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In Germany, Catholic Church grapples with blessings for gay marriage

Men with rainbow flags stand in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin at an event organized by the Social Democrats to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in Germany on June 30, 2017. (Michael Kappeler/dpa via AP; caption amended by RNS)

(RNS) — Germany’s unexpected legalization of gay marriage last year has created a pastoral dilemma for the country’s Roman Catholic bishops, who campaigned against the “marriage for all” bill and now have to maintain that doctrinal stand while also showing respect for gay and lesbian parishioners.

Roman Catholicism firmly opposes same-sex marriage as unnatural, so even Germany’s creative theologians have little leeway there. But the theology of giving a blessing to a gay couple is less clear, and two bishops have now spoken out in favor of considering some form of benediction as a way to adjust to the changing times. 

Franz-Josef Hermann Bode has been bishop of the Diocese of Osnabrück since 1995. In September 2017 he was elected as the new deputy chairman of the German Bishops Conference. (Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Osnabrück)

The country’s Protestant churches already offer gay couples at least a blessing ceremony, if not a full church marriage, and even the main association for lay Catholics supports allowing blessings. While Pope Francis has ruled out approving gay marriage, he raised expectations of some kind of reform early in his papacy by famously asking “who am I to judge?” about gay people.

“Even though ‘marriage for all’ clearly differs from the church’s understanding of marriage, it is now a political reality,” Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, the deputy chairman of the German Bishops Conference, said earlier this month.

“We have to ask ourselves how we should deal with people who tie this knot. Some of them are active in the church. So how are we going to accompany them with pastoral care and in the liturgy?” Bode asked. “We could think about giving them a blessing.”

After Bode spoke in an interview with his local newspaper, it emerged that another prelate, retiring Auxiliary Bishop Dieter Geerlings of Münster, had essentially said the same a month earlier in a lesser-known provincial daily.

“I’m not for ‘marriage for all,’ but if two homosexuals enter a same-sex relationship, if they want to take responsibility for each other, then I can bless this mutual responsibility,” he said.

“This is valuable and praiseworthy, even if this bond is not in complete agreement with the church.”

Roman Catholicism, though it opposes same-sex marriage, preaches respect for individual gays and lesbians. Both bishops made clear that a church blessing would not amount to a church wedding, because marriage in Catholic teaching is a sacrament reserved for a man and a woman.

This suggestion comes after the bishops protested last June when Chancellor Angela Merkel did an abrupt U-turn that allowed nuptial equality to become legal starting on Oct. 1.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, who as chairman of the bishops conference is the country’s top Catholic leader, reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage just before Christmas and has not publicly reacted to his deputy’s comments.

But the issue is not likely to disappear and may come up again soon — when the bishops hold their next half-yearly meeting in the spring.

Legalization of same-sex marriage came as a surprise because Merkel, the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, had long opposed it. But she allowed a parliamentary vote on it under strong pressure from her Social Democratic coalition partners and the opposition parties.

In the end, Merkel cast her vote against legalization, but it passed with a comfortable majority.

German Chancellor and leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union party Angela Merkel is pictured at the CDU party convention in Essen, Germany, on Dec. 6, 2016. Photo by Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Right after the law was passed, Marx expressed hope that the traditionally Catholic state of Bavaria, where Munich is the capital, would challenge it in Germany’s constitutional court.

The staunchly conservative state government, normally keen to line up with the Catholic Church when it serves its political purposes, commissioned a long legal study but does not seem ready to file a suit.

By contrast, all but one of the 20 regional churches of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD), the country’s main Protestant federation, began offering blessings for same-sex couples even before the national law changed.

Five of them allow full church wedding ceremonies and 14 offer blessings, some during a public service and a few only in private.

The church in Württemberg, the region around Stuttgart, is the only holdout. Influenced by a conservative Pietist tradition in Lutheranism, its synod blocked a resolution to allow blessings last November. Reform supporters vowed to keep up their campaign.

About 60 percent of Germans are Christians, with slightly more Catholics than Protestants. Ecumenical cooperation and intermarriage are common, so developments in one denomination are often debated in the other, even if the same change is not made.

The Protestant churches changed their policies in recent years as public acceptance of homosexuality evolved. Germany decided in 2001 to legalize same-sex civil unions, known as “Lebenspartnerschaften” (life partnerships), but pressure for marriage equality grew slowly.

Commonly called “homo marriage” because it was not available to heterosexual couples, the law on same-sex civil unions expired in October when gay marriage was made legal.

The Central Committee of German Catholics, an influential association of lay church activists, came out in favor of blessing same-sex couples in 2015. “We must build bridges between church doctrine on marriage and the family and the world that believers are living in today,” it said.

Although most church officials still reject it, the idea of blessing gay couples has been under discussion long before Bode’s interview in the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung made national headlines.

“I know the issue is out there, not only in Osnabrück or in the (episcopal conference’s) Pastoral Commission, but across Germany,” said Holger Dörnemann, the new delegate for relations with gay people in the Cologne Archdiocese, the largest and richest in the country.

“The discussions in recent years have shown this. (Bode) has only expressed what is actually under discussion in every diocese,” Dörnemann told the archdiocese’s radio station.

We Are Church, a leading lay reform movement, urged the faithful to join in these discussions. “The people in the pews must hold constructive conversations with church leaders in which the bishops are the ones who have something to learn,” it said.

Emmerich Mayor Peter Hinze. Photo by Markus van Offern via city of Emmerich

The blessing issue made headlines in September when a bishop barred a priest in Emmerich, near the Dutch border, from giving one in church to the city’s gay mayor and his partner.

“Dog, cats and motorcycles get blessings, but we’re not worth one?” Mayor Peter Hinze complained. “It can hardly be made clearer that we’re second-class people.”

Several Catholic theologians have chimed in to say blessings are a sign of God’s mercy and should not be refused to believers who do not live up to church teachings completely.

“I think it’s a problem theologically if we make blessings dependent on a moral assessment of human behavior,” Benedikt Kranemann, a professor of liturgy at the University of Erfurt, told the church’s official news site, katholisch.de.

“When a car is blessed, the driver is also blessed, regardless of how he drives,” he said. “The church was authorized to pass on God’s blessing as a promise. The person blessed is supposed to live according to what he was promised.”

About the author

Tom Heneghan

Tom Heneghan is a Paris-based correspondent

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  • I am sorry to say that by doing this they are in direct revolt against the faith and should be excommunicated immediately. I know this is contrary to what many people believe about SSM, but if these priests do as such they are stating publicly that they do not believe in the Catholic faith. We all struggle with something in our faith, we all sin, but our faith is not made to serve man, but to serve God. It is not our Laws, our teachings, it is God’s and His ways. This does not mean in the least that LGBT people should be shunned, or turned away, or worse, but to think that anyone no matter what their station is, can incur a blessing that is actually something God dispenses as He sees fit, is blasphemy.

  • The struggle between arbitrary dogma a d morals. They can work that out themselves. What is telling here is there is no talk of trying to overturn the law.

    Of course it would be a little less troublesome if Germany had separation of church and state. Gay couples can be forced to pay taxes going to churches which vilify their existence.

  • “Germany’s unexpected legalization of gay marriage last year has created a pastoral dilemma for the country’s Roman Catholic bishops, who campaigned against the “marriage for all” bill and now have to maintain that doctrinal stand while also showing respect for gay and lesbian parishioners.” Maintaining that stand is showing respect for homosexual parishioners who don’t want to die in their sin.

    The RCC is going to bless that which the Lord has condemned?

    ““I’m not for ‘marriage for all,’ but if two homosexuals enter a same-sex relationship, if they want to take responsibility for each other, then I can bless this mutual responsibility,” he said.” You know, the one that Christ said is such a sin that it was worthy of their death and they are directing each other to their perdition with by their very actions, but, like, hmmmmm……how can I bless this? lol
    The “mutual responsibility” being that they are leading each other to spiritual death?

    Even if the entire RCC endorses homosexual marriage, it will not make it an un-sin, and will not stop participants being forgiven by Christ once their turn to Him, repent, and follow Him.
    It will just make it more difficult to get out of satan’s entanglement that the world helped them into.

  • An interesting compromise. It is part of the larger struggle within the Church between those who want an inclusive Church and those who want a smaller, holier Church. Given the Church hierarchy’s disastrous handling of the abuse scandal, a “smaller, holier” Church seems inevitable.

  • If you had been alive in 1930’s Germany, there’s no doubt you would be one of those sending gay people off to concentration camps and the gas ovens. Your hatred of gay people rivals the hatred the Nazi’s had for Jews. If there was hell you’d be in it for your anti-gay hatred. You are nothing but a hateful bitch. I figure if If the President can swear with the blessings of Evangelicals so can I.

  • I read your hateful comment linking gays with Satan. Shame on you for being such a jerk. “Who are you to judge” with such language. “For all the law is fulfilled with one word: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

  • Actually you are advocating discrimination. Society no longer considers gays to be outside the bounds of regular morality. Outdated dogmas of ways of treating blacks, women, Jews, gays etc are evolving. Today most people, especially younger and educated, no longer think gays should be discriminated against spiritually or civilly.

  • “We must build bridges between church doctrine on marriage and the family and the world that believers are living in today”, a Catholic church group said. That sounds like a smart thing to do if you really love all of the church faithful regardless of their beliefs. I think the following applies here —
    …with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love……Ephesians 4:2

    Here’s another smart comment from the Catholic Church that should always be given more attention than it receives —
    “They [LGBT folks] must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”………..The Catechism of the Catholic Church, part of number 2358

  • What society considers moral or not has nothing to do with which way the Church should go. Christ told us that the world and its institutions are fundamentally in opposition to Him and will become more so as the church age progresses.

  • The entire world is “linked with Satan,” for Jesus said Satan is the prince of it. He even called one of His own disciples “Satan” when he evidenced preference (even innocent and motivated by love) with earthly purposes rather than God’s (Matt.16:23).

  • “It will just make it more difficult to get out of satan’s entanglement that the world helped them into.”

    Throughout scripture, Satan is characterized as the father of lies. The creation myths in Genesis have the tempting figure lie in order to tempt Adam and Eve. It’s because they succumb to his lies that they sin.

    Lying — even, or especially, for the Lord, as many right-wing Christians are wont to do — is what the bible characterizes as Satanically sinful over and over.

    The words “homosexual” or “homosexuality” never appear — not even once — in the scriptures. They were not coined until the latter half of the 19th century, many centuries after the biblical texts were written.

    Jesus never says a singe word about any of this. Not one.

    He, and the scriptures as a whole, have a great deal to say about loving others, which he tells us is the summation of the whole law. The bible is also crystal clear about the deep sinfulness of lying — especially about others.

    As you do any time you open your mouth to talk about fellow human beings whom God has made gay.

  • Indeed, so why discriminate and target gays?
    After all, Who the hell are YOU who are ALSO linked to Satan.
    As my godly grandmother would say to you, “Tend to your OWN knitting, and leave the judging to God.”

  • Beware of anything that percolates out of the German Catholic Church. How can the Church “bless” what it considers sin? “Building bridges”, “political reality”, etc. are all justifications for the Church’s compromising its beliefs and values for political expediency and to keep the money coming in. It’s another way of saying that the Church in Germany is making a deal with the Devil.

  • In RCC theology, the viewpoint you espouse is heresy, as it is borne from philosophical voluntarism (aka relativism). Society makes its own rules. There is no objective Truth if 51% of the population changes its mind. It really doesn’t matter what people think. There is Truth and then there is untruth. By your way of thinking, there is really no such thing as true “morality” as it is mutable (“society no longer considers…”). So we just stick our finger in the air and wait for the winds to change.

  • Me too. When the subject involves gay people, sand in wind is always here slinging her Sincerely Held Ignominious Theology.

  • Jesus certainly did speak against homosexuality in Matt 5:32 and 19:9 and Mark 7:21 where He uses the word “unchastity” and “immorality” which includes adultery, incest, premarital infidelity, homosexuality, beastiality and any other sexual conduct condemned in the OT.

  • the word “homosexual’ is not necessary when they describe the act sufficiently:

    Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

    Romans 1: 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men,

    there is your homosexuality, William.
    Christ taught against the sin from Genesis to the Book of Revelation:
    He rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah

    Revelation 21:8 ESV
    But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

    Revelation 22: 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

    You can wish that I lie as much and as hard as you can. It will not change that Christ condemned homosexuality and then turned around and died for these people, should they accept His gift of life everlasting instead of death.

  • There is no judging involved in helping someone not to die Marshall. I spoke about the sin they were putting themselves into. It is you targeting what is called “sin” to the person and dehumanizing them. We call their act sin. You are calling them sin.

  • JP: You need to get your Bible fixed. The word homosexuality doesn’t occur in those verses. The most you can say is that regarding the divorces at issue, in those cases opposite sex marriage is implied. Jumping from there to say that same sex marriage is forbidden is a jump too far. But if you want to do that then better interpretation of Jesus’ words would be to say that divorce after same sex marriage is OK since he was only talking about opposite sex marriage. Building a universal ethic on implied meaning is very dangerous.
    Declaring that “chastity” and “Immorality” are synonyms for homosexual behavior is unprovable based on the language used in these passages. It comes into use through the biases of later moral theologians, most notably in modern times.

  • There is PLENTY of judgment of your targeting gays with your judgement of calling them “sin”.
    You are calling it “sin”.
    Live and let live and leave the judging to God.
    At present there are more than 27 countries around the world that permit them to marry.
    Try to keep up. ALL the law is fulfilled in this one word: LOVE thy neighbor as thyself. Galatians 5:14

  • It’s a pity your spending your time in judgment, condemnation, and fingerprinting targeting gays like some officious intermeddling old gossip. “Tend to your own knitting!”

  • “Unjust” discrimination, yes. But your quotation visibly leaves the door open for “just” discrimination (for example, opposition to gay marriage.)

  • Homosexuals need to know the truth or they will not have the opportunity to go to Heaven and experience an eternity with Jesus. This culture lies to them that Christ said nothing about homosexuality, etc. and all they are trying to accomplish with the lies, is assuring that homosexuals will not go to Heaven. That is not love, Marshall.

  • 2 Timothy 4 – English Standard Version

    1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

    Are you endorsing myths?

  • 1 Peter 1:14-16
    As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

    Homosexuality is sin.

  • I know what race is. DUH If you don’t consult a dictionary.
    You are an officious intermeddler who is confusing your role with God’s.

  • What is morally correct and proper has nothing to do with religious dogma.
    Morality in general has to do with how society evolves in treatment of women, blacks, gays, and minorities.

  • RCC has little to do with morality when it covers up pedophile priests’ behavior.
    Of course, society makes its own rules through legislation and supreme court rulings on same sex marriage.

  • Not a single text of all the weaponized bible verses you have yanked out of context, with no respect for what they actually say, meant, or mean in their context, uses the word “homosexual” or “homosexuality.”

    You are fixated on what is not in the bible, while you ignore what IS there — the command not to bear false witness, and the command to love.

  • The English word “homosexual” entered English from German around 1892 in C.G. Chaddock’s translation of Krafft-Ebing’s 1880 “Psychopathia Sexualis”. The German forms were “homosexual, homosexuale”.

    In the Old Testament – in fact up until the 20th century – the descriptions were more circumspect. For example, in Leviticus 18: 22 we find “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” and in 20: 13 we find “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”

    Jesus never says a singe word about fornication, infanticide, sheep stealing, or genocide, not one. He did single out marriage for a bit of tightening up, which makes clear how important that vocation is.

    It is not clear that God made anyone gay, except in the sense that He permits imperfections in the Creation in this fallen world.

  • “unchastity” and “immorality” includes homosexuality and all other kinds of sexual acts outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

  • Homosexual “marriage” is a fraud because to have a marriage you must have a husband and a wife. Only a man can be a husband and a woman a wife. This is why hoomosexual “marriages” are legal fakes. You don’t have a husband and a wife in a marriage relationship which is necessary to have a marriage.

  • My comments were in regards to your less than perfect use of the Bible verses in question. The verses quoted imply opposite sex marriage; they don’t prove it is the only marriage.
    New comment: The definition of words changes over time. The word “Marriage” has had several meanings (admittedly always including males and females) over time. In out time it has changed again. Whether you like it or not, it has changed. So reading those verses includes same-sex and opposite sex couples in the teaching about divorce.

  • A new definition of marriage means that chastity and immorality still apply to all sexual expression outside of marriage.

  • Nobody is targeting gays, but on the other hand the church can not bless and celebrate actions that God has deemed sinful.

    It is like if I were to go into church and, instead of examining and repenting of my natural tendency to elitism, impatience and ill-temper, I were to ask the clergy to bless those tendencies and celebrate my commitment to permanently continue in them.

  • Homosexuality is a state of being. Immorality is something that is done. As to whether homosexual acts are a sin, see the notes above. Change is here, like it or not.

  • “The verses quoted imply opposite sex marriage” They do not “imply” anything. They state quite directly that the reason for marriage is the male-female duality created by God.

  • Targeting gays with spiritual abuse and civil discrimination is NOT love nor is it truthful. If Jesus of Nazareth said anything about gays or same sex marriage you need to post the NT text.
    Judge not, “who am I to judge”, the entire law is fulfilled in one simple word: LOVE.
    Galatians 5:14

  • Look up probabilism. It’s still an official doctrine of the RCC (though many would like to ignore or hide it). It has its roots in the philosophical underpinnings of the the church. It will be fun. It proposes that one can follow an authoritative opinion regarding whether an act may be performed morally, even though the opposite opinion is more probable. If there is even one chance in a hundred that the Church could be wrong, you can take it. Here we have a couple of official bishops,swimming against the tide; there’s your one in a hundred. Perhaps they will be made to recant; perhaps the Church will find a way to accommodate them. Told you this would be fun.

  • No, the article is about whether or not the Catholic church in Germany should bless same sex marriages or not.

  • Outside of the church you may define morality however you please, or repudiate it altogether — there is certainly nothing in nature itself which mandates it. Within the church, however, we have other obligations and commitments.

  • The church morality has defined itself by covering up pedophile priests.
    RCC has NO credibility on morality with its history of abuse, persecutions, and killings, Inquisitions etc. Physician heal thyself.

  • It is neither discrimination nor abuse to NOT pat someone on the head and tell them they’re just peachy. And it is the ultimate in insecurity for anyone to demand that they should. If you’re so sure about the rightness of your actions, start your own church.

  • It’s discriminatory to target gays with spiritual abuse and discrimination.
    Jesus said NOTHING about gays or same sex marriage.

  • From Wiki: “The central doctrine of probabilism is that in every doubt that concerns merely the lawfulness or unlawfulness of an action it is permissible to follow a solidly probable opinion in favor of liberty, even though the opposing view is more probable.” I would think granting permission to bless would tend to increase liberty, wouldn’t you?

  • Revisit my previous comment.

    And Jesus said that the reason for marriage is the male-female duality created by God (Matt.19), and that sexual immorality makes us unclean (Matt.15)

  • Jesus was asked about DIVORCE NOT same sex marriage!
    He said nothing about gays or their marriages.
    The church is UNCLEAN with its sins of covering up pedophile priests.

  • He was asked about divorce, but had to define marriage in order to demonstrate why it was wrong to break it. And everything outside of that is “sexual immorality” that defiles us as per Matt.15.

    Whatever the Church’s mistakes, the answer is repentance and reformation, not ever-increasing infidelity to God’s word.

  • How do you know Jesus of Nazareth said nothing about homosexuals?
    John 21:25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”
    The apostles following Him also condemned the act, so I would have to disagree with you.
    Also you mentioned “love”:  
    Mark 12:29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, 30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
John 14:15 – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” 
    1 John 5:2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.
    Christ commanded “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 18:22

  • No weapons.
    Christ was very clear that He was teaching about homosexuality.
    Saying nasty things about me is not going to change that Christ condemned homosexuality, William.

  • Well said.

    Hebrews 13:8English Standard Version (ESV)
    8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

  • Perhaps you may want to meditate on;

    2 Corinthians 4:4English Standard Version (ESV)

    4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

  • if I may also add:

    1 Corinthians 7 – Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”

  • No. Term in it’s original language literally means “to breathe out”. That is how Christ assured that scripture was taught.
    He also taught Paul via revelation for 3 years in Arabia.
    Christ assured the Bible is accurate.

  • A marriage requires two people: a man and a woman, two men, or two women. Anything else is polygamy.

  • Wrong. A marriage requires a man and a woman. Only a man can be a husband and a woman a wife. A man cannot be a wife nor a woman a husband.

  • Because there is NO recorded texts of him commenting about gays, lesbians, or same sex marriage. DUH!
    Christ did NOT make such a commandment in Leviticus. He wasn’t even on earth on the time of that text. What was ALSO an detestable abomination according to that Leviticus Holiness Code is eating bacon and wearing mixed fiber clothing.

  • Actually Jesus was commenting very explicitly on marriage between a man and a woman when he answered the Pharisees question about DIVORCE!

  • Again, you are conflating civil “marriage” and religious “matrimony.” Your arguments will n ever make any sense as long as you continue to confuse the two.

  • The blessing of a homosexual union is a moral assessment of human behavior. The person blessing the union has assessed the morality of the union based on their own opinion and not the truth.

    Persons, animals and objects may be blessed, but to invoke God’s blessing invokes His grace and approval on a union that is morally wrong—a blasphemy. The sophistry of the German church and its hierarchy creates a disorder in the Church and in society not seen in centuries.

  • In Mark 7:9 Jesus called the Torah the commands of God.

    In Luke 11:49 Jesus called the prophets God’s messengers.

    In John 8:58 Jesus claimed to be that God.

    Therefore, God’s word in the OT is Jesus’ word as well. Jesus is, in fact, the Word made flesh.

  • Show me where dietary (other than blood) and fiber restrictions were given to Gentiles, and I’ll show you where God judged and rejected Gentile peoples for sexual immorality long before there was ever a Torah.

    And as for where Jesus was when Leviticus was written…”Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM.” John 8:58.

    “I AM,” btw, was the name of the deity who gave the Torah to Moses. Ex. 3:14.

  • When you show me something from the Leviticus Holiness Code I ALSO show you things from the SAME code like wearing mixed fibers and eating bacon and shrimp. Christ did NOT make the Leviticus Holiness Code.

  • Absolutely my answer. Jesus did NOT write the Leviticus Holiness Code that called eating bacon and shrimp abominations. Get over it already.

  • I already demonstated that Jesus is the same God who gave the law to Moses and sent the prophets as well. A foot-stamp from you is not a rebuttal.

  • You have NOT demonstrated that Jesus wrote the Leviticus Holiness Code!
    A repetitious foot-stamp is NOT an answer. And Jesus the son of God did NOT hand the 10 Commandments to Moses, which BTW is an entirely DIFFERENT thing. DUH

  • Yet His followers taught against the sin.
    Christ is the Word of God and He is God. He told Moses what to write (Leviticus 18:1-10)

  • He said not a single word. If he did, cite the texts where Jesus said anything about gays, lesbians, or same-sex marriage.
    He was asked about DIVORCE of a man and woman, and he did answer about DIVORCE of a marriage between a man and a women.

  • Yep, He approved heterosexual marriage. Nowhere did He say a single word approving homosexual marriage. He negated dietary laws, declaring all foods clean. Yet He nowhere negated laws about same sex contact, never said one word indicating that same sex contact was clean.

    You seem to have ignored sand’s point that Jesus’ Apostles, specially taught by Him, wrote against same sex contact. I take it you admit that as true.

  • Yup, nowhere did Jesus say a single word about same sex marriage, gays or lesbians. I take it that you know that he didn’t say anything about those topics when he was asked about DIVORCE between a man and a woman.
    You seem to have ignored that he didn’t say anything; perhaps because he wasn’t asked. He was asked about DIVORCE and VERY SPECIFICALLY in the question which specified a Man and His Wife!
    The other NT texts used to clobber gays and lesbians and same sex marriage are ambiguous and disputed by biblical exegesis and scholars as referring to prohibitions against pederasty or prostitution BECAUSE gays, lesbians, and same sex marriage were NOT issues, known or even thought of as such, BUT pederasty and prostitution certainly were known and were condemned.

  • You might apply those texts about pederasty to Pedophile Priests that the RCC covered up! THAT unquestionably is sinful.

  • “I AM” gave the Torah to Moses. Jesus identified Himself as “I AM.” It’s quite simple. If you don’t like it, perhaps a discussion of intra-Church doctrine and practice is not the best place for you.

  • That’s not true. God gave the 10 Commandments to Moses.
    Now you’re mixing Jewish theology with Catholicism.
    Perhaps this thread is not the place for you. It’s that simple.
    Catholics hold a number of positions as to who wrote the first 5 books of the OT; scholars feel more authors than Moses were involved.
    But clearly they are Jewish instruction. The Jews have evolved on the issues of gays, lesbians, and same sex marriage in modern times.
    But the bottom line is that Jesus of Nazareth, the Jesus of the NT, had nothing to do with the JEWISH Leviticus Holiness Code.
    And, more importantly, he said NOTHING about gays, lesbians, and same sex marriage during his ministry. The 6 Clobber Verses used to bash gays perhaps have more to do with pederasty and prostitution than same sex attraction, romance, and marriage.
    Certainly modern biology, science, psychology, medicine, common sense, and the lives of our gay and lesbian neighbors informs us more.

  • On the contrary. We know from both the Midrash Rabbah Genesis and the Babylonian Talmud, ancient oral teachings of the rabbis committed to writing during the early Christian Era and which Jesus certainly knew of, that same sex marriage was practiced in pre-Noahide Times — and condemned by God.

    Make no mistake, it was no accident that Jesus likened the apostasy and depravity of the end times to the “marrying and giving in marriage” of the days of Noah. (Matt 24:37-39).

  • Make NO MISTAKE biblical exegesis and scholarship have demonstrated that those traditional 6 clobber verses used to bash gays and lesbians and same sex marriage were more likely aimed at pederasty and prostitution. Jesus himself said nothing about gays, lesbians, homosexuality, same sex attraction, or their marriages. Reading the actual words in the original language written make it abundantly clear that it’s ambiguous at best; but more likely to refer to common pederasty and temple prostitution.
    Modern Christians aided and abetted by increased knowledge of biology and science are beginning, more and more, to affirm and believe that God himself created gays. It makes sense.
    We do know for a fact that the RCC covered up pederasty among its clergy which is criminal.

  • Leviticus 1:1-2: “The Lord called to Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting. He said, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them…”

    Are you suggesting that one deity gave the 10 commandments and another gave the Torah? I’m afraid there is but one God, and Jesus said the Torah are His commands.

    “The Jews have evolved on the issues of gays, lesbians, and same sex marriage in modern times.“. So? The Jews are no more strangers to apostasy than Christians are, and Jesus foretold that apostasy of all kinds will greatly increase in the latter times.

    “And, more importantly, he said NOTHING about gays, lesbians, and same sex marriage”. Already refuted. Sorry. Get some scriptural education.

  • Jesus said nothing about gays, lesbians, and same sex marriage. NOT refuted by any texts where he said those words “gays, lesbians, same sex marriage”. FACT
    I’m suggesting that several authors were involved in writing the first 5 books of the Bible which are Jewish instruction and history and myth etc. NOTHING to do with the Jesus of Nazareth of the NT. And, again, Jesus spoke about DIVORCE when asked about a man and his wife and their marriage by the Pharisees.
    Not only modern Jews but Christians are ALSO evolving on the issues of same sex attraction. A majority of people now accept gays as just a fact of life, accept, love, and embrace them as family, not sexual predators and criminals. Biology and Science inform us, not ancient bigotry. The Bible also condones slavery; nowhere specifically condemns it. But we today know that it’s criminal.
    You’re peddling hateful homophobia while modern progressive Christianity is embracing what Paul, the father of Christian theology, said: ALL the law is fulfilled in ONE word: LOVE thy neighbor as thyself. Galatians 5:14.
    Jesus himself said to Render unto Caesar’s. Today around the world gays and lesbians can marry in 26 Christian countries. So we can legally accept that.
    God created gays and lesbians. Let’s just let them have a life. It’s much more important to help the poor and needy, educate the ignorant, clothe the naked, feed the hungry and do all those positive things Jesus spoke about, than to continue to target gays for spiritual abuse and civil discrimination. After all who are YOU to judge? Let God handle it.

  • “Biblical exegesis and scholarship” have demonstrated no such thing. Your position is a distinctly minority view invented and popularized by John Boswell during the 1980s but mostly dismissed, rightly, by his peers in academia as “advocacy scholarship.”

    If pederasty is what was meant by the pertinent scriptural verses, there was a word for that — and it wasn’t used. Romans clearly specifies men with other men. “Porneia,” commonly translated prostitution, includes many behaviors and all of them represent a perversion of God’s plan for human sexuality. It is variously used to describe premarital sex in the Torah, incest in the epistles, and adultery in the prophets. It makes little sense to specially separate out homosexual behavior, which prohibition is found directly between a prohibition on adultery and another on incest — and Jesus had every opportunity to do that but did not.

  • Meditate on this: God is Love. ALL the Law is fulfilled in ONE word: LOVE thy neighbor as thyself.

  • “I’m suggesting that several authors were involved in writing the first 5 books of the Bible which are Jewish instruction and history and myth etc.”. Ah, so you don’t believe in the inspiration of scripture. Well, there’s your difficulty right there. Jesus said that the Law and the Prophets ARE inspired by God, and that is what we as Christians have to go with. Why are you even here, in that case?

    “Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth.” 1 Cor. 13:6.

  • God is Love. ALL The Law is fulfilled in ONE word: Love thy neighbor as thyself.
    (Catholics are allowed to believe that several authors were involved in writing the first 5 books of the Bible.)

  • I’ve already shown you what Christ taught on love. If you love Him, you will follow His ways. There really is no more discussion.

  • Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves. And Paul said it fulfilled ALL The Law.
    You are targeting gays for spiritual abuse and discrimination.

  • “Allowed” by whom? Pfft. Jesus did not prescribe any exemptions to heeding Moses and the prophets. (Luke 16:31)

  • Many Catholic biblical scholars now believe that more than one man, Moses, was involved with writing the Jewish bible. Try to keep up.
    What Paul, the father of Christian theology, said was: ALL the law if fulfilled in one word: LOVE thy neighbor as thyself.

  • It is not loving to lie to anyone about sin. Jesus told us if our brother sins rebuke him, for sin leads to ever greater harm and destruction (John 5:14). Love does not delight in, or bless, evil.

    And I am not interested in what “Catholic scholars “ might have to say about the authors of the Torah. I am interested in what Jesus had to say about its origin and authority.

  • It’s NOT loving to target gays and lesbians with spiritual abuse and civil discrimination. They are our neighbors and friends. God created them.
    Jesus didn’t study the first 5 books of the bible like today’s scholars; and who care’s whether you care or not what scholars are discovering about the authorship. Knowledge increases; just as knowledge increases in biology and science.
    The message of Christianity is God is Love & ALL The Law is fulfilled in ONE word: Love thy neighbor as thyself.

  • Of course God created all of humanity. But all of humanity is fallen and every one of us has weaknesses that war against the Spirit. I don’t expect anyone to “bless” mine and it’s beyond me why anyone else would demand that theirs be “blessed” by others. Lying about sin is not loving. It’s only lying.

    No, Jesus didn’t have to study it — He gave it in the first place. At 12 He knew vastly more about it than all of Jerusalem’s “scholars,” who in turn knew vastly more about it than today’s Johnny-come-lately “scholars.” No contest, m’dear.

  • You cannot be using logic when you conflate the two quite different terms with different legal definitions.

  • Exactly, God created gays and lesbians along with the rest of us.
    And Jesus and Paul said to love our neighbors as ourselves. Because that’s the essence of God: love. It’s NOT loving to target them with abuse and discrimination.
    “m’dear”? Jesus did NOT write the five books of of the Jewish Bible. Scholars are trying to determine who the authors are and now feel more than Moses was involved. Actual men penned those books long before Jesus of Nazareth appeared on the scene. You might do a bit of research on the change in thinking about Moses writing the Torah and new scholarship that questions that.

  • I imagine your ranting about “love” is quite similar to what the ancient Israelites reasoned about their “neighbors and friends” who practiced idolatry and didn’t deserve to be called out for it because that would not be “loving.” Some love, that. It got Jerusalem destroyed, the people sent into captivity, and the Israelite kingdom lost even to this day. This will end in much the same manner.

    I have already told you it does not matter what “scholars” think 2000 (or in this case 4000) years after the fact. What matters is what Jesus said about the Law and the Prophets. Is He God or not — what say you?

  • Yes, Jesus and Paul did “rant on” about love.
    Jesus ALSO “ranted on” about helping others, especially the poor, compassion, blessings, comfort, mercy, and peace making NOT targeting gays and lesbians with spiritual abuse and civil discrimination.
    What I say is that modern biblical exegesis and scholarship like modern science and biology increase our knowledge.
    Jesus said: For all the Law and Prophets hang on these two great Commandments:
    Love God & Love thy neighbor as thy self.
    Matthew 22:40

  • And here you have the moral and human bankruptcy of of antigay religious people in a nutshell.

    Bless a dog? Fine. Bless a truck? great. Bless an army and a war enterprise? Fabulous.

    But bless two human beings who stand up in front of their families and communities to make a lifetime commitment to each other?

    Well, that is just going too far.

  • ” But your quotation visibly leaves the door open for “just” discrimination… ”

    Then let’s rephrase the sentence to read — Every sign of ‘just’ discrimination (for example, opposition to gay marriage) in their regard should be avoided.

    The change still makes good sense.

  • Jesus talked about love, and it is an indispensable and natural response to His work in our hearts, but His primary message was repentance and preparation for the Kingdom of God. It is not loving to lie about sin — our duty to each other is to be accountable to each other and help each other avoid the traps that get in the way of fellowship with God, not make each other comfortable in the sins that put Jesus on the cross.

    As for “modern” exegesis and scholarship, do you have any idea how many times this “modern scholarship” has been demolished by archaeology? The higher critics were positive that John was written two-hundred years after Christ — until fragments of John’s gospel were found dating to around the turn of the 1st century. They were likewise sure that the book of Daniel was a fraud because Babylon wasn’t built by Nebuchadnezzar and the Belshazzar talked about at length never existed — until Babylon was excavated. Oops — Nebuchadnezzar DID build it and Belshazzar was exactly who Daniel said he was. Leaving “modern scholars” like Harvard’s Robert H. Pfeiffer waving their hands feebly and murmuring “We shall presumably never know how our author learned that the new Babylon was the creation of Nebuchadnezzar, as the excavations have proved, and that Belshazzar mentioned only in Babylonian records, in Daniel, and in Bar. 1:11, which is based on Daniel, was functioning as king when Cyrus took Babylon.” (Jesus, on the other hand, always taught the book of Daniel as authentic).

    More recently we heard that the gospels were all wrong because Nazareth didn’t exist in the time of Jesus. Until excavations turned up 1st century Nazareth farmhouses right where they were supposed to be. Oops again.

    Seems that every time anyone wields a spade in the holy land another “modern scholar” ends up with egg on his face. That is because the main aim of modern biblical scholars is not to “increase knowledge” but to come up with “new and innovative” theories that will get attention, sell books, and make a name for themselves in academia. The bible teaches that knowledge will be increased as we near the end times, but so will demonic activity, deception and apostasy. Do not be so easily impressed.

    You didn’t answer my question, btw. Is He God or not?

  • Sane sex contact is indeed condemned by the Apostles, try as some may to wiggle out of that. And it was condemned by their disciples, the Apostolic Fathers, and by the Patristic writers after them, in an unbroken line of unambiguous teaching down to modern times.

    So where, according to you, was this chain broken? Who, all of a sudden, didn’t understand what their predecessors were saying to them? Such a radical break and change of doctrine should leave some evidence in the literary record. There is none. Almost as if there was no change. Which is, of course, the case.

  • Actually the Six Clobber verses traditionally used to bash gays AND lesbians when read in the original languages as written are ambiguous according to many biblical scholars because the specific words used by the ancients probably were aimed at pederasty and temple prostitution and not at sexual orientation as the modern world came to understand. The word homosexual was coined in the 19th century; it is nowhere in original biblical texts. The ancients had no understanding of sexual orientation. The Leviticus Holiness Code mentions only same-sex male activity, but prohibits it along with wearing mixed fiber clothing and eating shrimp and bacon. Nothing about females.
    Radical breaks have been made in slavery which the Bible condones and nowhere specifically condemns. Radical breaks have also been made in our treatment of females, under age marriages, property and voting rights. Today modern science, medicine, psychology, biology, and most importantly the personal testimony of gays and lesbians themselves attest to the fact that they are created from birth by God himself just as he creates the rest of us.
    Same-sex behavior, child molestation, and pederasty among the clergy have for too many years been covered up the RCC and still is excused and explained away WHILE the RCC continues to target gays and lesbians with spiritual abuse and civil discrimination. Try to wiggle out of that!

  • Leviticus Holiness Code says eating shrimp and bacon and wearing mixed fiber clothing are also abominations. The followers of Jesus certainly DO NOT agree with Leviticus.

  • I stand by the God of love and Jesus and Paul’s “rantings” about love for all. As well as The Two Great Commandments of God that Jesus mentioned and Paul mentioned as fulfillment of ALL The Law: love of God and love of our neighbors. I reject the posturing and hypocricy of the Pharisees that Jesus harshly condemned.
    Modern science as well as modern ideas on humanity have brought us freedom from many ancient diseases, equality of humans, and increased knowledge of the ancients. And that’s a good thing. Knowledge and science will continue to inform.
    I’m not impressed with your fixations and obsessions with targeting gays and lesbians with spiritual abuse and discrimination. Indeed the REAL church, not its clergy, the parishioners, those who gather together in Jesus’ name, are increasingly, especially the young and the educated, accept our brothers and sister, our neighbors and friends, the gays and the lesbians among us. The German Church can grapple; but the people – the real church – will prevail with celebrating those Two Great Commandments: Love of God & Love of our neighbors.

  • Why are you afraid to answer the question? Is He God or not?

    If He is not, why are His teachings worth your arguing about them? And if He is, how is it that He somehow “didn’t understand” the laws that He Himself gave?

    The Jews of His day weren’t too afraid to make a call. They said He was not, and proceeded to pick up rocks to throw at Him when He claimed otherwise. So what say you?

  • “…when read in the original languages are ambiguous…”

    Only to moderns who have an interest in promoting LGBT.

    Not to the ancients, who themselves knew and spoke those languages, and who, from the Apostles, to the Apostolic Fathers, to the following patristic writers, NOWHERE witness to the propriety of same sex contact.

    Also time to give up the tired jabs about shrimp, etc. The Apostles clearly witness to the passing of dietary laws. Not so with the prohibition of sexual sins.

    I notice you conveniently did not address my main point. When did, all of sudden, one generation of Christians so dismally fail to understand the teachings about sex that they rejected same sex contact which, according to your construct, Jesus and his Apostles were a-ok with? Where is the evidence for this rupture in the literary tradition?

  • No, not at all; just plain old fashioned biblical exegesis and scholarship – like many other subjects and issues and topics – examining the original words of an ancient manuscript in the cultural context of its time. This is not limited to the issues of sexual orientation. And, BTW, many scholars agree. Knowledge increases our understanding of ancient texts.
    Wearing of mixed fibers was NOT a dietary issue. Abominations are abominations; and a reading of the COMPLETE list is absurd comparing to what believers practice today.
    The “rupture” if you want to call it that, occured when biblical exegesis and scholarship closely examined the original ancient words and compared them with similar texts using the same word and the cultural context of those ancient times. This is nothing new in other issues as well.
    I notice you didn’t address slavery, the treatment of females, under age marriages, property and voting rights.
    And most glaringly the RCC covering up the sexual sins of its clergy.

  • “promoting LGBT” is an agenda of equality of humanity and has succeeded around the world among democratic civilized countries with same sex marriage and anti-discriminatory legislation. Why? Because people see that this is just the latest in rejecting slavery, enslavement of women, expanding minority rights, and recognition of modern biology and science. Among Christians and Jews it’s seen as God’s love for all of humanity. As Jesus said: There are Two Great Commandments: Love of God and Love of our neighbors. This is something that everyone can accept. And even nonbelievers and skeptics can accept our common humanity of loving our neighbors as ourselves. The Golden Rule – treating others as we would have them treat us – is universal among all religions and most ethical traditions and predates the Bible.
    At present there are nearly 9,000 gay affirming Christian congregations around the world where people gather together in the name of Jesus to promote his teachings and practices who accept GLBT without spiritual abuse or discrimination.

  • Well, at least you admit that the rupture is of modern origin, thus not part of the original Christian tradition, which has never deemed same sex contact as anything but sinful.

    That “many scholars”can, are, and have been wrong on many issues is not news to me.

    Of course wearing of mixed fibers is not a dietary issue. I was hoping you could connect the dots on your own. Perhaps that was too generous of me. The Apostles at the First Council of Jerusalem, Acts 15, instructed believers what parts of the law they were still enjoined to follow. Mixed fibers was not mentioned. Sexual immorality was.

    Slavery, treatment of females, under age marriages, property and voting rights were of course not addressed by me. The topic here is homosexuality. Only someone wanting to deflect and change the subject (squirrel!) would bring them up. (And of course property, voting rights, and the legal age for marriage are properly matters pertaining to civil law.)

    The “RCC covering up the sexual sins of its clergy” is something that Church and its clergy need to address, not me. Neither is it relevant to a discussion about homosexuality. It is brought up simply as another “squirrel!” deflection.

  • The “rupture” came in the 19th century when homosexuality became examined and known in Germany and Europe. The ancients had no knowledge or concept of sexual orientation. The ancients didn’t exactly nail it as same sex contact but as pederasty and temple prostitution which hasn’t changed even today. We still abhor and condemn such practices. I used “rupture” because it’s YOUR word, not mine. I call it increased KNOWLEDGE!
    The Apostles Council did NOT consider or address the biblical exegesis of examining the original words applying to temple prostitution and pederasty; after all, they were just men. They did NOT write the original words AND keeping mixed fibers is absurd on its face while only considering dietary abominations from the complete list. Their word is NOT the same as The Original Word.
    “Squirrel” deflection is the Apostles Council “ruling”. This is little different than my “deflection” of modern scholarship of biblical exegesis. Knowledge among scholars increases whether an “arbitrary” “ruling” of a church council or just good old fashioned biblical exegesis of scholarly men. It’s intelligent educated men expounding on various topics of concern.
    A discussion of homosexuality surely does INCLUDE the covering up of sexual abuse by the RCC while still targeting gays and lesbians with spiritual abuse and discrimination. DUH! It’s THE TOPIC: homosexuality and the RCC!

  • Maybe it will be in Germany that a real discussion of how to include our LGBT brothers and sisters will actually occur. I was struck by this: “I think it’s a problem theologically if we make blessings dependent on a moral assessment of human behavior,” Benedikt Kranemann, a professor of liturgy at the University of Erfurt. ” Especially since there are occasions to bless dogs, cats, and motorcycles.

    Good grief. We are talking about our brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, aunts, friends, co-workers, parents. No one is perfect. No one. Not even someone who thinks s(he) follows all the rules. No one is worthy. this is just human hubris – one group of people trying to say they are more worthy of blessings because they don’t live as some other people live.

  • ‘“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
    Matthew 19:4-6
    Jesus said that. And yes, Jesus/Holy Spirit/God are all one Triune God, so Jesus wrote the entire Bible, including Gen. 19:1-29; Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 1 Tim. 1:10. As Christians, we must do a better job of not being hateful or rejecting gay people, because we will create more division that way. However, we can not be afraid to proclaim the Gospel, and proclaim what is wrong, as revealed in the Bible. No, the Bible does not say you’re not supposed to judge (don’t quote Matt.7:1 unless you’ve read the rest of the chapter- it’s about judging hypocritically. Everyone gets al upset about equating sin with the devil, well that’s all sin, not just homosexuality. And the devil loves it when any sin is normalized.

  • There is none righteous, no, not one.

    But maybe killing people is perfectly fine with god. After all, he does it.

  • The dog, army, and truck are engaged in on-going sinning?

    In both Judaism and Christianity forgiveness is contingent on repentance, restoration (making anyone sinned against whole), and resolve to cease the sin.

    The on-going component with no intention of ceasing is the problem.

  • Christianity advocates discrimination, beginning with lauding that which is moral and condemning that which is immoral.

  • “The “rupture” if you want to call it that, occured when biblical exegesis and scholarship closely examined the original ancient words and compared them with similar texts using the same word and the cultural context of those ancient times.”

    You mean like this?

    But, then, what are our Jewish laws about marriage? That law owns law owns no other mixture of sexes but that which nature has appointed, of a man with his wife, and that this be used for the procreation of children. But it abhors the mixture of a male with a male — Flavius Josephus, Against Apion 2:25.

    (Josephus was a 1st century Jew who received the exact same legal education as Paul — and writes in much the same vein.)

    The generation of the Flood was not blotted out of the world until they had begun writing nuptial hymns for marriages between males or between man and beast. — Genesis Rabbah 26:5:4

    These are the thirty commandments which the sons of Noah took upon themselves but they observe three of them, namely, (i) they do not draw up a kethubah [marriage contract] document for males — Babylonian Talmud, Chullin 92a-b

    Drat that “cultural context.” 😀

  • No, they can formally withdraw from the Catholic Church and pay zero taxes.

    In fact it is hard to imagine why they would not.

  • “The ancients had no knowledge or concept of sexual orientation.” Nonsense. They believed same sex attraction to be innate — although they mistakenly attributed it to astrological causes.

  • Yah, sure LOL; the Bible condones slavery, nowhere specifically condemns it.
    Women are subservient to men, no speaking in the churches, wait and ask husbands at home. I Corinthians 14:34-35

  • That’s because the word “homosexual” is German in origin and entered English at the very end of the 19th century.

    All the rabbis believed that same sex – male or female – sexual relations were an abomination, as did the early Christian church fathers, so the “biases of later moral theologians” really don’t enter into it.

  • That’s because every form of what is called “slavery” is not immoral.

    What is immoral is treating people like property, chattel slavery, which also renders exploitation of workers immoral.

    And, yes, Judaism and Christianity both endorse a form of patriarchy, beginning in the family.

  • So if “love” is redefined as “put a bullet in his head”, your position is that love means put a bullet in his head?

    Or is there something a bit more profound that you’re working on?

  • So, you’re arguing that some small component of “Christianity” throwing the towel in is a good thing.

  • A Christian is anyone baptized in the faith and/or a believer and follower of Jesus of Nazareth.

  • The reference is to treating those with a same sex orientation with justice and compassion.

    It can’t be taken as any form of endorsement of same sex activity.

  • The Germans are also the source of the attempts to allow divorce.

    It’s tied up with the way their finances are tied to taxes which in turn are tied to people registering as Catholic to finance the dioceses.

    In other words, follow the money.

  • That quote certainly indicates that Benedikt Kranemann has left the planet.

    Can dogs, cats, and motorcycles engage in immorality, or are you arguing that homosexuals are either bestial or inanimate?

  • There is an apostasy fee as well. In fact the whole state sponsorship of religion has been pretty damaging to the membership of many churches. Roger Williams had it down pat, the wall of separation between church and state protects both.

  • Lying troll
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11380968/Compulsory-income-tax-on-Christians-drives-Germans-away-from-Protestant-and-Catholic-churches.html

    “Under German law, anyone who was baptised as a child is automatically a member of the church and obliged to pay the tax, charged as a percentage of their income, regardless of their beliefs or whether they attend church services..

    But the only way out of paying the tax is to make a formal declaration
    renouncing your membership of the church – and there is a government fee
    for this as well.

  • Biblical exegesis scholarship is blind to dogma and examines the original language in the cultural context of the times and compares the original words with the same word in other contexts to come up with the plain meaning. BTW Genesis was originally written in Hebrew.

  • It’s explained in Faith Enterprise: Making Mysteroes and Miracles Vanish. Riligions (and their dogmas) follow science and the people. People lead. Churches follow, or die themselves.

  • Right, lying troll.

    There is no “apostasy fee”.

    There is a recording fee – fill out the form, file it, and don’t have your children baptized and you’re out of the system.

    Do try to follow along.

  • A fee to declare you have left membership a church. An apostasy fee. This is a ridiculous hill to die on here. 🙂

  • No, don’t agree with you that it’s “exceptional” at all. Exegesis is merely a scholarly tool used in critical interpretation that uses established methods to understand a piece of writing, especially from the Bible. First one looks at the original language of questioned texts and compares those words with other words used in the original language in other contexts. In the case of Genesis; Hebrew is the original language.

  • You’re thinking of the line “they shoot horses, don’t they?” It implies that the loving thing to do for a horse that can’t be healed is put it out of it’s misery. That’s not at all what I’m talking about. The meaning of words change over time. As regards the Bible we need to go back to the days when the portion we’re studying was written. We need to find out what the word meant then. Finding a word in today’s English that matches the original meaning is often an challenge. The word for marriage as used in the 1st century CE has a different meaning than the meaning we have today. The meaning is what counts, not the current word we use. Then there were social conventions in the Bible times that contemporary society simply wouldn’t understand or support, so the Church down through the centuries has been forced to adapt its translations many times. It’s not simple; it’s the equivalent of verbal rocket science.

  • Like someone who is divorced for any reason except adultery, and who is yet remarried, and who is known to have committed adultery yet again, not to mention, lusting in his heart after women while in his third marriage.

    Like someone who is caught lying virtually every single day? Like some posters on these very pages who consistently bear false witness, revile and slander their neighbors with impunity, while people who call themselves Good Christians not only refuse to call them out on it, but think it’s a good idea?

    Like someone who has failed to love his neighbor, but has justified his despite as sincere religious belief? You know, like slandering other Christians for not being the right sort of Christian?

  • I beg to differ. It was established by the Fathers and never abandoned officially by the Church (though some have tried). You will find it in the footnotes two Catechisms ago. The RCC never throws anything away. It’s easier to just google it. Few want to keep it, but no one can let it go. Lots will deny it, but that doesn’t change a thing. Isn’t this fun?

  • “…the Bible condones slavery, nowhere specifically condemns it.”

    The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free — Luke 4:18

  • me three. Kinda entertaining at times to see long strings of:
    this user is blocked
    …smack-down
    this user is blocked
    … eviscerating response
    this user is blocked
    … chiding rebuke
    etc. etc. etc.

  • No, it is not the truth. Far from it. Invoking God’s Holy name to bless people is great; but to invoke Him and His grace upon an immoral status is null. You may call me names, extreme, or an assortment of other hate names, but your protestations do not change the fact that such a blessing has no spiritual grace or impact.

  • Getting all comfortable and such, are we? We’ll see.
    Germany is messed up. As with the rest of Europe, this RNS article makes clear that it’s almost DEAD spiritually. Even their church leaders are going three shades past totally insane. But here in the USA, there’s still time to go another path.

    What you do at home is your thing, but in terms of national trends, better get ready. Why? Because the Gay Goliath is losing his slaves. You can block posters, but you can’t block THIS gig. Emancipation Proclamation 100 Percent.

    http://transformingcongregations.org/find-help/

  • My bedroom isn’t the issue. Discrimination in the public square is my issue. You’re more polite about your hatred, but no more christian. You, sir, are the one who is “messed up” wanting to allow discrimination for people for the way they are born.

  • Yes, as you admit, the rupture came in the 19th and 20th Centuries, not with Jesus and the Apostles and their successors, who never accepted same sex contact as you originally intimated.

    You seem fixated on the grail of “The Original Word”, as if words are not multivalent and as if the meaning of a word in one century must be identical many centuries later. It is clear that by the time of Jesus/Apostles/Apostolic Church, same sex contact as inadmissible in any context.

    As for “good old fashioned biblical exegesis of scholarly men”, that is a red herring. No exegesis occurs in a vacuum; it is always influenced by its milieu – either a modern secular milieu (which likes to affirm homosexuality), or an Apostolic milieu (which did not).

    Certainly the covering up of sexual abuse by the RCC while still targeting gays and lesbians is an example of hypocrisy on their part, but their hypocrisy does not in any way invalidate my points in the discussion we have been having in this thread, which as been about whether or not Jesus/Apostles/Apostolic Church ever approved of same sex contact. It was the topic of the original article, but it has not been the topic of our discussion here.

  • “The RCC is going to bless that which the Lord has condemned?”

    Where in the N.T. has Jesus “condemned” same-sex marriage?

  • Why do you want to confine Christ to only the New Testament?

    Secondly: John 21:25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

    So how do you prove that He didn’t teach against it?

    Thirdly…..His disciples taught against the act.

    I would say your hypothesis is incorrect.

    Jesus would not contradict God on what He taught. Jesus is God and He will not contradict Himself.

  • Why? Because we find Jesus’ teaching in the New Testament, especially the Gospel, that’s why.

    John does not address same-sex marriage. If he did, cite chapter and verse. Our doctrinal standard is found in the canonical gospels, which the Church of Rome (and likely other Christian churches and communities) acknowledges as “the heart of all the Scriptures ‘because they are our principal source for the life and teaching of the Incarnate Word, our Savior'” (CCC-125).

    If Jesus taught against same-sex marriage, there is no evidence he did so. He addressed heterosexual marriage.

    You claim that Jesus’ “disciples taught against the act.” Please clarify.

    Finally, you erroneously claim that Jesus “would not contradict God on what He taught.” Jesus approved of slavery — even the “beating” and, if necessary, the “severe beating” of disobedient slaves. The Church of Rome categorically condemned the practice in December 1965 near the end of Vatican II. Have Christians — and not just Catholics — violated God’s teaching by condemning slavery? John 14:16-17 is relevant here.

  • Where in sacred scripture has God “deemed [same-sex marriage] sinful”?

    Same-sex orientation, like heterosexual orientation, is not a “tendency”.

  • The “truth” is God’s wish that we love God and one another. If the Gospel is “good news”, that news is universal salvation. Just as God in Jesus instructed his followers to initiate unlimited forgiveness, so God will do the same since God does what God asks of us. God is not a hypocrite. God’s love is unconditional, i.e., “no strings attached”. The name “Jesus” means “God saves”, not “God saves if”.

  • “Christ commanded…”

    No, Jesus did not so command. Nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus cite Leviticus.

  • Why would I call you names? You have your opinions, I have mine.

    I’m sure god has authorized you to speak for him. Other people would disagree.

  • “It is not clear that God made anyone gay, except in the sense that He permits imperfections in the Creation in this fallen world.”

    I think it’s increasingly clear among Christians (speaking as a Catholic here) that God has created human beings as straight, gay, and bisexual. Based on available evidence, sexual orientation is real and encompasses the person in his/her wholeness and not merely in the act of vaginal or anal intercourse. Has God permitted “imperfections in the Creation”? I think the word “imperfections” reflects human perception/thinking among some, but not all, observers. Perhaps what we might regard as being “imperfect” is what God (anthropomorphically) regards as “perfect”. For example, we might think of certain natural poisons as “imperfect” since they can kill, yet science is learning that some toxins can be tweaked to cure disease. Just today we learned that a modified flu virus has killed pancreatic cancer cells. Jesus approved of slavery, yet Christians would over time come to condemn the practice because, inter alia, God is Love and, being such, would not condone one person owning another human being. In short, God’s revelation is a continuing process and not limited to sacred scriptures, which necessarily were influenced in their telling and writing by cultural influences of one kind or other.

  • Inspiration is not dictation, and inspiration itself was culturally influenced. Thus the inherent danger of literal interpretation.

  • Of course there is proof— exactly the same proof, and probably more, that heterosexuality is genetic. You just don’t want to see the proof, and assume that whatever god said to Adam and Eve applied to all people forever.

  • “More simply put, humankind is created to find human completion only in the (marital) union of two sexes.”

    And opinion, belied by the sheer numbers of humans who find Human completion in their same sex relationships. I have known many gay couples who have been devoted couples and together longer than all three of trumps adulterous and fornicating marriages, all four of Newties adulterous and fornicating marriages, all four of Limbaugh’s marriages.

  • You are referring to heterosexual marriage. We are witnessing doctrinal evolution today based largely, I think, on Matthew 22:36-40.

  • Thank you for providing context. Ironically, your reply supports the same-sex marriage movement which necessarily relies on context *today* in light of scriptural reflection, psychological insights, etc. No reasonable person *today* would support slavery even though Jesus himself approved of slavery. Who was right about the morality of slavery, Jesus or later Christians?

  • Closely examining the Six Clobber Verses in the original language written within the cultural times with the very high probability that the specific references are to pederasty and temple prostitution there is no evidence that Paul was referring to GAYS and LESBIANS – humans born with sex same attraction known as homosexuals – because Paul had no concept of sexual orientation. He most certainly had knowledge of pederasty and temple prostitution. The “rupture” was YOUR WORD not mine! And Jesus himself never uttered ANY of those Six Clobber verses! He was totally absent of any comment or observation because he was ASKED about DIVORCE of a man and his wife. It is no red herring to use the scholarship of biblical exegesis to shed light on the absurdity of continuing to target those born gay and lesbian with spiritual abuse and civil discrimination. That is why some modern biblical scholars say, Hey, wait a minute, we can free ourselves of ancient ignorance and focus on the humanity of gays and lesbians and include them as our neighbors we love without spiritual abuse and discrimination.
    And YES – OF COURSE – the utter absurd HYPOCRISY of the RCC is completely relevant to our dialogue on the topic of homosexuality and the church because hypocrisy was exactly what Jesus condemned the Pharisees for!
    Exposing the modern RCC clergy as hypocrites is WHY there is a way out of the Current Issue of the article and comments: use the Two Great Commandments which fulfill ALL the Law: Love God & Love our neighbors.
    The apostolic church “RUPTURED” the Leviticus Holiness Code by just yanking out by fiat some things on the list of abominations which shows its utter hypocrisy. Of course, people eat bacon and shrimp and wear mixed fibers so lets appeal to non Jews so we can sell our new religion to more people.
    The German Church – which includes everyone clergy and parishioners alike – is grappling with homosexuality, civil and secular rights of gays and lesbians and specifically same sex marriage as is the RCC around the world in more than 26 Christian countries which have recognition of gay and lesbian civil rights of marriage. Our dialogue along with others sheds light and hope that perhaps one day sooner rather than later the church can catch up with increased knowledge of biology and science and END persecution, embrace our common humanity, and accommodate gays and lesbians like it did with accommodating those folks who liked to eat bacon and shrimp and wear mixed fiber clothing.
    The church changed original meanings and applications for church members in the original Bible already; there is precedent, so it can change again. Hope springs eternal.

  • Sexual orientation, whether heterosexuality or homosexuality, embraces much more than “sex contact”. God challenges us to learn about Creation. Revelation is an ongoing process not limited to the sacred scriptures. Jesus approved of slavery; Christians over the centuries gradually concluded it was morally wrong. Were they wrong for condemning what God had approved in both the Old and New Testaments?

  • “What society considers moral or not has nothing to do with which way the Church should go.”

    Odd.

    The Church is a “society” protected by the Holy Spirit. Vatican II offers the following for reflection:

    “The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One, cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples’ supernatural discernment in matters of faith when ‘from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful’ they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth. It is exercised under the guidance of the sacred teaching authority, in faithful and respectful obedience to which the people of God accepts that which is not just the word of men but truly the word of God. Through it, the people of God adheres unwaveringly to the faith given once and for all to the saints, penetrates it more deeply with right thinking, and applies it more fully in its life” (LG-12).

    WE are the Church, all of us, regardless of our opinion on contentious matters today.

  • Good, so when you have stopped sinning, you can tell other people how they should live their lives.

    Someone said that, but no one important. Not to modern Christians of a certain type, at any rate.

  • The only “Truth” (upper case) is “God is Love”.

    “It really doesn’t matter what people think.” It must, indeed, matter because the sacred scriptures were inspired, not dictated, by God. Inspiration is influenced by culture because the sacred writers lived in their culture and, therefore, were influenced by cultural norms, etc. They were products of their time. The challenge in scriptural interpretation is to understand what various passages meant to people two thousand or more years ago and to relate the basic meanings of scriptural readings to our circumstances today. Literal reading is not per se adequate.

    Morality can be “mutable”. The Son of God approved of slavery, even the ‘beating” and, if necessary, the “severe beating” of disobedient slaves. Christians over the years (including the Church of Rome in late 1965) would gradually conclude that slavery is morally wrong. Who was right, Jesus or later revisionist Christians?

    The “winds” can change. Increasing numbers of Christians believe these “winds” are the work of the Holy Spirit (John 20:22 and Acts 2:2-4; Lumen Gentium-12).

  • Mr. Carioca is correct when he writes that probabilism is one of a number of moral systems used by moralists. You are correct when you write that it has never been abandoned officially by the Church. His link to the “newadvent” entry is consistent with both your understandings here.

  • Context, context. The canonical gospels do not condemn same-sex marriage, just as they do not condemn slavery.

  • It is not true that “Jesus wrote the entire Bible.” The Bible was written by fallible human beings under the inspiration, not the dictation, of the Holy Spirit. For example, in Luke 4:18, Jesus says in relevant part, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives…, to let the oppressed go free.” On the other hand, Jesus in Luke 12:45-48 approves of slavery including the “beating” and, if circumstances warrant, the “severe beating” of disobedient slaves. For the greater part of two thousand years, the largest Western Christian church, the Church of Rome, sanctioned humane treatment of slaves and even owned them! It was not until late 1965 that Vatican II categorically condemned slavery. Who was right, Jesus or the conciliar bishops?

  • Justice, by definition, is what a person is due. Increasing numbers of Western Christians believe it is unjust to deprive persons of same-sex orientation the opportunity to marry. Why? Because the Bible focuses on the “sex act”, not the whole person as created by God. Just as the Church of Rome, for instance, once imposed limits on slave marriage, so the Church of Rome today prohibits same-sex marriage for persons with a God-given sexual orientation.

  • Sexual differentiation is one thing; sexual orientation is another. What straight and gay persons share in common is the desire to share life in all its complexity with another human being. Children are not guaranteed in heterosexual marriage. Children can be raised to healthy and responsible adulthood by homosexual parents. This topic is much more complicated than “Insert A into B”, whether gay or straight.

  • “We are not talking about the blessing of people but the blessing of actions.”

    Well, then, we have a problem because the bishops are talking about the blessing of human beings made in the image and likeness of God. Their relationships or marriages are part and parcel of who they are.

  • The notion that God has created human beings as straight, gay, and bisexual goes along with the notion that God created blind babies, one-armed children, and kleptomaniacs. It denies the effects of Original Sin and the condition of a fallen world disordered from its intended perfection.

    Your particular version of it runs headlong into the revelation, which leaves you with the same choice that William D. Lindsey apparently is trying to avoid: you either comport with the revelation sans specious glosses, word games, and fingers crossed, or you need to chose paganism or atheism and chuck the revelation.

  • When Jesus condemns sexual immorality as unclean and defiling, He condemns everything that His audience knew as sexual immorality. I have already been over this ground with you and do not really care to revisit it.

  • “The apostolic church “RUPTURED” the Leviticus Holiness Code by just yanking out by fiat some things on the list of abominations which shows its utter hypocrisy.” They didn’t “just yank out” anything — there was a very specific logical process to that decision, the nature of which you evidently know nothing about.

  • However you wish to describe the “process” there is no direct or categorical and stringent proof from Scripture revealed by God to suddenly rearrange the List of Abominations by eliminating eating shrimp and bacon by fiat so the Bishops can have their shrimp and bacon and eat it too. LOL
    AND isn’t it rich, isn’t it queer, the irony of the RCC covering up homosexual misbehavior among its own priesthood, ALL The WHILE continuing to target innocent gays and lesbians for spiritual abuse and civil discrimination!?

  • Ever hear of “righteous Gentiles?” And more importantly, ever hear of the standard by which Jews deemed Gentiles to be “righteous?”

  • “In both Judaism and Christianity forgiveness is contingent on repentance, restoration (making anyone sinned against whole), and resolve to cease the sin.”

    Actually, No. In the Gospel, repentance is associated with forgiveness only once out of four passages. In Matthew 18:21-22, for example, there is no mention of repentance. We are to forgive. Period. No requirement for the sinner to “express sincere regret or remorse” (online dictionary) beforehand. Repentance, properly understood, is one’s response to God’s *prior* forgiveness and consequent healing. God, as reflected in the New Testament, acts first. The sinner responds out of gratitude.

    The idea that God *demands restoration* to make the victim whole is toxic in Christianity. It is precisely God’s prior healing that makes restoration possible in the first place. Repentance is a response to, not a condition of, God’s initiative. This is why God’s love is unconditional, “no strings attached”.

  • It’s a very well known widely used multiple DICTIONARY site.
    But who knows what devils may lurk inside to bite you? LOL

  • And your biblical text for linking gays and lesbians to Astrology? Me thinks your Moon is in your Anus.

  • I’m widely read; so what?
    Ever hear of HYPOCRISY of the RCC covering up same sex criminal misbehavior among its own clergy all the while continuing to persecute totally INNOCENT gays and lesbians by targeting them with spiritual abuse and civil discrimination?
    Jesus very harshly condemned the Pharisees for their hypocrisy.

  • I did, and am adult.
    Post the text specifically, directly, and categorically linking gays and lesbians with Astrology. Where is your stringent proof?

  • So you cheated and looked into someone’s soul? Tsk, tsk.

    Did she or he ask for a blessing?

    Just because you see things through a glass darkly, if it all, and keep getting called on it every day does not mean you’re lying every single day.

    Calling out other Christians for not being the right sort of Christian is an apostolic mandate. Would you care for the scriptural citations?

  • A fee to file paperwork. You do it for your automobile every year.

    No one cares but you what hill you die on.

  • Justice, by definition in a Christian context, is the rendering to each and to all what belongs to them according to God’s divine plan. A claim in justice, or a right in the strict sense, is a moral and lawful faculty of doing, possessing, or exacting something.

    Perfect justice, therefore, is an attribute of God alone, while Man’s justice is only approximation of that perfect justice since mankind is imperfect by nature.

    The Bible focuses on the sex act because the primary command of God to Man is to go forth and multiply, thus cooperating with God in furthering his creation. Man’s end is to know, love, and worship his Creator, which he can only attain perfectly in the future, immortal, and never-ending life to which he is destined. That can only be achieved by being born, by living in a human society beginning with the family, by the inculcation of moral virtues by loving parents, and by acting morally (acting according to God’s divine plan).

    Increasing numbers of Western Christians believe it is unjust to deprive persons of same-sex orientation the opportunity to marry each other because they are no longer aware of God’s plan – as demonstrated by the 20th century rise of divorce, genocide, sexual depravity, and lowering of moral standards – and because of a sustained program of inculcation in pagan philosophies, including particularly pseudo-scientific theories by individuals such as Magnus Hirschfeld, Sigmund Freud, and Alfred Kinsey.

    Examples of this disruption of right reason in the application of the revelation to human society abound, for example the belief that a fetus is property, and that ending its life for any or no reason is just, while at the same opposing the execution of a mass murderer who has merited his punishment by his own will and deeds.

    As to “a God-given sexual orientation”, this echoes Magnus Hirschfeld’s assertion that “what is natural cannot be immoral”. Hirschfeld, a lapsed Jew and a physician, failed to note that objectively disordered conditions in a fallen world reflect the imperfections allowed, not given, by God.

  • Then you are completely unfamiliar with what constituted “slavery” in ancient Israel and Rome.

    Many “slaves” led better lives and had more freedom than coal miners in late 19th century America.

  • Actually, Yes.

    Matthew 18:21-22 is couched within the Jewish law on forgiveness, which Matthew assumes the reader is familiar with.

    “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’”

    “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’”

    Jewish Law (Halacha) requires one to ask forgiveness from anyone whom you may have harmed whether the harm was physical, financial, emotional, or social. Also, one is required to be gracious in granting forgiveness.

    Teshuvá is the key concept in the rabbinic view of sin, repentance, and forgiveness. The tradition is not of one mind on the steps one must take to repent of one’s sins. However, almost all agree that repentance requires five elements: recognition of one’s sins as sins (hakarát ha-chét’), remorse (charatá), desisting from sin (azivát ha-chét’), restitution where possible (peira’ón), and confession (vidúi).

    The tradition, however, is quite clear that the offended person is not obliged to offer forgiveness (mechila) if the offender is not sincere in his or her repentance and has not taken concrete steps to correct the wrong done.

    So, if a person asks for forgiveness, and then does the same thing again, one might wonder if he is sincere.

    The rabbinical answer is that one is to forgive seven times. If after seven times the forgiven again offends, one can assume that he is insincere.

    That God “demands restoration”, that is justice, is basic to Christianity. We amend and make right what we have done wrong in this world, or we do so in the next.

    Were that not true there would be no hell.

    Repentance is a requirement for forgiveness.

    The version of “no strings attached” forgiveness you describe is associated not with Jesus Christ but with Santa Claus.

  • To declare your official break with a given church. Because church and state are an entangled mess in Germany.

  • That many (though not all) Biblical rejections of same sex contact pertain to homosexual shrine prostitutes, homosexual pedophiles and ephebophiles, does not of itself indicate that adult/adult homosexual contact was approved. One must consider the context. Homosexual shrine prostitution, ephebophila, and (to a lesser extent) pedophilia, were widely considered acceptable by society then, and hence proved a distinct danger and temptation that needed to be warned against. Adult/adult homosexual contact was not widely considered to be acceptable, and was often an object of ridicule. As virtually no one considered it proper, there were no social pressures to engage in it; singling out for condemnation something which was generally rejected already was not really necessary.

    “Paul had no concept of sexual orientation.”

    Romans 1:26-7:

    “Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”

    Sounds like disordered sexual orientation as a result of the fall of man and separation from God. No talk about shrine prostitutes, ephebes, or children either. Just women/women, men/men.

    The motivation of the Apostles was to “Rightly handle the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) which they had learned from Jesus Christ. Acts 15 was part of that fidelity to His teachings, which He Himself had confirmed (Acts 10). Fidelity to the Lord’s teaching, not a cynical ploy to gain adherents. Not a change in teaching, but faithfulness to the Gospel.

    I do agree with you, however, about the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22), love of God and love of neighbor. That very love compels me to warn others of the dangers of sin.

  • John 1:1-5, John 17:5 are two examples of how Jesus is God and was with the Father before the Earth was created.
    Christ taught against homosexuality:Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.Christ taught against ssm:
    1 Corinthians 7 – Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”

    John:
    Revelation 2:20 International Standard Version (ISV)
    20 But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and who teaches and leads my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.
    Revelation 21:8 ESV
    But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
    Revelation 22: 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

    Jesus taught: Matthew 15:19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.20 These are what defile you.
    Peter taught: 2 Peter 2:6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);

    Christ will not contradict Himself. Your church may contradict Christ, but Christ will not contradict Himself.

  • We are talking about two people who have pledged to love and support and nurture each other for the rest of their lives. Love matters. Commitment matters. Marriage is not all about sex and having children. It is also about that relationship between two people, about seeking, finding, and forming a commitment to walk through life together. It is about having someone in your life who you can absolutely trust and depend on and who you can give that same trust and support back to.

    Marriage is more than sex. Love is more than sex.

  • Yes! EXACTLY!!! Those texts DO NOT refer to gays and lesbians per se, but to other very specific types of behavior. THANK YOU! for acknowledging that.
    And thanks also for considering the CONTEXT too.
    The ancients had no concept of homosexual same sex orientation as we moderns know. As for Paul’s text in Romans 1:26-7: The problem, OF COURSE, is what exactly and precisely is “natural”. The 2 Greek words used mean natural disposition – something that comes instinctively. In other words, it is who one is naturally without reprogramming, counseling or any other forms of behavior modification that attempts to change behavior merely being their natural selves instinctively.
    So the issue becomes What Is NATURAL for gays and lesbians? To be with heterosexuals? NO! such would be Most Highly UNNATURAL for them. So many, many unwise marriages between gays and straights that quickly end in misery, uncoupling, and divorce attest that for them to marry heterosexuals is inviting a very unnatural highly uncomfortable sexual union for them. It just doesn’t feel right.
    Both are unhappy with the marriage: the straight and the gay or lesbian.
    They have NOT turned away from God or rejecting him. In point of fact young gays and lesbians do not turn away from God. They, like the rest of us, are very earnestly seeking God growing up in the church, participating in the worshiping and praising and singing to God AND being obedient to their parents, doing all the things and activities and fully participating in helping the poor, sharing their time and efforts with their church and school classmates. That can hardly be said to be Turning Away From God. NO not at all. God is definitely NOT being rejected. They as they grow and mature and discover their sexual orientation they are just being their natural selves. Gays and lesbians are a part of the church. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ as neighbors and friends.
    If they turn away from what is natural for them, they would be committing the same sin Paul listed thousands of years ago: unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malicious, gossip, slander, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untruthful, untrustworthy, dirty and unclean, unmerciful etc.
    Homosexuality is a very naturally occurring phenomenon affecting every species including humans, which for some reason God in his mysterious ways created and planned for them to be attracted to their same sex. Why did God create some with left handedness, but most with right handedness? Why did God create gays and lesbians? Why some white, some black, some with curly red hair and freckles? Why? We can ask God when we all get to heaven in the fullness of time.
    If the Apostles rightfully handled the Truth About Shrimp & Bacon & Mixed Fiber, surely among the most serious and important burning issues of their day which they learned from Jesus who endorsed eating shrimp and bacon and the wearing of mixed fibers because such was fidelity to His teachings (Eat Ye Bacon & Shrimp and Wear Mixed Fibers daily, my brethren and fellow Christians) it’s High Time and Way Past Time for the bishops to acknowledge the TRUTH: gays and lesbians are NOT turning away from God when they act instinctively according to their natural dispositions.
    But isn’t it rich, isn’t it queer that the RCC continues to target totally innocent gays and lesbians with spiritual abuse and civil discrimination Just For Being Their Natural Selves, all the while the RCC has covered up real sexual misbehavior with children among their priesthood. Committing real sins, like the Pharisees Jesus harshly condemned, while persecuting innocent gays and lesbians?
    I notice you failed to address this issue of Homosexual Misbehavior in the Church in your last reply.
    If we apply the Two Great Commandments; we can accept, tolerate, and embrace our neighbors, the gays and lesbians in the church. This is the trend around the world in more than 26 Christian nations that now have same sex civil marriage and in thousands of Christian congregations today.

  • Paul stated turning away from God and our natural selves is like murder etc. Gays and lesbians are most assuredly NOT turning away from their natural instinctive selves. Indeed they are being themselves when they are gay and lesbian. That’s who they are. It would be like a left handed person trying to be forced into being right handed. It’s just not natural. Gays and lesbians aren’t turning away or rejecting God. God created them as surely as he created the left handed.

  • The rabbis believed that eating shrimp and bacon and wearing mixed fibers were an abomination too. LOL

  • Why do we bless dogs, cats, and motorcycles? Why do we bless houses, holy medals, rosaries? Why do we make the sign of the cross in prayer and at mass? Why does the priest bless people as they leave Mass? We pray for God’s protection and grace on ourselves and those who are and that which is part of our lives.

    Anyone can engage in immorality. More importantly, no one is truly worthy. You may throw stones at someone you think has committed a heinous act, but you have also committed heinous acts, just different ones. Maybe you heinous act is to judge someone unworthy of God’s love and blessings.

  • Jesus was very clear about DIVORCE when he was asked about it when a man and his wife divorce. He wasn’t asked about gays and lesbians and their divorces. LOL

  • Really? Nothing ambiguous in the bible? Nothing?
    Jesus said nothing about gays and lesbians and their marriages and divorces.

  • Not at all. Gathering together in the name of Jesus isn’t “throwing the towel”.
    What the heck does “throwing the towel” mean? LOL
    Like when I throw my towel in the hamper after using it after my shower?

  • It is very clear that the Apostle Paul teaches that homosexual contact is unnatural. No modern rationalizing about what moderns may deem natural or unnatural can alter that reality which Paul proclaims. Reality is not based on how we feel. To equate our “Natural Selves” with our fallen sinful passions is to go astray. We are called to rise above them, not wallow in them.

    What “issue of Homosexuality and the Church”, specifically, do you wish me to address? I believe I have been clear. Please indicate where I have not.

    Gays and lesbians are as welcome in the Church as anyone else. No exceptions. They must also repent of their sins, just like everyone else. No exceptions. And that includes sins of same sex contact. No special exceptions for any sins, even if they “feel right” to them.
    ,

  • Honey, I don’t recommend it, you can close your eyes as much as you wish, but know:

    Hosea 4:6King James Version (KJV)

    6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

  • No not at all clear! It is ambiguous BECAUSE gays and lesbians do not reject God or turn away from Him when they instinctively act in the very natural and normal way for themselves as they’re created. Paul said when people reject God and turn away from their natural selves. Gays and lesbians do not reject God. Being created gay or lesbian is NOT rejecting God!
    To equate gays and lesbians with murders, idolaters, haters of God, disobedient to their parents, gossipers, etc (a truly awful parade of horribles) is wallowing in unnatural lies and deceit. It is not being truthful about their orientation.
    Should a left handed person repent of his sin? Society, including Catholic parents and teachers, used to force the left handed child to use their right hand. Should a person born gay repent of being born gay? Marry a straight person and ruin two lives?
    It feels EXACTLY the SAME for gays and lesbians as it does for straights to be their natural selves. Straights FEEL normal; Gays FEEL normal.
    But isn’t it rich, isn’t it queer that the RCC continues to target gays and lesbians with spiritual abuse and civil discrimination WHILE it has covered up real sexual criminal homosexual misbehavior?
    The Apostles changed the rules about eating; the bishops can change their rules about gays and lesbians AND acknowledge AT LAST natural, normal biology and science.

  • “Honey”? You can close your eyes to science based biology and increased knowledge; but God created so many gays and lesbians BECAUSE he loves them.

  • Yes He did.

    Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

  • Care to acknowledge the RCC covering up same sex criminal misbehavior among its own clergy all the while continuing to persecute totally INNOCENT gays and lesbians by targeting them with spiritual abuse and civil discrimination?

  • I would do a search on that if I were you. He quotes the book in several places in the gospels.

  • Joe….you really need to get to a church who teaches.

    “We get a warped view of Him when all we hear is, ‘God is love, God is love.’ It is true that God is love, but don’t lose sight of the fact that God is also holy. He is righteous and He will judge. You are not rushing into heaven on the little love boat today. If you reject His salvation, there will be nothing left but judgment.”
    J. Vernon McGee

  • God didn’t create anyone to be a homosexual. He taught that it is unnatural and a shameless act – Romans 1
    Try doing some reading before pestering me again, will you Marshal?

  • He taught the sin was wrong and expected that we would not continue in it, Marshall. People who belong to Him, listen to Him.

  • As always, you use your god to justify whatever you want to do. The ever present, always assumed, and completely unwarranted faith in your highly imaginary superiority as a moral person, a Christian, and a human being.

    It’s alsways charming.

  • Yes, indeed Jesus did teach us that being untruthful and being disingenuous are sins, Sandy; so why did you ignore the factual truth that Jesus said nothing about gays and lesbians and their marriages and divorces in your reply to me?
    If you belong to Him, listen to Him: READ the texts where he was asked about DIVORCE – a man from his wife, a woman; he wasn’t asked about gays and lesbians and their marriages and divorces; he was asked about heterosexuals.

  • He didn’t need to. He expected us to be smart enough and obedient to remain away from the sin.
    God doesn’t make anyone a homosexual, as you have been told at least, five times now.
    Go pester someone else.

  • He didn’t need to BECAUSE HE WAS NOT ASKED!
    God created gays just as he created the lefthanded.
    YOU pestered me, Sandy! Get it? You specifically pestered me!
    Now go and pester someone else.

  • What Paul actually said in Romans 1 is that men and women, due to sin, exchanged natural relations [heterosexual] for unnatural [homosexual]”. This is the exact opposite of what you claimed he said, that for some people their “natural selves” are homosexual. He proclaims men’s and women’s natural selves, as created by God, to be heterosexual. Anything else is the result of man’s fallen state and spiritual blindness.

    Left handed people?! LOL! Show me a single canon of any of the ancient councils that condemned being left handed as sinful. You are sounding increasingly desperate, and a trifle unhinged.

    As I noted before, one’s feelings are not a valid measure as to the moral propriety of a given action.

    What is it with your obsession with the RCC? I have never approved their cover-up of abuse. I have nothing to do with them, and am tired of hearing about them. Take it up with an RC, not with me.

    “The Apostles changed the rules about eating.”

    No, they did not. The Lord changed them. Read the New Testament.

  • Courts and the police and legislatures don’t deal with sins, which is a theological term; they deal with crimes and secular civil matters.

  • You stated the ancients knew nothing about sexual orientation. Yet Soranus of Ephesus, a contemporary of Paul, wrote that same sex attraction was “generated in the act of conception” (On Chronic Disorders, 4.9.13).

    Dorotheus of Sidon, 1st-century author of the Carmen Astrologicum, credited the position of the planets at birth with whether a child “will be a Lesbian, desirous of women, and if the native is a male, he will be desirous of males.” (Carmen Astrologicum Chapter 7).

    Julius Firmicus Maternus wrote during the reign of Constantine that ‘If the sun and moon are in masculine signs and Venus is also in a masculine sign in a woman’s chart, women will be born who take on a man’s characteristics and desire intercourse with women like men’ (Maternus, Mathesos libri, viii, 7.25.1).

    Or we could go all the way back to Aristotle, who wrote that at least some homosexual inclinations spring from nature (Nicomachean Ethics, 1148b).

    Of course the ancients believed sexual orientation was innate. There is little about human sexual practice that the ancients DIDN’T know, for the pre-Christian world was considerably looser about these things than even our corrupt modern world.

  • Being born left handed is an analogy to being born gay. I didn’t say that any canon of ancient councils said it was a sin.But Catholic educators and parents did, at one time, attempt to force left handed kids to use their right hand. That’s akin to trying to force gays and lesbians into being straight.
    As I noted before feelings by BOTH straights and gays about their innate, instinctive, natural selves is instructive in defining what is natural. That is a very crucial aspect of trying to make sense of what Paul wrote about using 2 Greek words which mean natural disposition, something instinctive.
    Cite the text where Jesus changed the rules about eating.
    Before you said “The Apostles at the First Council in Jerusalem” did.
    You’re posting is becoming increasingly obsessive with gays and lesbians, desperate, and a trifle unhinged. You post like a Pharisee.
    Isn’t it rich, isn’t it queer that the church covered up pedophile priests while still targeting innocent gays and lesbians with persecution?
    The SUBJECT of the article and thread is the RCC and homosexuals.
    Sorry if you’re tired of hearing about the sins of the church; but it’s part of the dialogue going on. It relates to HYPOCRISY!
    Here’s a thought: The church has and maintains some of the world’s finest institutions of higher learning like Notre Dame and Georgetown in US and University Leuven in Belgium etc. The RCC could commission a study by outstanding biologists, scientists, doctors, psychologists et al. to inquire if same-sex attraction is biological.

  • No, he did NOT use the words “same sex attraction” AND his text is NOT biblical.
    By ancients I meant biblical ancients. It’s nowhere discussed.

  • “To equate our “Natural Selves” with our fallen sinful passions is to go astray. We are called to rise above them, not wallow in them.”

    Thank you. Exactly so. Our “natural selves” are precisely what keep us separated from God and what were nailed to the cross with Jesus.

  • Wow. As a Classics major of many years ago, I give you extra credit for mentioning Dorotheus of Sidon and Soranus of Ephesus. Nice post!

  • So what? You said “the ancients.” Your assertion was patently false. And whatever the Greeks thought about sexuality was undoubtedly well-known to Paul, who was a highly educated and cultured man of his time. And well-known to Jesus as well, who was, y’know, God.

  • Straights “wallow” in their feelings for attraction, love, romance, marriage, and long term relationships. It’s part and parcel of our shared humanity. And it’s perfectly normal and natural for both gays and lesbians. Feelings are God given. Feelings are emotional or moral sensitivity which relate to personal principles of dignity.

  • What is obtuse is to ignore the HYPOCRISY of the church relating to gays and lesbians. You don’t understand hypocrisy too quickly.

  • How is “same sex attraction” different from “males desirous of males” and “women desiring intercourse with women like men?”

    That hair’s getting too fine to split, my friend.

  • Because both are perfectly normal and natural reactions to their innate, instinctive dispositions. Not unnatural at all for straights to feel straight and gays and lesbians to feel same sex attractions. It’s akin to being right and left handed.

  • Paul did NOT discuss the normality and naturalness of same sex attractions; he just lumped those innate feelings with murderers, gossipers, disobedient to parents etc. a truly parade of horribles. It’s patently obvious that he Had No Clue as to what modern biologists and scientists have to say about gays and lesbians
    It’s absurd on its face to lump gays and gays with murderers!
    Too often it’s straights who commit violence on gays and lesbians just for being who they are, created by God at birth.

  • Indeed. In fact, one of His best-known statements, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” is a paraphrase of Leviticus 19:18: Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

    Ironically enough, the verse immediately preceding says: “You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him.”

    Of course, Jesus paraphrased and repeated that as well: “So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive.” Luke 17:3

    The world’s uncaring and disengaged idea of “love” is vastly different from the love Jesus spoke of.

  • So Jesus cited the Leviticus Holiness Code in what text?
    And what exact text did Jesus cite the Book of Leviticus?

  • If they’re the same why did you object that the terminology wasn’t “same sex attraction?”

    I think you’re having a dizzy spell. 😀

  • I’m perfectly sane in saying the ancients had NO CLUE about the normality of same sex attraction.

  • Yes, I understood your analogy, but you did not understand what I said. You spoke of having to repent of the sin left handedness.
    I simply pointed out that the Church has never condemned left handedness as a sin.

    Jesus laid the groundwork for changing the rules on eating in Mark 7:14-23.

    He actually changed them in Acts 10:1-6.

    The Apostles in the First Council in Jerusalem confirmed this in Acts 15.

    No, I have not been discussing the hypocrisy of the RCC, which is a given. I have been discussing your own erroneous claims concerning the teachings of Christ and the Apostles on homosexual sin. The fact of the hypocrisy of the heretical RCC does not negate the erroneousness of your own claims.

  • Good grief! Feelings are not “God-given.” Our feelings are simply indicators of what we value, or trust, or fear — and those things are are frequently fleshly and out of step with God’s plan. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” – Jer.17:9.

    It boggles the mind how can anyone could read the Sermon on the Mount, or Romans with its discussion of “vile affections” and natural impulses that war against the Spirit (Feelings can be vile? Fie!) and claim that ‘feelings” are God-given.

  • Why? Jesus lumped merely angry people in with murderers.

    The point isn’t equivalence. It’s that these are all earmarks of our fallen natures which will separate us from God absent our repentance and Christ’s atonement.

  • I’ve already shown you several examples of ancients who did. Why do you continue to foot-stamp to the contrary?

  • Yes, but it puts to rest the claim often made by LGBT advocates that the idea of “sexual orientation” is a product of the 19th and 20th Centuries.

    It also puts to the lie the claim that “The ancients had no knowledge or concept of sexual orientation”, which you earlier made. Clearly they did.

  • If you know what an analogy is then you understand what I meant when at one time Catholic educators and parents tried to force left handed kids to use their right hands. And it’s ALSO an analogy to use the word sin as in missing the mark of being right handed, which is the usual thing.
    Jesus never specifically stated in those texts that it’s OK to eat shrimp and bacon. What he did say in Mark was an analogy – heart and stomach: but his list was very SPECIFIC: immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. No mention of shrimp or bacon.
    He mentioned no foods in Acts 10:1-6
    Acts 15 mentions no shrimp or lobster or sea food.
    The hypocrisy of the RCC shows that the church has no credibility on interpreting the teachings of Christ and the Apostles because it is not a sin to be born gay or lesbian. Paul and the Ancients had NO CLUE as to the innate normality, the instinctive naturalness of the biological science of same sex attraction or orientation.

  • Actually our feelings are God given; it’s part and parcel of what makes us human animals, which we are. AND even animals have feelings which God also gave them.
    It boggles the mind that you don’t know that feelings are emotional or moral sensitivity especially in relation to personal principles or dignity.
    Humans can also be vile and commit murders and persecute gays and lesbians for having normal and natural affections.
    Humans are quite capable of using their feelings for good or for ill; but our feelings come from God just like our orientation whether we are straight or gay.

  • Why are you continuing with your foot-stamping?
    Still unhappy that the ancients, including Paul, had NO CLUE about the biology and science of same sex attraction. Knowledge has increased since their time about sexuality, orientation, gays and lesbians.

  • The ancients had NO CLUE about the biology and science of orientation generally; and same sex attraction being perfectly normal and natural for them.

  • Oddly enough, I have never mentioned god, let alone my god.

    In this case I simply pointed your statements were absurd, which is true god or no god.

  • I am fairly certain that two males who are “married” and intend to stay “married” can’t fairly ask for a blessing of their sin from a Catholic minister in any coherent understanding of what a blessing might infer, imply, or confer in that denomination.

    This really has noting at all to do with me personally judging someone unworthy of God’s love and blessings.

  • Jesus did not say all foods are clean; that is an addition by later translators of the original Greek text which contains no such statement.
    That is why it’s so important to first consult the original text in the original language.
    Jesus said that rat, dog, lizard, skunk, snake are food?! LOL

  • Christians only inherited the moral laws from the Jews, not the cultic laws associated with the Old Covenant, to which they are not a party.

  • They’re really not a mess. In their inheritance of the Prussian solution to church and school support, also incorporated into law in Alsace in France, the government supports the churches and schools with taxes.

    Just as you file your taxes (one hopes), Germans can file to opt out of supporting any church.

    Big deal.

  • The entire point of the various and sundry “biological” theories about homosexuality is to argue that it is innate and/or unchangeable. Well, the ancients saw it the same way. There is no logical argument to be made that “innate” constitutes any reason to discount the scripture’s words on homosexual behavior. Paul knew what he was saying when he said it — and Jesus knew what He was saying when He prohibited to His people the practices for which He rejected the Canaanites.

  • Oh my! Did you really miss the point of all those passages?

    In Mark 7 Jesus teaches that foods are not what defiles a person. There are thus no unclean, forbidden foods. In case the reader missed it, Mark 7:19 spells it out, and underlines it: “Thus he declared all foods clean”. ALL FOODS. Shrimp. Bacon. Seafood.

    In Acts 10, the Lord commands Peter to kill and eat various unclean foods. The unclean foods are a symbol for the gentile Cornelius, but it also thematically links back to Mark 7:19 and its declaration of all foods being clean.

    Yes, Acts 15 makes no mention of Shrimp or lobster or seafood. Or pork. That’s precisely the whole point! Acts 15:19-20 does not require gentile believers to follow the long list of Old Testamental dietary restrictions.

    I would agree that the RCC “has no credibility on interpreting the teachings of Christ and the Apostles”, not because of their hypocrisy, not because they do not accept LGBT ideology, but because for a millennium or so they have abandoned the traditional beliefs of the Patristic writers and the Seven Ecumenical Councils. They have been in heresy for quite a while.

    I would also agree that “Paul and the Ancients had no clue as to the innate normality” of same sex orientation, but that is because no such normality exists.

  • Actually if you read the text in the original Greek Jesus did NOT say “all foods are clean”. That was a later addition by translators. And taken literally it would literally mean that rats, snakes, dogs, lizards, skunks are actual foods for human consumption. Absurd on its face. I don’t believe Jesus that; look up the original Greek text.
    Gay and lesbian normality doesn’t exist? Hmm. I presume you must have gay and lesbian friends, family, extended family, associates, colleagues, neighbors, anybody, anyone you have known or do know personally? And you say that no such normality exists? Have you ever read the biology and science of same sex attraction? It’s akin to being born left handed. It’s just the way God created those people. It is what it is.
    You do seem almost like a human being with average intelligence; presumably a fellow human being with feelings of wanting to know WHY gays and lesbians are linked by Paul with murderers, disobedient of parents, rejecting God, gossipers, slanderers, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, untrustworthy and on and on… truly a Parade of The Most Horrible Things Imaginable… and I didn’t even complete ALL the list.
    As Judge Judy often says to those who come before her court to resolve their disputes: if it doesn’t make sense, if it defies common sense, it’s not true.
    It’s absurd to say that gays and lesbians aren’t perfectly normal and natural in their created at birth, natural dispositions, normal instinctively for them.
    Knowledge has increased since ancient times aided and abetted by science, biology, medicine, psychology, psychiatrists and Most Importantly by the testimony of gays and lesbians themselves about their orientation, their humanity, their lives and loves. Dosen’t their testimony count for anything? Why would anyone choose something so awful that would lead ordinary folks to link them to murderers, disobedient to parents, rejecting God, greedy, malicious, thieves, adulterers and all the rest? Dosen’t make sense, it defies common sense; it’s just not true.
    Why can’t we just accept the reality and include them as being normal like the rest of us; some people are left handed, most are right handed; some people are gay and lesbians; most are straight.
    “With or without religion good people will do good and evil people will do evil; but for good people to do evil… that takes religion.”

  • In Jesus’ day, to forgive seven times was to forgive a number of times — but not without limit. Jesus tells Peter to forgive without limit, i.e., “seventy-seven times”. Contrary to your view, there is no expectation by Jesus that “one might wonder if he is sincere”, i.e., that one might withhold forgiveness if somehow appropriate. You mention “[t]he rabbinical answer”. Jesus is addressed as “Rabbi” in several Gospel passages. His word, in other words, is considered authoritative.

    Yes, justice “is basic to Christianity.” Justice, traditionally defined, is giving to a person what is his or her due. My explanation of repentance is not inconsistent with justice. When a person is forgiven and thus healed by God, that person will act justly toward the victim(s). In Christian theology, one cannot heal, i.e., save, oneself from sin. Healing must be predicated on God’s forgiving initiative. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the name “Jesus” means “God saves”, not “God saves if”. This understanding of divine initiative is addressed in Romans 5:6-11, to wit:

    “For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath. Indeed, if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, once reconciled, will we be saved by his life. Not only that, but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

    The importance of (unlimited) forgiveness is also found in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:12-15):

    “[A]nd forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one. If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

    As theologian Richard McBrien noted, “[T]here is no limit on the Christian’s call to forgive others” (CATHOLICISM, New Edition, HarperOne, 1994, p. 943).

    Is there a hell? If there is, the Church of Rome has never declared anyone to be there. JPII spoke of hell as a deliberate decision to be in total isolation from others, i.e., apparent self-hatred. Again, I remind you of the meaning of Jesus’ name: “God saves”. No preconditions on our part. God takes the initiative. Jesus is “the Savior”. We have already been saved.

    Repentance is the *result* of God’s forgiveness.

    Your understanding is totally at odds with Jesus’ teaching. (Do you still believe in Santa Claus?)

  • Actually Jesus is very similar to Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny.
    Grace forgives and accepts all for all have missed the mark.

  • Contrary to your assertion, I am not “completely unfamiliar with what constituted ‘slavery’ in ancient Israel and Rome.”

    Yes, many slaves did live better lives, etc. than coal miners in late 19th century America. However, coal miners were not slaves, “company” towns and stores notwithstanding. A slave — any kind of slave — is owned by another person who has the right to control the slave’s life from birth to death.

    I know the subject.

  • Slavery, whether “beneficial” or not, is universally acknowledged to be criminal; it’s holding by force or violence human beings to be used like horses for work. That’s inhumane, degrading, and morally wrong!

  • A slave is not in voluntary servitude. Rome and the Church encouraged humane treatment of slaves, but the law allowed for punishment of disobedient slaves. Slavery, no matter the synonym used for it, was ownership of another human being.

  • It’s an unholy entanglement with church and state. Thomas Jefferson had it right: a great wall of separation between church and state is desirable because good fences make good neighbors.

  • “I have already been over this ground with you and do not really care to revisit it.”

    OK, our disagreement notwithstanding.

  • Lumping gays and lesbians with fornicators, idolaters, unrighteous, wickedness, maliciousness, envious, MURDERERS, deceitful, malignity etc. is absurd on its face and shows NO CLUE as to the scientific fact that gays and lesbians are certainly NOT akin to all those most horrible things one could possibly imagine. It defines common sense. It doesn’t make sense. It make gays and lesbians into The Most AWFUL Human Beings one could possibly imagine. Ever!
    Anyone who has every known a gay or lesbian person in church or school, work or play, family friend or family, neighbor or acquaintance knows this IS COMPLETELY OVER THE TOP. As Judge Judy often says to those before her court involved in disputes and putting out nonsense that defines common sense, reason and intelligence, if it doesn’t make sense, it’s nonsense.
    Paul did not discuss what we know today that gays and lesbians are born that way just like some people are born left handed. Being gay doesn’t compute with being like a MURDERER – someone who willfully and with malice intent kills a fellow human being. Gays and lesbians did NOT give up their natural natures; being gay IS THEIR NATURE. It would be unnatural if they tried to be straight, marry a straight, and ruin two lives.
    Today among Catholics support for gays and lesbians and same-sex marriage is at an
    all time high: 62% support them. Among Christians generally their support for gay and lesbian rights and same sex marriage is similar. Even Evangelicals are changing their minds, especially the youth who do support them. And all Americans support them 73%. This nonsense from Paul is just that: nonsense. He has no clue about biology and science. He was ignorant about human nature.
    Paul did say in Galatians that ALL The Law is fulfilled in one word: LOVE thy
    neighbor as thyself. It’s NOT love to compare gays and lesbians with murderers who kill with malice aforethought BECAUSE that makes no sense; it’s nonsense.

  • Thank you for the correction. “My bad.” While he does not cite Leviticus by name, Jesus does — as you’ve noted — quote or paraphrase a few passages from Leviticus approvingly or otherwise.

  • A valiant attempt, but I’m afraid it IS in the original Greek: “katharizon panta ta bromata”. (Drops microphone.)

    “…it defies common sense…”

    That all depends upon whom you ask. In any case, common sense is not a sure guide, for “the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God” (I Corinthians 3:19)

  • The Catholic churches have been *teaching* for nearly two thousand years. And Dr. McGee? If God is Love, God does not condemn, and God will not let us condemn ourselves. This is the “good news”, the Gospel. The name “Jesus”, as mentioned above, means “God saves”, not “God saves if”. God’s judgment, by the way, is our salvation (this is why Jesus is “the Savior”). Jesus cannot fail. When we fail through sin, it is God who initiates seeking us, finding us, and bringing us to reconciliation. When one sins, one is “lost”. A “lost” person cannot find his or her way back home to God. It is God who initiates. Luke 15’s three parables are particularly relevant here. (If one rejects salvation, one is “lost”.)

  • Paul was clueless about human nature; he had no knowledge or information that we know today: gays and lesbians are born that way: they don’t turn from their normal natural natures into something abnormal and unnatural BECAUSE their natural inclination from the get go is gay or lesbian.

  • Incorrect. It is you who had better “first consult the original text in the original language”. See my comment a little below.

  • Nope, “Jesus declared all food clean” IS NOT in the original Greek texts. Drops Mike! Do your research. That was added by translators.

    It’s pure foolishness to say that all food is clean when clearly some is not. Common sense is not so common.

  • Anyone with a computer and a research engine like Google can type these words: Did Jesus really say All Foods Are Clean in the original Greek texts?

  • Check the KJV even it didn’t have Jesus saying all foods are clean.
    Check the Codex Sinaiticus for the original Greek text.

  • Evil, broadly speaking, has been described as consisting of (a) sinful behavior, (b) illness/sickness/injury, and (c) natural disaster/”acts of God”. There is no universally accepted explanation for the reality of evil; it simply is. If God is Love/Etc., why do we have — philosophically and theologically speaking — “blind babies, one-armed children, and kleptomaniacs”? Why would an all-loving God permit (a), (b), and (c)? We don’t know. Even the subject of Original Sin is subject to discussion and debate. In any event, the doctrine is not seen by everyone as somehow *explaining* the reality of evil. Evil is a mystery, the doctrine of Original Sin notwithstanding.

    As for sexual orientation itself, increasing numbers of Western Christians and others regard it as real, not somehow chosen by individuals. We distinguish orientation from sexual behaviors. Even with respect to behaviors, we distinguish between sinful and non-sinful. In making this judgment, we look at behavioral contexts. Doctrine develops: Just as Christians approved of slavery and later condemned it, so Christians today have concluded that homosexuality (like heterosexuality) is much more encompassing than raw sexual relations.

    Divine revelation is continual and not limited to the sacred scriptures.

  • I’ve done so on other occasions here and elsewhere. Christians differ in their interpretations of sacred scripture.

  • You, too, are caught up in the problem of interpretation. This blog thread illustrates the problem.

  • No, he did not. Jesus uses neither Leviticus nor any other scriptural source to condemn same-sex relations or sexual orientation.

  • I repeat: Paul was addressing heterosexual marriage, not anything relating to same-sex orientation.

  • Slavery is NOT “employment”; it’s the chattel ownership of humans for the sole benefit of the owner; he’s NOT an employer, he’s an owner.

  • Catholics today support gay and lesbian rights and same sex marriage by 62%. Americans generally support gay marriage by 73%.

  • We’ve no reason to conclude that people two thousand years ago understood what we know today as *sexual orientation*. For them, the focus was raw sex. We know that sexual orientation — gay or straight — includes much more. In terms of doctrinal development, I see the “freeing” of LGTBQ folks in much the same way as the “freeing” of slaves. We learn. We empathize. We grow in love and understanding.

  • Exactly right. Paul said women should remain silent in the churches and wait until they get home to ask their husbands if they fail to “understand” something.
    Today women speak in the churches, no problem.
    And as far as “sexual orientation” goes, even among Catholics, they support gay and lesbian rights and same sex marriage by 67% according to Pew Research Poling.

  • “gays and lesbians are born that way:”. That’s exactly what the ancients believed. Which was my point. So what’s changed, in effect?

    “their natural inclination from the get go is gay or lesbian.“. What is “natural” is determined by God’s plan and design to which Jesus referred. Not by our own “inclinations,” which are consistently evil “from the get go.”

  • No, Paul very clearly stated that when people turned from their natural normal natures into having unnatural relations or men or women exchanged their normal natural natures into something unnatural and immoral THEN he felt they had turned from God and rejected God.
    Paul didn’t feel those men and women were born that way; he felt Just The Opposite! He felt they turned, changed, and exchanged from normality into immorality.
    What is “natural” in the two original Greek words used by Paul is something existing in nature, not made or caused by humanity, an inclination already implanted, in existence.
    In fact we know from gays and lesbians themselves backed up by biology and science that they are that way naturally, they didn’t cause their orientation any more than straights caused their orientation.
    People DISCOVER their orientation, straight and gay alike.
    God created gays and lesbians from birth their orientation which they didn’t choose.
    Do you not have any gay and lesbian neighbors, friends, family members, school or work mates, to ask about if they Chose their orientation? Did you choose yours? People DISCOVER their orientations as they mature sexually. Young children are asexual, but as we all grow and mature and begin to notice our feelings, we DISCOVER if we are attracted to opposite or to same sex.
    And Jesus never broached the subject of gay and lesbian orientation. He was asked about divorce of a man from his wife. He wasn’t asked about gays and lesbians.

  • You’re still missing the point. What is natural is determined by GOD’s creation plan and design, not OUR natures. Our natures are fallen and warped by sin. It is entirely “natural” for us to sin. Christ had to come so that we could rise above our natures.

    We can claim any kind of orientation or inclination we choose but the true creation design of God will always be present in the form and functioning of our physical bodies. And those bodies are not ours but God’s, to be used for His purposes and “presented as a living sacrifice” to Him.

  • No. It’s been correct for over 2000 years. Christ’s disciples upheld his condemnation of the sin

  • Yes our orientation is determined by God from birth. We don’t know until we mature sexually what it is. It is a process of youthful discovery. We don’t choose.
    People don’t claim or choose; they DISCOVER! It’s akin to discovering whether we are right handed or left handed. That is chosen by God.

    Gays and lesbians can ALSO be “living sacrifices” to Him.

  • I reply by paragraph:

    + The Israelites did not know Jesus or the Spirit. They spoke of “God” or “Yawweh”. Yahweh/God is the Creator. They had no Trinitarian understanding of God. One of the earliest statements of Christian belief, the Apostles’ Creed, mentions only “God the Almighty Father” as the “creator of heaven and earth”. Jesus and the Holy Spirit have no tie-in with creation. Your quote from Leviticus has no bearing on sexual orientation. The Corinthians passage deals with heterosexual marriage.

    + The passages from Revelation deal, inter alia, with “sexual immorality”, not with our developed understanding today of sexual orientation including homosexuality.

    + Matthew 15:19 does not address sexual orientation including homosexuality. With respect to 2 Peter 2:6-8, we get clarification in Jude 1:7’s reference to “unnatural vice”. As the USCCB’s commentary states: “[7] Practiced unnatural vice: literally, ‘went after alien flesh.’ This example derives from Gn 19:1–25, especially 4–11, when the townsmen of Sodom violated both hospitality and morality by demanding that Lot’s two visitors (really messengers of Yahweh) be handed over to them so that they could abuse them sexually. Unnatural vice: this refers to the desire for intimacies by human beings with angels (the reverse of the example in Jude 6). Sodom (whence ‘sodomy’) and Gomorrah became proverbial as object lessons for God’s punishment on sin (Is 1:9; Jer 50:40; Am 4:11; Mt 10:15; 2 Pt 2:6).” Again, these passages from Peter and Jude do not deal with same-sex orientation.

    + To rephrase for clarity: If Jesus approved of slavery (as he did), and if the Christian Church (the Body of Christ inspired by the Holy Spirit) later condemned the practice, is there not a contradiction in divine teaching on the subject? Yes, there is. How to explain?

  • We are not discussing divorce (and remarriage), a different reality altogether. What I wrote immediately above (“relationships or marriages are part and parcel of who they are”) applies equally to heterosexual married couples.

  • they didn’t need to know. He revealed himself in the NT
    No they deal with Christ’s developed understanding of homosexuality – that it is sin
    The men didn’t know they were angels.
    Ask Christ, if He knows you.

  • I reply by paragraph:

    + No problem with your explanation. Where we likely differ is whether what you’ve shared applies equally to persons with God-given same-sex orientation.

    + OK.

    + OK with one qualifier: Does Man need to continue going forth to multiply in societies where people do not have the resources needed for sustenance (“overpopulation”)?

    + We disagree. God’s “plan” of two thousand or more years ago is not necessarily God’s “plan” today. Divine revelation is not limited to what is contained in the Old and New Testaments. Revelation is a continuing process (in this respect, the Church of Rome rejects ‘sola scriptura’).

    + I condemn capital punishment on principle. I condemn abortion unless it is absolutely necessary to save the life of the mother. I justify this stance by application of the doctrine of self-defense.

    + I think “what is natural” is not necessarily immoral. As a “straight” Catholic, I reject Rome’s teaching on homosexuality in CCC-2357 and -2358.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.

  • Yes, you do *share* with the rest of us the problem of interpretation. Your interpretation is not the only one. This thread is evidence.

  • Who isn’t discussing it? I certainly am. Any unscripturally divorced and remarried person will likewise tell you that their marriage is “part and parcel of who they are,” and that you are “unloving” to say otherwise. Jesus dodn’t hesitate to call it sin, nevertheless.

    It is never a defense of sin to claim that it’s part of “who we are.” Who we are is fallen. That’s what the sermon on the mount was all about. That’s why we had to have a Savior.

  • Jesus, contrary to your view, did not *tell that* to Moses or any other Old Testament figure. If in doubt, ask the Jews, whose Israelite ancestors knew only of Yahweh/God, not the Son/Jesus or the Holy Spirit. “What is *original* about the Christian understanding of God is its *identification of God with Jesus of Nazareth*…..[T]he New Testament generally reserves the Greek title ‘ho theos’ (‘God’) to the Father of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the ‘Son’ of God…..[T]he title ‘God’ is bestowed on Jesus here and there…..Jesus identifies himself with the Father…..In Jesus Christ not only is the Word made flesh, but all of the saving attributes of Yahweh in the Old Testament are actualized…..[W]e cannot read back into the New Testament, much less into the Old Testament, the trinitarian theology and doctrine which slowly and often unevenly developed over the course of some fifteen centuries” (Richard McBrien, CATHOLICISM, New Edition, HarperOne, 1994, pp. 280 -283).

    To use a secular term, you are engaging in anachronistic thinking by situating Jesus outside his “correct historical or chronological time” (online dictionary). Jesus and the Spirit were not *revealed* to the Israelites.

  • You can not be a living sacrifice while repudiating God’s plan. God specifies what a holy and pleasing and acceptable sacrifice is, not us.

    “This is your true and proper worship. Do NOT conform to the pattern of this world, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2.

  • I read. I am relying on continuing revelation reflected in human observation and reflection. You, on the other hand, are allowing your beliefs to influence *your interpretation* of sacred scripture. The latter does not reflect the reality of sexual orientation, the whole person.

  • “they [sic] didn’t need to know. He revealed himself in the NT.” OK.

    Jesus did not have any “developed understanding of homosexuality – that it is sin.” Jesus, like his listeners, was a product of his time in his understanding of sexuality.

    “The men didn’t know they were angels.” Please elaborate.

    Jesus knows me and loves me despite my shortcomings.

  • If you wish to introduce discussion of divorce and remarriage, be my guest. However, this thread deals with same-sex marriage, not with other topics.

    I am not “defen[ding] sin”. I am defending same-sex marriage as consistent with God’s continuing revelation.

  • On the very same basis with which the unscripturally divorced and remarried attempt to justify their repudiation of Christ’s teaching on the subject. And it fails for the same reason.

  • The bishops have been very busy covering up criminal conduct on the part of themselves, priests, and other religious to be worried about love.

  • I had my two dogs, Ozzy and Harriet, a male white West Highland terrier and a black female Scotty, blessed in the blessings of the animals, and had a good talking to with them prior AND after the blessings to ask if they understood the concept of sins, sinning, orthodoxy, complexities of Jewish Law, and they solemnly nodded in approval while keeping their eyes firmly fixed on the doggy treats I held for them. Satisfied that they clearly understood all, I gave them their just rewards before and after their blessings which they seemed to enjoy at the church because they smelled a heck of a lot of butts. Next week I’m having my truck blessed and am trying to figure out how I can talk to the truck.

  • I have a copy of “The Greek New Testament” which is “edited by Kurt Aland, Matthew,Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, and Allen Wikgren, in cooperation with the Institute for New Testament Textual Research, Munster/Westphalia, Third Edition, in front of me. It is a highly respected edition, with scholarly apparatus. The words “katharizon panta ta bromata” are clearly present in (Greek) black and white. Come back when you can read some Greek and know what you are talking about.

    I also do not think you know what “clean” means here.

  • What does LG have to say about when the situation arises where say, one half of ‘the entire body of the faithful’ disagrees with the beliefs of the other half? In fact, has there ever been a time when ‘from the bishops down to the last lay faithful’ there has been universal agreement on matters of faith and morals?
    How can there be “contentious matters” amongst the the ‘entire body of the faithful’ if as LG declares, the faithful, ‘anointed as they are by the Holy One, cannot err in matters of belief?’
    To read this passage from LG literally would render it nonsensical.

  • I’m saying that slavery is human ownership of another human; kept by force or violence and used solely for work like an animal.
    Slaves “benefit” like animals benefit from being given basic food and water to sustain them for working. It’s illegal, criminal, and immoral to own slaves.

  • Your interpretation is your own. sandinwindsor’s is not her personal take on the moral teaching contained in Scripture, it is the Church’s interpretation. Biblical scholarship proposes a variety of interpretations but only the Church’s is authentic and free from error.

  • Then we might speculate upon the fate of the centurion’s slave had slavery been illegal, criminal and immoral in those days.

  • He’s described as a servant in scripture, not a slave. Some have speculated that he was the Centurion’s boyfriend.
    A servant cooks, cleans, and does housework for pay. Slaves aren’t paid.
    Slavery was legal; wasn’t criminal, but it most certainly was immoral nevertheless.
    The Bible itself condones slavery; nowhere does it specifically condemn.

  • Colossians 2:8English Standard Version (ESV)

    8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

  • You really don’t know a lot about what you are talking about and have no conception of what I tried to teach you. Honey, Jesus is God. Also, He is omniscient. I suggest you look the last word up in the dictionary.

  • Then you have not done any research. Also, when I need to teach you that Jesus is God, and the term “omniscience”, perhaps you have not done enough research.

  • No. You are using “interpretation” to rewrite the simplicity of what Christ taught; that isn’t necessary.

  • In Luke 7:2 he is called a “doulos”, which is the common Greek word for “slave”. English translators like to often it up a bit for modern sensibilities.

  • Is there anyone not engaged in on-going sinning? Including yourself? And judgmental folks like you have never provided an inkling of evidence that same-sex marriage is “sinning”. That is your opinion, your irrational unsupported bias, your prejudice – and nothing else.

  • So.. he said NOTHING about same-sex marriage. Thank you. He did have a lot to say about welcoming the stranger.

  • they aren’t asking for a blessing of their “sin.” They are asking for a blessing for their lives and for those they love, for the good of their neighbors, families. Why do you reduce the entire person to a sex act? While sex is a part of who we are and what we do, it isn’t all of life. Don’t know about you but I have spent far more of my life doing things not associated with sex than actions associated with sex.

    A persons humanity is not defined by sexual activity.

  • If so, another example of translators changing original Greek words.
    And also an illustration that scripture condones slavery.
    Another example of something terrible that today is deemed bad.

  • Your understanding is totally at odds with Jesus’ teaching as the church has received and taught it for nearly 2,000 years.

    The single change that Jesus’ made was to forgive without limit. He did not remove the requirement that repentance was required. He invariably tells those forgiven to cease sinning in the future.

    Acting justly toward the victim(s) is a condition, not a result, of forgiveness.

    Richard McBrien’s book CATHOLICISM was disapproved by his own church, hardly an endorsement of someone I would use to bolster my argument.

    Is there a hell?

    The “Church of Rome”, in its catechism, states:

    1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,” and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!”

    1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.” The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

    References include Matthew 5:22,29; 10:28; 13:41-42,50; 25:41;Mark 9:43-48 as well as to specific denominational pronouncements.

    That “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead” in the Nicene Creed is rather meaningless if all have won and all must have prizes.

  • We’re talking about Germany.

    It’s been this way there for over a hundred years and the reasons date back to Bismarck.

    Thomas Jefferson, years after the Constitution was written, used the wall of separation as a metaphor. The actual document prohibits establishment.

    Germany does not have an established church.

  • If you know the subject, then you know that chattel slavery – ownership of the slave – was only one of the forms of “slavery” in both Israel and Rome.

    Slaves were in classes in Rome and most classes had rights.

    Effectively the coal miners were more slaves and had less rights than many Roman or Jewish “slaves”.

  • As I understand their stories, not Santa Claus, not the Tooth Fairy, nor the Easter Bunny died on a cross.

  • And this supports what conclusion? I assume this is your source:

    http://www.people-press.org/2017/06/26/support-for-same-sex-marriage-grows-even-among-groups-that-had-been-skeptical/

    Pew’s methodology for determining who is a Catholic is to ask what religion if any the interviewee holds.

    The difficulty is that the lesbian couple who attends Wiccan ceremonies but were raised by Catholic parents often self-identify as “Catholic”, the sort of thing which renders the distinction rather meaningless.

    In any case the revelation is not up for a vote, so polls really aren’t all that meaningful, as the last presidential election so well illustrated.

  • “I think ‘what is natural’ is not necessarily immoral” comes directly from Magnus Hirschfeld, lapsed Jew and physician, who wrote the text on endorsing same sex relations in the ‘20s in the Weimar Republic, and attempted to destroy Judeo-Christian sexual morality. Of course it justifies kleptomaniacs stealing among other things.

    As to capital punishment, homosexuality, revelation, et al you’re in direct contradiction of the church you purport to be a member of.

    As I read its texts and teachings, they’re not up for a vote.

    The mainline Christian belief is that there was a revelation that ended with the death of the last apostle. The exceptions have been cults and denominations that went down spur rails off the main line: the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, which has an actual office which incorporates new revelations, the Catholic Mariavite Church in the mid-20th century whose foundress Sister Feliksa Kozlowska claimed new revelation, and the Episcopal Church, which claimed the Spirit was “doing new things” before disintegrating in dissension and schism.

    That’s not much of a track record, and it is hard to teach with authority when the authority can do 180 degree turns.

  • “Judgmental” means, in a negative sense, one of two things:

    – rendering an unfair judgment;

    – judging that which one is not entitled to judge.

    That individuals in a same sex marriage are objectively sinning in the context of the Catholic Church is not an unfair judgment:

    Catechism of the Catholic Church:

    “2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.“

    Christians have apostolic admonition to counsel others who are committing sin.

    Anything else?

  • Title of article: “In Germany, Catholic Church grapples with blessings for gay marriage”.

    You do understand what “gay marriage” aka “same sex marriage” entails, right?

    If they’re not “married”, and are not seeking a blessing for being “married”, then they should be satisfied with the blessing at the end of Mass for their lives and for those they love, for the good of their neighbors, and families with everyone else.

  • Pew supports other polls; point being that ALL recent polls show that everyone, all groups, increasingly support gay and lesbian rights and same sex marriage. This is reflected in THE FACT that 26 Christian countries around the world now recognize same sex marriage – many more recognize gay Civil Unions and Registered Partnerships for tax purposes and other legal rights. I live in Brazil, one of The Most Catholic countries in the world were same sex marriage is recognized; other South American countries that recognize same sex marriage include Argentina and Uruguay.
    In US, which already has same sex marriage, the winning electoral presidential candidate, Donald Trump, said on the campaign trail, that gay-lesbian marriage was settled law which he supported. And the winner of the popular vote, Hillary Clinton, a supporter of gay and lesbian rights/same sex marriage, got nearly three million more votes than Trump.

  • You really need to read the questions asked more carefully.

    Generally prior to Obergefell most Americans supported some LBGT rights – for example, a right to privacy – and some form of civil union which protected things such as inheritance short of “marriage”.

    I am not sure what “most Catholic” means – baptized, reporting, actually practicing – and am rather sure neither are you.

    Hillary Clinton’s 3 million votes were in California. Nothing more need be said.

    Now, can we head back to the article now that you’re done with the touting?

  • The “Centurion’s boyfriend” gloss is a modern one done by someone with a strange sense of humor.

    The Bible condones something which we translate as “slave”.

    The word used in the Old Testament means, among other things, manservant, prophet, and close family member.

    In the New Testament St. Paul makes it clear that whatever the status is, he is to be treated with human respect as the Lord makes no distinction between free and slave.

  • Chattel is something that you own. Chattel slavery is human bondage. Bondage is a person who belongs to someone as a slave. Slavery is the system of owning people as slaves. Many ways to describe slavery.

  • Yes. If you don’t wish to understand or accept LGBT people, that is just fine. But don’t complain about the church taking money from the government and having to follow the law, and then turn around and demand that LGBT people live according to your beliefs.

  • Mistranslation — the word “homosexuality” wasn’t even coined until the late 19th century. I am not Christian, don’t have a catechism class, and don’t give a damn what idiocy you choose to quote to support your prejudice.

  • Nope, what every Jewish person listening to Jesus knew as a matter of course . These are practices for which God judged and rejected entire cultures according to Leviticus 20

  • ………. but has been surpassed by numerous other free ones. Might be able to use them properly. Duh!

  • Debt still growing $1 million every four minutes – tax cuts set to add $1.5 trillion, Republicans estimate. Imports still outgrowing exports.
    Still stuffed! Big time! Most of W Europe et al are paying off their debts. Collectively they don’t have a debt like $21 trillion.
    Still stuffed. Maybe Trump will pay it off?

  • Evil is an equivocal word.

    What you describe are two separate things – acting contrary to the will of God – evil actions or inactions, misfortune aka “bad luck”.

    God permits both. The first falls under the rubric “free will”. The second is God’s permission of imperfection in his creation.

    Christians did not approve of slavery and later condemn it. The Apostle Paul counseled that slaves (manservants) were to obey their masters “And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.” It is the exploitation of the other, the treatment of a human being as chattel, that was condemned and is still condemned without regard to what we call it.

    Objectively all sexual contact outside of marriage is sinful (contrary to the will of God) in the Judeo-Christian tradition, and same sex marriage is not possible.

    Divine revelation concluded with the death of the last apostle.

  • Chattel slavery is a particular form of slavery.

    Chattel slavery is so named because people are treated as the chattel (personal property) of the owner and are bought and sold as commodities. Under the chattel slave system, slave status was typically imposed on children of the enslaved at birth.

    Chattel slaves in Israel and Rome were primarily captured non-citizens, the products of conquest.

    There were classes of “slaves” in both Israel and Rome that were not chattel.

  • There is no law in Germany that requires any church to bless gay marriages. None.

    You seem to be having a serious problem following the conversation, which deals with an *internal* discussion in the ‘Catholic church in Germany’, not in Germany society in general.

    That’s what led you into the “judgmental” error.

  • Chattel just means something that you own. Personal property that moves as opposed to real property, like real estate, houses, buildings, land that is not movable. Today we have personal property and real property or real estate.
    A slave is a person who is chattel or property of another… from Medieval Latin “sclavus” which is slave.
    Of whatever “class” like captured non-citizens, products of conquest; owning humans for slavery is wrong.
    The Bible condones it; nowhere specifically condemns it.

  • Some slaves were chattel or property. Some were not.

    For example, in Rome “slaves” existed in categories, the highest of which were members of the household, owned property, and could buy their freedom with their own funds.

    In the American South some “slaves” were independent craftsmen, operated their own businesses, and paid an assessment – often 5% or so – to their “owners”.

    “The Bible” is a fairly large collection, which exists in two major divisions. Making the statement “(t)he Bible condones it” is less than informative. The word which is generally translated “slave” means a lot of different things depending on context.

    Ephesians 6: 5-9 seems to represent the New Testament view on the relationship.

  • The word chattel just means something that you own.
    Slavery is wrong.
    The Bible condones it. Slave has always meant human bondage.

  • 1 – “The word chattel just means something that you own.”

    2 – “Slavery is wrong.”

    3 – “The Bible condones it.”

    4 – “Slave has always meant human bondage.”

    1 – Yes, but it is not synonym for slavery.

    2 – Some things called “slavery” are morally defensible.

    3 – Without a citation or citations, that’s simply a slogan.

    4 – Define “human bondage”.

  • Oh, like being drafted in WWII?

    Like being captive to a company store in a coal mining town in 1890 because of overwhelming debt?

    I think the moral issue is “exploitation”, using others for your ends without regard to their humanity.

  • Being drafted for military service for a fixed period of time while being paid is NOT the same as human bondage, which is ownership as a slave without pay. Soldiers are not owned as slaves; and soldiers are released after their period of service with honor often with medals, public acclaim and gratitude.
    Coal mine owners who exploit their minors who voluntarily signed up for work for pay and then get into debt because of low pay and high prices at company store is also immoral.
    All forms of exploitation are wrong, agreed; including slavery which the Bible condones.
    Human slavery is captivity for servitude by controlling force backed up by violence. It’s a form of exploitation and is immoral.
    I think the moral issue of slavery is that owning humans like work animals without pay is criminal.

  • Marriage and civil divorce cases are dealt with here in the UK under the Matrimonial Causes Act so I have no idea what you are talking about.

  • The obvious point was in response to your jibe, “try that one in court and see how far you get.” That the UK Government and the Courts here regard the words ‘matrimony’ and ‘marriage’ as synonymous is good enough for me.
    Further to that the Catholic Church considers all marriages between baptised non-Catholics as sacramental and valid regardless of whether they took place in civil or religious ceremonies. Only Catholic Christians are required to marry in a Catholic Church unless a dispensation is granted.
    Most languages have only one word for ‘marriage’, e.g. ‘matrimonio’ in Italian, thus no distinction is generally made worldwide between civil and religious marriages.

  • Ciao, José. The way things are going, is that if same-sex couplings can be blessed then so can worshipping false gods and idols, profaning the Sabbath, dishonouring one’s parents, acts of murder, adultery, theft, bearing false witness, lust and envy. What say you?

  • It does seem like the German Catholics are trying to make Martin Luther look orthodox and themselves look like the heretics.

  • Your equation “human bondage” = “ownership as a slave without pay” is probably not going to go very far. The coal miners referenced were in human bondage by an reasonable definition.

    The Bible, as pointed out, does not “condone” exploitation.

    That is very clear in the New Testament.

  • You can’t change the meaning of human bondage by your opinion. It is what it is by definition.
    Coal miners voluntarily worked and were paid; slaves don’t volunteer and aren’t paid. The mine owners exploited them by taking advantage and paying little and charging a lot at the company store, but that’s not human bondage/slavery… it’s exploitation and immoral, but not illegal as is slavery.
    The Bible condones slavery; nowhere specifically condemns or prohibits.

  • No, I mean human bondage as in literally slavery. Human ownership of humans to be used as work animals.

  • You can’t change the meaning of human bondage by your opinion. It is what it is by definition.

    Definition of bondage – noun:

    1 : the tenure or service of a villein, serf, or slave

    2: a state of being bound usually by compulsion (as of law or mastery): such as

    a: captivity, serfdom

    b: servitude or subjugation to a controlling person or force

    Once coal miners became indebted to the company store, they were not volunteers.

    Provide your citations to support “(t)he Bible condones slavery”.

    I’ve already cited St. Paul.

  • Bondage is human slavery by definition. It is what it is. SLAVE
    Nowhere in the Bible is slavery specifically condemned or specifically prohibited.
    In fact slavery is condoned all throughout the Bible. It is what it is.
    Being indebted is NOT slavery! It is being in debt. Many people are in debt. We no longer have debtors prisons!

  • Need to deregister and cut off the money to the apostates running the dying rump cino scarcely Roman or Catholic Church in Germany and Austria..

  • Blessings two deviant perversion sodomy couple is Pure apostasies in Action. As ab of Ottawa pointed out to pm cino Trudeau abortion and Catholics faith and morals is NOT compatible. Same with blessings of deviant perversion sodomy so called marriage or polygamy,incest and bestiality unions as well….. . Ben of Oakland what part of Sin no more,Thou shalt not and Intrinsically EVIL do you NOT understand .

  • I understood the part where Jesus said that, not the men who were ready to stone the woman. I understand the part where Jesus told you to look to your own soul rather than to presume to judge others, I understand the part where Jesus told you not to judge. I understand the part where you’re not god, and as much as you feel qualified to do so, you don’t speak for god, don’t represent god, and lack any information as to the state of the relationship of god to any other person in the world.

    What part of all of that don’t you understand?

    Let me know when you have achieved a state of sinlessness, need no forgiveness for your sins, and have been informed by god that you have been appointed Jesus.

    And until you do, dear brother in Christ, go sit on a large a
    Saguaro cactus.

  • Yes. They were told to counsel other members of the church community. Who likewise feel free to tell you what hey think.

    The rest of us think your just theocratic, moralizing, busybodies.

  • God’s love is unconditional? really? If you don’t believe that Jesus died for your sins, if you don’t apologize to the men who claim to speak for god, it’s off to the eternal Baerbeque with you.

    Sounds pretty conditional to me. God loves you so unconditionally that he invented hell, just in case you don’t love him back.

  • Jesus said to SIN NO more . Prodigal son oppressor of beggar Lazarus and jesuses preaching condemnation of the sinful in those parables as to the certainty of hell for Many …. People.who die in.their sins ,sodomites ,fornicators etc. As stated in the Bible by Jesus etc.repeatedly WILL burn in hell…… That is why elders Pharasiee etc. Induced the Romans to crucify jesus. He also stated that any man who looked at a woman lustfully Only form of attraction commits Adultery a death penalty offense in Jesus time ….. What part of that and though shalt not do you Not understand .

  • What I’ve described is a commonly accepted categorization of evil. Suffice to say we disagree except, perhaps, for the notion that evil is a mystery for which no human explanation is universally satisfactory.

    What is “free will”?

    Christians most certainly *did* approve of slavery. Chattel is but one form of slavery. While Jesus would presumably have recommended (or even demanded?) the humane treatment of slaves, he sanctioned the “beating” and even the “severe beating” of disobedient slaves (cf. Lk 12:45-48). You appear to be confusing the meaning of ‘chattel’ with the treatment of slaves. Rome recommended the humane treatment of slaves in order to maintain productive output and minimize rebellion. Such slaves were *chattel*.

    Same-sex marriage is not only “possible” but is a reality. The Judeo-Christian scriptures do not condemn homosexuality. Certain scriptures do condemn sex between angels and humans, as such acts bridge the divide between heaven and earth.

    (As to the UP arrow, welcome “T”.)

  • Your comment is noted and, in light of the topic of discussion, dismissed for lack of relevance.

  • It would be foolish to ignore context. Stealing, for example, is not necessarily sinful if the act, for example, is (a) the only recourse to sustain life or (b) the result of an illness/disability rendering the person not morally responsible for his behavior. (I trust you do not engage in dichotomous thinking.)

    I subscribe to the current teaching of the Church of Rome (of which your supporter “T” may still be a member?) on capital punishment (cf. CCC-2266 and -2267). I left the Church of Rome more than eleven years ago although I remain a Christian by faith and a Catholic by faith tradition. I condemn Rome’s use of certain language to describe persons with God-given same-sex orientation. My understanding of revelation is consistent with that of the Church of Rome because God is revealed not only in sacred scripture, i.e., the definitive deposit, but also in God’s creation including, inter alia, the charity and goodness of others, even non-Christians! God is living, not dead.

    As you’ve indicated, church doctrine is not up for a “vote”, and it was not my intention to suggest such was the case. However, the Spirit works among *all* the baptized (limiting our consideration here to the Church) and not just among the ordained or only the hierarchs (cf. LG-12). In official Catholic teaching, the bishops *propose*, and the faithful either *receive* or do not receive proposed doctrine.

    What I’ve shared with you is orthodox Catholic teaching.

  • Yes, I know.

    Ultimately, slaves did not have rights. The owner controlled the present and future of his property, whether chattel or other slavery.

    Although 19th century coal miners could live under harsh conditions, they were not legally slaves.

  • What is repentance? This is where we differ, and my presentation reflects orthodox Catholic teaching. Yes, Jesus wanted sinners to avoid sinning in the future, but Jesus obviously recognized that sinners most likely would sin again. Hence, the instruction always to initiate forgiveness (Jesus, with one exception in Luke, does not specify repentance as a condition of being forgiven. If you disagree, give Gospel citations.)

    Richard McBrien’s CATHOLICISM, contrary to your assertion, was not “disapproved” by the Church of Rome.

    CCC-1034 and -1035 do not reflect ongoing deeper understandings of life hereafter.

    The Church of Rome has never condemned the doctrine of Universal Salvation.

  • (To “T” with your UP arrow: Of all people on this thread, you should know I am quite careful with my research. That’s why I generally bested you in our blogging at NCROnline in the past.) ‘Nuff said 🙂

  • Colossians 2:8 does not apply to me.

    “‘The elemental powers of the world’: while the term can refer to the ‘elements’ like earth, air, fire, and water or to elementary forms of religion, the sense here is more likely that of celestial beings that were thought in pagan circles to control the world; cf. Gal 4:8; Col 2:8, 20 (USCCB commentary).

  • Hot diggity dog: Welcome back to your exchanges with me, “T”. Do you still regard the Church of Rome as the so-called “One True Church of Christ”? Have you, by any chance, gravitated to the SSPX or other schismatic Catholic group? Will you give us an update, please?

    The Church of Rome embraces biblical scholarship.

  • I realize you care not for LG or progressive “takes” on Vatican II. Do you miss JPII and B16???

    (I doubt the word “universal” in LG-12 refers to each and every Catholic in the world so you’re safe, “T”. I’m assuming, of course, you are still a practicing member of the Church of Rome?)

  • OK.
    Christ offered no “understanding”, “developed” or otherwise, on homosexuality. In fact, he offered no discussion whatsoever on same-sex relations, much less the more complicated subject of sexual orientation.
    True — and irrelevant.
    I do.

  • If the Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionaries are to be believed, no, bondage is not human slavery by definition.

    You’re unable to provide a verse or two condoning slavery, so we’ll scratch that as well.

    You apparently are unfamiliar with what the situation was with coal miners, company stores, and debt collection at the time. So we’ll scratch that.

  • I take it by “the rest of us” you mean friends at “JoeMyGod” and some folks in the Bay Area?

  • Let’s see, you reject the Catechism of the Catholic Church, you accept Richard McBrien’s “Catholicism” which indeed was rejected by his church, and yet you claim “my presentation reflects orthodox Catholic teaching”.

    In a word “no”.

    Repentance is, simply, rejection of one’s own sin and a commitment to avoid its repetition.

    Yes, men are imperfect, and so God forgives us seven times seventy. That does not mean we can pull up a chair, smoke if we have’m, and presume on God’s Mercy. Doing that is a sin itself.

    Back to the late McBrien. Here is a recap of the rejection of his book, and some other pertinent matters:

    https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/dealing-with-dissent-fr-richard-mcbrien

    The relevant portion is:

    “The first edition of Catholicism was published in 1981. Almost immediately the doctrinal committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops pointed out serious problems with it and asked McBrien to make revisions. The third edition was released in 1994 – still without an imprimatur. After studying it for two years, the Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices released a statement indicating that the book was inaccurate or misleading in describing Church teachings on the Virgin Birth, the ordination of women, and other issues. Not only had McBrien failed to remove the previously noted ambiguities from the previous editions, but he had introduced new ones.”

    https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=541

  • Context is only relevant in assessing the morality of an action or inaction which is not intrinsically immoral.

    For example, no context renders same sex relations objectively moral.

    The Catholic Church describes same sex orientation as objectively disordered because, like blind at birth or limbless at birth, it IS objectively disordered.

    The notion that there is new revelation is heretical per se.

    In official Catholic teaching an authoritative interpretation of the revelation can arise from the people or be proposed by the hierarchy, but the notion of “reception” as though the “faithful” can veto something is a false one.

    As soon as one rejects something from the revelation, one is no longer among the “faithful”, and at times the faithful can be a small remnant.

  • Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

    just one of the things Christ taught

  • “context” is a current excuse to change the meaning of the scripture to some liberal wanna-be

  • http://www.onelook.com Bondage is “a situation in which a person belongs to someone as their slave.”
    The Bible does not specifically condemn or prohibit slavery; it gives proper instructions on how slaves are to be treated.
    You apparently are unfamiliar with the difference between being in debt and being in bondage. A debtor is a person that owes money; a slave is one that is owned by another.

  • As to “a commonly accepted categorization of evil”:

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/evil

    evil – noun

    1 Profound immorality and wickedness, especially when regarded as a supernatural force.

    1.1 A manifestation of profound immorality and wickedness, especially in people’s actions.

    1.2 Something which is harmful or undesirable.

    And also:

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05649a.htm

    Free will is a precondition for the belief that God has created man, has commanded him to obey the moral law, and has promised to reward or punish him for observance or violation of this law. Unless man is really free, he cannot be justly held responsible for his actions, any more than for the date of his birth or the color of his eyes.

    Christians most certainly tolerated something we call “slavery”, although it was not chattel slavery, which differed hardly a whit from the oppression of serfdom or the conditions of workers in coal mines or factories in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

    Some classes of slaves in Rome owned property, maintained their own residences, and otherwise met essentially none of what we associate with “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”.

    Luke 12:45-48 is a parable, not a Christian command to beat slaves, and it probably accurately describes what would happen in that time under those conditions.

    The Judeo-Christian scriptures and tradition clearly condemn same sex relations, which fly directly into the face of the primary command of God to Man to procreate and populate the earth.

    You may find hospitable digs for your beliefs in the Episcopal Church or one of the liberal congregations in the United Church of Christ, but it is not mainline Christianity.

  • Jesus did not say not to judge at all. He did not say that there are no rules, that the commandments are advisories, and that all have won and all must have prizes.

    There are a number of issues in the story that go right past modern readers.

    For example, stoning as the form of death is only specified when a betrothed virgin is violated, which was not the case here.

    Jesus’ challenge in 8:7 showed the accusers to be disqualified as judges.

    Essentially this was an illegal attempt to execute someone, illegal under both Roman law – which gave only the Romans the right to execute, and Jewish law.

  • Yup. When ever the Bible says something that you don’t want to hear, just magic it into saying something else entirely. Context will always be important, as you demonstrated, except when it is inconvenient, like citing Leviticus. Then all of a sudden, context doesn’t matter. Context doesn’t matter when you cite Romans to attack gay people. But it matters terribly when Jesus tells you not to do something that you really, really really want to do.

  • If by ‘progressive’ you mean dismantling the divinely instituted, Judeo-Christian moral order then you are correct in assuming that I do not care for that.
    As far as LG and other Council documents are concerned the fact that it is possible to have “takes” on them of any kind detracts from their authority. Previous Councils prevented ambiguities in interpretation by issuing canons and anathemas.
    The two popes you mention did attempt to curb the worst excesses of the progressive “takes” on Vatican II but not diligently enough thus paving the way for the current Modernnism and doctrinal chaos which this papacy has allowed to run riot in Christ’s Church. So, no, I don’t really miss them.
    The phrase ‘from the bishops down to the last lay faithful’ in LG 12 is capable of no understanding other than the literal one for the word universal. The phrase emphatically defines what the Conciliar fathers meant by universal.

  • I don’t reject the CCC, but I do use my God-given faculty of reason to evaluate those church doctrines that are not infallible. Please, Whoever You Are, do not misportray my thinking. I repeat: McBrien’s CATHOLICISM has never been condemned by the Church of Rome. There were some objections from some quarters (to be expected among a few JPII bishops), and McBrien responded. I also embrace the Church’s teaching on primacy of conscience in CCC-1776 thru -1802.

    I’ve no problem with your understanding of repentance (“rejection of one’s own sin and a commitment to avoid its repetition”) since it follows logically from what I presented earlier. We will sin again, regardless of our “commitment”. Hence, Jesus’ instruction to Peter and others to forgive — without our expressing prior repentance. Jesus heals; we cannot heal ourselves.

    I’m familiar with the matter involving the NCCB. Again, I repeat: McBrien replied, and his work has never been rejected by the USCCB, much less the popes or the CDF.

  • God is living, not dead. Vatican II was a pastoral council that, nonetheless, did not deviate from orthodoxy.

  • Your problem, Whoever You Are, is getting hung up on the word ‘chattel’. Slavery, whether ‘chattel’ or otherwise, is ownership, i.e., controlling the present and future of another human being.

  • Jesus gave no such teaching. Homosexuality, i.e., a sexual orientation understood as such in all its human complexity today, was not understood in his time.

  • Thank you.
    The Church of Rome is one Church among several whose bishops are united under the Pope. These Churches together constitute the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church; the True Church of Christ.
    I am not a member of any schismatic church or heretical ecclesial community. As I am not a priest I am not a member of the FSSPX.
    The Catholic Church does indeed embrace genuine, Catholic biblical scholarship.

  • I’m familiar with the online CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA’s entry. The issue, as you’ve already opined, is whether “acts of God” (broadly speaking) constitute evil. I and others say they do; you and others say they do not. What results from “God’s permission of imperfection in his creation” is evil. Can God commit evil? Orthodoxy, which I embrace, says “No”. Hence, the mystery of evil. (See also the discussion of debate re: “natural evil” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_evil.

    Thanks for offering a popular explanation of “free will”. However, it does not stand up to biblical scrutiny in Luke 15’s three parables where the sheep, the coin, and the prodigal are described as “lost”. Someone or something “lost” has no “free will”. In all three parables, it is God — shepherd, woman, father — who initiates finding what/who is “lost”. The term, more realistically speaking, is living in accord with God’s will; only then is one truly “free”. When one “chooses” evil, one is not “free”. Various influences within and without put one on the path to an evil decision.

    On slavery, suffice to say that John T. Noonan, Jr. covers the subject in his A CHURCH THAT CAN AND CANNOT CHANGE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF CATHOLIC MORAL TEACHING.

    In Luke 12:45-48, Jesus, as you’ve noted, is not *commanding* the beating or severe beating of disobedient slaves. However, he is *upholding* the master’s right to do so, just as God has the right to punish sinners. As a teacher, Jesus would not have approvingly incorporated sinful behavior as a morally proper behavioral alternative for his listeners. The Church, in turn, relied on Jesus’ teaching (among other scriptural sources) for its approval of all kinds of slavery. It was not until December 1965 that the Church of Rome “categorically” (Noonan) condemned slavery. Interestingly, secular forces were largely responsible for influencing the Church to condemn the practice, however haltingly it did so over the years.

    You mention “same-sex relations”. By “relations”, I presume you are referring to sexual relations, i.e., *Insert A into B*. If heterosexual, OK for procreation. If homosexual, not OK, regardless of context. Understood thusly, the Bible is not addressing the *sexual orientation* known as ‘homosexuality’. (I would add the Bible does not address the sexual orientation known as ‘heterosexuality’, either.) Sexual orientation includes much more than vaginal or anal penetration. Much more.

    I’m not looking for “digs”, hospitable or otherwise. I’m interested in rational discussion and debate on subjects where the Church of Rome is, sadly, far behind in its understanding. In metaphorical terms, I think Rome has not even reached the timeline of the Wright Brothers in the development of aviation 🙂

  • I don’t recollect stating that God is dead.
    All Councils are essentially pastoral. Vatican II wasn’t dogmatic as it defined no new doctrine and issued no Canons. It’s teaching therefore, has to be interpreted in the light of previous Councils. Alas, this has not been the case as all sorts of heretical doctrines have been wrongly attributed to it over the last half century. Successive popes have failed to suppress these novelties.

  • You still reject that the word ‘propose (proponere)’ in LG means ‘set forth’ to be accepted by the ‘faithful’ and not as you seem to think proposed for consideration or debate. Those who reject that which has been set forth cease to be the ‘faithful’.

  • Let’s not get hung up on the word ‘intrinsic’. The word means, quite simply, ‘inherent’. As theologian Cathleen Kaveny has pointed out, there are some acts that, while not “intrinsically evil”, can be more harmful than acts that are “intrinsically evil” (https://www.americamagazine.org/issue/673/article/intrinsic-evil-and-political-responsibility). It appears that Catholic theologians are revisiting this notion of “intrinsic evil” to determine if it is really conducive to serious discussion of evil. I suspect it plays only a peripheral role in moral evaluation today.

    Re: “same-sex relations”: already discussed above.

    You assume, like others, that same-sex orientation is “objectively disordered”. Why?

    God is revealed in God’s creation. While divine teaching ended with the death of the last of the Twelve, creation endures including human activity reflecting the goodness of God (“The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions [Hinduism and Buddhism]. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men” — Nostra Aetate-2). I am not referring to new scriptural revelation. God is alive, not dead. The Spirit continues to influence human activity including church understanding of divine teaching (LG-12). There is nothing “heretical” in what I’ve shared here.

    If a proposed doctrine is not received by the faithful, it may be it needs more time and/or better articulation for eventual reception, or it may be the proposal was never legitimate in the first place. Reception is a process, not a “veto”.

    I’m not “into” this “remnant” stuff. The Spirit works among all the faithful, not just among the ordained, much less only among the bishops. God is alive, not dead.

  • Yes, it pays to actually have some familiarity with the document before citing it.

    Of course if you’re advocating a lifestyle such that you have to avoid crosses, holy water, and Bibles or you’ll burst into flames, that could create some problems getting familiar with it.

  • Comments like “I think Rome has not even reached the timeline of the Wright Brothers in the development of aviation” are anti-Catholicism, not a request for rational discussion.

    It’s also very offensive, not very Christian, and pretty much an indication that the interrogator is not serious.

    The position that “the Bible is not addressing the *sexual orientation* known as ‘homosexuality’” goes along with “I would add the Bible does not address the sexual orientation known as ‘heterosexuality’, either.” quite neatly.

    “Be fruitful and multiply” is simply …. an advisory? Laying with another man as with a woman is abomination is a mistake? Sodom was wiped off the face of the earth because they were poor hosts? Yes, yes, I know – modern scholarship and all that. Utter hogwash with zero antecedents prior to the late 19th century and anti-Christians and anti-Jews like Magnus Hirschfeld.

    John T. Noonan, Jr., a lawyer rather than a theologian, argues that the church did a 180 degree turn on slavery. The best response to that was, in my opinion, that of the late Avery Dulles, S.J.:

    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2005/10/development-or-reversal

    “For all these reasons Noonan’s case for a reversal of doctrine is unconvincing. Jacques Maritain provided some helpful distinctions in his book ‘The Rights of Man and Natural Law’. Absolute bondage, he asserted, is opposed to natural law, considered in its primary requirements, and thus is never justifiable.”

    “But certain attenuated forms of servitude, such as serfdom, are not opposed to natural law except in its secondary requirements or aspirations. These lesser forms of servitude, linked to collective life in a fallen world and to the painful aspects of human labor, cannot be eliminated except by degrees.”

    ….

    “Radical forms of slavery that deprive human beings of all personal rights are never morally permissible, but more or less moderate forms of subjection and servitude will always accompany the human condition.”

    My sense is that you’re happy in the Episcopal Church, or the ELCA, or something along those lines. Enjoy it and cease shopping.

    If you keep digging at it, the inherent illogic and contradictions will eventually exhibit, so don’t bother, be happy.

  • We should get hung up on the word “intrinsic”. It was used for its meaning.

    Cathleen Kaveny, eh?

    http://sanityandsocialjustice.net/?p=6419

    If an act is intrinsically evil, that is can never be moral and directly contradicts the will of the Creator, what moral light does suggesting that other acts more be “more harmful” shine on anything? Unless, of course, you subscribe to situation ethics.

    A theologian “revisiting this notion of ‘intrinsic evil’ to determine if it is really conducive to serious discussion of evil” is, by definition, not a Catholic theologian.

    I don’t “assume” that same-sex orientation is objectively disordered.

    I state that it is.

    From the moral standpoint I point to a 2,700 year unbroken teaching from the revelation, from the philosophical I point to the natural law. God is revealed in God’s creation. It’s really only a matter of debate in the Bay Area and among the extreme left in Judeo-Christian circles.

    You must be referring to new revelation, because the scriptural revelation is that Christ was the Omega, the final revelation. If that’s the case, and this new revelation does a 180 degree turn from the revelation that ended with the death of the last apostle, it’s certainly not Christian. Also a reasonable person would doubt it, or doubt Christianity, but could not logically accept both. What sort of revelation does 180 degree turns?

    If a doctrine is not received by the “faithful”, they’re not faithful.

    Whether you’re “into” this “remnant” stuff or not is not all that relevant except to you. The more important questions are whether the truth is with the remnant, or not, and whether God is with the remnant or not.

    At various points in the history of Christianity heterodoxy has gained the upper hand for periods of time. The truth is not determined by a head count.

  • Your problem, whoever YOU are, is being unable to figure out what is immoral without lapsing into definitional Topsy-Turvy.

    What is immoral about some things called slavery, and not paying a just wage, and a company store that sells at inflated prices, and so on and so forth is exploitation – the treatment of people as a means to an end, disregard of their humanity, and injustice.

    And that was condemned in both the Old and New Testaments.

  • Yes, everyone who goes off the road is using his or her God-given faculty of reason.

    Richard McBrien’s “CATHOLICISM” is one of the very few books – in fact perhaps the only one – over the years that had its approval removed by the governing episcopal conference, as I understand it the local authority for the Church of Rome.

    Had you read the material I provided you would have noted it was not over quibbles. That you did not is evidenced by your “his work has never been rejected by the USCCB”, which is fantasy.

    Forgiveness without repentance is an impossibility theologically.

  • The use of reason is an effective tool to combat *clericalism of the laity*, i.e., the ingrained practice of some Catholics who kowtow to every [email protected], hiccup, and burp out of the Vatican and local chanceries. It was precisely this *lay clericalism* that enabled prevert clerics to molest children for decades and bishops to hide it and threaten victims who complained. Thank God for our ability to *think*. It’s the same tool that Jesus used against his religious adversaries.

    Contrary to your assertion, McBrien’s CATHOLICISM did not have any kind of “approval removed by the governing episcopal conference.” See http://www.nytimes.com/1996/04/11/us/bishop-s-panel-criticizes-book-by-liberal-catholic-theologian.html. In its April 1996 review, the NCCB’s doctrinal committee concluded, “This review has focused exclusively on the problematic aspects of Catholicism. Certainly, as the 1985 statement of the Committee on Doctrine affirmed, there are many positive features to be found in the book. Nevertheless, this review concludes that, particularly as a book for people who are not specialists in theological reasoning and argumentation, Catholicism poses serious difficulties…” (http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=541&CFID=121743&CFTOKEN=22026492). Neither the committee nor the NCCB (today’s USCCB) condemned CATHOLICISM. As the aforementioned link notes, “Fr. McBrien’s book is cited as posing pastoral problems particularly as it is a textbook in undergraduate college courses and in parish education courses.” This supposed “problem” can be attributed to the poor catechesis occurring during the pontificate of JPII (and, I would add, B16). Most Catholics do not know the Christian faith, much less the Catholic tradition, which values not only faith but (as a reminder to you) reason (per Anselm of Canterbury, theology is “faith seeking understanding”). If there’s a problem today, it is the habit of reactionary/fundamentalist Catholics (sadly, too often converts) to confuse theology with catechesis, i.e., regurgitation of doctrinal formulae in blind fashion.

    If there’s any “fantasy” here, it is your wish that the U.S. bishops’ conference would have condemned McBrien’s text years ago. To date, there’s been no condemnation.

    Your understanding of repentance, although widely shared among Catholics lacking knowledge of the Gospel (CCC-125), is deficient, to say the least. What I’ve shared is orthodox theology. To express repentance requires divine healing, which stems from God’s prior forgiveness as clearly attested in the Gospel. On a personal note, I advocate jettisoning of Catholic auricular confession. I suggest weekly congregational reconciliation services focusing on God’s unconditional love, which accounts for God taking the initiative to find sinners and reconcile them.

  • What “heretical doctrines”?

    EDIT (7 days later): I repeat, sir, what “heretical doctrines” have been, in your opinion, attributed to Vatican II over the last half century?

  • Actually, it was a PRETENDED attempt to execute someone — I don’t believe anyone had any intention of doing any executing — for the purpose of getting Jesus to say something that would either (a) discredit Him before the people or (b) get Him in trouble with the Romans.

    Jesus was absolutely brilliant in the episode.

  • Of course, had they actually stoned the woman, the Romans would have immediately rounded them up and executed them.

  • No, so *you* wish.

    In his THE POPES AND SLAVERY, Joel S. Panzer, a presbyter with the Lincoln, NE diocese, writes that both ‘servitude’ and ‘slavery’ “are possible translations of the Latin ‘servitus’. When speaking of the ‘servitus’ which rested on one of the so-called ‘just titles’, we translate the Latin as ‘servitude’; when speaking of that form of ‘servitus’ which did not rest on just title, we translate the Latin as ‘slavery'” (p. 5).

    However, in his A CHURCH THAT CAN AND CANNOT CHANGE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF CATHOLIC MORAL TEACHING, John T. Noonan, Jr. writes:

    “Slaves in the biblical world are partly hidden from us. What disguises their ubiquity is our translation. Hebrew for slave is ‘ebed’, male slave; ‘amah’, female slave; ‘n’r’, young slave. The Septuagint faithfully translated these words into Greek as ‘doulos’, male slave; ‘doule’, slave girl; and ‘pais’, slave boy. The Vulgate rendered the terms in Latin as ‘servus’; ‘serva’ or ‘ancilla’; and ‘puer’. But when John Wycliff translated the Vulgate into English in 1382, he translated the Latin ‘servus’ as ‘servant’ and the Latin ‘ancilla’ as ‘handmaiden’. These conventions were followed in the sixteenth century by William Tyndal, by Myles Coverdale, and by the Geneva Bible. Wycliff and his early successors did not bowdlerize the Bible deliberately. Slavery, for them, was not a racist institution. Slavery as such was not current in England. ‘Servant’ could carry the sense of ‘slave’. By the time of the King James translators, ‘slave’ was associated with blackness, as Shakespeare’s treatment of Caliban in ‘The Tempest’ demonstrates. A deliberate choice may have been made to avoid the new connotation by retaining ‘servant’. THE NEW OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY lists as a special meaning of ‘servant’ its use as the English translation of what means ‘slave’ in biblical Hebrew and Greek. The editors also observe that in the American South, from colonial times through the eighteenth century, ‘servant’ was a usual term for a slave. It may be supposed that Southern slaveholders adopted the usage from their English bibles [p. 23].

    “…That Jesus moves in a society in which slavery is an institution and that he draws on this institution for illustrations, metaphors, and sayings is not an impression one obtains from our English translations from which the vocabulary of slavery has been largely expunged. Today, it is a bowdlerization of the Bible not to use the rougher terms that accurately translate the Scriptures” (p. 24).

    For information about ‘ebed’ (male slave), see the brief listing under “NASB Translation” at http://biblehub.com/hebrew/5650.htm;

    See also http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thechurch/catechism/TenCommandments-seventh.shtml. See “Various Names Given to Stealing” that includes, inter alia, the following: “To enslave a freeman, or appropriate the slave of another is called man­stealing.”

  • Of course they would have.

    It was exactly the same kind of set up as the tax question.

    So much is lost when one doesn’t know the historical background of the gospels.

  • I’ve given my actual name. Always have done so here and on other blog threads.

    Exploitation and slavery are not, strictly speaking, synonymous. Slaves could be treated humanely (as the Roman State encouraged), or they could be treated inhumanely (as we would use the term today). Bottom line: Slavery was ownership of another human being, regardless of treatment and how acquired.

  • No “idol” here. Yes, Christ is omniscient, a quality having nothing to do with my earlier comment regarding the “human complexity” of sexual orientation, gay or straight.

  • Jesus did not tell folks to ask for forgiveness. Instead, he told his followers to *initiate* forgiveness — without limit!

    See Mt 6:12, 14 and 18:21-35; Mk 11:25-26. (The exception expecting repentance beforehand, is at Lk 17:4.)

    Repentance *follows* God’s forgiveness and resultant healing.

    God saves, not God saves if.

  • Good one. Jesus himself was fully human and had feelings of joy, sorrow, affection, awareness, sympathy, moral sensitivity.

  • Not only are exploitation and slavery not, strictly speaking, synonymous both are not, strictly speaking, sinful.

  • Your understanding is at clear odds with LG-12, which states in relevant part:

    “That discernment [by the faithful] in matters of faith is AROUSED AND SUSTAINED BY THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH. It is exercised under the guidance of the sacred teaching authority, in faithful and respectful obedience to which the people of God accepts that which is NOT JUST THE WORD OF MEN but truly the word of God” (caps for emphases). This refers to the *sense of the faithful*.

    Your understanding is also at clear odds with Vatican I’s “Pastor Aeternus”, which states in relevant part: “We teach and define that it is a divinely-revealed dogma: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of Pastor and Teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme Apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the Universal Church, by the divine assistance promised to him in blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility WITH WHICH THE DIVINE REDEEMER WILLED THAT HIS CHURCH SHOULD BE ENDOWED FOR DEFINING DOCTRINE REGARDING FAITH OR MORALS. Therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and NOT FROM THE CONSENT OF THE CHURCH” (caps for emphases). In other words, the Church, i.e., all the faithful, is infallible at all times, but the pope is not required to obtain any clearance from a general council or the church-at-large before promulgating a proposed infallible teaching. As Richard McBrien has noted, “Infallible teachings…do require the consent of the Church in the sense that what the pope teaches must really be consistent with the actual faith of the whole Church” (CATHOLICISM, New Edition, HarperOne, 1994, pp. 640-641). Supreme papal teaching authority notwithstanding, we do know that Pius IX and Pius XII — although not required to do so — did solicit input from the world’s bishops before promulgating the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Mary.

  • I am glad you dropped the pretext of being a Catholic.

    I find that for some reason you have decided you’re a theologian, and traveled the internet for some time demonstrating that it is true “(most)ost Catholics do not know the Christian faith, much less the Catholic tradition” by your personal example of eccentric theology.

    Unfortunately ncronline dropped its comments and here you are.

    No, what you have shared is not “orthodox theology”.

    And, no, you’re not going to continue wasting my time.

  • Is exploitation sinful?

    Debatable. An online definition for ‘exploitation’ is “the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.”

    Is slavery sinful?

    I doubt most Westerners would regard slavery as *not* sinful.

  • One cannot help *but* repent. It expresses one’s acknowledgement of having been forgiven and thus healed by an all-loving God who accepts sinners “warts and all”.

  • It’s not debatable.

    Most Westerners are ignorant about what slavery means both over time and in context of the Bible, as you have well demonstrated.

  • Since the Creator offers salvation to all, and all do not repent, your construction flies directly into the face of facts.

    Or, if one cannot help but repent, Calvin was right.

    Either way you’re on your own wavelength.

  • Paul said that when people turn from their natural normal selves etc. Gays and lesbians naturally and normally want to be with same sex partners. It wold be highly unnatural and abnormal for them to be with opposite sex partners. That just doesn’t work for either partner. Those relationships end in unhappiness and divorce.

  • As I wrote, it is “debatable” whether exploitation is sinful. There is context to consider, including the possibility/probability that exploitation can be a step toward social justice. That said, I myself regard (human) exploitation as sinful.

    If I’m “ignorant”, then so is John T. Noonan, Jr. (d. 4/17/17) upon whom I have relied. He described slavery as the “unknown sin”. Brief information about Noonan may be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_T._Noonan_Jr. and at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/us/judge-john-t-noonan-jr-dead-federal-judge-ninth-circuit.html.

    Your slur is obvious, Whoever You Are. It reflects your frustration in debate with me.

  • Luke 15’s three parables inform us that God *does* and *will* initiate seeking and finding people “lost” in sin. The sheep and coin, inanimate but representing us, cannot ask forgiveness, but the finders, representing God, do rejoice, regardless. Jesus tells Peter in Mt 18:21-22 to forgive without limit. In three of four Gospel passages, Jesus speaks of forgiveness without mentioning the need for sinners to admit their sins and ask forgiveness.

    You write in part, “Since the Creator offers salvation to all…” and “your construction flies directly into the face of facts.” Your first statement is belief. Beliefs are not “facts”. Belief arises from faith, defined inter alia, as:

    a. a gift of God by which we freely accept God’s self-communication in Christ;

    b. strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence.

    You should be careful in your use of language.

  • The actual meaning of ‘intrinsic’ as “inherent” would be just fine if reactionary/fundamentalist Catholics (many of them converts) did not try to change the meaning to “seriously/gravely” evil. I trust Kaveny whose professional background is in theology (and law, too) over a gentleman whose professional background was in public policy and planning. (Dr. Schorsch, btw, died November 7, 2017.) Kaveny is not a “slacker” in her professional fields.

    I think the term “intrinsic evil” is inadequate alone in moral decision-making. I’m leery of throwing around the term “situation ethics”, which admits of no single definition or description. I am not opposed to a church having moral doctrines, but the latter do not necessarily prove useful in and of themselves in moral problem-solving.

    We disagree on the label of “Catholic theologian”. Perhaps you subscribe to the notion that theology is nothing more than a synonym for catechesis. JPII certainly promoted this misunderstanding.

    Of course, you think same-sex attraction is “objectively disordered”. Given our interactions, I wouldn’t expect anything else 🙂

    I advise not using the term ‘natural law’. Its value today is arguable.

    I have not been referring to “scriptural revelation”. I agree with you about it. Instead, I’ve been referring to other divine revelation reflected in God’s creation. To use an analogy, we can detect some of the personal qualities of a cabinet maker by examining her finished work over time. All of creation is God’s handwork.

    You claim, “If a doctrine is not received by the ‘faithful’, they’re not faithful.” Sloppy thinking on your part:

    “In his Historical Sketch on Arianism of the Fourth Century, John Henry Cardinal Newman observed that there was a moment in that century when practically all of the bishops in the world were tainted either with the Arian heresy or the Semi-Arian heresy. Newman observed that the notable exceptions were the Pope and St. Athanasius. BECAUSE THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE FAITHFUL REFUSED TO ACCEPT AND BELIEVE THE HERESIES, the Pope and St. Athanasius had a power base which enabled them to summon the bishops to the Council of Nicea in the year 325 where they prevailed over the bishops who were tainted with the Arian heresies” (https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=6251). Ecclesial non-reception in action!!!

    God=Truth doesn’t need majority vote or a self-righteous “remnant”. Get real.

    You write, “The truth [lower case] is not determined by a head count.” Again, sloppy thinking on your part. While orthodoxy is not per se dependent on majority vote/belief, there can be times when majority belief upholds orthodoxy as demonstrated in the Arian controversy.

  • I can see that heterodoxy occupies your free time in retirement.

    Heterodoxy is of no interest to me at all, and I certainly not going to contend with it in my free time.

    Adieu.

  • Your emphases are in the wrong places. The phrases “under the guidance of the sacred teaching authority” and “in faithful and respectful obedience to which [the teaching authority]” are crucial to the correct understanding of LG 12.
    The sacred teaching authority is the bishops in union with the pope. This authority to teach was given to Peter and his successors by Christ Himself to wield in His Church on His behalf until it comes again. What LG 12 is saying is that the teaching authority must be obeyed.
    I’m not so sure what you are trying to prove by quoting Pastor Æternus. Surely that seems to suggest that the pope possesses the supreme authority to teach regardless of what the bishops or the rest of the people of God think. I can’t imagine you subscribing to that.

  • Feel better?

    Having blogged on RC sites for a dozen or more years (and interacted with fellow RCs at work, in the parish, and in groups), I speak from experience: Most ordinary Catholics, college-educated or not, are not conversant in the Catholic tradition.

    Yes, here I am 🙂

    We disagree.

    You’re free to leave. I wore a military uniform to protect said right.

  • Sorry for late reply. Thanks for info on your relationship with the Church of Rome.

    Vatican II, of course, taught that the Church of Christ “subsists” in the Catholic Church and, contrary to any prior understanding, *is not* the Catholic Church. The council declared that baptized Christians in other churches and ecclesial communities enjoy *degrees of communion* with the Catholic Church. The council even went so far as to acknowledge God’s influence among peoples in non-Christian religions.

    I recommend Francis A. Sullivan’s “The Impact of Dominus Iesus on Ecumenism” at https://www.americamagazine.org/issue/386/article/impact-dominus-iesus-ecumenism.

  • A *guide*, as I’ve shared with you and others on prior occasions, is a resource, not a mandate. One must not ignore church pronouncements, but one must also not ignore one’s conscience where one is “‘alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths'” (CCC-1776, citing GS-16). For example, “As recently as June 20, 1866, the Holy Office had upheld the slave trade as moral. The justification was based both on philosophy (natural law) and on revelation (divine law). Various quotations from Scripture were cited in support of this position…The Fathers of the Church and local church councils, laws, Popes, and theologians were cited in the attempt to show that the approval of slavery was part of an unbroken, universal tradition” (Thomas Bokenkotter, A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, pp. 487-488). No doubt, there were Catholics who did not accept this teaching of the Church, a doctrine that could be traced, inter alia, to Jesus’ parable in Luke 12:45-48, upholding the right of the master to beat — even severely — a disobedient slave. The bishops at Vatican II condemned slavery even though Jesus had approved it. Who was right, Jesus or the bishops? It was the collective conscience over the centuries that rejected Rome’s approval of slavery and eventually led to the doctrine’s “categorical” (Noonan) repudiation in late 1965.

    I quoted the relevant paragraph in Vatican I’s “Pastor Aeternus” to demonstrate — via caps for your benefit — that it is the Church itself that is infallible at all times. Although this conciliar document focused on papal authority, it acknowledged, without elaboration, the ongoing infallibility of the Church. (Vatican II would take up episcopal teaching authority and the makeup of the Church in order to balance Vatican I’s focus on papal authority and infallibility.)

    Regarding the pope’s “supreme authority to teach”, I remind you that most papal teaching is not at all infallible. Even Pope Francis is trying to persuade national episcopal conferences to begin exercising their rightful teaching and governing authorities addressed by Vatican II (much to the consternation, no doubt, of Catholics who miss Wojtyla and Ratzinger 🙂

  • “Guidance” is the English translation. “Lead by” is the meaning of the Latin. However, let us examine the meaning of the English word ‘to guide’. Were I blind and venturing upon a journey then I most certainly need someone to lead me lest I wandered into danger. Of course I could eschew this need of guidance and insist upon relying upon my own limited resources, this intellectual inadequacy being due to Original Sin
    If individual conscience is paramount then we have no need whatsoever of the Church, of any moral law. What use is the Bible? The thousands of years of the Judeo-Christian moral law, the two millennia of Christian teaching, the wisdom of the ages mean nothing when confronted by the individual conscience, now to be superior to the very Will of God Himself. Everyone now is absolved from all culpability for their actions if in conscience they find themselves inculpable.
    Your continual introduction of the issue of “slavery” into the discussion is spurious and you know it. This matter hinges upon the definition of slavery, feudalism and even modern-day dependence upon eking out a living, the choice between sleeping rough or in house. Again your penchant is to come up with a quotations from a little known, dissident scholars, who has ever heard of Thomas Bokentotter and what influence has he brought to bear upon the Catholic Church?
    You speak upon the “infallibility” of the Church yet your definition of ‘the Church’ is very vague. You don’t tell us wherein this “infallibility” resides. Is it a charism enjoyed by the pope alone, by the pope in union with the bishops, or by the pope and the bishops in union with the whole Church from His Holiness down to the very last Christi-fidelis? You don’t seem to be very clear about this.
    Vatican II quite bluntly defines infallibility on matters of Faith and Morals as possessed by the pope and the bishops in communion with him. Bishops who disagree with the pope, therefore, are not in communion with him and therefore not infallible. This more or less establishes the charism of infallibility firmly in the papacy whether you or even I like it or not.
    If Pope Francis has any knowledge of history then farming out doctrinal teaching to individual Episcopal Conferences is to do no more than reduce the Catholic Church to a union of autocephalous churches similar to Orthodoxy. Given the conflicting interpretations of Amoris Lætitia amongst dioceses worldwide then this is actually what seems to be happening under this pope.
    Don’t think for one moment that I miss Cardinals Wojtyla or Ratzinger.

  • Although an online dictionary attributes the word ‘guidance’ to the 1530s, i.e., “the process of directing conduct”, this same source offers definitions and examples that are not restricted to your *preferred* understanding of the term. One such definition is “counseling or advice”. Counseling and advice are not directive in nature. Counseling is intended to help one resolve one’s own problem(s); advice is recommendation.

    The description of conscience I’ve shared with you is orthodox teaching. Most church teaching, let’s recall, is not infallible because there is always the possibility that a proposed doctrine is in error. CCC-91 thru -93 including footnotes are particularly relevant here. You juxtapose “individual conscience [and] the very Will of God Himself.” If individual conscience is where a person “is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (CCC-1776), then you are contradicting yourself.

    “[W}ho has ever heard of Thomas Bokentotter and what influence has he brought to bear upon the Catholic Church?” I can’t answer your second question, but the author is a presbyter incardinated in the Cincinnati, Ohio archdiocese, taught history at Xavier University in that city, founded social service ministries, is a former parish pastor, and holds a doctorate in history from Louvain. If my source is correct, Dr. Bokenkotter is 90+ years of age.

    You contend, “Everyone now is absolved from all culpability for their actions if in conscience they find themselves inculpable.” More black-and-white thinking. See CCC-1790 thru -1793 to learn related church teaching.

    My information on slavery is largely from John T. Noonan, Jr’s A CHURCH THAT CAN AND CANNOT CHANGE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF CATHOLIC MORAL TEACHING, nearly half of which is devoted to the subject. If you’re unfamiliar with Noonan (who, by the way, wrote the definitive history of Catholic teaching on contraception), you can find some biographical information at Wikipedia and the NEW YORK TIMES (his obituary).

    You write, “[Y]our definition of ‘the Church’ is very vague. You don’t tell us wherein this “infallibility” resides.”

    The Church consists of all Christians, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. A primary concern of Vatican II was the “restoration” of Christian unity (UR-1), not some kind of “return” of other Christians to the Catholic Church. Regarding infallibility, I told you earlier IN CAPS that it is the Church itself, per Vatican I, that is infallible at all times. Infallibility “resides” in the Church itself. Infallibility can be *exercised* by the pope alone, by the college of bishops at an ecumenical council, or by the episcopal college in communion with the pope. Canon 749.3 places the burden of infallible teaching on pope and/or bishops. Because it is the Church itself that is infallible at all times (and in light of our discussion focusing on Catholicism), one can say with complete accuracy that it is the bishopric that proposes and the entire body of Catholics that disposes. This refers to the ancient practice of doctrinal reception and non-reception. Per LG-12, the Spirit works among all the faithful, not just among the ordained, much less only among the hierarchs. The Church, therefore, can be a check on the abuse of papal or other episcopal power, whether exercised in infallible or non-infallible teaching.

    You write, “If Pope Francis has any knowledge of history then farming out doctrinal teaching to individual Episcopal Conferences…”

    The trouble with your limited understanding is that it relies on later, not earliest, church practice. Each local bishop including the pope, properly speaking, is the vicar of Christ for his arch/diocese. The pope alone is the vicar of Peter for the worldwide church. Peter, of course, knew nothing of the papacy because there was no such office, and, if/when he came to Rome, he would have beheld a number of Christian churches, each with its own leadership. Your preference relies on the growing centralization of papal power over the centuries.

    Regarding the brouhaha over “Amoris Laetitia”, I welcome it. It appears to be the work of the Spirit prodding Catholics to think about the meaning of God’s love (and, sadly for some, whether God’s love is unconditional or not).

  • You have written all this time after time to no avail. You cherrypick passages from a variety of sources, some of them reputable and carefully put your own gloss upon them in order to justify your own personal concept of Christianity.
    You try to foist upon us the idea that the very Law of God only becomes true when it is ‘received’ by the faithful (your doctrine of Receptionism).
    You infer that Our Lord sinned in tolerating slavery basing this upon the opinion of a former U.S. Justice.
    You take it upon yourself to speak for the early Christians even St Peter himself.
    It doesn’t surprise that you take delight in the conflict which Amoris Lætitia has caused.

  • Goodness gracious, aren’t you desperate!

    No “cherry-picking” here. My sources are entirely orthodox within mainstream Catholicism. The doctrine of ecclesial reception is as old as Christianity itself: it is the Church=People of God that is infallible at all times (even “Pastor Aeternus” says so!). Did Jesus sin “in tolerating slavery”? No, as Luke shows, Jesus *approved* the practice, and the Church, basing its doctrine on the Gospel, did so as well. Judge Noonan, truly a scholar of scholars and quite orthodox in his Catholicism, has demonstrated that moral doctrine can evolve and, given sufficient time and reflection, change. God works in God’s time and ways, not ours (this truth is demonstrated in the history of the Church’s “take” on slavery). I don’t speak for St. Peter: I rely on the history of the Church which speaks for itself.

    You’re “stuck on stuck”, “T”.

  • That was my point about cherry picking. For someone with more than a modicum of intelligence It is possible by the careful selection of passages from perfectly orthodox sources to justify a totally heterodox position. Joseph, you have more than this modicum, I assure you.
    However, you let yourself down when you speak of infallibility. It is difficult to ascertain whether this infallibility is enjoyed by each and every member of the People of God, the Church or by the bishops whether individually or in union with the pope or the pope alone. You fail to tell us how, where, when.
    When we come to “slavery”, well what are you saying? First and foremost you agree that Vatican II and Pope St John Paul II were correct in declaring ‘human trafficking’ to be evil. Astonishingly you next declare that according to Luke, Jesus approved of the practice.
    Are you saying that a practice that the Son of God approved of is evil? Are you saying that God approved of an intrinsic evil?
    Forget Noonan. Development of doctrine can refine a teaching against the arguments which oppose it. It can never overturn the doctrine.
    Noonan was primarily concerned with particular slavery in the Americas and not the universal concept of slavery throughout history.