (of either legal or illegal type!) and found that many who no longer bought the product still considered themselves Coke consumers I would be delighted. I have a potential market! Conservative Catholic marketers would presumably start a campaign to get these people not to describe themselves in that way, rather than trying to get them to buy their product.

    42. withhope February 12, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      no, W. It's simply about what one professes to believe. For instance if I said I was Dolly Parton fan, but said, I didn't like the way she dressed, didn't like her voice, thought she should stop writing her own songs because other's do it better, wish she would become more like Beyonce, and haven't bought any of her records, one could be forgiven for thinking I was lying when I said I was a Dolly fan. 

    43. John Whyte February 12, 2014 at 6:28 pm


      Have you not met fans?  Like you know, several years ago, those all black fans who hated the coach, who thought the players were shit, who offered advice on how they should be better, who wouldn't buy tickets because it was 'too expensive'.  But who were still all blacks fans?  

      Or music fans 'the earlier work was better' or 'they were good until they went mainstream'.  

      In more clinical language – baptized y/n?  Excommunicated y/n?  If yes then no result = catholic.  

    44. John Whyte February 12, 2014 at 6:31 pm


      I'm never sure if you're meant to be funny.  You did a great rant a while back about the vatican bank and socalists that was not serious and ever since them I'm not sure.  

      I do like you comment about coke of both kinds.  :)  I'd like to be able to compliment you on some of your humour without feeling like you are being serious :S  

    45. Benedicta February 12, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      What constitutes being Catholic is the sacramental reality of being Catholic. Being Catholic means baptised (and or Confirmed) Catholic…which leaves the soul permanently changed in Christ. What one believes or otherwise simply designates each baptised Catholic as faithful or unfaithful to that Baptismal Grace.

      So Withhope….your description is more akin to the protestant understanding of Christian….simply what one professes.

      Werahiko is right…except Teresina has the best perspective….in that by including other doctrinal questions….as she through the Incarnation, the Trinity etc who designate that particular Catholic as reasonably catechised or otherwise. Obviously a Catholic who doesn't accept the basic faith statements of the Nicene Creed can't be taken seriously as someone who has an informed opinion about Catholic moral teaching. They are blowing in the wind.

      Personally I think it would be brilliant if they included basic doctrinal questions because then the sorry state of evangelisation to date would be shown up as lacking in even the basic essentials for those professing to be Catholic….in other words the finger of evangelisation needs to point firstly to those calling themselves Catholic.

      Imagine the difference that would make!

      I suspect that doctrine has slipped…I suspect that many consider 'One God' to be a higher revelation than 'The Trinity'. I think that Jesus as 'one of the best examples'; alongside Buddha etc would feature more than the saving power of the Paschal Mystery. I don't think the Real Presence could be discussed with any coherency. Mary would probably fare worse than her Son etc etc. It would be very interesting and in a nutshell Christianity would probably come across as 'being nice to people'.



    46. withhope February 12, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      no Jwhyte and No Benedicta: 'what constitutes being a Catholic' – is daily conversion of oneself to the Christ and His Bride, not daily political agitation to convert the 'church' to oneself. If everyone who is baptised and or confirmed in the Church is correct in calling themselves a Catholic then all those apostates in the New Testament, never fell away from the faith, it was just silly old St Peter that warned about falsehood. And St Athanasius – crazy old chap, clearly he was the one who wasn't Catholic. And we could now include many Popes whose warnings against modernism are anti-vii – clealy they could no longer be considered Catholic in a contemporary sense. 


      p.s. Benedicta said: ' It would be very interesting and in a nutshell Christianity would probably come across as 'being nice to people'.


      There was a guy who mentioned hell in a Catechism class. His pastor forbade to ever speak of it again. The guy was perplexed, 'but it's part of Catholic Doctrine'. The Priest, 'as far as I'm concerned the Gospels, Doctrine, Dogma, the lot can be summed up as, 'be nice'.' 


    47. Benedicta February 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm


      With the greatest of respect…..what you say 'constitutes being a Catholic' is the consequence of faithfully appropriating the sacramental Grace of Baptism'

      what constitutes being a Catholic' – is daily conversion of oneself to the Christ and His Bride,

      A newborn baby who has never uttered a word of profession or one who is receives the sacraments of initiation on their deathbed on the basis of a simple and mostly uncatechised faith is no less a Catholic than the Pope.

      It is the sacraments of initiation which permanently and indelibly mark that person's soul with the life of Christ….and it can never be removed from that soul even if that person should become and atheist, a jew, a muslim or a buddhist. The sacrament is eternal…like the soul changed by it.

      Yes, exactly apostates fall away from the profession of their faith but the sacramental reality of their soul remains.

      For this reason, evangelisation of those already in the Church by sacramental Grace is urgent for the reason that by not catechising and evangelising them, in many cases we could have left them in a worse condition than if we hadn't sacramentalised them into the faith.

      The reality of this hit home to me when I came back into the Church. I had two sons, both baptised and confirmed and for the most part sent to Catholic schools. They never went to Mass. I, who had approved their Baptism, have sinned against them and failed them as a mother. So what became in the first instance a Confessional matter, has now become an evangelical matter. Whenever I can I must pray for them and whenever appropriate I communicate the Catholic faith to them from the foundations of the Creed. Some ground has been made. I have to do this for the rest of my life..its a serious matter what we do and don't do for souls.

      So in spirit I am with you Withhope but let's put in its prior and proper place the essential sacramental reality of Catholicism…for real it is.




    48. Werahiko February 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      John even when I am not trying to be funny I am delighted to give someone some enjoyment! Please feel free to interpret all I post in the funniest possible way, including this post, in which I am deadly serious.

    49. withhope February 12, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      I appreciate your response, Benedicta.

      Of course the sacraments are real. For me it is Christ and His Church that are the Real, the rest is the world. What is the point of not believing what the Church must teach and cannot about face on? it's because those people prefer the world to the Church. Christ had no grey maybe with me maybe not. We are either with Him or against Him – hence the need for daily conversion as we all betray Him daily and need to convert. Many, if not most, Catholics, however, are cleary, according to the Vat Survey, nominal – of the world. It's a name, It's not a belief, if there are 'sacraments' attached, they too are merely names for increasingly blase and dumbed down 'rites' that are supposed to mean what? that's the thing with nominalism, it's bereft of meaning.


      the left, the liberal, the LGBTQ fanatics have Catholic believers under the screw in this country and many others, but it seems to me than NZ has almost no counter voice to this continued dissolution of Supernatural Faith, which is what is required for salvation; it is a protestant belief that if one is baptised then one is saved forever from that moment – this has never been a Catholic belief. In the Church baptism is a requirement for salvation, it is not the only requirement. A priest must have the intention of doing what the Church believes when he adminsters a sacrament, so if it's just a nominal 'act', is it valid? My question should have been, what's the difference between a nominal Catholic and a valid Catholic? If we do not have the intention in our daily conversion to do what the Church of Christ asks of us and to believe what He asks of us, where is our Catholic validity?

      As far as I can see the SSPX have, without fail, has been one of the few, it at times, only, Catholic apostalate that has consistently intended to do and be what Christ and His Church asks, since VII.





    50. Werahiko February 12, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      Withhope your wording "As far as I can see the SSPX have, without fail, has been one of the few, it at times, only, Catholic apostalate that has consistently intended to do and be what Christ and His Church asks, since VII" covers the SSPX for all the things I imagine you will say its leaders did not 'intend' to do, like denying the Holocaust. But it implies that other parts of the Church have "intended" to do other than what Christ asks. No, they have thought they were doing what Christ wants. You may assuse them of wilful ignorance, but you are wrong to say such a thing about their intent. In my experience people do religious things because they think they are right. Clearly, most are wrong, given the number of contradictory beliefs. But they each believe they are right, as do those who are non-religious. Honest belief is now accepted by the Church in a much deeper way than in the past, and this is a good thing.

    51. withhope February 12, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      W, as far as I know it was a certain Bishop Williamson who may have said something about the holocaust – either way – he is now dismissed because of the controversy. Did you know that Archbishop Lefebvre's dad died in a concentration camp during WWII? 


      p.s. it's not a matter of me believing I am right. It is simply what is does Tradition, Scripture and the Magisterium say? As far as i know VII never touched anything of the magisterium. That most Catholics don't know or don't care about Tradition, Scripture or Magisterium is a fine excuse for a child or a young adult, but it won't hold forever, and it certainly doesn't hold for the Shepherds of the Church.

    52. Werahiko February 12, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      May have said something? MAY have said something?

    53. withhope February 12, 2014 at 9:08 pm

      Yes, may; unless you have a source that has exactly what he was guilty of.


      But why distract from the 'Tradition, Scripture and the Magisterium say? As far as i know VII never touched anything of the magisterium'?

    54. Rubyshine February 12, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      You people are so kind and supportive.

      Benedicta – you've reminded me to revisit my understanding of charity. I heard a priest last year give a homily on the difference between anthropy and charity, and it was very enlightening, but I've never really thought of charity towards God.

      Teresina – I still think that perhaps SOME catholics who "obstinately dissent" against church teachings, do it from a place of little knowledge or understanding, but THINK they know and understand the church's position. I'm in that position of, "the more you learn, the more you realise you don't know," (Over Christmas I came to understand the idea of perpetual virginity, which I feel sad about, so it's on the list of things to investigate) I think it's natural when you're new to something to really seek to understand. I can imagine many longterm catholics think they understand a lot, and don't seek to inform themselves. I'd be interested to see how many people truly understand the church's teaching in depth, and then think the church should change its position, because I agree why don't those people should seek a new church?

      I also have a husband who, tells me he, thinks he is an agnostic, but not really sure, probably mostly ambivalent. He did make me promise not to become a religious nutter, and for a while would ask me if I HAD to go to mass on the weekend, if I'd been mid-week to mass or adoration. But mostly he's been supportive and understanding, and willingly had our marriage blessed in the church (we had a civil ceremony) over summer. I get that in a very essential way, I'm a different person to the one he married.

      Thanks also for the catholic encyclopaedia reference.

      John Whyte – I'm having a moment of pride that I know the difference between those two Johns, but it's equally being crushed by the memory of just two weeks ago learning the difference between being a disciple and an apostle :-)

      Boanerges and Mrs. Mac, thanks also for your encouraging words.

    55. withhope February 12, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      p.s. Werahiko, do you know who Archbishop Lefebvre is? You didn't answer my question about whether or not you knew how his father passed from this life?

    56. Benedicta February 12, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      We are all having an interesting chat!


      Thanks for the reply. You have  a love for Christ and His Church….I think you would like me, respond well to the wonderful military images of the Angels and Saints…I always loved the idea of putting on the armour of God…(just words welling up!).

      You use the word 'nominal and nominalism'. That's a fascinating word…in the popular meaning I think it denotes someone in the Christian sense of 'in name only but not in practise'. Someone who says they are Catholic for some social connection but generally don't go to Mass with any commitment….that sort of thing. As you say 'its a name not a belief'. But I think you are too kind in your description of the terms. You say 'its bereft of meaning'. I think nominalism is full of meaning and is not at all empty but a complete inversion of all that is Catholic reality. I would call it public enemy number one. Their is nothing benign about nominalism. Its full of meaning but that meaning is wholly subjective to each individual. It means there is no reality beyond the subjectivity of the human mind. Nominalism can reconstruct marriage on the basis of an agreed show of hands and a social contract…for the nominalist mind their is no reality of marriage into which one enters…we make it up.

      On the other hand you mention it in regard to Baptism. It is true that some (not all) protestants say 'once saved always saved'…but it isn't their baptism that saved them but their faith. Their baptism was a 'believers baptism'…it is a nominalist baptism in that it is a sign representing a subjective condition of the faith of the one being baptised. As you say this isn't a Catholic belief.

      As you also say in the Church baptism is requied for salvation. In fact a valid Baptism is the only way the Church knows by which one may be saved. As you say also the priest must have the intention of doing what the Church believes in order to fulfill the requires of a valid Baptism. You or I or any member of the human race may also administer a valid Baptism (if absolutely necessary…not by preference) if the one baptising intends to do what the Church does. If a Catholic priest in good standing with the Church and with faculties from the Bishop were he administers the sacraments baptises using the correct form of Baptism (right words and actions) to one desiring Baptism or presented by his or her parents at a young age…then that Baptism is absolutely valid and licit. Even if the priest believes all sorts of erroneous doctrines in many regards that Baptism is valid. Its validity rests on the right form of Baptism licitly administered. What essentially makes it a Baptism is Christ not the priest or the Baptiser…they are merely Christ's instruments…hence the right words and actions convey intention to do what the Church intends. If we demand evidence of a valid Catholic faith from the one Baptising we would fall into the heresy of Donatism (think that's the one??? many protestants hold this too that the fidelity of the priest renders validity of the sacrament…just from memory!).

      So you say what is the difference between a nominal Catholic and a valid Catholic. Well if Baptised then sacramentally, truly and in reality that Baptised Catholic is a valid Catholic. From there we are talking about fidelity.

      The whole of western society is formed by nominalism. That is why the faith seems to be falling…it is a turn from realism to nominalism over many centuries. Modern people are nominalists…they make their own reality in their subjective person. Asking them to adhere to concepts beyond their own construction ….like articles of faith and dogma…is an oppression for them..an imposition on their interior freedom. This is the hardest thing to recenter them in Christ and no in themselves where they feel more secure. So there would be many nominalist Catholics and also many reality Catholics (like hopefully you and me and others we talk to here). Catholicism can't be understood in a nominalist mode…it just doesn't work. Nominalism is toxic to Catholicism….Catholic sacraments are real symbols which bring about what they signify. Nominalist understand 'sacraments' as empty symbols which are given meaning by each signifier/person. (For example the protestant baptism receiving salvific meaning by the faith of the one baptised).

      The important thing is to realise that people are shaped by the culture in this way. They aren't simply just being bad and dissident….they truly don't get it. I think the appropriate response is indeed standing firm but also taking the time to explain things more fully and praying like heck because it is probably the most toxic heresy ever next to Arianism.

    57. withhope February 12, 2014 at 9:41 pm

      Benedicta said (lots of really well executed thoughts) i.e.: 'nominalism is full of meaning but that meaning is wholly subjective to each individual…Catholicism can't be understood in a nominalist mode…it just doesn't work.' and that, for many of the younger generation living in a post-Christian culture, 'asking them to adhere to concepts beyond their own construction ….like articles of faith and dogma…is an oppression for them..an imposition on their interior freedom.' 


      I've never thought of nominalism as being full of its own meaning before, but that way, one can see why we fall so in love with it.


      It's a hard task, 'adhering to concepts beyond [our] own construction ….like articles of faith and dogma', but it gets easier, and when the devil which keeps preaching nominalism gets tired, a grace comes that confirms all that militancy in union with what Christ and His Church assures us is right and true.

    58. Benedicta February 12, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Sorry about the wee typos.

      Just a further note to explain really clearly…nominalism totally inverts Catholic meaning. It is toxic to faith because is empties all the sacraments of their own reality. That nominalist Catholic who can't through Grace be freed to adhere to the reality of Christ in the Church is in a terrible situation of literally jousting with every doctrine or symbol they can't appropriate rightly or wrongly for themselves.

      We are seeing this in marriage for the divorced and invalidly remarried. The problem is from the prelates of the Church to the pew. The tension arising from not receiving the Eucharist because the Church doesn't recognise a remarriage is incomprehensible to a nominalist mind. Firstly the reality of the Eucharist isn't comprehended in itself and the status of the marriage being defined beyond the personal perspective would be a bit of an outrage. It particularly shows up in the moral life because that is the absolute frontier of personal autonomy.

      Looking at the percentages arrayed amongst the 12,000 questioned in the poll it isn't a coincidence that there was more or less a division from non- western nations and those nations formed primarily by western thinking.

      If one thinks of the biblical term of abominations being in the places of the Holy….then nominalism is an effective method to transfer the profane to the holy places and take the holy places into the domain of the profane. Pope John Paul II kept calling us back to Christocentrism….he did this to call us away from ourselves…anthropocentrism. CS Lewis wrote about it in the Abolition of Man. The best philosophers are trying to put Aristotle on the table to help turn the ship around…and the best of theologians are trying to put St Thomas and the Church Fathers back on the table to get the ship back to port.

    59. Rubyshine February 12, 2014 at 9:58 pm

      Benedicta – I feel dumb just being near your comments :). Your comments on nominalism are very insightful, but this statement,  "Nominalism can reconstruct marriage on the basis of an agreed show of hands and a social contract…for the nominalist mind their is no reality of marriage into which one enters…we make it up," is particularly helpful in my thinking on gay marriage. Gay marriage is just another in the long list of things for me to deconstruct, but I have been recently thinking through the idea of "marriage" not just belonging to the two parties concerned, but to the wider community.

    60. Benedicta February 12, 2014 at 10:11 pm


      Yes….charity towards God! We are having a relationship with the Holy Trinity! So charity is the way….God wants you to love Him. That love has to be toward Him. Also thinking of how God is loving you into existence every moment (thank Fr Barron for that lovely phrase). Also that in loving you into existence He made you so personally for Himself that only you can love Him as 'Rubyshine' wholly embodied in your personal being….no one at any time or place has ever been to God as you are….so He wants to be with you like no other.

      The teachings of the Church can be understood as helps and aids that illuminate for us Who it is we are loving….and not someone we made up for ourselves. After all it is not the same sort of relationship that we have with others here in our present lives. But we can be sure of these teachings because they are the fruits of those who knew Him when He was amongst us in His human life and those who have loved Him for Himself  for 2000 years; and the Church can attest to their devotion and love. We need their help like that or we can become a problem to ourselves in what we start to make up about God. We can make God too harsh or too soft, too distant or too small, to absent to too close. The teachings keep us true to God, and desiring to be true in this way is an act of charity on our part to God….and he loves us the more for it and you will know that love and so it goes on…

    61. Werahiko February 12, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      Withhope, no one needs to convict him – although he was – you can see him in all his holocaust-denying, evidence ignoring eccentric weirdness on Youtube. The trouble is with SSPX – that was not what he was expelled for!


      And yes, I know all about the founder of the SSPX. I don't know what his parentage has to do with anything. Maybe you could tell me.



    62. withhope February 12, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Thanks for the link, W. i guess that's why the SSPX dismissed him. As for Archbishop Lefebvre's father, i would think it could nevet be insignificant that as a non-Jew, his support of Jews during WWII contributed to his death in a polish camp


    63. withhope February 12, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      oop, didn't mean to finish there but this tablet is a real, not very friendly. my point is i guess Archbishop Lefebvre would have to tell you, but the priest who founded the SSPX was a man of rare Christian charity. He spent decades in the Missions, and voted with his confrere's during VII, because he didn't see that there was a new spirit of dissent being implemented. He saw how Tradition, Scripture, and Magisterium had called people to conversion because the soul hungers, not for relativism, but for truth. This understanding is what the SSPX have never betrayed.

    64. Werahiko February 12, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      No, that is NOT why they dismissed him. They told him not to say that again in public. They dismissed him for his attitude to the other SSPX Bishops. The SSPX at the point they failed to recognise not only the evil, but the absurd irrationality of his statements, lost any authority they ever had. No, Archbishop Lefebre's father's actions say no more about his son's that do the God-fearing and devout practices of Hitler's mother, a Catholic, say about her son. Incidentally, while M. Lefebre sr. appears to have been a very brave and effective resistance fighter, I haven't been able to find anything to suggest he was imprisoned for his specific support of Jews. What do you base your claim on?

    65. Benedicta February 12, 2014 at 11:04 pm


      Thanks for your openness. Yes Gay marriage and marriage as I think you have twigged is not straightforward for the modern mind when confronted with options.

      Gay marriage is just another in the long list of things for me to deconstruct, but I have been recently thinking through the idea of "marriage" not just belonging to the two parties concerned, but to the wider community.

      Its a big topic and I don't want to get too off track or write too much. Coming to confront nominalism does help us realise why we struggle so much with appropriating what other people call 'truths'. After all what is 'truth' is never evident to the modern mind until it wraps it up for itself.

      The Church could be more helpful on marriage at this time. We need to say there is a Divine Plan! I think you have got that far and probably rather like the idea of a Divine Plan as I suspect you already love God and just want to know more!!

      Lets say that what we need to recover more in the Church is a thing called Nuptial Mystery. That we being made in the image and likeness of God bear that image someway in our embodied selves though complementarity. That the Divine Plan is our salvation through Christ and the Church. We image that plan in our complementariness; male and female as bridegroom and bride are gifts each to the other in order to bring about new life. The Church is the eternal feminine Bride that we as God's children embody in the female human form as Bride. The male human form is also a bridegroom  for his bride, like Christ is the Bridegroom to the Church. Sacramentally  the Church  through the power of Christ gives 'birth' to 'little christs…new spiritual life' through Baptism. Likewise the human bride gives birth to new life with her bridegroom her husband; their children.

      This imagery is unchangeable because these images of the Bridegroom and the Bride are sacrament. Marriage is a sacrament which holds eternally the truth about the male and female bodies, what they mean in themselves. They make present divine and eternal realities about who we are in relation to ourselves, our spouse, new life and God. Some theologians are drawing further depths from Nuptial Mystery in that the human family images the Holy Trinity.  

      Now you are going to have to do some searching and find something to read on Nuptial Mystery!

      From a woman's perspective this sense of Nuptial Mystery is brilliant. For one, because it is a divine image it is a reality which is beyond human power to reinterpret or change for some function or purpose. (That would be one argument against surrogacy…that it reduces a woman to a temporary functionary). Woman can't be appropriated as lesser 'men' or subjugated to the level of a slave. It enobles the feminine as symbol (Church, Bride, Our Lady) into the realm of salvation power in complementarity to the male (Christ). That is why Our Lady is so important to us as she is the absolute Icon of the Church….the first of all creatures and a woman….I might say a woman of power in humility.

      This is why Pope Francis loves Our Lady and sees the feminine in the Church and wants to see more. But the priestly role is the role of the Bridegroom and images Christ….so Nuptial Mystery not only orders creation but also the Church. Complementarity discloses the full distinction of the other….it doesn't destroy, enslave or cover it.

      Now that's all huge stuff…. and pretty much at the edge for nominalist minds in recovery. But work on it and follow this line…its true its deep and you'll get in step with it and nothing will every be the same again.

      Try Amazon on Nuptial Mystery…there will be readable books. Theologians are recovering this teaching…the Church for the most part has forgotten about it and needs it back…its makes for a very healthy Church I think.

      Believe me the Catholic Church is the safest place in the world for a woman to be truly herself; in her true humanity and ultimate glory. All the men are simply there to either disclose the complementarity of the feminine or to actually serve her (the Church) in making Christ present to her in the holy Liturgy.


    66. withhope February 12, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      resistance fighter – it's my understanding they were on the same side as the Jews – plus I watched the documentary and they said he helped to harbour Jews. As for the dismissal of Williamson, he's been dismissed, as would be appropriate after such an interview. but again what has all this got to do with Tradition, Scripture and Magisterium? which the Bishops seem to take as blithely as the dismissed bishop historical facts.

    67. Benedicta February 12, 2014 at 11:17 pm


      Yes, also the sense of marriage for the community….that is absolutely spot on! That is why the State has always had an interest in marriage. Simply without well organised human arrangements the raising of children is disorderly (don't we know it!). Marriage is self evident in that a man and woman generate children. Society and history need them to do this or there simply won't be a next generation. Marriage is the particular relationship which holds this man to this woman for the purposes of the flourishing of new human life. This is lost at this time when marriage is sentimentalised as an expression of affection. Of course love and affection are important but that in the community sense isn't the communities main interest…the flourishing of human life is. For this reason two men 'marrying' or two women 'marrying' makes no sense. Of themselves from their own bodies without basically a techinal adultery they can't bring about new life. Also that new life requires particularly in the case of males the servitude of female function in order to bring a child into the world. Good arguments can be made against all in many ways and strongly from the child's perspective….after all nature (and God) intended that he or she meet his or her own parents absolutely. The State then, in gay marriage, has to be in the business of supplying all technical means by which to bring about a child which cannot be brought about by the marital partners themselves because of their own persons. (This is not the same as an infertile heterosexual couple or a couple past mid life….in their case the infertility is a secondary defect due to age, disease or non function…not because of the primary sex characteristics of the partners themselves).

      Boy…talk about off topic.

    68. withhope February 12, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      What B and Ruby have been discussing. Gay marriage is nominalism without reason. marriage has been co-opted to console us in our failed chastity with absolutely no respect for those children who are as much God's own as we will ever be.   

      Earlier, benedicta you said the best theologians are trying to put Aquinas back on the table to bring the ship back to port. this cannot be overstated. the utter lack of clear thinking in our shepherds is a big cloud of unnecessary ignorance preached from pulpits each week. 

    69. Werahiko February 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      Withhope, "the Jews" as you put it did not have a "side" in World War ll. They were not a nation. They had no army. The spoke different langauges and lived thousands of kilometres apart. Hundreds of thousands fought against each other in different national armies in WW l. Some were religious. Some were Catholic. Some were atheists. People of Jewish descent were persecuted and exterminated. They had no "side" because "they" were individuals, and not a political or national grouping. World War ll was not fought over Jewish rights. The issue was not one which the British, New Zealanders, or Americans raised as a reason for going to war. when you find yourself talking about "the Jews", pause and ask yourself if what you are talking about is real.

    70. withhope February 12, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      the Jews call themselves the Jews, Werahiko. When i first came across this site 'the Jews', were being bombed by the 'palestinians' again, and I pointed out how the 'new shoah', was taking place. i got disagreed with as a muslim hater. as for the disparate Jews during WWII, suddenly all those former national etc. boundaries lost meaning. it didn't matter one jot that Anne Frank's Dad had fought forhis German fatherland in WWI. the allies defeated the axis. the axis was systematically killing Jews and other, 'others'. 

      If you want to address the Church of Christ and His Saints = Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium, still, the SSPX cannot be convicted of betraying Christ.

    71. Werahiko February 12, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      Not sure about that. B. Williamson probably thinks there were no crosses on Calvary.

    72. withhope February 13, 2014 at 12:13 am

      but, W, ex-bish will is not the SSPX. just like one mouthy apapal pope does not the meaning of papacy make. 

    73. withhope February 13, 2014 at 12:19 am

      p.s. what does no crosses on Calvary mean? There were three. only one was inhabited by an unrepentant 'superman'.  

    74. Teresina February 13, 2014 at 1:49 am

      Despite being baptised as Catholics apostates, heretics and schismatics are considered by the Church as no longer Catholic.  So many "Catholics" today could fall under the term of heretics if they do not accept some truth of the Church.  So therefore as Withhope has said denial of the Creed for example means these people are no longer regarded as Catholic.

      The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines these three sins against the faith in this way:

      2089 Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. 

      "Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; 

      apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; 

      schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him." [Code of Canon Lawc.751]

      The Church's moral theology has always distinguished between objective or material sin and formal sin. The person who holds something contrary to the Catholic faith is materially a heretic. They possess the matter of heresy, theological error. Thus, prior to the Second Vatican Council it was quite common to speak of non-Catholic Christians as heretics, since many of their doctrines are objectively contrary to Catholic teaching. This theological distinction remains true, though in keeping with the pastoral charity of the Council today we use the term heretic only to describe those who willingly embrace what they know to be contrary to revealed truth. Such persons are formally (in their conscience before God) guilty of heresy. Thus, the person who is objectively in heresy is not formally guilty of heresy if 1) their ignorance of the truth is due to their upbringing in a particular religious tradition (to which they may even be scrupulously faithful), and 2) they are not morally responsible for their ignorance of the truth. This is the principle ofinvincible ignorance, which Catholic theology has always recognized as excusing before God.

      The same is true of apostasy. The person who leaves not just the Catholic Church but who abandons Christ Himself is materially an apostate. He is formally an apostate through willful, and therefore culpable, repudiation of the Christian faith.

      Finally, the person who refuses submission to the Roman Pontiff, whom Vatican I defined as having a universal primacy of authority over the whole Church, is at least a material schismatic. It was thus common in the past to speak of the schismatic Orthodox Churches who broke with Rome in 1054. As with heresy, we no longer assume the moral culpability of those who belong to Churches in schism from Rome, and thus no long refer to them as schismatics.

    75. withhope February 13, 2014 at 2:36 am

      God bless for making sense of my nonesense, Teresina. this business of papal infallibility is little understood. ex-cathedra, the pope can sin and make errors as long as he is not proclaiming…would paste this but my tablet wont allow pasting text on this site anymore, or editing – so much for progress.


    76. Werahiko February 13, 2014 at 8:20 am

      Withhope, there is a great deal more evidence for gas chambers in the Holocaust than for crosses at Calvary. If B. Williamson does not accept the former, one would assume he does not accept the latter, if he is rational…oh…

      Teresina – have you an example of anyone who "willingly embrace what they know to be contary to revealed truth"? seems an impossible feat of mental gymnastics to me. 

    77. Benedicta February 13, 2014 at 10:24 am

      Despite being baptised as Catholics apostates, heretics and schismatics are considered by the Church as no longer Catholic. 

      I don't agree….

      To be an apostate, a heretic or a schismatic are states defined in relation to a presumed Catholic baptismal state. Each is simply a contradiction, repudiation etc of a sacramental state…that of being a Baptised Catholic. That state can't be changed.

      More reason to this is that if any baptised Catholic who fell into heresy, apostasy or schism was to want to appropriate the teachings of the Church in faith they would simply confess their heresy, apostasy or schism and do any assigned penance. They still have access to the sacrament of penance which non-Catholics don't. Also their return to fidelity requires no more sacramental rite than this….no one can be baptised or confirmed twice.

      The Church considers them as apostate Catholics, heretical Catholics, schismatic Catholics or most commonly called lapsed Catholics. But Catholics they are.

      To actually and definitively and absolutely leave the Catholic Church is difficult for the baptised. It requires a formal application in writing etc and has to be formally acknowledged and attested to. Its rare.

      The point is the modern mind is blinded by its received modes of thinking from a culture that individual did not shape. I think it requires a little understanding that their difficulties in the first place are not of their own making….they need light and conversion not condemnation. 


    78. Benedicta February 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Re 'the Jews'.

      The Jews are a people…

      There is a current idea that the nation state of Israel is that a nation state. That Judaism is simply a religion and not a people. Therefore the argument goes that we can separate Judaism from Israel. Therefore when Israel is unfairly criticised the charge of anti-semitism can't be made. Therefore when the Arabs criticise Israel it is simply over land and politics. When the other nations support the Arabs it is simply over land and politics.

      Its not that convenient. Judaism can never be separated from the land, the desire to be in or return to the land…and that land with pummelled borders happens to be primarily where Israel sits.

      The Arab rejection of Israel's right to existence (those who hold that and most if not many do) is based on the anti-semitism inherent within Islam. That is an indisutable fact except for the obtuse.

      How did all these subjects come up….

      But if your having fun???


    79. Teresina February 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      Benedicta, if your statement were correct then all the Catholics who became Anglicans at the time of the reformation would still be regarded as Catholic and not protestants and protestantism would not exist.  There are those who commit formal heresy and are formally excommunicated and those who are informal heretics. You can also formally apply to no longer be a Catholic although I read that the Canon Law makes it much more difficult.   

    80. Teresina February 13, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Benedicta, baptism takes away the stain of original sin forever and leaves an indelible mark and cannot be repeated.  The catechism says: 

      "An indelible spiritual mark . . .

      1272 Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, the person baptized is configured to Christ. Baptism seals the Christian with the indelible spiritual mark (character) of his belonging to Christ. No sin can erase this mark, even if sin prevents Baptism from bearing the fruits of salvation.83 Given once for all, Baptism cannot be repeated.

      1273 Incorporated into the Church by Baptism, the faithful have received the sacramental character that consecrates them for Christian religious worship.84 The baptismal seal enables and commits Christians to serve God by a vital participation in the holy liturgy of the Church and to exercise their baptismal priesthood by the witness of holy lives and practical charity.85"

      Infants can indeed be baptised but later repudiate being Catholic and become apostates or informal heretics but they can't repudiate the baptism itself.  The indelible mark that you refer to is really the removal of the stain of original sin which as Christ said, "Unless you are born again of water and the holy spirit you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven".  


      "The faithful are required to accept with the divine and Catholic faith all which the Church presents either as solemn decision or as general teaching. Yet not all teachings are dogma. The faithful are only required to accept those teachings as dogma, if the Church clearly and specifically identifies them as infallible dogmata.[5] If a Catholic were to willfully deny any particular dogma they know is taught dogmatically by the Church, they would no longer be a part of the Church, since heresy immediately separates one from the Church.["

    81. Teresina February 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      Werahiko, that is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church states and there are public figures who have repudiated the Church's teaching.  People are automatically excommunicated who:


      Unless the excusing circumstances outlined in canons 1321-1330[5] exist, the Code of Canon Law imposes latae sententiae excommunication on the following:

      an apostate from the faith, a heretic, or a schismatic;[6]

      a person who throws away the consecrated Eucharistic species or takes and retains them for a sacrilegious purpose;[7]

      a person who uses physical force against the Pope;[8]

      a priest who uses confession as a pretext to solicit the penitent to break the commandment against adultery;[9]

      bishop who ordains someone a bishop without a papal mandate, and the person who receives the ordination from him;[10]

      a confessor who directly violates the sacramental seal of confession;[11]

      a person who procures a completed abortion;[12]

      accomplices without whose assistance a violation of a law prescribing latae sententiae excommunication would not have been committed.[13]

      ?There have been several priests excommunicated to openly advocated homosexuality and so those lay people  advocate homosexuality can no doubt fall under the same sanction.

    82. Teresina February 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      My last sentence should have read:


      There have been several priests excommunicated who openly advocated homosexuality and so those lay people  who advocate homosexuality can no doubt fall under the same sanction.

    83. Benedicta February 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm


      Yes, baptism removes original sin. But it also covenants us to God through Christ. 1273 you quoted – they receive the sacramental character that consecrates them for Christian worship. We are baptised and receive Christ….read 1272 as you have conveyed it. No sin can erase the spiritual mark of belonging to Christ. The covenantal character remains in that soul even if they should sin against it….as with apostasy, schism etc.

    84. Benedicta February 13, 2014 at 7:12 pm

      Excommunication bars one from the reception of the sacraments until such time as it is removed…some actions incur it immediately of themselves. It can't remove from that person their baptismal character…they are still Catholics but excommunicated Catholics.

      Yes. At the time of the Reformation what were regarded as Protestants, though Baptised as Catholics were sacramentally speaking Catholics who had apostasised etc. Their new professed religious preferences were regarded as Protestant but they remained Baptised Catholics in a state of contradiction. Looking at them two ways….in what they profess, which is the practical reality of their lives and it is acknowledged that they are protestant. From the sacramental reality they are Catholics in error…apostasy etc. That bars them from the sacramental life in the Catholic Church but not because they are no longer Catholics but because they are unfaithful Catholics.


      Look….try it another way. There is the reality of the sacramental (covenanted) change which is certain and effective and can't be removed. This certainty of this sacramental character is the work of Christ…a gift to each of us in the first place. No human power can overcome it and remove it. (I think we agree on this ….I know you do). It is more than just a removal of original sin….all the graces given in Baptism are never removed by human power. BUT they can be left inappropriated or the person baptised can change their practical religious profession…..and the Church may respond by sanctioning the person in order to encourage them to return….not to leave in a practical sense…by giving clear warning of the contradiction of state they place themselves in; because the sacramental character remains. they cannot appropriate protestant sacraments which overcome or change the Catholic ones they receive…nothing happens…they remain sacramentally Catholic and profess another creed.

      If the baptism into the Catholic Church (we are baptised into the Church) is repudiated the baptism stands but the person is in a state of contradiction. The intellectual decisions of the individual cannot of themselves remove that Baptism. 

      The human person is an integral soul and body. When the soul is changed for ever by the power of Baptism the intellectual processes can't remove it. It is the integral person who is baptised – covenanted body and soul.

      What you are proposing (that a Baptised Catholic in effect entirely remove their covenanted reality from being one of the People of God)….seems that the mind has the power to reject the change effected by the sacrament. No it only has the power to contradict it.

      Look at it in terms of another sacrament….a priest who receives Holy Orders. If they are laicised, because they can,  for what ever reason of their own choosing, no longer live out that priesthood, are barred from saying Mass. Why? Well the practical reality that they are no longer living their priesthood and so receive no faculties to exercise them. But the sacramental power of Holy Orders remains with them, even if they should marry and become a Pentecostal. For this reason they are barred from saying Mass for the reason of sacrilege…because that laicised now married professing pentecostal once was a priest would still have the power through Holy Orders to confect the Eucharist. The Bread and Wine will be confected; they will be changed into the Real Body and Blood of Christ as truly as if he had never left the priesthood in the Catholic Church. 

      If you argument was fully extrapolated out the divorced could also say the reality and practical situation of my having a divorce means that I am no longer married. No, the distinction remains that they are sacramentally married in the Church unless the Church says there was NO sacrament.

      Are we on the same page? I think we are but perhaps going across each other.

      Sacramental realities exist all over the place and cause confusion here and there. Another one, the Orthodox have a valid Eucharist….in other words it is a Catholic Eucharist…but I as a Catholic can't receive it because they are not in union with the See of Rome. The fact that they separated in the East-West schism didn't invalidate their sacraments…they remain Catholic. They wouldn't consider them 'Catholic' but Orthodox and take their personal view but the fact remains that following the schism they were able through Holy Orders and their continuing Catholic belief in the Eucharist and liturgical form maintained a valid Eucharist….but I can't receive it.

      Anglicans, on the other hand, were told the reception of Holy Orders was broken (Elizabeth I didn't have enough Bishops with Catholic Holy Orders…they dispute this) and they repudiated the Real Presence and suppressed the form of the Mass; which alone is enough. That means for a time there were indeed Catholics receiving Anglican sacraments to no effect. But their future children baptised in the Anglican Church received a valid Baptism but not into the Catholic Church…..the baptism in form and matter was correct and in Christ…but not professed as Catholic. So those Anglicans are not apostates or schismatics but simply Anglicans professing Anglican Christianity. The Council of Trent had to clarify this that the Baptisms of the reformers were valid. Those wanting to come into the Church were not re Baptised but Confirmed Catholic. Or for returning Catholics simply Confession and penance.

    85. Teresina February 13, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      But at the reformation the Catholics who were baptised Catholics, although they retained the indelible mark of baptism, became heretics and were automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church and were called and regarded as Anglicans not Anglicans bearing the indelible mark of Catholicism.  To be honest, Benedicta, I have never heard that term before.  People can apostacise or become heretics and still retain the indelible mark of Baptism but they are in no, way, shape or form regarded as Catholics, unless and until, they repudiate their beliefs.  Otherwise there would be no reason for the Creed.  We could all believe what we like.  And Baptism is not a guarantee of salvation but takes away the stain of original sin. 

      For example, in no way could we regard Martin Luther as retaining the indelible mark of Catholicism.  Being Catholic also involves free will.

    86. Benedicta February 14, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Excommunication doesn't mean that you are no longer Catholic; they are still Catholics and still bound by the Church but are outside the sacramental life of the Church (and any other restrictions such as holding a particular role or function).

      In the case of a Catholic by Baptism who later on adheres to a Protestant form of Christianity they are still Catholic by Baptism…but not in practice. For them to become full members of the Catholic Church again they would need to go to Confession (yes, they in effect have become all of those heavy terms such as heretics, apostate and schismatic and yes no doubt there is an automatic excommunication – but today the Church accepts Confession as the means to restore full communion).

      What people consider themselves to be and other people regard them to be is one thing; but it doesn't cancel the integrity of their Baptism into the Church. They are still Catholics in body but not in heart. They are Catholics who are not in full communion with the Church.

      The SSPX regard themselves and many others regard them as Catholics. Indeed they are Catholics by Baptism but they are in a state of schism as could be said as they won't submit to the Pope and as such are in the same postition as the Reformers….they are Catholics by Baptism but not in full communion with the Church.

      Martin Luther was excommunicated 'as a Catholic'. The Church doesn't excommunicate non-Catholics. They don't excommunicate to make them non-Catholics or to confer their newly subjective belief that they are no longer Catholics…rather  the point is to get them to return to full communion…he didn't…the excommunication remained in place for that hoped for return.

      The Catholic Church is following on from Judaism in the same sense that bodiliness makes you a Jew. You need to have a Jewish mother and in the case of males circumcision. Jews for this reason alone remain Jewish all their lives though many are not Jews in practise and even repudiate it. For a Jew to become a Christian doesn't mean repudiating their Jewishness but by Baptism become Christians….the Baptism is a fulfillment. Hence Jews who become Catholics often describe themselves as Messianic Jews.

      The sacraments are given to us 'in the body'. There are certain actions done to the body and words spoken that are spoken directly to our embodied selves. One can't be Baptism by proxy or over the phone. When we say that the soul has an indelible mark it means it has been changed  into one that God recognises as His own by covenant. This indelible mark has many aspects…but it remains eternally with the soul. The soul is what enlivens us….it is the aliveness in us. It gives our body its form and the body gives matter to the soul so that we, the person (a composite of body and soul), can give expression to our soul and be (as Pope John Paul would say) acting persons in the world.

      So perhaps we can agree then that we are always and forever once Baptised Catholics in the body….but that the heart has to also freely believe, love and express this actual state in faith, hope and love in the heart of the Church. The sacramental becoming Catholic in Baptism is prior the actual hoped for manifestation of a lived out faithful Catholic life…but remains regardless as a permanent foundation of that person's soul regardless of how they live their life.

      I think its a great mercy! In Pope Benedict's Deus Caritus Est…he alluded to the idea that whatever we have of Christ in us can never be lost. Also Jesus in his prayer in Gethsemene also asked the Father that none of those that belonged to him should be lost. If we go to 1 Corinthians 3 we see the verses pertaining to purgatory….one is saved as if by fire. Then we have the image of the refiner's fire purifying gold. So the point is that Christ literally hangs on to us by our Baptism…fantastic. This fits with the Old Testament relationship of God and the Jews….that they were indeed always and continually unfaithful to the covenant which God found exasperating and punishments and exile followed in order to get them to be faithful…but God said that He himself would ensure their fidelity. It is God to ensures the ultimate salvation through the covenent…and so we have Christ the perfect sacrifice who definitively seals the covenant with the Father for our sake.

      What this means is that we can have a very great hope that Baptism, the sure sign of being perfectly covenanted with the Father through Christ, can never fail us…regardless of all that we do we retain the sign of Christ in us. Does this mean we can sin and repudiate (yes in our free will we can) and it doesn't matter….not at all…but it does mean that God's mercy in seeing His Son in our souls will be moved to pity should we want in freedom in the end and in truth want to be with God. We are a mystery! Christ has given us a path which can't be taken from us, through our own foolishness or through the fault of others.

      Teresina…I get the sense that what we are reclaiming is the bodily sense of Baptism and its permanent effects. Can I say that this sense is hard to reclaim for people today…as the sense of intellectual decision as the source of reality is so much more prominent in the way we think. But Catholicism is an embodied faith in that the sacraments are realities beyond any thought we may have. Reality is something we enter into by the body….not a mental concept inside ourselves. That is the modern dilemma. No one escapes the culture…not you or me…we always have to keep realigning ourselves back to actual embodied reality.


    87. Teresina February 14, 2014 at 10:57 am

      Benedicta, this probably explains the situation better than I can:

      "Full Question

      Once people are baptized Catholic, are they Catholic forever? What if they marry outside of the Church or join another religion? If they aren't Catholic anymore, how can they become Catholic again?


      Once someone is validly baptized, Catholic or otherwise, he is baptized forever (CIC 845). One can never lose baptism or become "unbaptized," although one might lose the benefits of baptism by personal sin. But as to whether someone baptized Catholic is thereafter always Catholic, that's a slightly different question.

      In most cases, the answer will be that someone baptized Catholic remains Catholic (see CIC 111, 205). But, by implication of canon 205–which requires, to be considered in full communion with the Church, a basic profession of the faith, some level of sacramental participation, and some degree of submission to ecclesiastical governance–one can imagine circumstances under which someone who was baptized Catholic might reject any or all of these elements to the point at which he could not be considered fully Catholic anymore, nothwithstanding the fact that he remained baptized."

    88. Teresina February 14, 2014 at 11:16 am

      And excommunication is more than an external measure – it completely severes the soul from the Church so it does not remain Catholic:

      " in the first centuries excommunication is not regarded as a simple external measure; it reaches the soul and the conscience. It is not merely the severing of the outward bond which holds the individual to his place in the Church; it severs also the internal bond, and the sentence pronounced on earth is ratified in heaven. It is the spiritual sword, the heaviest penalty that the Church can inflict (see the patristic texts quoted in the Decree of Gratian, cc. xxxi, xxxii, xxxiii, C. xi, q. iii). Hence in the Bull "Exsurge Domine" (16 May, 1520) Leo X justly condemned Luther's twenty-third proposition according to which "excommunications are merely external punishments, nor do they deprive a man of the common spiritual prayers of the Church". Pius VI also condemned (Auctorem Fidei, 28 Aug., 1794) the forty-sixth proposition of the Pseudo-Synod of Pistoia, which maintained that the effect of excommunication is only exterior because of its own nature it excludes only from exterior communionwith the Church, as if, said the pope, excommunication were not a spiritual penalty binding in heaven and affecting souls. The aforesaid proposition was therefore condemned as false, pernicious, already reprobated in the twenty-third proposition of Luther, and, to say the least, erroneous. Undoubtedly theChurch cannot (nor does it wish to) oppose any obstacle to the internal relations of the soul with God; she even implores God to give the grace of repentanceto the excommunicated. The rites of the Church, nevertheless, are always the providential and regular channel through which Divine grace is conveyed toChristians; exclusion from such rites, especially from the sacraments, entails therefore regularly the privation of this grace, to whose sources theexcommunicated person has no longer access."

    89. Benedicta February 14, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Dear Teresina….as usual we love to keep rolling the issue over.

      As to you first posting…'this probably explains the situation better than I can -' Yes we agree what it states is what I am saying and you are saying. The line at the end makes all the difference 'not withstanding the fact that he remained baptised'. Because once someone is validly baptised he is baptised forever.



      As to you second post – 'it completely severes the soul from the Church so it does not remain Catholic'. I don't draw that conclusion from what you have quoted. Excommunication excludes the excommunicated Catholic from the rites of the Church which being the  ordinary means of conveying  Grace must I agree affect the soul because they no longer receive that Grace. But as it also says 'the Church cannot (nor does it wish to) oppose any obstacle to the internal relations of the soul with God…..'  In fact the Church according to what you have quoted 'implores God to give the Grace of repentence'.

      Baptism is not reversed or expunged by excommunication….it is prior to the excommunication which effects the one excommunicated from the time of the pronouncement…it doesn't nullify their baptism. Their baptism was Catholic and so what has been changed in the soul remains forever ……the covenants of God are not revoked. (That is an important premise). What we do in effect is cover it up with all sorts of things inconsistent with that Baptism but it remains nevertheless….and so it can never be repeated

      Baptism is also the only way that the Church knows by which means we may be saved. That is a true statement…and so even excommunication can't be applied or interpreted in such a way that it means the soul is expunged of its Baptismal Grace because the Church would in fact be attempting to condemn that soul and it has never at any time pronounced any soul into damnation. and nor should it. Judgement lies with God in the final instance.



    90. Teresina February 14, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Yes, we do like to roll it around.  I think the problem is, Benedicta, you are confusing the indelible mark of Baptism and saying there is an indelible mark of Catholicism.  While the Church does indeed pray that a soul will not be lost through excommunication, if they die in that state, yes, they are lost.  If there was such a thing as the indelible mark of Catholicism then the dogma of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus – Outside the Church there is no salvation, could not exist.  As this is explained here and says some people do confuse the indelible mark of baptism with once a Catholic always Catholic:

      "Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus – Outside the Church there is no salvation is an essential and basic doctrine of the Church.  It refers principally to those who leave the Church.  And secondly to those who are not Catholics but who won't use their chance to check out if the Church is the one true Church.  Outside the Church there is no salvation is implied by the creed, "I believe in one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church."  Once a Catholic always Catholic is against Catholic teaching.  Once baptised validly, always baptised is often confused with it.  It is not the same.

      The Church says that valid baptism brings with it the responsibilities of practicing the entire Catholic Faith.  The Council of Trent defined that:

          If anyone says that through Baptism, baptized persons become obliged merely to faith alone, and not to keeping the whole law of Christ: let him be anathema.

          If anyone says that baptized persons are freed from all the precepts of holy Church, whether written or unwritten, so that they are not bound to observe them unless of their own accord they wish to submit themselves to these precepts: let him be anathema.

      This says that once you are baptised, you are under duty to obey the Catholic Church, even if you are baptised in a Protestant Church.  It does not say that you are always Catholic.  The Church says that baptism is Catholic though it is stolen by Protestants.

      Vatican II, Lumen Gentium 14, states that those who disobey and deny Church teaching are only in the Church bodily but not in their hearts. 

      They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. He is not saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a "bodily" manner and not "in his heart."  All the Church's children should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ. If they fail moreover to respond to that grace in thought, word and deed, not only shall they not be saved but they will be the more severely judged."

      There is also the indelible mark of confirmation that cannot be removed, but a person, knowing the dogmas of the Church, but denying them then moves themselves away from the barque of Peter and cannot enter heaven unless they repent.  There is no indelible mark of Catholicism that I have heard of and the only point people used to make was "once a Catholic always a Catholic" but that was not a teaching of the Church, per se.

    91. withhope February 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      Wera', I have to ask, do you believe that Christianity is part of history? Remember, before you answer the Gospels and New Testament writings are factual historical records and the revisionist are proved wrong point by point as the years roll by and the evidence mounts. If you don't want to believe in gas chambers or Crosses on Calvary you might get along well with a certain Mr Finkelstein. Whatever, if so, then all I can be sure about when definining your catholicsm, is it appears on the surface to be very much in the 'spirit of VII', which is a dodgy entity if ever there was one.

    92. Werahiko February 14, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      Withhope, if the gospels and New Testament are factual historical records, why do we need tradition and the magisterium to interpret them for us? Not sure a Catholic would regard an assembly of all bishops of the world as a 'dodgy entity".

    93. withhope February 14, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Because it is that tradition and magisterium that vouchsafed the Scirpture and brought a plethora of apostolic writings into a final canon in the fourth century, which Luther then truncated with an axe in the 16th century (what proptestants call the bible – he even fiddled with the translation of what he kept).


      Lets say someone saw a meteor land in a field. They were eye witnesses (tradition), then they get to gether with others who are drawn into this happening and they confer with the help of a surpernatural friend called the (magisterium) on what this event means for themselves and others, and writings are kept as a record for ages to come (Scripture). This work being inspired by the Holy Spirit.


      p.s. the dodgy entity is this weird vii caveat called the 'spirit of vii' (what did they have special ritual to called it up from hell?), which the majority of Council Fathers, including Council Father Archbishop Lefebvre, would see as something rather unholy. the spirit of VII is a spirit that has demonised the Church before its dodgy advent.


    94. withhope February 14, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      plus, St Peter tells us in his first encylcical that a person trying to interpret scripture for themselves is bound to lead to trouble. It is for the Church to interpret scripture, therefore have scripture, need Church which gave scripture in first place, and all under the careful managment of the Holy Ghost.

    95. Benedicta February 14, 2014 at 7:37 pm


      You would have to give me your source (the one in the bold print) I don't agree with it.

      I agree with the Trent statements….I'm not saying anything against that.

      Also you state further down 'that Baptism is Catholic…the Protestants stole it'… well its certainly Catholic and that is the point of our discussion….can Baptism be separated from Catholic….NO. But Baptised Catholics can repudiate the practice and teachings of Catholicism but they can't expunge the Baptism….they can lose the effects of it but not the Baptism itself….but only God can judge that.

      Lumen Gentium is perfect. As I mentioned earlier they are still Baptised and Catholic in body but not in 'heart'. (You are arguing wholly for the heart as the authentic sign of Catholicism….YES you are right. I am arguing for the sacramental state of Baptism as the enduring sign of being in the True Church…Yes I am right…..BUT BOTH need to be held together. Can one have an authentic Catholic Faith without bodily Baptism…YES…the Church allows for that desire. Can one be an authentic Catholic without bearing witness and believing the Faith….NO they need charity and that means charity to the Church and to God…so are they still Catholic YES in body but not in heart but the Church lives in hope that they will come home effectively so at NO point in their human life till death (then its up to God) does the Church say any individual is definitively lost but only warns of the risk being an absolute one….but that takes us beyond our capacity to judge as one is not privy to the inner workings of the soul and God at any point and especially at death.

      The point is that when one is Baptised into the Catholic Church there is no other Church. The true Church of Christ subsists within the Catholic Church but the One True Church is not simply equivalent to the visible structure of the Church existing in the world…its in it but can be reduced to the visible Church…as if the definitive earthly visible boundaries of the Catholic Church confine the mystical Church; the Mystical Body of Christ and the Holy Spirit.  So the statement, there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church is quite true. There is no other fount of Grace in the world by which the salvific Graces enter this world except through the Mystical Body of Christ…which subsists within the Catholic Church but it not confined to its visible structures. Those Graces flow whereever God wills….and so anyone who is saved who may be a non-Catholic is still saved through the True Church within the One Holy Catholic Church but to us they may appear to be beyond its definitive borders.

      There is NO confusion here….one is the Baptismal sacrament given which is Catholic because there is NO other fount of Grace apart from that which subsists within the Catholic Church. So it is a Baptism into the True Church….all Baptisms are into the True Church if they are valid though the recipients have an imperfect understanding of it and so call it a Christian Baptism or an Anglican Baptism (no offence to Anglicans). But it must be Catholic because there is no other True Church….but all that is good and holy within other Churches are in continuum with what is good and holy in the Catholic Church Their Mother Church and so truth abides between them but imperfectly. For this reason we don't rebaptise those validly baptised in another Church. So the prior and truel Church exists only in the Catholic Church. When one is baptised they are baptised INTO the Church. That can't change it is eternal.

      Now the profession and witness to the faith is required and can't be separated from the Baptism….it is a consequence of Baptismal and also Confirmation and so it flows from any other sacramental Grace one receives.

      As Lumen Gentium says it is from Christ and not from their own merits….so in His Mercy Christ holds us in our Baptismal grace should we repudiate it or not in our own freedom but He loves us and has changed us forever; it is he that seals the covenant with us and only he can send us away. That Grace can never be repeated but needs to be reconciled throughout a lifetime for most of us. That is why we have Confession.

      I agree a Baptised Catholic who lives out the Buddhist religion is NOT a practising Catholic. But he remains a baptised Catholic in reality. What he lives out in Buddhism is a false religion, it actually doesn't exist…its merits are human works. Christ has allowed that those who wander far from home (why is a mystery and perhaps some have justification? Only God knows) remain still His sons and daughters by Baptism in the hope that they will turn again to him. The covenant he made with them in Baptism he maintains and is true to. Their bodily selves are baptised persons and nothing can change that. They go to God in their disordered spiritual lives as Baptised persons. They are not in the same state as pagans. They might be better or worse but they are not the same.

      Lumen Gentium does indeed say that 'those who don't persevere in CHARITY…won't be saved'….that is true but also contains a mystery in that we can't judge individuals…the Church holds to the principle as true but doesn't judge individuals in particular as not saved….why would she want to do this? Fairly she warns us in general….

      Are we getting any closer…remember we were together on that prior post….where are we still apart.

      Salvation outside the Church is another issue…lets not go to that in particular…remember what we are trying to say (or I am) is that Once Baptised Always Baptised……Baptism is into Christ and so into the Catholic Church because there is no other fount of Grace….Christ's Church subsists only within the Catholic Church but is not defined by its visible structures. Also that Baptism needs to be made manifest in a faithful Christian life in the Church; that is its purpose. Its status remains; should that person not live out the Catholic faith they return by the Grace of reconciliation which restores them. It refreshes their Baptismal Grace.


    96. Benedicta February 14, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Boogle eyed ….but still having fun.

      I wonder what the other two are on about…I'm too tired to look.

    97. Werahiko February 14, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Withhope your belief in the historical accuracy of scripture does not stand scrutiny. The Church has not stated that scripture is historically accurate. It holds that it is divinely inspired. If you think it is historically accurate, look up John and Mark on Jesus' death. Day before, or day after the passover supper? They can't both be right, and scripture is not, therefore, always historically accurate. It is scripture, not history.

    98. Teresina February 14, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Benedicta, we are in agreement with the indelible mark of Baptism which cannot be removed – it is just that my understanding lies in what Ed Peters says, "

      "Once someone is validly baptized, Catholic or otherwise, he is baptized forever (CIC 845). One can never lose baptism or become "unbaptized," although one might lose the benefits of baptism by personal sin. But as to whether someone baptized Catholic is thereafter always Catholic, that's a slightly different question.

      In most cases, the answer will be that someone baptized Catholic remains Catholic (see CIC 111, 205). But, by implication of canon 205one can imagine circumstances under which someone who was baptized Catholic might reject any or all of these elements to the point at which he could not be considered fully Catholic anymore, notwithstanding the fact that he remained baptized".

      So, that is where the condition of those who were baptised Catholic but rejected Catholic Church teaching at the time of the reformation and therefore became Anglican, while remaining still baptised.  I think we have taken it as far as we can because both points are true.

    99. Benedicta February 15, 2014 at 9:56 am


      Yes, this discussion isn't a major issue…rather clarifying and a little 'hair splitting'. But I think it is great to get 'deep in' and try and see how things look.

      I can easily go with Ed Peters statement.


    100. withhope February 15, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      werahiko, Scripture contains many genres of writing. the Gospels are eye witness accounts of events. St Peter warns that Scripture isn't for private interpretation, btw. Pope Benedict's Jesus Trilogy puts paid the idea of scripture as a-historical which is not a Catholic approach. the seeming 'contradictions' in Gospel accounts actually convey a great deal of information by means of contrast. I have to say, it's getting tiresome being confronted with 'catholics' who belong a religion which has no catholic understanding of itself. 

    101. withhope February 15, 2014 at 11:03 pm

      the hermeneutic of rupture is NZ catholicism. no past, therefore no future, the greatest battle in the Church today is simply trying to be Catholic in the Catholic Church – it is drowning protetantism, inculturation and Judas-syndrome bishops. the near universal lack of anything remotely like a Catholic conscience in the Church is the main character of the new church of the apostasy. and who cares in the Church? 


      May the grace of God keep us all on the narrow way to salvation.

      Sancta Dei Genitrix, intercede pro nobis.

      Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!

    102. Teresina February 15, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      You're right Withhope, the battle is trying to find the Catholics among the 'Catholics'.  The problem is we are living in a "new" Church since Vatican II – as Cardinal Suenens said:

      "The Second Vatican Council marked the end of an epoch….to look back even further, it marked the end of a series of epochs….We could say that in a certain way it closed the age of Constantine. … On the other hand, in the context of its more immediate past, that is the first half of our (20th ) century, it appears not so much as a terminal pint as a synthesis. Vatican II was the heir and beneficiary of those great movement sof renewal which were, and are, stirring in the heart of the modern Church; we mean the biblical, liturgical, patristic, theological, and pastoral renewals"

      Nothing epitomises this new Church better than the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago

      – http://www.osbchicago.org/AdventWeekOne.htm

    103. Teresina February 15, 2014 at 11:26 pm
    104. Teresina February 15, 2014 at 11:38 pm

      Withhope – here are some of the prayer and spirituality programmes they offer – anything that attracts you here?  Just a tip – if the first session takes your fance it is suggested you: Participants are urged to begin recording their dreams as soon as they sign up for this workshop and to bring their dream journals to the workshop

      Dreams and Spirituality Workshop Series

      Human beings have always experienced dreams as a privileged means of communicating with God/the Sacred.  Even our insignificant-seeming dreams can help us to access sources of wisdom both deep within us and beyond us as individuals and to integrate that wisdom into our everyday lives.

      Focusing Refresher Workshop

      A reflective warm-up exercise

      A review of the Focusing process

      Tips on how to companion someone in a Focusing session

      When to include "clearing a space"

    105. Teresina February 15, 2014 at 11:41 pm

      On the other hand there are Benedictines …


    106. Teresina February 15, 2014 at 11:44 pm
    107. Werahiko February 16, 2014 at 12:05 am

      Withhope, sorry to be tiresome. Bit could you explain lease what information by contrast, as you put it, is conveyed by the exale of scriptural contradiction I gave? 

    108. withhope February 16, 2014 at 12:14 pm

      W. perhaps disappointing would have been a better choice of word, disappointing that it appears most Catholics have no supernatural faith which is necessary for salvation. Indeed, it might be that most Catholics these days have never even heard of supernatural faith. Which is why, because by and large Priests don't or won't catechise, and most catechists would probably know less than those who show up here, one has to MUST learn the Faith oneself. Dare to read the lives of the Saints, visit sites like papastronsay – they have a free download library with some solid unabashed Catholic works. Read Father Hardon. hell, read Malachi Martin if you want to know how the wheels of the vatican and the enemies within run = his books are called 'faction' for a good reason. Otherwise stick with traditional publishers – Angelus Press – for instance, there you will be getting the Faith as it has been handed down, and not some new age guru's revisionism.  


      In terms of the contrasts one finds between 'timings' in the synoptic Gospels, they actually do not contradict but focus on different aspects of what is happening in that time that requires an understanding of Jewish custom and law. As for other seeming contradictions (whereas it only seems to the be the last few generations determined to feel contradicted) for example, the two different genealogies of Christ don't contradict but highlight different lines of theological importance. Read Benedict – his exegesis is thorough and holistic. Definitely not relativist. He approaches the gospels as they require approach, with faith that they are truly conveying the facts of the life of Christ in the flesh. 


      p.s. everyone on this site can read so read and learn, there are tons of internet sites that can supply what one's local parish cannot be bothered with.


      sign up for Churchmilitant, do a course from Maryvale, read the articles on this site:



      read this enyclical to understand where the Church was a short century ago and where it is now:



      another good site:  http://www.sensustraditionis.org/texts_online.html


      p.s. my beliefs do stand scrutiny – I scrutinize them daily and adjust according to the Faith with is reasonal and factual.

      Sancta Dei Genitrix, intercede pro nobis.

      Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!

    109. withhope February 16, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      p.s. thanks for the links, T. the difference is like day and night. Fr Z. had this hilarious satire a while back:  http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/01/you-just-cant-make-up-this-stuff/    but it could be real, that's the scary thing.


      p.s.s further to my comment above W. Pray, pray, pray. And make sure at least a portion of that pray time each day happens on your knees.


      also – excellent online catechetical resource for not so beginners as well as beginners.



    110. Teresina February 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Withhope, what is interesting is that there is a similar situation between orthodox and non-orthodox Jews – their beliefs and practices are quite different.  Last year a Pew survey indicated that the orthodox jews are growing and the non-orthodox jews declining:

      " Survey finds 27% of Jews younger than 18 live in Orthodox households in the United States, while only 11% are aged 18-29.

      Illustrative. Photo: REUTERS

      NEW YORK — The rate at which America’s Orthodox Jewishpopulation is growing — and the non-Orthodox population is shrinking — is more dramatic than previously thought, according to Pew Research Center survey data.

      In a finding first reported Tuesday in the Forward, Steven M. Cohen, a Jewish sociologist, parsed the data from the center’s recent survey of American Jews to show that 27 percent of Jews younger than 18 live in Orthodox households, a sizable increase from Jews aged 18-29, where only 11 percent are Orthodox.

      Previously published Pew data did not indicate the proportion of Jewish children in Orthodox homes, the Forward reported, and instead suggested that growth among the Orthodox was tempered by high dropout rates.

      For every 100 Orthodox Jewish 50-year-olds, there are 230 Orthodox 10-year-olds, Cohen told JTA. Meanwhile, for every 100 non-Orthodox 50-year-olds, there are 70 non-Orthodox 10-year-olds.

      “The Orthodox are moving in one direction and the non-Orthodox in the other direction,” he said, adding that the shift is “equally a function of birth rate and intermarriage.”

      Orthodox Jews have far more children on average and intermarry at much lower rates than non-Orthodox Jews.

      “We knew from [New York’s Jewish community study in 2012] that the Orthodox were increasing, and I’d been predicting a population decline for the non-Orthodox, but we just had never seen direct evidence of it,” Cohen said. “This is powerful.”