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One of my priest friends maintained that Paul VI suffered a type of martyrdom over conditions seemingly beyond his control. I don't disagree, but think he wasn't up to the job and didn't have what it took to do it.

I certainly have nothing against holy people or personal holiness. I think, however, that faith has survived because of the leaders who took up the sword and defeated our enemies. Had they been mush-mouthed foot kissers, what remained of the Church would be small and insignificant. That applies to leaders from both East and West.

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Very true, Charles, very true!

On a lighter side, a friend of mine who is a university campus chaplain said that Pope Francis wants to visit young Catholics in Korea.

The traditional Catholic media are now reporting that Francis supports "youth-in-Asia . . ."

Alex

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I don't know. I kind of though that I had obligations because of who I am, and pointing out that I was weak or ill-suited was no excuse for failing in them. Even if I do pray a lot, I don't think I can be holy unless I fulfill the obligations of my position. Evidently that's just not how it works for popes.

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Originally Posted by Orthodox Catholic

On a lighter side, a friend of mine who is a university campus chaplain said that Pope Francis wants to visit young Catholics in Korea.

The traditional Catholic media are now reporting that Francis supports "youth-in-Asia . . ."

Alex


Ok. I'll volunteer to be the first to groan.

grin

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I certainly think that Pope Francis is pursuing unity by reforming the papacy. To me that has seemed clear from his first public address as the newly elected bishop of Rome. To me it has also seemed equally clear that Pope Benedict provided the principal precedent for that reform. At any rate, I have only mildly strong feelings about my opinion on that question. It isn't so much the express topic of this thread that prompts this response as a couple of the comments that were offered along the way.

byzanTN and JDC, I found both of your comments about personal holiness genuinely surprising. byzanTN, Though I am aware there are plenty of kings on Christian calendars, I don't think I would have ever in a million years been able to produce your sentence--"that faith has survived because of the leaders who took up the sword and defeated our enemies." It's hard for me to get this from the Cross of Christ--where is the stumbling block, the scandal? The wisdom and power of God but foolishness to the Gentiles and so on? Themartyrs are the victors in our story, no? The faith survives by divine power: "some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God."

JDC, your claim about efficacy also surprised me. Maybe you're just underlining the importance of living up to our duties--I suppose it's your naming it a condition for holiness that surprised me. That's very different from my own way of looking at it. It just seems to me the sort of thing one sees on evangelical TV programs--you know, some sun-tanned, muscular witness testifying about how his Christian faith changed his life, made him a more successful financial advisor and more attractive to women and so forth. Imagine the Prophet Jeremiah appearing on the show! A success? Jonah? Effective? The Little Flower? Accomplished? Moses? To me, the canon of the saints is a catalog of worldly failures. Some were even great failures in religious life.

I know my comments are a little beside the point of the thread. I don't mean to change the subject--I just felt the need to reply on those two counts.

Caleb


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Are you named after King Caleb? wink

I won't tell you whom I'm named after . . .

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Originally Posted by eastwardlean?
JDC, your claim about efficacy also surprised me. Maybe you're just underlining the importance of living up to our duties--I suppose it's your naming it a condition for holiness that surprised me. That's very different from my own way of looking at it. It just seems to me the sort of thing one sees on evangelical TV programs--you know, some sun-tanned, muscular witness testifying about how his Christian faith changed his life, made him a more successful financial advisor and more attractive to women and so forth. Imagine the Prophet Jeremiah appearing on the show! A success? Jonah? Effective? The Little Flower? Accomplished? Moses? To me, the canon of the saints is a catalog of worldly failures. Some were even great failures in religious life.


I think perhaps, Caleb, that you have taken what I wrote an read a great deal into it. Failing while trying is one thing. I am obligated to protect my children, for instance. If I fail to protect them from the tiger which has just eaten me it is different from outrunning them and leaving them to the wolves.

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Caleb, God helps those who help themselves. I think saying something like, "Don't throw that rock at me Mohammed, you hurt my feelings and wound my self esteem. Let me kiss your foot." is kind of ridiculous. Nowhere does God tell us we can't defend ourselves or our faith, families, and culture. Political correctness is going to kill us all!

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Alex,

I am named for the Caleb of the Bible, who was certainly not any more of a 'mush-mouthed foot kisser' than the king that I think you're referring to. smile (Who is after all venerated for his military intervention in defense of the Christians in a nearby country.)

byzanTN, I'm not arguing for political correctness. But I'm concerned that your rejection of it may end up pushing against something more important. I agree--by all means, we should do what we can in defense of our brothers. But let's not pretend we're saving the Church or that the Church depends on our victories. Indeed the Church may well depend on our defeats. History is opaque, God's purpose is often hidden but we know how the story ends. God's kingdom will come but it won't be built by hands.

JDC, Fair enough. think I said as much in my reply to you--I said 'maybe you're just underlining the importance of living up to our duties.' But being bad at being pope isn't quite the same thing as running away from the tiger and leaving your kids behind, is it? That's all I'm saying--I don't think holiness is the same as being good at things, even good things. Sometimes it can mean not even being good at holy things. You may think that Pope Paul made a mess of things and you may even be right but let's not dismiss his sanctity because of it.

At any rate, as I said, my comments are marginal to this discussion. I imagine you can probably agree with what I said in principle. I don't have anything more on either count.

Caleb

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I love that name!!

Alex

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Originally Posted by byzanTN
Caleb, God helps those who help themselves. I think saying something like, "Don't throw that rock at me Mohammed, you hurt my feelings and wound my self esteem. Let me kiss your foot." is kind of ridiculous. Nowhere does God tell us we can't defend ourselves or our faith, families, and culture. Political correctness is going to kill us all!

I agree. It is one thing if a person decides to accept martyrdom rather than fight back against an unjust aggressor. He has the ability to offer his own life in that manner and forego his legitimate right to self-defense. But it is quite another thing when a person has been made a guardian of others, because then he must defend those in his care. He does not have the right to choose martyrdom for those who are dependent upon him. In fact, he has a duty, a moral obligation, to defend those in his care from harm, even if he must use force (i.e., lethal force) in order to protect those who rely upon him for their safety.

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I don't think the Church's modern ecumenism is even directed at bringing non-Catholics into the confines of the Catholic Church. We are not talking about a cold and calculating "uniformity" of worship rites or other external traditions. We are talking about unity in the essential beliefs, the Faith and Tradition. And proponents of ecumenism don't even seem to treat that as vital anymore. Anyone who defends it is now a Pharisee.

Remember, this was Pope Francis' reported comments in June 2014 to major Evangelical leaders in Rome:

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I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism. There are so many doctrines we will never agree on. Let’s be about showing the love of Jesus.


Has the Vatican denied it? Have the Evangelical leaders retracted this claim? As far as I am aware, no. So, why can't all Christians who profess Jesus as Lord come and partake of the Eucharist? Can we become Orthodox or Anglican, as long as we all show Jesus' love to the world?

Really, I am not being snide, I do not intend to be divisive. I am genuinely confused. What is the Catholic Church's "raison d'etre" in the 21st Century?

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Originally Posted by BenjaminRH
What is the Catholic Church's "raison d'etre" in the 21st Century?

Isn't our raison d'etre to convince EOs, OOs, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, etc. to become Catholic?

Ohhhhhh ... Sorry, never mind. blush

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Originally Posted by BenjaminRH
I don't think the Church's modern ecumenism is even directed at bringing non-Catholics into the confines of the Catholic Church. We are not talking about a cold and calculating "uniformity" of worship rites or other external traditions. We are talking about unity in the essential beliefs, the Faith and Tradition. And proponents of ecumenism don't even seem to treat that as vital anymore. Anyone who defends it is now a Pharisee.

Remember, this was Pope Francis' reported comments in June 2014 to major Evangelical leaders in Rome:

Quote
I’m not interested in converting Evangelicals to Catholicism. There are so many doctrines we will never agree on. Let’s be about showing the love of Jesus.


Has the Vatican denied it? Have the Evangelical leaders retracted this claim? As far as I am aware, no. So, why can't all Christians who profess Jesus as Lord come and partake of the Eucharist? Can we become Orthodox or Anglican, as long as we all show Jesus' love to the world?

Really, I am not being snide, I do not intend to be divisive. I am genuinely confused. What is the Catholic Church's "raison d'etre" in the 21st Century?


You shouldn't be confused at all here. You are reading much more into the pope's words than anyone intended.

At no time did the pope make the suggestion you are making with respect to the Eucharist.

The pope is simply telling the truth - that Evangelicalism and Catholicism are just too far apart. To acknowledge this FACT is to say that we shouldn't be doing what ecumenists have tried to do for decades - water down the Catholic faith to the level of Evangelicalism so we can all say "we are one" and call it a day.

Thank God the pope is not for that! No confusion there.

The Russian Orthodox Church has taken the same stance. It does NOT want to talk unity with Catholicism, but it wants to work with Catholics on moral issues etc.

No confusion there at all.

As Christians, we should be witnessing Christ to the world - together and without watering down our Catholic faith in so doing.

As for the Eucharist - how about if the Latin Catholic Church got to work to reform itself with respect to Communion in the hand and reverence for the Eucharist? That would really show that she is who she says she is.

As Bishop Schneider wrote in the book I referenced in the book section, Communion in the hand etc. came from Calvinism i.e. the denial of the Real Presence.

Why doesn't the Latin Church first fix that internal thing before worrying about "converting" others?

Alex

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Originally Posted by Peter J
Originally Posted by BenjaminRH
What is the Catholic Church's "raison d'etre" in the 21st Century?

Isn't our raison d'etre to convince EOs, OOs, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, etc. to become Catholic?

Ohhhhhh ... Sorry, never mind. blush


How about if we took the approach that we are all diminished by our divisions and that there just might be something we can all learn from one another.

The Roman Catholic Church has all kinds of internal problems that Catholics don't seem to want to seriously deal with because that effort might undermine the view that "we are the true church."

Today, if I had the choice to be either a Latin Catholic or an Eastern Orthodox/Oriental Orthodox, I would definitely become EO/OO.

For one thing, the East, not in union with Rome (if I were EO, I'd say that Rome was out of communion with the true Church re: heresy) has a tremendous sense of mystery and knows how to honour/adore the Great and Terrible God, the Lord of Hosts.

The Latin Church is sadly lacking in that in many places.

And the recent popes were/are aware of that.

Alex

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