Monday, May 24, 2010

Rome's female priests

Prostrate before her God, dedicated in spirit and devoted in life, Maria Vittoria Longhitano has been ordained a Roman Catholic priest(-ess?).

And she was not the first.

Maria Vittoria Longhitano is a member of the breakaway Old Catholic church which severed links with the Vatican in the 19th century in protest at the adoption of the doctrine of papal infallibility which was promulgated by the First Vatican Council.

And there are many Roman Catholics who might consider that a perfectly valid reason for schism. And some of those might insist that they alone are 'proper Catholics' because they reject vast tranches (if not all) of the Second Vatican Council.

Yet, to traditionalists, the Old Catholics are not 'proper Catholics' because they ordain women.

Significantly, Old Catholics are in full communion with the Anglicans.

And that fact alone might give the traditionalists succour in their assertion that Old Catholics aren't really Roman Catholic at all.

But they are, you see: their only theological objection was to the doctrine of papal infallibility, which was promulgated before popes were declared to be preserved from even the possibility of error when they solemnly declare or promulgate to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals.

Maria Longhitano, who is married, told the congregation: "I have opened the way. Catholicism means universality, and without women it is mutilated." She said she was convinced the laity in Italy were "ready to welcome a female ministry" and that in her native Sicily people often asked her: "Why don't we have the joy of women priests?"

So when people deride the Church of England for ordaining women or admitting them to the episcopate, or ridicule it for its labyrinthine divisions and irreconcilable tensions, it is worth remembering that all churches are coalitions, even that which calls itself Catholic. One side might excomunicate the other and the other might justifiably respond in Coriolanian terms with 'I banish you', but ultimately they are all part of the Church of Jesus Christ, just squabbling like children over a packet of sweets.


Anonymous Michael said...

Golly, an admirable outbreak of ecumenism. I don't think even you buy it though, Cranny. Theology is important - if someone denies Christ was fully human and fully divine, or that the soul is immortal, or the goodness of God's creation, or the redeeming nature of Christ's sacrifice, or the resurrection, or myriad other different things, then it is entirely legitimate to ask whether and to what extend those people can be called 'Christian'. Even your hero Cranmer, who had little difficulty changing his theological opinions now and then (via media, dear boy) was yet not unopposed to burning people in defence of what he deemed orthodoxy at any particular time.

I understand that for many there are levels of severity that might usefully be drawn, and perhaps the Old Catholics wanting to ordain females (this split from orthodoxy is nothing like the levels, and will never be, that afflict the Anglican Communion) might seem to be of a lesser order to denying the divinity of Christ - but then the theologians would, and legitimately, argue over even that. And they have a strong case to make.

It's always a shame when groups break from the True Vine (yes yes, protestant objections to the papacy noted), though when they do they inevitably wither; those Catholics who choose to ordain priestesses are no exception.

24 May 2010 at 09:34  
Anonymous Michael said...

Oh and, in case it is of any interest to anybody, Roger Scruton has a few interesting things to say about orthodoxy, community, tradition, heresy etc. etc. in the first of his Gifford lectures -

24 May 2010 at 09:35  
Blogger Murray said...

Her 'ordination' is "absolutely null and utterly void".

I mean: blue jeans and white trainers? It's obviously not a real sacrament.

24 May 2010 at 09:44  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

Papal infallibility!!!!!!!!

After the devastating exposure of child rape and abuse perpetrated by Catholic priests over many decades surely know one in their right mind can still claim that?

Despite Cranmer’s brave attempt to introduce reason and rationality into an arcane debate about religious authenticity I never cease to be amazed that the question as to whether the God at the heart of this debate actually exists is never asked.

24 May 2010 at 09:46  
Anonymous Alexandrian said...

"And that fact alone might give the traditionalists succour in their assertion that Old Catholics aren't really Roman Catholic at all.

But they are, you see."


They may, in some sense be 'Catholic', but if they do not acknowledge the authority of the Pope and carry out the will of the Vatican, they are no more Roman Catholics than the CofE or the Baptists.

24 May 2010 at 09:52  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Mr Graham Davis @ 0946 said, "I never cease to be amazed that the question as to whether the God at the heart of this debate actually exists is never asked." Whilst struggling with the double negative, this communicant believes that some truths are self-evident.

24 May 2010 at 09:53  
Anonymous Michael said...

@GrahamDavis - 'I never cease to be amazed that the question as to whether the God at the heart of this debate actually exists is never asked.'

Well if, generally speaking, people on this blog have faith that there is a God, then why would they ask such banal questions? They probably got most of that out of their system in the sixth-form common-rooms, and are pretty bored by it all now. In a similar manner, the sixth-form favourite of 'does this chair exist?' doesn't detain me whenever for any period of time when I choose to sit myself down.

And on your papal infallibility point... actually no, different tack: what is your point?

24 May 2010 at 09:58  
Blogger Graham Davis said...


Apologies for my grammar but I think that you should check the meaning of Truth. In my book it means “something that corresponds to fact or reality”. Otherwise what you believe in is simply unsubstantiated myth.

24 May 2010 at 09:59  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Michael I am surprised that you find it difficult. Infallible ie “incapable of making a mistake” do you get it now?

24 May 2010 at 10:05  
Anonymous Michael said...

@GrahamDavis - thanks for that. I think you misunderstand the doctrine of papal infallibility. And the distinction between that doctrine and the concept of impeccability. And to try and connect that with the child abuse horrors is, well, just odd.

24 May 2010 at 10:09  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Mr Graham Davis @ 0959, in my copy of the book I can read about the way, the truth and the life. It's simply a question of faith.

In previous comment you have said that religion is a substitute for science. It isn't, its an age old attempt to confront one's mortality. Something that even a baby boomer such as yourself must do one day...

Unless you want to go cheerfully into oblivion. If so, good luck.

24 May 2010 at 10:19  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@GrahamDavis - 'I never cease to be amazed that the question as to whether the God at the heart of this debate actually exists is never asked.'

How very presumptuous of you. How do you know it has not been asked? I suspect it has been asked countless times. The difference is that the majority of regular communicants on this this blog have come up with the answer, "yes He does".

The clue is in the title ... this is a blog of politico-religious objectives, not evangelistic apologetics. Your constant attempts at proselytising are getting very wearisome. If you don't agree with the very premise of the the blog why keep coming back? Do you go to Manchester United supporters football blog and say, "I never cease to be amazed that the question as to whether the sport of football at the heart of this debate actually is really a sport at all is never asked."

24 May 2010 at 10:26  
Blogger Graham Davis said...


I do not go cheerfully into oblivion but to it I and you will certainly go. Faith is an unreliable companion, it deceives by allowing you to believe what pleases you regardless of the truth.

24 May 2010 at 10:33  
Blogger Graham Davis said...


Weasel words as usual. Subverting language in order to allow yourself to continue defend the indefensible.

24 May 2010 at 10:36  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Rebel Saint

The reason I come back to prod and poke is to try and understand what makes you tick. I have a childish fascination, it’s like turning over a stone and seeing all manner of creatures wriggling around that are evidently very different to oneself. I shall get bored eventually but I really like your suggestion of joining the ManU blog.

Don’t you find other peoples navels more interesting than your own; preaching to the converted must be awfully dull.

24 May 2010 at 10:45  
Blogger John R said...

"just squabbling like children over a packet of sweets."

Exactly - thus perfectly demonstrating the foolishness of the whole nonsense of churchs, religions and the multiplicity of gods they've created to keep themselves in milk and cookies.

24 May 2010 at 10:49  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Put your hand into the flame and it will hurt, burn and that's a fact.

Organised religions offer the existence of a god as fact but only if one accepts their dogmatic supremacy as a means of experiencing the beneficial consequences of that fact.

Failure to fall in line they say, will result in obscene torment and torture condoned by their god in the next life but for good measure, we will give you an experience of that in this life - we will do you a favour and do it now to give you time to recant - Nice!

Fair play to the European influenced Xtians and Jews who don't necessarily do this now, but they certainly have done so in the past. They still however, hold to the principle belief of punishment for miscreants in the afterlife in the same manner in which some children irrationally fear the of the existence of monster in the wardrobe.

Sadly for us and the rest of the world they have fallen for the cunning appeal and dupe of being seen by Muslims as 'People of the Book', their leaders welcoming an Islam into our midst which took up the same 'torch' hundreds of years ago and has not yet put it down.

These are purely the actions of mere mortals with power and nothing to do with the fact that their god actually exists. It had never been never been factually proven that it is their god who acts against non-believers on this planet - but the 'believers' certainly do and that is a fact.

24 May 2010 at 10:58  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

There are people who try to hijack every religious discussion and turn it into a debate about the existence of God, which - for those who do not wish to debate it - can become very tiresome.

24 May 2010 at 11:05  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace it was Pentecost yesterday,when the Holy Spirit came to the faithful, as Jesus had promised. If only he could do a bit more of the wind and flame today, re the divisions between God's Church.

24 May 2010 at 11:06  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Graham Davis ... you fundamentally misunderstand the nature of different communities. There is little or no 'preaching to the converted' here. Surely your time here would bare witness to the fact that there is quite an eclectic collection of views & opinions. But there is a common premise amongst most, namely the tenets of the Christian faith and right of centre politics.

Again, going to the blog of a particular football team's supporters and saying they are 'preaching to the converted' because they all share the same loyalty to a particular football team is a ridiculous assertion.

24 May 2010 at 11:08  
Blogger Oliver said...

This is mostly nonsense.

There's no such thing as a Catholic "woman priest".

The Old Catholics are not Roman Catholics. They're a schismatic sect like the Church of England.

Papal infallibility was not "adopted" at Vatican I, it became a dogma at Vatican I.

"Cranmer" is normally an educated man who knows all this, or he ought to.

So what is the point of this silly post?

24 May 2010 at 11:21  
Anonymous Michael said...

@GrahamDavis - 'Weasel words as usual. Subverting language in order to allow yourself to continue defend the indefensible.'

Marvellous. So I point out to the tireless defender of truth and facts that his caricature of Catholic Doctrine is neither true nor factual, and the response is that I am merely subverting language, and this from the mouth of the man who doesn't even bother to deny that he subverted language to suit his own ill-educated prejudices (in this case on the difference between impeccability and infallibility).

And I wasn't defending the indefensible - I was asking you to substantiate a somewhat bizarre link. Which you couldn't and can't do, hence resorting to implied ad hominem.

In the interests of respectability, you really ought to try and follow your own gospel of logic and fact a little more closely than you do.

24 May 2010 at 11:23  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Rebel Saint

I don’t get it! I enjoy having my opinions challenged. Do you really prefer to debate with people you agree with you? Does that not result in complacency and the absence of self criticism lead to sterility?

Little Black Sambo

Trying to adjudicate between religious claims seems pointless if there is no God.

24 May 2010 at 11:28  
Blogger Graham Davis said...


Ok let’s have it your way. The Pope is just and ordinary Joe, asleep on the job admittedly, but otherwise not responsible for the actions of dozens or probably hundreds of priests who for generations have been raping children.

He is simply the chairman of the board who denies corporate responsibility. So let’s just forget about it and stop giving the old boy a hard time. Happy now?

24 May 2010 at 11:36  
Anonymous Michael said...

@GrahamDavis - I was never unhappy my friend, and my goal was only to show the weakness of your arguments, rather than defending anybody for anything. And this isn't 'my way', it is simply the application of what you often claim as your way - after all, it is incumbent on the rationalist, is it not, to uphold rigorous standards of reason.

24 May 2010 at 12:01  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Dreadnaught @ 10.58 said "Organised religions offer the existence of a god as fact".

But who said religion needs to be organised?

Christianity, (not Xianity, please, where are your manners?) is at its best when in unstructured situations. His Grace's website is an outstanding example of this quality. "When two or three are gathered together in thy name".

On the otherhand that must be a bit like the AGM of the Cambridge Secular Society as they bow towards a signed photograph of Prof Dawkins.

24 May 2010 at 12:09  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Graham Davis ... did you actually read what I said? Or are you deliberately being obtuse?

To be honest, I'm rather bored of you now. Should have adopted the usual 'don't feed the troll' policy much sooner.

24 May 2010 at 12:14  
Blogger Graham Davis said...


I have no idea if this is a “valid” source but it states:
What infallibility does do is prevent a pope from solemnly and formally teaching as "truth" something that is, in fact, error.

A pope’s private theological opinions are not infallible, only what he solemnly defines is considered to be infallible teaching.

So he decides the limits of his own infallibility. Great.

Forget about my ignorance of infallibility, is the Pope responsible for the running of his church and is it not clear he has been complicit in the cover-up of paedophile priests and has in some cases been aware of the fact that his underlings have obstructed attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice?

No obfuscation please, yes or no.

24 May 2010 at 12:24  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

bluedog said...

On the other hand that must be a bit like the AGM of the Cambridge Secular Society as they bow towards a signed photograph of Prof Dawkins.

We at the CSS operate a “No Graven Images Policy” but also doubt his infallibility or do I mean impeccability?

24 May 2010 at 12:31  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Bluedog - Are you telling me that you believe that Christianity or any other religion is not organised? The ‘legitimacy’ of one brand of the same core belief over another is the thrust of Cranmer’s argument as I understand his post.
I apologise for the shorthand ‘Xtian’, no personal offence intended, unlike this following little gem specifically aimed to directly incite more than a tad of nastiness from the Christians perspective to people such as myself.
Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you.
Deuteronomy 28:47-48

24 May 2010 at 12:57  
Anonymous Michael said...

@GrahamDavis - Tiresome. You continue to miss the point with the infallibility doctrine, primarily because you've already decided beforehand what it's going to mean and have therefore pre-rejected the theological landscape in which it rests. If you want genuine and well thought out criticism of the doctrine, then there is plenty of it about - do google it.

On your second point, firstly it is simply churlish to ask a question and then dictate how it must be answered.

Secondly, there has been no evidence, however hard many have tried, to suggest that the Pope was either complicit or guilty of anything (the Times and the NYT have largely discredited themselves for swathes of sloppy journalism, even amongst their own peers) - there is, on the contrary, a whole wealth of evidence that he, in fact, was all too often the only one with the moral and spiritual courage to attack this 'filth', not always successfully, and often in the face of some quite powerful obstacles - and all this before he became Pope. Alas, you won't find me defending the indefensible, and my loyalty isn't such that I would defend the evil actions of individuals for the good name of the Church - yet neither will you find me bending a knee to peddlers of smear and distortion.

Anyway, I'm afraid I have to depart. Thanks for the joust, such as it was.



24 May 2010 at 13:01  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

All churches may well be coalitions but: she is a woman.


24 May 2010 at 14:06  
Anonymous schismatic sect said...

Oliver, not the C of E is not a "sect", but one part of the Church of God.

24 May 2010 at 14:25  
Anonymous Kingston upon Thames said...

So, Singh's posted, Davis has, Lavendon just waffles and we get the usual Catholics coming up to defend their religion. All we need now is the sizzling Sissles to post, make some quip about this viz Islam and before anyone can reply read another post about how it is 3.00am in the East and he has to get to bed.

Fair summary of this blog?

24 May 2010 at 14:28  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Kingston upon Thames said...

So, Singh's posted, Davis has, Lavendon just waffles and we get the usual Catholics coming up to defend their religion. All we need now is the sizzling Sissles to post, make some quip about this viz Islam and before anyone can reply read another post about how it is 3.00am in the East and he has to get to bed.

Fair summary of this blog?


Try making a difference!

24 May 2010 at 14:41  
Anonymous Mikec said...


Your 'out of context' quote is directed only at Jews, and you might do well to note that it has come true in a big way. As soon as we Jews get back to the word of YHWH (not that of the pharisees (rabbis)) then the opposite will apply....

24 May 2010 at 14:44  
Blogger Scrigg said...

I'm having salad for tea.

24 May 2010 at 14:59  
Blogger English Viking said...

Those that have placed their faith in the Sacraments, the Pope, Mary, the intercession of dead Saints, relics, doing penance and all manner of other such distractions, fallacies and idolatries, as seen in abundance in the Catholic Church of either the Roman or Old variety, are plainly not now, nor have they ever been, born again.

They are not part of the Universal Church of Jesus Christ, they are not Christians.

It would seem clear from the New Testament that it is equally as ridiculous to have a male priest as it is a female one. The fact that women are prohibited from instructing men and should remain silent when attending a gathering of the Saints, is in this case irrelevant. The idea that I need a Priest (or Vicar), of either sex, in order to properly communicate with God the Father is a blasphemous slight on the all sufficient work of Christ on the Cross. He is my Great High Priest, after the order of Melchizedek, through whom I have access to the Father, by the Spirit.

Even the most cursory of readings of the NT will reveal this to be the case.

24 May 2010 at 15:02  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Scrigg said...

I'm having salad for tea.


24 May 2010 at 15:18  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Well I thought somebody must be paying all the atheist trolls polluting this blog. But Dawkins? The man's sicker than he looks, if so.

I can't stand women priests or feminists either - so I'm off out of it for a bit. It's a good time - other things to do anyway.


24 May 2010 at 15:28  
Anonymous Kingston upon Thames said...

oh and I forgot English Viking. I am upset that he didn't also mention today (as he usually implies)that the Bible clearly says that Christians should vote BNP....

24 May 2010 at 15:40  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

no nonny said...

Well I thought somebody must be paying all the atheist trolls polluting this blog. But Dawkins? The man's sicker than he looks, if so.

Some people say Dawkins doesn’t exist but I believe he does. As I write I’m sure his invisible hand is guiding me, that and the cheque that I receive at the end of the month.

24 May 2010 at 16:00  
Anonymous David Swirl said...

Can't see what's wrong with female vicars myself, some of them are better and wiser than some of the people who post on here....

24 May 2010 at 16:00  
Anonymous Devout Anglican said...

Why is it anyone who disagrees with the right wing fundamentalist Christianity of a few posters we are all called 'atheist trolls'?

24 May 2010 at 16:02  
Anonymous Dominic said...

Someone commented that Cranmer burned people for their doctrine - no, he didn't! Please be fair to history - his attempts to teach and guide 'high-churchmen' are legendary, and stand in stark contrast to their behaviour towards him when Mary took power.

24 May 2010 at 16:13  
Anonymous Dominic said...

Oh yes, and as for "...sects..."

A sect is defined as a group that proclaims salvation can only be gained through membership of itself. So, for instance, the CofE isn't a sect, but the Church of Rome is.

24 May 2010 at 16:16  
Blogger English Viking said...

Kingston upon Thames,

The Bible teaches no such thing and I have never implied that it does. Perhaps you are projecting a suppressed desire to see a far-right Government?

Democracy (we can leave aside the fact that we don't have one in the UK for the moment), as a form of Government, is in my opinion one of the most ungodly forms of rule that there could be. The idea that the people are to decide what is right or wrong, and select its leader in a cross between a talent show and a beauty contest, with either no regard for the laws of God or a violent opposition to them, would appear to me to be the furthest thing from God's mind for the effective and righteous rule of a nation.

cf. The tragic case of King Saul to witness the sad reality of elected leaders.

24 May 2010 at 16:24  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Feminists ... I take my hat off to them. They don't like that! (Milton Jones)

24 May 2010 at 17:06  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

The priestess makes a marvelous rug, I for one support the ordaination of women, the church should be wall to wall carpeted with them.

We have always wiped our feet on women and its good to see this old tradition being kept alive.

24 May 2010 at 17:09  
Anonymous len said...

Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God.
Tom Stoppard

24 May 2010 at 18:11  
Anonymous len said...

Rome`s male priest`s have hardly done the Catholic church any credit so why not let the women have a go?
While the Roman Catholic Church continues to pronounce a curse to hell “anathema” upon those who would reject the authority of the Pope, Scripture reserves that curse for those who would teach a different gospel (Galatians 1:8-9).

24 May 2010 at 18:23  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Sometimes I despair at some of the comments here. I don't know where to begin with some of the nonsense.

Atheist trolls: I am bored of you threadjacking every item posted into 'God doesn't exist' or 'all priests are paedophiles and the actions of believers discredit the belief'. Not only are most of your arguments baseless or ad hominum, you seem to have such little knowledge of Christian doctrine that I'm sure you were taught by Prof. Dawkins himself. I rather welcome the opinions of atheists who frequent this blog, but PLEASE keep it to the point.

Anti-Catholic nonsense: Please can we actually debate real Catholic doctrine and not your distortions of it? It's ridiculous how judgemental so many are about minor differences and you often accuse your doctrinal opponents of that which you are guilty of yourselves. In many cases both sides of a doctrine can be interpreted from scripture; but no, we have to turn it into a Catholics are wrong and are not real Christians thread (even if the only tenuous link to Catholicism is a brief mention in the original article).

I enjoy the comments section of this blog, but sometimes I just see the same tired old arguments.

24 May 2010 at 19:17  
Blogger English Viking said...


It is not a 'minor difference' to think that Mary is dead and does not intercede for the Saints, even if they sinfully attempt to invoke her to do so.

24 May 2010 at 20:06  
Blogger Ray said...

It is very common for the purveyors of chemical dependance to be men, because the face to face sales situation does sometimes come under pressure. However the supply of spiritual dependancy has been in place for so much longer, the agression has pretty much gone out of it, (thanks to the inquisitions etc). So what is wrong in having female dealers ? what difference will it make ?.
Of course there is the problem of the women coming in at this late stage may not know the rules of the game, they might actually believe what they are doing, which makes it difficult for the local Capo (Bishop) who really just wants to get on with running the business, and not be troubled with these bible bashers.

24 May 2010 at 20:18  
Anonymous len said...

The Catholic Church is built on error. How could a man who initially lived in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee, born and raised in a traditional Jewish home and went into his father's business of being a fisherman become known as Apostle Peter. He was to become known as the "Apostle to the Circumcision."

Peter first appears in the Gospel history in John 1:35-42, when Andrew discovered that Jesus was the Messiah. He went and found his brother, Peter, and brought him to Jesus. When Jesus saw Peter, He said, "You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas." Cephas is an Aramaic surname whose Greek synonym is Petros, or Peter and is translated as "rock" or "stone." As we see in the scriptures in Matt 16:18 - "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." This scripture is misunderstood by many denominations. It is not Peter who the church is built upon but Christ. We know that if the church, or anything, built on man will not withstand the test of time. It must be built on Christ as the foundation. Christ did not intend to teach that His church would be built upon Peter, but upon Himself as confessed by Peter. Peter is careful to affirm this in the first of his two Epistles (1 Pe 2:4-9).

This is only one of many differences between Catholics and Protestants, unity is a good thing but not at the price of sacrificing truth.

24 May 2010 at 20:28  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Dreadnaught @ 12.57 said "Are you telling me that you believe that Christianity or any other religion is not organised?" Nope. Can't imagine how you read that into my rhetorical question "But who said religion needs to be organised?". Questions aren't statements.

Just for the record, it is blindingly obvious that Christianity has been highly organised since the Council of Nicaea in AD 325.

Colourful quote from Deuteronomy. Try Leviticus for an even more blood curdling experience.

25 May 2010 at 10:02  
Blogger Lakester91 said...


'It is not a 'minor difference' to think that Mary is dead...'

Whoever said that she was still alive? The assumption claims that her body was taken into heaven. The Catholic church neither claims nor implies her mortal status.

'...and does not intercede for the Saints, even if they sinfully attempt to invoke her to do so.'

How is it sinful to pray to the saints or to Mary to intercede? It's not praying for their intervention, it's praying for God's.


'The Catholic Church is built on error.'

Always a good start to a balanced post. I assume that pledge you made a few months ago to stop doing this was simply a lenten thing.

Somehow, I doubt that Christianity would have spread as far as Western Europe, had faith remained solely personal and not cultural. Your ideals of a personal relationship with God are admirable and true, but that Christianity should not be a society as well is an idea built on error. The Catholic Church may not always be right, but they are the Christian Church closest to the truth. I think 2000 years of theological insight and Holy Spirit induced revelation might be more reasoned than personal opinion (even though said opinion may be very well thought out).

I said that this kind of posting was annoying, and now I've been dragged into a complete non-sequitur argument.

25 May 2010 at 17:55  
Anonymous len said...

Lakester 91,
Have I made you my enemy by telling you the truth?
If that is so I am sorry but that is the way it must be.
I realise that preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ will not win me many friends, but the truth compels me to carry on..I would rather lose all my friends than pay lip service to something which I did`nt believe to be true.

However,I believe Catholicism is probably one of the worst things that happened to Christianity;

The Roman Emperor Constantine established himself as the head of the Catholic church around 313 A.D., which made this new "Christianity" the official religion of the Roman Empire. This ungodly system eventually ushered in the darkest period of history known to man, properly known as the "Dark Ages" (500-1500 A.D.). Through popes, bishops, and priests, Satan ruled Europe, and Biblical Christianity became illegal.The new 'religion 'of Constantine was a mixture of Christianity and paganism having its roots in Babylon.

Throughout all of this, however, there remained individual groups of true Christians, such as the Waldensens and the Anabaptists who would not conform to the Roman system.
Perhaps it is necessary to stand outside the Catholic system to gain a proper perspective of it, some of the writings of Malachi Martin are quite revealing.

25 May 2010 at 19:09  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Oh dear len,

'I realise that preaching the true Gospel of Jesus Christ will not win me many friends...'

How arrogant to assume that you are in the light and that opposition to your arguments must indicate your correctness. Using your logic would assume that Catholicism is correct, considering that they remain the most persecuted religion throughout the world. I am not your enemy, you believe I am because my doctrine is not yours. We're supposed to make friends of our enemies yet you continue to be obtuse.

'The Roman Emperor Constantine established himself as the head of the Catholic church around 313 A.D'

Except that he didn't. What nonsense.

'which made this new "Christianity" the official religion of the Roman Empire'

What new Christianity? What changed?

'This ungodly system eventually ushered in the darkest period of history known to man, properly known as the "Dark Ages" (500-1500 A.D.).

The dark ages Europeans were saved by the Church. Without it we would be all be Moslems; there would be no scientific method or technological advancement; there would be no written language; there would be no education. The Christian Dark Ages myth is the kind of nonsense perpetuated by atheists who have no historical knowledge at all. Do you employ it simply because it serves your purposes?

'Through popes, bishops, and priests, Satan ruled Europe, and Biblical Christianity became illegal.'

Dear God, how dramatic. Pre-counter reformation Catholicism was corrupt, but evil? I fall to sin every now and then, does that make me a non-Christian ruled by satan? Biblical Christianity illegal? What utter rot.

'The new 'religion 'of Constantine was a mixture of Christianity and paganism having its roots in Babylon.'

How did it have its roots in Babylon? Do you not think that any pagan influenced festivals may have been implemented by former pagans? No it must be the evil corrupt Catholic satanists.

'Throughout all of this, however, there remained individual groups of true Christians, such as the Waldensens [sic] and the Anabaptists who would not conform to the Roman system.'

The Anabaptists were a product of the reformation. The Waldensians taught a slight variation of Catholic doctrine. Are they true Christians simply because they are not Catholic?

'Perhaps it is necessary to stand outside the Catholic system to gain a proper perspective of it'

Perhaps it is necessary to stand inside the Catholic system to gain a proper perspective of it. If you have grown up with preachers and articles that denounce Catholicism, then I don't blame you for your misguided views on it.

I do not claim that you are a non-Christian, yet you do that of me. Why? Because my doctrine is slightly different?

I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

Do you disagree?

25 May 2010 at 20:16  
Anonymous YoungCatholic said...

Lakester91...good reply there, couldn't have said it better myself. The problem about Protestantism is that anyone can interpret the bible any way they like and claim to hold the truth, hence there are now over 30 000 demoninations of christianity. The Catholic Church has had 2000 years of theological thought and Holy Spirit induced revelation through the Saints and Papacy.

25 May 2010 at 23:47  
Anonymous len said...

The problem with Catholicism as I have stated in the past is not that it is an outright lie but that it mixes truth with error which is a far more dangerous thing.

Lets take a look at some of the doctrines that are consider unbiblical teachings.
1. The veneration of angels and dead saints
2. The Mass
3. The veneration of Mary and praying to her
4. The doctine of Purgatory
5. The transference of the solemnity of the Sabbath to the first day of the week
6. Latin being the official language of prayer and worship
7. The establishment of the position of Pope
8. Worship or veneration of relics, images, statues, or idols
9. Canonization of dead saints
10. Celibacy of the clergy (though I understand this may have changed)
11. The use of the rosary
12. The sale of Indulgences
13. Transubstantiation
14. Confessing of sin to priests and the belief that priests can forgive sin
15. Adoration of the wafer
16. The Scapular (though I don't know if this practice continues)
17. The 7 Sacraments
18. The declaration that tradition is of equal authority as the Bible
19. Papal Infallibility
20. Infant baptism

Do you agree with these?

26 May 2010 at 00:09  
Blogger Lakester91 said...


Indeed those are the faults in 'sola scriptura'. Interestingly, such a view isn't scriptural as it denies the existence of the Holy Spirit (as you say). If all revelations of God were made 2000 years ago, then we could denounce anyone who claimed religious insight as a false prophet. We should note that Luther himself discounted the Epistle of James, calling it an 'epistle of straw'. His problem was that 'sola fide' and 'sola scriptura' are mutually exclusive; so he had to discount the problem verses, much like Thomas Jefferson. The interesting point about Luther is that he was starting to win over the Church with the desire for reformation until he went wacko and starting claiming that the Pope was evil. It is difficult to agree with one point made by one's opponent when it implies an agreement to an attack on oneself.

26 May 2010 at 00:14  
Anonymous YoungCatholic said...

Len I often enjoy your posts, but the ignorance you show here is shocking.

Some of those that you listed are not current practices in the current Catholic Church notably that of numbers 6,12,16. I agree with the majority of the practices that you mention there, am I not a true christian for doing so? You claim to know the truth, then please explain why you are ignoring the claims of the Saints and their miracles, and the messages of Mary in visions?
Its a shame you hold such views

26 May 2010 at 00:23  
Anonymous len said...

Which Jesus will you trust?
The Jesus of the Bible promises eternal life, the complete forgiveness of sins, a permanent right standing with God and the power to live a victorious life. The Catholic Jesus is a Jesus that was never preached by the Apostles (2 Cor. 11:4). This counterfeit Christ provides only conditional life, partial forgiveness of sins, an ongoing need for priests and mediators, uncertainty, fear and doubt. Those who reject the true Jesus, who is clearly and conclusively revealed in His Word, will be judged accordingly. The Lord Jesus Christ said, "The word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day" (John 12:48).

26 May 2010 at 00:23  
Anonymous len said...

My last word on this matter( for the moment) as I don`t want to hijack His Grace`s blog.
If ( and only if) you are interested in the truth try reading;

Yada Yahweh - Book VI-God Damn Religion -- Chapter 3-Pergamos

If you are not interested in the
truth ,carry on as you are.

26 May 2010 at 00:35  
Blogger Lakester91 said...


1-4: I can't see any problems with these. They're not proscribed by the Bible, unless you take a quote out of context and weasel the words a bit. Veneration =/= worship by the way.

5: A big deal I'm sure. I doubt God truly cares which day it is, as long as it's there. You mistake the rule for the reason behind the rule. It gives everyone a day of rest from work, in which they can concentrate on and worship God. Changing the Sabbath to the day of Christ's resurrection is a sideways step at worst.

6: Yeah you're about 50 years out of date for this one. It's not any more. It was originally for several utilitarian reasons. Because it was difficult to print books 1000 years ago (they all had to be handwritten), so having one book which anyone could use would be rather helpful; because one could go to the same mass anywhere in the world, giving a feeling of catholicism to the mass; because only priests had the opportunity to read (everyone else was working), and as they could be taught Latin, it made the whole translation of the Bible (which is more difficult than you might think) unnecessary; because Latin is dead and will therefore never change. That way the message will never accidentally mean anything other than what it did originally.

7: Since when was having an earthly leader such a problem. I ask what we'd have if we didn't. Considering that the position of Pope was apparent even in the earliest Christian Church (even if you discount Peter), I'd say that if it's a fault, it's a fault inherent in all Christianity.

8: Who worships relics? They're used as a guide to prayer, nothing more. The special status is inferred by non-Catholics, not the Catholic Church

9: How is this different to 1?

10: Celibacy is an interesting point. It is a practical matter rather than any faith based doctrine. The priesthood is more than a full-time job, it's a real vocation. Vicars' wives tend to have a hard time, as their husbands are married to the parish; so it's unfair on the women. If the priest does give his time to his wife, then he must neglect his parish in order to do so. A married priesthood also means that vicars need to have a salary, in order to provide for their family. This must come from the collection, money which could go to charitable causes. Contrary to uneducated belief, celibacy does not induce paraphilias. The fact that you are, and always were less likely to be abused in Catholic children's homes than state run homes is testament to this. I have found that abstinence from sexual thought reduces (not increases) sexual desire and certainly doesn't cause tendency toward deviancy.

11: Mary actually appeared to several people and talked about it. Denying that anything spiritual has happened since the birth of the Church is a bit silly really. It's a prayer aid. Even if it was some sort of mass shared hallucination, there's no harm in it

12: 500 years out of date. Seems a little desperate to include it.

13: How does this differ from 2?

14: The Apostles facilitated the forgiveness of sins. Why can't priests? If the confessor is unrepentant then the confession is invalid. It equates to talking your problems over with a friend, only if your friend knew a lot about theology and sin.

26 May 2010 at 01:22  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

15: Adoration of the wafer? I think this is supposed to be the same point as 2 and 13, but made so badly I'm not sure whether there's any point responding.

16: I'm not sure about the blessings, but the garments still exist for monasteries.

17: What's so objectionable? 7 stages of life; 7 rites of passage.

18: That the Holy Spirit has as much authority as the Scriptures? Yes

19: Has only been used once and I doubt it'll be used again. It's not a strong Catholic dogma as it was considered something that the Church would give up when they reform with the Orthodox churches. Otherwise, a dogma that says that when the Pope is right, he's right seems more like a logical conclusion than an affront to God.

20: What's wrong with infant baptism? If Confirmation didn't exist, then I'd see your point, but I doubt pledging to raise your child in the faith is something that God frowns upon

26 May 2010 at 01:22  
Blogger Lakester91 said...


You have misrepresented the views of Catholics and built a huge straw man argument. You then claim that we worship a different Jesus, based on your scarecrow. Then the comment that sums up your narrow minded view.

'If you are not interested in the
truth ,carry on as you are.'

26 May 2010 at 01:26  
Anonymous len said...

Lakester 91, I cannot understand why an intelligent , articulate, man cannot, or will not, see the truth.My first impulse was right you are so deceived ,so much under a satanic delusion that it will take a miracle to break through it and further conversation is useless.

The Strong Delusion is coming; the strong delusion will be sent by God, and the strong delusion will be directed not only at those of the world that are lost in their sins, but specifically at all lukewarm, undecided, and corrupt Christians…

2 Thesalonians 2:11: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie
.............................. All you do is constantly re-affirm error.

26 May 2010 at 07:58  
Blogger Lakester91 said...


'My first impulse was right you are so deceived ,so much under a satanic delusion...'

That is why you are so very wrong. Perhaps you should ask the same of yourself. Ask yourself who is being judgemental? Who is condemning another Christian man for such minor reasons? Who is content to believe that he has all the answers and that any variance must be wrong? It's not me; I am content to believe that it is God's decision as to who is saved and that only he knows the whole truth.

26 May 2010 at 11:32  
Blogger William said...


You referenced Yada Yahweh in a previous post. Do you adhere to the view that Paul's letters should not be considered part of the scriptures and, as such, undermine Christianity as a whole? I ask this as as an inquiring Protestant.

26 May 2010 at 14:53  
Anonymous YoungCatholic said...

Len I recommend you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, may help clear up some of the prejudices you have.

Its a shame we hold different views about certain things, but at the end of the day we still beieve in Jesus Christ and Worship God. Prehaps I should remind you of His Grace's words on this very blog post
"ultimately they are all part of the Church of Jesus Christ, just squabbling like children over a packet of sweets."

26 May 2010 at 16:17  
Anonymous len said...

Young Catholic,I started out inquiring about Catholicism with an open mind.But the more I looked into it the more disturbed I felt in my spirit,I have come to the conclusion that there are born again Catholics but this is in spite of, not because of, Catholicism.Every thing I read about Catholic doctrine only convinces me that there are many grave errors in Catholicism.
I am not just giving an opinion of my own but I am comparing Catholic doctrine with scripture.

26 May 2010 at 19:45  
Anonymous len said...

I had never though about questioning the apostle Paul until another poster mention it.
There is a quite widespread belief amongst Christians that the law had been abolished and we were under grace alone.I believe Paul was misunderstood on this issue.Paul was accused of preaching against the law.

In Romans 10:4 we read, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Many teachers have used this verse to say the Law is gone and done away with. The word 'end' means 'goal' or 'point aimed at', 'purpose', 'result of', etc. It also can mean termination or conclusion. So we have to reason here with rabbi Paul. Is rabbi Paul disagreeing with Jesus when Jesus said the Law would not go away? Of course not! So the proper definition would be that Jesus was the goal or the point of the Law. This is also backed up by Romans 3:31. "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." Paul says that the law is not voided or ended but established. Paul stands by the law. 'Established' is to 'stand for' or 'stand by' the law.

There is a article on this matter by Allan Moorhead Law v Grace.

26 May 2010 at 20:21  
Blogger William said...


Thanks for the references. I will pursue them.

26 May 2010 at 21:10  
Blogger Viator Catholicus said...

Your commentary is a bit dishonest, but so is the heresy to which you are attached.
This woman is a member of the "Old Catholic Church" not the Roman Catholic Church. She pretends to be ordained by the Old Catholics and in an Anglican building. Thus, how is she as you claim "ordained a Roman Catholic priest(-ess?)"?
In fact, Catholics, members of the Orthodox Church, and even some members of your own Communion, holding to Scripture and the Tradition of the Fathers acknowledge that Holy Church has no power to ordain women priests.
It is ironic that Protestants like yourself want to add claims of extra powers to the Church when you are the very ones who fabricated such claims to criticize Rome as if it had done this in the past! But, heretics always change their arguments with the wind and when it suits their fancy.

27 May 2010 at 15:48  
Anonymous Jackie said...

It is amazing that a Church that did the right thing and REJECTED papal authority (because this writer believes that Catholics are not Christian) is now ordaining WOMEN!Members of this group need to be born again and accept the INFALLIBILITY of scripture.1 Corinthians 14 verse 34 is quite impicit in saying that
Let your women keep silence in the churches for it is forbidden for them to speak.

31 May 2010 at 14:23  

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