US Cardinal Raymond Burke mounts defense on Catholic teaching on divorce

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Cardinal Raymond Burke, former archbishop of St. Louis, headed the Vatican's highest court before he was bumped out of office.   RNS photo by David Gibson

Cardinal Raymond Burke, former archbishop of St. Louis, headed the Vatican's highest court before he was bumped out of office. RNS photo by David Gibson

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(RNS) Public disagreements over whether the Roman Catholic Church can change its teachings on Communion for remarried Catholics are growing sharper on the eve of a major Vatican summit.

  • opheliart

    “Critics of change in church policies are displaying “a theological fundamentalism which is not Catholic.”

    “If fear is at work,” he said, “fear is always a bad counselor. The church should not act out of fear. The church should be the people of hope.” ”

    Political maneuverings … FEAR …

    Yup, Kasper, well said. You must be a friendly ghost 😉

    Peace,
    Thiel

  • Exodus 20:1-17
    Disobedience against the admonition of requirements in marriage brings God’s curse as exampled by God’s curse of that suffered by Adam and Eve, bringing to them a life living in iniquity until Jesus Christ. By His life and His ministry of salvation, death, descendance into hell, resurrection and ascendance in fulfillment of the promise that if we love Him and obey His Commanfments He will gather us unto Him and we shall live forever with Him.

  • Karla

    The Bible is clear about divorce and there are only a few reasons why
    someone would be okay to get one. The Bible is clear also that hell is
    real/there is no purgatory and works don’t save us! Luke 13 the whole
    chapter is very clear that we must bear good fruit and that fruit is fruit of
    Repentance not good works because many,many non-believers do good
    works so the fruit is fruit of Repentance. Abortion is wrong and so is gay
    marriage but 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 lists drunkards,idolaters,swindlers,thieves,
    liars,the greedy,the sexually immoral as sins that also send people to hell
    if they don’t Repent! Taking the Lords name in vain,gossip,coveting,pride,
    jealousy,being mean/sharp tongues,pramarital sex are all sins that also
    are wrong yet hardly ever get talked about along with getting drunk and
    gambling. People seem to forget that Jesus said you are one of Mine only
    if you follow Me and many will say to Me Lord,Lord and not enter heaven!
    Ephesians 5:18 says don’t get drunk and 1 Corinthians 6:10 says that all
    drunkards go to hell including people who still get drunk with strong wine
    cause the wine Jesus made was new wine/diluted/from the fruit of the vine
    plus the Bible says don’t get drunk on strong wine! It doesn’t matter how
    spiritual people are if they aren’t Biblical they are still lost/headed for hell.
    If you say you love Jesus then don’t follow the Bible/religion no Truth is in
    you! It’s not enough to believe in Jesus. We must Repent/follow Him/Jesus!

  • Michael Glass

    The idea of telling divorced and remarried Catholics that they can’t take Communion is a nonsense. Who is going to police this? The local bishop? Fat chance! The local priest? Too busy! The local busybody? No standing to judge anyone!

    People will do what they want to do. They mostly don’t know and don’t care about the niceties of canon law or obscure texts of scripture.

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  • Well.

    If Jesus is going to go out of his way to turn into a cracker
    The least we could do is show respect and eat him.

    Otherwise, Jesus goes through all that effort, which must be difficult, even for supernatural powers, and then – at the end of it – Jesus hears some priest say, “No, you can’t eat your Jesus until you go back to your ex and bring her to church and prove that you are back together.”

    Here is a little reminder…You are grown ups, folks.
    This entire theory of ‘god’ and ‘jesus’ and ‘communion’ is laughable.
    It is hogwash.

  • Maris

    I’d say it is Cardinal Kasper who is doing the political maneuvering and fear-mongering. Burke, Pell, and others are trying to do damage control because Kasper is trying to use the media and the secular culture to put pressure on the Church to change her teachings. Why would he do this?! It sounds like he has an agenda. Of course, the Church is Germany is falling apart, and that means less Catholics, and less influence, and less money, and less…. Oh, but Cardinal Kasper is trying to be “pastoral,” right?! Yeah, right….

  • Maris

    Max, do you really think that your snide, condescending remarks will really have any effect on those of us who know Jesus Christ. Your existence is more doubtful than his–after all you could be computer generated! And even if you’re not, we who call ourselves Christian and are serious about our faith, do know that God exists. Without Him, my life would make no sense at all, and neither would yours.

  • Maris

    Michael, there is no “policing,” but what needs to happen and hasn’t happened in many dioceses for years is good catechesis (teaching). Catholics need to be taught about the Eucharist as the True Presence of Jesus (just as He said in John, chapter 6) and they need to be taught that receiving unworthily is wrong/sinful (1 Corinthians 11:27-29). Once well taught, the average Catholic is expected to police himself. If he/she does receive in a state of mortal sin, it will be on their conscience and will be between them and God.
    If they don’t care about “the niceties of canon law” or what the “texts of scripture” say, then why are they at Mass? Why are they Catholic?

  • @Maris,

    “Without him my life would make no sense at all and neither would yours”

    Speak for yourself!
    You are exhibit A of the ‘ever so humble’ school of Christian pushiness.

    Your favorite color is Purple and everybody else has to agree with you that Purple is our favorite color too?? How Arrogant!
    For my life would mean nothing if my favorite color were not exactly THE SAME as yours??

    Good grief.

    I’ve earned the right to be snide.
    I was a Christian for 44 years and even taught Sunday School. Had my children baptized and fell for the Jesus Cult hook, line and sinker.

    Now I see a bespangled Gray-haired Virgin wearing black and red drapery telling grownups what they have to believe about marriage and divorce and what they have to do about their beliefs.

    How dare these people carry on like this? it makes me sick.

    And I’ll claim the right to disparage your favorite color
    As long as you tell me I have to like it to.
    What a despicable theory of existence!

  • Rod Guerra

    Catholics who are divorced/remarried (without an annulment) are committing the moral sin of adultery. Why would these people want to have union with Almighty God in the Holy Eucharist if they so easily offend God and break his commandments? Let us remember that they made a solemn and voluntary promise to God and to their spouse to be faithful for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health until death does them part. Bottom line, God is faithful to His promises and expects us to be faithful as well. Why do these people want the Church to change its infallible teachings but they are not willing to change and repent from sin? Catholics that are divorced/remarried should attend Mass and pray that Almighty God gives them the grace to resolve their irregular situation. Out of respect for the Bless Sacrament, why not make a Spiritual Communion instead of demanding to physically receive the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin? Sincerity and humility are necessary conditions to approach God with love.

  • Rod Guerra

    @Atheist Max, if you are such a die-hard atheist why are you wasting your time in religion news website? Is it possibly because way down deep inside it pricks your conscience to have blasphemed against God? St. Augustine said: “Nobody denies God save one whose interest it is that there be no God.” As the great Russian philosopher and writer Fyodor Dostoevsky said: “If God does not exist, everything is permitted”

  • I’m a skeptic on the thought that people are uneducated and we need to throw more book learning at them to enlighten. Tons of books out there, even a few good ones on relationships and marriage and such. People still don’t pay attention.

    The judgment that remarried Catholics are unworthy to receive Communion is a matter of policy, not doctrine. The question is simple: do some remarried Catholics need what Christ provides in the sacraments more than we need to excommunicate them?

  • gilhcan

    Big surprise! Burke is a monstrous hypocrite. He wallows in his pretense of priestly glory, episcopal royalty. He is typical of the phony types that Benedict promoted. Francis has waited too long to rid the church of Burke’s contemptible influence. Burke even had the nerve to go on EWTN, Mother Angelica’s super-conservative TV station that pretends to be Catholic, and bad-talk Francis not long after his election. So much for accepting the so-called will of God, right?

    Burke has thoroughly defied Vatican II throughout his priesthood. He has pretended he is pope of a sub-church of his own. He insists on being glorified in church rituals. He instituted religious orders in his own image. And he got away with all that under the papacies of same-thinking men like John Paul II and Benedict. It is a form of salvation that Francis recognizes that the clerical sex scandal that John Paul and Benedict both tried to hide, along with types like Burke, are still threatening the demise of the Catholic Church.

    It would have been more respectable for Francis to just fire Burke from his position at the Signatura and not pretend the respectability of the ceremonial post of patron of the Knights of Malta. It would be better to get rid of all men like Burke along with the Knights of Malta, the Knights of Columbus, and all those remnants of imperialism in the church. There wouldn’t be many current bishops left.

    Then follow the practice of the Anglican Communion in which both the people in the pews and the clergy are the ones who choose their bishops. Break up the vast, corrupt, and thoroughly inefficient system of Vatican domination of the church. Get rid of the “College of Cardinals.” The people of God, both pew people and clergy in parishes, dioceses, nationally, and world-wide are thoroughly capable of managing their church at all levels.

    The church would have a much cleaner image, more like Jesus whom it claims as leader, than since the non-Christian Emperor Constantine took over domination of the church of Jesus at the Council of Nicaea–and thoroughly ruined it. Ever since then, dictators have betrayed every chance of the church resembling Jesus and distorted it in the mold of a corrupt monarchy.

  • gilhcan

    And what greater example of hypocrisy is needed than the words of Burke himself asserting that the pope does not need Cardinal Kasper, that he can speak for himself. From the time of John Paul II, through Benedict’s patronizing of Burke, just as he patronized so many corrupt church leaders of his own and Burke’s kind, Burke has been speaking as if his mind and voice were equal to all the popes of all time, equal to Jesus, who is supposed to be the image of the church.

  • @Rod Guerra,

    “If God does not exist, everything is permitted”

    Nonsense.
    God very likely does not exist
    and yet there are very decent laws.

    Morality has nothing to do with God. If it did, there would be no morality. Our morality is clearly part of our neurology and humanity – something given to us through evolution. Evolutionary Biology has proven it repeatedly.

  • @Rod Guerra,

    ” if you are such a die-hard atheist why are you wasting your time in religion news website?”

    1. ‘die hard’? I do not believe in God. how is that ‘die hard’?
    You don’t believe in mermaids. Does that mean you are ‘die hard’ against mermaids?

    2. RNS is a NEWS site, not a Christian Salvation site. Go to Patrobertson dot com to get your soul saved (if that is what you call it).

    3. I study religion the way a doctor studies a disease. I am studying how it is spread and why people get so caught up in its infection. I am looking for safe ways to treat it and to help people get away from it.

    4. Most news is connected to religion in one way or another. Religion is usually the culprit poisoning situations all around the world – as in ISIS, Al Qeuda, Catholic League, Zionism, Women’s rights, Gay rights, AIDS prevention, Supreme Court decision, Business lobbies, etc.

    I care about the truth.
    I care about false claims.
    I care about people and the theocratic impulse which subverts our freedom.

    Most important, I care about the Separation of Church and State.

    Evangelicals are spending millions of dollars a year on faith-based intrusions like these:

    Forbidding access to life-saving medical procedures
    Granting corporations the right to enforcing a religion, be it Islamic, Christian or other.
    State Legalized Murder of Doctors – South Dakota


    Mandatory Trans-vaginal probes – Virginia Legislature



    Preaching the Bible in public schools – funded by Hobby Lobby


    Forced prayer at Government meetings – Supreme Court has allowed this.
    Blocking people from family planning – Texas, 5 other states.


    Obstruction of prescriptions – Illinois, Washington



    Discrimination as religious choice -Arizona (SB-1062)



    Anti-Gay laws – Texas
 & elsewhere


    Anti-women’s rights laws – Texas, Louisina, Virginia



    Biased Counseling laws – South Dakota


    Creationism to replace Science Education: 12 States
    “Intelligent Design” to replace Scientific theories

    So as long as your churches are funding
    these faith-based intrusions into our laws (among others)
    
I will have to challenge religion.

    Atheism is the lack of a belief in a god. I have the right to to NOT believe and I’m tired of being pushed around.

  • Mark

    Todd,

    No one is worthy to receive Communion. Everyone needs what Christ provides. However, this is Communion, which means that everyone that receives is not only in Communion with Christ and the other members of the Church, but also live their lives in Communion with the teachings of the Church. Yes, all sin and fall short, but those that recognize their sin go to Confession and ask forgiveness are in Communion with the Church and are therefore able to receive Communion. Someone that is in a “second marriage” is by Catholic definition living in adultery because there cannot be a second marriage until a spouse dies or the “first marriage” is shown to not have been valid for any number of reasons.

  • Brad

    Our voices mean nothing. Let the Apostolic successors, guided by the Holy Spirit, decide this matter.

  • Jack

    Sounds like you went off your rocker at some point. I don’t see even a hint of interest in rational discourse on your part.

  • Jack

    The Catholic Church should not have a blanket ban on divorce. Clearly there are New Testament reasons for it, like adultery. Most sane people would add desertion or one’s life being in danger.

    However, American culture is the opposite. People get divorced at the drop of a hat. In the days of Christ, men would divorce their wives if they burned the food. Today, from what I can tell from observation, women divorce men for reasons that aren’t much more compelling.

    Either way, America is Divorce Land but the Catholic Church is the opposite extreme. What’s needed is a biblically balanced view.

  • ronald

    This is an excellent idea! By shoring up traditional marriage amongst hetero Catholics and making sure they obey the rule against divorce, we help fortify the institution so it can stand strong against the assault from what popular Catholic RNS commenter Doc Anthony calls the “gay gestapo.”

  • Dimitrio

    There no conservative and progressive Catholics. There are Catholics and there are heretics. God said he hates divorce. Jesus said remarriage is adultery. Unrepentant adulters will not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. And taking communion while in mortal sin is a curse.

  • Emad

    Cardinal Burke is one of the greatest Cardinal and theologians of our times. He is a true defender of the faith. I wish one day all Cardinals will be like him.

  • all this bickering over nonsense all the while your holy men continue to rape our children and your god does nothing to prevent it.
    I’ll be back to remind you each and everytime you catholics forget
    your aiding abetting known criminals and continue to do nothing about it.
    you’re proof positive there is no god worthy of any humans worship.
    I suggest you repent. but not really.
    you all are as mentally ill as the repentbot
    http://www.suzyspellcheck.com/repentbot-v-1-1/

  • opheliart

    gilhcan,

    With all those “law-abiding” Roman Catholics IN THE WORLD, you know the ones, the “just” and “righteous” with all the sinless Mary faces, feeding on the … uh, you know … do ya think their might be angels among them? Think about it, gilhcan … all that flesh and all that blood consumed week after week, year after year … for how long? Shouldn’t we have billions of THE ANOINTED walking about the world? Making up for all the unjust—all us sinner types, the heterodox types, and the lessers?
    Instead, what makes up that “body” in the INSTITUTION calling itself Christ’s Church? The same one having covered for the mounds of sex abuse, corruption, selling babies for money and numbers, discrimination, abusing women and children in work houses, sending ‘disillusioned’ catechumens into unsafe areas that they might increase their image as somehow holy. Look what is happening in that “chosen” organization of such pomp and purity. It’s a doggone mess. Where is the Yah of “the Weh” … you know, that of: I am the Weh … the truth … and the Life … no ‘ONE’ comes to the Father except THROUGH me. What is ME? I don’t think they have REALIZED this part yet.

    What are they going to do when the Vatican changes their thinking on that Transubstantiation theory because they realize they can no longer hold their place in politics while acting as GOD HIMSELF. It’s a bit of a contradiction, you see … the worldly and the virginal—something akin to speaking with a forked tongue—plowing ox and ass—that two-fold message of the cross, having to do with prelest (this word scares the hell out of them … or scares them into it, depending).

    They will blame the priests … watch what comes.

    Peace

  • Daniel Riordan

    It makes no sense to talk about the Church as if she were a political organization. Truth is not a matter of democratic consensus and the Church understands this very well. It’s not the Pope’s job to rewrite Church teaching, reinterpret it, or rewrite it. Pope Francis understands this very well. The Synod is not some parliamentary proceeding where Church teaching will come to a vote. This misunderstanding stems from a misunderstanding about why and how the Church teaches what she teaches. Church teaching is not so arbitrary as to be simply put up to a vote; especially a teaching on faith and morals which would have to come form an Ex Cathedra proclamation or a Church Council. Lastly, there is no “conservative” or “liberal” wing in the Catholic Church, she transcends such transient political divisions. However, there are those more devoted to the totality of Her teachings and there are those who would like to “rewrite” some of Her more difficult teachings to make them easier to take. Luckily, the Holy Spirit protects the Church from such hasty miscalculations that would abandon the fullness of the Truth.

  • Thanks for responding, Mark. I’ve heard the chat about “worthiness” too. On the other hand, Jesus calls his disciples friends, and the apostle Paul also witnesses to the reality that as believers, we are the adopted children of God. Do Christians live in a state of spiritual whiplash, one moment in a slime puddle and the other arrayed in front of the throne of God?

    I’m a bigger skeptic on the adultery meme. It sounds like a convenient exercise in name-calling. But if a first marriage ends, it ends. And if persons in broken marriages try the married life again, and need the graced power of the sacraments, I have no argument against it. The Orthodox accept it. As a mortal sin, adultery must have an intent. Not just the label of watchers.

  • Jesus only condemned those who divorced a partner. He said nothing about the person abandoned by the spouse.

  • Tom

    “The Bible is clear also that…there is no purgatory” I’m sorry, where exactly does it say that? “…and works don’t save us!” Yet it also says that faith without works is dead (James 2:20).

  • opheliart

    Todd Flowerday,

    you say,

    “As a mortal sin, adultery must have an intent. Not just the label of watchers.”

    Not just the label of watchers? What do you mean by this?

    Peace

  • It’s not normally within the Church’s role to police those who transgress the rules, the sole exception being prominent figures who blatantly violate the Commandments and who may not be allowed to take Communion to avoid scandal. Catholics are expected to regulate their own behaviour according to God’s law as enlightened by the Church. We’re answerable to God whose own policing can be very efficient.

  • @Ron Guerra -“Catholics who are divorced/remarried (without an annulment) are committing the moral sin of adultery.”

    Actually this statement is not accurate. They only commit adultery if their original marriage was sacramental; they are, however, committing the sin of disobedience since they are not following the Church’s teaching that they need to look at their original marriage to see if valid consent was given, before they can approach the sacraments (Not just communion).

    “Viva Cristo Rey!!”
    DHS

  • Bill Nolan

    “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed” is said by everyone before approaching the table for Eucharist. How do you reconcile that with your claim that the unworthy should not receive?

  • Karla

    Tom-Two guys were next to Jesus on the Cross and only one guy went to
    heaven? Why? Only one guy Repented? Only Repenting saves us so
    good works are nice but only Repenting/trusting in Christ saves us and
    many confuse purgatory with Abrahams bosom where the Old Testament
    saints went before Jesus went to the Cross. The Bible is clear that once
    someone goes to hell the judgment is final. The rich man was in hell and
    he was in agony so he wanted to warn his brothers but was told that he
    couldn’t cross over. Obedience is better than sacrifice so people can do
    all the good works they want but if they don’t Repent they still go to hell.
    Luke 13 says we must bear good fruit which is the fruit of Repentance
    and have a change of heart about our sin like the thief next to Jesus on
    the Cross who changed his heart about his sin/Repented and he went to
    heaven. The other guy next to Jesus on the Cross didn’t Repent/change
    his heart about sin and he went to hell. Only Repenting and trusting in Christ saves us! Bible to says Repent or perish! We all must Repent!

  • Watchers: those who attend to the behavior of others more than their own, busybodies, the Tempe Police, Pharisees, etc..

    Worthiness is a judgment rendered by God, and we might–just might–be able to say something about how it applies or not to our own person. People who want to usurp the role of Jesus and judge others, I think we could pay less attention to them for good reason.

  • Larry

    Hardly clear.

    But, Biblical versions of divorce are extremely husband-centric (as wives are considered no better than property in Scripture). The Bible is a terrible guide to marriage in a modern world. Where women are not considered property and are expected to be treated like human beings by their spouses.

    Deuteronomy 24:1
    If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house…

    “Matthew 5:31
    “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’

  • Larry

    “Its my ball and I can choose who plays with it”
    -Cardinal Raymond Burke

  • opheliart

    Todd,

    you say:

    “Watchers: those who attend to the behavior of others more than their own, busybodies, the Tempe Police, Pharisees, etc..”

    Enoch speaks of the watchers in another manner. I was trying to get an understanding on how you see the watcher. Thank you for your response.

    A [watcher], having come into awareness, is one Spiritually ordained for the purpose of assisting the Prophet in movement on healing for the people.

    Peace

  • Larry

    We have no-fault divorce for some very compelling mundane reasons. It is hardly “at the drop of a hat” unless you are people of means.

    In the past requiring evidence of fault involved encouraging married couples to lie, commit perjury or create phony incidents of adultery to end a marriage which was clearly over. “Irreconcilable differences” wasn’t even a cause of action in many states.

    Divorce in Biblical terms is always husband-centric. The husband can get away with anything, as long as he refused to grant the divorce to her. It is still a major issue with Ultra-Orthodox Jews. One rabbi even ran a racket where husbands were kidnapped for hire and tortured until they consented to a divorce.

    We as a culture find it much easier to abide by the notion of marriage being conditional than we are of encouraging systematic cruelty, lying and perjury.

  • szeto justin

    Jesus Christ mentioned in Exodus? The entire quote definitely not from any Catholic Bible I know

  • opheliart

    And Seers, Todd, which one might find in an Orthodox Church, are not the same as Watchers. A Seer, can, if acting in favor of certain parties or individuals rather than for “the body as a whole,” appear to behave as Temple Police. I knew of a Seer who told the priest (while he was sitting in another room) that a woman having confessed before receiving the Eucharist did not confess ALL that she should have before receiving. The priest, in this case, not a Seer, needs to understand the purpose of this information. He should not use this in a way that singles out the woman as being sinful. I made the point to the Orthodox priest that it is very possible the woman did not see all that she needed to confess, and was not intending any cover up. She is not a Seer and not able to see what the Seer sees (that’s a tongue twister—sort of like, Sally sells seashells down by the seashore) 🙂

    Anyhow, Seers should really be looking for serious trouble spots in the parishes … like people masquerading as something they are not, those with ill intent, theft, child molesters … Initially, I believe the Seers of Scripture are the Bishops, but you know how things are with biblical understandings …

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  • szeto justin

    I believe the whole point of the synod is about how to bring about the people in all different circumstances back into the fold, it is not to change any teaching. Jesus said He will build His Church and we have to trust that He will have a hand in every aspect of Church building

  • @Daniel Riordan,

    “..the Holy Spirit protects the Church from such hasty miscalculations that would abandon the fullness of the Truth.”

    Yet, your description of the church is that of a blind, lumbering monster blundering across the landscape.

    No truth was ever discovered through faith.

  • Rod Guerra

    @Deacon Harbey.. you’re confused, I was obviously referring to Catholics that have a valid sacramental marriage and have divorced/remarried. That’s why I specifically wrote “without an annulment”. Therefore, it’s very accurate and true that these “catholics” are committing the mortal sin of adultery if they have sexual relations with their “new” spouses.

  • @Suzy,

    Your furious rage against the Catholic church is completely understandable. No justice has been attempted by the hierarchy to adequately deal with this in 20 years.

    You have said you are a victim of rape.
    Was the priest responsible for this crime against you ever arrested? Have you ever received a response of any kind from the Church or representatives?

  • @Todd,

    Who abandons who? In a breakup what can that even mean? Who decides who was the first to retreat – how can it even be determined?

  • @Brad,

    And who voices the answer from above? A human, perhaps?
    Childish nonsense.

  • @Jack,

    “I don’t see even a hint of interest in rational discourse on your part.”

    Rational discourse requires rational input.

    “Jesus turned into a cracker for my personal benefit” is not a starting point for rational conversation.

  • @Jack,

    “What’s needed is a biblically balanced view.”

    Wrong. Religion poisons all the healthiest choices.

    If you want to cut down on the divorce rate, then cut down on the marriage rate. Millions of people are forgoing marriage and living together instead. It is a better solution for many. If things don’t work out, no big deal.

    Sex before marriage should not be forbidden, it should be a requirement.
    Contraception should be freely available everywhere.

    If you marry a virgin you are more likely to end up in divorce or misery.
    Want more broken homes? Shove religion on everyone.
    Virgins like the Cardinal know nothing about this matter and they are useless on the question of marriage.

  • @Opheliart,

    “Seers should really be looking for serious trouble spots in the parishes … like people masquerading as something they are not..”

    What a creepy suggestion.
    What is next? Outing the witches?

  • @Bill Nolan,

    “only say the word…”

    God speaks through the Catholic network – or he doesn’t.
    Jesus supposedly gives that power to Peter who gave it to the Popes who gives it to the Cardinals and Priests.

    And you allow these people to have that power
    when you sign up as a Catholic.

    It is self-corrupting, ridiculous, arbitrary nonsense.

  • opheliart

    Max, you say:
    “Seers should really be looking for serious trouble spots in the parishes … like people masquerading as something they are not..”

    What a creepy suggestion.
    What is next? Outing the witches?

    Where’s the rest of my comment, Max? What? It doesn’t serve your purpose to discredit me?

    Peace

  • Doug

    This idea that some people are not worthy of communion seems contrary to everything Jesus taught. The Cardinal is not the Communion gatekeeper, even if he was “the first one without sin.”

  • Garson Abuita

    Matrimonial lawyers make a pretty good living off it, so..

  • opheliart

    you see, Max, having someone overseeing people like you in parishes is part of what I am talking about—people masquerading as something they are not … for clearly, you should not have been teaching.

    Peace

  • @Opheliart,

    “people masquerading as something they are not … for clearly, you should not have been teaching.”

    Not true.
    Someday you will change your mind about many things – yet you are a true believer now. That doesn’t mean you are liar today. It means you are unaware of what you will learn someday.

    When I believed in Santa I was not lying. I thought it was real.
    To say that Santa is nonsense now – does not mean I was masquerading!

    You don’t seem to know much about how life works.

  • @Karla,

    “The Bible is clear….”

    Is it?

    “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (GEN 32:30)
    “Thou canst see my face; for no man shall see me and live.” (EXO 33:20)

    Oy vey! Laughable nonsense.
    The Bible is all man-made notions about man-made myths.
    It is no wonder it is contradictory, incoherent nonsense.

  • opheliart

    I never believed in Santa, Max. This was not something done in our home while I was growing up.

    I did not grow up in a Roman Catholic home, Max, but I understand the Catholic Imagination.

    Peace

  • Alcide

    Thanks be to God, I didn’t seek a divorce or an annulment when I discerned that He didn’t want me to. So much confusion is being produced at every level in our church. Those who clearly do not have a relationship with Christ seem to think that He didn’t really mean what He said. They label believers as ‘fundamentalists’ in order to try to discredit what the faithful are saying. We are warned very directly in 1 Corinthians :
    26
    For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
    27
    Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.*
    28
    A person should examine himself,* and so eat the bread and drink the cup.
    29
    For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment* on himself.
    30
    That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying.

    Is it love to tell someone that sacrilege is no big deal? Are these Cardinals not supposed to be loving and guiding the flock?

  • Karla

    The Bible does say to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith and
    man shall perish because of their lack of knowledge so we need to preach
    against all sin and preach the whole Truth not just part of it because Jesus
    said many will say to Me Lord,Lord and not enter heaven! We must Repent!

  • Alcide

    The only appropriate way for us to approach and receive the body and blood of Christ, is in a ‘state of grace’, without un-confessed (and un-repented) mortal sins. We must also approach Him humbly, having done our best to prepare ourselves. I have been waiting for over 9 years now, for my wife to come to her senses regarding our marriage. We have been separated that long, but thanks be to God, I didn’t seek a divorce or an annulment when I discerned that He didn’t want me to. So much confusion is being produced at every level in our church. Those who clearly do not have a relationship with Christ seem to think that He didn’t really mean what He said. They label believers as ‘fundamentalists’ in order to try to discredit what the faithful are saying. We are warned very directly in 1 Corinthians :
    26
    For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
    27
    Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.*
    28
    A person should examine himself,* and so eat the bread and drink the cup.
    29
    For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment* on himself.
    30
    That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying.

    Is it love to tell someone that sacrilege is no big deal? Are these Cardinals not supposed to be loving and guiding the flock?

  • @Doug,

    ” Cardinal is not the Communion gatekeeper”

    Yes, he is.

    “DO NOT EAT WITH THE GUILTY”

    “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)

    “DO NOT ASSOCIATE WITH ANYONE…IF HE IS GUILTY..”
    (1 Corinthians 5:11)

    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)

    “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)

    If you think this sounds absolutely absurd, unfair and wicked
    welcome to your religion.
    This is the WORD OF THE LORD.

  • So you popped into this world knowing everything you know today?
    You missed the point.

  • opheliart

    Max,

    “So you popped into this world knowing everything you know today?
    You missed the point.”

    No, Max, it is you who misses many points, as anyone can clearly see from the many posts of yours TELLING everyone how childish and WRONG they are for what they believe. You have tried to make FAITH an indecent and dangerous thing, but what you do not realize is that with many things, including Atheist Max, there is good, and there is bad. Try showing some SENSE and SENSITIVITY toward others who EXPERIENCE, DEFINE, LIVE, LOVE and GROW differently from you. Are you at all capable of living in a society that differs from your one view point? Or are you going to continue in arrogance and destruction of ALL who LOVE in ways that you cannot at this time understand. You are in what we call Spiritual Warfare. Let it out, buddy, go ahead and rock the boats … you might drown a few in the process, but I know how to swim Max … I know how to swim. Your words merely demonstrate the avenue I have already seen with one like you. I just feel concern for your family … did you rip all memory and tradition from them when you decided you did not believe—that you would not believe—and that you are now the knower of all minds and hearts and experiences? Do you refuse them voice at home, Max, if they happen to say something that you disagree with? What of your wife? Do you belittle and degrade her as she tries to share her thoughts on faith? I have seen what comes of a verbal abuser like you, Max … They grow depressed … very depressed.

    Just giving you a heads up there, bud.

    Peace

  • Marc

    This Max guy… Laughing for days

  • Terry Solie

    I can’t speak for Max, but what I get from what he and many other atheists say is that there is zero evidence of a god or gods and that the belief there is has resulted in religions which have been very deleterious. That being said, if I had to choose a religion it would be Nordic. But there are hundreds or thousands of other religions which are now called myths which have as much credibility as Christianity, Judiasm, Hinduism, etc.

  • Karla

    Terry-The reason you can trust the Bible is because of prophecy
    accuracy. The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel is a good book to
    check out. Read Romans 1:18-25 in the Bible. For someone to
    look out at the universe and say that it just came about just by
    some random chance it takes more faith to believe in that than
    to believe in God. Jesus is the Messiah/the only way to heaven!
    Only one God created the world//only one God went to the Cross
    and that’s because there is only one God…the God of the Bible.

  • Maris,
    Thanks, that is just the bottom line.
    The Anglican call it Sunday school, the Pentecostal call it church study, we Catholics say its catechism , but not many enforce this and make it mandatory for all, this synod should make guiding laws for the older faithful towards being consistent with the catholic teachings and doctrine.
    We catholic adults are just faced with whatever we do to receive communion and largely won’t leave our daily activities for church duties while the young attend these catechism to be able to receive 1st holy communion and later be confirmed, once they achieve these, they fall back gradually.
    We need not change or dilute the marriage clause in our doctrine, it strictness makes the catholic marriage the best recognised in the world. Even Protestants in Nigeria come to marry in the Catholic Churches, get the certificate you can never be granted divorce with and get back worshipping in their Protestant churches.

  • Ty

    Once a month we have communion at my congregational church, part of the UCC. The minister clearly states that everyone is welcome at the table regardless of age, gender, economic status, sexual orientation, ability, and that member and non-member, and all believers and non-believers are welcome to participate. It’s that last bit that fills me with joy – that our table is open to non-believers as a gesture of love and inclusion. That is the true spirit of communion. Jesus was not picky – he in fact chose to sup with the poor and marginalized.

  • @Opheliart,

    Wait.
    You said, “people (like you) masquerading as something they are not … for clearly, you should not have been teaching.”

    I once believed in Santa. I do not believe now.
    That does not mean I was ‘masquerading as something I was not’ as you said.
    The point is, people change their minds as they grow and learn – you find this an alien concept.

    “You are in what we call Spiritual Warfare.”

    That is a claim. What evidence are you basing this on?

    “I just feel concern for your family … did you rip all memory and tradition from them when you decided you did not believe—that you would not believe”

    So emotionally I owe it to my family to lie? One does not ‘choose’ to believe or not. If I try to not believe in gravity I will still not jump off a building to test it! Belief comes from exploring the evidence. If you have no evidence for something you would be foolish to believe it.

    “you are now the knower of all minds and hearts and experiences?”

    I don’t claim to KNOW a darn thing. You keep making claims – each one is entirely unsupported.

    “Do you refuse them voice at home, Max, if they happen to say something that you disagree with?”
    I’m sorry to have ever read your claims. You clearly do not know the difference between answering a question and making a statement.

    “What of your wife? Do you belittle and degrade her as she tries to share her thoughts on faith?”
    My wife is an Atheist like me. We are skeptical of people who make wild claims.

    “I have seen what comes of a verbal abuser like you, Max … They grow depressed … very depressed.”
    Nobody is verbally abusing anybody. If someone wants to defend beheadings and the religions which support beheadings (as you do) go right ahead. I hardly think it is verbal abuse however to be honest and call such a defense unsupportable.

    “Slay them wherever you find them” – Surah (Q’uran)
    If you want to be a religious person and believe in Gods and defend Holy Texts, be prepared to be challenged by Atheists and skeptics like me. If you can’t take it, don’t make the claims.

    All of the arrogance is coming from people who make claims about God. None of these claims have been supported with a whiff of evidence and in the meantime people are being killed at the direction of these claims.

  • @Terry Solie,

    “The belief there is (a god) has resulted in religions which have been very deleterious.”

    Exactly.
    Cardinal Burke has been permitted (by the religious) to tell adults
    what is good and ‘what is bad’ and he CLAIMS the authority
    to determine what price must be paid.

    Talk about arrogance.

  • opheliart

    Max,

    You can speak about your own experiences. You believed in the “God” of Roman Catholicism. It did not give you what you desired. You left. Okay … but that make every single person NOT having had your obviously dull and fruitless experience WRONG? Think again, Max … you cannot continue to accuse and charge everyone experiencing differently. I am not of religion because it is not necessary for me to experience as I do. You got a problem with that?

    As for telling lies … do not try to squirm out of the corner you have put yourself into.

    I tried to be your friend but you are incapable of friendship unless they hate as you obviously do in your twisting of statements about people MAKING CLAIMS, as you say … I share what I experience. Is that so darn difficult for you to get through that biased noggin of yours? Because I find Holy Scripture and Gnostic Literature worthy of my attention, I am childish, and dangerous. Good grief, Max, you are your own worst enemy!

  • @Opheliart,

    “Think again, Max … you cannot continue to accuse and charge everyone experiencing differently.”

    Everyone?

    Excuse me? Please let other people defend their own claims. Okay?

    I asked you about YOUR claims.
    You rejected the opportunity to explain them – so fine. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. But don’t expect me to respect your claims in the first place if you don’t know why you made them.

    I am addressing those claims made by of Cardinal Burke and Cardinal Walter Kasper.

    “This is all linked to…an ideological understanding..that the gospel is like a penal code,” said Kasper.

    Inherent in this article are two claims:
    1. Cardinal Burke – the Gospel is a list of rules.
    2. Cardinal Kasper – the Gospel is a preachment of inclusion.

    Both claims are supported by the Gospel texts. A person can choose either one or both.
    But the Gospel texts THEMSELVES are just a bunch of unfounded and contradictory claims.

    So Cardinal Burke (and Cardinal Kasper) are transparently shaping their own claims to suit their own prejudices using other claims which are themselves fraudulent.

    And people suffer as a result. It is immoral. That is religion.
    Needless suffering is the price people pay for false claims.

  • Opheliart,

    “You can speak about your own experiences.”

    Yes. And so can you.
    But I do not make any claims I cannot explain or back up with evidence.

    You are free to keep claiming ‘Spirit/God is this’ and ‘Spirit/god is that’ but don’t expect people to understand a word of it if you can’t explain it.
    I just don’t understand why anyone would make such claims and not be eager to explain why they made them. Instead you are defensive. *shrug*

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  • Dudley Jones

    Ty

    I am not a UCC member, but have heard and read lots of good things about them.

    Best wishes

  • kathleen

    ….to follow the Anglican Communion where people have a say in the selection of bishops… how is that working out? The Catholic Church has been around for 2,000 years and will be here until Gabriel blows his horn. And the ‘gates of hell shall not prevail against Her’. Pope Francis will not change doctrine or teaching.
    When it comes to these weighty subjects as marriage and family, it is not just a matter of discipline as Cardinal Kasper would have it, it is a matter of Church doctrine and teaching. Sit tight and pray a lot.

  • Yet Catholic Churches are closing. How is that working out?

  • Judy

    The comment is an explanation of Exodus 20:1-17, not a quote from Exodus.

  • Judy

    True Catholics do care about Canon Law and Scripture.

  • Judy

    I agree Emad. He is a defender of the ONE HOLY CATHOLIC and APOSTOLIC CHURCH. If you don’t like the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, join a different faith. Leave our church alone.

  • Ted

    i understand that as a “devout” athiest I may lack a certain appreciation for all the inspired and informed comments, but I suggest that from anyone’s objective perspective these comments are “bat [expletive deleted]” crazy. Purgatory, no
    Purgatory: repentance, no repentance: FOLKS…..If God did exist, I am sure he/she would say to put other humans before everything else… Including him/her.

    Look at what’s said here in the name of God. The most hateful, bigoted, and unhumanistic comments espoused by anyone. These are certainly not words your Jesus would espouse……

  • DavidPun

    Lets remember that Jesus didn’t exclude Judas from the Last Supper, nor did he refuse to share that first Eucharist with the apostles who he knew were going to deny and betray him outright. Although Jesus was always explicitly clear about the need not to sin again, and was in no way ambiguous about proper sexual behavior, his actions in supporting the woman to be stoned for adultery were a slap in the face for the self-righteous and hypocritical religious leaders who seemed to be intent on claiming they were doing God’s by a simple adherence to religious and Biblical doctrines, but acting in complete violation of the true essence of Gods will. This is not my theory. This story was included in the Bible specifically to address this point.

  • DavidPun

    Perhaps he still senses there is something greater in the Universe that explains why he doesn’t view himself and his loved ones simply as lumps of intelligent meat. He just doesn’t think its a big bearded spirit-man sitting up in heaven…wherever that is ….communicating with us….however he manages that outside of the laws of physics….. and being lectured to by people who have no more rational justification for their belief about God than they would have if they said they believed in Santa Claus.
    It should be no surprise to anyone that the Universe may have an infinite level of complexity and meaning, far beyond what we are capable of ever perceiving, let alone understanding. So it is going to look mysterious and perhaps unintelligible. If you doubt this, just look at every other species on the planet…..does your dog perceive the existence of the Internet? I doubt it. Does an ape understand why a bolt of lightning causes a loud boom? So I am not sure exactly why a few additional DNA mutations result in something now capable of understand the infinite complexity of the Universe.

  • DavidPun

    Wow. There’s a MORAL sin? I need to learn more about moral sinning:)

  • DavidPun

    But that’s precisely what Vatican II did! So why are all the hard right wingers rejecting Vatican II. In Church language that is HERESY…and there is no way to weasel out of that. Also the Pope speaking ex-Cathedra is another source of God’s teaching. Now of course many people outside the Church think that is nonsense, but look at it this way. In the eyes of God, christians have to know that by accepting the truth of certain teachings in faith and morals, that they can have the confidence that they are believing in the right thing essential to their salvation. But they cannot believe that unless they also believe that God ensures that certain functions of the Church will not err on matters of faith and morals. In the Catholic Church there are only two sources for this.
    1. An official Church Council
    2. An ex-cathedra announcement by the Pope.

    So it makes sense that God will protect and inspire those whose job it is to communicate the essence of the faith.
    By far the most dangerous issue resulting from Cardinal Burke’s behavior is that he is insidiously undermining the teaching authority of the Church. It is absurd to say that you should not follow the teaching of the official Church but only accept it if it happens to agree with his version of the teachings. Every heretic in the history of the Church has always started from that position.

  • DavidPun

    I disagree. Burke is attempting to undermine the teaching authority of the Catholic Church simply because a statement by the Pope does not align with his ultra-conservative interpretation of the Church’s teachings. Many of his followers, with his insidious encouragement, openly reject Vatican II. The same Church teaching he claims to uphold says outright that that is heresy, because it denies that God has the ability to ensure that the official teachings of the Church can be trusted. I certainly understand his desire to ensure that we don’t simply water down the existing teachings on marriage and similar things. But that is not what the Pope is trying to do.

  • DavidPun

    Well Jesus actually invited Judas to the First Eucharist even though he knew that Judas was about to betray him, and he invited the other apostles despite fact that he knew they were about to deny him.

  • DavidPun

    opheliart: But surely you are the one who believes that anyone who differs from you will end up suffering unbearable agony in hell for all eternity. If that is the basis of your faith, surely Max has a point, even if you don’t accept his atheism.

  • jean

    Max, are you happy? Do you have a peaceful mind?

  • Rory

    I find it completely unbelievable that in a broken-hearted world, we are still arguing whether and on what conditions the love and patronage of Christ and His Church should be extended to the broken-hearted. If there was one overriding message that Christ left us, it was love… love of God and of our neighbour. Yet the Church bickers like an adolescent child over the conditions under which that love and acceptance should be given. There were no conditions to Christ’s love. And there should be no conditions to ours

  • stanjames6621@yahoo.com

    same old garbage any surprise that the church is all but dead in w europe and over `1`/3 of catholics in the usa rarely attend servicesbbtw many pollsa showsthat catholics under 30, 75-80 % support legal civil law marriage for gays

    Have a nice day

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