Friday, July 12, 2013

Abortion in Ireland: the threat of maternal suicide is effectively abortion on demand


Apparently, Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been sent gruesome plastic foetuses and letters written in blood by hysterical pro-lifers protesting against the introduction of 'life-saving' abortion in the predominantly Roman Catholic Republic. The new law was passed after a fierce two-day debate in the Dáil by 127 votes to 13 - a colossal and conclusive majority of 114 - and permits abortion on limited grounds, specifically when a woman's life is in danger or if she feels suicidal.

The new law does not permit termination in cases of rape, incest or disability.

Enda Kenny is reportedly a devout Roman Catholic himself, and there have been veiled threats of excommunication from sundry cardinals and bishops for his obstinate disobedience. The threat won't, of course, be implemented, any more than British or American Roman Catholic politicians have been removed from ecclesiastical society for supporting such grave offences as embryo research or same-sex marriage. In so many of these ethical life issues, moral delinquency is tolerated, sin is fudged, and 'co-operating with evil' patently entertained.

The curious thing is that around 11 Irish women cross the sea to Britain every day to terminate their pregnancies, and this death trail is perfectly legal. You don't hear much about it from any church. Department of Health figures released yesterday indicate that about 4000 Irish women came to Britain in 2012 to terminate their pregnancies. They included 124 girls under the age of 18.

That is to say that the prohibition on abortion in Ireland does not actually deter Irish women from having abortions; it simply means they have to fork out around £1000 and sort out travel and accommodation across the Irish Sea. And the burden of medical provision then shifts to UK clinics and hospitals. Ergo, Irish women who want to terminate their babies on the grounds of rape, incest or disability will continue to do so in England, Wales or Scotland.

It doesn't take a genius to foresee the likely court cases and judicial activism which are sure to follow this legislation. It is inevitable that human rights lawyers will agitate first in Ireland's Supreme Court and then in the European Court of Human Rights to challenge a perversely restrictive national law which prevents poor Irish women from terminating their babies, while the relatively rich can go private in the UK. Why should impoverished inner-city Dubliners be criminalised and face 14 years in prison, while the Limerick rich pop their abortion pills with impunity at Marie Stopes in Harley Street?

And what if the destitute mother, in a state of profound distress and emotional turmoil, then threatens to kill herself?

What doctor is going to proffer a tissue and tell her rather sternly to wipe her eyes and pull herself together? Who will assess the likelihood of suicide? How will the credibility of the threat be evaluated, and, should the woman be well into her second trimester, over what period of monitoring?

What if the pregnant woman is simply a persuasive diva? Doctors can easily be fooled - even in pairs - as we have seen incrementally in the UK following the Abortion Act 1967. Who are they to judge a woman's mental state or her subjective assessment of the extent of foetal abnormality? If all the world's a stage, what desperate Irish actress won't 'stop up th' access and passage to remorse' and smear her doctor's conscience with her baby's blood in order to secure its termination?

Is the utterly believable Stanislavski threat of suicide about to open Ireland's floodgates to abortion on demand?

271 Comments:

Blogger Thomas Wood said...

"Is the utterly believable Stanislavski threat of suicide about to open Ireland's floodgates to abortion on demand?"

Yes.

12 July 2013 at 09:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Excellent post. You'd have to be pretty dim to vote for this and not know that it is effectively abortion on demand. Personally, I think those politicians who voted for it should be excommunicated - although I don't know how that would look canonically.

12 July 2013 at 09:48  
Blogger Albert said...

If the Irish want to know what they've voted for they should look here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10173977/Record-high-number-of-abortions-which-are-repeats.html

12 July 2013 at 09:54  
Blogger Thomas Wood said...

"Personally, I think those politicians who voted for it should be excommunicated"

Absolutely. But that would require clergymen with some balls. Oh - and Faith. That'd help too.

Vatican II is the gift that keeps on giving.

12 July 2013 at 10:17  
Blogger Preacher said...

Most politicians are a separate species species & the threat of any Church recriminations would not matter to them. After all, the leaders believe that they are God so they make the rules up as they go along to suit themselves.
After the Avatar Cameron pushed his SSM ruling through, despite weak opposition from a few dissenting Bishops. It's quite clear that many people still cry "The voice of a god & not of a man" (Acts 12.v 21-23) when they speak.
Didn't work well for Herod I'm afraid.

12 July 2013 at 10:42  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

Permitting abortion in an attempt to avoid maternal suicide is likely to be self defeating. Having an abortion increases suicide risk.

For example, mortality studies in Finland found a three-fold increased risk of suicide in the first year following an abortion compared to the general population and a six-fold higher risk compared to women who gave birth. The highest suicide rate was within two months of the abortion.

Numerous studies have also linked abortion to higher rates of substance abuse, self-destructive behavior, psychiatric hospitalization, sleep disorders, and eating disorders.

The rights of unborn humans need to be strengthened. This law is morally indefensible.


12 July 2013 at 11:47  
Blogger Albert said...

Jay,

Permitting abortion in an attempt to avoid maternal suicide is likely to be self defeating. Having an abortion increases suicide risk.

Quite right. And it isn't the point either - the point is to use suicide as a back door to abortion.

It's also worth pointing out that abortion always involves taking another life, so this policy massively increases the amount of killing. If this is about saving lives, it is totally irrational - as usual.

12 July 2013 at 12:00  
Blogger Thomas Keningley said...

This makes me despair. Oh look how progressive we in the west are, we've progressed all the way to the systematic killing of the unborn! Hurray for progress! After all, those backward Canaanites had to wait for them to be born to kill them, and used unsophisticated methods like burning rather than tearing them limb from limb.

God save us from ourselves. God save our offspring from us.

12 July 2013 at 12:35  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! 'Give me an abortion or I will kill myself...' Rather hysterical and illogical, don't you think?

12 July 2013 at 13:01  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The trouble is chaps, and Mrs Proudie, they are not interested in the facts, just emotions, sound bites and slogans. The "I want it", culture rules. Got that have we ? The politicians who support social liberalism worship that god.

The end of the Age of Faith (thanks to the media and popular "culture") also ended the practise of faith's companion, Reason. This is now The Age of ME, and sod society, sod family and even sod my baby.

Many are so morally desensitized they will slaughter a generation, of the unborn. Later they reflect and regret it.
But we must import more cheap labour of course,, from the less economically developed parts of the EU; thus in turn robbing their families and towns of their talented young, stymying their economic growth. Oh and let's import people from the third world with no affinity or respect for our culture, shall we ? Our WWC ? , oh well, just toss them some handouts to stop them rioting, that will do it. Job done.

Intensely sad isn't it ? Our leaders, political and often theological are blind guides.

12 July 2013 at 13:20  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I think there ought to be room for compassion for women who are expecting children and do not wish to - particularly where they have been raped, but also, I think, where they have been (co-equally with a man) foolish.

Yes, there are people who are wholly selfish, but for many it will be selflishness and desperation in measure. We can genuinely sympathise with the unwilling mother for any variety of reasons - and not all of them require the apportioning of total moral failure to her.

What we cannot, and must not, lose sight of, though, is that abortion terminates another life. No compassion worth its name can occlude that fact.

12 July 2013 at 14:37  
Blogger Drastic Plastic said...

Isn't this precisely the same gambit that led to abortion on demand elsewhere?

12 July 2013 at 14:51  
Blogger Owl said...

The two main Irish political parties are joined at the hip, similar to Lib/Lab/Con in the UK.

They both have long ceased to represent the Irish people.

They only represent the EU.

When the smoking ban was implemented in Ireland, all oposition was suppressed in the media including letters to the various newspapers. This was the first national attempt at people control. It worked.

The fact that the majority of the people were not in favour didn't matter, it was all about "crowd control".

The fact that the majority of people in Ireland are against abortion will also be silenced by the same politicians who consider themselves "elite".

Enda Kenney and Bertie Ahearn are just two sides of the EU coin.

Who cares about what the people want!

12 July 2013 at 15:38  
Blogger Nick said...

Albert 09:54

That was a shocking report in the Telegraph. It seems that for a woman to have 3 abortions is not uncommon, and some even had 9! It is quite clear that some women regard it as a form of contraception. It is sad too that so many Irish women come to "Abortions 'r us" Britain rid themselves of their inconvenience.

I suspect the suicide aspect of the law was introduced with the intent of allowing effective abortion on demand. The Irish government had to chose between a row from the Catholic Church and a row from the feminists. It obviously decided that a row with the church was easier to handle

12 July 2013 at 15:39  
Blogger A.K.A. Damo Mackerel said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the Roman Catholic Church can ex-communicate anyone, only a person can ex-communicate themselves?

12 July 2013 at 15:46  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Annoymous Belfast,

I certainly agree with you that forcing a raped woman, who has conceived from the rape, to have a baby against her will would be morally extremely questionable. . Or indeed, the abortion is justified if the mothers life was in serious danger from the pregnancy, since morally one would be losing a potential life to preserve an established one. Any civilized society would recognize such exceptions to the general rule that life should be protected.

12 July 2013 at 16:42  
Blogger Dr.D said...

All doctors should be required to have posted in every room where they work, the Commandment, "Thou shalt do no murder." This would serve as a reminder to the doctor and the patient that murder, for whatever reason, is condemned by God.

If a pregnant patient threatens suicide, they should be reminded that this will make them guilty of a double, premeditated murder, both their own, and their child's.

12 July 2013 at 17:04  
Blogger Saints and Sceptics said...

Lucinda Creighton's speech - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXFeqA5VQas - is worth listening to, and reading carefully.

It is plausible that her arguments against abortion, and her reservations about the bill, have been subtly misrepresented by sections of the media. Her warnings about the dangers of secularist "group-think" have certainly been ignored. The media narrative is: "Ireland has changed, and secularism is an unstoppable force for good."

Women can travel to England - or America or Holland or anywhere else on the globe- from Ireland to have abortions. This is not tacit tolerance of abortion on demand. Ireland recognises an individual's right to a private life. It would require a great deal of intrusion into a citizen's private life to determine their reasons for leaving the country! Surely, the Irish government has no obligation to aid citizens seeking to engage in acts that the Irish state believes should be illegal!

S&S

12 July 2013 at 17:09  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I don't think there's anything I can say that I haven't already said in the piece that His Grace was kind enough to let me post here back in May - http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/abortion-comes-to-ireland.html

Except now to ask for prayers, for the doctors who will be trying to work within the bounds of the new law, for the poor mothers who should be receiving counselling and help and comfort if they are suicidal and not offered abortion on demand (which this will be, don't fool yourself otherwise), and prayers above all for those children who will die in their mothers' wombs in the name of political correctness. Jesus Christ, son of the Living God, son of Mary our Mother, have mercy on all of them.

As I said back in May

"Irish law already allows the termination of a pregnancy if the mother's life is in danger. The fact that the hospital misinterpreted the law has been seized upon by people who have wanted the country's abortion law liberalised and saw this as a perfect opportunity. A double tragedy became a political opportunity - and the opportunity was taken."

12 July 2013 at 17:25  
Blogger Nick said...

Good article here about pregnant women who threaten suicide to get an abortion...

http://www.hli.org/cloning/683?task=view

It seems that these threats are rarely carried out, except where there is existing mental illness. Even th pro-abortionists seem to admit that.

12 July 2013 at 17:28  
Blogger Saints and Sceptics said...

Creighton's arguments can be read in detail here - http://www.ionainstitute.ie/index.php?id=3046

It is worrying that such arguments can be casually dismissed as "fundamentalist" on a mainstream radio news programme.

S&S

12 July 2013 at 17:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Excommunicating Catholic politicians who have turned to Satan would be a tremendously popular idea amongst the electorate, religious or no. Make it happen !



12 July 2013 at 17:45  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The Inspector has the answer. Deny the sacraments of The Church to these baby killers. Let them bury themselves I say, only partly in jest.

12 July 2013 at 17:54  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@David Hussell:

I'm not sure I agree with you in practice: the point I was trying to make was that the scales must always include the death of the unborn. In that sense, restricting consideration solely to one party automatically skews the scales. A woman is not "forced" to carry a baby to term - even in the instance of rape, where the force lies with the rapist (for which crime I wholly endorse severe punishment) impregnating her. She may be forcibly denied access to an abortion - but this is not the same thing.

Her situation is desperate, unchosen, and is, without a doubt, an affliction.

There the pro-choicer ends: it is enough to justify abortion. The unborn should also be taken into account: it is an innocent also, and the evil which was inflicted on its mother by its father is not justly met by inflicting death on the child.

12 July 2013 at 19:09  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

AKA Damo Mackerel:

That's always been one portion of Catholic teaching that strikes me as being on the ball: you excommunicate yourself by willingly permitting or enacting evil.

It's also an argument that rather makes the concept of "officially" being in communion with the Church a bit less inspired though, given that (as many loyal Catholics have pointed out) there are plenty of "Catholic" politicians who have aided and abetted one of Catholicism's most forbidden crimes and yet persist in receiving the sacraments. The measure is in the adjuration of or acquiescence to evil.

12 July 2013 at 19:15  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness Albert! To have one abortion smacks of carelessness: to have 3 points to reckless abandon! How does that make one different from a serial killer? Modern morality (or lack of it)is a complete puzzlement to me. The past may be another country, but it was one where the Prime Minister himself went out at night to rescue fallen women, and illegitimacy stood at 4%. At what point did eugenics become mainstream?

12 July 2013 at 19:17  
Blogger Albert said...

David H,

I certainly agree with you that forcing a raped woman, who has conceived from the rape, to have a baby against her will would be morally extremely questionable.

Did Belfast actually say that? It doesn't seem to me that he did. Moreover, I think you have fallen for the pro-death rhetoric. The person who forces the mother to have a baby is the rapist. The role of the state is to protect that baby - whether it is born or unborn. Don't allow the rhetoric of the pro-death camp to shift the responsibility for the child from the rapist to those who are simply defending his or her most basic human rights.

Or indeed, the abortion is justified if the mothers life was in serious danger from the pregnancy, since morally one would be losing a potential life to preserve an established one. Any civilized society would recognize such exceptions to the general rule that life should be protected.

Killing one person in order to save another is not civilised, but would undermine civilisation. Thus the only defence you have for your position would be to argue (as you have indicated) that the unborn child is only a potential life. But obviously it is not a potential life. He/she is alive! Otherwise you wouldn't be able to kill the unborn child in the first stage of abortion before you remove his or her body in the second stage.

We are back to whether utilitarianism is moral. It isn't! That point is made clear by the life, temptations and death of Jesus Christ.

12 July 2013 at 19:40  
Blogger Albert said...

Mrs Proudie,

It is truly astonishing and it exposes the lie that abortions are always for desperate women. I have no doubt that many are, but with statistics like that, it is hard to resist the conclusion that a growing number of men and women are feckless and wanton about their own young.

But the evil of the abortion industry is evident from the fact that it is the biggest child abuse cover-up racket in history, and that it leads people to discriminate in appalling ways - disability, gender and in principle, race or sexuality.

12 July 2013 at 19:44  
Blogger Peter D said...

Let's be careful with "compassion". Its been the chink in the armour of so many Christians.

From a moral point of view there is no situation in which abortion can be defended as a moral act in itself.

In the language of moral theology, "the intentionally chosen act is not ordered toward the relief of suffering as a proximate end"

Abortion is ordered toward depriving the life of an innocent person. It is essentially an act of murder, despite the intended end (the purpose or reason for choosing the act) to relieve suffering.

Therefore, the moral quality of the act is "gravely disordered", despite a good intended end.

Seen within this framework, abortion is always gravely immoral because it is inherently directed toward an evil moral object, the death of an innocent person.

"Intention cannot change the moral object of the intentionally chosen act."

Secularists see it different because they do not share our convictions.

12 July 2013 at 20:00  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Peter D:

I try to hold compassion to the example shown by Jesus in life: that we should not shirk from meeting people in the consequences of their evil, nor speak solely of their condemnation, but always believe and hope in their restoration and redemption.

The question of where abortion fits into this then hinges on the defence of life, and of innocence. This is not only a matter for the unborn child - though the nature of the debate requires that the unvoiced is spoken for - but also the mother. Speaking out against it is to defend both qualities in her also.

12 July 2013 at 20:26  
Blogger Albert said...

Belfast,

The question of where abortion fits into this then hinges on the defence of life, and of innocence. This is not only a matter for the unborn child - though the nature of the debate requires that the unvoiced is spoken for - but also the mother. Speaking out against it is to defend both qualities in her also.

Certainly, in terms of care the mother must be paramount in our concerns. However, the nature of the act of abortion means that act is aimed at the deprivation of the child's life. That is why it sometimes looks like we pro-lifers are more concerned about the child than the mother. But this is a mistake, we focus on the child, because the abortionist's act is focussed on the child.

However, we must not lose sight of the fact that an evil act always harms the person doing the evil act. So compassion focussed on the mother does not exclude protection of the unborn child, but rather reinforces it. This is because the moral universe is coherent and any rational moral belief will be coherent. What Peter is putting his finger on is the moral incoherence of the abortionist - he colludes in the self-harm of the mother by harming her child, for the sake of the mother.

12 July 2013 at 20:35  
Blogger Peter D said...

Belfast

Jesus never cooperated with evil on the grounds of compassion.

Being aware of the suffering of others and sincerely wishing to relieve it, is not justification for an intrinsically immoral act.

Look where such 'compassion' has led us.

12 July 2013 at 20:41  
Blogger Peter D said...

Albert

My thinking hadn't quite arrived at the point you've reached:
" ... we must not lose sight of the fact that an evil act always harms the person doing the evil act."

We discussed this before - sin is self-harm:
"This is because the moral universe is coherent ..."

It links with the quote I posted on the thread below:

"Whatever is contrary to an ordered love of God, neighbour, and self is morally evil; whatever is in accord with the same threefold love is morally good."
(Ronald L. Conte Jnr)

And increasingly we are seeing empirical data demonstrating that God's way works for our individual and collective wellbeing! God doesn't just give us 'rules' for their own sake! Meantime, secular society seems to have lost the capacity to reason.

You are right, the abortionist, and all those supporting abortion, "colludes in the self-harm of the mother by harming her child, for the sake of the mother.", and also in inflicting collective harm on society.

12 July 2013 at 21:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

There are many on this site who believe the Inspector is eloquence personified. A decent chap who would resort only to argumentative discourse. Nothing could be further from the truth. But he is a Christian. If given a bucket of aspirated foetal remains, he would think only good as he smeared the faces of screaming feminists with the gore of the innocent dead...

And await his reward in heaven...





12 July 2013 at 21:15  
Blogger Preacher said...

It seems to me that this is the product of the "equality for all" thought train, especially in sexual matters. Most capital cities bear mute testimony to this on Saturday nights. Many of the girls swear & drink, fight with each other, & the explicit content of most of the conversations, (Most at shouting pitch) leave nothing in doubt as to their intentions of where they are going to spend the night.
Basically they are trying to keep up with the boys. Problem is that boys can't get pregnant, & if the girl does, often you won't see the Dad for dust & she is looked down upon & scorned, as easy by the lads, & no longer one of the girls now she's pregnant & can't go out. Result: loneliness & depression or abortion.
This is what society & lack of moral teaching from our leading politicians has created.

12 July 2013 at 21:16  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Albert,

Hhmm,
One may have to think on these matters for a while yet.

12 July 2013 at 21:18  
Blogger Albert said...

Peter,

A quotation from St Thomas Aquinas:

God is offended by us only because we act contrary to our own good.

12 July 2013 at 21:29  
Blogger Mr. Mcgranor said...

Oh Voltaire here is your fruit... Built upon by socialists that have ruined the West (especially former Protestant societies) successfully. Lets incorporate their concerns in church, shall we? Think of the progress, and change... Finally patriarchy's hetero-sexism falls. Plus, you are doing your part for population control. What about those poor; now they do not have raise a impoverished child. You might have a bigoted child that has an affinity with the traditional past, so now you don't have to worry about reactionary activity. Such mercy from your God oh Voltaire. Your Free Masonic ethics of equality, tolerance, and one-world inclusion give forth a fruit that even surpasses such.

12 July 2013 at 21:43  
Blogger Berserker said...

Here is a quote from the Marie Stopes Organisation:

We believe that abortion should be an integral part of women’s healthcare and that a woman faced with an unplanned pregnancy has the right to access accurate, factual information about all her pregnancy options, including abortion. We support women to make confident, informed choices about their sexual health.

Does this not pander to " It's my body, I can do what I like with it!'

After 19 weeks a termination with GA costs nearly £2000 (and extra at the week-end) I did not realise that Irish women had that much money to spend on their 'confident informed choices' and some do this regular as clockwork.

How long before the EU in its European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) puts abortion on the menu?

12 July 2013 at 21:47  
Blogger Peter D said...

Albert
I do find it hard to follow St Aquinas - though I try, God knows, I try! This quote, I completely understand.

Simple and so profound.

Preacher
Oh, it all predates the "equality for all", "human rights", liberal, world-views.

It started because our collective churches stopped teaching fundamental truths. Somewhere along the way, it seems to me, Christian leaders have lost the capacity to think rationally and consistently with God's will over issues such as contraception, divorce, abortion and now homosexuality.

"Compassion"; what harm it causes when it is misdirected.

12 July 2013 at 21:51  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Is the utterly believable Stanislavski threat of suicide about to open Ireland's floodgates to abortion on demand?

Of course; that was the intention of the legislators. Can I just take a moment to do something which is not in my normal constitution and reverse a previously held opinion? Specifically, I would like to congratulate fomer minister Lucinda Creighton for her stand on this matter. This goes very much against the grain, since Creighton is both a rabid Blueshirt (member of Fine Gael) and, more importantly, the walking epitome of everything which is wrong with modern politics (or so I had thought). Straight of of university and straight into politics, she'd never been anywhere and never done anything and had spent the whole debate up to this point saying she was going to "vote with her conscience", without actually saying what her conscience was telling her. Naturally, I assumed this to mean that when the rubber hit the road, she'd vote with the party whip and keep her career on track, since that is what "professional" politicians always do. In the event, she resigned her ministry, resigned from the party and did the right thing. I therefore am forced to admit she is, indeed, a woman of character. Naturally, there was no place in top flight politics for her.

http://irishtimes.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

12 July 2013 at 22:45  
Blogger Peter D said...

Corrigan said ...
"Can I just take a moment to do something which is not in my normal constitution and reverse a previously held opinion?"

Gasp!

Once on this path, who knows where it will lead?

12 July 2013 at 23:31  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

It would be reassuring to be one of the granddaughters of some of the old men on this blogsite,knowing that if you are ganged raped at twelve years of age that Grandpa would insist that you take the pregnancy to full term.

I am not surprised rape and other crimes against women are on the increase. The lack of respect and hatred for women demonstrated by men on this site with the exception of David Hussell and particularly by the inspector is breathtaking.It is interesting being privy to the inner workings of the mind of a psycho.I have never witnessed hate to this extent and have never realised before how dangerous such men can be particularly those waving a religious banner.All very frightening!I know if it all becomes too intolerable I can walk and many times I have thought of leaving because it is certainly not a pleasant experience visiting here. However I will continue to do so because it is my Christian duty to show another perspective of Christianity which is not extremist cruel and quite frankly teetering on insanity.





13 July 2013 at 00:28  
Blogger Corrigan said...

So, of the 200,000 women per year who kill their children in British abortion factories (soon to be added to in Irish abortion factories), how many are pregnant as the result of being gang-raped at 12? You haven't really picked up on this whole "culture of life" and "culture of death" thing, have you Cressida?

13 July 2013 at 01:37  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Quick ps: being a woman doesn't make you right, doesn't give you a free pass, and doesn't make those who don't see things your way pigs.

13 July 2013 at 01:38  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Reason is something you can never be accused of Corrigan. The culture of using abortion as a quick fix is of course sheer horror. It is mind boggling to think it has been permitted to happen and it is a culture of death.However there are very exceptional circumstances which you do not recognise...Reason and compassion are intrinsic qualities of Christianity although obviously modes of behaviour you do not practise or are aware of. At least you recognise you are pig ( your words not mine)..that is a start I suppose.

13 July 2013 at 02:13  
Blogger Peter D said...

Cressida

Let's walk through this one very slowly.

World wide, 40-50 million women decide to have an abortion each year. This is approximately 125,000 abortions per day.

Not all of these are 12 year old girls who have been gang raped, yet each would justify their decision in some way. Give evil an inch and it takes a mile and more.

In considering the circumstances of a child who becomes pregnant because of an act of sexual violence, one cannot simply abandon morality.

The basic premise of a Christian position, strictly speaking a Catholic position, is that an act of intrinsic evil (murder) can never be justified whatever the circumstances. Abortion is the murder of an innocent life, however conceived, and is immoral.

How would this "old man" react in the a situation where my 12 year old daughter or granddaughter became pregnant following a rape? My instinct would be to remove the growing life inside her as soon as possible because for 9 months it would serve as a constant reminder of the violence done to her. At least it would give a semblance of control; of putting something right. This is an illusion.

However, this instinctive reaction to protect her does not make this response, or any subsequent abortion, moral or, indeed, helpful to her. The child she is carrying is innocent and not guilty of the evil act. The act of rape and the child in her womb have to be distinguished one from another.

Would I "insist" on her carrying the child to full term or pronounce judgement on her if she opted for abortion? I don't believe so. I would help her understand the difference between the act of rape and the child in her womb. I would reassure her the child growing inside her would not harm her, would not be evil and would not ruin her life. I would talk about what lay ahead and how we could get through it. Its the recovery from the rape that's the issue - not the child she's carrying. The two can be separated. Aborting the child may seem a quick way to assist but it does not necessarily follow.

The world is "not fair". People get harmed unjustly. People suffer. What matters is our response in these situations. That's the essence of Christianity. "Not my will but thine be done." I also believe God gives us the strength to follow His will in such situations.

This is not a "lack of respect" or "hatred for women". Abortion is always gravely immoral because it is inherently directed toward an evil moral object - the death of an innocent person.

13 July 2013 at 02:16  
Blogger Peter D said...

Corrigan

Not a terribly sensitive soul, are you?

13 July 2013 at 02:22  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The assertion that rape justifies abortion is simply a more tightly constrained contextual argument. The humanity of the child is subsumed in favor of the mother's circumstance. The pro-life argument devolves to "I don't think you have a good enough reason to abort" instead of "The child deserves protection because of its humanity." The argument thus undermines the entire pro-life position. You can't defend the humanity of the unborn child and still justify abortion in the case of rape.

carl

13 July 2013 at 04:33  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Consider this thought experiment. Assume the woman cannot abort for some reason. She must for medical reasons carry the child to term. Should she then be allowed to kill the child at birth because the child is the product of rape? Of course not. But this is exactly analogous to abortion because of rape given the assumption that the unborn child is a human being deserving of protection. Pro-abortionists don't have this difficulty. They deny (or ignore) the child's humanity. We base our argument upon it. And yet when we encounter a hard case we suddenly run right toward their logic. This should not be.

carl

13 July 2013 at 04:45  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Wanting to smear womens faces with the gore of foetal remains is lack of respect and hatred of women and must be seen as such;even though the demented extremists that frequent this blog may not acknowledge this.And come to think of it carving swastikas into womens heads is hatred as well...although to be fair,Carl's comment was just personal hatred towards me and not all women which is probably fine in Calvin's take on Christianity since Calvin personally supervised the beheading of a nine year old boy for back chatting his mother.

Your essence of Christianity is different to mine Peter. It is unreasonable not to admit that very special circumstances can and do occur .One rule ,one size fits all is insulting to an intelligent God. You as a Catholic know the intricacies and torture of conscience where decisions must never ever be made out of self interest.


We kill in a war..War is a necessary evil sometimes.I also know a Catholic who suffered for 50 years because he did not finish off a young German soldier by putting a bullet in his head and watched him take 4 hours to die screaming for someone to kill him. According to your religious views he did the right thing...according to mine he did not...Priests are instruments of God . They are not God.That is the reason we are given consciences and trained in truth so if they slip up we know when they are wrong.They are human and fallible. In time both of us will be judged...

If I'm around in a war Peter and you are screaming in agony for 4 hours close to death begging me to kill you...I will hate doing it and I will not want to but I am going to shoot you.






13 July 2013 at 05:56  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Well, scream "pig!" out of one side of your mouth while roaring "reason and compassion!" out of the other if you like, Cressida, but I'm not the one trying to use the hard extremity to justify the mundane practice. Abortion is an objective moral evil, as is any form of support for it. Read Carl's comment again. He pretty much nails it. As for your friend who wouldn't kill the suffering German, have you considered how he would have felt all these years had he actually done so?

13 July 2013 at 07:23  
Blogger Ivan said...


I hope the sensitive soldier used the remaining four hours to tell the suffering German that the true Fuhrer is the Lord Jesus Christ. The repentant thief must have taken about as long to die with Jesus on the cross, but great was reward in heaven.

13 July 2013 at 07:48  
Blogger Ivan said...

... great was his reward in heaven.

13 July 2013 at 07:49  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Cressida @ 5:56

I'm missing something.

Where did Carl express personal hatred to you, and where does he mention carving swastikas?

Please explain.

13 July 2013 at 08:12  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

My parish priest has said something very wise in more than one homily.

"In a very imperfect world, sadly the only choice we are given is often not between right and wrong but between two wrongs. And refusal to choose frequently becomes a choice in itself. The development of a well honed conscience is the only help we have in this quagmire, and the comfort that we're all going to make messes of it, and that God loves us."

He wasn't speaking about this situation, but about other moral dilemmas. But the concept is applicable here. Like Cressida I also think "that very special circumstances can and do occur .One rule ,one size fits all is insulting to an intelligent God." Frankly if this wasn't the case there would be no need for a conscience at all, you'd just look up the relevant page in the rule book. Some people do. (Can you tell I've been reading Rorate Caeli again this morning? Not clever before the third coffee makes me a more charitable person)

With respect to this disaster in Ireland, we are back to the old principle that hard cases make bad law.

13 July 2013 at 08:12  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Where did Carl express personal hatred to you, and where does he mention carving swastikas?

He didn't; we may assume he thinks in this manner because he's not telling Cressida what she wants to hear. Liberal Psychology 101

13 July 2013 at 08:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dear Cressida. Perish the thought you should leave this site and take your indignant hysteria with you !

Now, what have we here. “Smearing women's faces with the gore of foetal remains...lack of respect”

Not sure you understand how it works, old thing. Forget the hatred of women, which isn’t there, and concentrate on the lack of respect which there is for certain members of womanhood. How are we to consider women who campaign for the right to kill their unborn ? Shake their evil hand ?

Please don’t play the woman victim card. You’re forty years too late. Germaine Greer et al ‘freed’ you while at the same time destroying the family, and it’s no coincidence that abortion was part of the package. Feminists are fair game to this man, to be fired on on sight...

13 July 2013 at 08:59  
Blogger LEN said...

Abortion is quite definitely not part of God`s plan for humanity.

'For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.'
– Psalm 139:13-14

But can there be exceptions?. What about the child who has suffered at the hands of those who should have looked them and lost their life would it not be be better if that child had been aborted and not had to suffer ?.

I do not even pretend to know the answers to these questions but God is the only One who can Judge according to circumstances and motives.

13 July 2013 at 09:01  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Thanks, Corrigan.

Cressida, in the light of what you say, has shown a classic instance of attacking the person rather than the argument.

13 July 2013 at 09:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Cressida,

Do please read to the very end of the second of these posts before answering - assuming you want to answer.

We kill in a war.

Yes, but look at rationale: we cannot kill innocent civilians (at least not directly) if we do it is rightly called murder. We cannot kill POWs, if we do, it is rightly called murder. Again, the police can, in very rare circumstances shoot someone dead - say a gunman on the rampage, but they cannot shoot him once they have disarmed him, and they cannot infer from the permission to shoot to kill that they can shoot to kill just anyone.

What are the principles at stake? From the examples given we can see that the person to be killed needs to be guilty of doing (i.e. at the time of the killing) some kind of grave harm to someone else. The innocent remain protected.

Now what about the rape case? Is the child guilty? No. So your example fails to defend your killing of the child. Is the rapist guilty, yes. Are you in favour of executing him? If not, why not? If not, why are you in favour of executing the innocent rather than the guilty? On that logic, you may as well kill the mother. After all, she is innocent of the rape, but not more innocent than the child (not less either). And it is foolish to think that an abortion will take away the psychological harm of the rape. So if you kill her, you end her suffering. If you want a position that is frightening, it is yours: the principle that we should be protected while we are innocent is washed away in our own innocent blood. But scripture says:

you say, `Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?'...The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

13 July 2013 at 09:15  
Blogger Albert said...

Cressida (continued),

Now to come to your example of the 12 year old being gang raped, I do not know how I would react emotionally - it is an appalling, but real example. But I hope I would use reason. Using my reason, I would see that the child of my granddaughter is, her own child, and thus my great granddaughter/son - a member of my own family. My flesh and blood. Someone whom God has taught me through nature itself to care for and protect. I would therefore wish to protect that child - my great granddaughter (say) from those, like you, who would wish to end her life for the sins of another.

But where does that leave my granddaughter? Well, she is currently the victim of an appalling act of violence. If she has the abortion she will not cease to be such a victim, but will add to her psychological suffering that she then herself participated in a further act of violence against her own child (granted her personal culpability is profoundly limited here, quite possibly to the point of non-existence). That means that every time she thinks of the rape, she will not just think of harm done to her, but of the harm she did to someone else - her own child. It is not impossible to think that that is actually going to be more psychologically harmful to her. And what about the moral harm done to her? She has been taught that violence is a just means (thereby devaluing the rape), she has been taught that human life is not ultimately sacred (remember she is 12) how does that make her feel about herself? Does that give her more or less self-worth? And what if she takes these "moral" lessons and applies them in life in other circumstances? The moral harm could be incalculable.

So biblically, philosophically, and from the point of view of care for the mother, your position is wrong, cruel and harmful - in each respect, worse than supporting her through the pregnancy.

BTW are you going to answer Carl's posts given at 0433 & 0445 (I mean apart from just being rude)?

I knew someone who was the result of rape. Someone I loved (dead now, God rest them). It puts it into a different perspective when you have first hand experience of this kind of thing. But my first hand experience simply supporters what reason and the Bible teach me on this matter. When I think of that person, and your arguments, your position seems not just morally wrong but emotionally abhorrent.

13 July 2013 at 09:16  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One more thing Cressida, if your conduct on Cranmer is the result of a “How to emasculate men” course, you really ought to ask for your money back...

13 July 2013 at 09:50  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Conduct?
And this from someone who talks of smearing gore from foetal matter in the faces of women!Not one man
found this offensive enough to merit an objection being raised. This speaks volumes!You and your confreres here inspector deserve to live with yourselves forever. I wish you all a very very long life.
Hell is empty. All the devils are here (Not quite Shakespeare)


13 July 2013 at 10:31  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Cressida de Nova

Not one man found this offensive enough to merit an objection being raised

Not so I would think, I'm sure there are many who find the entire output from this cretin simply unworthy of response.

13 July 2013 at 11:07  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Albert said,

"Is the rapist guilty, yes. Are you in favour of executing him? If not, why not? If not, why are you in favour of executing the innocent rather than the guilty?"

I have got into this argument many times in pro-life v. pro-"choice" debates. People tell me I can't be pro-life and support the death penalty; I always respond that it's precisely because I am pro-life, and value life, that I support the death penalty for murder.

I'm ok in principle with executing the guilty; it's mass execution of the innocent I baulk at.

13 July 2013 at 12:15  
Blogger Albert said...

Cressida,

Not one man found this offensive enough to merit an objection being raised

I rarely bother to reply to the Inspector's hyperboles, they are deliberately extreme and do not claim to be reasoned arguments. Therefore, I don't dignify them by responding. However, I defy anyone to show that what he is suggesting is worse than supporting the abortion of the innocent in the first place.

13 July 2013 at 12:28  
Blogger Albert said...

Darter Noster,

Yes, the fact that people find your position contradictory at level shows how limited people's moral reasoning is. However, isn't your position - if you are proposing practically anyway - in conflict with the teaching of the Church?

13 July 2013 at 12:30  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Dearest Cressida, please give up all thoughts of leaving - one would feel so alone if you departed to another place! An invitation to high tea and the Palace is on its way...steady the Buffs and all that!

13 July 2013 at 12:35  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

But I have to say, I turn to my Bible and read of the Massacre of the Innocents and weep...

13 July 2013 at 12:36  
Blogger Nick said...

On a more positive note, I found some small encouragement that in Texas they have just passed a bill banning 20-week abortions, despite strong protests and an attempt at fillibustering by the Democrats. At least it means a few lives saved...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23298311

13 July 2013 at 12:44  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Peter D:

I share your concerns about the misuse of compassion as a means of blinding well-but-not-perfectly-meaning Christians (and others) to evil.

Likewise, I'd heartily echo Carl's argument: I struggle to think of a comparable example where our judicial system has ever permitted the slaying of a third party as an answer to a crime. My point, however, was that I have particular, but by no means exclusive sympathy for women in that situation. Even the women who procure abortions for entirely selfish reasons.

I agree absolutely that the compassion demonstrated by Christ never once condoned, nor could possibly ally with, evil. But Christ's mission began with compassion for the depraved.

It's why I thought Damo Mackerel was spot on with his point. We shouldn't feel afraid to point out the self-inflicted evil - not only in terms of mental health (as many have pointed out here) or even physical health - but also the spiritual consequences. Even if you were fortunate enough to evade the mental and physical reprecussions, there is no salve to washing the blood of the innocent on one's hands.

Precisely because most of the media don't get what excommunication entails - either in the specific Catholic sense, or in the generic Christian sense of a separation from the Church enacted through gross and deliberate evil - they fixate on the institutional element, partly but not solely because many come from a materialist bent of one form or another.

If you look only at the institutional response to abortion, then the Catholic Church, as an institution, and a good many other Christian churches (not least the CofE) look not only weak but essentially hypocritical. When you have women who have had abortions at a local level being (albeit only occasionally) excommuinicated, and virtually never any equivalent formal censure given to politicians who enable them to do so within the law, it is a little less hard to see where campaginers get the (largely erroneous) idea that the Church is out to control women's bodies.

The debate has essentially become one of identity politics: pro-choicers "represent" women, while pro-lifers "represent" the unborn child; but its a divide that is inherently tilted towards the pro-choicers, who can not only produce many real-life women convicted of the benefits of abortion, but actively connive to destroy and occlude the very people that pro-lifers seek to protect. The minute abortion is permitted, by definition we have already lost the victims that might testify against it.

In fact, a good number of the surveys I've seen suggest that women are fractionally more likely to be opposed to abortion than men. That's one practical reason why it's important to be braver in standing for the unborn and their mothers - even, and especially, those who are seeking abortions.

My understanding of Jesus' compassion is that it unfailingly points towards a full and total Restoration - it's not about half-measures, or watering down good to make it more palatable, it is nothing short of the recovery and redemption of mankind.

13 July 2013 at 12:53  
Blogger Albert said...

Belfast,

I think you make some important points. I made a similar point above, that it is a misunderstanding to think compassion for the mother does not reinforce care for the child.

The question of excommunication is interesting. I don't know canon law well enough, but I think excommunication is automatic for procuring an abortion - how far does someone have to go before someone is procuring an abortion? Clearly it would cover a person carrying out the abortion, the person asking for it (this could be the mother or someone else), someone who provides drugs for the abortion, someone how takes someone to the clinic and so on. But is someone who is passing a law guilty of procuring an abortion? What about someone who votes for a pro-death politician because they are pro-death? Here I think it is murky - the morality is clear, but the Church law isn't.

I stand by my earlier statement that such politicians should be excommunicated. So the problem seems to me to be with the canon law. I don't know if there are other clear grounds for excommunication in this instance - I suspect not, for if there were, it would be happening. So I think the proper solution would be for the Catholic Church to introduce such grounds. This would be right in itself, it might prevent such abortion laws, and it would make the Church act in a more consistent and compassionate way.

Perhaps Pope Francis is the man for this job? He seems pretty strong against evil!

13 July 2013 at 13:34  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Albert,

"However, isn't your position - if you are proposing practically anyway - in conflict with the teaching of the Church?"

Not really; even in recent years the Church's official teaching has stopped short of condemning the death penalty outright. Catechism states that, in the modern world, the circumstances which justify the death penalty should be "practically" non-existent. I'm happy to go along with that, though I'm willing to debate the precise meaning of the word "practically".

13 July 2013 at 13:43  
Blogger Albert said...

Darter,

Indeed. So what would you include as possible circumstances of execution?

13 July 2013 at 13:45  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

AiB

Of course the pro-abortionist would deny that abortion is being offered as a solution to crime. That would be the domain of the justice system. They would assert that abortion is being proffered in defense of the mother's autonomy. It restores to her the level of obligation she possessed prior to the rape. Abortion removes the obligation of parenthood.

This is why this argument is so dangerous. It undermines any assertion about the humanity of the child by shifting the ground of the argument to a debate about when and why paternal obligation attaches. That is the home turf of the pro-abortionist. We say 'Obligation attaches by virtue of consensual see.' They say 'No, live birth.' Neither accounts for the child's intrinsic value. We lose even if we win because we gave tacitly admitted the basis of their argument. And the pro-abortionist knows this.

I used to hold the contrary position on this argument. Until one day a friend made to me the arguments I made above. It was horrifying - as if he had driven a 12 inch spike through my right foot with one blow. For two hours I tried to extract that spike. I twisted. I pried. I tugged. I pulled. I raged. I pleaded. My opponent was pitiless. Eventually I gave up the ghost. It was awful.

Or perhaps not.

carl

13 July 2013 at 13:56  
Blogger Peter D said...

Cressida

You have, I think, shown empathy towards the 12 year old child in this situation - as has Sister Tiberia to some extent.

This is commendable because, as Belfast pointed out, we should begin with understanding and compassion towards those who sin or are in a situation where they face temptation to sin. Albert also acknowledged that the child in this situation would not be held culpable in the eyes of God. This is because their capacity to act with deliberate intent would be impaired.

What people have pointed out above is is the moral precepts one should apply in the horrific circumstances you outlined. Regrettably, you faced personal abuse in many of the replies you received. You raised a valid issue that helped clarify the moral principles at stake.

Now, if I had been shot and my death was inevitable after hours of suffering, would you shoot me regardless of a plea on my part to do so? And think, if I did ask you, understandable in that situation, would this 'mercy killing'/ 'assisted suicide' have implications for the eternal destination of my soul?

So far as Inspector Haw-Haw's contribution goes, it was unworthy of comment and replying would simply have fed his ego and have taken the thread off in an unworthy direction.

13 July 2013 at 13:57  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Peter D

Inspector Haw-Haw

OK that was funny. I laughed out loud, I admit. But it was a little below the belt. OIG may be hyperbolic and contrary and retrograde in his social understanding. But he ain't no traitor.

carl

13 July 2013 at 14:15  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Albert,

I would simply observe that there are a small number of crimes committed for which no other punishment seems adequate. Ian Brady, Levi Bellfield, Fred West, Peter Tobin, Sidney Cooke, the Baby P killers - there are various possible candidates. To have sentenced people like the Commandant of Auschwitz, or Irma Greiser, the Witch of Belsen, to life imprisonment would not have been justice for the people they tortured, brutalised and butchered.

13 July 2013 at 14:22  
Blogger Peter D said...

Carl
"But he ain't no traitor."

Surely that depends on the nature of the treason and the 'nation' or 'institution' to which his comments are directed or impact upon.

13 July 2013 at 15:08  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Peter D

I think rather it depends upon the nature of treason. For OIG to be a traitor to RCism in a manner analogous to Lord Haw Haw, OIG would first have to leave the RCC. Then he would have to take up residence with its most bitter enemy. These things he has not done.

carl

13 July 2013 at 15:39  
Blogger Peter D said...

Carl

True but I've made no such claims.

If memory serves, the actual Lord Haw-Haw, William Joyce, was an American national. His possession of a British passport was based on lies on his part. He wasn't British and therefore 'technically' not a traitor to Britain, his fraudulently claimed country.

13 July 2013 at 16:07  
Blogger Peter D said...

Ps

Joyce's possession of a British passport, based on his false claims, entitled him to British protection in Germany and, it was argued, he therefore owed allegiance to the King and not the Germans. This was why he was convicted and hanged.

Make a claim of allegiance to an institution or nation, false or genuine, and then betray that institution, in whatever form and from whatever place, is a treasonous act.

13 July 2013 at 16:16  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Talking to my grandparents, I didn't get the impression anyone lost sleep over him whatever the technicalities were....

13 July 2013 at 16:19  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Peter D

You have lost me. If you made no claim that OIG is a traitor to the RCC, then why did you compare him to Lord Haw Haw? Perhaps this an American perspective but to me that seems an exceptionally harsh judgment.

carl

13 July 2013 at 16:48  
Blogger Peter D said...

Carl

I didn't expressly do so earlier because I didn't really want to go down this path. Our host might object too.

The Inspector gave himself the title of 'Lord Haw-Haw' a few threads below. It just seemed appropriate to me and got me wondering.

Our Inspector claims to be Roman Catholic and yet behaves as a mischievous populist who shows ignorance of Catholic teaching and, when it is explained, openly rejects it and argues against it. What do you call that?

He's entitled to his views and opinions and to express them. He can call himself whatever he chooses. I find many of his views objectionable and a misrepresentation of the faith he says has his allegiance. His window dressing of humour doesn't detract from this.

13 July 2013 at 17:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

A pox on you all...

13 July 2013 at 19:48  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Elegantly put, Inspector. Pithy, delicate and devastatingly erudite.

13 July 2013 at 20:05  
Blogger Albert said...

Darter Noster,

I'm not sure your position is consistent with the teaching of the Church. Here's JPII:

It is clear that, for these purposes to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.

This is just an interpretation of the Catechism:

"If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person"

This seems pretty clear - the only reason for giving the death penalty is to defend society - so I think your general disgust at certain crimes is not covered.

In looking this up, I found the following from Cardinal Ratzinger in 2005, which is pertinent to the question of excommunication of politicians who vote for abortion:

A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia

I would have thought the obvious thing would be to excommunicate them for their formal cooperation in evil.

13 July 2013 at 20:16  
Blogger Albert said...

A bit harsh on Carl, Inspector, who looks to be defending you.

Anyway, my Grandparents too loathed Lord Haw Haw. In fact, they all thought he was a bit of joke. He made a fool of himself by making statements about what the Luftwaffe were achieving (e.g. destroying the tram lines of X) when the people of X could see the trams were running!

13 July 2013 at 20:17  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

The first purpose of law is retribution and not defense. The death penalty should be exacted when the crime warrants such punishment. One of the profound weaknesses of western jurisprudence is that it sees confinement as sufficient punishment - that it even seeks to mitigate the more harsh aspects of confinement. The purpose of punishment is to inflict suffering. The criminal is supposed to feel the burden of his crime. The state is not a father seeking restoration. It is a judge seeking vicarious retribution.

Remember that this is the purpose of divine justice. There will be no parole from hell. There is no concept of restoration beyond the Final Judgment. People no longer see this reality modeled in our justice system. They see instead a weak concept of punishment that includes TV sets and warm beds and consistent meals. The only fear of prison proceeds from fear of the predation of the other inmates.

The officer is not supposed to turn the other cheek. He is supposed to exact payment for the debt. He is supposed to make sure the debt is paid to the last copper coin. No matter the size of the debt.

carl

13 July 2013 at 20:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Fellows, about 3 years ago, this man visited Galway. He was staying at a B&B. On his last day, he told the proprietor he was going to walk the long way into town. ‘Ah, that will bring you past the cemetery then”. Anyone famous in there, says I. Well, he replied, there are the victims of the 1957 air disaster, the few that came to the surface, the majority are still the 100 miles out, on the sea bed, and then there’s William Joyce. Not the man Haw Haw, says I. The same, he said. Sure, he was hanged in London, and they bury them inside the prison walls, says I. Well, they dug that fella up 30 years ago and brought him back, says your man.

Anyway, walked the walk and came to the cemetery gates. Shortly inside was the memorial to the 1957 crash, but did you think I could find Joyce ?

Well, needed an email address other than ones real name, so on returning home, tried Haw Haw. Remarkably, and remember, this was only 3 years ago, it was available. Pangs of occasional regret at times, as some blighter has been trying to get in there over the last few weeks and one's email shuts down and demands passwords. A heavy burden at times...




13 July 2013 at 20:45  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Albert,

Not my disgust at certain crimes, but society's. For there to be confidence in the criminal justice system, those who commit the most vilest outrages must be seen to receive justice, and if justice means judicial execution then so be it. A criminal justice system seen to be weak and compromised will be unable to deter criminals large or small, and thus will not succeed in defending society.

Catechism does not forbid the death penalty outright; it says it should be used sparingly and only when absolutely necessary to defend society. Pope John Paul II and I might disagree on precisely what that means in practice, but St. Thomas Aquinas and I would probably agree. A speech by a Pope infallible doctrine doth not make.

13 July 2013 at 22:05  
Blogger Peter D said...

Carl said ...
"The first purpose of law is retribution and not defense."

Is it? On what is this assertion based?

"For there to be confidence in the criminal justice system, those who commit the most vilest outrages must be seen to receive justice, and if justice means judicial execution then so be it."

Again, on what is this based?

"You have heard that it hath been said: An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other."
(Matthew 5:38-40)

"Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord."
(Roman's 12:19)

13 July 2013 at 22:33  
Blogger Albert said...

Darter Noster,

Let's be clear, your interpretation stretches the meaning of the teaching to the point that you are contradicting it. To be faithful to the Church one needs not simply to pay lip service to a teaching but accept it in the interpretation that is meant. You have more or less conceded you are not doing that. Hence the following:

A speech by a Pope infallible doctrine doth not make.

It wasn't a speech by an encyclical - the highest kind of teaching document.

In any case, it doesn't have to be infallible. It is the teaching of the Church:

This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.

13 July 2013 at 22:59  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

As so often, you seem very one sided on moral matters. Peter has already observed that your interest in inflicting pain is only one part of punishment. Discipline is another - that is to make us disciples:

have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons? -- "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor lose courage when you are punished by him.
For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.


Moreover, I find it strange that you think we are able to anticipate the judgement of hell.

13 July 2013 at 23:09  
Blogger Albert said...

22.59.

Sorry, should have read:

It wasn't a speech but an encyclical

13 July 2013 at 23:11  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Albert,

It does have to be infallible to be an article of faith, and at no point has the Catholic Church declared the death penalty to be wrong in and of itself. It says it should be used rarely, fairly and in defense of society, all of which I am happy to support. Plenty of loyal Catholics would share that opinion with me.

If you think your loyalty to the Magisterium means you being opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances then good luck to you. I will gladly answer to God for all my beliefs in the end, but I'll be damned before I answer to you, Peter D, Cressida or anyone else for those beliefs.

13 July 2013 at 23:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Did the Christ spend anytime on the cross cursing the Roman’s for their use of the death penalty. He did not. He was more concerned reassuring a repentant thief he would be in paradise while on the other side of him, the unrepentant thief mocked them both.

Still, we are lucky to have vice pope Peter and vice pope Albert to put us right on that one...

What !

13 July 2013 at 23:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Looks like Cranmer and the Inspector are not the only ones sick to their eye teeth with the Catholic Taleban on this site...


13 July 2013 at 23:17  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 July 2013 at 23:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Peter D

Is it? On what is this assertion based?

It's based on this:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Romans 13:1-4

Your position as presented is absurd. The officer of the law cannot turn the other cheek and remain the officer of the law. Do you want the officer of the law to enforce the law? Do you want him to be God's ... what's that word ... "AVENGER who carries out God's wrath?" The Scriptures you quote apply to me as an individual believer. I cannot take vengeance. The officer of the law is required to take vengeance. He is a servant of God given for expressly that purpose. The Scriptures you quoted manifestly do not apply to him who does not carry the sword in vain. They cannot apply to him lest they set Scripture against itself and make it contemptible.

carl

13 July 2013 at 23:30  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

The officer of the law is not a father to the criminal. The officer of the law is not interested in discipline and chastisement to effect a holy purpose. He is (as I a quoted above) an avenger sent to carry out God's wrath. There is no father/son relationship to be found in Romans 13. The verse you quoted from Hebrews therefore has nothing to do with the subject. Just as the verses Peter quoted have nothing to do with the subject. The judge is not proving that the criminal is a his legitimate child. He is imposing punishment for wrongdoing. Those are very different concepts.

carl

13 July 2013 at 23:36  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.

Heh. You just gotta love the RCC. It declares that it alone can make infallible teachings. It then refuses to actually state the sum total of those teachings lest they be falsified at some point. But it still requires submission to all of its teachings (infallible or not) as if all teachings were infallible. One expects that the Pope will airbrush certain people out of pictures and require the laity to accept that they were never in the pictures in the first place.

Reason #469 for why I am not a Roman Catholic.

carl

13 July 2013 at 23:55  
Blogger Peter D said...

Carl

I'm not presenting a "position", just exploring the issues.

I fully accept the death penalty is an acceptable practice by those in government. I'm trying to reconcile your call for vicarious revenge with the teachings of Jesus on mercy, reconciliation and redemption.

I'm just not sure its the State's role to inflict vicarious revenge.
I fully accept the State has the right and the duty to protect its citizens from its enemies. I can therefore accept certain people need to be removed from society for the common good.

I can see justification for the death penalty if it acts as an effective deterrent. Does it? I can also see justification for it if the death penalty is the only way to defend others against the guilty party. Is it?

But to inflict vicarious revenge? This I find difficult to accept.

14 July 2013 at 00:06  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 July 2013 at 00:57  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Peter D

But to inflict vicarious revenge? This I find difficult to accept.

But that is what Paul said. The verse I quoted is directly on point. It is in fact the most 'on point' verse on the subject at hand in the whole of the New Testament. There is no talk of deterrence. There is no talk of protection. There is talk of punishment. That is the purpose of the servant who carries the sword - to be an avenger who punishes the wrongdoer.

Remember two things. Everything the Lord Jesus says about redemption and mercy is rooted in His work on the Cross. The Cross is not about deterrence. The Cross is not about protection. The Cross is the display of God's punishing justice against sin. God does not overlook sin. He covers it with righteous blood. Without the punishment inflicted on the Cross there would be only wrath and punishment for us.

Remember also that a man in a position of authority has different responsibilities than an ordinary man who carries no such authority. The Sermon on the Mount is not a political discourse. It is an exposition on the Law. The Law does not overlook sin. It exposes sin, and sin must be punished. God gives authorities for our good to accomplish that task. That means someone must be placed in authority to execute that punishment. When he exercises that authority he is subject to different responsibilities and duties. The police officer may not kill as a private citizen but he may kill when he acts in his capacity as an officer of the law. This distinction must be kept in mind.

Otherwise we end up with absurdities such as "The policeman must turn the other cheek."

carl

14 July 2013 at 01:01  
Blogger Peter D said...

Inspector
What a lame 'explanation' for choosing Lord Haw-Haw as an email address.

Your 'Catholic Taliban' comment confirms my opinion of you. Nothing to add to the discussion, simply seeking popular support from whatever quarter might be available.

Pilate certainly had the authority to execute Jesus. Christ Himself confirmed this and instructed Peter to sheaf his sword when He was arrested by the temple guards, However, are you saying the execution was just? Do you also support the right of certain African countries to execute homosexuals? Or Muslim states to execute Christians?

Carl and Darter Noster

So we're clear on this, I do not regard the Vatican teaching on capital punishment as binding on Catholics. The latest position relates to the times we live in.
Catholics, in seeking to form their judgment as to whether the death penalty is to be supported are required to be attentive to the guidance of the Pope and the Bishops. Nothing more - or less.

The Magisterium accepts that the State has the right to impose the death penalty on persons convicted of very serious crimes. But the State should not exercise this right when the evil effects outweigh the good effects. Thus the principle leaves open the question whether and when the death penalty ought to be applied.

The Pope and the Bishops have concluded that in contemporary society the death penalty ought not to be invoked, because, on balance, they consider it does more harm than good.

For a Christian argument in favour of capital punishment to be authentic, society must believe in the existence of a transcendent order of justice, which the State has an obligation to protect. Does our modern society?

In principle, guilt calls for punishment. In Holy Scripture death is regarded as the appropriate punishment for serious transgressions. Sin calls for the deprivation of some good, such as the good of temporal or even eternal life. By consenting to the punishment of death, the wrongdoer is placed in a position to expiate his evil deeds and escape punishment in the next life. Even if the sinner is not repentant, he is benefited by being prevented from committing more sins.

Retribution by the State has its limits because the State, unlike God, enjoys neither omniscience nor omnipotence. According to Christian faith, God “will render to every man according to his works” at the final judgment. So retribution by the State is only an anticipation of God's perfect justice.

In our day the State is generally viewed as an instrument of the will of the governed. In the modern perspective, the death penalty expresses not divine judgment on objective evil but collective anger of the group. The retributive goal of punishment becomes a self-assertive act of vengeance.

This is what concerns me - not capital punishment itself. Just retribution, which seeks to establish the right order of things, should not be confused with vindictiveness.

And therein lies the modern danger of capital punishment. The sentence of death may be improper if it has serious negative effects on society, such as miscarriages of justice, the increase of vindictiveness, or disrespect for the value of innocent human life.

14 July 2013 at 01:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter D. By what damn right do you presume to shanghai this site ? We don’t need a Vatican policeman here. Savvy ?

If this man and Darter Noster wish to see the death sentence re-instated in the UK, just damn well accept it. Must you decry EVERYTHING on this blog you disagree with.

As for...

“Pilate certainly had the authority to execute Jesus. Christ Himself confirmed this and instructed Peter to sheaf his sword when He was arrested by the temple guards, However, are you saying the execution was just? Do you also support the right of certain African countries to execute homosexuals? Or Muslim states to execute Christians?”

...has some of Cressida’s hysteria rubbed off on you ?


14 July 2013 at 04:10  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Peter

Re: OIGs email.

Nah. I didn't see the other thread but if all you have is an email address you haven't got much. People choose nicks for all sorts of reasons including irony, iconoclasm, and effect. I once seriously considered using Hitokiri Battousai as a nick. Because I like the story. Because I like the image. Because the ironic contrast appealed to me. Mostly because of its vision of redeemed power. I chose not to do so but you would make a mistake to read the title too literally as it applied to me. The choice is ultimately comprehensible only to the one who chooses.

carl

14 July 2013 at 04:29  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

The end result will be fewer Irish.

What's not to like?

14 July 2013 at 08:54  
Blogger Albert said...

Darter Noster,

I am not arguing that the death penalty is always wrong (in fact, in view of the quotations I gave from JPII & the Catechism, I'm surprising that you think I am arguing that). I never said it was an article of faith. I am simply saying that the reasons you gave for inflicting the death penalty are wrong, when viewed from the perspective of current Catholic teaching. At least, that's how it looks to me.

Plenty of loyal Catholics would share that opinion with me.

Plenty of Catholics may, but that tells us nothing, as plenty of Catholics believe all sorts of things that are contrary to the teaching of the Church. Are they loyal Catholics? That all depends on whether what they believe is what the Church teaches. So you can't short-circuit the discussion by an appeal to "lots of X believe this".

I'll be damned before I answer to you, Peter D, Cressida or anyone else for those beliefs

I'm not asking you to answer to me - good grief! I am asking if you can answer to the teaching of the Church. Perhaps you can. But you haven't shown how, yet and it seems to me (perhaps wrongly) that it is precisely the kinds of executions that you favour that JPII was trying to stop.

14 July 2013 at 09:50  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

I haven't managed to read all the discussion with Peter D, so apologies if I am repeating.

The verse you quoted from Hebrews therefore has nothing to do with the subject.

But you've changed the subject. You started by saying:

The purpose of punishment is to inflict suffering. The criminal is supposed to feel the burden of his crime.

I didn't disagree. I said that this was only one part of punishment. Another part is the reform of the offender - that was the purpose of the use of my quotation from Hebrews. Now since the death penalty ends any possibility of further reform, it sits uncomfortably with this element of scriptural understanding and this my statement was perfectly correct.

You also said:

The first purpose of law is retribution and not defense.

You haven't defended this at all. You have most indicated that retribution is part of the purpose of law - not that it is the first part. On tyhe contrary, scripture also speaks of the redemptive qualities of law:

Blessed is the man whom thou dost chasten, O LORD, and whom thou dost teach out of thy law to give him respite from days of trouble,
until a pit is dug for the wicked.


Law teaches people to know God:

He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children;
that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God


And of the ways in which it guides and perfects people:

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to thy word. With my whole heart I seek thee; let me not wander from thy commandments!

Law also gives people joy:

I delight in thy law. It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes. The law of thy mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.

And if we ask scripture directly the purpose of the law, we find St Paul says:

So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian

You go on:

He is (as I a quoted above) an avenger sent to carry out God's wrath.

Yes, and so are many pagan nations in the OT who conquer Israel. But God still punishes those nations. This is because in God's providence, God can permit an evil man to do evil to punish evil, and then justly punish the evil man.

In any case, Romans 13 does not mention the death penalty. "The sword" is a symbol of the state's punitive power - no one is denying that. Moreover, no one is saying that the death penalty is absolutely wrong. It is any sense that the death penalty should be inflicted automatically, simply because of the gravity of the offence. This goes well beyond what scripture says.

14 July 2013 at 10:32  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl (cont.),

In almost all cases in the OT for which death was prescribed it was possible (and usual) to commute the sentence. Cain murders his own brother, but God does not execute him - on the contrary:

Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me this day away from the ground; and from thy face I shall be hidden; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will slay me." Then the LORD said to him, "Not so! If any one slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who came upon him should kill him.

Indeed, Jesus famously acts to stop an execution which could have been carried out in accordance with OT law. Now since it does not follow that a crime, punishable in principle by death has to be punished by death, what are the principles by which we should judge? May I recommend the kinds of principles Jesus laid out (above by Peter) and which he himself put into practice when he intervened to stop an execution? We should also remember how the death penalty prevents some of the purposes of punishment, and we should also remember that sometimes the state execute the wrong person. We should remember that it is by no means clear that the death penalty acts as a deterrent (as was previous assumed - although I admit the point is controversial).

When we put all these points together, I fail to see why the present teaching of the Catholic Church should be controversial.

It declares that it alone can make infallible teachings. It then refuses to actually state the sum total of those teachings lest they be falsified at some point.

That's not the reason. That's the reason you unjustly assume to be the reason.

But it still requires submission to all of its teachings (infallible or not) as if all teachings were infallible.

No it doesn't. On the contrary, the Church requires no more certainty in assent to her teaching that she has in giving it.

Reason #469 for why I am not a Roman Catholic

Reason #469 that you take your unjust misrepresentation of Catholic teaching to be Catholic teaching.

Now come on. You've earlier admitted that you were wrong on abortion and rape - I commend you for your honesty, but I was astonished that you couldn't see the point straight away. How many other areas of first order moral or theological matters are you wrong about?

14 July 2013 at 10:33  
Blogger Peter D said...

Inspector

Looks like you're the one showing hysteria.

14 July 2013 at 10:35  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Carl, firstly I used (as a Catholic) to think in a rather similar way to what you've said, until I took a closer look at the Church's teachings on infallibility and realised that they are severaly limited in scope, and nowhere near what a lot of Traditionalist Catholics (and I am not referring to anyone on this blog) would like them to be. I came to the conclusion I could live with them.

But I do have an issue with the idea of the only "true" Catholic being a "loyal" Catholic, Albert. Because nobody has the right to decide who is and is not a "true" Catholic save His Holiness the Pope and quite frankly I think Papa Francis has more important things on his mind.

Fr Charles Curran for other reasons is not one of my favorite people but this might interest you, Carl, an article he wrote on Bernard Haring who all his life was "a witness of critical love for the Church" - http://ncronline.org/news/people/bernard-h-ring-witness-critical-love-church - and as anyone who has ever loved someone knows, love also involves being able to tell someone when they are wrong. Loyalty is a great virtue, but it is not the only virtue, nor is it the greatest one. C. S. Lewis wrote a very thoughtful comment on that in "Out of the Silent Planet" about the dangers of elevating loyalty to one's kind above all other virtues - I can't find my copy of that book or I would quote it here, may try to turn it up later.

God bless you all.

14 July 2013 at 11:17  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Albert,

Apologies if I over-reacted; I've had my fidelity to my faith questioned at length here before, as you know, and I'm rather sensitive to it.

I'm also rather ticklish about Christian and Catholic social teaching being used as a cover for political ideas. I've also been told, following Encyclicals like Caritas in Veritate, that I cannot be a man-made climate change sceptic and be faithful to Catholic teaching. I've been told that I can't think Margaret Thatcher was bloody brilliant and be faithful to Catholic Social teaching. I've been told that I can't support benefit cuts and be a Christian. I almost had a stand up row with a parish catechist once, to whom I pointed out that if I'd wanted the Green Party manifesto and Polly Toynbee preached at me as holy writ I'd have stayed an Anglican. Combine the two sensitivities at 11.30 at night and accidents may happen; sorry about that.

On the specific point: you'll notice that all I've done is flag up a tiny number of the most heinous murderers, including serial child killers, as possible candidates. To me, that is perfectly in line with the teaching that capital punishment should be used in very rare and exceptional circumstances - an execution rate of scarcely one every few years.

As for the defence of society: this is not about personal vengeance. "The powers that be are ordained of God" as Paul famously said. With that ordination comes the duty to protect the people entrusted to their care by ensuring that those who commit acts of violence against them are punished, and punished properly. A criminal justice system which is seen to be soft on even the most heinous offenders, and will not punish crimes properly, will not act as a sufficient deterrent to crimes of any magnitude, and will not be able to defend society as much as it could.

It is not an act of Christian charity, love or mercy for the authorities to expose the people entrusted to their care to avoidable danger and harm by failing to punish offenders properly, even if they do it for the best of motives. Christianity has always recognised that they have different responsibilities.

14 July 2013 at 11:24  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Darter Noster

I've been told I can't be a good Catholic woman and wear trousers to mass. I kid you not. Try reading the Rorate Coeli blog if you don't believe it :)

14 July 2013 at 11:34  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Sister Tiberia,

I've also noticed that this Ultramontane, unthinking due reverence and obedience to every word of Vatican opinion, which I am under suspicion of not showing, is conspicuous by its absence when it comes to the results of the Second Vatican Council, which despite being a full Ecumenical Council of the Church is hardly popular with or fully accepted by certain Catholics around here; talk about 'do as I say, not as I do'.

SSPX, by the by, is fully in favour of hanging and flogging 'em.

14 July 2013 at 11:50  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Yes, I keep wanting to quote Pope Paul at them (though frankly it would do no good).

"Whatever were our opinions about the Council's various doctrines before its conclusions were promulgated, today our adherence to the decisions of the Council must be whole hearted and without reserve; it must be willing and prepared to give them the service of our thought, action and conduct. The Council was something very new: not all were prepared to understand and accept it. But now the conciliar doctrine must be seen as belonging to the magisterium of the Church and, indeed, be attributed to the breath of the Holy Spirit. (Paul VI to the Roman Curia, 23 April, 1966)"

But what possible benefit would there be to making a few more Rorate Coeli supporters vomit into their cornflakes on a Sunday morning?

14 July 2013 at 11:52  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

And just to make it utterly clear, I am not accusing any reader of this blog of being of the same opinions as the Rorate Coeli lot. We have plenty of views here, but if any of them are SSPX supporters they're keeping it pretty quiet :)

14 July 2013 at 12:05  
Blogger LEN said...

It would seem you can come to Cranmer`s blog get a Catholic viewpoint on practically anything?.
One might almost think this were a Catholic Blog?.

This fact has probably driven many truth seekers away from this site looking for a more meaningful relationship with their Creator rather than membership with a dying Church.

Religion whether it be the Catholic version or any of the other cults is a 'dead end' and many will travel that path which leads nowhere.Few will find the narrow path that leads to Life that is a sad fact.It would seem that once you have accept religion/or reason as 'the way' then it becomes as if your ears have become stopped and your eyes have been closed to the Truth.

The tragedy of this is that these 'blind guides' preach their religion to anyone who will listen.

"Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."
(Matthew 15:14) Many have and many will.

14 July 2013 at 12:53  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" - Matthew 7:7

Those who seek Truth will always find it. Those of us who found a path to Truth in the Roman Catholic Church will never deny that other paths to God exist. What we don't tend to expect any more is that this courtesy will be returned.

14 July 2013 at 13:08  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

From the Documents of the Second Vatican Council (Unitatis Redintegrato 3)

"All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ's body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.
Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too. All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ.
The brethren divided from us also use many liturgical actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or Community. These liturgical actions must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation.
It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church."

We may lament the lack of unity. But would you expect us to do anything else?

14 July 2013 at 13:20  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

And we do seem to be getting rather a long way from the original topic of this debate, this appalling change in the law in Ireland. Perhaps we can pause here and go back to it?

14 July 2013 at 13:21  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter D, you have apparently filled the vacant position of God’s Rottweiler. Though of course, you would consider this sad state of affairs with glee.

Carl. A fellow thanks you for your input re the choice of an email address necessary to protect one’s privacy. One can only assume by the reaction of Peter D that yours truly has somehow broken RCC guidance in the choice of his own.

Sister Tiberia. “Those of us who found a path to Truth in the Roman Catholic Church will never deny that other paths to God exist.”. A most profound statement, and, one might add, it should be included in the teachings of the RC church.

Len. People come to Cranmer’s blog for Cranmer. Unfortunately, they also find religious intolerants like you. Enough said.

14 July 2013 at 13:23  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Sister Tiberia,

"Those of us who found a path to Truth in the Roman Catholic Church will never deny that other paths to God exist"

I won't deny that other religions and philosophies contain elements of truth, but that's as far as I'd be prepared to go. I honestly don't think Perennialism and Roman Catholicism are compatible.

14 July 2013 at 13:25  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Nobody (least of all the RCC) ever said all religions were equal. My confessor once said that the RCC found a "safe" path to God, so we're unlikely to start advising people to try to find another route through swamp, jungle, cannibals and man eating tigers. But we don't deny that those prepared to dare that route in sincere desire to find God, may well indeed find Him.

Not sure what Perennialism is?

14 July 2013 at 13:32  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Sister Tiberia,

Perennialism is the belief that all religions are different paths to the same God, which seemd to be implied by this statement:

"Those of us who found a path to Truth in the Roman Catholic Church will never deny that other paths to God exist"

14 July 2013 at 14:00  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

The difference is that I said that other paths to God exist, not that every path leads to God. :)

14 July 2013 at 14:04  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Sorry, should have said "different but basically equal paths".

14 July 2013 at 14:04  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

We're getting our messages back to front :o) Thanks for clarifying.

14 July 2013 at 14:06  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Not a problem :) Written mediums can twist ones words in a way never intended :)

14 July 2013 at 14:07  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

You've earlier admitted that you were wrong on abortion and rape - I commend you for your honesty, but I was astonished that you couldn't see the point straight away.

And why should you be astonished? Because you don't know the context, perhaps? That conversation occurred in 1982. I was 23 and dirt ignorant at the time, having been raised unawares in a church fast devolving into liberalism. At the time I knew the Creeds and the Bible stories and not much else.

How many other areas of first order moral or theological matters are you wrong about?

And see how you have buried the answer to the question in the question itself. From just below the surface calls the soft sweet voice of the siren "Come to Rome and it will answer all your questions." But you have asked the wrong question of me. The question you should ask is "How do I know if I am am wrong?" I will not go to Rome for the answer because Rome has already shown itself to be a false witness. Condemn me with Scripture for that is how I will know I am wrong.

That is what my friend did to me on a summer's day in 1982.

carl

14 July 2013 at 14:13  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Bringing this whole debate back round to where it started, one of the most cruel things ever proclaimed by the Catholic Church was the concept of the Limbo of the Infants, the idea that the infants who died unbaptised were forever separated from Christ. The fact that it was never a defined doctrine, unlike the concept of original sin, did not stop it being the cause of enormous distress to those who lost children by stillbirth or miscarriage, because they didn't care if it was doctrine or not, only that their much beloved child had been taken from them and the Church appeared to be denying them even the hope that they would be reunited with their lost child in Heaven.

Thankfully by the time I lost three children to recurrent miscarriages, the cruelty had been recognised, and the Catechism now states - "God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments" and "As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: 'Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,'allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism."

There are many Catholics such as myself who add to their prayers the urgent request that Christ should extend the mercy of Baptism to all children who will die this day unbaptised, by miscarriage, or abortion, or any other reason. Do we know whether He answers this? No. But we trust His mercy. And again we ask his mercy on all those affected by this change in Irish law.

14 July 2013 at 14:22  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

On the contrary, the Church requires no more certainty in assent to her teaching that she has in giving it.

That's a distinction without a difference. I am not talking about certainty. I am talking about obedience. You have said it this very thread:

To be faithful to the Church one needs not simply to pay lip service to a teaching but accept it in the interpretation that is meant.

In any case, it doesn't have to be infallible. It is the teaching of the Church:

This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.

Are they loyal Catholics? That all depends on whether what they believe is what the Church teaches.


The Magisterium isn't protecting the laity with this kind of formulation. It is protecting itself. It is preserving its ability to change its collective mind even as it demands the laity obediently follow in whichever direction in may choose to tack. On any teaching of the RCC. Whether taught infallibly or not. As you have said.

carl

14 July 2013 at 14:35  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

I haven't changed the subject at all. The subject is the purpose of judicial punishment by the state. I said the first purpose of judicial punishment is vicarious retribution. That is what Romans 13 says. You can if you like collect from the breadth of Scripture any number of other purposes that are attached to God's covenant relationship with His people. And I will respond again "What has that to do with the magistrate who sentences a murderer to death?" Rome was the authority that carried the sword at the time Paul wrote the letter to the Romans. Pagan Rome.

Every criminal who stands before a judge is being sentenced for what he did. Not for what he might do in the future. Not because he requires moral correction. The judge may hope that the punishment inflicted will have some rehabilitative effect. The judge may not care at all. Certainly a death sentence carries no thought of rehabilitation. The common thread however in all sentencing is vicarious retribution. The judge does not care if the criminal will ever commit another crime. The judge does not care if the the criminal is no longer dangerous to the community. The judge imposes sentence because a crime has been committed and justice requires retribution. He must be punished. He has inflicted suffering, and so he must suffer.

God did not punish Assyria to correct it. God did not judge Canaan for the purpose of loving chastisement. God did not destroy Sodom to show that its citizens were His legitimate children. He executed justice as retribution for the evils committed. This is what the magistrate does when the murderer stands before him.

carl

14 July 2013 at 15:12  
Blogger Corrigan said...

If anybody needs a lesson in talking out of both sides of their mouths, take a look at Len at 12:53

It would seem you can come to Cranmer`s blog get a Catholic viewpoint on practically anything?.
One might almost think this were a Catholic Blog?.

This fact has probably driven many truth seekers away from this site looking for a more meaningful relationship with their Creator rather than membership with a dying Church.


So, it would appear that the only active Christians on this blog (by Len's analysis) are the members of a dying Church, which kind of makes you wonder about the future of Protestantism. I suppose this kind of thing is second nature to those who create God in their own image, rather than seeking Him out as He is.

14 July 2013 at 19:23  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

That's a distinction without a difference. I am not talking about certainty. I am talking about obedience.

No you weren't. You were talking about the nature of assent to non-infallible teaching being the same submission as if it were infallible:

But it still requires submission to all of its teachings (infallible or not) as if all teachings were infallible.

That is simply not true. Take a matter of doctrine, an infallible statement will require the assent of faith. But such an assent is not required of non-infallible teaching. Perhaps the nearest analogy would be between a law of the land and its written constitution. Infallible teaching is like an unchanging constitution. Non-infallible teaching is like the law - you can see if you can get a law changed, but you must abide by it in the meantime. It's not an exact analogy, but I hope it brings out the difference.

The Magisterium isn't protecting the laity with this kind of formulation. It is protecting itself.

It's not about protection at all. It is about needing to speak the truth with the best light the Church has prior to having sufficient clarity to define. So, for example, I have absolute confidence in (say) the Church's teaching that the Son of God is consubstantial with the Father. I have far less confidence in the papal teaching on the death penalty quoted above. I could justly question whether that latter teaching is consistent with the rest of Catholic teaching, and if successful, it could be altered or clarified. But I could not question the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father.

14 July 2013 at 20:16  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

The subject is the purpose of judicial punishment by the state.

That isn't what you said, and even if it is what you meant, you are expecting me to agree with the distinction. It is a distinction which is decidedly difficult to make - especially in the OT. Now given that your original post on this made all sorts of connections with hell, that distinction was far from obvious. But even so, I cannot see that you have provided grounds for believing the The first purpose of law is retribution and not defense. The most you have shown is that it is part of the purpose of law - but no one here is disagreeing with that.

That is what Romans 13 says.

It simply does not say that. That is what you are taking it to mean.

You can if you like collect from the breadth of Scripture any number of other purposes that are attached to God's covenant relationship with His people. And I will respond again "What has that to do with the magistrate who sentences a murderer to death?"

Well, if sentencing someone to death actually prevents some of the other purposes of punishment as set forth in scripture, that ought to give us pause - to say the least. This seems particularly important given that the death penalty wasn't usually inflicted in the Bible - on some occasions because of the direct intervention of God himself.

God did not destroy Sodom to show that its citizens were His legitimate children.

Why do you keep saying that because someone shows mercy that therefore they are making themselves to be a father to the person they are merciful to?

14 July 2013 at 20:38  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

And why should you be astonished? Because you don't know the context, perhaps?

Sorry about that! But yes, as you have indicated, the fault was of your congregation.

But you have asked the wrong question of me. The question you should ask is "How do I know if I am am wrong?" I will not go to Rome for the answer because Rome has already shown itself to be a false witness.

Is the paradox not obvious here?

14 July 2013 at 20:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Sister Tiberia,

But I do have an issue with the idea of the only "true" Catholic being a "loyal" Catholic, Albert. Because nobody has the right to decide who is and is not a "true" Catholic save His Holiness the Pope and quite frankly I think Papa Francis has more important things on his mind.

The word "loyal" was used by Darter Noster. I picked it up because it looked like assuming the point that needed to be proved.

14 July 2013 at 20:43  
Blogger Albert said...

Darter Noster,

Apologies if I over-reacted; I've had my fidelity to my faith questioned at length here before, as you know, and I'm rather sensitive to it.

Thank you - but I didn't need an apology. Although I am quite amused by any implication of this paragraph:

I'm also rather ticklish about Christian and Catholic social teaching being used as a cover for political ideas. I've also been told, following Encyclicals like Caritas in Veritate, that I cannot be a man-made climate change sceptic and be faithful to Catholic teaching. I've been told that I can't think Margaret Thatcher was bloody brilliant and be faithful to Catholic Social teaching. I've been told that I can't support benefit cuts and be a Christian. I almost had a stand up row with a parish catechist once, to whom I pointed out that if I'd wanted the Green Party manifesto and Polly Toynbee preached at me as holy writ.

I honestly cannot see myself saying any other those things!

I agree with all your general principles, but I still don't see how your application is consistent with what the Pope said, and how he was seeking to clarify previous teaching.

However, properly understood, this is the area for conscience. Conscience is not properly about deciding which bits of Church teaching to accept, but about how we apply those general principles in particular circumstances. (Newman is excellent on this, of course.)

14 July 2013 at 20:52  
Blogger Peter D said...

Carl said ...
"I didn't see the other thread but if all you have is an email address you haven't got much."

As I said earlier, my doubts about his authenticity existed before my awareness of the email address. This just crystallised the thought.

Inspector
Do calm down with this feigned attack of indignation! Haw-Haw by name; Haw-Haw by nature?

Rabble rousing again, I see. I don't have a firm view of state execution at all but when I do it will be a considered one and not an emotional one.

And as for my being 'God's Rottweiler', I fall way, way short of the person to whom this title was given - Joseph Ratzinger. As Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he was also known as the 'Panzer Cardinal'.

14 July 2013 at 21:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter D, glad you had a jolly good laugh over ONE, repeat ONE alternative identity, the reason for which has been explained, so has the original idea for the name. Now, you were saying, you have no opinion on state execution. Forgive this man, but you have found it within you to belittle those who do.

Damn strange behaviour from you, what !

14 July 2013 at 21:46  
Blogger Peter D said...

Inspector

Laugh? I don't think so.

When and where did I "belittle" anyone with a view on State execution?

This was your justification:

"Did the Christ spend anytime on the cross cursing the Roman’s for their use of the death penalty. He did not. He was more concerned reassuring a repentant thief he would be in paradise while on the other side of him, the unrepentant thief mocked them both."

Not much, was it? And my response:

“Pilate certainly had the authority to execute Jesus. Christ Himself confirmed this and instructed Peter to sheaf his sword when He was arrested by the temple guards, However, are you saying the execution was just? Do you also support the right of certain African countries to execute homosexuals? Or Muslim states to execute Christians?”

State your reasons for supporting State execution and we can have a discussion.

Sister Tiberia and Dartner Noster

The problem with Vatican II is that it did not define any new Church doctrine - it 'repackaged' existing doctrine. What it did was restate existing dogma in what many regard as an ambiguous way to make it appear more acceptable to the modern world. It created uncertainty for some of its older, traditional members and permitted modernist, liberals to 'experiment'.

For example, the Catholic Church's dogmatic position has always been and remains that the only certain and secure way to God is through Christ; and that the only sure and certain way of an efficacious relationship with Christ is through faithful membership of the Catholic Church. What Vatican II did was 'clarify' what this means in order to open constructive dialogue with other faiths and other Christian denominations, to bring them to the Catholic Church, not to change Catholicism.

Now his issue of loyalty. All Christians agree their only loyalty is to God through Jesus Christ.

Should someone 'badge' themselves Roman Catholic and then, through their stated opinions bring disrepute on the Church, then it seems reasonable to me to challenge them. Similarly, notwithstanding the Anglican nature of this blog, (and very many non-Anglican views are expressed here) if the doctrines of the Church or the behaviour of its members and hierarchy are presented in a manner that appears unfair, it seems reasonable to question this too. Accepted, there are times this is carried too far but all this talk of s 'Catholic Taliban', 'Papal Home-guard' and 'Cyber Swiss Guard' is over the top.

14 July 2013 at 22:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Peter D. You want just one justification. Here’s one in brief. A paedophile snatches a five year old girl off the streets, then kills her and cremates her in his own fireplace, throwing her remains in a bag into the river.

If for one second, that man said to himself “If the girl dies, then I will die”, then capital punishment has earned its re-statement.

Incidentally, the killer had his throat slashed lately in prison. twelve stiches required. Had he hanged, his earthly torment would be over. Instead, he has another 30 + years to await the next attack on him.

All the Inspector says is this. Find it in you to do the right thing. Execute those that need executing. None of this liberal bullshit of, well, what would YOU call it – “civilisation”...

Recognise liberalism for what it is – degeneracy...



14 July 2013 at 23:42  
Blogger Peter D said...

Inspector
"If for one second, that man said to himself “If the girl dies, then I will die”, then capital punishment has earned its re-statement."

So your argument isn't based on vicarious retribution because the murderer has offended God's moral order? This is Carl's position, if I understand it correctly. There is weigh in this, more especially in view of his Calvinist theology.

Your argument is based on deterrence. For this to be sufficient, you'll have to demonstrate deterrence works - and the evidence is that it doesn't. You really think a sexual sadist, overcome by disordered lust for a child, is likely to stop and think? His only thought before and after will be "How do I get away with this?"

My questioning of state execution isn't liberal at all. That's based on misconceived 'humanist' ideas and actually you've advanced a utilitarian argument. I'm trying to look at the issue through the eyes of a Christian.

15 July 2013 at 00:20  
Blogger Albert said...

Peter,

Your argument is based on deterrence. For this to be sufficient, you'll have to demonstrate deterrence works - and the evidence is that it doesn't. You really think a sexual sadist, overcome by disordered lust for a child, is likely to stop and think? His only thought before and after will be "How do I get away with this?"

And that's the paradox of the Inspector's position. On the one hand he thinks execution is a greater deterrent, but on the other he says:

Had he hanged, his earthly torment would be over. Instead, he has another 30 + years to await the next attack on him.

Now this seems to be saying that execution is less frightening.

So your argument isn't based on vicarious retribution because the murderer has offended God's moral order? This is Carl's position, if I understand it correctly.

The difficulty with this position being, as I have tried to indicate that God in the scriptures is sometimes more merciful to the offender than Carl will allow the state to be (at least, if I am understanding Carl correctly - and I am increasingly less sure that I am!).

15 July 2013 at 09:26  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Peter, I really don't actually want to get into a discussion of Vatican II with you, because I think our viewpoints are far enough apart on the subject that it is only going to raise our mutual blood pressures to no great purpose. God bless and keep you, and I'll leave this discussion here. :)

15 July 2013 at 09:32  
Blogger Albert said...

Peter,

the Catholic Church's dogmatic position has always been and remains that the only certain and secure way to God is through Christ

I think it is going further: the only way to God is through Christ. No other religion saves. The best expression of the teaching about invincible ignorance is (in my opinion) to be found in Pius IX:

the Church clearly declares that the only hope of salvation for mankind is placed in the Christian faith, which teaches the truth, scatters the darkness of ignorance by the splendour of its light, and works through love. This hope of salvation is placed in the Catholic Church which, in preserving the true worship, is the solid home of this faith and the temple of God. Outside of the Church, nobody can hope for life or salvation unless he is excused through ignorance beyond his control.

And Dominus Iesus expresses the uniqueness of Christ as Saviour:

This inheritance of faith has been recalled recently by the Church's Magisterium: “The Church believes that Christ, who died and was raised for the sake of all (cf. 2 Cor 5:15) can, through his Spirit, give man the light and the strength to be able to respond to his highest calling, nor is there any other name under heaven given among men by which they can be saved (cf. Acts 4:12). The Church likewise believes that the key, the centre, and the purpose of the whole of man's history is to be found in its Lord and Master”.

15 July 2013 at 09:41  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Very old joke.

A man died and went to Heaven. St Peter greeted him at the gate and took him on a tour.
"Our Father's House is a House of many rooms" he said, walking in the front door of a huge mansion. Here on the left are the Baptists, and on the right are the Mormons. Down the hall are the Jews. But as you turn right down this new passageway please keep quiet."
"Why should I keep quiet down this hallway", asked the man.
"Because this is where the Catholics stay, and they think they are the only ones up here."

15 July 2013 at 09:47  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you for that Sister. I first heard it as an Anglican, preached from an Anglican pulpit - only it wasn't Catholics it was Methodists (for some reason). But as my quotation from Pope Pius IX shows it isn't fair to quote it against us. It would be best quoted against the kind of evanglical who thinks it is impossible to be save unless you believe precisely their doctrine of justification.

15 July 2013 at 10:17  
Blogger LEN said...

Corrigan ,

One must realise that their are 'two 'Churches'.
The Bible quite clearly tells us so.

'Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "'Come out of her, my people,' so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;'(Revelation 18:4)

Does God 'speak out of both sides of His Mouth?' (to quote you)which is what you infer when you question scripture.

God says 'MY people' so quite obviously(to me at least) there are people within a 'harlot Church system' who need to remove themselves.
Now 'Catholics'(who you call protestants) because they do not acknowledge the Roman system' have 'true believers' within their system as well as those within the Roman system.

In short there is 'a Church' within a church which is true born again believers within a religious system.

Or to put it another way there is a group of 'called out believers'(the word 'Church' does not appear in the Bible)trapped within a religious system who need to get out of it hence the Word of God calling them 'out'.

The only path to salvation is Christ 'I AM the Way.'.

IF there was any other way Christ would surely have mentioned it.



15 July 2013 at 10:41  
Blogger LEN said...

Catholics have devised a religious system which doesn`t really need God.

What it does need is Priests and all the paraphanalia of religion.

To prove if I am right IF you leave the Catholic religious system will you still be saved?.

Simple question.

I have asked 'Peter' this question and he refused to answer.

15 July 2013 at 10:46  
Blogger Albert said...

Catholics have devised a religious system which doesn`t really need God.

Len that's just wrong. If you want to convince anyone that Catholicism is wrong, you will not do so by saying things that every Catholic will immediately recognise as false.

15 July 2013 at 10:50  
Blogger LEN said...

I think the reasons so many Catholics appear on this blog is that they want to 'prove' that their way to Heaven is right and that they have the 'correct interpretation' of the Bible.They seem to think that their 'many words' will somehow make them 'right'?.

Roman Catholics have a 'belief system' which relies totally on a group of carnally minded men telling them what 'God means ' when He speaks .This is contrary to the Word of God ."No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest."(Hebrews 8)


Roman Catholicism stands between man and God much as the pharisaical system did.Jesus was crucified to end that system He is our Great High Priest and only Mediator now.

15 July 2013 at 10:59  
Blogger LEN said...

Albert ,

Prove that Christ alone will save you OR does He need help?.

15 July 2013 at 11:00  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

I think the reasons so many Catholics appear on this blog is that they want to 'prove' that their way to Heaven is right and that they have the 'correct interpretation' of the Bible.

I think the reason I appear here is because I like an argument, I do not like my faith being misrepresented and I enjoy a bit of a biblical and intellectual workout! It would be a strange Catholic who thought he could show he had the correct interpretation by argument.

Roman Catholics have a 'belief system' which relies totally on a group of carnally minded men telling them what 'God means ' when He speaks .This is contrary to the Word of God

Jesus said, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice."

"No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest."(Hebrews 8)

Who's denying that? We all know the Lord at first hand, by faith. But that does not mean we do not need teachers, because it does not follow that we will always grasp the meaning of the Lord. If it were not so, why is the author of Hebrews teaching in the first place. Indeed, it is particularly ironic that you have chosen to quote from Hebrews given what it says:

About this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need some one to teach you again the first principles of God's word. You need milk, not solid food; for every one who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.

You go on:

Roman Catholicism stands between man and God much as the pharisaical system did.

No it doesn't. It makes God present - hence scripture calls the Church the body of Christ. When Saul meets Jesus on the road to Damascus, Jesus says "Why are you persecuting me?" But Jesus is in heaven - how then is he persecuted? Because his Church is persecuted, and the Church, as St Paul learns is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all.

You continue:

Jesus was crucified to end that system He is our Great High Priest and only Mediator now.

Which is not denied by us. Indeed, I made a similar point in a quotation from the Magisterium at 0941

15 July 2013 at 11:13  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

Prove that Christ alone will save you OR does He need help?.

Christ alone saves me - through his Church his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all, as I said.

I prove this from scripture:

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time.

15 July 2013 at 11:16  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Albert:

I was brought up an Anglican, and liberal theology made me an atheist.

When I returned to Christianity twelve years or so ago (via both Protestant and Catholic influences) my 'Church' was the Body of Christ in the World.

One must, however, worship somewhere. When I'm in the UK, that is any Anglican Church that still uses the Book of Common Prayer. When I'm in France, I attend an Abbey church where they know I am not a Catholic but still welcome me.

There are things I disagree with about Catholicism, but when compared with Humanism, Utopianism, Cultural Marxism et al, the differences become unimportant. What unites us is far greater than what divides.

I define myself as Christian first, and Protestant (loosely) second (and only if presseed).

Len and I would both say that there are true Christians across denominations. Do you agree? Can you be a true Christian if you are not a Catholic?

15 July 2013 at 11:51  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I'm a Catholic. And I would say yes, you can.

Matthew, chapter 25


"34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’"


When the day comes that we all must answer for what we did and did not do, then the minor differences of theology are likely to be the least of our worries.

And if some Catholic members of this blog wish to call me a heretic at this point, please carry on. :) I've been called worse in my time.

15 July 2013 at 12:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Explorer,

Len and I would both say that there are true Christians across denominations. Do you agree? Can you be a true Christian if you are not a Catholic?

Yes of course. As does the Catholic Church (officially as well as personally).

15 July 2013 at 12:05  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Sister Tibs,

That was a good joke!

15 July 2013 at 12:09  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

It's a joke that's as old as the hil;ls, David, and most likely to be told by a Catholic :) It's the saving grace of my faith, that most of us seem able to laugh at ourselves rather than take offence. Read a few of Pope Francis's recent homilies, he's very good at this :)

15 July 2013 at 12:14  
Blogger Albert said...

Sister Tiberia,

I can laugh at Catholicism too - I love Fr Ted for example. What I don't get is why a Catholic would tell a joke that confirms a misrepresentation of what Catholics believe.

15 July 2013 at 12:17  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Because it's a joke, Albert. A parody. The teller of the joke doesn't take it seriously. The hearer of the joke doesn't think it's a homily. Ought to hear the ones my parish priest comes out with - and our old bishop (God rest his soul) was likely to cap them with something worse. :)

15 July 2013 at 12:19  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

And if you ever want a really good collection of Catholic jokes, with some more serious stuff in between, may I recommend Fr James Martin SJ and his book "Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life" - it's quite hilarious, and says what I just said a minute ago but ten times better :)

15 July 2013 at 12:22  
Blogger Albert said...

Sr T,

The hearer of the joke doesn't think it's a homily.

Well, yes and no. Look at the question that The Explorer asked - he's not just wondering if we believe non-Catholics go to heaven, but whether there can be (in our view) such a thing as a non-Catholic Christian.

When I first heard that joke, aged about 15, with the Methodists on the receiving end, I concluded that Methodists thought only Methodists went to heaven. It made a kind of sense - they looked strict (all I knew was that they were Protestants, had very dull services (in my experience) with very long sermons (probably universal experience) and weren't allowed to drink alcohol (I thought)). Of course I later realised that most Methodists were very liberal (and therefore declining at a great rate).

15 July 2013 at 12:25  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you for the book recommendation - it looks like great fun!

15 July 2013 at 12:26  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Well, let's face it, at the age of 15 none of us have a sense of humour anyway. We don't learn not to take ourselves seriously until much later :)

15 July 2013 at 12:27  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

He's an amazing author. Most of what I know about the Jesuits I learned from his books (he's written several, and they're all brilliant), and he was the main reason I was whooping to the heavens when I discovered the new Pope was a Jesuit. Odd that at 15 I hated St Ignatius based on a lot of misinformation, and it was only much later that I discovered just how wrong I'd been. :)

15 July 2013 at 12:29  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Sister T/ Albert

Thank you both, for your responses. I am deeply grateful to those Catholics whose influence helped me back to faith.

I would add that I have great respect for Catholicism, and for Aquinas, and that 'The Divine Comedy' is one of my favourite works of literature.

Cordially,

15 July 2013 at 12:30  
Blogger Albert said...

Sr T,

Well, let's face it, at the age of 15 none of us have a sense of humour anyway.

No, I laughed heartily at it - partly because it seemed to be true, and partly because I hated ecumenism because it meant sitting through very boring services in the name of being nice to other Christians (or worse, services which seemed painfully aimed at "young people").

I will try and add Fr Martin to my (rather long) reading list!

15 July 2013 at 12:37  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

"I hated ecumenism because it meant sitting through very boring services in the name of being nice to other Christians (or worse, services which seemed painfully aimed at "young people")."

ROFL - I think we've all been there at one point... :)

15 July 2013 at 12:40  
Blogger Albert said...

Explorer,

You're welcome - if I had to list all those Protestants who had helped me in my faith it would take a very long time. Most of them were Anglicans, but not all - there are people I very much admire like William Lane Craig and Alvin Plantinga.

15 July 2013 at 12:44  
Blogger Albert said...

I think it's interesting Sr T. For someone growing up post 60s the world is bewildering plural. This is a good thing in some ways, but the adolescent mind, I find, tends to have a greater need for certainty than the older mind. Therefore, anything that looks like proclaiming (with ironic dogmatic certainty) that there is no truth or that all "truths" are equal, comes across as being pretty oppressive. If it's done in a long boring service, in which not much interesting happens (but a bit of shouting from the pulpit - as I experienced once in a URC), then it's not really very grabbing.

Catholicism wasn't much better, with it's cult of the ugly presented by Fr Trendy who seemed to hate his Church as much as Stonewall.

I just wanted to go back to Anglicanism where the worship was fascinating and quirky and the clergy told dirty jokes afterwards.

15 July 2013 at 12:53  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Ironically, Albert, my parish is currently trying to get involved in a multi-denominational charity which works to find homes and jobs for people who've come out of prison, and at present the other Christian churches involved are debating whether they're going to let us in or not because they've "never had a Catholic church in the organisation before." We didn't know whether to laugh or cry when the letter came through. Judith (elderly lady, parish factotum, mother to 5 and grandmother to 21 and staunch Vatican II Catholic) said "Well, I guess we've only got ourselves to blame given how we treated all of them back in the 50s. Our parish priest looked at her and said "Yes, but are they supposed to be learning from all our mistakes?" and we all fell about laughing.

15 July 2013 at 13:02  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

By the way, our PP did say we should take it as a compliment that we worry them so much. What do they think we're going to do? Steal all their ministers *muttermutter Ordinariate muttermutter* :)

15 July 2013 at 13:04  
Blogger Albert said...

That sounds like good ecumenical activity. But the joke reminds me of a story Cardinal Cormac told. He said that in the first days of ecumenical contacts, he was, as a young priest in some kind of ministers fraternal. At the end of the meeting each minister offered a prayer. Eventually, it came to the Baptist minister's turn. He prayed "We pray for the Anglicans who are doing X, and the Methodists who are doing Y, and the URC with their project of, and [looking the Cardinal in the eye ] we pray even for our Roman Catholic brethren."

The power of grace!

15 July 2013 at 13:10  
Blogger Albert said...

Steal all their ministers *muttermutter Ordinariate muttermutter* :)

Again, a friend of mine was a meeting of Anglican clergy in which someone complained along the lines of "I want to know what the Anglo-catholic clergy are up to. It just looks like they are creating a stealthy way to get Anglicans to become Catholics."

The prickliest of the Anglo-catholic "devious men in black" stood up and said "I want to know what you think is stealthy about it."

Those Anglicans who need to become Catholics should become Catholics - that's better for the CofE in my opinion.

15 July 2013 at 13:14  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Albert,

At first glance that would appear to be the logic, but one has to ask, why didn't they do that a century or so ago?

I would wager that there is as much 'Anglo' as there is 'Catholic' in the Anglo-Catholics. For example, Anglo-Catholic Priests get married and quite a few self-styled Catholic Anglicans are extremely liberal.

The same way the Evangelicals in the C of E are not quite 'born again' enough for a Len type Church.

Then there is the rest of us in the middle, with our King James Bibles and book of common prayer.

The Church of England will bumble through for a few years yet. I doubt that the Roman Church would be the principal beneficiary of any collapse of the Anglican Church. There is a lot of choice out there nowadays.

15 July 2013 at 13:56  
Blogger Peter D said...

Len said ...
"To prove if I am right IF you leave the Catholic religious system will you still be saved?.

Simple question.

I have asked 'Peter' this question and he refused to answer."


Well, that's not true!

I answered by saying: "Why would I or anyone want to leave Christ's authentic Church?"

If someone does leave the Church, and the answer is given above, their salvation cannot guaranteed and, indeed, depending on their personal culpability, gravely endangered. The same applies to those who are nominal 'members' of the Church too.

Besides, its a loaded question. The Catholic faith isn't a "religious system". Being a Catholic is membership of Christ's Mystical Body.

15 July 2013 at 13:58  
Blogger Peter D said...

Sister Tiberia said...
Sister Tiberia
"Peter, I really don't actually want to get into a discussion of Vatican II with you, because I think our viewpoints are far enough apart on the subject that it is only going to raise our mutual blood pressures to no great purpose."

But you really don't know my views on Vatican II, now do you? Just my opinion on how it was received and some of the (I'd say, deliberately) ambiguous statements in some of its documents.

Besides, this is an Anglican blog and such a discussion should be held on a Catholic blog - or we'll all be in for a telling-off from His Nibs.

15 July 2013 at 14:10  
Blogger Albert said...

Lord Lavendon,

I didn't say that all Anglo-catholics should convert, I said:

Those Anglicans who need to become Catholics should become Catholics

Why didn't they convert earlier? It is becoming increasingly difficult to say. But in the past some thought they were part of an ecumenical mission to bring the CofE back into unity with Rome - this is now plainly impossible and so they should convert. Others genuinely thought that the CofE was part of the one holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Now these have either changed their minds or they haven't. If they have then need to convert. If they haven't they need not to convert.

15 July 2013 at 14:10  
Blogger LEN said...

Being 'born again' isn`t a doctrine that 'len' thought up.It is a direct command from Jesus who is the Author and the Finisher of our faith.
(Perhaps we ought to take Him seriously? )

The question I would ask Catholics is why anyone should wish to become a Catholic?. I know the 'stock Catholic answer' is that Peter is' the rock 'on which the church is build but no one but Catholics believer this.
Scripture quite plainly (and many times ) states that Jesus Christ is 'the Rock' on which His Church will be built.
So apart form this error why should anyone desire to trust their eternal destiny to a church which quite plainly is riddled with error rather than Christ who is the Way the Truth and the Life.
If trust is placed in Christ alone why would leaving the Catholic Church make one loose their salvation?.
Eternal Life is IN Christ Jesus not within a Church system religion can do many things(not all good) but the one thing it CANNOT do is provide eternal Life.

15 July 2013 at 14:27  
Blogger LEN said...

Albert, you can only argue from a Catholic viewpoint so in that sense your reason is limited to the extend that you accept other peoples (Catholic)opinions and decisions on the validity of scripture.

Even if you read the scriptures you must accept the magisterium`s interpretation of them.
I know the 'stock Catholic answer to this is 'no scripture is open to private interpretation ' (this of course would include the 'magisterium'.) Jesus said the Holy Spirit would illuminate scripture .2 Timothy 3:15 points to the complete sufficiency of Scripture in the life of a believer, and indicates that the Scriptures alone are sufficient to provide the necessary wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ. The Scriptures alone are the source of spiritual knowledge. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that all Scripture is "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
This verse does not say that Scripture as seen through the lens of a Church is "profitable for doctrine, for reproof," and so forth. It’s Scripture that does these things, and the reason Scripture can do these things is that all Scripture is inspired by God (v. 16).



Scripture alone makes a man complete, capable, and proficient. Scripture furnishes all that one must know to be saved and to grow in grace.

15 July 2013 at 14:51  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Peter D

"Sister Tiberia said...
Sister Tiberia
"Peter, I really don't actually want to get into a discussion of Vatican II with you, because I think our viewpoints are far enough apart on the subject that it is only going to raise our mutual blood pressures to no great purpose."

But you really don't know my views on Vatican II, now do you? Just my opinion on how it was received and some of the (I'd say, deliberately) ambiguous statements in some of its documents.

Besides, this is an Anglican blog and such a discussion should be held on a Catholic blog - or we'll all be in for a telling-off from His Nibs."

Let me rephrase my comment. I think there is a high probability, based on many things I have seen you say here, that you and I will have very different views on Vatican II. I have noticed more than once that when I debate with you I seem to end up in the "liberal" camp despite being considered fairly middle of the road by most of my Catholic friends, and on that basis I tend to prefer not to get in the argument I foresee coming :)

As you say I doubt His Grace would be impressed by the catfight in his living room either :)

15 July 2013 at 14:55  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Albert,

I think that those who wish to go to Rome, have probably already done so then. There you go. They have done their ecumenical gesture.



15 July 2013 at 15:03  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Len,

You also have a 'stock answer' and that is to 'be born again'.

In the same way as the Roman Catholics cherry pick the passage about Peter and the Rock, it seems that you also pluck Bible passages to suite a particular denomination of Christianity.

Touche.

15 July 2013 at 15:08  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Sister Tibs,

It seems to me that if you are a Catholic and off-message you automatically get attacked by the rest for being liberal. Darter Noster and now Inspector spring to mind.

But then, I appreciate your Church is based on the principal that only a select group can decide and explain scripture, unlike the idea of the priesthood of believers.

15 July 2013 at 15:10  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Lord Lavendon, there has never been a time in the history of the Roman Catholic Church where there were not squabbles - as my favorite Jesuit Fr Martin says in his "Prayer for Frustrated Catholics - "Help me to understand that there was never a time when there were not arguments or disputes within your church. Arguments go all the way back to Peter and Paul debating one another. And there was never a time when there wasn’t sin among the members of your church. That kind of sin goes back to Peter denying Jesus during his Passion. Why would today’s church be any different than it was for people who knew Jesus on earth? Give me wisdom."

In 2007 Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical Spe Salvi, called Saint Maximus the Confessor 'the great Greek Doctor of the Church" - this is the same Maximus who in his lifetime was tried and convicted of heresy, and then tortured by the Church authorities of his day. He was posthumously pardoned and canonised. On that basis, if the worst I can complain about is being called a "liberal" then I really don't have that much to complain about :) Nor is anyone ever likely to consider me a saint :p

15 July 2013 at 15:20  
Blogger Albert said...

Lord Lavendon,

I think that those who wish to go to Rome, have probably already done so then. There you go. They have done their ecumenical gesture.

Mostly, yes.

15 July 2013 at 15:31  
Blogger Albert said...

Sr T,

called Saint Maximus the Confessor 'the great Greek Doctor of the Church" - this is the same Maximus who in his lifetime was tried and convicted of heresy, and then tortured by the Church authorities of his day

Well, the local church authorities - the national church of the Greeks. He was of course defending the faith of Pope Martin and the Lateran Council of 649.

15 July 2013 at 15:39  
Blogger Peter D said...

Lord Lavendon

"It seems to me that if you are a Catholic and off-message you automatically get attacked by the rest for being liberal. Darter Noster and now Inspector spring to mind."

I've never attacked the Inspector for being 'liberal'!!!!
Frankly, if he were that might be seen as progress of a sort.

15 July 2013 at 15:44  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Principle stands, Albert. He's not the only person ever tried for heresy who ended up a saint. :) Joan of Arc springs to mind.

15 July 2013 at 15:44  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

I find your post ironic because I have not had to appeal to the Magisterium but to scripture. And you, far from contradicting me, have just changed the subject.

Peter is' the rock 'on which the church is build but no one but Catholics believer this

Errrr.....no one but Catholics believes this? Seriously?

2 Timothy 3:15 points to the complete sufficiency of Scripture in the life of a believer, and indicates that the Scriptures alone are sufficient to provide the necessary wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ.

But if scripture only indicates the complete sufficiency of Scripture then that doctrine dissolves in its own acid, doesn't it?

In any case, that passage is talking about the OT, which is why it says scripture is:

profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

If it were sufficient, there would be no space for Jesus Christ (notice the emphasis on good works though, Len!).

This verse does not say that Scripture as seen through the lens of a Church is "profitable for doctrine, for reproof," and so forth.

No it doesn't but it is evident from Jesus himself that the OT is not sufficient by itself. We need his interpretation. And his interpretation is found in the Church his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all because the Church contains the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.

15 July 2013 at 15:49  
Blogger Albert said...

Sr T,

Principle stands, Albert. He's not the only person ever tried for heresy who ended up a saint. :) Joan of Arc springs to mind.

Again, judged by the local church (English one might say) - for political reasons!

15 July 2013 at 15:50  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Sister Tibs,

As a Jew, humour is important to my culture as well (as is arguing). But according some-one in the above thread I'm apparently *British/Anglican/Liberal *. Now that is worth a chuckle!

15 July 2013 at 15:52  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

More seriously though, if you really want something to throw in my face, I'll give it to you. I consider the stifling of debate on various topic within the Church during the pontificates of John Paul II and Benedict to be ill advised in the extreme, and also futile, given that there is no better way to ensure that the entire congregation of believers argues the case to death that to tell them it's not up for debate. The concept of a female priesthood comes into this category. No, I don't want to be one. No, I wouldn't want my daughter(if I had one) to be one. I've got no personal axe to grind on the subject, and frankly I don't care one way or the other. But to tell people they aren't even allowed to discuss it? Even when the discussion can't affect the Church's rules in the slightest as the laity have no power to do so? Ill advised, politically stupid, and frankly just daft. And if that makes me a liberal, so be it.

15 July 2013 at 15:56  

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