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Author Topic: Pope Says Christians Should Apologize to People They Have Marginalized  (Read 6620 times)

Skumring

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Quote from: Darkhawk;194112
I am getting the impression that you thought you were making an obvious clever joke, rather than making a comment about the historical and current facts of the nature of the Inquisition.

It appears to me that most people have been responding to you as if you were making a historical statement and trying to figure out what you were talking about regarding facts, rather than humour.

I hope that helps.

 
It was meant more as an allusion as I see nothing funny about the services et. al. or being forced to attend and sit through them by parents who probably meant well.

Sunday service could range from 1 - 2 hours, usually closer to two especially if members were giving "testimony". After that were the "Sunday school" classes. For young children this wasn't so bad. Lots of singing and other things they consider fun. Once you are bestowed the "priesthood" at 12 (for boys) you're expected to behave in a much more adult manner and certain childish things are from then on frowned upon. You were also expected to attend an additional hour of classes on deeper church dogma. For example; mormons believe that our world once orbited a star called "Kolob" and this is the home system in which God resides. When Adam and Eve fell this prompted God to expel our entire world from his "sight" (perhaps 'site' might be more accurate) after which we wound up orbiting Sol.

They've also proven, as a group, to generally be some of the most insular and self-righteous pricks I've met. They don't even want their children dating outside of the mormon church.

Mind you, I'm just one person who grew up with massive emotional issues from growing up as a mormon. So I think it apropos to allude to it being a modern Inquisition.
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Darkhawk

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Quote from: Skumring;194176
So I think it apropos to allude to it being a modern Inquisition.

 
You may feel it was apropos; I suspect it was also largely incomprehensible to people outside your head.  (I mean, Frater's been doing some excellent commentary on the historicity of the Inquisition.)  I only figured out what was going on by interpolating wild-ass guesses between responses and squinting a lot at what appeared to be totally off-the-wall comments.
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Quote from: Jack;193990
I dunno, I'm in favor of the Church's teaching being more in line with what Christ said, myself... ;P

Absolutely.

Quote from: Darkhawk;194088
the rest of this stuff is just rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.

That's a good line, I may have to steal that for future use.

Quote from: Castus;194114
My contention that the Pope's words undermine doctrine seems fairly well borne out even in the OP; with Demophon breathlessly exclaiming that this could possibly lead to Catholic doctrine on homosexuality and the ordination of women being overturned.
[...]
The Bible is in both cases very clear on homosexuality and it is from that that the RCC draws it's rightful condemnation.

I didn't realize I seemed so breathless. Anyway, I don't know if it will overturn doctrine, as that is very difficult to do, I just think it will open up the opportunity for dialogue about these issues in the Catholic Church without these conversations being immediately shut down by Church authorities.

About biblical condemnation of homosexuality, there are the usual arguments about how it's not mentioned in the Gospels at all, and how the sexual laws of Leviticus were a later addition specific to a certain context not meant to be included in Sacred Scripture as universal spiritual laws. Of course, there is a lot in Leviticus and Deuteronomy that Jews and Christians find irrelevant to the central message of Scripture. Most sane people in western culture no longer think it's appropriate to stone a woman to death for being a filthy whore if she didn't scream loud enough when she was raped. Then there's that stuff about blending fabrics and eating shellfish, etc. I believe the official stance of the Catholic Church is that *Christ* is the ultimate revelation of God, *not* Scripture, which is a testimony of a people's experience of God, but not the infallible Word of God itself, as that can only be Jesus, which is why the Gospels have primary importance.

The modern Catholic Church doesn't necessarily condemn homosexuality, exactly. It acknowledges homosexuals exist, even if their orientation is disordered, are in need of pastoral care, and that discrimination against them is absolutely wrong. This may sound problematic to many people, and maybe it is, but sexuality in general is a difficult issue for the Church. Sex is for marriage and marriage is for procreation, so any sex outside that model is a problem. Technically, anyone having sex outside of marriage for non-procreative purposes are engaging in acts equally as sinful as homosexuality. However, like with contraception, even many sincerely pious Catholics on the ground do not find those particular teachings relevant to their faith in Christ.

I can see why same-sex marriage would not really fit in the Catholic paradigm the way many liberal Protestant churches have adopted it. Still, the Church is a living organism, and theologians are always trying to better understand the nature of God, Christ, and the Scriptures. I wouldn't rule same-sex marriage out for the Catholic Church, though it may still be in the distant future. I'm sure they will do it the proper way, unlike recently in the Anglican Church of Canada, where same-sex marriage has recently been approved from a vote at General Synod. If a Church wants to change its doctrine through careful theological discourse, I think that's fine, but changing Church teaching based on popular opinion and modern cultural trends makes me pretty uncomfortable.

Apparently there is also evidence of women presiding at the Eucharist in the early Church before Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire and adopted the rather "pagan" concept that only men can represent male deities (God is beyond gender but Christ took male form in the incarnation), and women can only serve female deities. I wouldn't be surprised if women's roles in the Church open up a lot more in the coming decades, as the older bishops die off, and early Church scholarship advances as more open-minded generations move up the ranks. Not that the Pope's recent statements really have anything to do with this, but I'm throwing it out there as an example of how Church doctrine can change for the right reasons. The Second Vatican Council was a major attempt to return to the the early sources, and I think that may continue. Many Catholics are more concerned with making the Church an authentic manifestation of Christ's message and mission rather than preserving stale traditions that are not relevant to that mission.

Quote from: Altair;193989
Yawn.

Sorry, I know I'm supposed to be all aglow that some old religion's leader deigns to acknowledge they did us wrong, but since they're *still* doing us wrong--fighting against *civil* marriage (which is none of their business); fighting against anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people, the very same protections that they embrace for their own flock--it has extremely limited value. Deeds, not words.

Fair enough, though I have met a lot of LGBT Catholics who feel much more welcome in their own Church under Pope Francis than they have in the past. His words may not mean much to non-Catholics, but for those in the Church who have been marginalized, statements like these are profoundly meaningful and appreciated.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 12:15:19 am by Demophon »

Skumring

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Quote from: Darkhawk;194177
You may feel it was apropos; I suspect it was also largely incomprehensible to people outside your head.  (I mean, Frater's been doing some excellent commentary on the historicity of the Inquisition.)  I only figured out what was going on by interpolating wild-ass guesses between responses and squinting a lot at what appeared to be totally off-the-wall comments.

 
*sigh* Wouldn't be the first time I said something that made sense only to me. Thank you for helping me get this clarified.
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RecycledBenedict

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Quote from: Demophon;194181
About biblical condemnation of homosexuality, there are the usual arguments about how it's not mentioned in the Gospels at all, and how the sexual laws of Leviticus were a later addition specific to a certain context not meant to be included in Sacred Scripture as universal spiritual laws. Of course, there is a lot in Leviticus and Deuteronomy that Jews and Christians find irrelevant to the central message of Scripture. Most sane people in western culture no longer think it's appropriate to stone a woman to death for being a filthy whore if she didn't scream loud enough when she was raped. Then there's that stuff about blending fabrics and eating shellfish, etc.


The commandments about fabrics and shellfish are still adhered to by Orthodox and Conservative Jews, as far as I know.

Castus may correct me, but I think, that Orthodox Jews regard every single commandment in Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri and Deuteronomy to be an obligation in the Messianic Age, though some are non-applicable before the Messianic Age. I suppose, that the general idea is, that in the Messianic Age, no one will actually break any commandments, and the punishments will be purely hypothetical. There might be Kabbalistic interpretations, that I am not aware of.

Reform Jews seem to regard many commandments as remains from a more primitive society, and only retain those commandments that express 'ethical monotheism'.

I have never really understood why some Christians of gentile descent (especially certain Evanglicals) believe, that some part of Leviticus are obligations for gentiles, while some are not. Back when I was a Lutheran, I dismissed all commandments in the Torah - except for the Noahide ones - as an internal Jewish affair (good for those concerned!) as per Ex. 24.3, 24.7, 24.12 and 34.27. That got me into a dispute with a person, who argued that the real meaning of 'Jews shall rest on Saturdays' is 'Lutherans shall listen to sermons on Sundays', but I was never really convinced about the hermeneutical justifiability of that particular exegesis.

Quote from: Demophon;194181
I believe the official stance of the Catholic Church is that *Christ* is the ultimate revelation of God, *not* Scripture, which is a testimony of a people's experience of God, but not the infallible Word of God itself, as that can only be Jesus, which is why the Gospels have primary importance.


The Roman Catholic official stance of revelation is more complicated than that. Avery Dulles wrote a good overview of the pro and cons of certain models of revelation, called Models of Revelation, and René Latourelle wrote a historical study of complementary Catholic views on revelation: Theology of Revelation. There is also the idea of a Depositum Fidei, a deposit of faith, the contents of which may not change by time, even though the particular expressions of the depositum may change by time.

Quote from: Demophon;194181
I can see why same-sex marriage would not really fit in the Catholic paradigm the way many liberal Protestant churches have adopted it. Still, the Church is a living organism, and theologians are always trying to better understand the nature of God, Christ, and the Scriptures. I wouldn't rule same-sex marriage out for the Catholic Church, though it may still be in the distant future. I'm sure they will do it the proper way, unlike recently in the Anglican Church of Canada, where same-sex marriage has recently been approved from a vote at General Synod. If a Church wants to change its doctrine through careful theological discourse, I think that's fine, but changing Church teaching based on popular opinion and modern cultural trends makes me pretty uncomfortable.


There are questions about this matter no Christian denomination has answered in a convincing way to me. If they regard matrimony to be indissoluable (Mt 19.9), why is divorce permitted in some cases (1Cor. 7.15)? Does a man and a women married to each other symbolise Christ and the Church (Eph. 5.32) even when they are Atheists, practice another religion or are not baptised?

There are just a few verses in the New Testament discussing same sex sex. Rom. 1.25-27 seem to discuss cultic prostitution, of the sort allegedly happening in Mesopotamia. 1Cor. 6.9-10 seem to refer to prostitution (though the exact meaning is under discussion : arsenokoites is a hapax legomenon). Judas 7, in the light of Gen. 19.5 and Ez. 16:48-50, refer to lack of hospitality, lack of compassion to the poor and, actually, rape. A question, that may be raised, is: Is biblical condemnations of cultic prostitution, prostitution and rape really helpful in order, for Christian denominations, to form an opinion about mutually voluntary, faithful and stable same sex marriages (or civil unions) of the sort that didn't exist back then, and has only existed a few years by now?

Quote from: Demophon;194181
Apparently there is also evidence of women presiding at the Eucharist in the early Church before Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire and adopted the rather "pagan" concept that only men can represent male deities (God is beyond gender but Christ took male form in the incarnation), and women can only serve female deities. I wouldn't be surprised if women's roles in the Church open up a lot more in the coming decades, as the older bishops die off, and early Church scholarship advances as more open-minded generations move up the ranks.


Is there, really? Let us begin with deacons. Today, deacons baptise, bury the dead, visit parishioners and lead communal prayer in the daily office, but they do not preside at the celebration of the Eucharist, nor do they absolve sins. Female deacons did exist in the past: Phoebe in Romans 16.1 is an obvious example. I wonder if the sources will ever allow us to know if the things deacons performed in the early church were different than the things they do today.

Then there is Junia. If that is her name. His name could be Junias, but we don't know for sure, because a declination of her name looks the same as his name. This person of indeterminate gender is mentioned in Romans 6.7 and described as either 'esteemed apostle' or 'held in esteem by the apostles'. In the former case Junia/Junias is an apostle, and, if we go with the female first name, the case is clear: There were female apostles. But the case is not clear: Another possible interpretation is, that Junia(s) was held in high esteem by the apostles. The discussion will continue, and both sides will have arguments for their case.

RecycledBenedict

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Quote from: FraterBenedict;194194
This person of indeterminate gender is mentioned in Romans 6.7


For 'Romans 6.7' read 'Romans 16.7'

MadZealot

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Quote from: Castus;194171
To be fair to the Pope, canonisations aren't really individual decisions. There's a whole process to follow, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to listen to, etc etc.


To be even fairer to the Pope, is is not the duty of his office to first recognize the nominee's Heroic Virtues after the Congregation compiles its reports of Acta and Positio?  Does the Holy Father not have final judgment on whether a  Cause of Heroic Virtues becomes a Decree, thus elevating said nominee to Venerable?  Is the Holy Father's judgment not final in this matter?

Does the Holy Father then not approve the Decree of a Miracle by which a Servant of God might be beatified (elevating the nominee from Venerable to Blessed)?  Is not the beatification rite performed on the authority of the Supreme Pontiff?

Does the Holy Father then not have to acknowledge the Decree of a Second Miracle from his various underling committees, thus paving he way for canonization?

Does the Pontiff then not perform said Rite in a manner which is protected from error by the Holy Spirit?  

https://www.ewtn.com/johnpaul2/cause/process.asp

:confused:

Seems to me the Man in the Tall Hat has a metric fuckload of weight to swing around when it comes to approval in such matters.  He even apparently has final veto & approval power--  which could ultimately prove useful when one's masquerade of authority is mired in / built upon a bureaucratic morass.  

In other words, you can't pass His Popeness' authority down onto his underlings.  That's not how organizational bureaucracy works.
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

MadZealot

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Quote from: MadZealot;194200
Decree of a Second Miracle

All the above being said, I'd love to know what Fr Serra's two Miracles were.  Far as I know, his best achievements were 1) bringing Christ's love to the redskins via the end of a lash, and 2) basically overseeing the establishment of a massive Catholic plantation system* ** here in the southwestern US (and part of Mexico.)


* re: 'Catholic plantations'.  The term is historically apt, however now we refer to these quasi-feudal sites as "Missions."  Why?  It sounds fucking quaint.
** PS I got married in a Mission.  
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 10:32:52 am by MadZealot »
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

RecycledBenedict

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Quote from: FraterBenedict;194194
I have never really understood why some Christians of gentile descent (especially certain Evanglicals) believe, that some part of Leviticus are obligations for gentiles, while some are not.


A view with a higher degree of intellectual clarity and internal consistency, was held by 16th century Anglicans, as described in Article VII (1562):

Quote
Although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the Civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from obedience of the Commandments which are called Moral.


In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, a similar view was held by Lutherans and Roman Catholics.

This distinction between Ceremonial Law and Moral Law has not prevented some strange inconsistencies.

  • The prohibition against anal sex between men in Lev. 18.22 was seen as an obligation among Anglicans and Lutherans until recently, despite this commandment being part of Ceremonial Law
  • Lev. 18:14-18 and similar verses are still retained in Anglican Canon Law, despite these commandment being part of Ceremonial Law
  • Most Christians celebrate Easter (Pascha), which is a Christian version of Passover (Deut. 16:1-8), despite this commandment being part of Ceremonial Law
  • Most Christians celebrate Whitsunday (Pentecost), which is a Christian version of Shauvot (Deut. 16. 9-12), despite this commandment being part of Ceremonial Law


In the two latter cases, it could be argued, that these two festivals are not celebrated by gentiles on the authority of Deut. 16:1-12, but on the authority of Romans 14.5-6, which makes the situation much more consistent and comprehensible.

Darkhawk

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Quote from: FraterBenedict;194194
There are just a few verses in the New Testament discussing same sex sex. Rom. 1.25-27 seem to discuss cultic prostitution, of the sort allegedly happening in Mesopotamia. 1Cor. 6.9-10 seem to refer to prostitution (though the exact meaning is under discussion : arsenokoites is a hapax legomenon). Judas 7, in the light of Gen. 19.5 and Ez. 16:48-50, refer to lack of hospitality, lack of compassion to the poor and, actually, rape. A question, that may be raised, is: Is biblical condemnations of cultic prostitution, prostitution and rape really helpful in order, for Christian denominations, to form an opinion about mutually voluntary, faithful and stable same sex marriages (or civil unions) of the sort that didn't exist back then, and has only existed a few years by now?

 
There are also people who theorise that the healing of the Centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10) is actually the healing of the Centurion's subordinate sex partner, based on the portrayal of the characters involved and the cultural norms of the time.  (Romans of certain classes had adopted the Greek fashion of pederasty, and a slave-servant would be a plausible role for such a person.  Even if they were not sexually involved, it is entirely likely that others might expect they could be.)  If accurate, that would mean that Jesus described the one potentially gay man he was portrayed as interacting with as having a faith that surpassed that which he could find in Israel.

I also think reading Romans as a whole and following the argument in context is fascinating, because Romans is actually a coherent, linear argument, not a sequence of disconnected quotes; it was written, specifically, to an orthodox-leaning Jewish audience which was having difficulty with Gentile Christians.  The clobber-text quotes are pulled from the early section, which is Paul leaning heavily on, "You know me, right?  I'm that ultra-Orthodox asshole, and let's just spend a bit talking about how filthy filthy filthy Gentiles are while I lull you into nodding along at everything I say."  It's not long after it that that he completely flips the argument and tears into them.

And he was using the sexual prohibitions stuff because that wasn't the current issue in the community.  The current issue in the community was food taboos.  And the conclusion of Romans is basically, "Jewish Christians: I'm sorry your faith is so weak that you can't handle people being different from you.  Gentile Christians: please be kind to your poor frail brothers and stop eating bacon in front of them.  Keep it at home.  Thanks."

My personal favorite line from Romans is 14:14, from near the culmination of the argument rather than the early rhetoricy bits.  I had it - in the original Greek - as part of the header of my Livejournal for years.  A translation is: "I believe in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean of itself.  But it is unclean for he who thinks it unclean."

Or, y'know, to rephrase it to address a modern issue, "If you think gay sex is a sin, don't have any."
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RecycledBenedict

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Quote from: Darkhawk;194214
There are also people who theorise that the healing of the Centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10) is actually the healing of the Centurion's subordinate sex partner (...)

I also think reading Romans as a whole and following the argument in context is fascinating, because Romans is actually a coherent, linear argument, not a sequence of disconnected quotes (...)

And the conclusion of Romans is basically, "Jewish Christians: I'm sorry your faith is so weak that you can't handle people being different from you.  Gentile Christians: please be kind to your poor frail brothers and stop eating bacon in front of them.  Keep it at home.  Thanks."


Very interesting observations and probable interpretations. Thank you!

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Quote from: FraterBenedict;194194
The commandments about fabrics and shellfish are still adhered to by Orthodox and Conservative Jews, as far as I know.

Castus may correct me, but I think, that Orthodox Jews regard every single commandment in Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri and Deuteronomy to be an obligation in the Messianic Age, though some are non-applicable before the Messianic Age. I suppose, that the general idea is, that in the Messianic Age, no one will actually break any commandments, and the punishments will be purely hypothetical. There might be Kabbalistic interpretations, that I am not aware of.

Reform Jews seem to regard many commandments as remains from a more primitive society, and only retain those commandments that express 'ethical monotheism'.

I have never really understood why some Christians of gentile descent (especially certain Evanglicals) believe, that some part of Leviticus are obligations for gentiles, while some are not. Back when I was a Lutheran, I dismissed all commandments in the Torah - except for the Noahide ones - as an internal Jewish affair (good for those concerned!) as per Ex. 24.3, 24.7, 24.12 and 34.27. That got me into a dispute with a person, who argued that the real meaning of 'Jews shall rest on Saturdays' is 'Lutherans shall listen to sermons on Sundays', but I was never really convinced about the hermeneutical justifiability of that particular exegesis.


I should point out that every single interpretation of the Noahide laws -- universally applicable for all humankind -- include the prohibition of "immoral relations" within which rests homosexuality. Rav Moshe Weiner's Sefer Sheva Mitzvos HaShem, a comprehensive legal code derived from the Seven Laws of Noah, explains it in much better detail. You are correct that Orthodox Jews continue to not mix fabrics or consume shellfish, although most Conservative Jews have no problems with mixed fabrics. Orthodox Judaism is pretty much the holdout with condemning homosexuality however, all other movements -- sans, notably, Messianic Judaism, which has not ever to my knowledge issued a ruling on the issue -- have long since given up the ghost and approved of it.

As for Reform Judaism, I think in large part the image of the mitzvot has been rehabilitated. The adoption of the infamous Pittsburgh Platform of 1885 lead to the development of what today is more or less "Classical" Reform Judaism; with it's less-than-positive view of the commandments:

Quote
3. We recognize in the Mosaic legislation a system of training the Jewish people for its mission during its national life in Palestine, and today we accept as binding only its moral laws, and maintain only such ceremonies as elevate and sanctify our lives, but reject all such as are not adapted to the views and habits of modern civilization.

4. We hold that all such Mosaic and rabbinical laws as regulate diet, priestly purity, and dress originated in ages and under the influence of ideas entirely foreign to our present mental and spiritual state. They fail to impress the modern Jew with a spirit of priestly holiness; their observance in our days is apt rather to obstruct than to further modern spiritual elevation.


Since then, however, the Reform movement has been much more positive, as evidenced by the second Pittsburgh Platform adopted in 1999; which has this to say about the commandments:

Quote
We respond to God daily: through public and private prayer, through study and through the performance of other (mitzvot), sacred obligations -- (bein adam la Makom), to God, and (bein adam la-chaveiro), to other human beings.


As well, kashrut has become more widespread within the Reform movement and with the publication of Mishkan T'filah as the new standard siddur in 2007 Reform liturgy has made a definite pivot back towards the traditional. The tradition image of Reform Judaism as 'Judaism lite' is now no longer quite the case.
“Castus, meanwhile, goes straight for the bad theology like one of those creepy fish that swims up streams of pee.” — Darkhawk

RecycledBenedict

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Quote from: Castus;194243
Since then, however, the Reform movement has been much more positive, as evidenced by the second Pittsburgh Platform adopted in 1999 (...)
As well, kashrut has become more widespread within the Reform movement (...)


Thank you for your informative answer, Castus. My handbooks in Judaic studies are all published before 1999, so thank you for updating me. I have obviously not followed news as I should.

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