Pope Francis sits as he celebrates Mass in the parish church of San Paolo della Croce, in the Corviale neighborhood of Rome, on April 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

A new type of Catholic emerges: the conservative dissenter

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — The tables have turned under Pope Francis. And a new type of Catholic has formed: the conservative dissenter.

In the past, conservatives prided themselves on loyalty to the pope and being in lockstep with all papal teachings, while progressives called for limits to papal power.

The devotees of tradition used to argue that liberals who complained about papal infallibility or centralization were backsliders who really needed to get with the program.

RELATED: Pope Francis takes his critics to the woodshed

So while the John Paul II and Benedict XVI papacies had liberal theologians arguing that popes should govern more collaboratively, traditionalist critics of the current pope “have become reluctant to accept papal teaching (in its contents and forms) only with Francis,” said Villanova University theology professor Massimo Faggioli.

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In the recently published book “To Change the Church,” Ross Douthat compares Francis to President Trump, arguing the pope is seeking to push through changes without thinking about the consequences.

"The story could end with Francis as its hero," the New York Times columnist writes. "But to choose a path that might have only two destinations — hero or heretic — is an act of great and dangerous presumption, even for a pope. Especially for a pope.”

RELATED: ‘I have made serious mistakes,’ says pope. ‘I ask forgiveness.’

The desire for a pope to govern in an autocratic way as long as it suits one’s agenda points to a much bigger debate about how much authority Catholic teaching gives to the man known as the Successor of St. Peter.

“I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus tells Peter, who Catholics see as the first pope, in Matthew 16:19. “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

That gives the pope a pretty free rein.

At the same time, there are safeguards around papal power. Catholic tradition makes clear that pontiffs must govern the church with the bishops – a principle known as collegiality — while papal infallibility is strictly defined.

Constraining papal power has been on the mind of Cardinal Raymond Burke, a respected canon lawyer and leading light for traditional Catholics.

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke leads a Mass in the chapel of the Vatican Governorate to mark the opening of the Judicial Year of the Tribunal of Vatican City at the Vatican on Jan. 11, 2014. Photo by Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

On April 7, he gave a long speech titled “The limits of papal authority in the doctrine of the Church” to a gathering in Rome largely made up of Francis critics. The cardinal has threatened to publicly correct the pope over a footnote in his 2016 apostolic exhortation, "Amoris Laetitia," that envisions a way for some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

“Any expression of doctrine or practice that is not in conformity with divine revelation, contained in the sacred scriptures and in the tradition of the church, cannot be an authentic exercise of the apostolic or Petrine ministry and must be rejected by the faithful,” the cardinal said.

Quoting a church lawyer from the 12th century, the 69-year-old prelate said that while “no mortal being” should have the “audacity to reprimand a pope on account of his faults,” a pontiff must be called out if he has “deviated from the faith.”

There are even times, Burke added, citing a historian of the late medieval period, when a pope “must, as a duty, be disobeyed.”

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Francis, on the other hand, has talked about the importance of receiving criticism. Four days after the cardinal’s speech, the 81-year-old Argentine pontiff offered one of the most dramatic “I’m sorry” statements ever seen by a pope, over his mishandling of the Chilean sexual abuse scandal. The Catholic news site Crux described what Francis did as “institutionalizing the tradition of personal papal apologies.”

RELATED: Pope Francis and hell

Admitting mistakes is one of the ways Francis is reforming the papacy, moving it away from a monarchical model — where popes could never be wrong — to a servant leader approach. He’s also argued it’s not the pope’s job to settle all “doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues.”

This infuriates his critics. Burke and his followers believe a pope must give clear-cut doctrine and they are deeply worried about Francis’ happiness with ambiguity.

But the problem for the cardinal’s argument is who decides when a pope has erred. This has been a matter of debate inside the church for centuries and at times has led to bitter disputes.

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world) blessing at the end of the Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on April 1, 2018. (Vatican Media via AP)

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Competing claims to the papal throne after the 14th-century “Avignon Papacy,” when seven successive popes resided in France, were resolved by the church agreeing that decisions by councils had greater power than that of a pope. Later it was decided the best way to guarantee unity was a strong papacy and it was the First Vatican Council (1869-70) that made the famous declaration of papal infallibility (which is only valid in matters of faith and morals). The Second Vatican Council of 1962-65 sought to balance papal authority with a collegial system of governance and that’s something Francis is trying to maintain.

Faggioli says the tradition of the Catholic Church in defining papal authority is “conservative,” in the sense of being cautious.

“The extremist interpretations of papal primacy and infallibility have been rejected both by Vatican I and the post-Vatican I Church,” he said. “It is healthy that Catholics see limits in papal powers.”

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One thing is certain, criticism of Francis is not going away. On Saturday (April 21), the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia will host Burke for a conference titled “Matrimony: Rediscovering its Truth.”

The decision to host the cardinal is significant given that the archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, leads the United States bishops’ committee on “laity, marriage, family life and youth,” which has a remit to implement the teachings in "Amoris Laetitia."

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia did not respond to requests for comment about Burke’s attendance at the cathedral event or whether this meant the archbishop was endorsing the cardinal’s position.

Pope Francis shakes hands with Archbishop Charles Chaput as he arrives on the Independence Mall to deliver remarks on the theme "We Hold These Truths," a quote from the Declaration of Independence, in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Sept. 26, 2015. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

For his part, Chaput has issued guidelines to his archdiocese on "Amoris Laetitia" stressing that remarried Catholics can only receive Communion if they are living as “brother and sister,” and he recently described Douthat’s book as an “intelligent and absorbing work.”

And while his cathedral is hosting a cardinal who is threatening to correct the pope, the archbishop steered clear of a conference on Francis’ papacy that took place near Philadelphia at Villanova University on April 12-15 and brought together some of Francis’ closest confidants and advisers. The pope himself met with the university’s president and trustees in the Vatican while the Villanova conference was in full swing.

Finding themselves criticizing a pope may, in the long run, see conservatives end up with a more nuanced and balanced view of papal authority. In the meantime, liberal Catholics could offer them a simple message: “Welcome to the club.”


  1. Shorter: Conservative Catholics recoil in horror from a Pope who’s not evil enough. They hastily decide that Popes aren’t infallible after all!

  2. 1. “I’m sorry” was followed by the pope blaming a lack of “truthful and balanced information” for his missteps. A PR “non-apology” because we know of at least half a dozen times he was informed about Bishop Barros.
    2. The “civil war” with traditionalists began when the pope accused those who disagree with him of “legalism,” “closed hearts,” “blinkered viewpoints,” judging “sometimes with superiority and superficiality,” lacking “understanding,” unable to “discern,” cowardice in “burying their heads in the sand,’ “a nasty spirit in order to sow division,” and psychologically “born from something missing, from trying to hide one’s own sad dissatisfaction behind a kind of armor.” He warns that they are a “cancer of the Church” in pursuit of glory rooted in “the logic of ambition and power.”
    Earlier this month, he wrote about those who bend religion “to the service of their own psychological and mental lucubrations,” close themselves off in a “tranquil and anesthetizing mediocrity,” made up of “individualism, spiritualism, becoming closed off in little worlds, dependence, systematization, repetition of prearranged frameworks, dogmatism, nostalgia, pessimism, taking refuge in the norms.”

  3. Conservative Catholics are exactly like conservatives in general: all their so-called “bedrock principles” go right out the window the very instant expediency requires it.

    Just as for generations Protestant evangelicals scolded everyone else from their moral high horse for their various (mostly sexual) sins only to give Donald Trump a “Mulligan” (to borrow Tony Perkins’ expression) because he had become their new champion, so too conservative Catholics who used to admonish everyone else to fall in lockstep with the pope when they agreed with the pope have suddenly decided it’s okay to ignore the pope whenever you feel like it.

    What conservatives don’t realize is that in everyone else’s mind you simply cannot expect to be taken seriously when you so cavalierly discard fundamental beliefs simply because it’s expedient to do so. You just can’t.

    Sadly for conservatives (Christian ones, especially) they still think the rest of us are taking them seriously. We aren’t.

  4. Well said, E. (I miss the old gang from NCR. Sigh.)

    Trump doesn’t just get one Mulligan from right-wing Evangelicals. Apparently, he has an inexhaustible supply. And it always strikes me as funny how those same Catholics who used to claim that every word that fell from the lips of John Paul II are now Francis’ most severe critics.

  5. What do many contemporary, religious historians conclude about the historic reliability of said Catholic foundations: said NT passages are not historic:

    John 14: 26 not historic ( 62-. Spirit under Trial: (1) 1Q: Luke 12:11-12 = Matt
    10:19-20; (2) Mark 13:11 = Matt 10: 19-20 = Luke 21:14-15; (3) John 14:26.)

    Matt 16: 18-19 not historic (73- Who Is Jesus?: (1) Gos. Thom. 13; (2a) Mark
    8:27-30 = Matt 16:13-20 = Luke 9:18-21; (2b) Gos. Naz. 14; (2c) John 6:67-69.)

    1 Timothy- not written by St. Paul (See Crossan’s “In Search of Paul”, Harper, San
    Francisco, 2004, p.105)

    e.g. http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb073.html

  6. Off-topic but quite relevant:
    The latest story on the Pope today is the gentle, pastoral, nuanced answer he gave to a boy whose dad apparently died an atheist.

    Like I said earlier, this Pope has the gentleness & pastoral humility, he’s got the love and the nuance. He’s got style, of course.

    But he only believes part of the Bible. When it comes to the final outcomes of Heaven or Hell, this pope’s religion is actually Universalism. Not Christianity. He has fully “outed” himself on that one.

    So what to do? Can’t deny the Pope’s big positives, but also can’t deny the big negatives. I would just say, pray for him honestly, love him honestly (no h8), and also tell the truth honestly, pro or con, on his public statements. We DO need Burke’s candor, to help even things out.

  7. What you call a conservative, I call an abused Catholic.

    Because in the end, that is what the left is all about- sexual abuse. Whether protecting abusive clergy like the Pope did in Chile, or being for “same sex marriage” which is inherently abusive, or the abuse of divorce, contraception, and abortion; everything the left wing is promoting is abusive.

    People become rigid pharisee conservative dissenters just to protect their souls from this abuse.

    Oh, and go read “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” by St. John Paul The Great- Pope Francis did NOT invent the servant model papacy.

  8. And once again, the sexual revolution is only about abuse- whether Donald Trump’s or anybody else’s sexual sins.

  9. “same sex marriage” which is inherently abusive”

    Excuse me? Kindly explain that one, because from my perspective as a gay person your comment is abusive.

  10. John 14:26 shows up in manuscript P75, dated late 2nd century (~175-200 AD), per Comfort & Phillips. Among the earliest manuscripts found.

  11. Since you identify as a gay person, you are already a victim of the inherent abuse of sexual orientation- splitting the human race into privileged and unprivileged groups by some fictional identity, in this case, the idea that you can only be attracted to one type throughout your life and are limited to that type being non-procreative.

    The purpose of sex is procreative, thus aberrant sexuality such as contraception, extra-marital sex, non-procreative sex, rape, child abuse, etc. are in fact abusive.

    Note most of these are HETEROSEXUAL in nature. But all contain one very abusive element: elevating lust above love and your own pleasure above the needs of somebody else.

    The best thing a homosexual can do for the person they claim to love, is introduce them to somebody of the opposite sex in hopes that they will have a chance to procreate- a chance you cannot give them.

    You are a child of God, not a “gay person”- start acting like it. Gay is a lie at best (so is heterosexuality- Human beings are monosexual: oriented towards finding that one person that they can become a parent with, and ONLY having sex with that one person).

  12. Funny, I’m a married gay man and I feel loved, cherished, and honored by my husband, our families, our friends, and our community.

    But you call it abuse for a lot of specious reasons that say nothing about me or gay men, but a great deal about the stories you must tell yourself.

    The entirety of your argument seems to be, “if you’re not here to reproduce, then what in the hell are you here for?” You display a breadth of ignorance not only of sexuality, homosexuality and human nature, But of the lives of everyday gay people….

    And all in favor of the stupidity which you seem to wish to believe. It says a great deal more about you, than you could ever say about gay people

  13. Everything you say is true but you’re wasting your breath with this one,

  14. No, the attitudes you promulgate are what are about ABUSE, the abuse of gay people for 2000 years for the crime of being different from the majority in a way that obsesses, fascinates, titillates, horrifies, and annoys people like you. The results of that abuse you have inflicted have been jails, murders, beatings, suicide, addiction, destroyed families, destroyed loves, destroyed lives, destroyed careers.

    The problem isn’t now and never has been homosexuality; the problem is and always has been with some heterosexuals think of the subject that they are obviously and completely ignorant about. You should be ashamed of yourself, but the one thing I have learned with religious bigots on the subject in the 47 years I’ve been fighting them is that they are beyond sh The problem isn’t now and never has been homosexuality; the problem is and always has been with some heterosexuals think of the subject that they are obviously and completely ignorant about. You should be ashamed of yourself, but the one thing I have learned with religious bigots on the subject in the 47 years I’ve been fighting them is that they are Beyond shame.

    You will believe any lie, no matter how vicious, as long as it supports the belief that you put out into the world. It says a great deal more about you and your so-called morality that it will ever say about gay people

  15. Oh, I know that. I wasn’t writing for him. Check out my response a few comments down.

    BTW, love the moniker. That ought to get a few of these black hearts racing.

  16. Yes, the abused often feel loved, cherished, and honored by their abusers; that does not change the objective nature of the abuse, which has nothing at all to do with emotions.

    If you are not here to be of service to God- reproduction being only one form of service, but the only form that includes sex- then yes, why do you think you were put on this planet?

    And this isn’t just anti-gay; it’s anti-sexual revolution (of which gay is what, 1%?)

  17. All of which happens due to the choice to pretend that you aren’t human.

    You’re human, and that means you are heterosexual, regardless of your delusions. Get over it.

  18. With respect to John’s Gospel and John’s
    epistles, from Professor/Father Raymond Brown in his book, An Introduction to
    the New Testament, (The book has both a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from the
    Catholic Church),

    John’s Gospel, Date- 80-110 CE,
    Traditional Attribution, (2nd Century), St. John, one of the Twelve,

    Author Detectable from the Contents, One
    who regards himself in the tradition of the disciple.

    First Epistle of John, Authenticity-
    Certainly by a writer in the Johannine tradition, probably NOT by the one
    responsible for most of the Gospel.

    From Professor Bruce Chilton in his book,
    Rabbi Jesus,

    “Conventionally, scholarship has accorded priority to the first three gospels in historical work on Jesus, putting progressively less credence in works of late date. John’s Gospel for example is routinely dismissed as a source……

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John#Authorship

    “Since “the higher criticism” of the 19th century, some historians have largely rejected the gospel of John as a reliable source of information about the historical Jesus.[3][4] “[M]ost commentators regard the work as anonymous,”[5] and date it to

    “The authorship has been disputed
    since at least the second century, with mainstream Christianity believing that
    the author is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee. Modern experts usually consider
    the author to be an unknown non-eyewitness, though many apologetic Christian scholars still hold to the conservative Johannine view that ascribes authorship to John the Apostle.”

    And from Professor Gerd Ludemann, in his
    book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 416,

    “Anyone looking for the historical
    Jesus will not find him in the Gospel of John. “

  19. Francis may be moderate to liberal on some issues, but his recent apostolic exhortation was ultraconservative on two issues: his reiteration of support for the Vatican’s unbiblical and mistaken opposition to women’s rights of conscience and religious liberty with regard to abortion, and his attack on “pelagianism,” the position of the fourth century English theologian Pelagius that “original sin” is nonsense and that is a key position of today’s Unitarianism and various Christian thinkers. I wish Francis would be more liberal. — Edd Doerr

  20. You continue to be wrong. In fact, you couldn’t be more wrong if you entered the “I AM WRONG SWEEPSTAKES”. and hit the jackpot. But that is the problem with people who hide their bigotry behind their religious beliefs.
    Actual truth is a problem for you.
    Yes, I’m human. No, I’m not heterosexual, and I NEVER have been. Regardless of YOUR delusions, that’s a fact. So just get over it.

  21. Seeber is dead wrong aboiut contraception and seems unaware of the serious to our planet by human overpopulation.

  22. Conservative dissenters? Didn’t they used to call them Protestants?
    What’s funny is that the church is being criticized for not being conservative enough. Being somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun isn’t conservative I believe the words are either reactionary or delusional

  23. You’re being abused because someone doesn’t wish to read the abusive garbage you post.

    OK then!

  24. I want to thank you for vividly demonstrating that you are an Aggressively Sanctimonious Scoundrel Habitually Oozing Loathsome Excretion.

  25. I am sure by the point of view of an abused person convinced that his abuse is normal and trying to spread that abuse to others, I am wrong. But that is just an indication of how deep inside the abusive rabbit hole you are.

  26. Yes, I’m sure I appear to be so to somebody who believes in myths such as “sexual orientation”. That however does not change reality.

  27. No, you’re just wrong. Wrong on every level– factual, spiritual, Christian, moral , human, legal, cultural, and anything else.

  28. Not sure who among the Protestants you think is more conservative unless you are talking about those who want to base theology on the Bible only as opposed to tradition and a need to stay in power. On some points other denominations are much more tolerant and on other issues more conservative then the Roman Church. This pope has changed the tone, but not the rule. The papacy is about power that evolved from the dark ages and the concept of absolute monarchs.

  29. No, proving my point that the only common thread among heterosexuals and leftists is various forms of abuse- such as childish attempts at censorship when faced with inconvenient truths.

  30. Yeah, that’s why so many people raped by homosexuals and then teased about it and called gay end up committing suicide.

    Sexual orientation identity is abuse, that’s all there is to it.

  31. I get it. reproduction is your god. Don’t tell Jesus.

  32. If Jesus wasn’t for reproduction, he wouldn’t have had His Mother tell St. Lucita that abortion was wrong. He wouldn’t have had his apostles mention that abortion and contraception were wrong in the Didache.

    And I suspect, the way the Roman Empire was at the time, if Jesus wasn’t for reproduction, the religion would not have survived the first 5 purges, since people with their hair set on fire usually fail to reproduce.

    Like I said, to you and your attempt to spread abusive and frankly primitive practices, gay marriage is everything. To me, it is a minor matter against the much greater sin of abortion and contraception that is practiced so widely in the United States that we’ve had a genocide of 60 million people while you were busy trying to get same sex marriage legalized.

  33. Actually, there is nothing new about being a religious “bigot.” The etymology of that word goes back to 12th Century France, almost 3 centuries before Martin Luther started the Christian Reformation. The concept of an “overzealous, sanctimonious hypocrite” has been a part of Western Christianity for at least the seven intervening centuries since then. Given the fact that the Sadducees and Pharisees that contended against Christ in the New Testament were simply Jewish “overzealous, sanctimonious hypocrites,” the notion of a religious bigot is probably as old as any and all of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

  34. You really have to totally ignore any authentic Church history to arrive at your deluded viewpoint, but that is one of the hallmarks of “Christian conservatism,” aka “Religious bigotry.” The term “bigot/bigotry” was coined in France 7 hundred years ago to describe overzealous, sanctimonious hypocrites within the Christian faith. “Christian conservatives” do their best to hide from the one term that still fits best.

  35. Counterpoint: since you self-identify as a “Christian conservative,” you are both a self-admitted abuser of the rights of others and yourself a victim of the same abuse, seeking to spread that same pain around. See how your favorite methods of labeling can all be turned back to aim at you? Funny how things work that way.

  36. Being ignored is not the same thing as being censored, but when you are a hyper conservative Christian, usually with a god complex, any form of disagreement is persecution.

  37. The “polite” term for that is “religious bigot,” which also fits.

  38. Irrelevant to the point that left wingers refuse to discuss the actual issues surrounding their promotion of sexual abuse.

  39. These days, the real bigots are the Planned Parenthood folks LGBT movement, who seek to punish anybody who points out that their entire movement is based in genocide and sexual abuse.

  40. It’s fruitless to discuss anything with hyperconservatives who believe that they, and they only, have the truth, regardless of actual facts laid before them, not suppositions pretending to be knowledge.
    you are simply ignorant, and proud of it.

  41. That’s so cute to claim that the “Jesus Myth” has anything to do with “reality.” The reason I say “myth” is because there is very little evidence outside of the Bible that Jesus Christ ever actually lived (or died), much less rose from the dead. Other New Testament characters have counterparts in secular Roman Empire history and writings, but those secular documents are pretty silent about Jesus himself. Hence, real historians call it the “Jesus Myth,” and not just your non-biblical version of Jesus.

  42. Your “overzealous, sanctimonious hypocrisy” is front and center when you chatter about the psychology of abuse with all of the “expertise” of a trained chimpanzee. At least the monkey knows he’s flinging poo when he does so.

  43. Wrong again, Errol Flynn. You have to make a valid point before you “prove” it. So far, you are zero for zero on valid points.

  44. You might be human, but I doubt it. What I don’t doubt is that you’re a self-loathing, closeted homosexual, regardless of your delusions. Get over it.

  45. Nope. You are trying to victim-blame for your own, well-defined bigotry. Every accusation you level is simply a description of your own bigoted efforts against others, and a confession of sorts.

  46. One cannot change sexual abuse into a right merely by bribing a bunch of “researchers” to claim that it is “normal”.

    Unlike you, I still know the difference between right and wrong, where you label wrong right and think you’ve liberated people instead of abusing them.

  47. And yet nobody else sought to remove the parental rights of everybody else in the nation for their own selfish lust.

    Like they did in Obergefell to make same sex marriage possible.

    Still, the real problem is that you stick up for child abusers like Walter Breen and the rest of his militant homosexual gang.

  48. You do the classic bigoted tactic of making wild, unfounded accusations, so as to justify your own extreme animus against others. Nothing in what you just claimed has any basis in reality. It is just more victim-blaming for your very clear and obvious hatred of another population.

  49. “One cannot change sexual abuse into a right…”
    The trouble with your overzealous, sanctimonious hypocrisy is that you don’t get to label the loves and lives of others as “abuse.” The only abuse here would be coming from you trying to set yourself up as an expert in your abject ignorance.

  50. You should join Alex Jones.
    You’d fit right in….

  51. Is there any truth to the reports that one or more persons in the Vatican were telling Francis that the Barros complainants were not credible? I saw a name mentioned as possibly having run that kind of interference. Possibly a fellow South American but I can’t remember his name. Not to say that absolves Francis in any way.

  52. “Love the sinner; hate the sin” is the only valid example of the alleged “truth” that you purport that comes to mind, especially since in practice holy hypocrites get their own formula backwards.

  53. Advertising some holy hypocrite book that is on Amazon does not count as a reliable source. But it does show how dependent you are on someone else’s talking points.

  54. Thus the need to stop using the lie of identity politics to associate the sinner with the sin. There are no “gay people”, there are no “straight people”, there are ONLY people. And all people are sinners, we all have things we need to work on.

  55. Not exactly, Moira was raised pagan. Her homosexual father was raised Catholic though- had some priests who would bring him boys to abuse.

  56. We also cannot deny that the Pope is an imperfect, sinful human, just like all the rest of us are, and the apostle Peter was, when he was on earth.

    We all need to ask God in prayer for forgiveness of our sins, in the name of Christ Jesus, our mediator.

    But we also need to be merciful and forgiving of others who commit wrongs against us.

  57. True, that’s all true. But there’s one more item. Francis has a good attitude in many ways. He sincerely apologized for the Chile mess, and many people accepted it and were forgiving on it (and correctly so).

    But the real issue, the place where real damage may be done to Christians of all kinds, is in (1) what Francis really believes, and (2) what Francis really don’t believe.

    Some of what he’s tacitly and overtly preaching, bucks the Bible, bucks the Catholic Catechism, and even publicly bucks Jesus Himself.

    The national media is giving him a free pass on this stuff, because they love this stuff and want to sell it to us. But it’s time for Christians to speak up (without hate or stress) regarding the trouble spots.

  58. I am sure you know all about Catholic theology.

  59. The problem isn’t now and never has been theft; the problem is and always has been what non-kleptomaniacs think of a subject they are obviously and completely ignorant about.

  60. With 5,000+ bishops, the pontiffs rarely get unfiltered information.

  61. There’s no evidence besides these post that “L. Ray” exists.

    The secular documents are pretty silent but not totally silent.

    That’s not surprising since Jewish sects in the First Century would draw little Roman attention.

  62. I would love to hear how he is wrong morally.

    Perhaps you’d finally divulge how you’ve constructed a morality and what it consists of.

  63. Your overzealous, sanctimonious hypocrisy is front and center when you chatter about the “overzealous, sanctimonious hypocrisy” of someone you happen to disagree with.

  64. And it’s fruitless to discuss anything with homosexuals who believe
    that they, and they only, have the truth.

  65. Bobby Joe, or joe bob, which ever of your two personalities is writing to day…

    You really seemed to be stalking me, obsessed with me. My husband, a clinical psychologist, asked who these two guys, Bob Arnzen and Jose Carioca, were, and why they are constantly sending me messages. I explained that only one of you is real, the other is a pet parrot, but both of them exist inside your head. He said that that wasn’t good. and then I explained further that Jose seemed to have died a very convenient, suspicious death, and he was even more concerned.

    He suggested that I block you, but I said that I didn’t think you could stand the rejection. I told him that I told you to take some responsibility, and block me, but he said he didn’t think your fragile ego was up to that.

    PS He’s not a clinical psychologist. but he does think…

  66. You seem to believe that if you claim someone is stalking you, obsessed with you, they can only prove you wrong by avoiding responding to one or more of your posts.

    Well, screw that.

    Your comment that “I said that I didn’t think you could stand the rejection” says, I think, where your problem lies.

  67. As usual Christopher Lamb makes a complete muck out of a Catholic topic.

    “The devotees of tradition used to argue that liberals who complained about papal infallibility or centralization were backsliders who really needed to get with the program.”

    The addition of “or centralization” is inserted to disguise the fact that this particular pontiff has not issued a single document that could by any stretch of the imagination be considered an exercise of “infallibility” and that the conservatives objections all center around the fact that some of his musings seem to be in conflict with previous undoubtedly infallible teachings, such as the indissolubility of marriage.

    This half-baked view of disagreeing with papal opinions as being the moral equivalent of disagreeing with the Church’s teachings leads to “Finding themselves criticizing a pope may, in the long run, see conservatives end up with a more nuanced and balanced view of papal authority.”, which is logical nonsense.

  68. 1. A group of Chileans informed the pope in 2015. He replied: “Think with your head, and do not be carried away by the noses of the leftists, who are the ones who put this thing together,”
    2. Members of the pope’s own Commission for the Protection of Minors hand-deliver a letter to Pope Francis that Barros had personally witnessed the abuse by Karadima.
    3.Bishop Santiago Silva Retamales, president of the bishops’ conference said he was certain the authorities of the bishops’ conference made the information they had at the time available to the pope.
    4. The Associated Press released a letter written by the pope on Jan. 31, 2015, to the Chilean bishops. Pope Francis wrote that his nuncio to Chile had asked Barros to resign “toward the end of 2014.”

  69. Nothing new about this. A functioning organism uses negative feedback to keep its actions aimed toward its proper goal. When the leaders skid too far left, the organism tries to steer right. When the leaders skid to the right, the organism tries to steer left. There is one new factor. The church has been skidding left for so many years that its steering gear is permanently warped. So the restoring force pulling to the right doesn’t have much effect.

  70. Just a quick response from a “conservative in general” – it’s interesting how evangelicals and conservative Catholics are being accused of compromising their principals because they voted for Trump; implying that they have sold their souls just to get their guy elected. This is a disingenuous argument and diversion from Elagabalus and the liberal left. While Trump is/was certainly a flawed candidate; to imply that conservatives should have voted (and thus preserved their principles) for one of the most corrupt, dishonest, incapable and unethical candidates ever to run for political office – Hillary Clinton – is preposterous. As far as being taken seriously by “the rest of us” – As long as narrow-minded, one-sided arguments like the one above are thrown around; there will never be an opportunity for serious dialogue and debate. I would argue that the internal anger that that causes someone to write about a group of people in “general” prevents them from taking anyone seriously. Be honest with yourself first – then you will have the ability to take “us” seriously.

  71. “one of the most corrupt, dishonest, incapable and unethical candidates ever to run for political office”

    You have the unmitigated gall to accuse Hillary Clinton of these things with a straight face while also voting for Trump, certainly THE most corrupt, dishonest, incapable and unethical person to ever occupy the Oval Office, and yet you still expect the rest of us to take you seriously? Get real! It ain’t happenin’. You forfeited any and all credibility with that one vote and you will never, ever recover it. Some things last forever. Deal with it!

  72. Tee hee! You said “screw that!”

    See what I mean?

    “We got trouble! right here in River City! With a capital T and that rhymes with B and that stands for Bob!”

  73. Again, dear Bob who also writes under the name of Jose, and tells everyone about how smart and moral he is.

    I’ve already seen how youconstruct your morals. Earlier this week, the sheer number of pastors that have been arrested, convicted, or resigned just in the past few weeks was brought up by yours truly as an example of the failures of so called Christian morality to make anyone moral.

    You’re response? “Well, they’re Not Real Christians (TM).” The no true Scotsman fallacy. The circular reasoning fallacy. The “‘morality’ is what I say it is” fallacy. All rolled up into one.all proving that your morality is just as arbitrary as all of the people you deride for not having YOUR morality.

    Just like the evangelicals who constantly complain about the immorality of others, but don’t care at all about trump as long as it enables them to have power, money, dominion, and revenge.


  74. More moral relativism and an incoherent moral system from the people who claim that they have it.

    The indissolubility of marriage? Not since the first annulment was granted. So called Catholics have been getting around that little requirement simply by declaring that the marriage wasn’t valid to begin with, even though there was no reason to think so.

    Catholic Frank Schubert, defender of marriage, got an annulment after some 20 years and some children with his first wife. It was valid until he wanted to get out of it, and we’ll after he produced his children.

    Arbitrary morals and moral standards, anyone?

  75. Im not sure what is up with the “take you seriously” comments and your discussion style of personally attacking individuals. I would appreciate an explaination from you on how a person who pulled the lever for Hillary Clinton could have their integrity, morals and principals left in tact. Seriously – please explain it to me. Start with her tenure as Sec. of State and work your way back to Arkansas.

  76. Pssst.

    I know you’re not the REAL Jose Carioca.

    But then, the real Jose Carioca is just a figment of boob’s imagination.

  77. You didn’t present any such “truths”.

  78. Irony alert re Bob the snowflake’s latest post!

  79. Why should anyone serve your bigoted jerk of a god?

  80. Oh you poor hurt, persecuted Christians…too funny!

  81. I dare you to read Moira Greyland’s book. Spoiler alert: Everybody in it is real, and a huge percentage of them are dead.

  82. I won’t tell anyone. Especiallynot BoobyJoe/JoeBlob. They are very sensitive guys, even if one of them is imaginary.

  83. It’s the LGBT movement that claims they’re not human, that they’re “gay persons”. I simply say that is imaginary.

  84. No, actually, it was proven in court that she was right. You just don’t want to look at what she wrote because you are afraid she is right.

  85. No thanks. Not interested in such tripe.

  86. Like I said earlier, liberals are not interested in the truth when it contradicts their promotion of child abuse.

  87. Do you know what an annulment is?

    I thought not.

    It’s not a “work around”.

    As to Frank Schubert, your claim is that he has arbitrary morals and moral standards.

    On the other hand to this point your “standards” have consisted of knowing what you like, which puts him ahead of you.

  88. The fact that you refer to pastors “that have been arrested, convicted, or resigned” as failure in Christian morality indicates that you know that Christians have a moral code, and that failing to adhere to it is a failure.

    That puts them far far ahead of you.

  89. Not only do I see what you mean, I meant what I said.

  90. Having read you for some long time here and at NCR, no you don’t.

  91. it makes more sense to start in arkansas and to look at the overwrought gothic politics of that southern state .

    follow that line down the years noting the amount of time, energy and resources that republicans put into demonizing the clintons . one of the great cottage industries of the modern period .

    note that little has been found to be true when one is not in the rabbit hole . in clear sunlight of investigations, rarely has anything been found of note outside of bill’s zipper .

    but the books and stories written on whitewater, on benghazi, uranium one, the foundation : thar’s gold in them thar mines . but no facts .

    and i write this as one who does not care for the clinton’s . except for one thing . the lord knows i find watching republicans hyperventilating about them great fun .

  92. Nope, I’ve never been forced to resign because of inappropriate sexual behavior. I’ve never been arrested, much less convicted. I’ve never done anything to get myself arrested. I’ve never forced myself upon another person. I’ve never molested a child. I haven’t the slightest desire to.
    however, you and your fellow travelers are constantly trumpeting your morals, as well as the obviously false supposition that you can’t have morals without religion. They had religion. In fact, they were “men of god”. It certainly didn’t stop them, did it? They just didn’t fail their moral code. Their moral code failed them.
    so, you can keep pretending that I am a terrible person because I haven’t accepted your particular interpretation of your particular holy book. You can keep pretending i’m not moral because I am gay. It bullcrap.
    No skin off my nose, dearie. It just makes you look like…well you know what it makes you look like.

  93. Of course it’s a work around. As far as I can tell, all of your moral posturing has a workaround.

  94. With all due respect, yes, I do. You said KNOW about Catholic theology. You did not say ADHERE TO Catholic theology. Vive le différence!

  95. Yeah, I suppose you’re right…. the Clinton’s like the Kennedy’s are/were pretty upstanding folks. We will see shortly what shakes out as those that protected and supported her continue to abandon her; thus allowing the light to shine down some of these rabbit holes. I think the Comey/Russia-gate is going to turn into the Clinton/Obama/McCabe/Podesta-gate. Respectfully, and speaking only for myself – I do think there were issues with her roles in Benghazi, the foundation and the closet email server.
    Regarding having fun watching republicans hyperventilate over the Clintons – the same can be said of democrats and Trump. The guy hasn’t had a moment of peace since he was elected (we can have this conversation seperately..). But I will tell you as a American, it makes me sad that we as a country are so polarized – on this board – as well as elsewhere; divided among political lines. IF, we are worried about Russia (and China) interfering with our political process – are we their willing pawns?

  96. First: big brush, lots of tar.

    Second: you fail to consider that conservatives just might be correct in both scenarios.

    Third: lest you offer an ad hominem response, I consider myself “whole counsel” orthodox rather than conservative.

  97. After reading you for more than a little while, I believe it is correct to say that you do not adhere to Catholic theology and think you know Catholic theology.

    However, you don’t know Catholic theology, with all due respect.

  98. No, it is not a work around.

    What, in Catholic theology, is a marriage?

    When you try to address that, the source of your confusion will become apparent.

  99. No. You have simply not put forward any truth.

  100. You certainly can’t be forced to resign because your sexual behavior violated atheist morality.

    I haven’t said you’re a terrible.

    I have said:

    – you’re wrong

    – you can’t articulate a morality

    – you tend to define what you want as a “right”

    – you can’t explain why it’s a “right”.

    The only reason you can accuse these folks of failure is because you have some idea of what their moral standard consists of.

    So, cease the hissy fit.

  101. I do not “put forward” truth. Truth is not optional, nor is it affected by stupid idiots who cannot observe it.

  102. “…people who hide their bigotry behind their religious beliefs.”
    Your ability to discern the secret, subjective, “real” motives of others is amazing. Have you had access to some oracular divination, or are you claiming psychic powers of your own?

  103. Nope. I just have to listen to what people actually say abd, given the option, compare it to what they do.

    Try listening some time. It’s amazing what you can learn.

  104. You just “know” – got it. The problem is that all of your “knowledge” is conditioned by your ideology – so your real answer is “My ideology told me so.”

  105. “three-face” ???

    inflation in cliches rarely work well for the meaning you want . reminds one of a school yard argument .

  106. you suggest, Theodore Seeber, that your brother in argument has made a choice to be what you cannot possibly comprehend to be what god simply made him .

    you suggest, Theodore Seeber, that your brother in argument pretends to be other than human, because he sees the origin of homosexuality differently than you .

    you suggest, Theodore Seeber, that your brother in argument has delusions because he understands himself to be what your understanding does not allow .

    perhaps you might try to listen with soul to what he says and not just pigeon hole him .

  107. “…the sexual revolution is only about abuse….”

    is that a thought that any sexual activity outside marriage damages someone ?

    or are you suggesting that all sex eventually turns into abuse ?

    what do you mean there ?

  108. “…all of your “knowledge” is conditioned by your ideology….”

    since that can be said about most anyone who says most anything, would you like to come back and say something besides “duh” .

  109. I hope to learn, some day, what your moral system consists of.

    To this point, btw, you have simply noted that folks who set very high standards tend to – from time to time – miss their standard, not they “hide their bigotry behind their religious beliefs.”

  110. To the tune of “Jesus loves me, this I know”.

  111. Not really.

    Some folks actually look at facts and report them.

  112. emphasis on the word “some” . which only rephrases what i wrote .

  113. Emphasis on facts, as opposed to “about most anyone”, which is what you wrote.

  114. god makes us humans many different things when it comes to sex . for sure a majority the traditional male and female . some who are anatomically between . and many who are psychologically orientated to others of their same sex .

    the reality is not new . our ability to understand and accept what god did is .

  115. we then agree that most do not try for facts . and a few do .

  116. thank you for noting that the response i made was to a fake commenter . that s/he needs to have a make believe persona, only deepens my thought that they are trying to have a school yard fight .

  117. Sure…since you missed the point the first time around, I’ll repeat it in a more explicit form: What he claims to “know” is not actual “knowledge” of anything – it’s ideological presumption.

  118. raymond brown is standard catholic text for the new testament . it does not suck . to say that tells us more about you than the book .

  119. You’re a bigot – this I know.
    Ideology told me so!
    Perfect fit.

  120. What I am saying is that nobody is gay, and nobody is straight. Those are lies made not by God, but by psychologists to classify people in a bigoted fashion. I utterly reject your categories, and all of the highly destructive and abusive sexual revolution that they brought about.

    Sex is for procreation. Every other form of sex, including infertile heterosexual sex, is abusive.

  121. Any sex that is not procreative is objectively abuse. The gaslight brainwashing that is the modern lie of consent does not change the abuse, it only makes the act MORE damaging.

  122. a nice argumentative statement . can you develop it any ?

    for instance “any sex that is not procreative is objectively abuse ….” for infertile couples ? for women beyond menopause ?

    why abuse ? how does it damage either partner TO THE DEGREE that the word “abuse” is called for ? how does consent make “the act MORE damaging” ?

    methinks that you are way overstating even the traditional view of sex in or out of marriage .

  123. is there a definition to your use of the word “lie” other than ‘ideas or statements i don’t agree with’ ? is it possible, in your world vision, that there are people in the world who are honest, sincere and polar opposite of your way of thinking ?

    i would like you to give me any catholic or orthodox traditional moral theology source that states that “every…form of sex, including infertile heterosexual sex, is abusive.” i would think that you are creating a new theological concept there that no one would agree with .

  124. I am convinced the results of the sexual revolution have been significantly more negative than positive. 80 million dead from abortions and STDs tells me anything other than procreative sex is just too dangerous to mess with.

  125. sure indeed…since you missed my point the first time around, i’ll rephase it for you . no one has presented any facts above . all the comments above give the commenter’s opinion about life, sex and everything .

    and all of it is a presentation of that person’s ideological or theological position . there is no knowledge–no scientia–to be found . hardly a stray fact in evidence .

  126. No, there is not. The evidence of ruined lives, sometimes for multiple generations, has become overwhelming in the last six decades.

  127. i appreciate that is your position .

    your rather rigid and absolutist argument : “any sex that is not procreative is objectively abuse,” however, is not something for which you will find much support, even from conservative religious folks .

    by the way, which sexual revolution are you referring to ? the swinging 20s ? merry ole england of the 1600s or england at the time of chaucer in the 1200s . (the canterbury tales, there is one bawdy classic !) to think they have been teaching that to impressionable youth for centuries . that surely is a cause of our problems . or perhaps the sexual revolution of the troubadours of medieval france that brought the concept of romance to the fore in western culture ?

    you know, we have been going to hell in a hand basket for centuries now .

  128. the evidence predates your sixty years . ruined lives have always been with us . and it doesn’t always relate to sex .

  129. Everything you just said is an affirmation of my original point – that Ben in Oakland’s claim to “know” the inner motives of anyone is a specious fantasy. Point made; point affirmed – I’m satisfied with that formulation. The rest is so much rhetorical static and contrarianism.

  130. So if Raymond Edward Brown jumped off a bridge, you’d jump off the bridge?

  131. From the standpoint of natural law, we can see that the biological blueprint for human beings is male and female, complementary physically, designed to perpetuate the race, designed to form families.

    The exceptions, which are classed medically as abnormalities, prove the rule.

    The existence of kleptomaniacs does not justify theft and the existence of human beings with inclinations directed outside their design does not justify homosexual relations.

    Societies have recognized and protected marriage because it is the building block of society.

    There is no reason to similarly recognize and protect same-sex unions. There is even less reason to call doing so “marriage”.

    As a matter of human rights, leaving same-sex couples alone, providing some legal means to leave assets to each other and protect joint property, and so on are consistent with human dignity.

  132. To Rational Conclusions

    According to the Muratorian Fragment ( ~160 AD), John’s gospel was the last written.

    From John 5:2 “Now in Jerusalem next to the Sheep Pool there is a pool called Bethesda in Hebrew, which has five porticos”. The gospel
    quote, is in the present tense. That is, when written, the Pool was standing.This was noted in P66 & P75, dated to the middle & late 2nd
    century. The Pool was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and identified by archeologists about 10 years ago.

    ἔστιν δὲ ἐντοῖς Ἱεροσολύμοις ἐπὶ τῇ προβατικῇ κολυμβήθρα ἡ ἐπιλεγομένη Ἑβραϊστὶ Βηθζαθά, πέντε στοὰς ἔχουσα.

    In the same vein, Bishop John Robinson noted, “One of the oddest facts about the New Testament is that what on any showing would appear to be the single most datable and climactic event of the period – the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, and with it the collapse of institutional Judaism based on the temple – is never once mentioned as a past fact”.

    There are references to a coming disaster such as Matt 24:20, “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath”, as a future even, not as a past.

    While Robinson worked from an exclusively historical methodology, Fr. Jean Carmignac,a Dead Sea Scrolls translator and an expert in the Hebrew in use at the time of Christ, reached conclusions similar to Robinson’s, but he came at the problem from a different angle. Fr. Carmignac, back translated Mark from Greek to the back into the Hebrew of Qumran.

    He noted, “I had imagined that this translation
    would be difficult because of considerable differences between Semitic thought and Greek thought, but I was absolutely dumbfounded to discover that this translation was, on the contrary, extremely easy.

    “Around the middle of April 1963, after only one day of work, I was convinced that the Greek text of Mark could not have been redacted directly in Greek and that it was in reality only the Greek translation of an original Hebrew.”

    Both Robinson & Carmignac came up with dating the Gospels to the mid 1st century, using two different methods. A good way to check results.

    Or to paraphrase Nobel Physics winner Richard Feynman,

    “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong”.

  133. See my recent post above.

    My Ignatius Catholic Study Bible (NT), agrees with Bishop (Ang) Robinson & Fr. Carmignac, as to mid 1st century gospel dating.

    I’ll raise you one Nihil Obstat, a Imprimatur & one NCCB approval.

    You going to stay or fold?

  134. Does that mean Troy never existed either, until uncovered by Heinrich Schiemann?

  135. Your date adds to the evidence that John’s gospel fails rigorous historic testing. Might want to review the elements of said testing.

  136. It is not a position so much as ot is rock solid brutal reality. Of the sort that the outright cowards of today use drugs and myths and abuse to try to hide – because hurt people are profitable consumers. Order is cheap. Only chaos is profitable.

  137. “What I don’t doubt is that you’re a…blah blah blah…”

    Oh look! Another seer with psychic powers who has the secrets of your inner life in hand!

  138. we are taking about the intellectual content of a book . if you are not a troll talk about the content .

    if you are a troll go away .

  139. Again, your sources suck.

    If you happen to like them, good for you.

  140. What seems to be missed by everyone including the writer and those he writes about, is that there is no such thing as a Conservative Catholic or a Liberal Catholic. There is only a practicing Catholic. One who believes in and practices Church teaching and dogma. Conservative and Liberal are affiliations of this world that only lead one down a very slippery slope. Jesus spoke about not being of this world and I take it as good advice from someone who should know. I wish those who claim to be Catholic would realize this and adjust their obvious personal paradigms. At this stage in my life, I have the realization that change doesn’t come easily for most people. But in regards to being Catholic, It would be nice if they did. I did and it’s a blessing to me and everyone who knows me.

  141. “there is no such thing as a Conservative Catholic or a Liberal Catholic. There is only a practicing Catholic.”

    False. Of course perhaps since we are discussing a religious matter, we SHOULD use religious terminology. Rather than calling them liberals, we should properly be labeling them heretics.

  142. nonsense . it is your position . your opinion . you wrap up a lot of modern problems . pretend you know what caused them . and use them to take swipes at people you don’t like along the way .

    abuse is abuse . not sex . don’t confuse things .

  143. so far your intellectual reach here has been to say “your sources suck” .

    you know that tells us a lot more about you than my “sources” (i only mentioned one source and it a modern biblical classic), or about my opinions on brown. and what it suggests about you is not favorable .

    would you like to try again and make sense ?

  144. It is only nonsense to those who have willfully turned a blind eye to evolutuon and biology, in rejection of reality and in support of fantasy. Entire branches of science have now turned their back on real evidence, chasing grant dollars to cherry pick data to support predetermined conclusions. None of you will get me to follow your abusive, anti-human philosophy of death.

  145. Well. Actually not same as yours. I don’t get my answers by reading a 2000 year old book and decide to interpret whatever is before me through that filter.

  146. I have no interest in parsing Raymond Edward Brown and the other “textual analysis” buffs, or the Jesus Seminar, or any of the rest of the German-influenced bunch.


  147. Right.

    You just determine what pleases you and call that “moral”.

  148. Make up your mind. I’ll help you figure it out – it’s not the same, because I don’t claim to penetrate your inner subjectivity and divine your “real motives.” It’s enough for me to go by what you say, but apparently not enough for you to reciprocate.

  149. So far your offering opinion, why not try adding some evidence.

    According to the Muratorian Fragment ( ~160 AD), John’s gospel was the last written.

    From John 5:2 “Now in Jerusalem next to the Sheep Pool there is a pool called Bethesda in Hebrew, which has five porticos”. The gospel
    quote, is in the present tense. That is, when written, the Pool was standing.This was noted in P66 & P75, dated to the middle & late 2nd century. The Pool was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and identified by archeologists about 10 years ago.

    In the same vein, Bishop John Robinson noted, “One of the oddest facts about the New Testament is that what on any showing would appear to be
    the single most datable and climactic event of the period – the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, and with it the collapse of institutional Judaism based on the temple – is never once mentioned as a past fact”.

    There are internal references to a coming disaster such as Matt 24:20, “But pray that
    your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath”, as a future even, not as a past.

    While Robinson worked from an exclusively historical methodology, Fr. Jean Carmignac,a Dead Sea Scrolls translator and an expert in the Hebrew in use at the time of Christ, reached conclusions similar to Robinson’s, but he came at the problem from a
    different angle. Fr. Carmignac, back translated Mark from Greek to the back into the Hebrew of Qumran.

    He noted, “I had imagined that this translation would be difficult because of considerable differences between Semitic thought and Greek thought, but I was absolutely dumbfounded to discover that this translation was, on the contrary, extremely easy.

    “I was convinced that the Greek text of Mark could not have been redacted directly in
    Greek and that it was in reality only the Greek translation of an original Hebrew.”

    Both Robinson & Carmignac came up with dating the Gospels to the mid 1st century, using two different methods. A
    good way to check results.

    Or to paraphrase Nobel Physics winner Richard Feynman,

    “It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong”.

  150. During the reign of Pope John Paul !! and Pope Benedict XV I was considered a cafeteria catholic. Now when the conservatives question Pope Francis I they are considered Defenders of the Faith. I believe no matter who is the Pope the sign of discipleshjp is to love one another.
    Also, this love is shown by when I was hungry, you gave me to eat…etc.
    The daily activity of Jesus of Nazareth to the poor and needy as well as to those in both civil and religious authority shows us how to act in our daily lives.

  151. As you basically agree with my assertion in your next statement.

  152. “Best”in what sense? Did you really mean to say “worst”? Is there a meaning in that collection of words, or are you just ventilating your disdain of religion?

  153. I think there is a lot of good stuff in Amora Letitia but what grates is this current popes lack of response to the footnote in chapter 8. I would have expected at least a private response to those dubia cardinals but no. So there is a perceived lack of transparency for which I think pope Francis needs to be called out on.
    Further more as Catholics we take the whole tradition of the Church not just the teachings of one pope. That’s how we see where the Holy Spirit is working. So we can be sure what Christ wanted when a successive pope’s teaching builds on that of his predecessor (s) Exampled in the debate over Humanae Vitae. Paul vi didn’t just decide this off the top of his head. It was built on the teaching of Pius XII. Further along John Paul II Theology of the body, Donum Vitae built on the teaching of Paul VI.
    Let’s get away from the conservative/liberal labels. No one can truthfully say whatever their background they haven’t found some teahings difficult. But Christ said “if you love me, keep my commandments” so in that spirit we are guided with the help of Mother Church.

  154. “Best” as in “Worst”, to clarify. It’s “best” in that a subset of folks can justify their bigotry by appealing to a Deity/Prophet/Scripture/Tradition. It’s “worst” in that folks with an open mind and empathy can rightly condemn treating some people differently because of a Deity/Etc. I have no disdain of religion, only of its misuse in justifying ill treatment of folks who are perceived as “different from the rest of us”, e.g., skin color, ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation. I myself am an unaffiliated Catholic who supports, inter alia, Vatican II, same-sex marriage, and ordination of women.

  155. That does bring some clarity. Here’s what comes into focus: You don’t disdain religion, you disdain religious people who decline (for whatever reason) to send the correct virtue-signals (i.e., the same ones you do). Maybe some day I’ll understand why arguments with progressives and liberals always devolve to dogmatic assertions of moral superiority on their part: “You’re not just mistaken in your analysis, you’re secretly a bigot; you’re not just wrong, you’re evil – and I’m not, so I can see through your duplicitous charade.” After a while, one begins to think that mounting the moral high horse is really the point of it all.

    I’m getting pretty tired of it.

  156. I “disdain” people, religious or not, who put down others because of their sexual orientation, skin color, and/or other non-chosen attributes, etc. There will always be liberals and conservatives, progressives and reactionaries. Labels can be useful at times in describing a group of people who hold certain beliefs and opinions in common.

    Earlier, I wrote, “I have no disdain of religion, only of its misuse in justifying ill treatment of folks who are perceived as ‘different from the rest of us’, e.g., skin color, ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation.” While I oppose ill-treatment of others because of their religious affiliation (Muslims, Jews, etc.), my focus here, to clarify, is on inherent characteristics — skin color, sexual orientation, etc. Fact is one’s own religious beliefs CAN result in mistreatment of others or *effective* justification of same. I stand by my view that one of the worst forms of bigotry is that which is based on one’s religious belief, e.g., official Catholic doctrine in CCC-2357 and 2358 that describes homosexuality or same-sex “acts” in the following language:

    + “acts of grave depravity”

    + “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered”

    + “contrary to the natural law”

    + “do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity”

    + “deep-seated homosexual tendencies”

    + “inclination which is objectively disordered”

    + “their condition”

    Aside from the above moral doctrine being disgusting in and of itself in the year 2018, it lends cover to people who either (a) blindly accept it because “the Church says so” or (b) hide behind it to rationalize their own bigoted view of LGBTQI people. Of course, some folks embrace this belief for reasons of (a) and (b).

    So you’re “getting pretty tired of it.”

    Perhaps you shouldn’t be blogging.

  157. To summarize, your answer is that I’m disgusting – and you’re not…and that’s the end of the discussion as far as you’re concerned. Once again, mounting the moral high horse is the high point of your rhetoric. Enjoy the exalted view…of yourself. Apparently you’re not going to get tired of that.

  158. No, you’re not disgusting, just your “moral high horse” behavior in your exchange with me. Do you have a mirror? If so, use it.

  159. Disgust with the person, versus disgust with their behavior? You can draw a distinction between those two if it’ll help you put a fence around your self-image – but it’s a pretty thin reed to lean on (just to mix my metaphors).

  160. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………………………………

  161. [10 hours later]

    snort…..snort…..yawn…..huh…..[opens his eyes]…..time to get up already?

    Hmmm…….”Sleep tight – somnolence suits you”…….

    Yeppir, it sure does :o)

  162. “Yeppir, it sure does :o)”

    That’s funny – you seemed wide awake and all talk back when you were mounting your moral high horse and explaining how much better you could see than the rest of us. But now that claim has been challenged as a self-serving fantasy, you want to doze off from boredom? Don’t throw your back out, deflecting so hard. Oh well, another day, another dolor…

  163. When I “talk” with you, sir/m’am, I am wide awake (after splashing water in my face).

    “…another dolor…”?

    No grief or sorrow, just enjoy seeing a guy/gal refusing to look into his/her mirror and seeing a “moral high horse”.

  164. “…another dolor…”?
    Don’t fret — the dolor is all mine, at having to deal on a daily basis with Progressives who are eager to pass judgment on the moral quality of their rhetorical opposition – and to pat themselves on the back for doing so. It’s the need for self-elevation that’s driving their politics…a case of”self-esteem” on steroids.

  165. Um, you’re repeating yourself.

  166. I’ve only had one point to make in this entire “discussion”… and when you deny it, deflect it or refuse to acknowledge it – yeah, I’ll repeat it, in the (probably vain) hope it’ll get through next time.

  167. Your self-righteous commenting has been more than obvious. All along.

  168. What’s this. “I’m rubber, you’re glue…”? Third grade level — not even “adolesecent.”
    The narrative is disrupted when the tables are flipped, isn’t it?
    If that’s your “last word,” you can have it.
    This is mine.

  169. The author of this article is playing with words as all liers do. Conservatives are the ones who interpret and apply the word strictly, literally, as given in the bible. It has nothing to do with politics. Liberals take the bible and do not apply it or believe it literally. Politically, the analogy that this author is trying to make is so twisted and tortured as to not fit under either of those categories or within the spectrum defined by the two extremes; but is something that he is making up completely. Which, in this context, is a lie and therefore Satanic. Please don’t let your thoughts be boxed in by his false dichotomy.

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