Do you believe everything the Church teaches?

But do you really?  

When candidates make their profession at the Easter Vigil, they are asked, “Do you believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God?”

The question cannot really be asking, “Do you in fact have specific knowledge of each and every thing that the Church teaches? If so, do you assent to those teachings?” It’s not as if there’s a checklist somewhere that lists “all” the Church’s teachings, with each candidate affirming them line by line. Candidates entering the Church aren’t made to swear on the Catechism.

Certainly, this is not what is meant by the candidates’ profession.  What is being asked of the candidate is more like, “Would you?” If given the opportunity to do so in public or private, would you “believe and profess” with the Church?  

One phrase that captures this principle is, “to think with the Church;” or, in St. Ignatius of Loyola’s formulation, sentire cum ecclesia. Sentire, of course, is not simply “to think,” which in English is often meant in a cold, rational way. Other words that are used to translate sentire are sense, feel, and perceive. “Feel” is a great translation that can also carry connotations of “think” except that “feel” can also imply the lack of rational thought.

What does it really mean to “think with the Church”?

For one thing, thinking with the Church means giving a unique respect to our bishops and to the Pope. Pope Francis said,  “thinking with the Church finds one of its filial expressions in faithfulness to the Magisterium, in communion with the Pastors and the Successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome, a visible sign of unity.”

Still, thinking with the Church is much broader than this. In an interview with Fr. Antonio Spadaro, Pope Francis was questioned about St. Ignatius, who first wrote the phrase sentire cum ecclesia. He said, “We should not even think… that ‘thinking with the church’ means only thinking with the hierarchy of the church.”

How can we reconcile these two statements?  First, it might be helpful to describe what the Church is not. The lay faithful are not pawns who are to take marching orders from their priests and bishops. The Church is not a secret organization where information (e.g. revelation) is possessed in full only at the top and then is distributed selectively and imperfectly throughout. To think with the Church does not mean “to let the Church think for you.” Thinking with the Church should not be confused with “ultramontanism,” which includes ascribing excessive authority to the person of the pope. As Pope Francis said in Amoris Laetitia, “We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them.”

In response to Fr. Spadaro, however, Francis makes clear that “thinking with the Church” refers to something much broader than just obedience to the Magisterium. Pope Francis says,

In the history of salvation, God has saved a people. There is no full identity without belonging to a people. No one is saved alone, as an isolated individual, but God attracts us looking at the complex web of relationships that take place in the human community. God enters into this dynamic, this participation in the web of human relationships.

The people itself constitutes a subject. And the church is the people of God on the journey through history, with joys and sorrows. Thinking with the church, therefore, is my way of being a part of this people. And all the faithful, considered as a whole, are infallible in matters of belief, and the people display this infallibilitas in credendo, this infallibility in believing, through a supernatural sense of the faith of all the people walking together. This is what I understand today as the ‘thinking with the church’ of which St. Ignatius speaks. When the dialogue among the people and the bishops and the pope goes down this road and is genuine, then it is assisted by the Holy Spirit. So this thinking with the church does not concern theologians only.

In Donum Veritatis, the CDF document on the “ecclesial role of theologians” written under the tutelage of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the point is explained in greater detail. Insofar as faith is a gift of God, it cannot be in error. Through faith, we participate in this infallible sensus fidei, which has been purified in the light of God’s revelation to the Church, namely Jesus Christ himself.

However, “the opinions of the faithful cannot be purely and simply identified with the ‘sensus fidei’.” Individuals can err because they do not have perfect faith. As the CDF states, “Although theological faith as such then cannot err, the believer can still have erroneous opinions since all his thoughts do not spring from faith.”

This, then, is precisely why the Magisterium is so necessary if one desires to think with the Church:  “Magisterial interventions serve to guarantee the Church’s unity in the truth of the Lord. They aid her to ‘abide in the truth’ in face of the arbitrary character of changeable opinions and are an expression of obedience to the Word of God.” The Magisterium exists precisely for the purpose of ensuring that the Church can authoritatively distinguish what derives from faith and what is merely an opinion. The Magisterium, therefore, is constantly serving the “today” of the Church, revealing opinions to be false and setting the Church straight on its journey to God. In short, the Magisterium serves the sensus fidei, guards it, and protects it; it does not control it.

As Donum Veritatis states, we know that it is possible for Magisterial teachings to contain deficiencies. Some magisterial documents can be incomplete, too specific, too general, or unclear. Documents can contain teachings that are prudential as opposed to definitional, or definitional but not final, leaving open the possibility that the teaching may develop over the course of time. Despite all this, the Magisterium is never wrong when it preaches on the essential matters of faith and morals. It is always trustworthy on matters that are necessary to the teaching of the faith, even if it only becomes possible to determine what is “necessary” with the passage of time (cf. Donum Veritatis 24). The Magisterium serves to protect against false opinions and guide the Church in truth. It is the “guarantor” of the Church’s unity in truth.

However, as necessary as the Magisterium is, learning from the Magisterium is not the only means by which individuals grow in faith and consequently better “think with the Church.” God himself, through his grace, grants to each person the gift of faith through his church. This gift is most concretely nurtured and developed through a deep abiding relationship with God in prayer, especially in the reading of Scripture. In prayer, God progressively reveals more and more of himself to us. This is why sentire cum ecclesia is related to prayer. St. John Paul II, in a homily that he addressed in part to catechists, says “Always strive to think with the Church. Above all else you must be devoted to personal prayer. Only if your ministry is nourished by prayer and sustained by genuine Christian living will it bear lasting fruit.”  

And so, a better model for the Church is one in which God has saved a community through his gift of faith. This gift of faith is “entrusted to the Church under the guidance of the Magisterium.” The Magisterium is not a funnel through which the faith is crammed down, as if our human Magisterium could contain the entirety of the faith. Rather, the faith is a gift to the whole church, considered as a whole, lay and clergy together! The Magisterium, through the work of the Spirit, serves this whole by ensuring that the house of faith remains firmly planted on the rock of Christ, countering the actions of those who would seek to uproot it and topple the whole thing into the stormy seas.

There is only one sure voice, the voice of God, who speaks to the whole Church and in a special way through the Magisterium, through Scripture, and directly in the human heart. If God speaks with only one voice of love, he cannot contradict himself. To think with the Church means to hear this voice of God and obey.

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172 Responses

  1. Avatar Ashpenaz says:

    In an earlier post, I explained that I don’t find the Magisterium’s arguments about sexual morality convincing, and I think that theologians such as Salzman and Lawler do a better job of bringing together tradition, Scripture, and experience to form a truer and more coherent Catholic sexual ethic. This blog post explains why–I’m grateful you have brought together the kind of sources I use. It is difficult to explain to people that Catholic faithfulness does not mean letting the Magisterium think for you. I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God–and I believe that what the Church teaches comes in different forms and has different levels. My opinions about contraception and my acceptance of same-sex marriage (please see the long conversation in an earlier blog if you want to know them–I’m not going to review them in this blog) come from what I believe to be the best Catholic thinking on the subject. I don’t think the Catechism is a static, finished work–I think that the Church will grow in Her understanding of the deposit of faith. I think that’s the overall message of Christus Vivit.

    • Daniel Amiri Daniel Amiri says:

      Donum Veritatis speaks a lot about the development of doctrine and our understanding of it. The important thing to acknowledge, first and foremost, is that there IS a dynamic process under which the Church’s teachings do develop and that individuals can be a part of that process, in the sense that they can engage respectfully with the Magisterium so that the whole Church can advance in understanding and faith. At the same time, the Magisterium sets the limits and ultimately determines what is merely an opinion and what derives from the Christian faith. Theoretically and in practice, there are limits to the opinions that we have the right to hold. Moreover, the Magisterium need not even be persuasive since the validity of its arguments do not derive from their internal logic but insofar as they represent the faith, which is what the Magisterium, in fact, does. So as long as those “rules for engagement” are understood and respected, then there’s probably a much more productive conversation we can have on these issues than we have had so far.

      • Avatar Ashpenaz says:

        Pope Francis says that the Church can’t make a rule which covers all circumstances. Following Aquinas, he says that the closer we get to the actual situation, the more complex it is, and the more difficult it becomes to sort out which “rules” apply. Even if the Church were to say definitively and infallibly that artificial contraception is a grave matter, She couldn’t say that in every individual case, the person is culpable for a mortal sin. Also, with medical technology always growing, it is harder to tell what is artificial and what isn’t–if a woman decides to take a pill which will make her periods more regular so that she can better use NFP, is that “artificial?”

        Following a Church teaching still means using one’s own conscience and prudential judgment to determine what step God is calling me to in my particular set of circumstances. I think that, in some cases, a gay person’s most prudential choice would be a lifelong, monogamous, legally recognized relationship where he can learn intimacy and responsibility in ways that a celibate life can’t achieve. While this might be against Church teaching that homosexual acts are a grave matter, it would uphold Church teaching about learning unselfishness.

        That’s my take on the section of Christus Vivit on discernment where we are asked to step out of the way, to disappear as Christ did on the road to Emmaeus. We need to not set up roadblocks to other people’s spiritual growth based on a closed, fixed reading of Church teaching which doesn’t allow for conscience.

      • Daniel Amiri Daniel Amiri says:

        The short answer to what you said above is that a well-formed conscience would never disagree with the Church’s teachings on faith and morals. That being said, it is also necessary to state that one’s conscience, in one who is truly “thinking with the Church,” is the guide to living well even in those cases the Church cannot speak to specifically, as you were discussing in your first paragraph. I totally agree with you there.

        I felt like per your second paragraph we had made some progress in our previous discussion. To that, I just want to ask, “Why not both?” I mean, why not unselfishness AND chastity? It seems counterproductive to devote oneself to virtue in one area, by engaging in activities the Church has made clear are sinful. St. Paul’s famous formulation, of course, is “Don’t do evil so that good may result.”

      • Avatar Ashpenaz says:

        A well-formed conscience might come to the conclusion that the Church has not adequately expressed the truth. I can’t deny the truth Humanae Vitae is pointing to, but I can say that I don’t think the language is well-chosen or the arguments make sense. I can believe that a teaching is distorted and needs to re-evaluated.

        As Theology of the Body teaches, sex is an irreplaceable way to create intimacy. While I don’t agree with most of that approach, it does make the point that people in love benefit from having sex. There is a level of self-giving and vulnerability which can’t be found in celibate friendships. Also, I agree with Farley that fruitfulness takes many forms. For a gay couple, fruitfulness might be found in adopting foster children, for instance. Their sexual relationship produces an atmosphere of love which can then be extended to the family they create.

        I’m not sure why you don’t think gay sex wouldn’t produce the same good effects that any sex between a loving couple wouldn’t produce–God created sex to be good. I think sex is good in all cases where there is love, commitment, and self-giving. Again, I’m getting this from Farley who sets out what I think are the necessary criteria for a sexual relationship.

        https://www.newwaysministry.org/issues/sexual-orientation/just-love/

        Here’s a link to Salzman’s basic ideas:

        http://ishomosexualitynatural.com/natural-law-salzman-lawler-renewed-principle-human-sexuality-contraception-homosexuality/

        How do you think the section on discernment in Christus Vivit applies to everyone in irregular situations, including cohabiting couples, same-sex couples, divorced and remarried couples, couples who use birth control, etc.?

      • Daniel Amiri Daniel Amiri says:

        While the Magisterium’s teachings may be “inadequately expressed,” they still constitute a truth which the Church puts forth for the assent of the faithful. From Donum Veritatis: “Among these is the principle which affirms that Magisterial teaching, by virtue of divine assistance, has a validity beyond its argumentation, which may derive at times from a particular theology.”

        We haven’t discussed it specifically yet, but I’m assuming you’re aware of this: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20120330_nota-farley_en.html This isn’t a question of whether the Church has “adequately expressed the truth,” which in fact it may have not. Rather, this is a question of certain theologians thinking and writing well outside the Church, and the Magisterium has said so!

        I’m fine if we want to engage and think critically about these issues, about new ways of thinking about things. But not if that means being on the wrong side of a debate with the Magisterium, which, “by virtue of divine assistance,” has the role of determining what derives from faith and what is merely a false opinion.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Ashpenaz-

        I really don’t understand. It seems to me you approach this similar to someone who argues that they regularly read Harlequin Romances and are therefore well read, and the ‘go to’ for advise on relationships. You can continue to read from theologians who clearly dissent from Church teaching, and then claim to have a developed conscience, or you can start from the point of truth, as promised by our Lord, and go from there. How easy would it be for all of us if we followed a ‘developed ‘conscience theory whose starting and determining truth points were ourselves only? We would never be wrong, because we could always find support for our theories elsewhere. Our conscience would therefore always be developed.

        A truly developed conscience requires constant challenge. Which theologians have you read that fully support the Church on sexuality? It seems to me that you are well read on dissenting positions and have concluded from that that not only do you have a developed conscience, but you also have the ability to ascertain that you need not follow Church teachings because you are ahead of the game.; you are more enlightened than the Church herself. How, if this were even the case, do you protect yourself from error, or do you believe that is simply an impossible concept?

      • Avatar carn says:

        @Ashpenaz:

        What would be the criteria by which you would decide that

        a) something you honestly thought to have correctly discerned what God is calling you to is false?;

        b) something someone else claims to have honestly discerned what God is calling him/her to is false?

        E.g. drastic example, some person claims that praying, long pondering of Jesus words that he does not abolish the law and pondering the words of Pope Urban II have lead him to believe he must kill a few atheists, protestants, orthodox, muslims, hindus, buddhist or sikhs by the sword cause he is just in the same situation as some OT israelites who had the job to put some neighboring cities to the sword?

        And it is even acting out of love, cause it keeps them from having children who would anyone only suffer due to being raised, living and dying as non-catholic.

        I am genuinely interested, cause i cannot understand how you might tell such a person: “No, that is certainly not what God is calling you to, because …”

        I could of several ways how to argue that; but i cannot see how your arguments might look like.

    • Avatar ONG says:

      @ashpenaz

      In the other post you also got a lot of answers that you haven’t fully considered, but kept going on in defending your opinion, and even misinterpreting Pope Francis AS IF with your quotes he condoned your “progressive” opinions.

      The innuendos you quote in your favor are instead directed to the representative of hyper-traditional and fundamentalist positions who fully reject the SPIRIT of Vatican II, Ecumenism, and consequently they wish to keep the doors closed to as many as possible they have prejudged “sinners forever”!

      It’s the change of that mentality Pope Francis is addressing, teaching how to promote Love and Mercy to *everyone indistinctly* as what really changes (converts) people’s heart (and mind) so they may fulfill God’s will in their lives (on Christ’s premises of course, not yours!)

    • Avatar Ashpenaz says:

      I’ve read the documents refuting both Salzman and Farley–I don’t agree with them! 🙂 Many people have been condemned by the Church and later rehabilitated–for instance, Galileo. I feel like someone who has looked through Galileo’s telescope and says, “You’re right–it does move!”

      There’s a more sensitive subject relative to this discussion. The sex abuse scandal has shown that many, if not a wide majority, of Church leadership are conflicted in their sexuality. This has been going on a long time, but certainly, since the 50s, many men who discovered they were gay decided to become priests and, later, bishops as a way trying to find a solution to their inner conflicts. I don’t think that a group of men who are insecure in their own sexual identity can be open to what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach the Church. I think much of the Catholic sexual teaching of the last century is a distorted reflection of the hierarchy’s own inner demons. Until the sexual abuse issue is sorted out at its roots, I will treat all declarations on sexual ethics by the Magisterium with the hermeneutic of suspicion.

      Here’s a quote from Pope Francis which summarizes my position:

      “Doctrine cannot be preserved without allowing it to develop, nor can it be tied to an interpretation that is rigid and immutable without demeaning the working of the Holy Spirit. ‘God, who in many and various ways spoke of old to our fathers’ (Heb 1:1), ‘uninterruptedly converses with the bride of his beloved Son’ (Dei Verbum, 8). We are called to make this voice our own by ‘reverently hearing the word of God’ (ibid., 1), so that our life as a Church may progress with the same enthusiasm as in the beginning, towards those new horizons to which the Lord wishes to guide us.”

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @ashpenaz

        I had sketched some few personal thoughts I had been musing on but I hadn’t posted them.

        Here they are:

        You seem to continue your reasoning more from “sex” as the source of “love”, and not the other way around, disregarding also “concupiscence” (strong sexual desire/lust), and the willpower to tame it.

        I think it was you who said you left the Church after “Veritatis Splendor”, and came back after “Who am I to judge?”, is it correct?
        Are you leaving again now because of the books you’ve been reading?

        I remember also that Pope Francis answered the journalists starting with:

        “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, …”, before adding the “who am I to judge?”

        How can one, in a Catholic sense, “fulfill the will of God in one’s life”, and at the same time be a *universal* example to the contemporary world outside in all its diversity of ideas, thoughts, conceptions, etc.?

        How can the Church be authoritatively credible in ethical/moral questions for the entire humanity, when there is not even unity on the inside?

        Only considering LIFE as a love-gift of God, the Creator, would make it the central concern here, with the family as all societies’ primary cell, in continuing the creation of God, and hence acting as *procreators*.

        That seems to follow a given “natural law”, i.e. how all nature normally functions, without the intruding of (greedy) human hands that try to manipulate life, and even aim to create it artificially, eliminating the factor “love” completely.

        God is love, we read. Though Agape-love, (including Eros perhaps), but certainly not based on fluctuating emotions, or volatile feelings.

        Healthy and pure love has to be rediscovered! The world needs love, families need love, societies need love, individuals need love! Especially newborns need love and accompaniment during their growing.

        One could ask, why “adopting” a child, unless a couple couldn’t have one?

        Moreover, where does this child comes from, unless its parents died, or didn’t want it, or couldn’t afford it, or had sex to satisfy their concupiscence, but without considering the consequences, etc.
        Whatever the reasons are, the resulting life out of sexual acts, seems to be rather secondary in these cases.

        Would that justify the use of contraception, according to your reasoning in your previous comments? As in: “sexual gratification is so important to me, that I can’t do without, even at the expense of generating life”!

        Well, I think there are a lot of serious arguments here that should be evaluated before making general ethical norms out of personal opinions, and then calling them “fulfilling the will of God in one’s life”.
        Shouldn’t any possibility of “sin” also be evaluated? Otherwise one could risk to be throwing the baby out with the bathwater and teaching others to do the same.

        Therefore, let’s follow the exhortations of Pope Francis in the proper way and order he intends them to be implemented: that the entire Church consider first of all each human being with respect, dignity and rights, without labels, prejudices and phobias, promoting dialogue with everyone, in the same way Ecumenism is intended, and sharing this God’s love where it might not have been perceived yet, and let it do its work. (Planting seeds first.)

        Shouldn’t a faithful be a disciple and an image of the Church outward, and as the New Evangelization requires, “Sentire cum Ecclesia” and thus limiting one’s own public ideas up to where it would be wise?

        Since you seem very interested in the question homosexuality and faith, the following link could provide you with several new impulses and useful perspectives covering a time span of almost 10 years:

        https://www.gionata.org/sitemap-english-news/

        I’d also recommend, unless you haven’t already, to acquaint yourself with how Fr. James Martin S.J. tackles the balancing question vs. how harshly he has been criticised.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        Addendum:
        I wouldn’t put the Galileo case in comparison with the moral life matters we have been discussing. The former was something completely different, and far from being a denial of what Galileo had discovered as far as I know.
        Pope St. John Paul II did also ask forgiveness for that, didn’t he?

        The sexual abuses gone berserk have had their negative consequences, but neither those can be used as an argument against the whole Church, or chastity and santification themselves, than just showing how weak and fragile humans are when they let carnal temptations overcome.
        It certainly cannot honestly be affirmed that these cases have affected the entire Church either, than just a small percentage of clergy, although the media have made a mountain out of a molehill!

      • Avatar Ashpenaz says:

        It seems important to you that people who approach the Church from a different perspective “leave the Church.” Why would that be a good thing? Wouldn’t it be better to have a Church where people with a wide variety of approaches find a home? I’m probably not going to change your mind–and you’re probably not going to change mine. What if we just listen and accept each other? What if we take Communion together?

        As a response to all your questions, I’d ask you to read the section on Discernment in Christus Vivit. What do you think that offers to our situation?

      • Daniel Amiri Daniel Amiri says:

        I would simply quote Francis on Amoris Laetitia: “[D]iscernment can never prescind from the Gospel demands of truth and charity, as proposed by the Church.”

      • Avatar Marie says:

        …but you are not letting the Lord guide you, you are guiding yourself….that’s the problem.

      • Avatar M. says:

        Ashpenaz I doubt anyone wants anyone to leave the the church. While I personally cannot possibly understand how you are able to be comfortable with the level of cognitive dissonance that exists between what you profess and what the leaders and fathers of your church actually teach as truths of that faith, I can appreciate that there must be something about the Catholic faith that attracts you. I for one hope that all of us come more and more into a spirit of obedience to Christ and his church. I hope you will keep a mind open to the possibility that you may be wrong in some areas.

      • Avatar Ashpenaz says:

        I believe I am in a spirit of obedience to the Church, and so are the theologians I refer to. I don’t think there is a single approach to being Catholic. There isn’t any cognitive dissonance–I understand that other people understand the Church differently, and that’s fine. Every week, I take communion with many people who don’t see things my way–and Jesus calls us all to His supper (although He has to working on the seating arrangements so there aren’t constant family squabbles!) As you probably can tell from my posts, I’m pretty secure in terms of what my wing of the Church believes. What we’re discussing is the extent to which Pope Francis comes from my wing or is actually more conservative–and that is an interesting and fruitful discussion.

        Yes, I could be wrong. I’m sure I am in many areas. You could be wrong. Pope Francis could be wrong. Pope St. JPII could be wrong. Only God is right.

        Well, back to the latest issue of the Reporter, another article by Fr. James Martin, and a podcast by Richard Rohr! 🙂

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @asphenaz

        Here’s the entire link from where you took “out of context” both what Pope Francis said in his speech, the circumstances, the audience recipients and the main theme, concerning the NEW EVANGELIZATION and ITS GOAL:

        http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2017/october/documents/papa-francesco_20171011_convegno-nuova-evangelizzazione.html

        For this reason, our Catechism unfolds in the light of love, as an experience of knowledge, trust, and abandonment to the mystery. In explaining its structure, the Catechism of the Catholic Church borrows a phrase from the Roman Catechism and proposes it as the key to its reading and application: “The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 25).

      • Avatar ONG says:

        M.
        He’s been “infected” too. 😟
        Only prayers remain at this point….

  2. Avatar ONG says:

    Exactly what I’ve been pondering during these days (and certainly others did too) about another *missing link* in some comments that try to apply any benefits of the faith ONLY to oneself individually. Then they distort and promote this *sentire* (to sense) APART FROM the universal Church, i.e. The People of God as ONE Body in unity of Spirit and Faith.

    From “Mysterium Ecclesiae”:

    “The People of God has particular need of the intervention and assistance of the Magisterium when internal disagreements arise and spread concerning a doctrine that must be believed or held, lest it lose the communion of the one faith in the one Body of the Lord (cf. Eph 4:4, 5).”

  3. Avatar M. says:

    Daniel thank you for this piece. Can I ask you, would it be correct to say that a person only can be assured of possessing this “lay infallibility” or “sense of the faith,” when that person assents to the pope and those bishops who are in union with him, laying aside all personal “preference” in a spirit of obedience? Or is there more to it?

    • Daniel Amiri Daniel Amiri says:

      I don’t like the language of “possessing.” Francis in Lumen Fidei: “One who believes may not be presumptuous; on the contrary, truth leads to humility, since believers know that, rather than ourselves possessing truth, it is truth which embraces and possesses us.” Rather, I think the better language is that we “participate in it.”

      Obedience to the Magisterium is an important part of growing in the virtue of faith, but truthfully, it cannot be all there is. The faith is much broader and yet much more personal than the specific teachings of the Magisterium. This is why theologians even exist, to have a discussion within the Church about who God is and who we are as Christians.

      As discussed in other posts, the goal is “theonomy,” to let oneself be ruled by the will of God, which is expressed in certain ways through the Magisterium. But the Magisterium is not the only way that the will of God is expressed. Prayer and Scripture are also necessary!

  4. Avatar chris dorf says:

    As a Catholic whom has gone to ecumenical prayer meetings for 3 decades, I can tell you that when individuals read and interpret the meaning of scripture by themselves I see many errors that could easily be corrected if there was a deposit of safeguarded faith they would look to for assistance, irregardless of their good intentions.
    And as a Catholic I can’t tell you how often at these ecumenical meetings my Catholic Faith is dismissed. The real presence in the eucharist & devotion to Mary and recalling saints being 3 right off the top.

  5. Avatar Devin Rice says:

    Obedience to the Magisterium, as important as it is (and it is very much so) is not enough. Long before Francis, Popes have contradicted Popes (see for example the form of the sacrament of holy orders). In the words of Blessed John Henry Newman, in looking at history, “there has been Pope against Pope, Council against Council, Father against Father…”.

    The Eastern Church (both Catholic and Orthodox) has the concept of the nous of the Fathers which is similar to “sentire cum ecclesia”. It is the concept of how the nous (eye of the soul) sees in accords with the Christian tradition. Perhaps to perceive or to intuit is a better term for “sentire” as well.

    When overtime, we read the Bible and Church Fathers, various Catechisms, the writings of later saints and magisterial documents, with the help of grace, our perception changes, our feelings change, our memory changes and how we think changes. We gain plenty of factual data but more importantly we gain a new way of being. It is about more than anyone data point.

    But this only comes from prayer, the liturgy, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, the evangelical counsels, and by reading the entire tradition in a prayerful manner. Not just looking up a Father, Saint, Pope, or Bible verse to win some controversy but to digest the tradition slowly and in a prayerful manner.

    The Nous and “sentire cum ecclesia” is more about being formed in the Tradition than about what any one Pope saids, whether it is Francis, Benedict XVI or St. John Paul II.

    • Daniel Amiri Daniel Amiri says:

      I appreciate your thoughts here. I hope you found what I wrote is in line with these thoughts here, as I do agree with you.

      • Avatar Devin Rice says:

        I really do. I appreciate your articles in particular and this website in general.

  6. Avatar Peter Aiello says:

    Vatican II gives the credit to the Spirit of Truth when it comes to not erring in matters of belief. Lumen Gentium 12 says: “The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One, (111) [cf. 1 Jn 2:20, 27] 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” (8*) [Cf. 1 Cor. 10: 17] 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.” See also 1Corinthians 2:10-16.
    The V2 reference to 1John 2:20, 27 says: “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things…But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
    The magisterium as its place; but the Spirit of Truth has the last word. This is why the conclusions of our personal conscience need to be obeyed.

    • Avatar ONG says:

      @Peter Aiello
      As taken up in the other post “What should the Church do?” you misinterpret what Lumen Gentium 12 is saying, and keep copying & pasting the same over and over without connecting it to “The Entire People of God” as the ONE Church, and *not* as divided into several Christian denominations, each with their own understanding of UNITY!

      If you had read what’s one of the principal concern of Vatican II in regard to ECUMENISM, and the CCC on “separated brothers”, you certainly wouldn’t have kept on writing the same over and over.

      John 17:20-22 is the HALLMARK for UNITY for ALL Christianity.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        My quote from Lumen Gentium 12 has nothing to do with divisions in Christian denominations. It’s telling us that, within the Church, when we have the Spirit of Truth, we all individually receive spiritual discernment from the Spirit of Truth; and that we all contribute to the whole, “from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful”. This means that we have to respect our individual discernment, and not believe that it is not as good as someone else’s, including the pope. I keep quoting it for this reason. It’s the antidote for clericalism, and the Church itself is aware of it.

      • Daniel Amiri Daniel Amiri says:

        I believe with you up and until the Pope line because the Pope just doesn’t speak as an individual, but rather “he is the spokesman for the will of the Lord.” Individuals can discern the truth, but they receive help TO THAT END from the Magisterium who has the authority to distinguish between merely opinion and what derives from faith. Not all that a person discerns is, because of that fact, based in the sensus fidei.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        The pope also needs to have individual spiritual discernment from the Spirit of Truth; otherwise, how can he be part of the whole? If he had it before he became pope, he doesn’t lose it when he becomes pope. I don’t see how he can be an exception to Lumen Gentium 12.
        At the Council of Jerusalem, Peter wasn’t singled out in the letter to the Gentiles (Acts 15:23,28). It was from the whole Church.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @Peter Aiello

        In the post “What should the church do?” you already got a lot of explanations. Why do you ignore what the other commenters answer to you? I’m of the impression that you haven’t been following with the Church in so long time, have been influenced by a lot of philosophies, and now approach the Bible like the Protestants have done: “The Bible is the only authority, not the Church!”

        You doubt the Holy Spirit in the Magisterium and the Pope having the last word in communion with the Bishops in keeping the UNITY of Christ’s Church. You seem to have your own “private Holy Spirit” that can act in you, even disregarding the Church – and even pitting the Scriptures AGAINST it.

        There’s no doubt whatsoever by understanding the Scriptures in CONTEXT that in the young Church the Apostle Peter IS already singled out by Jesus himself among the other Apostles as the Shepherd to guide and tend the entire flock = The Church as ONE! ONE BODY, with its HEAD and MANY PARTS/LIMBS/MEMBERS, each one working as an organic WHOLE, *not* against themselves! Apostle means SENT, appointed with a MANDATE!

        Even in your cited verses from Acts 15, it’s evident when you read the entire chapter in CONTEXT, who and what they were disputing about and from verse 7 Luke emphasizes:

        //After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, “My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.”//
        Verse 12 starts with: //The whole assembly fell silent…// and then the collegiality did the rest…
        “Lumen Gentium” was approved by Peter in communion with the Bishops, and so are all the other documents.

        Why don’t you follow some apologetics on these issues?
        Also, you could review “Verbum Domini”, 2010, by Pope Benedict XVI that explains and summarizes, among other paragraphs, the following basics:

        //The Interpretation Of Sacred Scripture In The Church

        The Church as the primary setting for biblical hermeneutics [29-30]
        “The soul of sacred theology” [31]
        The development of biblical studies and the Church’s magisterium [32-33]
        The Council’s biblical hermeneutic: a directive to be appropriated [34]
        The danger of dualism and a secularized hermeneutic [35]
        Faith and reason in the approach to Scripture [36]
        Literal sense and spiritual sense [37]
        The need to transcend the “letter” [38]
        The Bible’s intrinsic unity [39]
        The relationship between the Old and the New Testaments [40-41]
        The “dark” passages of the Bible [42]
        Christians, Jews and the sacred Scriptures [43]
        The fundamentalist interpretation of sacred Scripture [44]
        Dialogue between pastors, theologians and exegetes [45]
        The Bible and ecumenism [46]
        Consequences for the study of theology [47]
        The saints and the interpretation of Scripture [48-49] //
        ********

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        The most important elements that I see are: Scripture, Holy Spirit discernment, and Church organization, in that order.
        Scripture is the most important because it regulates all Catholic teaching; and the Church is not above Scripture.
        All those who have the Spirit of Truth have a supernatural discernment which contributes to the inerrancy of whole Church; and they include the laity.
        Lastly, there is the organizational structure of the Church with its responsibilities.

  7. Avatar M. says:

    And yet, as Scott Hahn realized when he was still a protestant, some folks read scripture, interpreting it for themselves, and claim to have the discernment from the Holy Spirit– and yet they will disagree with others who also read the same scripture, and claim to have the same discernment of the Holy Spirit. Two people, both reading the same scripture, both claiming to have the discernment to interpret it for themselves, yet they disagree with each other on the interpretation, often to the point where there is nothing left to do but to split into two churches. To whom is the Holy Spirit speaking? Is the Holy Spirit lying to one of them? It can’t be. We need protection from that. Fortunately, our Lord foresaw our tendency to be incorrect about many things, and provided us with such a protection.

    • Avatar M. says:

      *edit to add* unfortunately such a protection come also with a cost many of us are not willing to pay: that of giving up one’s personal interpretation in favour of humble obedience and admitting that we need guidance from eeek *fallible* men, who have the gift of *infallible teaching* form the Holy Spirit. No easy thing to embrace, that is for sure! I admit I would rather *think for myself.* alas I have been proven wrong too many times to count and must rely on the magisterial teaching authority of the Church.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        M- This is wonderful. It is true that it is a difficult practice to be obedient and recognize that we are sometimes wrong. On the other hand, when we have faith in the magisterial teaching authority, the challenge of coming to an understanding, when at first we may not understand, is very rewarding, and such a blessing, much like when we overcome our failings or shortcomings, and triumph. I think we need to have a ‘bring it on’ attitude rather that a ‘no way Jose’ one.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        M. When we form our consciences, how can we form them without interpreting the instructions that we receive from different sources, including Scripture. If we have supernatural discernment from the Spirit of Truth, we need to use it.

      • Avatar M. says:

        How can a person be sure they they have supernatural discernment from the Holy Spirit- and why should the rest of the members of the body believe a layperson who says they do? I personally distrust any source that claims to have supernatural special gifts, unless it is a source that has been approved by…drum roll…the magisterium, that is the Pope and the *bishopsinunionwithhim.* Otherwise it’s just another dude/visionary/priest/professional Catholic/fellow churchgoer thinking they have the answers and special knowledge.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        Personal discernment is required at all levels.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        You’re still at it, Peter Aiello?
        I guess you still haven’t read the previous comments to you in the other post…

        Sure, you can always say you’ve read them, and you will get the answer that you haven’t understood them!

        Can’t you ask the Holy Spirit for help in discerning, since you claim to have received Him?

        Reason and Faith should work along and complement each other.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        We move from one post to another; discerning as we go along. I thought that we all supposed to have Holy Spirit discernment.
        Reason enables us to write comments.

    • Avatar carn says:

      Allow me to “cannibalize” what you wrote:

      Two theologically trained people, both reading the same papal document, both claiming to have the discernment to interpret it as the Pope meant it, yet they disagree with each other on the interpretation, often to the point where there is nothing left but to throw accusations at each other so hard, that a split into two churches seems to be imminent. We need protection from that.

      Fortunately, our Lord foresaw our tendency to be incorrect about many things, and provided us with such a protection in that we can instead of hurling abuse at each other just go and ask in a way perceived as humbly and well intentioned the Pope, which of the two competing interpretations is correct or maybe which third interpretation is correct.

      We just need to figure out that “perceived as humbly and well intentioned”.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        What if the pope doesn’t answer?

      • Avatar carn says:

        As M. did not like me to “cannibalize”, i’ll not answer that question, as it would continue “cannibalize”.

        @mods: Please, if possible, delete my post: “Allow me to “cannibalize” what you wrote:” (and potentially any subsequent post trying to further discuss that post, though not M.’s reply).

      • Avatar M. says:

        nah, don’t worry about it, carn- no big thing . I was just cranky. 🙂 All is well.

      • Avatar M. says:

        I don’t allow you to cannibalize what I wrote, carn. Not for that purpose. And I suspect that no matter what anyone says, you will find a reason or an argument against the pope in it, because you have determined by now that you would like the pope to do what he is not doing, and in fact, that he should do what you have decided he should do, and I would suggest that it is possible that he just drives you crazy and you resent him because he won’t be obedient to Lifesite news or Michael Voris, or whomever it is, for you. I think I am finished argument. Maybe the Pope just wants to let the chips fall where they may, because he knows a lot more than we do about the situation. Anyway, I don’t think this discussion is bearing much fruit anymore. God bless you carn, I wish you every good spiritual gift.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        LIFE itself is much more than abortion, contraception and polemical politics:

        https://youtu.be/ZiFEaBGB_bg

      • Avatar carn says:

        “I don’t allow you to cannibalize what I wrote, carn.”

        I am sorry. Please accept my apologies.

      • Avatar M. says:

        see above! 🙂

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        Can I offer you a new “algorithm” to select your analyses from? A new underlying stratum/layer which you might have dismissed/disregarded or not paid much attention to?

        Germany and Italy are mentioned too. And connected to the vision of Vatican II worldwide.

        As prof. Massimo Faggioli concluded in 2016:

        There are serious problems with the conservative orthodoxy of American Catholics.

        And…

        Not only in regard to politics, but also to a very serious cultural and theological problem within certain strains of American Catholicism.

        A theological distortion…

        It is something the Church in the United States, starting with its bishops, will have to face no matter what happens.

        https://ilsismografo.blogspot.com/2016/03/stati-uniti-conservative-orthodoxy-of.html#more

      • Avatar carn says:

        @ONG

        “And connected to the vision of Vatican II worldwide.”

        Both the arguments from Faggioli as the counter-argument suffer from the fundamental problem, that Catholic social teaching can mostly be described only in general principles; but in the concrete it is hard to identify what is against and what isn’t; therefore i think the argument that there is a – deliberate – heresy from CST is at least not very strong.

        E.g. when some politician has options to vote for: raising the minimum wage 20%; raising it 100%; leaving it as it is; reduce it by 25%; or abolish the minimum wage,

        CST at most (and not even that) indicates that he/she should not vote for the last option. But CST has no definite ruling regarding the 4 other options.

        Yet, if the politician might vote for 25% reduction, some people will claim that it is against CST, although one cannot say that.

        On the other hand, if the same politician has afterwards some time left before his wife/husband expects him/her home and that his secretary smiles especially nice today, Catholic teaching is adamantly clear what he should not do then.

        Accordingly, the perspective of Faggioli does not change much. Cause that charge of heresy vs CST is so undefined.

        (Also a minus that he mentioned Cardinal Marx as a positive example how to interact with politics and/or how to keep Catholics from committing heresy)

      • Avatar Marie says:

        You are a sweet person Carn.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        //What if the pope doesn’t answer?//

        He might have read a quote from St. Vincent Ferrer that says:

        “A vain question deserves nothing but silence. So learn to be silent for a time; you will edify your brethren and silence will teach you to speak when the hour is come.”

      • Avatar ONG says:

        //…. yet they disagree with each other on the interpretation, often to the point where there is nothing left but to throw accusations at each other so hard, that a split into two churches seems to be imminent. We need protection from that.//

        There is and there will be *no* split (or schism)
        You’ve got protection against that already: pray for unity.

        And, btw, “schism” is *sin* against the Holy Spirit.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        The Church had these problems 2000 years ago. We can pray for unity while we muddle along; and we can endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; but this requires the Spirit and peace (Ephesians 4:3).

      • Avatar M. says:

        I’m sometimes not sure what you are getting at Peter Aiello. Are you saying that Catholics should pray to the Holy Spirit for discernment and read their Bibles? No one would disagree with that! What I can never agree with is that it’s enough, and that we don’t need the Church to teach us much of anything, because we have it all on our own.. oh, if only, Peter, if only. The world would be a better place.
        There are many things the church teaches me about the Bible that I still have not come to *fully* understand. If those things are against my.. say-so, lifestyle choices, personaly challenges, intellectual difficulties, or just plain they grate on me- am I free to throw them out? Or should I obey the church whilst not understanding entirely yet? Should I trust the church, run by (very) fallible men?

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        I form my conscience with the information and discernment that I can come up with. I emphasize Scripture a lot because that is where I found the spirituality which became important for me. Others may emphasize the teachings from the magisterium, if they can figure out what they are obligated to believe. I don’t see where the opinions in the Church are unanimous in that respect. Some believe that they can’t have an opinion that differs from anything that the pope says; then there are others who don’t agree with that.
        Vatican II says that all Church teaching needs to be regulated by Scripture (Dei Verbum 21). I do my own research on this because I have a Bible that I can refer to; and that I have individual discernment at my disposal which I am supposed to use wherever it takes me. Others believe that they can’t do any of their own interpreting of the Bible.
        There is a lot of doctrine that has developed over the past 2000 years. I decided that I needed to go with my own personal conscience conclusions because ultimately that is what I am obligated to do. I’m supposed to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good”; and I make no exceptions to that (1Thessalonians 5:21). Others make exceptions.
        None of us have it all on our own because faith comes by hearing the word of God, however we hear it. Some rely on what the clerics tell them; and others like to read it for themselves. I prefer the latter. Now that almost everyone can have their own personal Bible, why not use it? It wasn’t always this way. Paul tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Peter- I guess I assumed you were Catholic, so my apologies if you are not. As Catholics we are obligated to follow the Magisterium, and of course, as M says, read and discern ourselves, but that is always in light of the teachings, so we stay on the right path. When you go it alone, you end up on your own, and not in communion with the Catholic Church. That of course does not mean you are not good or kind or even kinder than some who follow, but it does mean you give yourself a lot more credit than you should, regardless of the knowledge and intellect you have been blessed with.

        As far as what were are to believe and what we are not, the teachings are very clear, the resistance to them, however is powerful. Humility can be a hard pill to swallow.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        According to the Church, you can’t become an ex-Catholic; and I don’t view myself that way. I’ll call myself a liberated Catholic. Yesterday, I responded to a Catholic blog with my view on things Catholic. It explains my viewpoint as best as I can at the present time. Here it is:
        “I think the reason that Catholics get upset when a Fr. Martin shows up is because many don’t believe that they are allowed to follow their own discernment when it is better than the discernment of someone in the clergy.
        When it comes to infallible supernatural discernment within the Church, Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium 12 says: “The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One, (111) [cf. 1 Jn 2:20, 27] 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” (8*) [Cf. 1 Cor. 10: 17] 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.”
        If this is true, why wouldn’t the lack of supernatural discernment also be present “from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful”? Holy Orders doesn’t confer a privileged discernment that other cannot have. If a pope is capable of heresy, why wouldn’t a Fr. Martin also be capable? By their fruits you will know them. If this is true, there is no reason for those of us who have discernment, to get disillusioned when Fr. Martin gives his opinions. The best thing to do is ignore him, and anyone else who displays a lack of discernment.”

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @Peter Aiello
        I’m not going to paste again what you wrote earlier and what I wrote in reply – So far I can just ascertain that you IGNORE what others here have tried to let you grasp ’cause you continuously WIGGLE OUT of connecting the the answers you get to your new comments.

        Where Peter is, there is the Catholic Church – conversely, where Peter is not, there cannot be the Catholic Church.

        The Church is CHRIST’S CHURCH.

        Both “Sentire cum Ecclesia” and “being in communion with Peter,” the Pope, correspond to following Jesus, the Lord, listening to and with the Holy Spirit, growing in the Faith, and advancing the Kingdom of God on Earth, IN UNITY!!!

        Since you seek discernment, yet you show you cannot discern the above, you must first in humbly prayer ASK to RECEIVE this GIFT.

        Everything is connected – cannot be isolated emphasizing only what one likes at the expense of the Whole!

        What’s the whole CONTEXT?

        Again, PARTS of the ONE BODY, working TOGETHER, *not* AGAINST!
        Each with and according to one’s own gifts received.

        Purpose of Ecumenism: to evangelize, spread the Gospel/the good news to others.

        Not only for being enlighten oneself as of seeking NIRVANA!

        You must read more and meditate on the 4 Gospels, not just single passages from the Epistles of Paul!

        Also, forget the old Baltimore Catechism you mentioned, and start *studying* (not just *browsing*) the 1992’s CCC released by Pope St. John Paul II.

        It reconciles Scriptures & Tradition extensively, in order to lead one into the enormous riches of the Christian faith, the FULLNESS of the Faith!

        Keep in mind that if there also are disagreements and divisions – TODAY – then it is NOT from the Holy Spirit but from the spirit of DISCORD!

        It would be a spiritual PARADOX!

        To comprehend this one can use BOTH Reason and Faith!

        There is LOGIC both intellectually and spiritually.

        And what is FAITH in this case?
        As Pope Benedict wrote:

        “Faith is an encounter with the living God … But also a purifying force for reason itself. … Faith enables reason to do its work more effectively and to see its proper object more clearly. …”

        You must connect all these dots before going forward by yourself (without the Church – without a map)… you may risk to get lost in the forest in need to be rescued…

        Pax Christi!

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        We all pick and choose what we want to accept and what we want to ignore. We endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; but it’s more of an ideal than a reality in most cases. It’s good to “Sentire cum Ecclesia”; but will the real Ecclesia please stand.
        I agree with Pope Benedict that faith in God is a purifying force for reason itself. Saint Paul, in 2Corinthians 1:24 says: “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand”; and 1Peter 5:3 says to the elders: “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock”.
        These verses seem to have a different tone than what we have today in today’s Catholicism.
        Maybe we should emphasize ‘sentire cum fide’ instead.

  8. Avatar M. says:

    Amen, Marie. For me, it also is like the difference between shopping at a big box store and shopping locally, to use a silly analogy. In the big box store, I can choose “whatever I want” and I feel very free, however, I become dizzy and exhausted with choices. Decision fatigue sets in, and I leave empty-handed more often than not. For me this is like trying to read the bible with no guidance. It is a large and complicated set of books. If I shop locally however, this is like letting the Church interpret scripture for me. I have fewer choices and options, and sometimes I have to pay more- but I get high quality items that serve me well for years, and I leave the store in peace instead of frazzled and stressed out! 🙂 lol!

  9. Avatar Andre says:

    I appreciate the discussion(s) we have here. I find you all humble, desinterested, and kind. Thank you

  10. Avatar Christopher Lake says:

    Peter Aiello,

    Above, you wrote:

    “These verses seem to have a different tone than what we have today in today’s Catholicism.
    Maybe we should emphasize ‘sentire cum fide’ instead.”

    My response to you:

    How can we, as Catholics, legitimately “think with the faith” without also “thinking with the Church”– especially since it is the Magisterium which canonized the Bible and which, according to the Catechism, is the *authoritative interpreter* of both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition?

    You continue to say that all Church teaching is regulated by Scripture. I agree with that statement. As a matter of fact, all Church teaching *actually is* regulated by Scripture! However, Scripture must still be *interpreted*, and it is simply not the case that all Church teaching is regulated by *your personal interpretation* of Scripture. That will never be the case within the Church’s teaching. It can never be the case.

    If that *is* the case for you, in terms of how you think about and live out your faith (that all Church teaching is regulated by *your personal interpretation* of Scripture), then seriously, how does this differ, in any substantial way, from the radically Sola Scriptura Protestantism that I held to for many years?

    Now, of course, you can continue to quote the same three or four passages (misinterpreted and out of context) from Scripture and/or from “Lumen Gentium,” in order to continue to justify your interpreting of Scripture and Tradition in opposition to the Magisterium. As I have written before, that is quite similar to what I would do, regarding the Magisterium, when I was a vocally anti-Catholic Protestant. I was thinking and acting consistently with my profession of faith as a Protestant. No one in the world will persuade me to do the same, now, though, as a Catholic.

    If I only agree with the Magisterium, *when* the Magisterium agrees with my personal interpretation of Scripture, then I’m actually not consistently following Scripture *or* the Magisterium. I’m simply, consistently, following my personal interpretation of Scripture– even as I may understand and describe it, as I did in my Protestant years, to be “listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit” and “practicing Biblical discernment.”

    • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

      The translation of ‘sentire cum fide’ that I was aiming for was to ‘think with faith’; faith defined as personal trust in God. All Church teaching is not regulated by my own interpretation of Scripture; but my personal faith is influenced by my interpretation of Scripture. If I have the Spirit of Truth within me, I can’t dismiss its influence on me. It is an integral part of forming my personal conscience; and it facilitates my personal interpretation of Scripture.

  11. Avatar M. says:

    Peter, I just need to know, because- yes I am interested in your approach, but it is unclear. So, can I just ask you, point blank- if you were to read something into scripture that you later found out was in direct contradiction to something that the Catholic Church teaches- would you follow your own interpretation, or would you follow what the Catholic Church teaches on that issue?

    • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

      I would follow with my own interpretation.

      • Avatar M. says:

        Thanks, I think I understand where you are coming from a bit better now. I was never sure if I should argue with you or not, because I couldn’t tell if you were just saying that Catholics should pray to the Holy Spirit and read their Bibles (obviously true) or if you were saying it is ok to dispense with what the Church teaches if you feel that you have properly discerned scripture in a different sense than the Church does. Now I am clear on where you stand. Whilst respecting you, I think you know I heartily disagree…

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        It’s not just praying to the Holy Spirit; but making use of the Holy Spirit discernment that even the laity is supposed to have. I think that the hierarchy might have difficulty coming to a consensus on how to deal with my personal conclusion. It would have been easier prior to Vatican II. After Vatican II, I’m not so sure.

      • Avatar carn says:

        You should not do that, if you want to be Catholic.

        I dislike Pope Francis, i dislike his style, i dislike the nonsense he talks about political matters, i am often at a loss what he is actually talking about; but if i can identify something he says as something about matters of faith and morals that pertains to me personally in some way, i heed what he says.

        E.g. my mind suspected that the request last October to pray the rosary daily and include St. Michael’s prayer was nothing but playing the faithful to paint the opposition of Pope Francis as forces of the devil.

        But that is irrelevant; the Vicar of Christ said that i should pray the rosary including the additional prayers; that is a matter of faith and morals that pertains to me personally, as it is a direct request to me (and all other Catholics) to pray certain prayers.

        So i did (or tried to do, insofar me schedule did not get in the way). No matter what else i think about that.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        See the other post about “Das ding an Sich” new comment to you.

      • Avatar Jane says:

        but, and I’m sorry to interject, M, but isn’t that protestantism, not Catholicism?

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Yes Jane, I think that is what M is saying as well, but I think that is Peter’s position as well, no? I was initially confused, but I think he confirmed that on a previous post if I’m not mistaken.

      • Avatar Jane says:

        I’m a bit confused, probably because i haven’t had a chance to read all the comments here, like I would LOVE to do someday. It seems Peter is speaking rhetorically? I hope and pray we will all be united under the Holy Father and all in union with him, someday very soon.

        I feel very happy inside whenever someone, hopefully Peter, you, Jong, M and so many others here at this site, staunchly and lovingly stand by the Vicar of Christ on earth.

        Please forgive me if I have commented without reading all the comments thoroughly. I will do that in the future

        I really really enjoy this community. Everyone here is such a breath of fresh air for me!!

        God Bless you 🙂

      • Avatar ONG says:

        Perhaps it’s a form of pseudo-gnosticism, picking a little here and there and making a “potluck soup” ?

        Yes, you should read the previous comments here (and in the other post mentioned) that were never taken into consideration – actually shunned.

      • Avatar M. says:

        shunned? Did you mean stunned?

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @M.
        Nooo, shunned, as in avoided… 🙄

        A short reminder from today (June 1) to always keep in mind (with English subtitles):

        https://youtu.be/dklJKIfQOBg

      • Avatar carn says:

        “A short reminder from today (June 1) to always keep in mind (with English subtitles):

        https://youtu.be/dklJKIfQOBg

        Yes, especially in combination with:

        http://www.usccb.org/bible/matthew23:6
        “Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.”

  12. Avatar M. says:

    I was confused because reading Peter’s comments often left me wondering if he was just advocating for Catholics to be reading more of the the Bible for themselves, and praying for discernment. It wasn’t clear to me that he was approaching things from a protestant perspective, so I asked him to clarify. According to his comment, that if there was a conflict between his personal interpretation of scripture, and that of the Church, he would “follow with his own interpretation” I take that to mean that he indeed approaches scripture from a protestant perspective. I have no idea if Peter is Catholic or not- he is our brother in Christ, but apparently, not Catholic, ? as he seems to see no need for the teaching authority of the church. Yet very well versed on Catholic documents, so Catholicism is interesting to him, I guess. Correct me if I am wrong Peter. I appreciate all of you here too, very much. Whether we all are one in faith or not, I do pray that we may all be one in the truth one day, as we all try to make our way closer and closer to Christ who is all truth!

    • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

      I view myself as being part of the post-Vatican II mix that is present in the Church. I had a strict Catholic upbringing before Vatican II when my present views would have been totally unacceptable in the Church. By the time I was 20, I was agnostic. At about 30 I found a Christianity that made sense to me from what I read in the Bible. Years later, after reading some of the Vatican II documents, I concluded that I could practice my Biblical Christianity within the Catholic Church. This is why I sound like a Protestant, although I never wanted to label myself as such. Being Biblical should be as Catholic as anything else. Scripture is supposed to regulate all of Catholic teaching (V2-Dei Verbum 21).

      • Avatar Christopher Lake says:

        Peter,

        Scripture *does* regulate all of Catholic teaching. The Church does not teach anything, anything at all, that is contrary to Scripture. Your *particular personal interpretation* of Scripture, however. does not regulate all of Church teaching. Neither does mine– and this is a very good thing! (It keeps me from falling into heresy!)

        The Catholic Church was founded by Christ, and He expressly gave St. Peter the keys of the kingdom and the power to both bind and loose. This has very important implications, regarding who has *the authoritative interpretation* of Scripture and Tradition, and who does *not*, in the Church. Christ also said that St. Peter and those in the line of apostolic succession would have His authority to forgive and retain sins. You seem to want to say that any Catholic layman with the Holy Spirit, who carefully, prayerfully, reads the Bible, can *interpret* the Bible (and Tradition) as well, and as authoritatively, as the Pope and the Bishops in communion with him. The Catholic Church has never taught this, and thanks be to God, she never will. It is the road to heresy.

        Heretics throughout history have traveled this road of following their own personal interpretation of Scripture over that of the Magisterium’s. I traveled that road, myself, for years, as a Protestant who had left the Catholic Church and rejected her authority and teaching. It’s not a good road– even when traveling it brings oneself some internal sense of “peace” and “contentment.” I felt very much at peace with, and content with, God, when I believed, based on my personal interpretation of Scripture, that my salvation could not be lost. However, that peace and contentment were based, partially, on an illusion– an illusion borne of my personal interpretation of Scripture. It scares me, now, to look back and realize that was the case, but it’s the hard truth.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        Where does it say anywhere in the New Testament that individuals can’t interpret Scripture for themselves apart from any organizational interpretation. Even the meaning of 2Peter 1:20-21 changes depending upon the translator.
        When we use Scripture in forming our consciences, how can we not analyze what it is saying? I use my personal interpretation of Scripture for forming and regulating my personal conscience. It is not for regulating all of Church teaching.
        I think that Christianity has both the individual and corporate elements. How they interplay with each other is what is being debated here; and not whether they exclude the existence of each other. This also needs to be interpreted and understood. Recognizing the existence and importance of the individual element is why I am a Christian today. This is one of the things that I learned directly from Scripture.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        When I surrendered myself to the Lord by casting all of my care on the Lord and being anxious for nothing, I got a peace and strength that has lasted almost 47 years. Scripture was the only place that I found this kind of instruction. (see 1Peter 5:5-7 and Philippians 4:6-7). This doesn’t strike me as an illusion.

      • Avatar Christopher Lake says:

        Peter,

        We can, and should, certainly personally read and interpret the Bible. However, to do so, *apart from any organizational interpretation*, is the way that heresies and cults are formed. The facts of history, repeated over and over, show us this truth (with Arianism and countless other heresies).

        You asked me, where does the New Testament say that we can’t interpret Scripture for ourselves apart from any organizationall interpretation. The answer is found, partially, in the fact that we even have the New Testament at all! It obviously did not come down to us, completed and canonized, out of the sky, to simply be read according to, first and foremost, our individual interpretations.

        The New Testament was God-breathed and inspired, but it came to us, as an *organized, defined collection of writings,” from the Church– from her *Magisterial interpretation* of reading, praying, and deciding which books should even belong to the Biblical canon and which should not. it did not come from individuals simply reading various texts and then deciding which ones were from God and which ones were not.

        If we can trust the Church’s teaching authority to have faithfully provided us with the correct Biblical canon, why then, logically, would we *not trust* that same teaching authority to faithfully interpret the Bible in such a way that we would be protected from heresy by listening to the Church?
        The Church *preceded* the New Testament as an organized collection of writings. The very *content* the of New Testament, itself, would not have been definitively known and codified without the Church’s teaching authority. To put one’s individual interpretation of Scripture over the Church’s interpretation is to ignore (or negate) the fact of how the New Testament came to *be* the New Testament at all.

        The peace that you have gained from following Scripture’s admonition to cast all of our cares on the Lord is a valid peace. It is not an illusion. The Church which Christ founded, and which brought us the New Testament, officially teaches, through both Scripture and Tradition, to cast all of our cares on the Lord. That is a teaching of the Catholic Church. The apparent fact that you didn’t *hear* this teaching when you were younger is a tragedy. Truly, it’s a tragedy. Is it possible, though, that you somehow missed this teaching or misunderstood it, when it was presented to you by the Church? It was always there in Scripture, and the Church *gave* us that Scripture.

        What do you think Christ means when He tells his apostles, who were officially called by Him to preach and teach, “Whoever hears you, hears Me?” Do you think the validity and power of that statement ended with the deaths of the first apostles? What about their successors in the same apostolic line, in the Church that Christ founded, in 2019? Does your individual interpretation of Scripture override Christ’s promise to His apostles that *if* we listen to them, we will hear Him?

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        I did not hear the admonition to cast all of my cares on the Lord from the priests, nuns, and brothers during my K thru 16 Catholic schooling, but I did get it directly from the Bible which was compiled by the Catholic Church in the fourth century. I did get it through Catholic writings and the Old Testament.
        It ended up being the most important life-changing teaching in my life. I’m thankful that the printing press allowed me to have my private Bible which enabled me to find this teaching on my own. If I had a fear of heresy by interpreting the Bible on my own, this may never have happened in the way that it did. I was able to interpret the Bible in such a way that this teaching came through to me while I was not practicing my Catholicism, and apart from any organizational interpretation that I knew of. I was listening to the original teachings of the apostles and others, by reading their writings.
        Word of mouth isn’t the only way of being taught. This is why things are put into writing. There were heresies in the Church before the printing press; so the printing press is not entirely to blame for them.
        When the Church compiled the Bible, the Church probably thought that the Bible would never be widely distributed outside of its domain; but the cat’s out of the bag.

  13. Avatar M. says:

    Peter, please consider reading this article, it is so good: http://www.ifimightinterject.com/2019/05/do-you-not-yet-have-faith.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ArnobiusOfSicca+%28Arnobius+of+Sicca%29

    (I also highly recommend this website to other WPI readers, this guys is excellent)

    • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

      One thing that is clear from both Scripture and Vatican II is that the supernatural discernment from the Spirit of Truth isn’t confined only for those in the hierarchy. If we have it, we all need to use it. One way that we use it is when we “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1Thessalonians 5:21). Why would Scripture say this if we are to trust and obey the Church as if we were trusting and obeying Christ? We also have our own personal responsibility of not falling into error. The degree to which Christ protects His entire Church from error is debatable. I don’t find anything definitive on that; although, I hear lots of opinions.
      We form our consciences using information from different sources, including Scripture. Our discernment also is used when we read Scripture. That cannot be avoided regardless of what the magisterium may claim for itself. You can’t read something without forming an opinion of what it is saying. Our obligations to our personal conscience are greater than any obligations to the magisterium. When I am instructed by Scripture to prove all things, I make no exceptions. If I violate my conscience by going with someone else’s opinion, I am accountable to God for that. I will be obligated to pay my own spiritual bills when they become due. It won’t be the other person.

      • Avatar Christopher Lake says:

        Peter,

        The portrait that you were painting here is one of a battle of mere *opinions*, when it comes to what Scripture means. However, Christ Himself has seen to it that the Magisterium does not merely offer us opinions. If all we have to go on are *opinions* of what Scripture says (whether they are our own opinions, or someone else’s!), then there is no reliable way to know whose opinion is orthodox and whose is heretical! Thanks be to God that Christ did not leave us in that terrible predicament!

        It is Christ Himself who gave St. Peter and His apostolic successors the authority to teach and interpret Scripture and Tradition, and those successors have much more to offer us than *opinions*. Christ would not even have left us His apostolic successors in the first place, if this were all merely a battle of opinions.

        When Scripture exhorts us to “Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good,” that is *not* telling us to test the Church’s teaching by our personal opinions of what Scripture says. That is the road to heresy, and this has proven again and again throughout history. (Arianism, the “prosperity gospel,” and on and on.)

        The Scriptural exhortation to “Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good” must be read in the context of *another* Scriptural statement– that of Christ giving such teaching authority to His apostolic successors that He literally tells them, “Whoever hears you, hears Me.” We can reliably take what the Church teaches us regarding Scripture and Tradition, and we can rightly assess heresies such as Arianism, the “prosperity gospel,” and so on. The Church will not lead us into heresy. We, however, *can and will* lead ourselves into heresy with our own personal opinions of what Scripture teaches. I know, because I did it to myself as a Protestant.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        When Scripture tells us to prove all things, it doesn’t specify what we make use of to do this. Fear of heresy should not prevent us from making use Scripture and of our own supernatural discernment if we have it, even if others have fallen into heresy. I don’t see anything in Scripture that tells us to be cautious to the point of neglecting the resources that are available to us. This would be negligence on our part. The New Testament Church allowed for these risks, while acknowledging that abuses were happening. I prefer to err on the side of liberty (Galatians 5:1,13 and 2Peter 3:15-16).

      • Avatar Christopher Lake says:

        Peter,

        Christ Himself, in the New Testament, tells the apostles that He personally called to preach and teach, that whoever heard (*genuinely listened to*) them would hear Him. Notably, Christ did *not* tell the the individual members of The New Testament Church(es) to prioritize and follow their *own personal interpretations* of the Scriptures *over and above* what they heard from His officially, personally called apostles– who were given, by Him, the official authority, and the responsibility, to preach and teach from the Scriptures.

        It is quite significant that The New Testament, itself, did not even exist, as a formally codified body of writings, at the time of the “New Testament Church(es).” It took the Church’s *interpretive authority* to tell us what *was and is* the New Testament. This fact, along with Christ’s above statement to His apostles that “Whoever hears you, hears Me,” should be enough to tell us that we should not follow our own individual interpretations of Scripture, *if or when* those interpretations conflict with those of the Magisterium.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        At the earliest stages of Christianity, the only Scripture that existed was the Old Testament; and that was considered essential. Gradually, the oral teachings of Christ and His disciples were committed to writing, and eventually compiled by the Church into the writings of the New Testament in the fourth century.
        Teaching has always been both oral and from written documents. People have always had to receive the information and apply it to themselves even when it was heard from another person. Interpretation and discernment is always required when we process information.
        The Church did use its discernment when deciding which writings to include in the New Testament. This required knowledge of what was in the documents. There was some disagreement among the attendees of the councils as to which documents were to be included in the canon. I don’t know what the process was to come to a conclusion; but they did.
        As far as I know, the issue of interpreting the new canon was not discussed. It was initially interpreted by the clergy because they were the only ones who would have had access to the writings at that time. The printing press changed that dramatically.
        I believe that we interpret Scripture whether we hear it from another person, or whether we read it for ourselves.

      • Avatar carn says:

        “When I am instructed by Scripture to prove all things, I make no exceptions.”

        What if there is a thing regarding which “proving” on yourself doesn’t yield a definite conclusion?

        Take the somewhat simple example i mentioned above, whether one is to pray the rosary daily and whether one should finish that with a sub tuum praesidium and St. Michaels prayer.

        I do not think one could on one’s own one way or another prove that doing that/not doing that is the right thing to do.

        So the only relevant evidence left is that the Pope is saying one should do so; while that maybe is not conclusive enough from your point of view, shouldn’t it be sufficient to just do it?

        In my opinion one should follow superiors insofar one understands what they want and insofar one has not conclusive or at least close to conclusive evidence that what they want is wrong.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        I prefer to take no action if things are inconclusive.

      • Avatar carn says:

        “I prefer to take no action if things are inconclusive.”

        What if the option “no action” is not available? Or if “no action” has itself consequences?

        After all, regular praying is required of us per scripture. Accordingly, the action “no regular praying” is not available.

        But what then to pray?

        It seems reasonable, that if one does at the moment have no definite conclusion, that heeding also the prayer request from Rome is a sensible option.

        So i do not see how you can justify not heeding Rome, when you know that you cannot reach a definite conclusion.

        And that is not a small issue; one look at the catechism tells you, that there are lots and lots of different and complicated moral issues out there; at least sometimes you will be unable – maybe simply due to lack of time – to decide yourself; then sticking with Rome seems to be right.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        Teaching that comes from Rome is presented by people who may disagree with the interpretation, as we see today, and add to the confusion.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        Peter Aiello you wrote:

        //One thing that is clear from both Scripture and Vatican II is that the supernatural discernment from the Spirit of Truth isn’t confined only for those in the hierarchy. If we have it, we all need to use it.//

        Whatever problem there has been in the past, either if some clergy didn’t teach well or enough, or that “we” as young didn’t listen closely enough from the 70’s and up, DOESN’T CHANGE a bit what Christianity IS about, neither THEN, nor NOW.

        Today we have Pope Francis that is doing a MARVELOUS DIVINE WORK to spread the ESSENCE of the GOSPEL to EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING!

        What instead you are doing today is HINDERING the True Holy Spirit to reach everyone precisely as the LORD has always desired it to be THROUGH the hierarchy of the Church He founded!
        The Bishops and clergy still ARE the appointed teachers of the faith, not the laity, nor the theologians, nor the John Does who buy one bible at the bookstores and pretend to make a Christian church on their own! (Read your Lumen Gentium closer!!)

        If the CLERICALISM you mentioned (actually meaning abuse and negligence of the powers and tasks received by those WHO were supposed to become the GENUINE shepherds of the various scattered flock), weren’t up to their pastoral jobs, doesn’t mean they hadn’t received the EXACT teachings of the Faith that remain UNTOUCHED to the present day!

        This is what is at stake today! Pope Francis is taking a DIRECT and INDIRECT APPROACH to all of these still sitting in their comfort zone, preaching EMPTY doctrines, without EXPERIENCING and/or TRANSMITTING the Living Spirit both BEHIND and IN these doctrines.

        IF you claim SUPERNATURAL DISCERNMENT, you should arrive at COMPREHENDING that you today are NOT working FOR and WITH the Church, but AGAINST it.

        I wouldn’t know after the comments you’ve received how to better explain UNITY of Faith, of Spirit and of ONE Body to those that work AGAINST this Unity; A UNITY that IS at bottom the CORE of ONE and ONLY Christianity!
        There exist NO other VERSIONS!!

      • Avatar Marie says:

        ONG- That is exactly what Pope Francis is doing! He is showing us all the way, including the bishops and priests we so need today! For all the resistance, I have so much hope, no only for us, but for our children! Thank you Pope Francis!!!!

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        I agree that human frailty doesn’t change what Christianity is all about. There was disunity in the New Testament Church at a time when there was supposed to be the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. If there was disunity back then, how can we expect it to be better today?
        The gift ministries of evangelists and teachers are given by Christ (Ephesians 4:11). They are not conferred by human appointment. I don’t believe that Christ gives the gift ministries only to the clergy. The ministries that are by human appointment are bishops, presbyters or elders, and deacons. Clericalism wants to confine things to the clergy which should not be. This is what hinders the Spirit from operating where it should be.

  14. Avatar M. says:

    “Our obligations to our personal conscience are greater than any obligations to the magisterium.”

    Peter, obedience to the magisterium, has little to do with anything we offer the magisterium by some or other “obligation” we fulfill, but everything to do with what we gain by such obedience. Besides, when has the magisterium challenged you to do something that is actually, in your view, sinful? The only things it challenges us to do are things we don’t really want to do, but that will lead to holiness if we choose to follow those. Sheesh it’s exactly like Mom saying eat your broccoli and us whining that we don’t want to cause candy tastes better, and besides, my conscience tells me its ok for me to eat candy. When did the magisterium ever tell anyone to do anything bad for them that would be against anyone’s conscience? (I am NOT talking about suggestions, remarks, crazies in the church, or the like, but actual church teaching.)

    • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

      How expansive is your view of Church teaching? For different people, it seems to range from only those teachings that are ex-cathedra all the way to everything the pope says.

    • Avatar carn says:

      “Besides, when has the magisterium challenged you to do something that is actually, in your view, sinful?”

      With some likelihood some suggestions by the Pope to different politicians might be encouragements to sin.

      That is, if a politician is of the well-reasoned opinion that having a sizeable number of muslim economic immigrants and that a sizeable percentage of the people trying to get to Europe are in fact only economic immigrants, then the politician has due to his OATH OF OFFICE the duty to try to limit the number of muslim economic immigrants by legitimate means.

      Not doing so would violate the politician’s oath of office, which would be a sin.

      This situations arises due to the Pope potentially having different opinions regarding the potential problems of muslim migration and/or the percentage of economic immigrants among those trying to get to Europe

      AND

      due to some interpreters, clergy or maybe even the Pope himself, committing the error not to notice that there is no authority to make any Church statement regarding the long-term effects of muslim migration and/or the percentage of economic migrants into actual teaching which is to be heeded.

      The result is that a number of people might think that the Church teaches that some politicians should act differently regarding border/migration policy and that they sin to continue to act as they do, although in truth they would sin by not acting as they do.

      Here evidence that such Papal comments/advice are not completely unlikely:

      “When he does get to Csíksomlyó, Pope Francis can—and should—send the clearest possible message that Hungary’s right-wing populists don’t have his support. The pope is likely to issue a statement against Mr. Orbán’s anti-immigration laws, and he could use his homily to speak directly to Hungary’s political leaders.”

      As the Orban government probably comprises some Catholics, which share Orban’s opinion that muslim migration is not to the benefit of Hungary, such an instance might arise that the Pope effectively asks Catholics to act in a way which would be sinful.

      (And i truly hope that this is sufficient to explain, why someone having the well-formed opinion that some sort of migration would be dangerous for his home country, is NOT sinning – at least not mortally – by trying to prevent with legitimate means such migration; after all, AL is all about carefully looking at individual constraints and identify any mitigating things therein; if one is convinced that muslim migration would end in one’s own country destruction and downfall, that is certainly a somewhat mitigating factor when assessing the sinfulness of trying/not trying to prevent muslim migration;

      independently upon whether that fear is a paranoid fantasy or not;

      that is the tricky thing about mitigating factors: they work even when based on complete delusion and can turn sinful acts into less sinful or even non-sinful acts and vice versa)

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Carn- I’m disappointed. I thought your arguments were mostly about AL, and that type of situation. Clearly the Church social teachings don’t agree with you either. Thankfully, your Chancellor does not share your views. Fearing people because they are different inevitably leads to war. Those of us from North America, lest we forget the plight of our ancestors, no matter how many centuries ago.

        I live in a small rural community outside of Montreal that was founded by the Scottish, who fled to Canada following the Scottish Clearances in the late 1700s. I also have French roots here going back to the Filles du roi in New France (Quebec), Throw in some Irish and there you go. My children also have French and African added to the mix. Their friends come from all over the globe, as 1/3 of Montrealers were born outside of Canada. What a beautiful city it is, where cultural communities enrich the city, respect each other, and benefit from the diversity. This is not so much the case outside the city. In fact, a law is being passed that will not allow public servants to wear religious symbols on the job. A province, whose ancestors fought for their religious freedom, fought for Catholic education, etc have left their religion and embraced their language over all else. Whose ancestors lost their lives to disease helping desperate migrants…….history is there for us to learn from. Fear only promotes more fear and hate. Love thy neighbour.

      • Avatar carn says:

        “Thankfully, your Chancellor does not share your views.”

        Don’t presume that if i argue from a/for a certain point of view of certain persons, that i do share the view; there are people who think that peaceful prolonged coexisting of devout muslim population with any other group is nearly impossible. Such people must due to their oath of office limit muslim migration if they have sworn to protect their country.

        I personally do not see it as a given, that coexisting is bound to fail in principle. I just consider immigration policies and national handling of various issues to be such a mess, that it increases the likelihood of the problems, these people think to be a guaranteed result.

        Besides, Merkel has quite shifted her stance regarding immigration since 2015; if 2015 would come again, German borders – at least under current government – would be closed.

        “benefit from the diversity”

        Diversity can only work fine in my opinion if there is some basic common core of values, as basic as for example the UN human rights declaration. But as many so-called western societies seem to be abandoning or even have abandoned much of their core values or at least are losing their common understanding of the core values (just read today a piece by Amnesty International that it is an unbearable human rights violation to require an abortionist to inform a woman prior abortion about counseling options, adoption and social welfare programs, cause according to AI abortion is a human right, while unborn do not have any; so much for common values), diversity might turn into a liability.

        I hope not. But that is just hope.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        the war of the so-called Conservatives is just LOVE FOR MONEY… NO CHRIST, no GOSPEL in it; and. the ALL politicians against Pope Francis are simply “scumbags” with an *evil* agenda even worst than you could ever imagine!

        Choose Whom you will serve, Caesar or Christ, and act accordingly! (But at least be HONEST with yourself!) Reread Faggioli and look for more articles from/about him in that page I sent you earlier! There’s a searching option there for previous/older articles! The main line is always the SAME!

      • Avatar carn says:

        @ONG

        “the war of the so-called Conservatives is just LOVE FOR MONEY… NO CHRIST, no GOSPEL in it; and. the ALL politicians against Pope Francis are simply “scumbags” with an *evil* agenda even worst than you could ever imagine!”

        That is quite a convincing argument to show how compatible your position is with what Christ called us to.

        Judging thousands of people or more (depending upon definition of “politicians against Pope Francis”) to be all scumbags with an evil agenda, who supposedly are only guided by love for money and nothing else.

        Whatever i choose, i will not choose a position that includes condeming thousands of people i cannot know much about for a crime they supposedly committed in their heart.

        (And because maybe some will not note: by thinking about the potential risk of problematic migration, i am not condemning individual migrants to be criminals; i am just considering ideas or attitudes or habits which many of them have as potentially having negative side effects; with muslims it would be the ideas that koran is unaltered word from the creator and that mohammed is an example to emulate; that ideas can have negative side effects; that is not something implying any guilt with any muslim, not even with any muslim holding both ideas dear)

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        About the “Kansler”, Germany, immigration and so-called “dangerous” Muslims there was a new link I posted to M. together with some others. Scroll down so you may find them.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        Thank you dear Jane!
        I think some here have badly been cornered already!

        Keep up the good work! I’m from EU and I also have a highly respect for “Montreal” being the home of many musician talents (black or white) that have enriched the whole world with their life!

        We stand and we continue to stand 101% with Pope Francis and THE Church, regardless of what all the dissenters (consciously or not, within or not, willful ignorant or not) continuously spin up in their favor against THE Church and the Gospel and sow confusion among the gullible souls who can’t fully reason for themselves!

        Pax Christi!

        Yes, “For those who have faith no explanation is necessary, and for those who have not no explanation is possible.”

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        I have a difficult time understanding much of what the pope says; let alone whether he is telling me to do anything sinful or not. Apparently even cardinals can’t agree on what he is saying. When I can figure out what he is saying; then I can give my opinion; otherwise, I go on with other things. He has his function in the Body of Christ, and I have mine. I wish him good discernment.

      • Avatar carn says:

        “When I can figure out what he is saying; then I can give my opinion;”

        When you figure out what he says and you figure out it is about faith and morals (and can extract the faith and morals part from everything else the Pope usually mixes into his statements) and you have no definite prove from scripture or at least water-proof reasoning from scripture, that the Pope is talking nonsense,

        you should submit and obey.

        If your are a catholic.

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        Saint Paul, in 2Corinthians 1:24 says: “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand”; and 1Peter 5:3 says to the elders: “Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock”.
        This doesn’t sound like submit and obey.

      • Avatar carn says:

        When you don’t have time to figure out for yourself, how something is to be done/not to be done,

        it would seem pretty unreasonable to not accept the advice of those,

        which has been labeled OFFICIALLY as “helpers” in texts inspired by the big boss himself.

        Mind, i just propose this as a must for a catholic, if the catholic cannot for whatever reason use his own brain, heart and conscience to conclusively and without serious risk of error explore the matter himself.

        If you can agree with that, the difference between us would only be with whether to call it “listening to advice” or “submit and obey” (which in my view is identical, at least when it comes to God; the difference between a polite request and a “follow this or burn in hell” might be negligible in respect to declining the request in case of God) and when there is a serious risk of error (i presume you would generally consider the risk a lot lower than i would)

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        How do we know that the official helper is qualified to give a correct answer? We need to use our supernatural discernment to figure even that one out; otherwise, it could be the blind leading the blind. What was the discernment level of the person who appointed the official helper?
        Paul withstood Peter to the face when they had their disagreement (Galatians 2:11). Even the pope may not exhibit good judgment.

      • Avatar carn says:

        “We need to use our supernatural discernment to figure even that one out;”

        Then at least identify with your supernatural discernment a few Cardinals and stick with what they say in case you have no time to study the matter yourself.

        As names i suggest Müller, Sarah and BXVI.

        E.g. in case you have no time to study whether Pope Francis is guilty of heresy, but must for whatever reason have an opinion on this matter of faith and morals, settle for “not guilty” as Cardinal Müller said not guilty.

        E.g. in case you have no time to study whether receiving communion standing and in hand or kneeling and on tongue is better, but must for whatever reason have an opinion on this matter of faith and morals (e.g. due to you having the choice which way you receive), settle for “kneeling and on tongue” cause Cardinal Sarah indicated in rather strong terms preference for that.

        E.g. if case you have no time to study whether doing something intrinsic evil so that something good may come from it is right or not, but must for whatever reason have an opinion on this matter of faith and morals, settle for not right, cause that is what BXVI repeats ad nauseam since decades.

        And last:

        In case you need to go to confession, but have to go to the next confessional available (e.g. because you are traveling, in a foreign city and the flight leaves in 4 hours, but you thing a confession before flying would be sensible) and end up with some tradition-hating liberal priest, who seems to be annoyed when you start naming your sins in kind and number and irritates you with psycho-new-age-babble, you – as long as the priest uses the correct form – accept that as the guidance that God wants you to have in that moment and ponder it for hours during the flight, until you can convert that idiotic psycho-babble into something, which sounds as if might be advice to overcome whatever sins you confessed.

        Do i still ask for too much?

      • Avatar Peter Aiello says:

        It sounds complex.

  15. Avatar M. says:

    That is true. The popes have always been willing to speak out on issues where there are grey areas, and encourage people to choose the best and most merciful, even if not the most practical option. Of course these remarks and encouragements don’t rise to the level of doctrine- as far as I know, but I am no theologian. I don’t really worry about it. I am glad the pope urges nations to be utterly merciful at the risk of practicality.

    I remember a relative getting all upset at Pope JPII for urging America not to get into the Iraq war, though she loved JPII. She was able to “get around” his exhortations against war by saying that “The popes always talk like that, they just don’t like war. Peace loving fellows who don’t really understand the urgency and always urge nations to holiness without understanding that nations will never obey the call to holiness.” In fact, I don’t think she was far off.

    • Avatar carn says:

      Important differences are that the iraq war was justified on evidence of rather limited quality (and turned out to be false) and that in modern war you are guaranteed to include killing (unintentionally) innocent humans.

      On the other hand, that migration can have besides positive effects also negative effects on a country or at least some areas thereof is proven beyond any doubt (e.g. it is according to Jews today a lot more risky to walk with a kipah on your head around in Berlin than it was 20 years ago; there was some time ago even a case, when two friends argued about whether that is true and one took up the challenge to just try it – with the result that he was assaulted https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/berlin/prenzlauer-berg-angriff-auf-israeli—kippa-als-test-getragen-30038076; as German i count it as negative, that wearing a kipah today is more dangerous than 20 years ago; and that is an effect of migration). Whether in certain circumstances a certain type of migration has a net positive or a net negative effect on the receiving country, is nothing anyone knows for sure;

      AND limiting migration does not in itself include killing innocent humans;

      AND it is an ongoing legitimate duty of a country to regulate who enters and does not enter the country (see catechism).

      Accordingly, what you call “get around” is at least a lot easier than in case of war and in my opinion a lot more likely to be not or not gravely sinful.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        Iraq war, kippah, walls, U.S., Germany, EU, borders, im- and e-migration, country, politics, criminals, religion, race, human rights, sin… (and I’m quite sure you left out some other specifics on purpose).

        •1. Where might be the so-called “lowest common denominator”?

        I, for one, am under the impression that you here are mixing apples and oranges and other fruits (from both good and rotten roots) which instead could be easily synthetized as:

        • 2. WHAT does the Catholic Church universally teaches about the background (or the basis) of all these dilemmas?

        • 3. Have you ever heard or followed with everything Pope Francis has said/written on migration for years and esp. about proper integration? (N.B.: directly from him – not filtered).

        • 4. (And in retrospect): Why was it a *minus* that Prof. Faggioli mentioned Card. (not Karl – lol!) Marx, when he actually specified *one sentence* from him?

        • 4a. Have you searched on that site I gave you for more recent debates/remarks?

      • Avatar carn says:

        “1. Where might be the so-called “lowest common denominator”?”

        That one should not kill innocents and not cause the death of innocents.

        “2. WHAT does the Catholic Church universally teaches about the background (or the basis) of all these dilemmas?”

        That the dignity of individual humans should be respected.

        “3. Have you ever heard or followed with everything Pope Francis has said/written on migration for years and esp. about proper integration? (N.B.: directly from him – not filtered).”

        Those parts of Pope Francis statements regarding migration i am aware about are either unspecific enough to make much of or seems as if the Pope is presuming that all migration is in the end in sum positive for the country receiving the migrants. He can hold to this forecast about what will happen/not happen, but i am not bound to agree with Papal forecasts about what will happen in consequence of certain policy decisions.

        “4. (And in retrospect): Why was it a *minus* that Prof. Faggioli mentioned Card. (not Karl – lol!) Marx, when he actually specified *one sentence* from him?”

        Cause Cardinal Marx does a rather good job of making the Church stance regarding look like complete idiocy, which in my opinion will lower the inhibitions Catholics have for voting right-wing parties. And yet Prof. Faggioli offers him as an example how to deal with the problem of Catholics ending up voting for right-wing parties.

        And he seems to offer him as an example, who to keep the flock together and help Catholics avoiding heresy. Which would be just ridiculous; whatever Cardinal Marx strengths are, they are not in discouraging Catholics from spreading heresy.

        Also, the sentence is already an idiocy, cause the term xenophob has become so wildly used and so misused – also by people from the Church hierarchy – that the sentence does not convey and definite meaning; it could be even understood in that one should not vote for the party of Merkel.

        E.g. just voicing the idea that migration can also potentially have harmful side effects was considered to be by many in the end of 2015/beginning 2016, when Cardinal Marx said that, to be the equivalent of being a Nazi. As there were also – a few – voices in Merkel’s party indicating that too much immigration can be a problem and as Merkel also indicated that in some indirect way, the suggestion “don’t vote for xenophobes” is just an empty suggestion which does not confer any guidance for anybody. Cause the term “xenophobe” has lost and is still losing its meaning.

        “• 4a. Have you searched on that site I gave you for more recent debates/remarks?”

        No.

        You suggested when referring to him that all politicians opposed to Pope Francis are evil scumbags; if that is Prof. Faggioli’s position, i know that his reasoning is sloppy and accordingly motivation to read him is not high (not because i would be certain that these politicians aren’t evil scumbags; but because i am certain that Prof. Faggioli cannot prove that they all are; so he either smears them without sufficient evidence or mistakes insufficient evidence for sufficient one).

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        Sorry carn, then you haven’t fully understood what’s really behind the whole “circus”, and I, following Pope Francis, also hate talking about “dirty politics” to name any “scumbags” by name, what dangerous ideology certain Catholics are *blindly* following camouflaged with pre-Vat. II’s “legal traditions”, and what they are causing for the unity of the Church and the *pure* Evangelization (i.e. spreading the Gospel and the Faith to ALL.

        At this point, before I could even add anything else, you must reveal if you really live and reside in EU or not (even when you boldly claim to be German).

      • Avatar carn says:

        “Sorry carn, then you haven’t fully understood what’s really behind the whole “circus”,”

        I at least have to admit that some of what is said in what you refer to as “circus” makes little sense to me.

        “At this point, before I could even add anything else, you must reveal if you really live and reside in EU or not (even when you boldly claim to be German).”

        Warum?

        Ist nicht nachvollziehbar. Sollte für die Fragen, ob zwischen Flüchtlingen und Migranten differenziert werden sollte und ob ggf. in manchen Fällen Migranten der Zutritt zu einem Land verwehrt werden darf (was dann notwendigerweise auch in gewissem Maße entweder Mauern/Zäune und/oder Gewaltandrohung beinhalten muss) eigentlich egal sein, wo ich wohne und welche Nationalität ich habe.

        Und wie genau soll ich das aufdecken/zeigen, dass ich in der EU wohne?

        Sehe gerade nicht, wie ich hier sinnvoll ein Bild von dem Teil meines Personalausweises einbinden kann, der zeigt, dass ich zumindest die deutsche Staatsbürgerschaft habe.

        Aber egal, du gute alte Intertradition, dass wer nicht mit der vorherschenden Meinung einer Plattform/eines Forums konform geht, der muss halt irgendwie lügen, täuschen,Sock-Puppet oder sonstwas sein, die muss aufrechterhalten werden.

        Wo käme man denn da hin, wenn man sich einfach nur austauscht und sich die Mühe macht, den Gedankengang anderer nachzuvollziehen, statt unlautere Hintergedanken zu unterstellen.

        So how might i prove that i am German? Writing tons of German text cannot prove that. Uploading pictures seems not to be possible here.

        Though i still lack any idea, why i should and what purpose that serves. Arguments usually are not dependent by the person suggesting the argument.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        //You suggested when referring to him that all politicians opposed to Pope Francis are evil scumbags; if that is Prof. Faggioli’s position, i know that his reasoning is sloppy and accordingly motivation to read him is not high (not because i would be certain that these politicians aren’t evil scumbags; but because i am certain that Prof. Faggioli cannot prove that they all are; so he either smears them without sufficient evidence or mistakes insufficient evidence for sufficient one).//

        I never suggested that prof. Faggioli had that position when I referred to him. He can write for himself, and you can read what he wrote!
        So his opinion, or reasoning cannot be sloppy just because you thought I referred to him; consequently he doesn’t have to prove something he didn’t say, nor is there any evidence either sufficient or insufficient to put words in his mouth.

        Next article about the differences between European and American Catholicism was posted yesterday in a new comment below, having the date and time: June 5, 2019 at 6:00 pm.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        //So how might i prove that i am German? Writing tons of German text cannot prove that. Uploading pictures seems not to be possible here.

        Though i still lack any idea, why i should and what purpose that serves. Arguments usually are not dependent by the person suggesting the argument.//

        The main question was IF you were *physically* living in Germany, not to prove if you were German.

        I was focusing on European Unity first of all, without overseas influences! Geopolitical issues are discussed in Faggioli’s other article I posted you will find among the new comments.

      • Avatar carn says:

        “The main question was IF you were *physically* living in Germany, not to prove if you were German.”

        I think i said so already in several conversations with you, at least implicitely by referring to Cardinal Marx as my bishop nad by mentioning that i pay Church taxes (which leaves few options beside Germany).

        But yes, i live in Germany.

        Still do not understand, why that would be relevant.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        It is relevant because “we” in EU are not really interested in divisive politics that are slowly becoming alien to “our” European Culture’s heritage, and *everyone* should be welcomed without having been labeled or stigmatized beforehand = *prejudiced*.

        PS: I mentioned the EU Conventions earlier, I haven’t seen any reference to them so far.

      • Avatar M. says:

        Here is a link to the supposedly “not at all sinful” actions of not allowing migrants to cross the border:
        https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/26/americas/migrants-border-questions/index.html

        and another:https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/gallery/2018/jun/22/us-family-separation-crisis-in-pictures

        families and childen being held in cages at the border as part of Trumps zero tolerance of migrants policy: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2018/jun/18/separated-migrant-families-held-in-cages-at-texas-border-video

        Meanwhile, funding of planned parenthood continues…
        The elderly being stripped of all their savings and euthanized by neglect in nursing homes all over the country continues…

        Tell me again how neglect is “not sinful.”

      • Avatar Marie says:

        M- Thank you!
        Can- please tell me where Pope Francis differs from Pope Benedict XVI and Pope JPII concerning migrants. Have you read their writings from World day of Migrants and Refugees? He is one example from PopeBenedict XVI
        http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/messages/migration/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20100927_world-migrants-day.html
        Here is one from Pope JPII: http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/messages/migration/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_20010213_world-migration-day-2001.html

        I presume Carn, you therefore have difficulty understanding and appreciating what they have to say as well? This notion that Pope Francis has reinvented the faith is nonsense.

      • Avatar carn says:

        “He is one example from PopeBenedict XVI
        http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/messages/migration/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20100927_world-migrants-day.html

        States explicitly that

        “At the same time, States have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their own frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person.”

        states have the right to “regulate”; “regulate” also implies keeping some migrants from entering (if you can never ever keep anyone form entering, you cannot regulate).

        As fences and walls can serve that purpose, BXVI at least implicitly allows for fences and walls, if necessary.

        Also, BXVI considers the terms “migrant” and “refugee” not as interchangeable:

        “The situation of refugees and of the other forced migrants,” (= refugees are a subgroup of migrants)

        and accordingly leaves open the possibility that some migrants (non-refugees) might be treated differently regarding the allowed for regulation, which includes keeping some from entering.

        “Here is one from Pope JPII: http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/messages/migration/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_20010213_world-migration-day-2001.html

        Here the issue that migrant and refugee are not interchangeable, is even more explicit:

        “The term “migrant” is intended first of all to refer to refugees and exiles in search of freedom and security outside the confines of their own country. However, it also refers to young people who study abroad and all those who leave their own country to look for better conditions of life elsewhere.”

        And it considers explicit the concept that migration can be harmful to some host country:

        “The Church recognizes this right in every human person, in its dual aspect of the possibility to leave one’s country and the possibility to enter another country to look for better conditions of life. Certainly, the exercise of such a right is to be regulated, because practicing it indiscriminately may do harm and be detrimental to the common good of the community that receives the migrant.”

        and states the practicing it indiscriminately may do harm.

        That is as explicit PAPAL permission as you can get, that a politician can – after careful consideration decide: “Ok, letting in these non-refugee migrants would be harmful to my country, hence i will not allow them to enter and order the police to keep them from entering”.

        Please note: As far as i can tell NOT A SINGLE WORD i said here is in any contradiction with the texts of JPII or BXVI.

        For comparison:

        https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-05/pope-francis-message-world-day-migrants-refugees-full-text.html

        There is no place in the text that treats the words “migrants” and “refugees” as anything different; they are often used as “migrants and refugees”, which reinforces the notion that there i no relevant difference.

        E.g. here:

        “We see this today in particular, faced with the arrival of migrants and refugees knocking on our door in search of protection, security and a better future.”

        While JPII and BXVI clearly stated that non-refugee migrants strive for economic improvement and/or a better life and therefore are NOT knocking on our door in search of protection, with PF the wording makes non-refugee migrants – those just searching for a better future – inseparately connected to refugee migrants by putting these very different motives “protection”, “security” on the one hand and “better life” on the other hand together with “and”.

        Also, there is no hint whatsoever that preventing entry might be legitimate under some circumstances, as JPII clearly allows for (if circumstances are such that it is necessary).

        And of course there is “racist” thrown in there.

        “please tell me where Pope Francis differs from Pope Benedict XVI and Pope JPII concerning migrants.”

        I told you.

        “I presume Carn, you therefore have difficulty understanding and appreciating what they have to say as well?”

        No, at least not as far as i am aware of.

        Can i presume that you understood what i wrote above and that accordingly, i have supported my claim, that i at least see some non-irrelevant difference in the discussed texts?

        And i repeat myself: voice what is implicit with BXVI and explicit with JPII, that it can under some circumstances be permissible to deny entry at least to non-refugee migrants, and not few people in Germany will call you RACIST.

        Voice that migration may cause harm to the host country as JPII did verbatim, and not few people in Germany will call you RACIST.

        Voice that it is relevant to distinguish between refugees as a subgroup of migrants and migrants as a whole and non-refugee migrants as both BXVI and JPII did verbatim, and not few people in Germany will call you RACIST.

        And the last thing you should do, if some of these calling you a racist are Catholics, is hold your breath till his eminence Cardinal Marx finds time to inform these Catholics that you are just reiterating Church teaching and therefore slurs like “racist” should be avoided.

        You know the boy who cried wolf?

        In the end, nobody takes the cry “wolf” seriously anymore.

        And that is the reason, if my tone sounds a bit negative; there is little i consider as politically dangerous as people crying “racist” till no one takes it seriously anymore; cause that will (and maybe already does) provide the perfect cover for racists to regain influence.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Carn- The choice is not either an open border or a walled border. ALL popes have called for unity amongst the nations so that those facing such challenges can be understood and OBVIOUSLY with consideration of a nation’s ability to handle such requests and with respect to security of her citizens. No one, Pope Francis included, has suggested open borders with no security checks whatsoever. He has called for dialogue between nations so that there is a solution to help refugees, and migrants in desperate search of a better life for their children. ALL popes have called for dialogue between nations so migration is no longer necessary. Pope Francis has acknowledged the complexity of the situation. While we can split hairs on who said what, we know that ALL popes have called for action! All popes have called for caring for the marginalized! and virtually all those opposed to Pope Francis have offered NOTHING as far as a solution to helping their neighbour in distress, but rather just shout “We don’t have to let everybody in”, and then turn their backs.

        I don’t want terrorists in my country any more than you do Carn, but I welcome with open arms everyone else who, for whatever reason, feels they must leave their home to seek a better life. Bienvenue! But for the Grace of God go I.

      • Avatar carn says:

        @Marie:

        “No one … has suggested open borders with no security checks whatsoever.”

        That claim seems to be false, as it claims that there is no and never has been ever any single human who called for open borders without security checks.

        Here is at least someone calling for open borders letting every single person in:

        https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/16/opinion/open-borders-immigration.html

        “I’m talking about opening up America’s borders to everyone who wants to move here.”

        That strongly implies also no security check, cause a security check can only have the purpose to determine whom to not let in, in which case one would not let everyone in.

        Whether your claim about Pope Francis is true or not, is hard to tell, see above.

        “and virtually all those opposed to Pope Francis have offered NOTHING as far as a solution to helping their neighbour in distress, but rather just shout “We don’t have to let everybody in”, and then turn their backs.”

        I call that claim false; though to provide evidence, i would need to have a definition what “opposed to Pope Francis” means in this context, to identify people who are both opposed to Pope Francis and have offered solutions beside shouting.

        You understand that if your claims are false, that then you entire argument falls apart and that then your position is wrong (which does not mean my position is right; but if yours is wrong that is enough)?

        “I don’t want terrorists in my country any more than you do Carn, but I welcome with open arms everyone else who, for whatever reason,”

        Thereby you want to have border police, walls and/or fences and want the border police to be armed and to be legitimized to use their weapons proportionally in case someone tries to enter without going through whatever security checks you have in mind to exclude “terrorists” from entering.

        Accodingly, you are in favor of arming border police for example with tear gas and are in favor of them being allowed to use it against people trying to force their way across the border without going through the security process.

        In what way would your border policy look different from Trump’s? Maybe your border police will use more seldom tear gas or use the baton fewer times and will erect fewer fences/walls; but fundamentally i am not sure what the difference might be.

        Also, you are probably a racist, cause what Merkel did end of 2015 was not what you seem to propose, and who proposes that Merkel should have done something different end of 2015 is a racist, according to the people who show their competence in identifying racist by calling lots of people racist.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Carn-You said ” That claim seems to be false, as it claims that there is no and never has been ever any single human who called for open borders without security checks.’ to my claim that “nobody has suggested….”, and this is your response? I give up, really Carn, if this is your argument. That is not seeking truth, that is being determined to fight truth. We can disagree, but I’d rather an honest argument. This isn’t one.

      • Avatar carn says:

        @Marie

        What did you want to express when you said, that

        “No one … has suggested open borders with no security checks whatsoever.”?

        I know of numerous people who suggest just that; some explicitely, some without really realizing that that is what they ask for or would get, if politics acted as they want. The guy from the times was the first one i found as a definite example.

        “We can disagree, but I’d rather an honest argument. This isn’t one.”

        And without any limitation “no one” means no one, nobody, so that the number of people who hold that position is zero. So i see no dishonesty.

        Besides, the additional claim you made was a broad unchristian judgement about a group of people without evidence; if you think seeking truth includes harsh judgements about other people, it is a bit strange that there would be a problem about judging some claim of yours to be wrong, at least in case of verbatim meaning.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Carn- If I were to say no one is suggesting green martians are landing at St Peter’s Basilica, I don’t think that you would be able to say I am wrong about everything, and racist on top of that because you found someone who believes that green martians landed there. When one says nobody, it does not mean absolutely out of 9 billion people, you can’t find a few. It is a disingenuous to constantly demand we say every single migrant, every single this or that, or else you dismiss the argument. Where is the harsh judgment? If there are people out there who support border walls and have offered another solution to migrants that respects their life, dignity and offers solutions and assistance, I’m all ears.

      • Avatar carn says:

        “If I were to say no one is suggesting green martians are landing at St Peter’s Basilica,”

        1. You condemn people; that requires precision.

        2. I did not name some lousy idiot, but someone getting space in the new york times.

        3. It is not a few; anybody calling for totally abolishing the right of border security to not let someone in and totally abolishing deportation detention for illegal immigrants, is – with or without being aware about it – calling for open borders for everyone. examples of people of political relevant influence: https://www.freedomforimmigrants.org/why-abolition

        https://www.die-linke.de/themen/flucht-und-migration/
        “Wir unterstützen die Forderungen nach einem sofortigen Stopp der Abschiebungen und nach einem Bleiberecht für alle.” = We support the calls for an immediate stop of deportation and for a right to stay for all.

        That is a party being part of various local state governments and also holds one governor post and has some 8% votes in parliament and hope for being part of a left leaning coalition.

        Accordingly, i have proven that your claim is false.

        No let’s try it the other way round:

        “and virtually all those opposed to Pope Francis have offered NOTHING as far as a solution to helping their neighbour in distress, but rather just shout “We don’t have to let everybody in”, and then turn their backs.”

        No one of those opposed to Pope Francis has not offered a solution to help their neighbour in distress; no one of those opposed to Pope Francis has limited his arguments regarding immigration to shouting “We don’t have to let everybody in” and then turn their back.

        “If there are people out there who support border walls and have offered another solution to migrants that respects their life, dignity and offers solutions and assistance, I’m all ears.”

        No one who supports border walls has not offered another solution to migrants that respects their life, dignity and offers solutions and assistance.

        As you expected me to accept your claims without evidence, you should now accept my claims without me providing evidence.

        But i guess not; cause that is my impression the way you want to have conversations; you make broad claims and if i claim that they are false (both verbatim reading as in case of interpreting “no one” = “no one of political relevance”), you take the moral high ground and accuse me of doing something wrong.

        If you claim something, think at least how you could be certain that it is true. Especially, if your claim is condemnation of someone. (Note: i made my above “no one” claims for sake of highlighting this; i would presume that these claims are false; but since you want to have conversation based on claims of dubious truth value, i see no problem making them for sake of discussion)

        “racist on top of that because”

        My claim was, that if you adhere to the teaching of JPII, BXVI and – if PF’s teaching is identical – also to that of PF, you are probably racist according to the people who show their competence in identifying racist by calling lots of people racist; though sorry that my wording might have sounded, as if i agreed with that designation.

        Why i stated this?

        Cause in my opinion just like some people would mistakenly believe you to be racist, you mistakenly believe other people – who hold positions well WITHIN Church teaching – to be racist or in violation of Church teaching.

        Just like you would be accused erreneously by others, you accuse erroneously.

        “It is a disingenuous to constantly demand we say every single migrant, every single this or that, or else you dismiss the argument.”

        It is in my experience unfortunately absolutely necessary, cause people deliberately avoid doing that to strengthen their own position. Therefore i get highly suspicious when i see how Pope Francis uses “refugee” and “migrant” interchangeably, cause that is usually done to paint the entire other side of the argument as racists, hatemongers, bigots, whatever. Maybe Pope Francis has no such intent; but his choice of words is hard to distinguish from those having such an intent.

      • Avatar carn says:

        “Here is a link to the supposedly “not at all sinful” actions”

        As i did nowhere wrote “not at all sinful” but instead wrote “a lot more likely to be not or not gravely sinful.” and thereby admitted that some border/migration can be sinful, your reply is obviously not directed at me.

        Accordingly, there is no need for me to reply back.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        I really wouldn’t want to be inside your head to discern these themes.

        You nullify your own and others’ arguments with prejudiced rhetoric, and that’s what hearing too much casuistry/sophistry does: it messes up with one’s reasoning abilities to see and perceive the clear X-object = “Das Ding an Sich”, and start making X1, X2, X3…Xn as one pleases.

        Faggioli analyzes and offers a clear view of today’s actual situation showing the real *wolf*, not just one of the many *goats*.

        PARTIAL from “Il Sismografo, hrs 16:44 – 2019-06-05: https://ilsismografo.blogspot.com/

        “The European and American Catholic divide”

        (Massimo Faggioli) This year marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when the Allied troops invaded Normandy on June 6, 1944. Just two days earlier the Allies had carried out the Liberation of Rome, making the Eternal City the first capital to be freed from Nazi German occupation. (…)
        __________________________________________________
        Original: https://international.la-croix.com/news/the-european-and-american-catholic-divide/10259

        […] At the continental level, the wave of populist and anti-establishment parties has been more limited than expected. Even European populist and nationalist-xenophobic politicians have looked at this American political entrepreneur with deep suspicion. […]

        Evident markers of the ideology of this new right-wing American Catholicism are anti-immigrant sentiments and xenophobia, extreme positions on human life issues, and theological traditionalism – driven by a mentality which is much closer to the late Marcel Lefebvre and his Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) than to the Second Vatican Council and the popes from John XXIII to Francis. […]

        They dislike Europe’s social model, which historically has been the alternative to an American free-market and anti-government ideology. And they excoriate the alleged liberalism of European episcopal and theological elites, especially in Germany. […]

        Because no matter how small its contribution to the liberation of Europe compared to the heroic sacrifice of the Allied armies and of the Soviet Union, Catholic anti-fascism was at the root of the EU project – from its very first leaders to its biggest supporter today, Pope Francis. […]

      • Avatar M. says:

        Carn,I don’t see where you admitted that some blocking of borders can be sinful. I did see you say it is likely to be not or not gravely sinful. My links pretty much disprove that. But if you did admit that it can be sinful, then why on earth are you so upset with Pope Francis for suggesting that countries should welcome the stranger? You choose not to read his words because he makes you cranky and you don’t want to be cranky at the pope. But then you spend a great deal of time tearing him down and trying to discredit him. Why? I must ask you why? Why are you spending much of your time arguing against the holy father? What is your primary reason? What are you hoping to attain by doing it?

      • Avatar carn says:

        @ONG

        “You nullify your own and others’ arguments with prejudiced rhetoric,”

        False on me nullifying arguments with prejudiced rhetoric; if you think there is prejudice in what i wrote, i refer you to the “barriers” we talked about; you look at what i wrote and think that there is prejudice due to the “barrier” making it appear like that.

        “Faggioli analyzes and offers a clear view of today’s actual situation showing the real *wolf*, not just one of the many *goats*.”

        Read the piece you linked.

        He only can offer a clear view, cause he overlooks and oversimplifies things, getting a clear but false view. E.g. that he doesn’t seem to get why pro-lifers can overlook Salvini’s lack of enthusiasm for changing Italian abortion law; for them it is at the time being sufficient that Salvini does not consider them to be evil, racist monsters and indicates that he is willing to try non-prohibition approaches to reduce abortion numbers.

        And Faggioli does not SHOW in that piece anything about anyone being a wolf, but just describes – in a context of various historical and cultural aspects – whom he thinks the wolf to be; he thinks Trump is the wolf. He does not show as in provides evidence/arguments; maybe and probably he does do or at least try that elsewhere; but not in this piece.

        “the clear X-object = “Das Ding an Sich””

        Before trying to teach others about seeing “Das Ding an Sich”, you should hone your own skills to distinguish between someone telling what he thinks “Das Ding an Sich” is and someone trying to show what “Das Ding an Sich” is.

        The former does not need evidence/arguments/something similar, the latter needs at least some.

        Also, i think Faggioli might be wrong with his assumptions about the attitudes of the “faithful” (of course depending on how he means that term).

        Cause the from nones to non-practicing christians to practicing christians both distrust of Islam and preference for limiting immigration INCREASES:

        https://www.pewforum.org/2018/05/29/being-christian-in-western-europe/

        “Both non-practicing and churchgoing Christians are more likely than the unaffiliated to hold negative views of immigrants, Muslims and Jews”

        And Christians are according to pew more open to nationalism than nones:

        “In Western Europe, religion strongly associated with nationalist sentiment”

        And again, the churchgoers more than the non-practicing Christians.

        You probably call this messing up of reasoning and start making further Xs as one pleases.

        I call it checking whether what someone claims is true; and Faggioli’s claim about being there a fundamental divide regarding the susceptibility of the “faithful” towards populism looks doubtful, if being christian and in addition also churchgoing is statistically clearly connected to being more skeptical of migration and islam and being less skeptical of nationalism.

        There are in my view only two clear differences, regarding which i have little doubt:

        1. In Europe both Catholics and Christians have less problem to accept some form of social welfare state.

        2. In Europe Catholics and Christians in many countries do not have the numbers and organization strength that Catholics have in the US thanks to often having the Evangelicals as allies.

        These two differences i think might be sufficient to explain most of the differences.

        Also of relevance is potentially the US election system, which gives votes in more religious and conservative “fly-over” country in US more weight than it would have if the US voting system would be more similar to what is usual in Europe.

        But i know, due my messed up reasoning and sophistry, i fail to accept what Faggioli says as Truth; there can be no other explanation.

      • Avatar carn says:

        @M.

        “it is likely to be not or not gravely sinful”

        That is not what i said. I said:

        ” in my opinion a lot more likely to be not or not gravely sinful [than in case of war]”

        In comparison to going to war, the likelihood of sin/the likelihoof of severe sin is smaller.

        That is a bit like saying that drinking 1 bottle of whisky in one go has a considerable smaller risk of death than drinking 2 bottles of whisky in one go one right after the other. Of course, driking 1 bottle of whisky in one go is already dangerous; but the risk pales somewhat in comparison to drinking 2 bottles at once.

        In a similar way, i think the risk of serious sin in case of closing borders is considerably lower than in case of going to war.

        And just as saying that 1 bottle of whisky has a lot better survival chance than 2 bottles does not imply, that 1 bottle cannot be lethal, saying that closing borders has a better chance not to sin than starting a war does not imply, that closing borders cannot be sinful.

        “But if you did admit that it can be sinful, then why on earth are you so upset with Pope Francis for suggesting that countries should welcome the stranger?”

        Cause i made the horrible stupid mistake to presuming that it was obvious, that if some politician honestly thinks that some specific migration will spell doom for his country, that then Pope Francis urging him to open his country to that specific migration

        is encouragement to act in a way that might be gravely sinful for that politician (as allowing migration to take place, that you expect to spell doom for your country is a serious violation of the oath to protect your country).

        That resulted in some claims about me allegedly rejecting of Church teaching; to which i replied, cause when someone claims what i say is false, my instinct is to check whether the claim is true or not and due to which reasons and inform the one claiming about my take on whether i am wrong (which included reading texts by Popes about migration to check whether the claim that i am in disobedience is true).

        Maybe i should not reply to anyone calling me wrong or a dissident.

        Added problem with migration is, that one side usually gets implicitely painted as racist without evidence and i dislike that a lot.

        “Why? I must ask you why? Why are you spending much of your time arguing against the holy father? What is your primary reason?”

        See above.

        If i remember correctly, i had intent to quit discussions here some time ago. I should consider that.

        “What are you hoping to attain by doing it?”

        By replying to someone calling me wrong, dissident or whatever, when that accusation is objectively WRONG, i hope to help that person see that that accusation is wrong and thereby stop presuming a falsehood to be true; and i hope to understand why that person presumed the accusation to be true, when there was insufficient evidence to support the accusation.

        But that is probably futile.

        And yes, in all that, venting some anger at some hypocritical and arrogant people in German church nad in German society, who would judge me a racist if i ever were foolish enough to actually end up talking with them about migration, but who constantly babble about not judging others, was also part of the reasons.

      • Avatar M. says:

        I can no longer reply below your comments, so I am replying up here, Carn. Mybe we are getting nowhere, and making things worse is that comments do tend to get lost in the jungle, leaving many things our of place or too late, out of context of discussion etc. I wonder if it is possible for it to be fixed, but would hate to outright ask, since I know this site is volunteer work by the writers.

        Carn, I will be honest and tell you that I cannot usually understand your replies, to me they just seem so convoluted and complicated that halfway through the reading, my head is spinning around. I truly wish you well. I would never presume to call you a racist, I don’t know where you got that idea. I would not call you a racist, I don’t know you in real life. I do wonder at why people argue vociferously against the Pope’s ideas on immigration policies, and seem to me to misrespresent his ideas as far more extreme than they seem to be to me. I just don’t get it. Americans (and maybe Germans too) are rendering themselves infertile, killing off the next generation of children, and then saying they want closed borders. If it was truly a matter of just wanting vetting, and care taken about security, I could see it, but it seems to be about keeping the desperate families *out* especially when they are brown and poverty stricken. It seems cruel and selfish and closed and brutal. America is not replacing its population with live births of legal citizens. And it doesn’t want any of those poor brown Catholics coming in either. It makes no sense to me. Fund Planned Parenthood and use the leftover extra money to build a ridiculously expensive and impractical wall. Sterile all the way.

        I think people should be allowed to have their opinions on closed border, or whatever, without being shut down with reverse hate-speech. And it is just silly when people yell racist to those who just believe in sane but hopefully generous border policy.

      • Daniel Amiri Daniel Amiri says:

        I think part of the problem is that we’re moderating each and every comment and we’re not always on when you all are on. I’ll discuss and see if we can’t whitelist some of our more charitable commenters.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @Marie, M.
        I have saved unbiased links from Associated Press (AP) with original videos and audio of several of those episodes I’ve refrained
        from posting on FB just to avoid to be dragged into endless polemics and unfriend more deaf&blind people that showed up with their nonsensical comments.
        Immigration and refugees has been a hot topic of division for years.

      • Avatar M. says:

        I would be interested to see. Unbiased is hard to find. I dislike CNN, I think AP is better.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        Here are some sites from last year to browse…

        Listen to children who’ve been separated from their parents at the border:😥

        https://www.propublica.org/article/children-separated-from-parents-border-patrol-cbp-trump-immigration-policy#
        ———-
        Former migrant detention facility worker leaks footage from inside:

        https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/former-migrant-detention-facility-worker-leaks-footage-from-inside-facility-to-msnbc/ar-AAzaqap

        ———-
        Campaigns:

        https://www.aclutx.org/en/issues/immigrants-rights
        ———-
        The several LIES about Europe and Germany to sow fear about inexistent crime threats cannot be considered HONEST POLITICS, can it? 😟
        Several links, videos an tweets:

        https://theintercept.com/2018/06/18/donald-trump-angela-merkel-germany-refugees-immigration/

  16. Avatar M. says:

    (though I can’t agree with her conclusion, that America could therefore dismiss the pope as “just a holy man saying what holy men say,” and feel justified in declaring war.

    • Avatar M. says:

      Sorry this was my reply to carn from way up above…somehow it appeared down here and makes no sense anymore, could be best to just delete it.

  17. Avatar M. says:

    Daniel, thanks, but i think that what happens is that the reply button under comments disappears randomly. Sometimes it is there, other times it is not. Then, as with your comment about white listing, in order to reply to you I have to scroll to the bottom and reply all the way down here, where it doesn’t make much sense. (And you maybe, won’t even see that I responded to you.) I think it might be something about the settings on comments on your website that needs fixing, but I wouldn’t know the first thing about how… thanks for your beautiful writing while I am at it.

    • Avatar ONG says:

      Hi M.
      Did you see the links you wished to see that I posted earlier?

      Sometime is better to see *all comments* and review. Also, if the reply button doesn’t show under each sub-comments, one could reply to the main comment — though one would get the notification…

  18. Avatar Marie says:

    Carn- If I may point out a few things. The word racist has popped up 26 times in the comments section of this article. 22 times in your comments, once in mine in response to you calling me a racist (I like to believe your intent was not as harsh as it sounds), and 3 times with M, all in response to your comments, and one in response to you saying she called you a racist (a false claim you also said that I made towards you and others who share your views). You might want to seriously give that some thought. Doth protest too much me thinks.

    • Avatar carn says:

      The first mention of “racist” in this comment section entered due to me linking a Pope Francis text, in which he uses the term in his message about world day of migrants and refugees.

      I linked this texts due to you asking me questions about differences of Popes after in the same post thanking M. for raising what i still consider false accusations against me (which were caused probably by me not wording things clearly enough).

      From there it went downward. Sorry for that, i should have worded things better.

      And maybe you could ponder, whether what i try to bring myself to – not read texts by Pope Francis – might at least for me be somewhat sensible; cause it is my repeated experience, that reading texts by Pope Francis does not help my “spiritual growth”; just like it didn’t help here.

      @M.

      I agree that few nations act in anyway sensible, consistent or rationally regarding migration. Politics and discussions are dominated by fears/emotions, most prominent among them i think fear of foreigners and fear of islam and fear of some sort of community/national disintegration, but equally prominent fear of racism/right-wing and fear of islamophobia and hate for own nation and hate for own ethnicity and hate for “the west”.

      In a sense, some of these might be partly reasonable (Germany as a nation deserves some dislike by Germans as precaution against “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles”), but there is a lot of irrational fear going around.

      And that results in politics, that overall are well described by that:

      “It makes no sense to me.”

      God bless you two

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        Did you see the links I posted earlier to M. ?

      • Avatar carn says:

        If you mean post starting with “Here are some sites from last year to browse…”, i read/listened to them.

        I have the impression, that you consider the separation of children from their parents if the parents are taken in custody for breaking the law is a horrible injustice and should never be done.

        In case that is your opinion i have to inform you, that Chancellor Merkel whom you seem to consider somewhat better than Trump is in office since 13 years and during all this time it has been and it is law in Germany to separate children from their parents if the parents are taken into custody.

        The only difference is that in Germany this probably happens less often and the press is not interested in this.

        But if even once is an inhuman injustice, then Merkel is to some guilty of the same “crime” as Trump.

        The link to ACLU seems to confirm that they are against the law as much as US right-wing sites claim.

        About the alleged lie about crime in Germany, there is a long downward crime trend in Germany, but regarding certain crimes the influx of migrants has slowed down the decrease or even let to a slight increase. E.g. for assault rape by groups there has been a sharp increase one year and the downward trend from 2010 to 2015 die not continue due to that; and the percentage of non-german suspects in these crimes increased sharply. So the picture is mixed.

        And at least many news outlets and politicians stopped during 2017/2018 to suggest that it would be totally ridiculous to be worried about the increase of assault rape by groups.

        So while the general claim is wrong, it would be wrong to not be worried about certain crime problems correlated to migration.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        I told you in several other comments that I’m not interested in hearing Right vs. Left arguments from the Right vs. Left Press and who only reads them. There is a COMMON argument that is based on COMMON sense, ethical norms, human rights, both EU and UN Convention, plus the CONSTITUTION of the Country in question based on Democratic Values.

        That being said, we are focusing here on Catholic values + Social Doctrine, and on Pope Francis as PONTIFEX to build bridges and not walls.
        The People are on focus here, not some specific *secular politicians* who advance their own interests with immoral means, and/or even worse, exploiting religious items with fake religious speeches to win appeal of certain voters! (Salvini tried that, if you haven’t heard, and he was strongly criticised!!)

        The *spiritual wisdom of the Church* is the corrective needed when a little group tries to dictate their own rules at the expense of the COMMON GOOD, where ALL are included.

        So, again, ALL Europe should stay together and fight any violation of its own heritage.
        In this context, here’s a short video from May 6, 2016 during the acceptance of Charlemagne Prize (which was offered to Europe itself), when Pope Francis expressed his dream for Europe:

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QXc2N4Lv55A

        After this there was a direct Video Message to the entire Europe, of July 2, 2016 (which I doubt all have seen), in occasion of the gathering *Together for Europe* which found place in Munich, Bavaria:

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fi3CCCy2u0A

      • Avatar carn says:

        “I told you in several other comments that I’m not interested in hearing Right vs. Left arguments from the Right vs. Left Press and who only reads them.”

        Then why post those links i discussed? They are Right vs Left arguments. Why post links using Right vs Left arguments when you are not interested in them?

        Seems pointless.

        “a little group tries to dictate their own rules at the expense of the COMMON GOOD”

        It seems to me that this is at the moment not taking place anywhere in Europe or the US, at least as far as i would define the terms “a”, “little”, “group”, “dictate”, “own”, “at the expense” and “common good”.

        “on Pope Francis as PONTIFEX to build bridges and not walls.”

        Pope Francis is free to give his input on security policy and where according to his opinion walls are/are not necessary for security reasons. The people deciding if and where to build walls are free to ignore his opinion, in case it is not convincing.

        “when Pope Francis expressed his dream for Europe:”

        Nice dream. How to get there has to be decided often by prudential judgement. Also, it might be possible that even a honest and well thought attempt at achieving that dream falls short.

        “So, again, ALL Europe should stay together and fight any violation of its own heritage.”

        Maybe it should; but sometimes one won’t find even agreement what a violation of its own heritage is and what isn’t.

        Ask people in Poland or Hungary on one hand and people in France or Germany and you might different answers what violations of Europe’s heritage are and aren’t.

        “in occasion of the gathering *Together for Europe* which found place in Munich, Bavaria:

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fi3CCCy2u0A

        I do not know enough about Together in Europe to put everything Pope Francis says to them in the right context.

        But i agree with the Pope in one aspect at least:

        “They are walls made of fear and aggression, a failure to understand people of different backgrounds or faith.”

        But only to the words; probably not to how the Pope meant them. Cause i think the walls also exist due to leaders in Europe – and i do not exclude Church leaders – failing to understand more conservative people, people skeptical about migration, people having a higher opinion of their nation and/or people skeptical about Islam.

        The fruits of that failure are in my opinion all those right-wing populist parties, which were 20-30 years ago irrelevant, and the increased hatred migrants face.

        What is it exactly that you still want to discuss?

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        //I do not know enough about Together in Europe to put everything Pope Francis says to them in the right context.

        But i agree with the Pope in one aspect at least:

        “They are walls made of fear and aggression, a failure to understand people of different backgrounds or faith.”//

        Well, at least you got *one aspect* right…
        What about all the other aspects? The more you assimilate, the better you will *Sentire cum Ecclesia* and promulgate it to others accordingly and in the right proportions.

        Here’s something I posted earlier but it might have been buried in the other articles.

        Pope Francis’ video from 2017 addressing a variety of “creative” people. Among them there also are non-believers (see comments) that expressed their solidarity with the Pope due to his inspirational talk!

        There are 34 subtitles languages to choose from.

        WHY THE ONLY FUTURE WORTH BUILDING INCLUDES EVERYONE | POPE FRANCIS

        https://youtu.be/36zrJfAFcuc

      • Avatar carn says:

        “What about all the other aspects?”

        Regarding that talk to Together in Europe, with other aspects i disagree and/or am not sure about the meaning of the Pope’s words – partly cause i do not know much about that group.

        “The more you assimilate, the better you will *Sentire cum Ecclesia* and promulgate it to others accordingly and in the right proportions.”

        You understand that it is hard to agree with someone, if one thinks that someone is suggesting that 2+2=5? And that it would be even harder to promulgate that idea to others?

        You seem constantly not to consider, that if from my point of view some words of Pope Francis are self-contradicting stupidity, that then there is no teaching i can heed/submit to, until i find some understanding with which the words of Pope Francis are not self-contradicting stupidity?

        One cannot submit with mind and will to something perceived as self-contradicting stupidity, cause the mind cannot agree to hold two contradicting ideas to be true.

        “Pope Francis’ video from 2017 addressing a variety of “creative” people. Among them there also are non-believers (see comments) that expressed their solidarity with the Pope due to his inspirational talk!

        There are 34 subtitles languages to choose from.

        WHY THE ONLY FUTURE WORTH BUILDING INCLUDES EVERYONE | POPE FRANCIS

        https://youtu.be/36zrJfAFcuc

        Well, his first message up to 4:30 includes that apparently many people believe that a happy future is impossible and that while such “concerns” should be taken seriously they (that is the concerns with that wording) “can be overcome” with something.

        He already lost me there.

        I am probably one who thinks that a “happy future” is impossible; i think that best achievable is that we massacre each other a bit less often.

        And while i would certainly like to be convinced that a “happy future” is possible, someone suggesting that for that the concerns must be overcome is uttering stupidities in my view. Problematic are not the concerns that a “happy future” might be impossible, problematic are facts and reality and laws of nature, which make a “happy future” at least difficult and do not care in any way whether “concerns are overcome”. Also, it seems that original sin might further make a “happy future” at least difficult

        You see, show my 5 mins of Pope Francis and i find something which i perceive as stupidity (cause it seems to be in denial or contradiction of reality).

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        The video was almost 18 minutes.

        Now here is the FULL TEXT.

        Would you please READ IT ALL FIRST, and point me to the exact words and phrases that are there that show contradiction and stupidity? Thank you!

        TED video message TEXT ITA – ENG

        http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2017/04/26/0268/00617.html

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Carn- if you were 100% correct, the fact that you have no problem saying “You see, show my 5 mins of Pope Francis and i find something which i perceive as stupidity (cause it seems to be in denial or contradiction of reality).” says a lot about where you see yourself within the Catholic faith. It’s frankly a little shocking. I’d have trouble saying that about anybody, let alone the Vicar of Christ, and as you may have noticed I don’t have trouble saying my peace. This is a genuine example of your lack of humility in this regard. That said, since it only takes you 5 minutes, please share some examples with those of us unable to find such contradictions.

      • Avatar carn says:

        “Would you please READ IT ALL FIRST, and point me to the exact words and phrases that are there that show contradiction and stupidity?”

        I read it all, but i will not point out every single item i perceive as stupid or contradiction due to saving space and time.

        “Solidarity is a term that many wish to erase from the dictionary. Solidarity, however, is not an automatic mechanism. It cannot be programmed or controlled. It is a free response born from the heart of each and every one. Yes, a free response!”

        Yet, the Pope regularly seems to be in favor of certain actions by societies as a whole in respect to solidarity.

        When a society as a whole acts, it ALWAYS includes forcing some people (ideally only few).

        How solidarity can be a free response from the heart of everybody AND enforced by the state with police officers having guns at their hips is at best unclear.

        Maybe some people do not want to erase the term from the dictionary but want to have a reasonably coherent definition in the dictionary?

        “To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is Hope.”

        In combination with the “happy future” and other parts of the speech, this might be seen to imply that Christians actually hope for man to build a better world, maybe even a paradise in this world, just like the general idea behind the TED idea is. Especially in combination with “Hope began with one “you.” When there is an “us,” there begins a revolution.”

        That by the way is quite a good recipe to create divisions; you have some hope others perceive as false (as it borders on salvation in this world and/or cause it downplays the obstacles) who are told that if just everybody would hope as they do, things would move in the right direction, which then leads to perceive the others who do not share this hope as obstacles/other/enemy – which logically they are if the sabotage the “revolution” by continuing to argue that this hope is undefined and contradicting.

        “Hope is a humble”

        How can a hope be humble if it acts as if the main obstacle for a happy future are the people thinking that it is not possible?

        The part starting with “The third message” is in itself ok; only in combination with the rest it gets weaker, e.g. the terms “revolution”, “humble”, “solidarity” became vague due to what was said before.

        The text in sum tends to hint at salvation in this world and even if this is unintentional i think that quite a few people listening will have it understood as such; as the TED event might be one that attracts people who are actually walking that false path, talking in a way that they might take as confirmation from the Pope that the path is legitimate could potentially not be helpful for them.

        “please, think of me as well with tenderness”

        I try. But reading your texts makes it harder. Yet, people constantly tell me, that reading your texts is a good idea. Somewhere there is a contradiction, but i can’t nail it down.

      • Avatar carn says:

        @Marie:

        “if you were 100% correct”

        You doubt my ability to perceive correctly how i perceive texts by Pope Francis?
        Why?

        I am the only one who can know how i perceive them.

        “It’s frankly a little shocking.”

        I formulated it this blunt in hope that ONG might notice and understand it.

        ONG regularly tries here to point me towards some text of Pope Francis seemingly in the hope, that reading the text i might overcome the “difficulties” i might have with Pope Francis; but regularly reading his texts INCREASES the “difficulties”.

        Therefore i put it as bluntly as possible, so that ONG might take note of that.

        But as you see, even that didn’t work.

        His recipe for me saying that 5 mins of Pope Francis already yielded something in my view stupid?

        13 more mins of Pope Francis – which as to be expected yielded a few other instances of me perceiving something as stupid.

        “This is a genuine example of your lack of humility in this regard.”

        How is it a lack of humility if i perceive something to be stupid to say that i perceived it as stupid?

        If someone perceives something as stupid, then that is so. And the only choice left is whether that person says so or keeps this to himself or discloses only partly (e.g. “have problems understanding what the Pope says” would be a wording revealing partly, that one perceives what he says as stupid).

        I opted for saying to ensure that ONG gets, that at least with me this “Read/listen more Pope Francis to overcome your problems with him” is very, very unlikely to work.

      • Avatar Marie says:

        Carn- The fact that you assume what the Pope says is stupid because you do not get his message is where the lack of humility is. Why would you assume that? Does it make sense that the Vicar of Christ would speak in such a way as to cause great confusion? That makes no sense, as it would work counter to being able to follow the teachings of the Church. If we were not able to understand then how could we follow? Hmmmm, that is interesting. Maybe that is exactly what is going on here. If you cause yourself confusion, blame the Pope for it, then you don’t have to follow it.

        Never have I seen anyone dissect a person’s words like you do to Pope Francis’ words. Are we to believe you found Pope Benedict’s writings and Pope JPII writings so much clearer? Are you sure it is not you who is just fighting the message? After all, if you don’t understand the message, it’s not your fault if you don’t believe it then, right?

        Carn, I think to any observer, you are a very good person who is battling your beliefs against beliefs you do not want to embrace, so you just blame the messenger for lack of clarity so you don’t have to be held to account for rejecting the message. Sorry, but that’s how I see it. You just can’t seem to take that step that says I’m wrong, I’m seeing things wrong, and I need to embrace this thinking that does not come natural to me. If and when you do however, you will realize we have all been down that road to some degree, and accepting this challenge brings total freedom and a real understanding of the truth of the messages our pope is gifting us with to better follow the teachings of Christ.

      • Avatar ONG says:

        @carn
        All this long thread is now impossible to follow …
        Again, you seem to switch position almost every new comment! If it’s addressed @carn, well it must be only “carn” who answers, not all the world speaking through carn’s percception.

        You do that a lot!

        I see and hear NO contradictions in what Pope Francis says! Even less “stupidity”!
        The same has Jane, Marie and M. confirmed.

        Daniel had a comment here earlier, May 23, 2019 at 2:12 pm, which could be useful to you, even if it was @carn?

        There are several other posts @others that could be addressed at you. Did you read everything???

        Could it be possible that you still haven’t quite fully understood what the GOSPEL is?

        With that TED video, Pope Francis is SHOWING THE GOSPEL IN PRACTICE!

        Earlier you sent me this:

        // http://www.usccb.org/bible/matthew23:6
“Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice.” //

        And reacting on my calling politicians against Pope Francis “scumbags”, you replied with:

        //That is quite a convincing argument to show how compatible your position is with what Christ called us to.//

        When I asked you earlier:
        “What is the Gospel for you and what should one do with it?”

        You answered:
        //The most important message from God to man. Read it and/or listen to it and/or think about it and/or listen to homilies about it and/or hold it in your heart (though how to do the last is a bit hard to put into words).//

        The TED video text is full of Gospel… Pope Francis PUT IT IN WORDS! Why can’t you “perceive” it?

        Perhaps you’ve heard St. Augustine’s quote:

        ••• If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, then it’s not the gospel you believe but yourself.•••

        Should I post a LIST of keywords you might have disregarded or forgotten?

  19. Avatar carn says:

    I just realized that the conference that the TED conference that Pope Francis speech we are currently discussing was addressed to

    if a conference with a reduced attendance fee of 5000 dollars. Standard fee is 10000.

    I am financial quite well of, but paying 10000 for attending a conference would irritate me considerably; namely cause i would ask myself whether spending 5000 on some nice holiday with my family and dropping 5000 in the collection bag would be a better way to spend 10000.

    So Pope Francis speech there is directly mainly to the very rich and the filthy rich. It surprises me a bit that a Pope who is so bent on reminding the rich that they must share their wealth forget to remind this audience explicitly about that; implicitly he does through reference to the good Samaritan; but a bit of the usual bashing of rich the Pope is known for might not have been out of place in front of people capable of spending 5000-10000 for attending a conference.

    Especially in the part “Now you might tell me, “Sure, these are beautiful words, but I am not the Good Samaritan, nor Mother Teresa of Calcutta.” On the contrary: …” a “And did you give at least the amount of money you spent for attending here to charities helping migrants, the poor, the outcast? There you all have certainly the opportunity to be Good Samaritans.”

    • Avatar ONG says:

      @carn

      That is completely IRRELEVANT, carn! Neither could I be bothered to look up if what you say is true or not.

      “Freely you have received, freely give!” You got the LINKS for free, didn’t you?

      FOCUS on Content, not Form! There is much much more in there!

      “He that has an ear, let him hear!”

      If the salt has lost its power…? =» see Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50; Luke 14:34

      Why don’t you study The Beatitudes in the *Sermon of the Mount* in Matthew 5, and also Matthew 25, esp. from vv. 31 to 46 ?

      PS: Why didn’t you post in the previous comment?

      • Avatar carn says:

        @ONG

        “You do that a lot!”

        I did not switch any position of mine replying anywhere; i only once screwed some argument of mine, but not in post directed towards you. If you has asked me 1 or 2 or 3 years ago, whether i perceive stupidities in Pope Francis words, the honest answer would always have been a yes.

        Whatever switching of position you perceive, it is only in what you perceive.

        “I see and hear NO contradictions in what Pope Francis says! Even less “stupidity”!
        The same has Jane, Marie and M. confirmed.”

        I am aware about that. It is at least interesting, why that perception differs so much.

        But on the other hand, you also perceive me switching positions, although i do not. That means that perception can err and therefore neither some people perceiving stupidities not some people perceiving no stupidities is in itself evidence for anything.

        “Daniel had a comment here earlier, May 23, 2019 at 2:12 pm, which could be useful to you, even if it was @carn?”

        Nothing that can resolve me perceiving stupidities.

        “There are several other posts @others that could be addressed at you. Did you read everything???”

        In this thread i think yes. Though i would have to reread everything to check, whether i really read everything. I read at least most of the posts.

        “Could it be possible that you still haven’t quite fully understood what the GOSPEL is?”

        That is possible. It is also possible that you have not fully understood what the Gospel is and argue against me from a false understanding. Also we both might get it partly wrong, but in different parts.

        “The TED video text is full of Gospel… Pope Francis PUT IT IN WORDS! Why can’t you “perceive” it?”

        As i said, “The text in sum tends to hint at salvation in this world and even if this is unintentional i think that quite a few people listening will have it understood as such”.

        You do understand the concept of forming an opinion whether some preaching was of better or worse quality? Reminding them of the Good Samaritan was the well done part; the other parts not well done.

        “Should I post a LIST of keywords you might have disregarded or forgotten?”

        No, cause it is highly unlikely that you correctly guess whether and which words i might have disregarded or forgotten (you perceiving me switching positions when i do not, is indication that you are unlikely to correctly guess that); so it probably would be a waste of time.

        “You got the LINKS for free, didn’t you?”

        Yes; i was just surprised that the event itself is one for the very and filthy rich.
        “FOCUS on Content”

        As i said, i perceived some stupidity in the content.

        “Why don’t you study The Beatitudes in the *Sermon of the Mount* in Matthew 5, and also Matthew 25, esp. from vv. 31 to 46 ?”

        While advice to study the Gospels is seldom wrong, i can nearly guarantee you that i would still perceive the same stupidities as before.

        “PS: Why didn’t you post in the previous comment?”

        Clicked wrongly.

    • Avatar Marie says:

      This is laughable really Carn, honestly. I always love when, in search for attacks, if you can’t find one, hey, just talk about what he didn’t say! Oh, and by the way, why would the pope choose this occasion to speak about charity? It is not just the duty of the wealthy to give. It is the responsibility of all of us.

      • Avatar carn says:

        @Marie

        “he fact that you assume what the Pope says is stupid because you do not get his message is where the lack of humility is. Why would you assume that?”

        Its not assuming. I know when i read something if i perceive it as stupid; there is no assuming involved. And i would perceive the same words as stupid if Cardinal Burke said them.

        “Does it make sense that the Vicar of Christ would speak in such a way as to cause great confusion?”

        Every Pope can make stupid statements about political matters. Just as every Pope can make wise statements about political matters.

        So there is no theological problem if some Pope makes stupid statements.

        “Never have I seen anyone dissect a person’s words like you do to Pope Francis’ words.”

        I dissect as far as i am aware anyone’s statements that way.

        “Are we to believe you found Pope Benedict’s writings and Pope JPII writings so much clearer?”

        The frequency of statements i perceive as stupid is far lower with BXVI and JPII (again: this is a statement of fact; i know this to be true, as i know what i perceive; what it means that i have this perception is another issue).

        “Are you sure it is not you who is just fighting the message?”

        Mostly.

        “in search for attacks”

        That wasn’t an attack; it honestly surprises me; its not what i expected. That a Pope tries to preach the gospel to the filthy rich is of course fine. That they got reminded about the Good Samaritan was good.

        But still the question remains, what is the purpose of further discussions here?

        This new round of exchanges originated from ONG asking me whether i noticed some links, me confirming and giving shortly my impression of the links (so he could see where our ways part regarding interpretation); you can of course continue to ask me questions, i will continue trying to answer; but i do not think this will do much good.

      • Daniel Amiri Daniel Amiri says:

        Well I think there have been some helpful discussions here, I would appreciate if we can draw this conversation to a close. My sense of things reading through these comments is that it’s devolved a bit. I’m sure there will be other opportunities to explore our disagreements on other posts and in other subjects.