I’m Not at All Eager to Start Another Brawl Over the Pope, But…—Peter Robinson

 

An email from a friend:

Worry less about Francis on economics, but sweat the upcoming Synod on the Family instead.  To paraphrase George Gilder, economic growth can get switched back on in an instant.  All we need to do is set in place the right policies.

But the family?  Don’t mess with that. Damage to the family would be permanent.  You couldn’t repair that with lower tax rates. The upcoming Synod on the Family looks to be Humanae Vitae all over again. The 1968 crowd is getting ready to make their final push before they expire.

I wish he didn’t, of course, but I’m very much afraid that my friend has a point. The effort within the Church to persuade Pope Paul VI to overturn the Church’s traditional teaching against birth control back during the 1960s proved immense—a majority of the panel of experts the Pope convened to advise him on the matter recommended that he permit birth control, which, of course, would have altered the Church’s very conception of married love, marriage, and fidelity. Only a minority report, and the Pope himself — in a display of what might be termed holy stubbornness— led instead to the publication of Humanae Vitae, reaffirming the Church’s historic teachings. (If you’ve never read Humanae Vitae, by the way, you’re in for an intellectual shock. With astonishing accuracy, Paul VI predicted the ills to which the breakdown of marriage would lead. Even if you think we Catholics are crazy—a view I share from time to time myself, I admit—Humanae Vitae is worth a read.)

Now Pope Francis has called a Synod on the Family, and another major effort to alter historic teachings appears to be underway—an effort to make annulments easier to obtain, for instance, or to permit those who have remarried without annulments to receive communion. Here again, this sort of talk may strike a lot non-Catholics as crazy. But what’s at stake is the Church’s ancient and unchanging teaching that marriage is indissoluble—and the fundamental commitment that makes possible the permanence of the family.

Someone—anyone—tell my friend why he’s wrong.  Tell him—and me—why we don’t need to sweat the Synod.

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  1. Robert Lux Inactive
    Robert Lux
    @RobertLux

    “I’m pretty confident that there are men who will “allow” themselves to be buggered by another man, but I get your point there.I don’t get your point with the kissing. If two men kiss, in what sense is one dominating the other?”

    James- good to be corresponding with you again. I just want to be clear- and I see that you see my point- of course there are men who will allow or consent or desire to be buggered by another man. But how does that affect my point. People have been aware of that throughout the ages and their response in the civilized west, from Socrates (in the Laws) to Jefferson, to the prevailing sentiment of fairly recent date is that, quite simply, it is unnatural and therefore we’re going to outlaw it; it was certainly true of the ubiquitous statutes and common law provisions in the American states banning various sexual activities as “crimes against nature.”

    I think it’s just an evident phenomenon: vast majority of people are more turned off by two men vs. two women kissing. Kissing in the sense we’re talking about invariably inmates, points to, the sex act. 

    • #61
  2. Jude Inactive
    Jude
    @Jude

    Traditional Catholics have  a reason to sweat this Pope because he has come out against pedophilia, and seemingly in a meaningful way. Worries about synods is precious when the most profound institutional protector of pedophiles is still up to its old ways. It boggles my mind that people can actually have serious conversations about points of theology while child rape is still protected by the Roman Catholic Church. I do no understand.

    • #62
  3. Jude Inactive
    Jude
    @Jude

    Jude:

    Traditional Catholics have a reason to sweat this Pope because he has come out against pedophilia, and seemingly in a meaningful way. Worries about synods is precious when the most profound institutional protector of pedophiles is still up to its old ways. It boggles my mind that people can actually have serious conversations about points of theology while child rape is still protected by the Roman Catholic Church. I do no understand.

     One of my closest friends just watched his child take the stand against the RC priest who raped him. When he did, he was testifying agains the man who was defended by the church. And when he was found to be culpable of the charges, the church gave up its legal battle. The priest disappeared into Ireland where he is free today. His parishioners helped his run from justice. This all happened last year. Like I said, I just do not understand. And when I hear points of theology brought up, or I hear snarky references to other denominations from Roman Catholics at Ricochet, I just do not understand. It feels so dirty. 

    I imagine I’ll be banned for posting this. But, so be it.

    • #63
  4. user_407430 Contributor
    user_407430
    @RachelLu

    James Of England:

    Rachel Lu:

    Actually I should say: we should never worry about anything except the state of individual souls, and our own personal efforts to follow God’s will.

    We should be vigilant for the end times, like wise virgins, no? I’d have thought that worrying was helpful for this.

     Maybe we’d need to define “worry”.

    As I said before… all things are held in the Providence of God. This is and should be an enormously comforting thought, but it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of very bad things happening, sometimes including hierarchs causing grave scandal among the faithful. 

    • #64
  5. user_44643 Inactive
    user_44643
    @MikeLaRoche

    Jude:

    Jude:

    Traditional Catholics have a reason to sweat this Pope because he has come out against pedophilia, and seemingly in a meaningful way. Worries about synods is precious when the most profound institutional protector of pedophiles is still up to its old ways. It boggles my mind that people can actually have serious conversations about points of theology while child rape is still protected by the Roman Catholic Church. I do no understand.

    One of my closest friends just watched his child take the stand against the RC priest who raped him. When he did, he was testifying agains the man who was defended by the church. And when he was found to be culpable of the charges, the church gave up its legal battle. The priest disappeared into Ireland where he is free today. His parishioners helped his run from justice. This all happened last year. Like I said, I just do not understand. And when I hear points of theology brought up, or I hear snarky references to other denominations from Roman Catholics at Ricochet, I just do not understand….

     
    Troll much?

    trollol

    • #65
  6. Jude Inactive
    Jude
    @Jude

    Mike LaRoche:

    Jude:

    I just do not understand….

    Troll much?

    I guess this is what I should expect. Go ahead and attack and diminish the person. I am not trolling. I am really at a loss to understand. 

    • #66
  7. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Rachel Lu:

    James Of England:

    Rachel Lu:

    We should be vigilant for the end times, like wise virgins, no? I’d have thought that worrying was helpful for this.

    Maybe we’d need to define “worry”.

    As I said before… all things are held in the Providence of God. This is and should be an enormously comforting thought, but it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of very bad things happening, sometimes including hierarchs causing grave scandal among the faithful.

     Agreed. I didn’t mean at all to suggest that I shouldn’t worry for my own salvation or that of the people around me. Indeed, if the bishops reject the deposit of faith, they’d be rejecting the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and it truly would be The End. I can only try to conform my will to God’s will for me, and pray that others do the same. It seems to me the spirit of the Anti-Christ is all around us, but I don’t presume to know this is the end of the end. I’m sure other Christians have felt this way in the past.

    • #67
  8. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Robert Lux:

    “I’m pretty confident that there are men who will “allow” themselves to be buggered by another man, but I get your point there.”

    James- good to be corresponding with you again. I just want to be clear- and I see that you see my point- of course there are men who will allow or consent or desire to be buggered by another man. But how does that affect my point.

    It’s important that we recognize that some people actively desire buggery, because the original statement depended in part on the universal acceptance that it was wrong. To generalize, the Greeks thought that consenting adult homosexual sex was offensive, but pederasty was fine. Americans believe that pederasty is offensive, but consensual gay sex is fine. It may be that pederasty and/ or homosexual adult sex is offensive, but we cannot derive a universal rule of reason from non-universal historical practice. Even widespread revulsion is not a reliable guide in sexual matters; elderly couples, for instance, should have sex if either spouse desires it, but raise the topic over dinner and revulsion will be clear on most non-elderly faces.

    • #68
  9. Godzilla Member
    Godzilla
    @Godzilla

    While I am interested in seeing how it plays out, I am not worried about the theological outcome. The Church will not change it’s mind on divorce and remarriage or the separability of sex and children (contraception). It is not a manmade decision, but God’s. When Jesus told his apostles, “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matt 18:18 NIV) He was not saying that they would be able to teach false doctrine and God would say “Well, if you now say that it is OK to steal, then it is now officially OK to steal.” God doesn’t change His mind. No Jesus was saying that the apostles and their successors would not teach something that was false in faith and morals. That God would see to it that they would not bind heaven to a lie.

    So we know what the overall statement of morals will be, what it has always been: Divorce is not allowed. To remarry after a civil divorce is not a marriage. Sex outside of marriage is gravely wrong.

    • #69
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Jude:

    Jude:

    I imagine I’ll be banned for posting this. But, so be it.

    Why would you be banned? You misunderstand the claim to authority the Church makes, but you would in no way be in error to describe the protection of pedophile priests as unjust, not to mention scandalous to the faithful. Most Catholics are at least as angry about this as you are. 

    But, the Magesterium doesn’t teach that pedophilia is okay, or that shielding pedophiles from justice is a moral good. You get that, right? Peter Kreeft tells a joke about a Jew who converts despite witnessing all the corruption and incompetence in Rome firsthand. His reason is, no institution that poorly run could possibly last this long unless it was the Divine Will. The Church is full of sinners, top to bottom and through and through. I say this not to excuse, but only to explain.

    God bless your friend and his son. I suspect He has other plans for the priest-rapist.

    • #70
  11. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Robert Lux:People have been aware of that throughout the ages and their response in the civilized west, from Socrates (in the Laws) to Jefferson, to the prevailing sentiment of fairly recent date is that, quite simply, it is unnatural and therefore we’re going to outlaw it; it was certainly true of the ubiquitous statutes and common law provisions in the American states banning various sexual activities as “crimes against nature.”

     I’m not unsympathetic to sodomy laws, but I believe that they are most solidly based upon scriptural and ecclesiastical condemnations. Disgust is, in large part, a hormonally guided response, and what we find disgusting is closely bound up with out own sexual appetites. To the degree that our sexual appetites differ (which may not be greatly, since we are both western heterosexual men in the middle of our lives), we may find each other’s proclivities disturbing, with foreplay being a particularly vibrant area for disagreement.

    As with food, however, your distaste for oysters is no more divinely guided than my revulsion at kidneys, although cannibalism is banned.  Even widespread revulsion at food demonstrates little; no one but Nordics consider lutefisk food, but it is merely disgusting and unnatural, not sinful, and is properly considered a breach of neither divine nor human law.

    • #71
  12. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Robert Lux:

    I think it’s just an evident phenomenon: vast majority of people are more turned off by two men vs. two women kissing.

    The numbers of people disturbed by male-male kisses are dropping fast, though. When I was unfamiliar with the sight, I was disturbed, too, but it no longer disturbs me on a visceral level. I don’t know how it compares with revulsion at interracial kissing, but I’d guess that disgust levels amongst 20 somethings now are lower at gay kisses today than they were at interracial kisses a century ago. Even today, many find interracial kisses offensive, but I do not believe that this suggests that they cross a theological line.

    Again, this isn’t to suggest that gay kisses are not rightly condemned; I don’t think that a kiss constitutes lying with a man as with a woman, and it’s hard to know if it constitutes sexual immorality, but maybe it does. Obviously, chaste same sex kisses are not merely permitted, but are demanded of Christians, which makes a clear definitional line hard, but some things which are hard to define are nonetheless wrongful.

    • #72
  13. Jude Inactive
    Jude
    @Jude

    Western Chauvinist:

    But, the Magesterium doesn’t teach that pedophilia is okay, or that shielding pedophiles from justice is a moral good. You get that, right? Peter Kreeft tells a joke about a Jew who converts despite witnessing all the corruption and incompetence in Rome firsthand. His reason is, no institution that poorly run could possibly last this long unless it was the Divine Will. The Church is full of sinners, top to bottom and through and through. I say this not to excuse, but only to explain.

    God bless your friend and his son. I suspect He has other plans for the priest-rapist.

    Thank you. I suppose being Catholic and Republican is 2/3 of a trifecta of organizations that frustrate. I’m not RC, but I am a Republican still and I do work at a university that is mashugana. My friend is having a lot of serious health issues since the trial. He understands that he can’t fix his problems with a baseball bat, but would like to. He has lost his connection with his church and is spiritually unmoored. Pray for my friend Steve, if you will. 

    • #73
  14. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Robert Lux:. Kissing in the sense we’re talking about invariably inmates, points to, the sex act.

     I’m not sure if you mean this in a stronger sense than saying that sensual kissing is generally an activity engaged in by romantic couples, and romantic couples are prone to sexual activities. If, for instance, you were to say that the vast majority of couples that kiss also have sex, I would disagree, or if it were claimed that individual kisses were generally succeeded in the short term by sex.
    Would you condemn that homosexual flirting on similar grounds?
    Heterosexual sensual kisses seem to also inmate the sex act. Do you believe that one should be highly confident of marriage before engaging in heterosexual kissing? To clarify, although this would condemn me, as someone who has kissed multiple girls but only married one, I am keenly aware that I stand only to benefit if I am persuaded that this was gravely sinful, since it would afford me opportunity to repent. As such, you need not worry about offending me. Sins are always easier to repent when one has no desire to repeat them. ;-)

    • #74
  15. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Jude:

    I imagine I’ll be banned for posting this. But, so be it.

     Pro-tip: Be sure to continue to ensure that your condemnations of Catholicism avoid the use of all caps, personal attacks, and expletives that are explicit rather than taking the form of “[expletive]”. You’re right that attacks on the Church can be hurtful, and that they can appear to be made in bad faith, but Ricochet is robust enough to manage even hurtful, bad faith, attacks. It’s a helpful sign that you did not respond to Mike’s concern that you might be trolling by escalating conflict.

    I hope that, on reflection, you will agree that the existence of pedophiles in the clergy does not render theological debate unnecessary, as the presence of pedophiles in the classroom leaves discussion of common core still relevant, and the presence of pedophiles in studios and Congress leaves media criticism and historical analysis of the early 1980s on the table. Corrupt priests, like teacher’s unions, are problems, but they are not the only problems the world faces. If Ricochet does not discuss child sex abuse much, it may be because disagreement is limited, and outrage non-recreational.

    • #75
  16. user_124695 Inactive
    user_124695
    @DavidWilliamson

    I hate to break this to you, Peter, but the current Pope and Mr Obama are birds of a feather – they flock together.

    • #76
  17. Robert Lux Inactive
    Robert Lux
    @RobertLux

    Hi James- for the sake of other possible readers, to affirm we’re sticking to the topic rather than to divagations on kissing: the real concern surrounding Pope Francis, the synod, and much of the modern West is that we — the Pope even — are to varying degrees so caught up in our modern notions of “projection” and “identity” that we elide the elementary phenomena. We overlook the most obvious, plain-on-the nose things.

    The business about “sexual identity,” as I’m sure you know, is mostly derived from the post-natural law (or natural right) view of things. The post-natural law views try, one way or another, to derive a normative view from idiosyncrasy and not law. This is why people want to banish the notion of sexual deviancy from our language: there is no nature, so nothing is wrong. The Pope’s “who am I to judge?” statement regarding “gayness” (which, again, is just identity politics) savors of that banishment. This, even though the Church will never officially sanction SSM. Only a society shot through with relativism-culminating-in-nihilism whereby everything is equivalent to everything else, where nature ceases to be a term of distinction,

    contd

    • #77
  18. Robert Lux Inactive
    Robert Lux
    @RobertLux

    contd 2

    could ever contemplate SSM.

    No society hitherto has tried to domesticate homosexuality (I use the term as a matter of convenience, consistent with my earlier statement that precisely speaking it does not exist) for the simple reason that to do so is to domesticate all things. (I’ve explained this seemingly cryptic point further here for Claire Berlinski at #264). All arguments for SSM the modern era must inevitably be Nietzschean, ie., the absolute assertion of individuality. 

    You write: “we cannot derive a universal rule of reason from non-universal historical practice.”

    I’m not appealing to history but to nature. And if nature is not our standard, then what is? Kant, Hegel, Marx provide the greatest attempts to find standards outside nature. I think the natural right/law tradition, originating in Plato and Aristotle, is superior. There are no “homosexuals” in the sense that one’s idiosyncratic sexual desires — or appetites, to use the language you used — are not natural; they have no discernible order or purpose (unlike procreation, for example). Appetite precisely speaking is not natural. That is just matter in motion.

    • #78
  19. Robert Lux Inactive
    Robert Lux
    @RobertLux

    contd 3

    So back to the Greeks. The Greek form of homosexuality was pederasty, which reflects the dominant-submissive element of sex generally. Pederasty is “natural” in the sense that it mirrors the dominant-submissive element of man-woman sex. But it is also unnatural because, among other things, males typically are not submissive in this way, which is why the passive males are depicted as slavish in Aristophanes’ Clouds. And this is the case even today, as most men don’t want to be perceived as similarly slavish, i.e., the business about two men kissing. That more people today may find it less offensive does not dispose of my point. What’s next? I well imagine we become less offended to expressions of incest. And so forth. Jefferson’s — heck, the tradition’s — linking homosexuality with beasteality and incest is well founded.

    It will not do to say that because different practices have been accepted at different times and places, there is no intrinsic or naturally right way to do things. We need to make a positive argument for what marriage is by nature, which leads us to see the complementarity of the opposite sexes.

    • #79
  20. Robert Lux Inactive
    Robert Lux
    @RobertLux

    contd 4

    And to be sure, none of my comments are meant to imply that the ancient polis, certainly not Sparta, was based on natural right. None were. But this does not mean that there was nothing natural about it. Spartan women rarely if ever fought in the wars. They had influence on politics, as women often do, but the queens didn’t command as did the kings. And Spartan marriages were obviously heterosexual.

    The point is that these differences in the sex roles emanated ultimately from nature. But humans are free and can act against their nature. Hence, in ancient Greece there was pederasty and other unnatural things (slavery, scalping, etc.).

    • #80
  21. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    Frank Soto: #39 “No one claims that one child is of less importance, only that if you attempt to save both, you’ll likely lose both.  

    I am still awaiting your method of reconciling this conflict.  Simply saying that you’d force the mother to attempt to carry to term when it will put her life in severe jeopardy is a wholly un-serious position if not explained.”

    I am not the one suggesting that the child can be killed, you are. 

    I noted that if the medical treatment used to cure the mother kills the child, without directly and manifestly using an abortionist to kill the child, then there is no moral harm.  No one willed the death of the baby.  No one wanted the death of the baby.  No one aborted the baby.

    Of note, if the baby can be killed for the sake of the mother’s health, then there will be other reasons to kill the baby.  There are other reasons for killing the baby.  After a while, one reason is as good as another.  An inconvenience is gotten rid of, for any reason.  Or, like your sister, a reason is found to save the baby.

    • #81
  22. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Robert Lux:The business about “sexual identity,” as I’m sure you know, is mostly derived from the post-natural law (or natural right) view of things. The post-natural law views try, one way or another, to derive a normative view from idiosyncrasy and not law. This is why people want to banish the notion of sexual deviancy from our language: there is no nature, so nothing is wrong. The Pope’s “who am I to judge?” statement regarding “gayness” (which, again, is just identity politics) savors of that banishment. ….. Only a society shot through with relativism-culminating-in-nihilism whereby everything is equivalent to everything else….

     I’m not sure that contemporary sexuality is without taboos. Pederasty, for instance, is pretty strongly condemned. While the academic side to natural law isn’t used a lot, the concept of the unnaturalness of pedophilia is widely used. That said, I agree that Francis suggesting that he ought not to judge what all Christians are called upon to judge was not his finest moment, although I don’t think it compares with the inequality, Islam, peace, exclusion, or weaponry statements. Maybe the Islam one.

    • #82
  23. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Robert Lux:

    You write: “we cannot derive a universal rule of reason from non-universal historical practice.”

    I’m not appealing to history but to nature. And if nature is not our standard, then what is?

     But you were appealing to historical example to derive the content of that standard.

    No society hitherto has tried to domesticate homosexuality (I use the term as a matter of convenience, consistent with my earlier statement that precisely speaking it does not exist) for the simple reason that to do so is to domesticate all things. (I’ve explained this seemingly cryptic point further here for Claire Berlinski at #264). All arguments for SSM the modern era must inevitably be Nietzschean, ie., the absolute assertion of individuality.

    Right. I’m not suggesting that SSM is justifiable under natural law, and obviously it is opposed by Christ’s definition of marriage. While that sort of domestication of homosexuality is rare though, the exclusion of sodomy is nowhere near as widespread. Many, many cultures practice homosexual sex, and many have identities that are crafted around something akin to a homosexual identity. We have revealed truths about homosexuality that are clear, but we cannot derive those truths from supporting custom in some societies, since those societies often practiced unpleasant customs rather than doing what was right. Learning healthy sexuality by imitating a pederastic society is perverse.

    • #83
  24. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Robert Lux:And this is the case even today, as most men don’t want to be perceived as similarly slavish, i.e., the business about two men kissing. That more people today may find it less offensive does not dispose of my point. What’s next? I well imagine we become less offended to expressions of incest. And so forth. Jefferson’s — heck, the tradition’s — linking homosexuality with beasteality and incest is well founded.

     Changes in disgust really do dispose of arguments based on the universality of disgust. If you want to argue from principles and reason, then go ahead. If you argue from emotion, though, you depend on the accuracy of your analysis of those emotions. If you argue from history, then the history becomes vital to your arguments. Conflating the argument with slippery slope arguments will not save it; they may be separately valid (I think that they are, and provide a more solid foundation), but all the consequences in the world will not salvage an argument based on a claim that particular non-universal traits are universal.

    • #84
  25. user_1030767 Inactive
    user_1030767
    @TheQuestion

    Jude:

    Mike LaRoche:

    Jude:

    I just do not understand….

    Troll much?

    I guess this is what I should expect. Go ahead and attack and diminish the person. I am not trolling. I am really at a loss to understand.

     I’m Catholic and I’ve been involved in church.  I’ve never personally known anyone that had any connection with a priest molesting a child.  The closest I’m come to personal contact with sex abuse in the church is when Cardinal Bernadine (he was my archbishop when I was a kid) was accused of molestation, but his accuser recanted.  My understanding is that priests are statistically no more likely to molest children than other people who work with children.  To me, the sex abuse issue is something big in the media, but has little to do with the church as I know it.    

    • #85
  26. user_385039 Inactive
    user_385039
    @donaldtodd

    Michael Sanregret: #85 “I’m Catholic..  I’ve never personally known anyone that had any connection with a priest molesting a child.”

    Like you I am a Catholic and I do know some boys (now men) who were molested.  It had a devastating effect on the families, who were active Catholics.  The position of the particular archdiocese was less than charitable, especially given the number of men who came forward with the same story. 

    The archdiocese tried to treat these like insurance claims, hoping to make them go away, but they did not.  One hopes that those people can forgive such egregious actions against themselves and their family members but it is not easy and it is certainly much greater than an insurance claim.

    The successors to the apostles  had degenerated into managers and being managers ill-served the Church.  There was an awareness about the “problem” but management did not do anything about it.

    There was an issue about accusing the innocent clergy as well which did occur.

    Vetting candidates for the priesthood is much better.  Some are fit for the call, others are not.

    The ability to handle such offenders is also much better.

    Thank God.

    • #86
  27. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    The closest I’m come to personal contact with sex abuse in the church is when Cardinal Bernadine (he was my archbishop when I was a kid) was accused of molestation, but his accuser recanted.

    “It is a fact that Bernardin’s accuser (Cook) did not ever retract his allegations of abuse by anyone’s account other than Bernardin’s,” said Sipe. He also told the audience that the Chicago Archdiocese’s pay off to Cook before he died of AIDS was in the $3 million range.

    • #87
  28. user_3444 Coolidge
    user_3444
    @JosephStanko


    Jude
    : When he did, he was testifying agains the man who was defended by the church. And when he was found to be culpable of the charges, the church gave up its legal battle.

    Obviously I’m less familiar with the details than you are, but what you’ve described sounds appropriate to me.  “Innocent until proven guilty” applies to everyone, including priests, right?  Certainly some priests are guilty of this terrible crime, but priests can be falsely accused as well.  If he claimed he was innocent, I don’t see what’s wrong with standing by him until he was convicted, and then as you say they dropped the battle.

    Jude: The priest disappeared into Ireland where he is free today.

     That’s deeply unfortunate, but why is that the Church’s fault?  Roman Polanski fled to France and is still free today as well.  This seems like a problem with extradition treaties.

    Jude: His parishioners helped his run from justice.

     I can only speculate that they still believed he was innocent despite the conviction.  People are naturally disinclined to believe someone they have known and trusted for years could commit such a terrible crime.

    • #88
  29. user_3444 Coolidge
    user_3444
    @JosephStanko

    Pelayo: Furthermore, as a Catholic we are taught that if you receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation your sins are forgiven.  Why is it that I can commit other sins and be forgiven but divorce is unforgiveable? 

     Jennifer answered this, but I wanted to elaborate a bit.

    Jennifer Thieme: 1. Divorce is not an unforgivable sin. Divorce and re-marriage is the problem: it’s adultery.

    Jesus is quite clear on this point:

    And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery.”

    Now before a priest can absolve a sin, the sinner must repent and resolve to make amends.  For instance, you can’t rob a bank, go to confession, and then expect to keep the loot.  In order to be forgiven, the bank robber must resolve to return the stolen money and face justice.

    Now if one sincerely repents of the sin of remarriage (i.e. adultery) the Church expects him to end the adulterous relationship.  If one insists on living as if married, then he has not repented, and therefore cannot be absolved of the sin.

    • #89
  30. user_96427 Contributor
    user_96427
    @tommeyer

    Matthew continues:

    “Why then,” the [Pharisees] asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

    Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

    Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    Wow, I’d forgotten how tough Jesus was on that subject. That Christianity caught on as a popular religion in spite of passages like that is rather miraculous in itself.

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