A Pope for protestant agnostics

Tony Walker, of the AFR, has an op-ed praising Pope Francis, yet in doing so manages to highlight everything that is wrong about the man.

The Pope has been obliged to deny he is a closet Marxist, saying simply “Marxist ideology is wrong”, but this has not prevented him repeating his criticism of “trickle down economics”.

“The promise was that when the glass was full, it would overflow, benefiting the poor. But what happens instead, is that when the glass is full, it magically gets bigger [and] nothing ever comes out for the poor,” he said.

This comment is simply astonishing. As if the “poor” don’t live, longer, happier and more prosperous lives than the “poor” did 100 years ago. More importantly, as if the Church doesn’t hand around a collection box (or plate) every Sunday morning appealing for donations. As if charity did not exist, let alone the employment opportunities that are generated by high income individuals and entrepreneurs.

Then there is another, inter-related, issue:

“Who am I to judge,” he said in reply to a reporter’s question about gay marriage.

These five words have come to be applied to a range of vexed moral issues that arise persistently, and have come to define a gulf between the traditional Catholic church and the real world.

Francis wants to practice religion without morality. I’m not quite sure how that actually works; indeed I suspect for the faithful, it doesn’t work. Probably part of an explanation as to why those Christian denominations that have tried this approach have declining congregations.

This issue is this; promoting charity and morality is hard work. Francis doesn’t have to promote charity, he can turn to the redistributive state and become a poverty pimp like so many others have before him. promoting Catholic moral teachings is hard work too, but that is the Pope’s actual day job.

I cannot share Walker’s view of Francis.

As Christmas approaches, the bulk of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, not to mention Protestant agnostics like me, will be willing Francis continued success and good health. As we said: at last a Pope we can believe in, if not necessarily believe.

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214 Responses to A Pope for protestant agnostics

  1. Rabz

    Appointing that brain damaged z-grade marxist clown to the papacy was a blunder of brobdingnagian proportions.

    Compared to someone like Wojtyla, he simply looks like an idiot.

    I am so sick of ‘progressives’ infiltrating and destroying everything in their sights.

    Absolutely bloody disgraceful.

  2. C.L.

    I’m glad that Mr Walker fully supports Pope Francis’ condemnation of homosexual “marriage,” abortion and the idea of women “priests.” This places him well to the right of most journalists.

    It’s also an interesting revelation that contemporary protestants are yearning for a pope.

    I guess that means Catholicism won.

  3. Tel

    Francis wants to practice religion without morality.

    Wrong, he wants to practice religion with selective morality, and he gets to make the selection. One of the perks of being Pope is you can actually make that selection.

  4. JohnB

    It is quite silly to define a self-admitted agnostic as representative of modern Protestantism. Are Pelosi, Biden and Piers Morgan representative of modern Catholicism? Maybe you can make a case that they are, given that they have not been excommunicated.

  5. Walter Plinge

    The progressive leftwards march of the maintstream Protestant religions (e.g., the Uniting Church) explains why their congregation numbers are in free fall. The RC church will suffer the same fate if it pursues this soft leftism.On the other hand I believe the conservative evangelical religions (e.g., Hillsong) are attracting followers.

    If you like the fellowship and good cheer of the evangelicals but don’t much care for God the coming thing these days is evangelical atheism — Hillsong without religion. Huge congregations, lots of happy-clappy singing, greeting your neighbour stuff, community fellowship, and so on.

  6. Tel

    Appointing that brain damaged z-grade marxist clown to the papacy was a blunder of brobdingnagian proportions.

    Actually the new pope is quite close to the historic Catholic position on wealth redistribution. Call it right or wrong, but they have been in the game a long time.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/louiswoodhill/2013/12/04/papal-bull-why-pope-francis-should-be-grateful-for-capitalism/2/

    For the better part of 1000 years, the Catholic Church was the government of the western world. And, during this period, the world remained firmly mired in absolute poverty.

    Absolute poverty is considered to be an income of $2/day. This is just barely enough to buy the food necessary to sustain life. In 1 A.D., real GDP per capita ($2012) was about $2.50/day. By 1000 A.D., when the Catholic Church was approaching the zenith of its temporal power (which it reached circa 1200 A.D., under Pope Innocent III), real GDP per capita had declined to about $1.85/day.

    In 1500 A.D., right after Pope Alexander VI granted Spain exclusive colonial rights over most of the New World, real GDP per capita was $3.32/day. The world economy did not really get moving until the Reformation, which started when Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses in 1517.

    It was the broad minded Protestants who got the world economy moving, particularly the Scottish Enlightenment, Calvinists, Presbyterians and hard working German Lutherans who decided that bettering yourself did not necessarily mean praying more times a day and finding ways to climb the church political ladder. Bettering yourself can mean expanding your mind, taking on new idea, and you know, actually making stuff.

  7. For Protestant agnostics, the pope is just another bloke. Over-the-top Roman Catholics can deal with that.

  8. C.L.

    For the better part of 1000 years, the Catholic Church was the government of the western world. And, during this period, the world remained firmly mired in absolute poverty.

    LOL.

    World poverty was the Church’s fault, hey? If only Attila the Hun and Henry VIII had been given their head. Schumpeter has attributed the rise of efficacious market capitalism to the Catholic monasteries, universities (invented by the Church) and Catholic Schoolmen.

    It was the broad minded Protestants who got the world economy moving, particularly the Scottish Enlightenment, Calvinists, Presbyterians and hard working German Lutherans who decided that bettering yourself did not necessarily mean praying more times a day and finding ways to climb the church political ladder.

    They simply coincided with modernity and various advances that hadn’t been made before their time. A classic manifestation of the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc.

  9. Rabz

    Actually the new pope is quite close to the historic Catholic position on wealth redistribution.

    Don’t you presume to lecture me on Catholicism, you pompous twat.

  10. C.L.

    Incidentally, the most systemic attacks on nascent and established market capitalism came from Soviet bloc communism – whose demise was orchestrated by a pope, not Scottish Calvinists. Same deal in Australia where protestants did zip to destroy communist infiltration of the union movement and associated institutions. A Catholic archbishop oversaw that victory. The entire continent of Europe was saved hundreds of years earlier by Pope Pius whose Holy League routed the Muslim invaders at Lepanto. There wasn’t a single protestant vessel that joined the fight. Without Pius, Amsterdam’s famous cafes would today be serving sweets (qua Palestine), not weed.

  11. wreckage

    The Reformation’s biggest benefit was that the Papacy ceased to be the premier political appointment of Europe and started to attract Catholics again. It seems to me that the Reformation was either a spin-off of, or catalyst for, an internal Catholic counter-revolution that brought the Church back to its roots as the world’s biggest and longest running amalgam of philosophical, scholarly, religious, and charitable works.

    It’s pretty interesting that this journalist now approves Catholic teaching, which the current Pope does not resile. A point well-made by CL.

    (Though here’s CL again with his belief that his real enemy are people who are considered by Catholic orthodoxy to be genuine, if misled, Christians. If I may suggest that an agnostic is a poor representative of Protestantism?)

    The Uniting Church is not representative of any ongoing Christian tradition; its founders in traditional Methodism have all left; it has been replaced by mergers with Baptist and Presbyterian congregations, or by Hillsong, who for all their pop-Christian trappings remain orthodox on Christian morality. All that is left of the Uniting Church is a vast property portfolio that it should, by rights, return to the people it wrongfully acquired it from.

    In defense of the Catholic Church, it was coincidental that it rose to prominence as the Roman economy, military hegemon, trade network and agricultural base all collapsed. The loss of population would take centuries to recover from, the trade network would not be rebuilt for over a thousand years, the decline of the Roman warm period, and later the Little Ice Age, following the fall of the (unsustainable?) Roman slavery system devastated agricultural outputs for centuries. It was the Church of Rome that preserved or rediscovered Latin, Roman and Greek philosophical, legal and mathematical writings, and the dream of pan-European politics and economics.

  12. wreckage

    Same deal in Australia where protestants did zip to destroy communist infiltration of the union movement and associated institutions. A Catholic archbishop oversaw that victory.

    Rightly so, the unions were predominantly Catholic. The Scots were an absolutely central part of the Industrial Revolution, and the English and Dutch of the globalisation of trade, the English of the end of slavery worldwide.

    The Protestants did not join the fight in Europe because they were in no position to. The largest mainland powers were Catholic, the Protestant nations largely smaller, geologically fractured, and at more risk of invasion from France than the Muslims.

  13. pete m

    Why does a Protestant agnostic need a Pope to believe in?

  14. wreckage

    What the hell is a Protestant Agnostic, and why would he have any comment on the papacy? Why would the Pope care?

  15. Why does a Protestant agnostic need a Pope to believe in?

    What the hell is a Protestant Agnostic, and why would he have any comment on the papacy? Why would the Pope care?

    Precisely. For Protestants, it is a case of “who/what is pope? oh sorry, ‘the’ pope?”

    Answer, some old confirmed bachelor in Italy who wears a long dress.

  16. Tel

    They simply coincided with modernity and various advances that hadn’t been made before their time. A classic manifestation of the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    I agree that correlation does not imply causation, but you only have one history so correlation is all you get to work with. As others have pointed out, the correlation spans both time and space.

    We see it in other areas too, where you have long-term established power they tend to entrench their position, sink into dogma and discourage new ideas. Disruption is both the cause and the effect of new ideas coming to the surface, which in turn leads to technological development, economic development, infrastructure, etc.

    Schumpeter has attributed the rise of efficacious market capitalism to the Catholic monasteries, universities (invented by the Church) and Catholic Schoolmen.

    He also emphasized the importance of creative destruction, which required at the time some sort of protest movement.

  17. Tel

    Don’t you presume to lecture me on Catholicism, you pompous twat.

    I cited a reference, how about you stop talking shit and present a coherent argument? Too difficult?

  18. C.L.

    The Protestants did not join the fight in Europe because they were in no position to. The largest mainland powers were Catholic, the Protestant nations largely smaller, geologically fractured, and at more risk of invasion from France than the Muslims.

    They chickened out is what you’re saying.

    Rightly so, the unions were predominantly Catholic.

    I don’t have the figures to hand. But the Australian business and rural classes were predominantly protestant. Far from evincing that old – supposed – gift for capitalism and innovation, however, they were always panhandling dole-bludgers. It was, ironically, only the advent of Catholics in senior commercial and political roles that led to this class of lazy goat-riders being encouraged to extricate themselves from the state tit.

  19. C.L.

    … why would he have any comment on the papacy?

    That’s simple. Paul McGeough has written something (critical) this weekend too.

    You see, they hate the fact that a pope is getting good press. It makes them angry.

    People are supposed to dislike the pope – any pope.

    Walker’s trick is to express his hatred of Catholicism by saying that Francis is really the only admirable Catholic leader in history. In fact, he explicitly writes precisely that.

  20. wreckage

    No, CL, they didn’t want to get invaded by France. Which would have happened. And France had a long history of enthusiastically wiping out the Protestant middle class, often after signing large and detailed treaties claiming it wouldn’t. Geopolitics, old son, trump pretty much everything, pretty much every time.

    only the advent of Catholics in senior commercial and political roles that led to this class of lazy goat-riders being encouraged to extricate themselves from the state tit.

    Snort. Yeah. The Catholic ALP was the Classical Liberal party of its day. Sure it was. You’re looking for correlations to fit your preconceptions. They aren’t there. The Catholic church did plenty right without having to make up fairy tales.

  21. Rabz

    Listen dickhead, the garbage you cited was comprehensively smashed.

    I don’t need to bother.

    I stated a fact about that brain damaged marxist maggot in the Vatican, which has nothing to do with the garbage you subsequently cited.

    Get over it.

  22. wreckage

    Walker’s trick is to express his hatred of Catholicism by saying that Francis is really the only admirable Catholic leader in history. In fact, he explicitly writes precisely that.

    If a hard-line Calvinist can see that’s false, surely an lightened modern agnostic can see it too. Don’t these people read any history?

  23. I like how Rabz can attack the pope for being an economic Marxist, and CL can defend the pope for being a social conservative, but they team up to defend the Church when required. Very Middle Earthian of them.

  24. Of course, if the Middle Earth analogy holds, then the pope is mad old Denethor. Which CL would enjoy. Or maybe Benedict was Denethor and Francis is Aragorn? More discussion of this is needed.

  25. Julian mclaren

    The Catholic Church should just stick to what they are good at…Property development.

  26. Rabz

    they team up to defend the Church when required.

    No, you are lying.

    Find one comment where I have ever defended the Church.

    You’ll be looking a while.

  27. stackja

    MSM do not understand Papal duties. Sinc I believe the Pope is right. Time will tell.

  28. Find one comment where I have ever defended the Church.

    You have defended the Church against the encroachment of a “marxist” in this very thread.

  29. Rabz

    Tel – I’m not in the mood for an argument about this.

    My original observation about the Argentinian’s utter unfitness for the role was entirely correct.

    His appointment is a disaster and will only serve to alienate many middle class Catholics across the globe.

    It certainly isn’t going to lead to lapsed Catholics such as myself ever reconsidering revisiting my former religion.

    Thanks Frank, you pompous poseur.

  30. Rabz

    You have defended the Church against the encroachment of a “marxist” in this very thread.

    Bullshit – I pointed out the bleeding obvious – that he’s a marxist and totally unsuited to the role.

  31. C.L.

    You’re looking for correlations to fit your preconceptions. They aren’t there.

    They certainly are.

    The Australian business community was utterly dominated by protestants.

    They did absolutely nothing innovative or capitalistic at all. They were socialists, in fact.

    And yes, this did begin to change when Catholics became more prominent in commercial and political affairs. They had no respect for the business community, you see.

    As regards the papacy, it’s amazing to relate that twice Europe was saved from totalitarian monsters – at Lepanto and by Wojtyla. Calvinists didn’t figure prominently on either occasion.

    I have also referenced Schumpeter’s thesis on Catholic monasteries, universities and Schoolmen pioneering market capitalism.

  32. james

    Either this pope is

    - an outright heretical radical

    - misunderstands the traditional Catholic teachings on charity v welfare

    - is deliberately misleading the western leftist media

    - is being deliberately misunderstood by the western leftist media.

    I’m not entirely sure what is more likely, possibly a mixture of the above.

  33. james

    Someone should really make a big budget film about Lepanto.

    The personalities on both sides were larger than life. Would make an absolute gem of a movie.

  34. C.L.

    We should make no mistake.

    Asserting that capitalism and free markets don’t serve the interests of the poor is both dangerous and disgraceful. I am convinced that nothing has been lost in translation; that Francis really has asserted this more than once.

  35. C.L.

    The movie would never be made, James, because the heroes are Catholics – led by a pope.

    Far more likely that Lepanto the movie would be a revisionist exercise wherein the Muslims were depicted as deep, kind, misunderstood and Pope Pius a warmongering monster.

  36. David

    “this class of lazy goat-riders “

    Do you mean the Freemasons? They are supposed to be taking over the world are they not?

    CL you do have a penchant for old fashioned sectarianism.

    Are the Jews next on your list of “panhandling dole bludgers”? Catholicism has a great record where they are concerned – convert or burn [literally] or when in a magnanimous frame of mind “Get out of the country – but leave all your earthly wealth and goods behind”.

    Western civilization advanced despite “the Church”, catholic or protestant, not because of it. It was the result of free thinking men and women not tied to ancient dogma.

  37. james

    CL Lepanto is one of those rare cases where there were heroic warriors aplenty on both sides.

    There would be plenty of Muslim leaders to pander to, from the admiral that started off as a slave boy to the turncoat former Christian leader of the Barbary Corsairs.

    The Hollywood PC crowd would be able to play up the avarice of the venetians and the rather brutal treatment of the galley slaves on the Spanish and papal ships as compared to the rather surprising attitude of the ex slave admiral who removed the shackles from his own roared before the battle and promised both Christian and Muslim slaves freedom upon victory.

    More than enough material for the Catholic haters without ruining the whole film.

    The final confrontation between the two flagships fighting a boarding action with Spanish riflemen firing into Muslim swordsmen at point blank range while the two commanders watch on, one under a blessed papal banner of white and gold the other under a green silk flag embroidered in golden thread verses from the Koran and the names of Allah.

    The moment before the battle where both sides stopped to pray, the Muslims crowding the decks of their ships, bowed before the call to prayer, the Christians kneeling to receive the host while clerics chant and walk the ships waving censers as the wind began to change in favour of the papal alliance.

    Seriously even Hollywood would find it hard to Fuck up that material.

  38. dover_beach

    Western civilization advanced despite “the Church”, catholic or protestant, not because of it. It was the result of free thinking men and women not tied to ancient dogma.

    It’s absolutely amazing that anyone can seriously believe such an assertion.

  39. candy

    As we said: at last a Pope we can believe in, if not necessarily believe.

    Makes no sense.

  40. C.L.

    Do you mean the Freemasons? They are supposed to be taking over the world are they not?

    I wouldn’t think so, if their crumbling ‘temples’ in Australia are anything to go by.

  41. C.L.

    Western civilization advanced despite “the Church”, catholic or protestant, not because of it.

    An astonishing statement.

    Catholicism has a great record where they are concerned – convert or burn [literally] or when in a magnanimous frame of mind “Get out of the country – but leave all your earthly wealth and goods behind”.

    I think you’ll find the protestants of Germany and the aristocrats of Anglican Britain have never needed any pointers on anti-semitism. Martin Luther was the ultimate intellectual father of the Holocaust. You mentioned burning, right?

  42. wreckage

    Martin Luther was the ultimate intellectual father of the Holocaust.

    Well at least we got a bit of a thread in before CL started on his favourite line of utter tosh.

  43. nilk, Iron Bogan

    I love this thread lol.

    Not very comfortable with the Pope, though. Actions speak louder than words, and the treatment of the Franciscans (of all things!) who were heading in a Traditional direction says way more than any waffle about economics or crap about ‘who am I to judge’, in a piece that was instantly taken out of context and used as a club against catholic doctrine.

  44. C.L.

    Tosh?

    Luther didn’t write On the Jews and Their Lies?

    Section XI:

    1. Jewish synagogues and schools to be burned to the ground, and the remnants buried out of sight;
    2. houses owned by Jews to be likewise razed, and the owners made to live in agricultural outbuildings;
    3. their religious writings to be taken away;
    4. rabbis to be forbidden to preach, and to be executed if they do;
    5. safe conduct on the roads to be abolished for Jews;
    6. usury to be prohibited, and for all silver and gold to be removed and “put aside for safekeeping”; and
    7. the Jewish population to be put to work as agricultural slave laborers.

    Sound familiar?

  45. wreckage

    Catholicism has a great record where they are concerned

    European anti-semitism has deep roots. The Romans, the Greeks, the Crusades, and just the presence of an identifiable minority all contributed. Catholic orthodoxy has been tolerance, for centuries. It’s on record.

    I’m a Calvinist by descent, and there’s plenty of antipathy between my ancestors and the Catholics. But it’s a simple fact that the Catholic Church was relatively tolerant of the Jews, compared to the aristocracy. It’s also a fact that the Holocaust happened after the waning of Christian (any flavour) influence on politics in mainland Europe from the late 1800s.

  46. wreckage

    I didn’t say Luther was nice, but he’s not responsible for the Holocaust. That was a modern invention rooted in quasi-scientific racism.

  47. 2dogs

    Is it the Pope’s intention to merely whinge, or encourage more priests like José María Arizmendiarrieta?

  48. The Australian business community was utterly dominated by protestants.

    They did absolutely nothing innovative or capitalistic at all. They were socialists, in fact.

    And yes, this did begin to change when Catholics became more prominent in commercial and political affairs. They had no respect for the business community, you see.

    Scullin: Catholic
    Curtin: lapsed Catholic
    Chifley: Catholic
    Menzies: Presbyterian
    Fraser: Presbyterian
    Keating: Catholic
    Howard: Methodist/Anglican

    CL declares allegiance to Labor.

  49. C.L.

    I’m not sure what Monty’s point is.

    I do know it’s meant to be a gotcha.

  50. thefrollickingmole

    james

    Id pay to see that, maybe we could get Mel Gibson to direct it and make the haters heads explode…?

    The “Old” papacy was a tarted up slut of a thing. Brought and sold by princes and their families. It did a great deal of harm for centuries by strictly prohibiting the charging of interest on loans (usury) which retarded access to capital no end.

    And if you are of the “Jews run the world” bent you can blame the Catholics for actually making them so deeply embedded in the banking sector, as they were able to loan monies (on strict terms) to gentiles..

  51. james

    I’m more worried about his seeming leanings towards liberation theology.

    The rantings of semi Marxist “priests” who want to replace Christian charity with enforced authoritarian confiscation of wealth for redistribution has done immense harm to the poor in Latin-America.

    The mindset that what God really wants is for you to steal from anyone with more money than yourself and shoot them if they disagree seems a strange interpretation of scripture and Catholic tradition.

  52. wreckage

    The ALP was Catholic because of its working class / trade union roots, which were Irish. The Liberals and their Classical Liberal predecessors were largely Scottish Calvinist and English Anglican, due to their dual roots in industry and the pre-existing heirarchy (meaning they were heavily representative of the educated middle class) , respectively.

    And the Scots were Calvinists due to their prior national alignment with France, and industrialists due to their endowment of coal (and tin IIRC) and global trade links via England; the educated middle class Huguenots were one of France’s finest exports and doubtless helped things along, but it was the prior common Catholicism of Scotland and France and mutual antipathy to England that created the initial link upon which that demographic and intellectual trade occurred.

  53. wreckage

    Liberation theology is against Catholic orthodoxy, so that would be a shameful thing for a Pope to espouse.

  54. james

    Thf I always felt a little suspicious about European Jews supposedly being “forced” into money lending by Christian prohibition.

    The islamic world had similar prohibitions and other market dominant minorities were clamoring for the positions as bankers from Delhi to Cordoba.

    Seems a bit “please don’t throw in the briar bush!” As in “please don’t give me a monopoly on a highly profitable and influential industry!”

  55. Not a gotcha at all, CL. Welcome to the loving Catholic embrace of the Australian Labor Party.

  56. C.L.

    The Australian business community was utterly dominated by protestants.

    They did absolutely nothing innovative or capitalistic at all. They were socialists, in fact.

    And yes, this did begin to change when Catholics became more prominent in commercial and political affairs. They had no respect for the business community, you see.

    I didn’t mention the Labor Party.

  57. james

    Monty seems to think it a revelation that Catholics have historically been associated with the ALP.

    I’m shocked. Next he will tell us that Muslims sometimes frequent mosques.

    I’m sure as a man of such learning he would also be aware that Catholics in general and practicing Catholics in particular have been voting for the LNP by a significant margin since 1996.

    Wonder why?

  58. JC

    Monster;

    Get off this thread. Your participation lowers the discussion by 45 IQ points. Go on shoo off.

    Moderator, can you remove the fatty as he’s ruining a decent thread.

  59. I didn’t mention the Labor Party.

    You attributed Australian innovation and prosperity to the rise in political prominence of Catholicism, which has been spearheaded by a succession of Labor Catholic PMs, starting in the 1930s. You can’t separate the two.

  60. Gab

    IS the topic about the Pope and or about the ALP?

  61. wreckage

    monty: and then all the Catholics left the ALP and ultimately started joining (and voting) LNP; over the same period the ALP has declined markedly in quality and intellectual rigor. The LNP is now the natural home of Catholics, and since that happened the ALP has been an irretrievable cesspit. You can’t separate the two.

  62. Do you have stats to back up that assertion, wreckage? Seems like something that polls would have recorded.

  63. wreckage

    OK, but let’s start from the top; you can start with a detailed demographic breakdown of the ALP membership, bench and voter demographic over the time period you raised, and I promise I will respond in kind for my later assertions. Eventually.

  64. candy

    ALP support same sex marriage and will vote in a block for it if the legislation comes up, to get it through, so there can’t be too many Catholics there.

  65. Article in Eureka Street has the answers for the 2010 election. They say that Christians overall voted my for the Coalition (but not by much), and that it was the Catholic vote that got Labor in:

    How did Labor get enough seats to form a minority Government in 2010? The answer is found in the separation of the Catholic vote from the total Christian vote. Catholics (25.8 per cent of the population) provided the votes that underpinned Labor’s electoral survival.

    The Catholic population varies from 44.5 per cent in McMahon to 12.7 per cent in Mayo. Of the 75 most Catholic electorates Labor holds 46, the Coalition 28, and Independent Bob Katter, one. Of the 50 most Catholic electorates, Labor holds 33. Labor holds eight of the 10 most Catholic electorates. At the other end of the scale Labor has only 17 of the 50 least Catholic electorates.

    So the more Catholic the electorate, the more likely it is to vote for Labor.

    There’s more of interest at the article.

  66. Sorry…Christians overall vote more for the Coalition, etc..

  67. I see that the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s statement put out mid 2013 was called “A Vote for the Common Good”, and included statements such as:

    While some issues carry particular weight, the common good should always be at the heart of our vote.

    Mention of “the Common Good” at this blog usually results in people (even Catholics here) making silly comments like “Ha! That’s what all the murderous dictators always say.”

    It seems to me that the more right wing tilt the Coalition takes, the more it will appear to Catholics of both the practicing and non practising variety that the Labor Party better represents the Common Good, and that is why Labor is not losing their vote.

  68. Good work sfb, that will get you an extra service at the Sussex St after hours parties.

    wreckage’s argument is in wreckage.

  69. wreckage

    The common good is served by liberty and trade. It has been so consistently for centuries. Anyone who claims to be serving the greater good while restricting both freedom and trade is clearly on a power grab of one sort or another.

  70. wreckage

    Meh, I overestimated the impact of the ALP schism of years back, I’d thought the Catholic exodus had been more thorough. Well, that proves that not even the Catholics could prevent the ALPs decay into the useless rabble it is today. Serves me right for getting into ALP history arguments, really.

  71. Rabz

    james
    #1120444, posted on December 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Awesome stuff. “Liberation Theology” – this is what I was getting at in the first place.

    I really, really object to marxist misanthropes attempting to co-opt (or align themselves) to religion.

    There are some utterly vile leftist dunderheads (BIRM) on this site who have the gall to masquerade as Catholics, not mentioning any names, semenblogger shitferbrains and Feldmarschall syphilis spudpeeler.

    Give it rest, you loathsome fucking wankers.

  72. Rabz

    Aaarrgghhh – Parenthesis fail!

    :x

  73. Jim Rose

    there is nothing new in the latest paper pronoucements, as Murray Rothbard said in 1957:

    Papal pronouncements on social questions are generally highly vague and take on a consciously eclectic hue – understandable in the light of the Church’s aim to speak for every member of the flock of varying political and social tendencies. The effect, however, has been to move into a “middle-of-the-road” position.

    It is no accident that, generally in Europe the specifically “Catholic” parties are the eclectic, compromising parties of the “Center.”

  74. A Lurker

    Saint Malachy, who was an early Medieval archbishop, prophesied about the last ever Pope (and people have attributed this prophecy to Pope Francis…)

    Verse 112: “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will sit Peter the Roman, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations, and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The End.”

    Perhaps Pope Francis (by his Progressiveness and Marxist beliefs) is pressing the trigger on the philosophical ‘bomb’ that will destroy the Roman Catholic Church?

    (Note: I am not a Catholic)

  75. james

    Sfb quoting eureka street will not garner much favour amongst mainstream Catholics, even amongst those bishops that argue for the primacy of the “common good”.

    You are at least honest enough to acknowledge that Christians do vote rather heavily against the ALP, and all my reading suggests that Catholics are the same.

    Although it would be dishonest not to admit that a practicing catholic is far more likely to vote labor than a practicing Christian of any other denomination outside of the non event that is the uniting church.

    There are numerous reasons for this, history being one and the primacy of catholic social teaching towards those less well off than ones self perhaps being another.

  76. Yes, it’s a simple fact: the Catholic Church has long had a nuanced view of economic development, and been against the extremes of both sides of economic theory, and been prepared to “call out” the bad effects of either side.

    The current Pope’s comments re “trickle down” certainly have to be taken in that context, and need to be understood in terms of concern that current growing inequality (at least within certain countries) is problematic.

  77. candy

    If ALP is proud of their Catholics why do they ferociously push same sex marriage?

  78. james

    Yes Sfb the Catholic church has often sat on the fence economically and has sometimes been shot by all sides for its trouble.

    But the reason why ALP support amongst Catholics has gone from almost total before the split to minority today would probably have more to do with social issues.

    My father is a proud Catholic social democrat economically speaking, but could never bring himself to vote for the party that seems to worship abortion like a sacrament and think a relationship between two men is the same as a marriage before God.

  79. Rabz

    The current Pope’s comments re “trickle down” certainly have to be taken in that context, and need to be understood in terms of concern that current growing inequality (at least within certain countries) is problematic.

    Drivel.

    You’d have to be a ‘liberation theologist’ (or a ‘conservative’ Catholic) to think otherwise.

    Care to name some ‘countries’, genius?

  80. candy: I think the Labor position is to support gay marriage, but to allow MPs a conscience vote on it.

    This does not exactly fit with “ferociously pushing” it, if you ask me.

    Also, I hate to break this too you, but if the Australia body of Mass attending Catholics is anything like the American, it is quite possible that a majority (or very close to it) support gay marriage already.

    American Catholics support same-sex marriage 60 – 31 percent, compared to the 56 – 36 percent support among all U.S. adults.

    More devout Catholics, who attend religious services about once a week, support same- sex marriage 53 – 40 percent, while less observant Catholics support it 65 – 26 percent.

    Catholic women support same-sex marriage 72 – 22 percent, while Catholic men support it 49 – 40 percent. Support ranges from 46 – 37 percent among Catholics over 65 years old to 64 – 27 percent among Catholics 18 to 49 years old.

    This poll’s figures seem a little higher to me on the “in favour” side than other polls, but there is no doubt in my mind that a young, Mass attending Catholic in either country is much more likely to be for gay marriage than against it.

  81. Chris M

    Totally agree Sinc.

    I know the old ratslinger guy wasn’t charismatic but I much preferred him. He even urged Catholics to read the Bible (a novel and somewhat radical suggestion for them).

  82. wreckage

    “Trickle down” doesn’t exist. Economic freedom benefits all strata at once. It also eliminates the divisions between strata, which is why the “ECONOMIC GAP” hysterics don’t bother to track lifetime earnings; very few people stay in any one income bracket for very long, and most progress upwards over time.

    Of course, if you measure not people but statistical brackets, the lowest bracket will always be the lowest bracket. It’s an artifact of poor analytical method.

  83. Chris M

    I should add you don’t find this Marxist garbage in the Bible.

  84. Rabz

    Wow – he’s still at it.

    No ‘Catholic’ ‘supports’ homosexual marriage, you inveterate imbecile.

  85. Jazza

    Well I’m still absolutely torn about what church to attend if any, so I’m not at present–they all give me the irrits with their attempts to redefine us in some leftist bent. How has this happened?
    Maybe(to answer my own question with a guess)since their congregations are much smaller they forsake the traditional roles and think they should become all things to all men and especially whatever is fashionable?
    I don’t see the church’s role as taking any side but the side they are interpreting from their bible of choice and by gum if I pokes me head in the door and they start preaching any laic or enviro or politico mush at me, I jest up and walks I tells ya!

  86. Ellen of Tasmania

    North American culture was predominately influenced by protestants, and they appear to have had a pretty healthy attitude to free markets. It seems the American war for independence was also known in England as the Presbyterian Rebellion.

    I think the argument can be made that the Christian faith has had a wonderfully beneficial impact on our western culture, but I think you’re pushing the boundaries to declare it all in the favour of the Roman Catholics, CL. There was once such a thing as the ‘protestant work ethic’ – it must have meant something. I’m more than happy to acknowledge the wonderful contributions of Christians of all stripes over the years.

  87. wreckage

    I’ll say it again, there’s been no greater force for relief of poverty and the advancement of mankind than economic freedom. It’s not an adjunct, it’s not a safeguard, it’s the absolute core, beginning and end of progress and improvement of the lot of humanity. History is unequivocal on this point.

  88. Infidel tiger

    The division isn’t between Catholic and Protestant but wine drinker vs beer drinker. It’s no coincidence that as the Anglosphere’s beer consumption has dropped and wine consumption risen we have seen a corresponding match in those places becoming toilets filled with lazy entitlement hoovering leeches.

  89. wreckage

    Jesus: go, sell all your possessions and give to the poor.

    Socialism: Yes, Lord! I shall immediately go, take all this OTHER guy’s possessions, and give them to the poor! With a wee percentage for myself as administrative fees, and so on. After all, were I not in power, who would make that other guy give all his possessions to the poor? That other guy sure is awful.

  90. wreckage

    IT: Indeed. But you’re ignoring the historical case for cider as the working man’s drink. Beer was for dazzling urbanites. Wine was for the aristocracy. Cider you crushed with your own bare calloused hands! (Sadly, cider has been infiltrated by the Left in Australia. Another grand institution of dear old England undermined by Marxism!)

  91. Rabz

    The divide between rich and poor is widening in developed nations

    That’s why we turfed Labor, you numbskull.

    Inequality in this country always increases under Labor governments.

  92. manalive

    One reason Protestantism is credited for the economic progress in countries where it became dominant is that it insisted on literacy in the vernacular (as opposed to Latin) so that the faithful could read the Bible.

    It’s reported that the Pope is preparing an encyclical on the environment.
    Could be along familiar lines covered by previous popes or maybe Marxism à la mode.

  93. wreckage

    So, IT, you’d argue that the apparent tendency of Catholics to vote somewhat Left is actually due to accidental wine poisoning at Communion?

    Could this be overcome by a prophylactic beer before Mass? Or perhaps the leftist wine compounds could be chellated out via fast and thorough beer therapy afterwards?

  94. james

    Sfb it may be a “no true scotsman” argument, but if you believe that homosexual and heterosexual relationships are the same thing then you are not a Catholic, regardless of your church attendence or otherwise.

  95. Rabz

    It’s reported that the Pope is preparing an encyclical on the environment.

    Great.

    What a bunch of fact and evidence free, anti scientific, hysterical bullship that promises to be.

  96. james

    Wreckage, this is a field in dire need of further research. Prepare a grant immediately!

  97. I like this Pope, because he’s the Pope. If he was just Archbishop of Buenos Aires or Timbuktu or wherever, he could spout economic fallacies till he was blue in the face and I wouldn’t care less.

    I am not one of those former Catholics (whether they realise they’re former Catholics or not) who goes into a frothie about corrupt electoral practices, listening devices in pectoral crosses, and other Dan Brown antics. Sheesh, people, it’s God’s Church, and He can put whoever he likes in charge of it, for as long as He likes. Either you believe that, or you don’t. If you don’t believe it, then I am sure you will be very happy with the Catholic Protestants who winnow every word from Rome and search it for signs of unorthodoxy, and who decide for themselves just how much of what the Pope says is ‘acceptable’ to them.

    But I also like this Pope because I read his original sources as much as I can, in the best translations I can find, rather than going on liberal hair-trigger headlines. What the Pope actually says is usually quite different from what’s reported, and it’s almost always reported out of context. So far, he hasn’t put a foot wrong in faith and morals.

    But hey, he’s not infallible in economics. Just in faith and morals. It’s kind of his job. Take the rest with a grain of salt.

    (CL, you have done heroically on this thread. I’m only sorry I’ve got the flu and haven’t been around to back you up. But you’re right. I blow my nose to the tune of the ‘Trumpet Voluntary’ in your honour.)

  98. wreckage

    I was thinking maybe I need an emergency syringe full of VB to inject directly into my heart if I ever inadvertently start sipping wine and holding forth on the evils of uneven wealth distribution.

    Wealth inequality: yes, the human condition has been improved by trade to an extent unimaginable even 50 years ago, but I can’t imagine any further benefit to it, so let’s end it now.

    Besides, even though nobody in the trade-connected and economically liberal world is hungry, and even though life expectancy, literacy, access to healthcare, quality of housing and measurable quality of life are all better than at any time in human history, it is undeniable that that guy over there has more stuff than me and I’m sick with jealousy.

  99. wreckage

    But hey, he’s not infallible in economics. Just in faith and morals.

    And only when he’s Being Infallible, and only when clarifying or restating accepted Christian (Catholic) doctrine. So even if he did say “Marx is the coolest dude ever” it would be the opinion of a learned and thoughtful senior clergyman, not orthodoxy.

  100. JC

    Income inequality discussed here.

    Why is that even a topic of interest, Stepford?

  101. I don’t see the church’s role as taking any side but the side they are interpreting from their bible of choice and by gum if I pokes me head in the door and they start preaching any laic or enviro or politico mush at me, I jest up and walks I tells ya!

    Jazza, I know exactly how you feel. It’s such bullshit, and it’s not what church is for. Church is for loving and worshipping God in the way He’s asked for it to be done.

    There are two ways God has asked to be loved and worshipped: formal liturgical worship, and the way you live your life. But the two have to be lined up, and that’s where most of us fall down.

  102. wreckage

    Phillipa, I hope you don’t mind me adding that. I’m trying to understand Catholicism correctly. The spate of Catholic bashing that got momentum a decade or so ago set off my bullshit detector, so I’ve been trying to educate my poor Calvinist self.

    If I misrepresent Catholicism, I welcome correction.

  103. And only when he’s Being Infallible, and only when clarifying or restating accepted Christian (Catholic) doctrine. So even if he did say “Marx is the coolest dude ever” it would be the opinion of a learned and thoughtful senior clergyman, not orthodoxy.

    Damn straight.

  104. JC

    One reason Protestantism is credited for the economic progress in countries where it became dominant is that it insisted on literacy in the vernacular (as opposed to Latin) so that the faithful could read the Bible.

    One of the most important things the Catholic church did to assist in economic development, which meant using the human mind rather than pure brawn was to work to stop incestuous marriages… ie cousin marriages. It’s one of the most important and least understood facets of Western development.

  105. No correction required! Thank you for making the effort, wreckage; too many people don’t, and launch into the paper tiger of pretend Catholicism, which is actually just a mess of their own prejudices projected onto a black and white image of St Peter’s.

  106. Kris

    “I cannot share Walker’s view of Francis “.
    Wow, I’m sure we are as worried as hell about that.

  107. wreckage

    Protestantism also fluked on the Dutch and English, who established massive trade networks and were wildly economically liberal for their time (they had to be, starting with no Empire and surrounded by hostiles). You can’t really separate that out, causally. Guns Germs and Steel isn’t the pure truth, any more than cultural destiny is, but for want of a better word, geopolitics have to be accounted for.

  108. Rabz

    Sheesh, people, it’s God’s Church, and He can put whoever he likes in charge of it, for as long as He likes.

    Very touching, Miss Martyr.

    There’s no sign of the hand of God in the appointment of that z-grade, brain damaged marxist Argy maggot.

    Just the hand of men.

    Yours,

    A very lapsed Catholic

  109. JC

    Wreckage

    I’m not so sure. Prior to their commie revolution France had the highest living standard in Europe. We tend to focus on stuff that is central to the roots of our culture which for Australia is essentially Anglo Saxon. However when push comes to shove the most important thing is where a nation or a region stood in relative terms in general living standards for all and the Frogs were at the top of the tree before they fucked things up.

  110. .

    james
    #1120450, posted on December 22, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Thf I always felt a little suspicious about European Jews supposedly being “forced” into money lending by Christian prohibition.

    The islamic world had similar prohibitions and other market dominant minorities were clamoring for the positions as bankers from Delhi to Cordoba.

    Seems a bit “please don’t throw in the briar bush!” As in “please don’t give me a monopoly on a highly profitable and influential industry!”

    They were taxed very heavily for the “privelege”.

    As for monty – my entire extended family have virtually all changed from ALP to LNP. Fortunately no Greenies. Some open minded uncles like this LDP I tell them about.

    I had distant relatives that were ALP State cabinet Ministers

  111. Very touching, Miss Martyr.

    That’s Dr Martyr to you, matey.

    There’s no sign of the hand of God in the appointment of that z-grade, brain damaged marxist Argy maggot.

    Just the hand of men.

    Yours,

    A very lapsed Catholic

    And then some! My word, young Rabz, but your liver must be giving you gip today. Special prayers for you at this lovely season of Christmas.

    I would respectfully suggest that, had the evil Conclave done their very best Dan Brown to elect a complete and utter fink, they’d have appointed any one of a whole range of Cardinals I can name. There are some real doozies.

    Instead, they went for the man they almost elected the last time round, except that Papa Ratzi turned out to be the Lord’s choice instead. I can’t make excuses for God, because it’s often a bad idea to try, but I think if you read what the man actually said, instead of the third-, fourth- and fifth-hand interpretations through the cracked prism of the liberal, Catholic-hating meeja, you might not be quite so offended.

  112. JC

    How much was Protestantism responsible for scientific, technological and economic advancement rather than moving away from cousin marriage. If you look at the facts those European regions which were most advanced were those that moved away from people marrying their cousins. That was the Catholic Church’s doing first and foremost. The protos had nothing to do with it.

  113. Gab

    But hey, he’s not infallible in economics. Just in faith and morals. It’s kind of his job. Take the rest with a grain of salt.

    Something sfb and his ilk have problems with in understanding this basic concept.

  114. wreckage

    Yeah, my impression is they came a bit later to the trade network thing. But they certainly had one, and maintained it for a long time; they still have an international footprint that us Anglos don’t give them credit for.

  115. wreckage

    JC, is that connected to the jump in average height when the industrial revolution made bicycles available to all?

    Industry! It fixes everything, including inbreeding.

  116. wreckage

    Trade, JC, trade was the key to it all. Exchange of ideas, wealth, and genetics!

  117. james

    I remain undecided on my new pope.

    If the release on the environment is as sickening as I fear it will be then I will be VERY decided.

    I get a distinct feeling from Francis that he has quite liked the positive press that has been the result of his wishy washy pronouncements so far and thinks he is onto a winner.

    As the church of England has shown there is nothing more cringe inducingly pathetic than a religious leader trying to stay “hip” and up to date with the zeitgeist.

    It screams transient weakness rather than timeless stability, and while the latter has its flaws for a religious organisation it tends to work far better.

  118. Something sfb and his ilk have problems with in understanding this basic concept.

    Mais bien sur, ma pet.

    It’s much more convenient to have a Pope who you can pretend has been made in your own image. Rather like people who remake God in their own image and then wonder why He lets them down all the time.

    This Pope will be, like all the others, a stumbling block to many, so that their secret thoughts may be laid bare. Just like the Man he’s representing.

  119. If the release on the environment is as sickening as I fear it will be then I will be VERY decided.

    Pope Benedict said marvellous things about the environment – totally consistent with traditional Catholic teaching about stewardship, and also with a nice correlation with the spiritual desert in which so many people in the West were now living.

    I like this Pope; he believes in sin, the Devil, judgement, heaven and hell, and he’s not shy of talking about them. He also believes in penance, plenty of reconciliation/confession for everyone, and prayer by the bucketload.

    All good Poping.

  120. There seems to be a persistent misapprehension that the CCCC (the Conservative Catholic Collective of Catallaxy) is an accurate representation of where the Church in the broader sense is at.

    As I have demonstrated over the years, while they can certainly cite abortion as an issue on which they will never have to disagree with the Pope, but they rather persistently make comments (and display a resounding lack of charity) on matters such as respect for other faiths (especially Islam), environmentalism, immigration, social justice and economics which are at odds with statements of recent Popes and Bishops conferences.

    Their response to the laity increasingly failing to intellectually accept the Church’s teaching on matters relating to sexuality and reproduction is to insist that such laity are already outside of the Church.

    Most more sensible people consider that the Church is practically guaranteed within a relatively short time (in the historical sense) of revisiting the theological underpinnings of its current teachings on matters of sexuality and reproduction, and adjust its teachings in that regard pretty soon.

  121. wreckage

    Atheists can’t believe in your magical old bearded man sitting on his cloud dispensing wishes like some sort of benevolent fairy!

    High fives to everyone who gets the joke.

  122. JC

    Industry! It fixes everything, including inbreeding.

    LOL.

    ————-

    Some of the most important underpinnings of the thinking behind the free market economy came from a bunch of Spanish monks, which eventually made its way in the thoughts and writings of Adam Smith.

    Attempting to put an end to cousin marriage, the Spanish free market scholars and all the other shit that happened….. anyone who suggests the Catholic Church didn’t underpin modern western civilization are kidding themselves.

  123. Gab

    What you have “demonstrated over the years” is that you little or no understanding of many issues but when it comes to pontification, you’re an ace.

  124. wreckage

    revisiting the theological underpinnings of its current teachings on matters of sexuality and reproduction

    Which ones? And the ones it has or the ones people imagine it has? The Catholic teaching on abstinence and continence in the human sexual life has been consistent for most of the last 2000 years. Why would they change it?

  125. JC wrote re income inequality:

    Why is that even a topic of interest, Stepford?

    The Pope mentioned it in his economics talk, you dill.

  126. james

    Phillipa I fear Frank is about to make a passionate call for “international cooperation” in order to “heal the wounds of the earth” via supranational bodies.

    Or at least be so vague that the western press can paint it to seem like that is what he is saying.

    That would be certainly pushing the boundaries of the traditional definition of stewardship.

  127. JC

    Pope Benedict said marvellous things about the environment – totally consistent with traditional Catholic teaching about stewardship,

    why does he even think he needs to offer people comments and guidance on the ‘vironment. the vironment looks after itself and so do we. People are rational. they don’t go around chopping down masses of trees or dig a hole just for hate freaking fun of it.

    We need to eat and shelter. The cheaper that’s done the better.

  128. Rabz

    That’s Dr Martyr to you, matey.

    A Doctor you are not, Squirette.

    Don’t waste your prayers on me, FFS.

    Beyond redemption.

  129. JC

    The Pope mentioned it in his economics talk, you dill.

    ……which means the Pope ought to stop reading the google translation of the Guardian from English to Italian/Spanish and focus on spiritual stuff. Da income inequality is junk science/economics. The only thing we should be concerned with is consumption. Absolute consumption.

    And if this Pope really thought about it instead of leftwing junk he reads, he ought to be fucking celebrating the past 20 to 30 years, as this has been a golden age for humanity. Billions of people in the developing world have jumped out of poverty and joined the middle class.

    He really needs to stop reading leftwing shit as it’s polluting his brain. This Pope is in way over his freaking head.

  130. Jim Rose

    these are all good reads:

    Robert B. Ekelund Jr. & Robert F. Hebert & Robert D. Tollison, 2008. “The Marketplace of Christianity,” MIT Press.
    Ekelund, Robert B. & Hebert, Robert F. & Tollison, Robert D. & Anderson, Gary M. & Davidson, Audrey B., 1997. “Sacred Trust: The Medieval Church as an Economic Firm,” Oxford University Press.
    Robert B. Ekelund Jr. and Robert D. Tollison, “Economic Origins of Roman Christianity”, University Of Chicago Press (2011)

  131. Rabz

    I think if you read what the man actually said, instead of the third-, fourth- and fifth-hand interpretations through the cracked prism of the liberal, Catholic-hating meeja

    Care to cite some sources, Doc?

  132. james

    Sfb many Catholics and non Catholics alike have trouble accepting that heterodoxy is almost inevitable in a billion strong organization.

    While as you rightly point out the church has had a multitude of economic positions depending on the thinker, the time and the circumstance the teaching on more essential facets of human behavior have never wavered.

    Many in the church will disagree over issues of economics, immigration and environmental sustainability, but if you believe abortion to be a good thing or that homosexual and heterosexual couples are interchangeable then you are firmly outside the Catholic philosophical and theological spectrum surgery you realise it or not.

    You can make a Catholic argument for every economic position from libertarian small statism to social democratic welfarism all the way out to the fringes of demi marxism, but you cannot make a Catholic argument for same sex marriage.

  133. As for monty – my entire extended family have virtually all changed from ALP to LNP.

    Fascinating. A hillsong conversion, if you will.

  134. they rather persistently make comments (and display a resounding lack of charity)

    The Pope mentioned it in his economics talk, you dill.

    Ahhhh, charity. Beginning at home, as always.

    What you have “demonstrated over the years” is that you little or no understanding of many issues but when it comes to pontification, you’re an ace.

    Spot on, I’m afraid, and delivered without any incongruous sermon on charity either …

    Most more sensible people consider that the Church is practically guaranteed within a relatively short time (in the historical sense) of revisiting the theological underpinnings of its current teachings on matters of sexuality and reproduction, and adjust its teachings in that regard pretty soon.

    There’s only one response possible to this one, and that’s:

    LOL

    That second para reminds me of nothing so much as the Screwtape Letters:

    Since then, we have begun to see why our Oppressor was so secretive. His throne depends on the secret. Members of His faction have frequently admitted that if ever we came to understand what He means by Love, the war would be over and we should re-enter Heaven. And there lies the great task. We know that He cannot really love: nobody can: it doesn’t make sense. If we could only find out what He is really up to! Hypothesis after hypothesis has been tried, and still we can’t find out. Yet we must never lose hope; more and more complicated theories, fuller and fuller collections of data, richer rewards for researchers who make progress, more and more terrible punishments for those who fail—all this, pursued and accelerated to the very end of time, cannot, surely, fail to succeed.

  135. JC

    Fascinating. A hillsong conversion, if you will.

    Yes, so are the retarded one. We didn’t have to guess that, Fatboy. We know.

  136. candy

    That a young, Mass attending Catholic in either country is much more likely to be for gay marriage than against it.

    Maybe Steve but I don’t see much chance of the Pope changing his mind and supporting same sex marriage, otherwise he wouldn’t be a Catholic, so don’t hold your breath.

    Perhaps we’ll see priests marrying in the not too distant future. I’ve got no problem with that and the reason for them not marrying has lost its relevance (going out to the four corners of the world and doing their chosen work). It’s not prohibited according to the Bible I don’t think, but you could ask C.L.).

  137. Care to cite some sources, Doc?

    Yes. One place to start is Fr Z’s blog, because he lives mostly in Rome and makes an effort to get proper translations of the Pope’s and other speeches. Here is an example of what he does well. There are many others on his site, but if I start linking to them I will be put in moderation!

    Don’t end there, though. Go to L’Osservatore Romano’s own website and there you can compare the English translation with those in other languages. It helps if you have some French or German, of course …

  138. .

    m0nty
    #1120692, posted on December 22, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    As for monty – my entire extended family have virtually all changed from ALP to LNP.

    Fascinating. A hillsong conversion, if you will.

    No, only one family joined the ACC and everyone else rolls their eyes at their decision.

    monty is pimping the idea that Abbott is a fringe dweller and the likes of Gillard represent ‘da people’.

  139. Rabz

    Thanks, Philippa.

    Some holiday reading.

  140. manalive

    … but you cannot make a Catholic argument for same sex marriage.

    That would of course apply to the religious rite, the Sacrament of Marriage, rather than a state registered civil contract.

  141. Perhaps we’ll see priests marrying in the not too distant future. I’ve got no problem with that and the reason for them not marrying has lost its relevance (going out to the four corners of the world and doing their chosen work). It’s not prohibited according to the Bible I don’t think, but you could ask C.L.).

    Converts from other denominations who are already married and who want to become Catholic priests are considered on a case by case basis, and more often than not they are ordained as married men, and are given a dispensation from the vow of celibacy. They can’t be promoted to bishop while their wife is alive, and they can’t remarry after they are widowed.

    Everyone else has a good 6 years to think over the matter before they’re ordained as a celibate man … and plenty of chances to leave the seminary if it’s not working out …

    The problems usually lie in those in charge of formation of new priests – if they are slackers in the celibacy department, they will pass this on, and you end up with miserable priests who are more likely to offend further down the track, or simply to leave because they can’t manage any longer.

    If the staff, by contrast, aren’t slackers but take their vow of celibacy seriously, and put in place all the things they need to live a balanced life, their students will do better – those that make it through the training, because honest seminary staff help to foster a more open culture where problems with celibacy can be identified, honestly discussed, and then decisions made (preferably by the candidate, rather than the staff!)

    I think this has been conclusively shown in one seminary in particular, and that’s Corpus Christi in Melbourne. In its modernist heyday, practically every graduate/ordinand left the priesthood within a matter of ten years. A significant number of Corpus Christi trainees who were admitted with Ron Conway’s blessing also went on to offend sexually.

    When Pell was appointed to Melbourne, he made the staff an offer they couldn’t refuse, and they quit en masse (no pun intended). They have been replaced with better staff, and so far we have happier results.

  142. Kris

    Has anyone mentioned that our current cabinet is 47% Catholic?

  143. Converts from other denominations who are already married and who want to become Catholic priests are considered on a case by case basis, and more often than not they are ordained as married men, and are given a dispensation from the vow of celibacy.

    Let me clarify – these converts are ministers of religion already, in their own denomination, eg. Anglican vicars, Methodist ministers, etc. Needless to say, they are also all male …

    The Catholic Church doesn’t acknowledge the validity of any ‘ordination’ in another denomination, so they’re considered to be laymen when they convert.

  144. Philippa: all at this blog can be accused of lack of charity at times, but to quote me calling JC “a dill” in light of the way he routinely talks is just the silliest attempt at a hypocrisy “gotcha” ever. You’d be much better off citing the way I have spoken to Gab (and you) at times.

  145. You’d be much better off citing the way I have spoken to Gab (and you) at times.

    Out of the mouths of babes …

  146. A Doctor you are not, Squirette.

    Yes I am, pet. A real one, with a PhD and everything. I can even help you with your ingrown toenails if you like, but I can’t do much else.
    Don’t waste your prayers on me, FFS.

    Beyond redemption.

    No one is beyond redemption as long as they’re alive. So it’s not at all a waste of prayers, and nor are you. Happy Christmas, you cantankerous old git.

  147. Gab

    Hehehe our very own Dr Phil. *i now beat a hasty retreat*

  148. Anyway, this physician must heal herself and have another Vicks inhalation.

    Hoo roo, and kisses all round (flu germs, sorry).

  149. *i now beat a hasty retreat*

    You and me both. Flu is awful at Christmas. Thankfully it will respond well to large quantities of brandy cream, though.

  150. Infidel tiger

    I love it when Steve pretends to be an intellectual.

  151. james

    Manalive

    The state contract only exists as a thing because of the cultural and religious basis underpinning it.

    It’s why near every person who opposes gay marriage doesn’t give a shit if civil unions with the same legal weight are made a thing.

    It is also why gay activists would never accept civil unions. This has nothing to do with contracts and everything to do with destroying the old culture and remaking it in a new “progressive” way.

    The left believes that the cause of inequality is insufficiently inclusive cultural constructs such as marriage, ethnicity, nation-states, gender, religion and most of all the biological family.

    The only way for human beings to achieve their equal destiny is to destroy the “privilege” these constructs create by “deconstructing” them, usually by making them so “inclusive” that they lose all meaning.

    Once you understand this you begin to understand the left and what their end game is. They consider our society to be illegitimate by means of its inherent inequality, they want to destroy this society and remake it, they only differ from each other by means of preferred method.

  152. Well, Philippa, it’s a tricky one isn’t it?

    You considering me (and about 90% of everyone else at Mass this week) who have not accepted the Church’s teaching on contraception to have removed themselves from the Church already strikes me as a type of “lack of charity” of greater moment than my calling you a drama queen on the matter of the effect of hormonal contraception on women, to cite one recent example.

  153. Gab

    If you read backwards what SFB writes, will you find there’s a message from satan?

  154. Rabz

    Yes I am, pet. A real one, with a PhD and everything

    BOLLOCKS

    My old man (a devout Catholic, BTW) was a Doctor.

    YOU. ARE. NOT.

    Yours,

    The cantankerous ol’ git.

  155. The other perpetual mystery of this blog is why there are those like Rabz (and I think) Gab, who have no current involvement in the Church at all, yet are still unquestioning members of the CCCC.

    All just part of political tribalism, I guess.

  156. Gab

    lol

    SFB says: I’ve never seen a black swan therefore, I decree, there are no black swans in existence.

    Stop derailing the thread. sfb.

  157. Rabz

    SFB – you know I am no fan of the church (not the band, BTW) so why try and claim that I am?

    BTW, the lady you traduced is a practicing Catholic, unlike you.

  158. stackja

    Pope Francis concluded with a prayer that “the Lord might grant us all the grace to love silence, to seek it out, to have a heart guarded by the cloud of silence. Thus the mystery growing within us shall bear much fruit”.

  159. You don’t get much “cloud of silence” on this blog when it comes to the how upsetting many find it that some Catholics do things with their genitalia unauthorised by the Pope, and find no grounds, intellectually or emotionally, on which to feel guilty about it.

  160. JC

    I love it when Steve pretends to be an intellectual.

    It’s like one of those clunky WW1 bi planes going into a crash dive.

  161. JC

    You don’t get much “cloud of silence” on this blog when it comes to the how upsetting many find it that some Catholics do things with their genitalia unauthorised by the Pope, and find no grounds, intellectually or emotionally, on which to feel guilty about it.

    Okay, then come out and tell us Step. You know you’re amongst understanding friends here.

  162. Gab

    As usual with sfb it always comes down to genitalia.

  163. james

    Yawn.

    Steve I find it not at all upsetting that people do things with their genitals that the pope dislikes, I have found it quite enjoyable to break the rules of my church on contraception and pre marital sex with vigour.

    We are all fallen living in an imperfect world. The debate seems to no longer be about whether we should try to live up to an unattainable standard or even what that standard should be but rather whether we should have standards at all.

    I know where I stand on that particular debate. I am sorry to say I suspect I know where most westerners, Catholics or otherwise, stand as well.

  164. BOLLOCKS

    My old man (a devout Catholic, BTW) was a Doctor.

    YOU. ARE. NOT.

    Yours,

    The cantankerous ol’ git.

    Dear Cantankerous Ol’ Git -

    If it’s that important to you, then of course I bow to your superior judgement.

    Happy Christmas and much prayers from the depths of the Vicks inhaler -

    SHE. WHO. IS. NOT.

  165. I have found it quite enjoyable to break the rules of my church on contraception and pre marital sex with vigour.

    And this is what it does come down to, James – to sin, and to call it sin, and know that this is what it is. Ideally of course you’re supposed to be sorry for it afterwards, and make a good Confession which also involves a firm purpose of amendment for it to be effective, so no ‘fingers crossed for later’.

    It’s when you can’t admit that sin is sin, and you want it to be made ‘all right’ so that your poor moral choices are then somehow resolved into being morally acceptable, that you’re in real trouble.

    This is why Jesus had no issues with repentant prostitutes and tax collectors, who had a whole society reminding them of their sinfulness, and who were sorry for how they were living. This is also why Jesus had huge issues with people who had engaged in doublethink for so long that they’d thought themselves out of their own guilt, and thus found it very hard to repent of their own sins.

    Sexual sin carries a built-in sense of remorse, and it’s easy to repent of it. But pride carries just a warm glow of self-satisfaction, and so it’s much harder to reach the hearts of the proud than it is of people who know they are just plain sinners like everyone else.

    The first thing to go in such a heart is the sense of needing to seek forgiveness. This is what holds back so many people; they sin, they know it’s sin, and yet they can’t bring themselves to admit this and then seek the forgiveness they need for it. Human pride is immense, and it becomes our most diabolical attribute when it’s left unchecked.

    It is pride that turns someone from:

    ‘Gosh, I did it, and it was wrong, but I loved every minute of it, but I’m also sorry because it offended God’

    to

    ‘Well, of course, all civilised and sensible people will realise that what I did was not wrong at all, and so therefore it’s only a matter of time before the Church comes round to my point of view’.

    Just pride, that’s all. Nothing very glamorous about it.

  166. james: it is not simply a matter of saying that the pleasure of sex means Church “standards” will always be breached, it is more that, increasingly, the laity questions the whole intellectual framework of how sex and sexuality is understood by the Church , and Catholic Conservatives who answer this just by attacking the “good faith” of the questioners are both insulting, uncharitable, and ignoring reality.

    I mean, look at The Anchoress, for example, and her long series of posts on this, of which this is just the latest.

  167. By the way, my post was made before I saw Philippa’s.

    I disagree with her simplistic interpretation, of course. But I have to eat dinner.

  168. None

    Let God be true and every man a liar ~ Apostle Paul

  169. You considering me (and about 90% of everyone else at Mass this week) who have not accepted the Church’s teaching on contraception to have removed themselves from the Church already

    Lest I be accused of passing judgment, let’s just see what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says on the subject:

    Who belongs to the Catholic Church?

    836 “All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God…. and to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God’s grace to salvation.”

    837 “Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who – by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion – are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but ‘in body’ not ‘in heart.’”

    838 “The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter.” Those “who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.” With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound “that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord’s Eucharist.”

    There is no room in this definition for ‘yes, but …’ and ‘I accept the bits I want, and reject the others’ and ‘in due time, the Church will get rid of all the doctrines I don’t happen to agree with’.

    Given that you have said over and over again on this blog that you don’t accept various elements of Church teaching, then it’s pretty hard to reach any other conclusion.

    Instead, you insist that you are right, and the Church is wrong, and that eventually the Church will come to its senses and accept your position. You are not the first person in history to make this mistake, and I doubt you will be the last.

    But I suggest you take it up with Catechism, not with me. You don’t need me or anyone else to pass judgement on you; you do it all by yourself, every time you tell us why the Church is wrong and you are right.

    That good Anglican C S Lewis was right on this – all of us, every day, is either moving a little closer to Heaven, or a little closer to Hell, depending on the choices we make here and now.

  170. james: it is not simply a matter of saying that the pleasure of sex means Church “standards” will always be breached, it is more that, increasingly, the laity questions the whole intellectual framework of how sex and sexuality is understood by the Church , and Catholic Conservatives who answer this just by attacking the “good faith” of the questioners are both insulting, uncharitable, and ignoring reality.

    I disagree with her simplistic interpretation, of course. But I have to eat dinner.

    I rest my case.

  171. Philippa: your “it’s not me, its just the rules” approach is what defines you as a Conservative, longing for a pre Vatican 2, Catholic.

    Of the people who comment here, I am sure that you are the most likely to know that the matter is one on which there is considerable theological (and pastoral) opinion against you when it comes to the matter of the teaching on contraception.

    You should at least acknowledge that such positions are held in good faith by people of good faith.

  172. Perhaps I should change that to: “It’s not just me, it’s the rules. And they never change.

  173. james

    Very interesting debate this.

    Ultimately I find the thing that keeps me coming back to catholicism is a combination of the ideal of grace and the understanding that our humanity stops us from ever living up to the standards we set for ourselves, let alone those of our creator.

    Combined they instill an admirable sense of humility that many if not most of us in modern western society lack in our everyday lives.

    Also the idea of a continued tradition of learning and philosophy that stretches back in time gives remarkable insights into human nature and how we work best as a society on the most basic level, that of the family.

    Almost all the modern world seems to be in revolt against this tradition, screaming in the darkness that nothing is sacred, nothing immutable, that humanity can be perfected, that people don’t need rules and traditions and boundaries.

    The long history of the church means that unlike the protestants or secular conservatives the Roman church can point out that this has been tried before, and point to the ruins where those who thought themselves above both God and nature used to reside.

  174. Of the people who comment here, I am sure that you are the most likely to know that the matter is one on which there is considerable theological (and pastoral) opinion against you when it comes to the matter of the teaching on contraception.

    Again, it has nothing to do with me. I know that these ‘opinions’ are at odds with the Church’s teaching, and will remain so. You can have opinions out the wazoo; the Church will not change this teaching, because it can’t, any more than it can change its teaching on women becoming priests. The Church has no authority to change these things.

    It can change the discipline of married priesthood, or whether monsignori wear violet or green socks, or whether we all eat sardines on Fridays. But it can’t change its teaching on the transmission of human life and the intrinsic order of human sexuality.

    I acknowledge that dissenting positions are held by ill-informed people who have never been taught the full beauty and truth of Catholicism. I also acknowledge that dissenting positions are held by people who have been taught the full beauty and truth of Catholicism, but have chosen to reject it for any number of reasons.

    I don’t know into which category you fall. I won’t argue with your free choice; we all have free will. You can believe, if you like, that one day the Church will come round to your way of thinking. You can also use that to justify (to yourself and others) any and all variations in your personal life that you enjoy.

    But it’s my job as a fellow Catholic to remind you of the following things:

    1) You are gravely mistaken;
    2) If you continue in this error, you are risking your soul;
    3) You are misleading others, which makes it worse;
    4) You will die one day.

    I have to do this, whether it gets me laughed at, or teased, or thrown off the blog. It’s my job to do it, and I can’t turn my back on it, because I take it seriously.

    And now I’ve done it.

  175. Rabz

    Happy Christmas and much prayers from the depths of the Vicks inhaler -

    SHE. WHO. IS. NOT.

    Thanks and the same to you, Doc!

  176. The long history of the church means that unlike the protestants or secular conservatives the Roman church can point out that this has been tried before, and point to the ruins where those who thought themselves above both God and nature used to reside.

    Damn straight again. I think the saddest bit is how much dissenters feel they have to justify their dissent in collective terms, eg. ‘All the smart people think this way; things will change once the smart people are in charge’. How wrong they have all been, over and over.

    And it’s always sex, poor old sex, wot dunnit. Poor Luther had exactly that battle over his own genitalia – sex was an utter plague to him, but instead of saying, ‘Gosh, perhaps celibacy isn’t the right way for me; I need to leave the priesthood and get married’, he couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. He had to brood and brood on it, and let it fester in his hurt pride at his own sexual failures, until it exploded into ‘The Church is wrong, and I am right’.

    Henry VIII too. All tickety-boo till his willy got the better of him, and then suddenly, ‘Gosh, that pesky old Pope won’t give me an annulment – sod him and his stupid Church.’

    How much easier and humbler to say, ‘Bugger, it will have to be Mary being queen after me, but perhaps if I had kept my marriage vows, which I made in church, and hadn’t spent all that time and effort rogering everyone in sight, my wife might have had a healthy son somewhere along the line. But what the hey, we will marry her off to someone I like, and he can be King with her, and all will be well.’

  177. Rabz

    The Church.

    For beloved sisters, everywhere, across the globe.

  178. nilk, Iron Bogan

    Of the people who comment here, I am sure that you are the most likely to know that the matter is one on which there is considerable theological (and pastoral) opinion against you when it comes to the matter of the teaching on contraception.

    So when did the Church change her teachings on contraception, SfB? Oh that’s right, She hasn’t.

    And interestingly, the more I learn about human development, the more I agree with the Church. Like James, there were times when I committed great sins, but since confessing and repenting, I have no desire to repeat the experiences. I am not the party animal I was, and I honestly don’t miss those days.

    Sure, I had a lot of fun, wasted a lot of money on drink and taxis, and so on and so forth, but in the end, the gain was transitory and did not improve my life. Unless you count having a lot of stories to entertain others at dinner and plenty of cautionary tales to scare the children.

    The more I learn of the concept of “Sin”, and I accept my own failings there, I am more tolerant in some areas (I am not above anyone else as we are all sinner), and less tolerant in others (don’t call yourself Catholic if you can’t be bothered learning the whys and wherefores behind things like abortion and contraception).

    For James, when I was in Queensland during the last school holidays, we went to a Mass that was rather modern. I walked out just after the Consecration I was so upset. I had children with me, which upset me more, but better to remove them from piano accordions and the Gloria sung as a folk song with verse and chorus.

    Give me my Traditional Mass with ritual and meaning and solid foundations that reach back through the centuries. The post VC2 Masses can’t give me that. If I wanted to be a protestant I’d join City Life.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll stick with the Bride of Christ, and continue to learn the whys of Her teachings.

  179. Tel

    All the smart people think this way; things will change once the smart people are in charge.

    Except Martin Luther (and the Anabaptists) who wanted the scripture translated so the common people could read it and think about the meaning for themselves. They actually thought things would change once the smart people were NOT in charge.

    Poor Luther had exactly that battle over his own genitalia – sex was an utter plague to him, but instead of saying, ‘Gosh, perhaps celibacy isn’t the right way for me; I need to leave the priesthood and get married’, he couldn’t or wouldn’t do it.

    Well there you go, the reason he disapproved of the church selling indulgences, was because he penis told him to. How about that?

  180. nilk, Iron Bogan

    And it’s always sex, poor old sex, wot dunnit. Poor Luther had exactly that battle over his own genitalia – sex was an utter plague to him, but instead of saying, ‘Gosh, perhaps celibacy isn’t the right way for me; I need to leave the priesthood and get married’, he couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. He had to brood and brood on it, and let it fester in his hurt pride at his own sexual failures, until it exploded into ‘The Church is wrong, and I am right’.

    Henry VIII too. All tickety-boo till his willy got the better of him, and then suddenly, ‘Gosh, that pesky old Pope won’t give me an annulment – sod him and his stupid Church.’

    How much easier and humbler to say, ‘Bugger, it will have to be Mary being queen after me, but perhaps if I had kept my marriage vows, which I made in church, and hadn’t spent all that time and effort rogering everyone in sight, my wife might have had a healthy son somewhere along the line. But what the hey, we will marry her off to someone I like, and he can be King with her, and all will be well.’

    Funny how that goes, and look how it all turned out.

  181. nilk, Iron Bogan

    Tel, the Bible didn’t spring fully-formed in Latin. It was also never forbidden (as far as I’m aware) for it to be translated. The Armenians were ahead of the game there, for example.

    If the Bible were forbidden to the masses, how on earth would they be able to understand what they were worshipping? That just doesn’t make any sense. In any case, there were few books due to the exorbitant cost of production and not that many people could read as well as the Church clerics.

  182. …or thrown off the blog.

    As if.

    Philippa, I haven’t heard a priest, or bishop (not that I’ve been around many of them), from the pulpit or elsewhere talk about the dangers of artificial contraception within marriage to my immortal soul for perhaps 40 years. (Yes, I would say that 1970 was probably the cut off point.)

    In those circumstances, I’m not sure why you think I should be worried about your quasi condemnation.

    (For readers who are interested in an article that talks about just how extensive was the dissent within the Church – including bishops and theologians, not to mention priests who just didn’t want to touch the subject, as well as the Mass attending laity – you could do worse than read this. You might also read a recent article explaining some of the intellectual issues with the Papal analysis of the issue.)

    Oh dear, I’m referring potential Catholic readers to articles that might cause doubt that the teaching in Humanae Vitae was mistaken, and thereby weaken the Church and cause more souls to go to Hell?

    Well, look at it this way, Philippa: Heaven will just be a cosier little enclave for your little exclusive set. Or so you think. [That's your vanity for you; you think mine is that I (and literally millions of other Catholics) think we can recognise a harmful intellectual mistake when we see one.]

  183. .

    Henry VIII too. All tickety-boo till his willy got the better of him, and then suddenly, ‘Gosh, that pesky old Pope won’t give me an annulment – sod him and his stupid Church.’

    How much easier and humbler to say, ‘Bugger, it will have to be Mary being queen after me, but perhaps if I had kept my marriage vows, which I made in church, and hadn’t spent all that time and effort rogering everyone in sight, my wife might have had a healthy son somewhere along the line. But what the hey, we will marry her off to someone I like, and he can be King with her, and all will be well.’

    This is just unrealistic.

    England would have become a vassal state, or at least had to fight a major war to keep Mary as monarch without any encumberances.

  184. nilk, I’m afraid your story of why you walked out of Mass only confirm to me that the Latin Mass loving Catholics of your ilk are essentially an eccentric conservative and small branch of the Faith that is fighting a rear guard action against modernity.

    By the way it seems that every one of you at Latin Mass also fail to believe scientists when they warn against AGW (if the people who comment here are a reliable guide) and this just shows the lack of intellectual rigour on your side of the fence.

    (Whoops, there I go being uncharitable again – but what the hey, one of your team pretty much told me I was surely going to Hell.)

  185. .

    The catechism does expounnd some nonsense – or so I am told.#

    Apparently the preferred music is not quite an organ – but like a bagpipe operate keyboard.

    What is wrong with a harp? King David…?

    # I have a friend who teaches at a Catholic school with a very conservative, eastern bloc priest who is quite academic and a stickler for the rules.

    Some of his administration may be pastorally correct…but has an odd strategy in terms of protelysing. I find this odd given how the church expounds this role for itself. For example first communion & confirmation lessons are not done in school for Catholic kids 9somethign to do with not enough of them going to church) – but they do run the sessions for public school kids.

  186. .

    nilk, I’m afraid your story of why you walked out of Mass only confirm to me that the Latin Mass loving Catholics of your ilk are essentially an eccentric conservative and small branch of the Faith that is fighting a rear guard action against modernity.

    They changed mass since I was a kid. It is plain language but it sounds clunky.

    By the way it seems that every one of you at Latin Mass also fail to believe scientists when they warn against AGW

    Because Al Gore isn’t a scientist, but Richard Lindzen is.

  187. C.L.

    So ‘Catholic’ Steve is still waging his jihad against the infallible Humanae vitae?

    ———————————-

    Tel, the Bible didn’t spring fully-formed in Latin. It was also never forbidden (as far as I’m aware) for it to be translated.

    Oh God, not this old clanger again. For the 700th time, there were bibles in vernacular languages before the Protestant Reformation. And given that they cost the equivalent of about K50 a piece prior to the printing press, no you couldn’t go and buy one or borrow the one from the local parish.

    It’s amazing and embarrassing how much invented British codswallop still survives in the ashen ruins of Anglophone protestantism.

  188. JC

    (Whoops, there I go being uncharitable again – but what the hey, one of your team pretty much told me I was surely going to Hell.)

    The 9th circle, Stepford where all hope is lost. Enjoy the time there and kind of fitting for a gerbil warmer

    The final circle is literally Hell frozen over. Here one will encounter the frozen giants of old, who attempt to kill the player with their icy breath.

    That’s right, step, you’ll be frozen solid for eternity.

  189. C.L.

    By the way, historians now know exactly where and under what circusmtances Luther wrote the 95 theses: on the toilet.

  190. .

    Oh God, not this old clanger again. For the 700th time, there were bibles in vernacular languages before the Protestant Reformation. And given that they cost the equivalent of about K50 a piece prior to the printing press, no you couldn’t go and buy one or borrow the one from the local parish.

    I have never seen this challenged before.

    I would like to know more.

  191. tomix

    Tel, the Bible didn’t spring fully-formed in Latin. It was also never forbidden (as far as I’m aware) for it to be translated
    According to this, 7 English people were burnt at the stake in 1517 for teaching their children to recite The Lords Prayer in English rather than Latin.

  192. C.L.

    Dot, the claim that vernacular bibles were banned – by Pope Innocent – is historical bullshit.

  193. squawkbox

    By the way, historians now know exactly where and under what circusmtances Luther wrote the 95 theses: on the toilet.

    Isn’t it funny the way CL presents this as some great Catholic gotcha moment, when his link makes it clear that it was known about for centuries, because Martin Luther admitted it himself.

  194. Gab

    Looks like SFB has lost it again. Still sprouting gibberish, sfb. At least you’re consistent.

  195. james

    Translation of the bible was forbidden at some times and in some places but from what I can find out it doesn’t seem to have been a uniform thing.

    In most places before the printing press all the nobles would have been in Latin for the same reason all the books of law and philosophy would have been in the same tongue, it was the language practically everyone who could read could read in.

    Considering the amount of dialects that must have abounded in pre reformation Europe the value of a common language of learning has probably been understated if anything.

  196. johanna

    Pre Gutenberg, it hardly mattered. In practical terms, almost no-one who was not well-off could read the Bible.

    As at least 50% Calvinist (in the Dutch sense), I must say that that claims along the lines that Catholics were the people in charge of trade and colonialism are a bit rich. The Dutch were in South Africa and Indonesia for 400 years – much longer than Australia has been colonised by the Brits.

    There is a pretty good Dutch movie called “Max Havelaar” about the relationship between Calvinism and commerce in the colonies It was along the lines of “render unto Caesar …”, although it was fashionably anti-colonial.

    As someone mentioned above, the notion of the Protestant Work Ethic (Weber) is why the UK, the US and many parts of Europe thrived. Catholic Spain is broke (has been for years); ditto Portugal – and let’s not even go to Italy.

    Look, these are generalisations – but really, if people start claiming that hard-headed Protestants, whether in northern England or in Scotland or in Europe – somehow obstructed economic progress rather than leading it, they must be living in a parallel universe.

  197. C.L.

    Catholic Spain is broke …

    The brokest nation in human history is the protestant nirvana, the USA.

  198. johanna

    When you get a minute, please explain why the “Protestant Work Ethic” has been such a failure.

  199. squawkbox

    As far as I can tell (generalisation warning), the Catholic Church always encouraged translation of the Bible for missionary purposes, starting with Ulfilas translating it into Gothic, Cyril and Methodius translating it into Slavonic, right up to the Jesuits translating it into Japanese. However, once a kingdom had a ruling class and priesthood reasonably familiar with latin, the perceived need for vernacular translations decreased. Even then the disapproval of vernacular translations was not absolute. However, the issue has become confused by the fact that many of the most well known vernacular bibles in the middle ages were produced by heretics – cathars, waldenses, lollards and hussites. So the issue of whether vernacular bibles should be produced at all got mixed up with the fact that many particular translations were not compatible with Catholic orthodoxy.

  200. Cold-Hands

    Greg Sheridan is in full agreement with Dr Martyr: the thoughts of the Pope are best understood by seeing what he has actually written, not by what has been (mis)reported by the world’s press.

    Pope Francis, Time magazine’s Person of the Year, the most popular man in the world, is going to disappoint a lot of people, especially liberal Catholics, and others looking for the church to change in essence. Since he became Pope in March, Francis has morphed into a global phenomenon, remarkably similar to what happened to John Paul II.

    [...]

    Francis has become an unlikely hero to liberal Catholics and to the secular liberal media. This is mainly for two reasons.

    One is that he is trying hard to change the style and image of the church. He does not want the whole, or the primary, message of Catholicism to be its rules about particular sexual practices – priestly celibacy, the refusal to remarry the divorced in church, abortion, contraception and the rest – which have so agitated the Western view of the church since at least the 1960s. Instead, Francis wants to centre the church’s image on its preaching of Christ.

    Second, the Pope strongly emphasises the church’s concern for the poor and the ethical obligation on all people, certainly on all Catholics, to help the poor. That’s challenging and rightly so.

    But, and it is an enormous but, on all the grounds where modernism has had its most trenchant battles with the Catholic Church for at least the past 200 years, Francis reaffirms traditional doctrine.

    [...]

    Recently, the Pope issued a 60- page exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel. It is a remarkable and gripping read, but as someone happy enough to wear the label conservative myself, I would say it reconfirms all the contentious Catholic doctrine it considers, is extremely challenging in the demands it makes of the faithful, and has a couple of odd paragraphs about economics that I think show a faulty understanding of the way wealth is created.

    Conscientious Catholics believe the Pope has special authority on matters of faith and morals, but is no more authoritative on complex social and economic policy matters than anyone else.

    [...]

    As I say, on all the grounds where modernism has confronted Catholicism, Francis has reaffirmed traditional Catholic teaching. But a funny thing is happening to Francis. Because the media lauds him as a liberal, nothing conservative he says gets considered. This is an exact mirror reverse of what happened to John Paul II.

    A lot of attention has been given to various interviews, reported encounters and even stray remarks of the Pope. Famously, when asked about a gay priest, he replied: “Who am I to judge?”, and this has become a media leitmotif. In truth Francis seems a little naive, perhaps indiscreet, in his dealings with the media, and this is part of his refreshing differentness. But it can lead to confusion.

    So his considered papal writings surely give us the best guide to his actual thinking.

    The Pope’s strong view that he doesn’t want the church’s teaching on contentious sexual matters to be its defining image has mistakenly led many liberals, Catholic and secular, to think he might change those rules.

    [...]

    I am not too disturbed about the sentence or two on economic policy that I disagree with, not least because Francis also writes: “Neither the Pope nor the church has a monopoly on the interpretation of social realities or the proposal of solutions to contemporary problems.” The Pope recognises his fallibility in economic policy. The problematic economic sentences attribute, wrongly in my view, economic problems to the unfettered workings of the market or to what the Pope sometimes confusingly calls “neo-liberalism”, which he doesn’t define.

    But these are footnotes to his genuine ethical message, which is that people need to help the poor and that societies should not exclude the marginalised.

    [...]

    Overall, we are left with the astonishing paradox that this fascinating Pope is preaching orthodox Catholic doctrine and receiving the plaudits of the world’s media.

    It’s enough to make you believe in the Holy Spirit.

    While this originally appeared in the Weekend Australian, I’ve found a copy outside the paywall.

    RTWT

  201. dover_beach

    Uninteresting to see that, again, sfb demonstrates he is a complete and utter numbnut. The idea that the Church can ‘reform’ its sexual ethic by abandoning its natural law basis is sheer bunkum. What would occur is what has occurred in other Christian traditions; you would simply have an ad hoc sexual ethic that progressively deteriorates over time.

    So far as vernacular bibles are concerned. The Bible was translated, in whole or part, into Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Coptic, Gothic, and Slavic, for instance, during the first millennium. That doesn’t strike me as the engagement of an insular clergy.

    Oh, and let me add, given this rather stupid and unhistorical idea that Western civilization was preserved and extended in spite the efforts of the Church, without the Carolingian minuscule and scriptoria, invented and staffed by monks, classical civilization would have been largely lost to posterity. And that completely ignores the efforts of Augustine of Hippo, Boethius, etc. and their efforts to elevate the best of classical culture and give it a Christian flavour.

  202. Tel

    It’s amazing and embarrassing how much invented British codswallop still survives in the ashen ruins of Anglophone protestantism.

    So the persecution of Anabaptists and Mennonites in Germany was an invention of the British?!?

    http://www.wayoflife.org/database/persecutionofbible.html

    Anyway, there’s a long and detailed list of attempts by the Catholics to suppress bible translations, with detailed references. Too late to rewrite history now.

  203. Tel

    Here are more historical notes:

    http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/banned.htm

    In 1408 the third synod of Oxford, England, banned unauthorized English translations of the Bible and decreed that possession of English translation’s had to be approved by diocesan authorities. The Oxford council declared:

    “It is dangerous, as St. Jerome declares, to translate the text of Holy Scriptures out of one idiom into another, since it is not easy in translations to preserve exactly the same meaning in all things. We therefore command and ordain that henceforth no one translate the text of Holy Scripture into English or any other language as a book, booklet, or tract, of this kind lately made in the time of the said John Wyclif or since, or that hereafter may be made, either in part or wholly, either publicly or privately, under pain of excommunication, until such translation shall have been approved and allowed by the Provincial Council. He who shall act otherwise let him be punished as an abettor of heresy and error.”

    Source: The Western Watchman, a Catholic newspaper published in St. Louis, August 9, 1894, “The Word of God”, The English Bible Before the Reformation, page 7.

  204. Tel

    By the way both John Wycliffe and William Tyndale were both declared heretics for the crime of Bible translation, and ownership of any part of a Wycliffe Bible was also outlawed.

  205. dover_beach

    Tel, the emphasis in that quotation seems to fall on:

    It is dangerous… to translate the text of Holy Scriptures out of one idiom into another, since it is not easy in translations to preserve exactly the same meaning in all things. We therefore command and ordain that henceforth no one translate the text of Holy Scripture into English or any other language …until such translation shall have been approved and allowed by the Provincial Council.

    Indeed it would be dangerous; as dangerous as having statutes or precedents that in translations were unable to preserve exactly the same meaning in the same jurisdiction.

  206. Gab

    Indeed it would be dangerous; as dangerous as having statutes or precedents that in translations were unable to preserve exactly the same meaning in the same jurisdiction.

    I thought that would have been obvious to most. Clearly not. Additionally, books and even papers were unaffordable to the majority of the semi-literate population until the advent of the Industrial Revolution.

  207. .

    Wht do US Protestants seem fixated on the KJV bible?

    Surely a modern translation in the received American English from the most direct source would be the most authentic?

  208. Tel

    I thought that would have been obvious to most. Clearly not. Additionally, books and even papers were unaffordable to the majority of the semi-literate population until the advent of the Industrial Revolution.

    And it was a total coincidence that this all blew up around about the same time a certain book-related invention started to turn up in Europe.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Conference_Mennonite_Church

    That red and white logo doesn’t remind you of anything? The name Johannes Gutenberg might ring a bell?

  209. Gab

    Gutenberg

    was around in 1400s. Books did not become affordable to the majority of the population until the Ind. Rev, i.e. around three centuries later.

  210. tomix

    Wht do US Protestants seem fixated on the KJV bible?

    Surely a modern translation in the received American English from the most direct source would be the most authentic?

    Answer: It is dangerous… to translate the text of Holy Scriptures out of one idiom into another, since it is not easy in translations to preserve exactly the same meaning in all things.

  211. johanna

    tomix – it is impossible to preserve the meanings of all things in translation.

    That goes for translating something into Latin as well.

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