Heresy Trials, Contraceptive Sex, and Homosexuality

Interesting discussion over at Saint Joseph’s Young Adult Faith Community between me and Dr. John Baglow who runs Dawg’s Blog.  He and I go way back to March 25, 2008 when we both attended a “Canadian Heresy Trial” hosted by our notorious Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.  Of course, secularists are generally not honest enough to admit that that’s what they have going on under the guise of “human rights” racket, but alas,  a rose by any other name….
 
 
  1. The Catholic faith cannot support homosexual acts because they are a species of contraceptive sex.


    It’s not JUST about homosexuality. It’s about the very nature of the sexual act which, obviously, involves heterosexuals too.


    Contraceptive sex, whether by same-sex or opposite-sex partners, is immoral.


    4 Catholic Reasons to Oppose Homosexuality: http://www.catholic-legate.com/?p=9161


    John Baglow says:

  2. Just curious, as a non-Catholic. The Church once supported the burning of heretics. And slavery. And racial segregation. And creationism. No doubt the traditionalists grumbled when these things were abandoned. But move on the Church did.


    Why can the traditionalists here not see that time will not stand still for them? When did homosexuality get officially denounced by the Church? Why must that denunciation stay in place forever? And I repeat: Christ Himself said nothing whatsoever on the subject.




    • John B.,


      You need to get your facts down straight, John.


      1) Where do you get the idea that the Church officially taught “Creationism”? This is not a defined Catholic teaching. You’re getting us mixed up with Fundamentalists.


      2) Racial Segregation? Are you for real? If you had only a cursory understanding of the Church’s *universal* character since its existence, you would never think of such an absurdity, much less voice it in a public forum. Once again, you are confusing certain some small and insignificant geographical factions of the Church (like in the U.S. deep south) with the official teaching of the universal church. There’s a big difference. Catholics never claimed that there would be erroneous opinion by some of its members. She only teaches that she will never officially bind all her members to error. That’s a big difference. You need to understand what we believe about ourselves before you can intelligently critique us.


      3) Slavery – This is a very complex issue, and dependent on the development of the Catholic understanding of the dignity of the human persons. Suffice it to say, John, that the Church never said slavery was a “good thing”. It tolerated it for many centuries before finally renouncing it by name. Also, we must be clear on what we mean by “slavery”. It’s not the American 19th century kind you might be thinking of.


      Suffice it to say that St. Paul made no general defense of slavery, any more than he defended the pagan government in Rome. It is more appropriate to say that the Church moved away from tolerating slavery in the “brokeness of the human condition”, to a positive renunciation of it. Can that be declared a “reversal”? Not quite. It is more fitting to describe it as a development in the Church’s teaching on the dignity of the human person which has come to fruition in the 20th century. A “reversal” of the teaching in this context implies that the Church was initially saying slavery was “good” while now saying it is “bad”. That was never the case.


      The Church grows in the truth. No Catholic has said otherwise. But it does not contradict her earlier teachings and say what was once evil is now good. That is what would be required in the assent to sodomy, and that will never happen.


      Of course, the whole issue of the dignity of the human person has a new slavery today – the chattelization and commercialization of human life where human beings are bought and sold on the market (i.e. through immoral conceptions and artificial relationships). The Left doesn’t seem to mind that too much, of course, since it fits right into their belief in the total and absolute primacy of sexual license — no matter if children have a father or a mother. The Commun-ist village is all they need….and maybe not even that anymore. Right, John?


      4) Heresy – The punishment given for heresy is a very complex topic. Suffice it to say the Church has never officially taught that the death penalty is appropriate for heresy — although some officials practiced it. It has condemned the proposition that it is necessarily a sin. It has wisely left the question OPEN to discussion. The whole idea of religious freedom itself is a complex topic, John, and frankly right now, I don’t have much time to discuss it.


  3. Andy P says:

    John Baglow,
    Your comments about “The Church once supported the burning of heretics. And slavery. And racial segregation. And creationism” are complete nonsense. Please provide your evidence that the Church ever taught that any of the above was a moral good. You don’t have it because it doesn’t exist.


    And with regards to creationism, wrong on that one too. Please check your facts before you spread your misinformation.


  4. Steve G says:

    John Baglow,


    The Church distinguishes between circumstantial evil and intrinsic evil. There are also many levels of teaching within the Church, not all of which are considered infallible. And then there are unfortunately mistakes by renegade Catholics that have nothing to do with the Church’s official position. These factors account for the changes you describe.


    But the teaching on homosexuality is indeed infallible because it is so deeply rooted in Scripture, Sacred Tradition and Magisterial teaching. It will never change. It is immutable and unchangeable because it is rooted in the very nature of humans, which will never change.



  5. Do I really have to dredge up the many documents about the early Church reactions to Darwin, or the practice of burning heretics alive, countenanced by the Church throughout the Inquisition? Must we argue the nonexistent moral distinction between acting wrongly and not exercising one’s power to prevent the wrong act–<a href=”silent acceptance instead of active intervention against evil?


    There’s more than a little disingenuousness here. I especially enjoyed John P.’s “depends what you mean by slavery” dodge, as well as his dismissal of the deaths of countless people in fearful agony as “a complex topic.”


    My point wasn’t really to re-argue these unassailable historical truths, however, but to note that the Church has indeed changed on every one of them. As it will on the issue of sexuality, celibate priests and stem cell research–or perish. I have no stake in either outcome, by the way.


  6. Sorry, html code is not working for me. I wanted to link the phrase “silent acceptance” to this article:


    http://www.catholic.org/diocese/diocese_story.php?id=25433


    • Do I really have to dredge up the many documents about the early Church reactions to Darwin,



      Yes, please do. You must be awfully confident in your knowledge of 1) the Catholic position on Darwinism and 2) who speaks for Catholicism. If you knew what you were talking about, you would not be bringing up this example. But go ahead and show your cards, John.


      or the practice of burning heretics alive, countenanced by the Church throughout the Inquisition?



      Ah yes, the Inquisition. Listen carefully to me, John. To understand the Inquisition, by which I believe you are referring to the Spanish Inquisition because there were many of them in different parts of Europe spanning centuries, you need to understand that to be a “heretic” meant, at that time, TREASON to the State. Now, not too long ago in the West, apart from its connection to religion whatsoever, TREASON carried the penalty of death…for obvious reasons. I only point this out to you, John, to show you that, although you may disagree with capital punishment on principle, you might appreciate that for many, capital punishment was a viable means of defending a nation. If you understand that, you can understand the big, bad “heresy trials” that you have such a pedestrian difficulty with.


      Besides, it’s a bit rich for you to criticize the Catholic Church for ‘heresy trials’ when you’re known as a big supporter of the Canadian Heresy Courts known as the “Human Rights Commissions”. Remember March 2008? I have a picture of you and me outside of their building here in Ottawa when we attended one of their sessions. You see, John, you don’t call your religion “a religion” or your beliefs “a dogma” or your ecclesiastical courts “heresy tribunals”, but I assure you, you have just as must a full fledged religion as Catholics do. And the vigor to which you and your co-religionists pursue your opponents in these heresy trials really does put the Catholic Church to shame.


      Must we argue the nonexistent moral distinction between acting wrongly and not exercising one’s power to prevent the wrong act–<a href=”silent acceptance instead of active intervention against evil?



      No, we don’t need to argue about that because that is not the precise question at hand, John. You’re very sloppy for a Ph.D.


      Before you can engage a knowledgeable Catholic, you need to understand what the Church believes about herself and what She claims about herself. She does not claim that her members (even Popes) always live up to what She teaches. She does not teach that she will always teach the truth in its fullest form from Day 1. What she does teach is that, per Our Lord’s promise to Her, that she will never teach error.


      There are plenty of examples of the Church in certain parts of the world in different eras which have failed miserably. In Germany against the Nazis, even though Rome had consistently condemned Naziism and was, in truth, the greatest helpers of the Jews. In the deep South in the U.S. during slavery in the mid-19th century when many Catholic bishops where going along with it, even though Rome had condemned chattel slavery. These examples, and many more, including, for instance, the WORST example today of the hierarchy abandoning millions of unborn children to the extermination centres in the Western World. That one will live on in infamy. But none of these examples overturn what the Church believes about herself or her infallible nature.



    • Sorry, html code is not working for me. I wanted to link the phrase “silent acceptance” to this article: http://www.catholic.org/diocese/diocese_story.php?id=25433



      John, my friend, do you really believe that in 1949, those hundreds of black and coloured bishops who existed in the third world were considered “separate but equal” in the Catholic Church? If you do, you have some major coherency problems. Modern racism and eugenics comes from atheistic Darwinism, my friend. Go research the roots of Naziism and you will see that what I am saying is true. It is a heretical and vicious evil. The Catholic Church has always condemned it. We Catholics didn’t come from White, Anglo-Saxon, Germanic stock, either. We came from the middle east.


      Moreover, you need to make the basic distinction between TOLERATING AN EVIL and TEACHING AN EVIL. Does that article in any way make this distinction? No. Because the Catholic Church worked within the laws of the U.S. at the time to educate black children under oppressive laws. It reasoned, at the time, that it was better to tolerate an evil than leave these children without any education at all because the State would disrupt any non-segregated classrooms.


      On the other hand, if you can find me evidence of school offiicals saying that racial segregation was good because blacks were inferior to whites, I’d be happy to consider your evidence and argument. Even then, though, it wouldn’t matter because Rome would not have confirmed the teaching.


      So, once again, John, you a) don’t understand Catholic teaching, b) don’t understand historical context, and c) don’t have any basic grounding in moral theology.


      Segregation in itself, however, is not wrong. It is only wrong if the reason for the segregation is to teach that human beings are not equal in dignity or nature.


  7. Darwin first. A council of German bishops quickly denounced the theory, and remained uncontradicted by the Vatican. Silence. Assent. Then a number of individuals were called to account for attempting to reconcile Church dogma with Darwinian concepts, and their books found their way onto the Index (which no longer exists–more change). But, as noted, the Vatican altered its views over time.


    Must we argue the nonexistent moral distinction between acting wrongly and not exercising one’s power to prevent the wrong act–”silent acceptance instead of active intervention against evil?


    Indeed, that’s one of the questions at hand at this point. Failure to denounce evil is countenancing it. Not teaching the truth is countenancing error. And if even Popes, infallibly speaking ex cathedra on faith and morals, are failing miserably, as you put it, who is the “She” who is doing the teaching?


    you need to understand that to be a “heretic” meant, at that time, TREASON to the State.


    That’s hilariously circular. You aren’t seriously arguing that the victims of the Inquisition were actively conspiring to overthrow the governments of their time, do you? Protestant/Jewish recusancy is hardly the same thing as sedition. (I should have used the plural, admittedly, because I was referring in fact to far more than the Spanish Inquisition–e.g., the so-called “mediaeval Inquisition,” which was in fact itself plural. I recall that a 13-century Pope authorized the use of torture during these little escapades.)


    • Darwin first. A council of German bishops quickly denounced the theory, and remained uncontradicted by the Vatican. Silence. Assent. Then a number of individuals were called to account for attempting to reconcile Church dogma with Darwinian concepts, and their books found their way onto the Index (which no longer exists–more change). But, as noted, the Vatican altered its views over time.



      John, Darwinism is a scientific theory or “theories” as John Paul II comfortably observed. The Catholic Church is not into denouncing “science” or scientific theories. There’s a sucker born every minute — or if you prefer, “science advances funeral by funeral”. On the other hand, She has been the greatest patron of science her whole history, Galileo notwithstanding. What the Church condemns are elements of “science” which contradict the Church’s faith. That’s what happened with the issuance of Humani Generis by Pope Pius XII. Strictly speaking, the Church takes NO POSITION on the physical creation of the world or man, except for a few items which Catholics much believe, including the belief that we came from one man and one woman. The uncited examples that you cite probably refer to theologians who crossed the line in accepting some elements of Darwinism that were against the Church’s faith. There are so many theories of evolution today that a Catholic can believe in some but not in others. I cannot intelligently speak on this issue unless I know what these individuals and theologians were saying. Suffice it to say, that’s why Piux XII issued Humani Generis — as a guide to Catholic theologians and scientists. It was a Catholic priest-physist, after all, who invented the “Big Bang” theory.


      Indeed, that’s one of the questions at hand at this point. Failure to denounce evil is countenancing it.



      No, John, that is not correct. Most of the time, I would agree with you, but some times loose lips sink ships. Pius XII – an amazing Pope – and the situation of the Jews was a perfect example of this.


      Also, remember what happened at Regensberg and the Pope’s academic talk? As a result of being academically critical of Islam, Christians got stabbed in the back.


      From a practical point of view, John, you are wrong. And even from a moral point of view, you are wrong. Failing to denounce evil sometimes means avoiding a greater evil if the denouncing took place.


      Not teaching the truth is countenancing error.



      No, not necessarily. Thomas More and the Church say otherwise. And I’m on their side.


      And if even Popes, infallibly speaking ex cathedra on faith and morals, are failing miserably, as you put it, who is the “She” who is doing the teaching?



      No Pope has ever failed when teaching ex cathedra. You need to prove it and not just allege it.


      She is the Church, the bride of Christ. You wouldn’t understand. It’s a masuline-feminine, marriage of opposite gender kind of thing.


      you need to understand that to be a “heretic” meant, at that time, TREASON to the State.


      That’s hilariously circular. You aren’t seriously arguing that the victims of the Inquisition were actively conspiring to overthrow the governments of their time, do you? Protestant/Jewish recusancy is hardly the same thing as sedition.



      Actually, it was. There was no real separation between Church and State. Heresy was a crime against both. It did not carry the strict meaning it does to us today, but actually a much more “robust and complete” meaning. It is sufficient for illustration and I most certainly stand by it.


      Why do you think, John, (in that period of history within a mere 50 years after the Spanish Inquisition) that questioning Henry VIII’s position as the Head of the Church in England got you sent to the Tower of London and then beheaded?


      That’s how it worked back then, John.


      (I should have used the plural, admittedly, because I was referring in fact to far more than the Spanish Inquisition–e.g., the so-called “mediaeval Inquisition,” which was in fact itself plural. I recall that a 13-century Pope authorized the use of torture during these little escapades.)



       
  8. Let me say this again, so there is no misunderstanding:


    Every person is created in the image of God and therefore is deserving of the respect that comes from being created in that image.


    This includes persons who have homosexual tendencies. (I do not agree with the term “homosexual person” because that is a disingenuous term, which defines a person based on their sexual acts. This nomenclature is a corruption and ghettoization of the human person.)


    Everyone has had some sexual sin in their lives. We all fall short. We all must get up and ask for forgiveness. But we can’t call sin something that it’s not, or else we deceive ourselves and set ourselves up for many lonely years of heartache and pain – for ourselves and others.


    Persons suffering from this disorder carry a heavy burden and the Church and her members lift them up in prayer and thanksgiving that God’s grace is sufficient for them to overcome their challenge – as God’s grace is sufficient for all of us to overcome our own sin – sexual or otherwise.


    There are many faithful, Catholic spouses who are married, but for reasons of health or other reasons, cannot have sex any more (or very infrequently) with their other spouse. The message of the Gospel for them is the same as it is for persons who carry the homosexual tendency: chastity.


    Now you may say: that sucks. Yes it does. It’s not easy. But Jesus didn’t say it wasn’t going to be easy. He said he would give your sacrifice meaning. That it would “count” in eternity. A person who resists these sins and remains chaste for love of God inherits an eternal crown. “Eye has not seen or ear has heard what awaits them.”


    For Catholics, sex is sacrifice. If you’re having it, that means being open to children and when children come, that’s a whole lotta sacrifice. If you’re not having it, that’s a sacrifice too because you’re not getting it..


    But without the element of sacrifice, it’s not true sex. It’s false sex. It’s sex for entertainment. And false sex,sex-for-entertainment does not give glory to God, and in the end does not really fulfill.


    This is something I wrote about a few months ago as part of the child sexual abuse crisis….


    So what is the cause of this plague that has attacked the Church and Society these past forty years? Well, it’s actually not that complicated at all, but it does require some explanation. The problem is rooted in the understanding of sex. When sex is a sacrifice and it has meaning for a culture, there is very little abuse of it. This is because it retains its nobility and purpose, as well as its mystery and transcendence. Sex is supposed to be a language of love, but our current culture has made it a language of war.


    Sex today is also rather meaningless. Because of contraception, sex has been stripped of its natural connection to procreation. So it’s no longer about sacrifice. It’s about entertainment. For a large portion of society, it’s about orgasm only. That’s why the West’s birth rates are suicidal and why it is on the edge of demographic collapse. Sex was also once considered a remote participation in the economy of God. But today, we’re into sexual idolatry instead.


    Let me repeat: Sex is predominantly understood today as entertainment. And if it’s about entertainment, then it cannot really be that meaningful. If it’s just a “little fun”; if it’s just “casual”; if it’s really not “all that serious”; if it truly is about entertainment, then what can be wrong with a little bit of sexual voyeurism? And where do you suppose this voyeurism will lead, if not to children? After all, entertainment is not serious. Entertainment doesn’t harm anyone, does it? Remember, folks, there is little meaning to sex in our age. And if there is little meaning to it, then why are so many people upset that children are being asked to engage in the entertainment? If sex is not serious, then why is its abuse being taken so seriously?


  9. Hoo, boy.


    So a man with a menopausal wife is enjoined from having sex with her because no children are possible? Must a sterile man or woman, even if married, forgo sex for the same reason?


    And then this:


    That’s why the West’s birth rates are suicidal and why it is on the edge of demographic collapse.


    Anyone else notice the racist resonances here? Not to mention the hyperbole.


     John Pacheco says:

    • So a man with a menopausal wife is enjoined from having sex with her because no children are possible?



      No, John. I said the couple must be open to children. Every sexual act must physically and spiritually permit (i.e. be open) conception. There has to be a “yes” to the question of “If I send you a child through this act, will you accept it” Why do you think that where contraception is so prevalent that abortion is so common? “No” during sex doesn’t normally mean “yes” when you find out you knocked her up. The reaction is “O shit where the hell is the Morgentaler clinic?” Goes against the received wisdom you’ve been fed or are feeding, doesn’t it?


      But the Church reaizes that a married couple who wishes to postpone childbirth for grave reasons can do so by having sex during infertile periods. They are not doing anything wrong by not having sex on fertile days and having sex on infertile days. The Church only asks that you respect the body and creation as God has designed. These are not arbitrary rules, but rules based on basic biology and a respect for creation. The only thing the Church insists on is that you don’t frustrate the natural act by artificial or other physical means. The sexual act is a remote participation in the Trinity, John. Physiologically, it means when you get the juices going, you need to finish what you started. No rubbers. No Pills. No IUDS. And no withdrawl, either. Real and “dangerous” (i.e. possibility of children up to God) sex, John, with the unlatexed sexual organs that God gave you.


      Must a sterile man or woman, even if married, forgo sex for the same reason?



      Depends. If he or she is sterile by nature, no, because they are still open to children. The plumbing doesn’t work, but that is no sin. If they mutilated their bodies through a vascectomy or tubal, then they have to take every available means to reverse it before they have sex. If they can’t afford it, AND the person is truly repentant, the intentionally mutilated sexual organ would then be considered on the same moral level as being a limitation of nature. Sex would be OK.


      However, on this last point, I must stress, that the person must be truly convicted of their error and repentant. There might be smirks going around as people read this, but you can’t bullshit God. It’s your soul on the line.


      That’s why the West’s birth rates are suicidal and why it is on the edge of demographic collapse. Anyone else notice the racist resonances here? Not to mention the hyperbole.



      Racist? Modern contraception is the invention of Margaret Sanger and the eugencists, John, who wanted to decrease the black population in the U.S.. I, for one, would like to see an explosion of the population of Black Americans (which is STILL the hardest hit by the way) just to piss her off and make her roll in her grave. Once again, John, you really do need to educate yourself on the facts, and stop watching too much MSNBC TV.


      And as for hyperbole on the question of demographic collapse, you must be joking. The only reason you doubt the unassaible facts, John, is that to concede them would mean a significant shift in how you see the meaning of sex and it would likely alter your worldview as well. That`s why you and these damn liberals “cling to your enlightenment and latex“, to borrow a phrase from Obama.


      Every statistic for the past 15 years has been showing the same thing. I do not follow the logic of equating advocates for more population with the idea that they have “racist resonances”. Like I told the last Lefty who tried to spew this nonsense, unlike you, I have been the subject of bigotry in my life. So please, don`t try to pull that bleeding heart garbage on me. I`ve been there, done that, laughed it off, and moved on. Stop trying to feel sorry for me. I assure you that I`ve recovered and am doing swell.


      That`s it for me. I`m off to bed.


  10. One last comment before I bow out of this discussion. I will be indisposed next week….


    My point wasn’t really to re-argue these unassailable historical truths, however, but to note that the Church has indeed changed on every one of them. As it will on the issue of sexuality, celibate priests and stem cell research–or perish. I have no stake in either outcome, by the way.



    John, you need to distiguish between what is reformable, or, as we call in in Catholic teaching “the development of doctrine”, and what is immutable and cannot be changed. It is not an arbitrary classification but a real one.


    Think of the Catholic Church as a seed which has grown into a big oak, or a baby and has grown into an adult. She learns and expounds truths as she grows. What she was in her very early years is not what she is today. She is now a fully formed adult (or so we think) whereas when she started she was an infant and so the truths she expounds today were not fully formed or fully understood at the beginning. And this is what Jesus hinted at when He told his followers that He would send the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us into all truth. However, it still the same tree, the same “DNA”, the same “person”. She cannot deny what she was. She cannot be a “different” person in SUBSTANCE. She cannot contradict what She is…then, now, or ever.


    Now to the examples you raise….


    1) Celibacy of the priestly state..this is not a doctrine but a discipline. It can be bound or loosed as the Church sees fit. But you are not going to see it loosed and certainly not in your lifetime. In this sex-saturated culture, the Church will loosen this discipline when hell freezes over.


    2) Stem Cell Research is fine if it does not destroy a human being (here I am thinking about adult stem cell research). If it’s embryonic stem cell research, it’s abortion. The Church can never countenance murder, John. You will never see that change. EVER. It is a moral commandment of God not to murder. Catholics don’t approve of murder, John.


    And let me close by saying one more thing, if I may. Contraception has been around since Genesis. If you’re a creationist or darwinist reading this, I want you to count back to when man Onan first appeard on this earth. That’s how long Judeo-Christian history has condemned the practice. Now, back in the 1930-60s when almost every Christian church was reversing their teaching on this subject, the Catholic Church basically stood alone in upholding the constant witness of the Christianity over a millenia. Now conservatives and honest non-Christians are admitting that the Church was right, given the societal and moral collapse around us. Every social ill that we are experiencing – or almost all of them – derives from – either directly or indirectly – from the acceptance of the contraceptive act in principle. It was the Catholic Church alone who correctly prophesized what would happen to women, to society, and to children if contraception was accepted into law (a relatively new phenomenon to be honest). Until 1930, all Christian Churches had condemned its practice until the Anglicans caved at Lambeth in that year. Before Trudeau, contraception was actually illegal in Canada. In 40 years, we have gone from outlawing contraception to same-sex marriage. That’s no coincidence, my friend. And where we are going to go in the brave new world is anyone’s guess too.


    What is my point? Simply this: the issue of contraception and the Church’s steadfast opposition to it – and refusal to bend these past 50 years – is proof positive of her divine foundation. It’s been thousands of years, we’ve held this position. It will be thousands more and we will still hold to it. If you’re a betting man, where are you going to place your bets?


    No contraceptive act will ever be accepted by the Church, for the simple reason, that it would overturn not only all her moral teachings on the family, but it would affect much of her doctrinal theology as well. It’s all tied together in a beautiful quilt – every piece attaching and clinging to another.


    The gates of hell won’t prevail. That’s Jesus’ promise, and I believe Him. So far, He’s been right on. Why should I doubt the Son of God’s word and place my trust in stupid and sinful men instead – men who are on the way to eternal damnation?


    If anyone reading this believes the Church will eventually change on this point or any point which concerns an immutable truth, I want you to understand and mark this very clearly: you will breathe your last breath and the Church will still hold to this teaching. Mark my words now, in ten years time from this date, and on your death bed.


    If you’re Catholic and you have homosexual tendencies, call on God and his Mother to help you turn away from these acts. You are a person created in God’s image. Do not trade the truth of who you are for a lie. Eternal separation from God is a real possibility. God does not force anyone to be with Him for all eternity. And He’s not going to change who He is, therefore, you need to change who you are to conform to His image. That is the purpose of your life. Everything else, as St. Paul says, is “dung”.


    God bless you in your struggle. There is no hatred in my heart for any of you, but a firm prayer and desire that you accept the Church’s teaching, live it, and become the saints that God has called you to be.

6 thoughts on “Heresy Trials, Contraceptive Sex, and Homosexuality

  1. John/Steve:

    Very interesting comment thread here, and good work defending the Church on both of your parts.

    I think you have highlighted for readers the challenge that one faces in criticising the Church on faith and morals, and also the vastness of the store of wisdom that the Church possesses.

    Your critic and those who assail the Church (I am reminded particularly of our Fundamentalist separated brethren) are looking for a glass half empty, and stop whenever they find the alleged data that supports their thesis. But, the glass is neither half empty nor half full. It is merely a trompe l’oeil. The glass is full to the brim, with scripture, tradition, Magistrial teaching, and not only is it full, it is one gigantic glass to boot.

    Those who drink a wee dram of her, and then proclaim her inferiority because of whatever the point is at the moment, have missed the point of the waters. They are the waters of Baptism, the waters that cleanse us regularly, the waters that rehydrate us and the waters that we use to bring plants to life to yield their fruits at harvest time.

    You are battling against those who are more interested in being right than in the truth, and that is a game that cannot likely be won. It is however beneficial to present the truth, as you have, and let the chips fall where they may.

    God Bless you

    Michael Brandon

  2. Let’s put this in perspective.

    In the history of the Church, once the Church has adopted an idea re: Truth, no pressure campaign, no persecution has never been successful in changing the Church’s mind. There have been several of these in the history of the Church, from Arianism, to Scripture Alone, to State Control of the Church, to divorce, contraception, women priests, homosexuality et j’en passe.

    Once the Vatican digs in its heels, opponents lose.

    The Vatican did not dig in its heals on slavery. Or darwinism. Or any of the other canards generally brought up. No Magisterial document ever said to campaigners AGAINST slavery: hey you! Be quiet! Your position is incompatible with the faith. Stop exploring Darwinism, it’s not possible! Etc.

    However, once the Vatican says: look, this doctrine is untrue, this act is evil, no ifs ands or buts. That’s it. Game over for dissidents.

    I’m explaining it in non-Catholic terms because the history is so obvious. No pressure campaign to get the Church to change her mind once she digs in her heels has ever succeeded. It’s a fact of history. And it never will. It’s the structure of the Church.

  3. No matter how we feel about same-sex marriage, the exegesis for the 2nd and 3rd chapters of Genesis makes us uncomfortable. Why? Because the deed Adam and Eve did, according to the evidence, was sodomy–the mystery the bishop of Hippo almost solved 1600 years ago. (He thought the sin was penile/vaginal.) For more information google The First Scandal Adam and Eve. Then click, read, and click again.

  4. Sorry Robert, but the sin of Adam and Eve had nothing to do with sexuality. It was a sin of pride, by rejecting God’s plan for them and wanting to decide for themselves, subjectively and arbitrarily, what constituted “right” and “wrong”. This same pattern of sin has been observed ever since, to this very day.

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