Fighting the Church May Lead You Right Out of the Church

 

I did not know until a Rod Dreher column this week that Catholic pugilist Steve Skojec is now ex-Catholic pugilist Steve Skojec. Dreher says Skojec is now an agnostic. He didn’t even slow down and join the Orthodox, like Rod did. He went right out the back door into disbelief. Skojec says he has not attended Mass in a year.

Skojec explains how he got a very raw deal at the hands of the Legion of Christ and its lay movement Regnum Christi. I have no way of judging his charges. But he was very involved at the same time the Legion founder abused boys, fathered children, and plagiarized. Such a culture can only result in the abuse of the rank and file. Skojec describes psychological abuse; he says he was brainwashed. When he tried to leave, he says the Legion went all Saul Alinksy on him: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy.”

Skojec spent part of his college years at Steubenville as a “Legionary counter agent.” Over the next several years, Skojec was quite obviously and seriously vexed about issues in the Church; sexual abuse by priests, the liturgy, changing of doctrine, Francis, the Bishops, Covid, and much else. He fought like hell. He fought and fought and fought. And then he left.

Long ago, I figured Skojec would leave the Church.

His story reminds me of Rod Dreher’s, who spent years looking into the abyss of priest sexual abuse. I have gone on record that Rod was right about all that and I was wrong. But maybe where Rod did go wrong was spending so long looking into the abyss and feeding his anger, which led him to question the theological claims of the Catholic Church. He left for Orthodoxy.

Their stories remind me of Joseph Sciambra, a man I deeply admire. Joe spent years living in the homosexual abyss and came out of it quite damaged. He looked for succor from the same Church he accuses of encouraging his behavior and abetting his abuse. Understand that Joe is the guy who tries to save gay men by going to the most sexually perverse San Francisco festivals wearing a “Jesus Loves Gay Men” tee-shirt and handing out rosaries.

Sciambra tried for years to convince various Churchmen that the Church was allowing the rise of homosexualism in the Church. He pointed to openly homosexual parishes in San Francisco and New York. He tried to convince Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles that Fr. James Martin ought not be featured at the annual education conference in L.A. No one would listen. I think the only Bishop who formally met with him was Cardinal Burke, a meeting that I arranged.

It seems to me that when you set yourself up to fight the institutional Church, you run the risk of walking out the door. Make no mistake, Rod’s fight was just. Joe’s fight was just. I am not sure exactly what Steve’s fight was because it seemed so immense and multi-faceted, but without a doubt, he believes it was just. Even so, when you set yourself up to fight the institutional Church and you never give up, you run the risk of allowing your frustration and anger to lead you right out of the Church.

I fear the ongoing strike by the Vatican against the Traditional Latin Mass may lead many into this kind of anger. Thirty years ago, I watched similar fights and similar anger lead men out of the Church. I knew Gerry Matatics and Tom Droleskey when they were still Catholic. There is a good chance most of you will not know their names, but both were deeply involved in traditional Catholic issues back in those indult days.

My friend Ken Wolfe believes this cannot happen in the current day because the efforts to defend the immemorial Mass will happen among friends and fellow parishioners. For most, this will certainly be true. But I know for a fact that anger over long periods of time can change people and drive them away from things they previously believed and loved.

My advice, for what it’s worth, is for people in these fights not to be so concerned about wins and losses. Do not care quite so much. Forgive this string of platitudes: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. And then you keep trying but without the fretting over the box scores.

I know, I know. We are fighting over eternal truths that can save. True enough. But we must live to fight another day. We are made for the Beatific Vision but on this earth, we are made for fighting; maybe not so much that we are driven the wrong way across the Tiber.

Here’s the thing. Dreher is out of the Church. Sciambra is out of the Church. Skojec is out of the faith altogether. I just think it would be better if they were still here with us.

Cross-posted at Catholic World Report.

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  1. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    The Cloaked Gaijin (View Comment):

    On the other side, long-time religion skeptic (as I remember him) John Derbyshire and former National Review writer apparently became a Christian recently.

     

    I haven’t kept up with Derb for awhile.  If memory serves, he was raised in the Church of England, and continued in the Anglican Communion as an Episcopalian in the U.S.

    Then he left, stating as his reason that he no longer was a believer.  I remember some of his writings on religion were a defense of tradition, and that included a defense of a male only clergy.  For awhile, he became one of those atheists that railed against Christianity and religion in general.

    I met him once on an NR cruise, and I was a big fan.  I disagreed with NR’s decision to get rid of him, but I was seeing the writing on the wall.  I think that it wasn’t just his association with VDARE, which was the stated reason he was let go, but his rants against religion didn’t help either.

    NR does have atheists on staff, but they aren’t hostile towards religion.

    • #31
  2. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    Columbo (View Comment):
    This Pope too shall pass.

    I observe the Catholic Church as an outsider looking in.  From what I can see, he’s been stacking the College of Cardinals with the like minded.

    I suspect that the next Pope will be much like Francis.  The RC church has had its ups and downs over the centuries.  But those up and downs last for generations.   It’s how it’s set up.  Probably the next 2-3 Popes will be downers.

    • #32
  3. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Columbo (View Comment):
    This Pope too shall pass.

    I observe the Catholic Church as an outsider looking in. From what I can see, he’s been stacking the College of Cardinals with the like minded.

    I suspect that the next Pope will be much like Francis. The RC church has had its ups and downs over the centuries. But those up and downs last for generations. It’s how it’s set up. Probably the next 2-3 Popes will be downers.

    We were spoiled by the last two.

    • #33
  4. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    Brian Scarborough (View Comment):

    I am very tired of Catholics still treating their own church as “The Church”.

    Well, you’re going to be very tired because that is what we believe and it is the truth. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    See I keep being told by people that the Catholic Church doesn’t actually believe that. And then I keep being told by catholics that the Catholic Church does believe that. And then I get into trouble because I’m confused.

    Probably deserves a separate post, but I understand why you would be confused.

    • #34
  5. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    You can’t fight the Church. It belongs to the Pope for him to do with as he wishes. You can either ride along or get out.

    That’s bad Catholic theology though, isn’t it? In Catholic theology, the church belongs to Christ, not the Pope. Someone who believes this is already a person who does not accept Catholic theology.

    Yes, but I was discussing the realities on the ground and not the justification of them in Church doctrine. The Church belongs to the Christ and his followers. But he has been an absentee landlord for about 2000 years. So who does an organization belong too? The owner or the one that uses and runs it? Or does it matter? Since Christ gave the keys to this whole thing to St Peter and thus gave the Pope the right to do what he pleases with it for the greater glory of God. So who knows maybe this is what Christ wants. or maybe this is just what the Pope wants in his Leftist ways. Either way we can either go along with it, get out or just let it fade away. I suspect with me it will fade away as I give up on anything sane or traditional in this new world order.

    I don’t get it. Those are not the realities on the ground according to good theology. What are you talking about–misinderatandings people have about the theology?

    Now that’s a typo. I need to proofread more slowly.

    • #35
  6. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    e

    All I know is at age 6 the nun  teaching us  first graders told us it was not at all  sin to know Protestants and be friends with them.

    But this practice  was not a good thing to do, as when we died and, assuming a virtuous life, we then went on to heaven, our friends would remain in limbo. That we would never meet again and be separated for eternity.

    The nun did not stop to think about my situation -that my dad was an agnostic and although willing to pay my catholic school tuition for 12 years, and although accompanying all of us to Mass each Sunday, he remained as agnostic as possible for his entire life. My total faith in a religion that thinks only their belief system can create good moral people who may enter heaven immediately detoured  onto a path which was far from a smooth one.

    Although over 65 years have passed since that religious teaching descended on my young mind, I have rarely found anyone I admire as much as I admired my father. If this is indeed a Catholic teaching, count me out.

    And if it is not a Catholic teaching, the damage that this “article of faith,” which was so often heavily  referred to over the next 20 years, has caused me too much damage for me to ever be totally comfortable within the Catholic faith.

    • #36
  7. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    SNIP

    Well, you’re going to be very tired because that is what we believe and it is the truth. Extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    See I keep being told by people that the Catholic Church doesn’t actually believe that. And then I keep being told by catholics that the Catholic Church does believe that. And then I get into trouble because I’m confused.

    I think you are right to be confused.

    Anyone who has even a passing interest in The New Testament and especially the part of those teachings remembers the story of The Good Thief.

    Jesus is suffering and dying on the cross, between two criminals whose crosses are on either side of him.

    One of the criminals excoriates Jesus, saying “If you are indeed the Son of God and king of israel, then why not save yourself and maybe save us too?”

    And since Christ doesn’t, this criminal continues to harangue him.

    But the other man states that he deserves his place on the cross while clearly Jesus does not.

    We can examine the conversion of the Good Thief as given in Saint Luke XXIII, 39-43. This version hails from the website:

    https://catholicism.org/the-good-thief.html

    Ver. 39.—And one of the malefactors which were hanged—(this one, according to tradition, hung on the left hand of Christ)—railed on Him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

    If thou be the Christ, and Saviour of the world, save Thyself and us, free us from the cross and restore us to life and liberty. Christ chose to undergo the most bitter sufferings from all classes, and to be mocked and blasphemed, not only by the scribes and Jews, but even by the robber, the companion of His punishment. This made His trial the more hard; for the robber ought to have suffered with Christ and to have taken thought for the salvation of his soul, and to have begged it of Christ; as we also should beg that we may be quiet under scoffs, derisions, and insults, and be patient in mind and silent in speech.

    Ver. 40.—But the other (who is said to have hung on the right side) answering rebuked him. The Syriac says, “Dost thou not fear, no, not even from God” (etiam, non, a Deo, non tirmes tu)?—that is, the scribes and Jews are well and strong and do not fear God, and therefore scoff at Christ; but thou, who art tormented on the cross, oughtest to fear Him, lest He punish thee severely, for blaspheming His Christ so sacrilegiously. This robber showed that he not only feared God himself, for “the beginning of wisdom” (and salvation) “is the fear of the Lord” (Ecclus. i. 16), but he also exhorted his companion to the same fear.

    End of Part One

    • #37
  8. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    @bryangstephens

    Part Two

    Then we discover that due to the “Good Thief” being filled with repentance and for acknowledging Jesus, Jesus turns and says to him, “I say to thee, verily, you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven on this day.”

    No where in this account does Jesus say “So, hey, Thief-y,  do you have a baptismal certificate on you?”

    Nor does He query the Good Thief “Did you ever hang out with my cousin John and get baptized by him? Because only the baptized can go to heaven. So no matter how much you are repenting, forget it. Your deck of cards is not in order.”

    For anyone who takes the story of The Good Thief seriously, this proves the whole stricture of baptism making the difference between heaven or no heaven is indeed man made.

    • #38
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    @ bryangstephens

    Part Two

    Then we discover that due to the “Good Thief” being filled with repentance and for acknowledging Jesus, Jesus turns and says to him, “I say to thee, verily, you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven on this day.”

    No where in this account does Jesus say “So, hey, Thief-y, do you have a baptismal certificate on you?”

    Nor does He query the Good Thief “Did you ever hang out with my cousin John and get baptized by him? Because only the baptized can go to heaven. So no matter how much you are repenting, forget it. Your deck of cards is not in order.”

    For anyone who takes the story of The Good Thief seriously, this proves the whole stricture of baptism making the difference between heaven or no heaven is indeed man made.

    Well I believe this, but nit sure Catholics do.

    • #39
  10. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    @ bryangstephens

    Part Two

    Then we discover that due to the “Good Thief” being filled with repentance and for acknowledging Jesus, Jesus turns and says to him, “I say to thee, verily, you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven on this day.”

    No where in this account does Jesus say “So, hey, Thief-y, do you have a baptismal certificate on you?”

    Nor does He query the Good Thief “Did you ever hang out with my cousin John and get baptized by him? Because only the baptized can go to heaven. So no matter how much you are repenting, forget it. Your deck of cards is not in order.”

    For anyone who takes the story of The Good Thief seriously, this proves the whole stricture of baptism making the difference between heaven or no heaven is indeed man made.

    Or it shows that the way to Heaven is through Jesus, and as part of the process of following Jesus everyone except that guy is required to get baptized.

    • #40
  11. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    @ bryangstephens

    Part Two

    Then we discover that due to the “Good Thief” being filled with repentance and for acknowledging Jesus, Jesus turns and says to him, “I say to thee, verily, you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven on this day.”

    No where in this account does Jesus say “So, hey, Thief-y, do you have a baptismal certificate on you?”

    Nor does He query the Good Thief “Did you ever hang out with my cousin John and get baptized by him? Because only the baptized can go to heaven. So no matter how much you are repenting, forget it. Your deck of cards is not in order.”

    For anyone who takes the story of The Good Thief seriously, this proves the whole stricture of baptism making the difference between heaven or no heaven is indeed man made.

    Or it shows that the way to Heaven is through Jesus, and as part of the process of following Jesus everyone except that guy is required to get baptized.

    Ah the old “Exception to the rule” theory of life.

    It’s been applied in equally preposterous situations, I’ll give you that.

     

    • #41
  12. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    @ bryangstephens

    Part Two

    Then we discover that due to the “Good Thief” being filled with repentance and for acknowledging Jesus, Jesus turns and says to him, “I say to thee, verily, you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven on this day.”

    No where in this account does Jesus say “So, hey, Thief-y, do you have a baptismal certificate on you?”

    Nor does He query the Good Thief “Did you ever hang out with my cousin John and get baptized by him? Because only the baptized can go to heaven. So no matter how much you are repenting, forget it. Your deck of cards is not in order.”

    For anyone who takes the story of The Good Thief seriously, this proves the whole stricture of baptism making the difference between heaven or no heaven is indeed man made.

    Or it shows that the way to Heaven is through Jesus, and as part of the process of following Jesus everyone except that guy is required to get baptized.

    Ah the old “Exception to the rule” theory of life.

    An exception directly from Jesus himself.

    It may also be important just what rule is being excepted.  Maybe pure faith/trust in Jesus is the real rule, and this guy had it without baptism.  The rule to which he is an exception is not a rule about who goes to Heaven; it’s a rule about just how we’re supposed to put our faith into action.

    • #42
  13. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    @ bryangstephens

    Part Two

    Then we discover that due to the “Good Thief” being filled with repentance and for acknowledging Jesus, Jesus turns and says to him, “I say to thee, verily, you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven on this day.”

    No where in this account does Jesus say “So, hey, Thief-y, do you have a baptismal certificate on you?”

    Nor does He query the Good Thief “Did you ever hang out with my cousin John and get baptized by him? Because only the baptized can go to heaven. So no matter how much you are repenting, forget it. Your deck of cards is not in order.”

    For anyone who takes the story of The Good Thief seriously, this proves the whole stricture of baptism making the difference between heaven or no heaven is indeed man made.

    Or it shows that the way to Heaven is through Jesus, and as part of the process of following Jesus everyone except that guy is required to get baptized.

    Ah the old “Exception to the rule” theory of life.

    An exception directly from Jesus himself.

    It may also be important just what rule is being excepted. Maybe pure faith/trust in Jesus is the real rule, and this guy had it without baptism. The rule to which he is an exception is not a rule about who goes to Heaven; it’s a rule about just how we’re supposed to put our faith into action.

    But if you read the arguments made earlier in this post, there were several that cited how everyone has access to learning about Jesus and access to baptism. One of the top teachings even Catholic school children learn us that the Catholic faith is one faith, and is universal in nature.

    The Catholic Church  is hardly able to claim universality for itself if the only person able to get into heaven without being baptized is one of a very small group of people. (That is, however many people were hanging on crosses near to Jesus on the day he died.)

    • #43
  14. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    @ bryangstephens

    Part Two

    Then we discover that due to the “Good Thief” being filled with repentance and for acknowledging Jesus, Jesus turns and says to him, “I say to thee, verily, you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven on this day.”

    No where in this account does Jesus say “So, hey, Thief-y, do you have a baptismal certificate on you?”

    Nor does He query the Good Thief “Did you ever hang out with my cousin John and get baptized by him? Because only the baptized can go to heaven. So no matter how much you are repenting, forget it. Your deck of cards is not in order.”

    For anyone who takes the story of The Good Thief seriously, this proves the whole stricture of baptism making the difference between heaven or no heaven is indeed man made.

    Or it shows that the way to Heaven is through Jesus, and as part of the process of following Jesus everyone except that guy is required to get baptized.

    Ah the old “Exception to the rule” theory of life.

    An exception directly from Jesus himself.

    It may also be important just what rule is being excepted. Maybe pure faith/trust in Jesus is the real rule, and this guy had it without baptism. The rule to which he is an exception is not a rule about who goes to Heaven; it’s a rule about just how we’re supposed to put our faith into action.

    But if you read the arguments made earlier in this post, there were several that cited how everyone has access to learning about Jesus and access to baptism. One of the top teachings even Catholic school children learn us that the Catholic faith is one faith, and is universal in nature.

    The Catholic Church is hardly able to claim universality for itself if the only person able to get into heaven without being baptized is one of a very small group of people. (That is, however many people were hanging on crosses near to Jesus on the day he died.)

    I don’t understand your objection here.

    • #44
  15. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    @ bryangstephens

    Part Twosnip 

    Or it shows that the way to Heaven is through Jesus, and as part of the process of following Jesus everyone except that guy is required to get baptized.

    Ah the old “Exception to the rule” theory of life.Snip

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    @ bryangstephens

    Part Two

    Snip Thee whole stricture of baptism making the difference between heaven or no heaven is indeed man made.

    Or it shows that the way to Heaven is through Jesus, and as part of the process of following Jesus everyone except that guy is required to get baptized.

    Ah the old “Exception to the rule” theory of life.

    An exception directly from Jesus himself.

    It may also be important just what rule is being excepted. Maybe pure faith/trust in Jesus is the real rule, and this guy had it without baptism. The rule to which he is an exception is not a rule about who goes to Heaven; it’s a rule about just how we’re supposed to put our faith into action.

    But if you read the arguments made earlier in this post, there were several that cited how everyone has access to learning about Jesus and access to baptism. One of the top teachings even Catholic school children learn us that the Catholic faith is one faith, and is universal in nature.

    The Catholic Church is hardly able to claim universality for itself if the only person able to get into heaven without being baptized is one of a very small group of people. (That is, however many people were hanging on crosses near to Jesus on the day he died.)

    I don’t understand your objection here.

    Okay I need to clarify.

    I am not objecting to your idea that “Maybe pure faith/trust in Jesus is the real rule, and this guy had it without baptism. The rule to which he is an exception is not a rule about who goes to Heaven; it’s a rule about just how we’re supposed to put our faith into action.” I like your statement.

    But it is not what Catholic doctrine taught us school kids in the 1950’s. And the Church’s man made protocols hat they then attribute to being sourced from Christ  simply don’t hold up under examination.
    in an annulment. (In one case, the wife who was being cut loose had had children with the dismissing father.)

    Anyway if it a religion with exceptions, it is not universal.

    • #45
  16. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    But it is not what Catholic doctrine taught us school kids in the 1950’s.

    Ok, what did they teach you?

    And the Church’s man made protocols hat they then attribute to being sourced from Christ  simply don’t hold up under examination.

    I may even agree with this one.

    Anyway if it a religion with exceptions, it is not universal.

    What is the antecedent to the second “it”?

    • #46
  17. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    But it is not what Catholic doctrine taught us school kids in the 1950’s.

    Ok, what did they teach you?

    And the Church’s man made protocols hat they then attribute to being sourced from Christ simply don’t hold up under examination.

    I may even agree with this one.

    Anyway if it a religion with exceptions, it is not universal.

    What is the antecedent to the second “it”?

    See comment 36 for what I was taught.

    If the religion holds for exceptions, then that religion, that is the it,  can not be considered “universal.”

    • #47
  18. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    But it is not what Catholic doctrine taught us school kids in the 1950’s.

    Anyway if it a religion with exceptions, it is not universal.

    What is the antecedent to the second “it”?

    . . .

    If the religion holds for exceptions, then that religion, that is the it, can not be considered “universal.”

    Why not?  What, again, is the antecedent to that “it”?  The religion?  Ok, great.  Now what is the religion?  The religion is not a rule that we all have to get baptized, is it?

    • #48
  19. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    I am not objecting to your idea that “Maybe pure faith/trust in Jesus is the real rule, and this guy had it without baptism. The rule to which he is an exception is not a rule about who goes to Heaven; it’s a rule about just how we’re supposed to put our faith into action.” I like your statement.

    But it is not what Catholic doctrine taught us school kids in the 1950’s.

    Ok, what did they teach you?

    . . .

    See comment 36 for what I was taught.

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (# 36):

    All I know is at age 6 the nun teaching us first graders told us it was not at all sin to know Protestants and be friends with them.

    But this practice was not a good thing to do, as when we died and, assuming a virtuous life, we then went on to heaven, our friends would remain in limbo. That we would never meet again and be separated for eternity.

    The nun did not stop to think about my situation -that my dad was an agnostic and although willing to pay my catholic school tuition for 12 years, and although accompanying all of us to Mass each Sunday, he remained as agnostic as possible for his entire life. My total faith in a religion that thinks only their belief system can create good moral people who may enter heaven immediately detoured onto a path which was far from a smooth one.

    Although over 65 years have passed since that religious teaching descended on my young mind, I have rarely found anyone I admire as much as I admired my father. If this is indeed a Catholic teaching, count me out.

    And if it is not a Catholic teaching, the damage that this “article of faith,” which was so often heavily referred to over the next 20 years, has caused me too much damage for me to ever be totally comfortable within the Catholic faith.

    Still lost. What did they teach you that was so different from what I was suggesting?

    • #49
  20. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    One Catholic told me that a person’s salvation will be decided based on how they responded to their particular circumstances.  In other words, if a 5 year old child in Thailand raised by Buddhist parents and never told about Jesus and the New Testament dies in an accident, God will allow this child into heaven whereas a 40 year old man living in Oklahoma who was repeatedly told about Jesus and the New Testament but did not believe will not go to heaven.

    It does seem a bit counter-intuitive to think that, say, a man who rapes and murders dozens of children but in the last year of his life converts to Christianity, asks God for forgiveness and accepts Jesus as his Lord and Savior ends up in heaven while a Jewish man who spends his entire life tending to the needs of children suffering from diseases would not go to heaven.

    So, even as a non-believer, I find doctrine of salvation, soteriology, a fascinating subject.

    • #50
  21. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    For me, I find the mystery of Grace the most astounded and counter intuitive thing ever taught. It is a key part of my faith. The standard line is that one does the right things and then one gets a reward. Or, one does the right things and the gods can be transactional. That is not what the scripture says.

    God says we are all doomed and that is our just deserts. I fully see that every human being is capable of evil. That is fact I have 30 years of work evidence to see. We all know how to hurt others and we do it deliberately. So of us more than others. So I get that part.

    Then God says, “Turn that over to me, and I will forgive you.” It is inhuman. It is counter to our ideas of sacrifice on our part. It’s crazy. What a nutty line to sell and yet ther it is.

    My take on Catholicism is that much of the Church teachings are the normal human response to how the old ways work. Prosperity Gospels are the same way in Protestant circles. We can’t help ourselves. 

    My guess is I have made a hash out of this insight and my relationship to it. As an article of faith, it is hard to express in typing. 

     

    • #51
  22. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    But it is not what Catholic doctrine taught us school kids in the 1950’s.

    Anyway if it a religion with exceptions, it is not universal.

    What is the antecedent to the second “it”?

    . . .

    If the religion holds for exceptions, then that religion, that is the it, can not be considered “universal.”

    Why not? What, again, is the antecedent to that “it”? The religion? Ok, great. Now what is the religion? The religion is not a rule that we all have to get baptized, is it?

    The problem in our discussion between us is that you are jumping.

    You present your opinion – which is a logical opinion and makes sense.

    But despite the depth of the logic and sense,  regardless of what your opinion is, you are not the Church.

    The Catholic Church has stipulated, ever since its 4th Century convocations in which its body if bishops, the pope and even the Emperor Constantine decided what would and what would not be the final word on the teachings of the Church.that its teaching are Catholic, i.e. universal and consistent.

    These teachings involved many things: the Church-promoted fact that Mary was a virgin and her offspring Jesus was conceived in an Immaculate Conception, involving The Holy Spirit. That Jesus suffered on the cross, and then died, but 3 days later was born again. That last statement equals:  “I believe in the Eesurrection and the Light.”

    Since prior to Pope john the XXIIIrd, the Church has preached since the fourth century that only Catholics go to heaven and then only if they are actually baptized and in a state of grace, it seems that someone somewhere overlooked the story of The good Thief.

    Now you say “That is an exception.”

    I imagine you state that as being an exception as after all The Good Thief was able to die in the presence of the Lord, something most of us cannot do unless time machinery becomes infinitely more responsive to such a desire.

    But Jesus is not just a man. After all,  the Creed of the Church, and all Catholics and Protestants believe Jesus is also divine.

    So then we come to this dilemma – if Jesus is divine, who is to say whether or not he is at the death bed and side of every decent human who dies? I would say that the example of The Good Thief tells us the story that Christ is there.

    When the nun taught me in first grade that my father the agnostic was not heaven bound, then she must have some type of Divine insight as to whether or not He showed up at the moment my father died. And I doubt that  she possessed any of that type of Divine insight.

     

     

     

    • #52
  23. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    Mary was a virgin and her offspring Jesus was conceived in an Immaculate Conception,

    Mary is the Immaculate Conception. It’s how she presented herself to the young, illiterate St. Bernadette in the apparition at Lourdes — “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Maybe it’s time to study your catechism again?

    • #53
  24. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):

    But it is not what Catholic doctrine taught us school kids in the 1950’s.

    Anyway if it a religion with exceptions, it is not universal.

    What is the antecedent to the second “it”?

    . . .

    If the religion holds for exceptions, then that religion, that is the it, can not be considered “universal.”

    Why not? What, again, is the antecedent to that “it”? The religion? Ok, great. Now what is the religion? The religion is not a rule that we all have to get baptized, is it?

    The problem in our discussion between us is that you are jumping.

    I don’t know what you mean there.

    You present your opinion – which is a logical opinion and makes sense.

    But despite the depth of the logic and sense, regardless of what your opinion is, you are not the Church.

    The Catholic Church has stipulated, ever since its 4th Century convocations in which its body if bishops, the pope and even the Emperor Constantine decided what would and what would not be the final word on the teachings of the Church.that its teaching are Catholic, i.e. universal and consistent.

    These teachings involved many things: the Church-promoted fact that Mary was a virgin and her offspring Jesus was conceived in an Immaculate Conception, involving The Holy Spirit. That Jesus suffered on the cross, and then died, but 3 days later was born again. That last statement equals: “I believe in the Eesurrection and the Light.”

    Since prior to Pope john the XXIIIrd, the Church has preached since the fourth century that only Catholics go to heaven and then only if they are actually baptized and in a state of grace, it seems that someone somewhere overlooked the story of The good Thief.

    Now you say “That is an exception.”

    I imagine you state that as being an exception as after all The Good Thief was able to die in the presence of the Lord, something most of us cannot do unless time machinery becomes infinitely more responsive to such a desire.

    But Jesus is not just a man. After all, the Creed of the Church, and all Catholics and Protestants believe Jesus is also divine.

    So then we come to this dilemma – if Jesus is divine, who is to say whether or not he is at the death bed and side of every decent human who dies? I would say that the example of The Good Thief tells us the story that Christ is there.

    When the nun taught me in first grade that my father the agnostic was not heaven bound, then she must have some type of Divine insight as to whether or not He showed up at the moment my father died. And I doubt that she possessed any of that type of Divine insight.

    So the antecedent to the second “it” was the religion, which includes the baptism rule?

    And that is what they taught you in school?

    • #54
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