Bishop Tobin is the last in a long series of puttanelle who suddenly start reflecting whether the Church of Christ hasn’t, perhaps, betrayed His message and done everything wrong these 2,000 years. May he repent and obtain forgiveness when he dies; and I hope for Bishop Tobin that, if he dies unrepentant, God is more lenient than I think He will be.
Dr Peters has already written a rebuttal of the many points in which the Bishop piddles out of the WC and leaves a mess all around. I suggest you go there and read his extremely diplomatic, but very clear reply in its entirety.
What I would like to point out today is the utter and complete betrayal of Christ and His Church that is put in place every time a bishop, of all people, tries to explain to us the problems in behaving like the Church has always behaved; a behaviour made the more repulsive when this is made taking as excuse a warped reading of the Gospel. Nor can his apparent contradictions fool anyone about his subversive intent and the fact that this is the usual Modernist/V II style. “Of course we uphold Church teaching, but….”.
The Devil can quote the Gospel for his purposes, and it is not difficult to take it in isolation and let it say whatever we want to; which, by the way, is the reason for thousands of different Protestant congregations, all claiming to follow the same Scripture.
Every child used to know that; which is why they went to Catechism first and to Doctrine later, where they would be given a coherent and organic exposition of the Truth; this, in turn, would allow them to avoid the danger of reading the Gospel and raping it for their own purposes.
Not so in the new world of our purple puttanelle.
They will take a verse or two in isolation – say: Jesus’ condemnation of the extremely rigid formalism of Jewish Sabbath observance; clearly reflected in the understanding of Sunday in all Catholic Countries – and wonder whether, in light of his extraordinary discovery, rules should now make any sense at all. Perhaps should we, then, decide that public adulterers could receive communion? Look, the Jews were wrong! It follows that the Church is wrong too, right?
There is only one word for the Bishop’s behaviour: prostitution. And no, I do not care if there are far worse bishops that Tobin around. Battle lines are been formed here, and no bishop can claim to remain neutral. On the side of Christ, or on the side of Satan. Bishop Tobin has chosen Satan’s, and the fact that he did abundantly shows the extent of the problem.
Ask yourself whether the bishop would have expressed himself in such terms during Benedict’s pontificate, and you will see very clearly the poison in his soul.
This, my friends, is another one looking for Brownie points by TMAHICH.
I grew up in a Catholic Country. I can vividly remember the time when:
1. No one spoke of his “personal relationship” with Jesus.
2. No layman had a “ministry”, and
3. No one was “moved (or “called”) by the Holy Ghost” to do something.
To this day I can’t avoid being shocked atvthe way some Catholic commenters on the forums (or fora) I read around express themselves. It sounds to me as Protestant as that other habit, of quoting bible verses; as if the Devil could not quote the Bible himself, for his own purposes, at pleasure.
Let us see this a bit more in detail.
1. The traditional Catholic way of looking at the relationship with Jesus does certainly not exclude that this relationship be personal in an obvious way. But the Catholic always sees himself as part of the Church, and he puts this simple fact at the centre of his “relationship”. It’s a collective bond as much as it is an individual one.
The traditional Christian (= pre-Protestant) way of praying very often (not always: think of the Angele Dei) in the plural expresses this cooperative endeavour in a very natural way. Even in the “you and I”, the Catholic mixes the community of the faithful. For a Catholic, it’s always “we”.
The “personal relationship”, on the other hand, smells too much of “two-people rule”, which opens a huge door to any kind of, well, Made-to-measure “personal” rules (interestingly enough, you will notice that seriously orthodox people tend to avoid, even in Anglo-Saxon Countries, the “personal relationship” thing). They are, in my experience, also those for whom Jesus is The Awesomely Awesome Buddy. Not surprising, then with a friend it’s very easy to adjust to each other’s shortcoming, and tailor the relationship to preferred, individualised, and highly convenient patterns of behaviour.
2. The one with the “ministry” was also not heard as I was growing. I would, actually, not even know how to properly say it in my language. Again, it’s not that it cannot be said that every faithful has a role to play; but where I come from, “ministry” was a matter for the priest. Of whom there were, by the by, an awful lot, which probably further discouraged such usages even when the verbiage of V II was introduced in Church life. A layman who would spoken to us about his “ministry” would have been looked at as a funny kind of alien, in the best of cases.
3. Lastly, there is this habit – which grates me most in a Catholic – of saying that the Holy Ghost prompted one to do or not do something, etc. I find the phrase, and the mentality that is behind that, appalling to the point of quasi-blasphemy, and arrogant beyond words. If I (I mean: not St Francis or Padre Pio, but yours truly personally) were so presumptuous as to say to you that “the Holy Ghost inspired me to write a blog”, the inevitable consequence would be to claim for myself not only a special status as “favoured weapon of the Lord” but even, unavoidably, a status of quasi-infallibility for everything I write; it being not really thinkable that the Holy Ghost prompts me to write a blog and is then baffled and surprised at the bad quality of what I write, and all the errors with which I confuse the faithful.
The simple truth is that neither I nor anyone else can make such claims. We know that Providence is at work, but it is not for us to claim to be the help for it sent by the Lord Himself. We do our best as our lights allow us, and we hope that when the day of the redde rationem comes there will be some approval in heaven for what we have done on this earth; procuring us, if we are lucky, some brownie points against the multitude of horrible sins we – I, at least – have committed in our life, and for which I am deeply, deeply ashamed.
I must say that I keep reading these statements in blogs and comments. I suspect that many of them come from former Protestants, who have brought with them a forma mentis that is not the traditional Catholic one. Still, in many cases the influence of the V II newspeak, or of the many Prods in one’s circle of friends and acquaintances, must play a role. It is clear by assisting to certain Catholic Masses that everyone is invited to feel like a MiniMe Messiah, and rejoice at his own’s goodness. I wonder…
I am no Messiah. I have no claim of Official Endorsement. I am a wretched sinner, ashamed of his sinfulness. Just so you know…
Therefore, I will not write a blog, and cry Deus le volt.
As far as this little effort is concerned, I hereby declare the Holy Ghost entirely innocent of whatever piece of senseless drivel and unspeakable bollocks I might have been writing in these commenting and blogging years; senseless drivel and unspeakable bollocks which I dare to declare fully non-existent in my activity of both blogger and commenter; but for which blogging and commenting activity I for myself would even even think of claiming some sort of divine placet.
This little blog aims at defending and promoting Catholic orthodoxy. It does so in a highly personal way, the fruit of the traits – good or bad – of its author’s character. As Catholic truth can be learnt by everyone of sound disposition, there is no need – even if there was the desire – to claim special patents of inspiration. If you think this blog does its job well say a prayer, in your charity, for this wretched sinner. If you think it doesn’t I kindly ask you to avoid it, without being obnoxious and time-waster. In both cases, do not think that my pen is led by anything else than my good will and sincere love for Christ and His Church.
“Harvesting the Fruits” has an excellent post about modern “evangelisation” thinking, with… added surprise
I suggest that you follow the link to enjoy the post and discover the surprise.
I will, as always in this case, only add a couple of further personal reflections:
1.The idea of “proximity and meakness” as non-existent “reconciliation” can only come from a mind that has grown so far away from even a basic concept of Catholicism that it confuses every vague feeling of devotion to the Blessed Virgin with the end of a state of obvious heresy. This Bishop clearly has no idea of what he is talking about, and the only question is whether he never had any whatsoever, or just forgot the basics in the course of the years.
2.The priest isn't much better. Instead of encouraging the woman to pray for good priest, he proceeds to be exactly the kind of bad priest that causes the scarcity of priests in the first place. More than meek, he seems effeminate to me. He arrives among his flock and the first two things he does is apologise and whine. I have never been a priest, but I can think of another option or two, both including the words “shut up” and “repent” to anyone who has left the Church.
These people stil think that you can gain souls for the Church by being a eunuch in black. Sheesh. Where have they been these last 50 years?
3. For this very confused bishop, “to pray” seems to be the only requirement, and it seems rather clear if one prays “he faces Lord Jesus”. With this reasoning Luther was a saintly man, Muslims face Lord Jesus, and one should be very optimistic for Wiccans, Sikh and Hindus too. You see, if prayer is the passepartout to heaven only the atheists are going to stay out; which, by definition, makes every religion equally good; which, by definition, makes Christianity superfluous; which, by definition, makes Christ's sacrifice useless.
Pray for this bishop, for his effeminate priest, and for all those like them.
Unless they change their mind, something tells me their punishment will be absolutely terrifying.
One of the clearest influences of Protestant thinking in northern Catholics is their exaggerated attention for the Scriptures. I think it depends from the fact that even when they are cradle Catholics, they grew up in an environment where Protestant relatives and neighbours threw verses at them like grenades, and they must have thought the weapon is a fearful one indeed.
Well, it isn't.
Proddies have been throwing such grenades at each other with remarkable zeal for several centuries now, and I do not think there have been many who thought the hand-picked verses of their opponents were better than those hand-picked by themselves. The procedure is also questionable in itself, then either the quotation is rather long or very often the context is lost, and as no one – not even a bible-verse-shooting Protestant – can put every Biblical quotation in its entire context by heart, the argument loses much in efficacy. The more so, when the citation becomes so short as to be thrown around at one's convenience, like the “do not judge” curiously so well mastered by those clearly worthy of the harshest judgment.
Scriptural quotations do not work, because the Bible does not have the Truth. The Church has.
Put in a different way, first I believe what the Church says, and then I believe where I find it in the Bible. As a result, no quote from the Bible can be taken authoritatively, unless it is clear that the quote is meant and interpreted in accordance to what the Church teaches; but if this is the case, then it is much better to make the point arguing from what the Church believes, than from what the Bible says.
This endless Bible-quoting also plays in the hands of the Proddies, because it reinforces them in their erroneous opinion that the Bible, not the Church, has the Truth. As a result, they will react to every barrage of biblical verses with another barrage of biblical verses, and the discussion will end absolutely nowhere as, again, abundantly demonstrated by the astonishing proliferation of Protestant sects.
On the contrary, every Protestant should be confronted with a paradigm shift (whether he accepts it is another cup of tea, of course) and be told in no uncertain term the Scriptures can only be the reflection of a Truth existing before them and outside of them. Therefore, the reflection is only correct insofar as it correctly transmits the Truth reflected, failing which the reflection will be in nothing more authentic than the one provided by those deforming mirrors you look at if you want to have a laugh.
I hear, here and there, that Catholics should have a better knowledge of Scriptures. Maybe so; but given the abysmal ignorance of our times, the risk of getting the meaning wrong or even tragically wrong (“do not judge” is my absolute favourite), and the sheer complexity of Catholic teaching I suggest the effort should be directed towards a better knowledge of the teaching itself. If you ask me, for most people and in most circumstances the rediscovery of old Catechisms and the reading of books of Catholic apologetics or theology is far more fruitful than hours spent in reading the Scriptures without adequate instruments for their proper understanding.
Granted, it will sound less impressive than having one or two dozen citations learned by heart and ready for use; but one will know he is right.
To Start You Thinking is a rather different booklet than the previously examined “Tell her You’re a Catholic”, but this also comes from the mine of information about vintage Catholic texts that is Shane’s blog. Whilst still being of an introductory nature, it goes rather more in-depth and requires from his reader a rather bigger, so to speak, emotional investment before he even starts reading it.
The booklet is structured as an invitation to a hypothetical Protestant reader to “start thinking” about some aspects of the Catholic faith he has up to then either flatly misunderstood or not examined with the care they deserve. Therefore several Catholic perspectives are examined, from the relationship to the Bible to the nature and rationale of Papal Infallibility, from the complex and seemingly artificial Catholic Mass to the Confession, from the veneration of Saints to a short introduction to Purgatory.
It seems to me that a Protestant starting to read a booklet of such a scope was already starting to think about conversion or was at least seriously interested in getting to a sort of “ceasefire” with Catholicism. If one reflects about the strictness with which many Catholics must have seen the already examined issue of interfaith marriage, one is not entirely surprised.
Therefore, the typical reader might have been someone engaged to (or in love with) a Catholic and desirous to understand a bit more about Catholicism, or perhaps someone whose close friend or relative had decided to convert, or someone undergoing a period of crisis in his heretical convictions; but this is certainly not a booklet read casually or to employ an idle hour.
The author is very logical, his arguments are exclusively intellectual. There is nothing of the emotional approach typical of so many conversion attempts of today (just look around the Papal visit website and you’ll soon get an idea of what I mean). This booklet was not written to persuade that Catholicism is “looove”, but to prove that it is right. Similarly, there is no trace whatsoever of a (misunderstood) “ecumenical” approach. The author claims your entire attention and wants to start you on a path leading you to the fullness of the Truth, not to a part of it.
This is no work for an interreligious gathering in Assisi-style. It is therefore highly recommended.