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  1. #71
    Senior Member ChildoftheProphets's Avatar
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    As I posted in another thread:

    The most disheartening thing about Christianity today is how artificially big, dysfunctional, and unloving it has become. Denominationalism has created dogmatism, clerical abuse of power, and inter-Christian conflict that distracts believers from helping our communities while simultaneously making us the laughing stock of the secular world. Compared to the intimate house churches of the first-century Christians, the outward structure of our modern faith is unrecognizable.
    "In the opening and shutting of heaven's gate, are you able to play the feminine part?" -- Lao Tzu

    "For when the One Great Scorer comes
    To write against your name,
    He marks - not that you won or lost -
    But how you played the Game."
    -- Grantland Rice

    “Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.” -- from The Catcher in the Rye

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do, and what a man can't do." -- Jack Sparrow

  2. #72
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChildoftheProphets View Post
    For believers to delegate entire chunks of thier spiritual life to paid "professionals" is nowhere near the original intentions of Jesus, Paul, or other early founders of the faith.
    I understand it was Paul himself who said, "Those who preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel".

    In other words, those that preach the Gospel should make their living by the Gospel.

    So it was Paul, an early founder of the faith, who said the Church should be run by paid professionals.

    Of course every now and then someone will sing the siren song, "All we need is love".

    And it was the Beatles who last sang this song while they were making two hundred million dollars.

  3. #73
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Of course every now and then someone will sing the siren song, "All we need is love".
    Sirens are hot, but do they bring home the bacon?

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tater Typhoon View Post
    Sirens are hot, but do they bring home the bacon?
    Quite so.

  5. #75
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spamtar View Post
    Its pretty obvious that there are a fair amount of homosexuals in the Catholic Church. Its against the church doctrine to allow homosexual practice but they tend to be flexible on taking homosexual members if they (like there heterosexual counterparts) will swear to be celibate.

    Thus unless the church purges itself of all homosexuals (practicing or no) this or similar conduct will continue at least in isolated levels. If a purge happens a majority of the homosexuals within the church will suffer because of the acts of a minority.
    Actually, the current pope has decreed that no homosexuals are allowed to become priests, regardless of whether or not they adopt celibacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Almost on a par with Bill Clinton dont you think?

    I always think its interesting how when scandals of this kind break in governments, social services, society at large etc. they arent considered evidence that the entire institution is corrupt, failing etc.

    Could be that the Church is held to a higher standard or could be anti-catholicism at large.
    First of all, I want to be clear that I think it all too easy to level the charge of hypocrisy at an institution, religious or not, that argues for higher moral standards. All human organizations are imperfect, and failure to consistently live up to one's standards doesn't mean that one shouldn't have any.

    That being said, I think the Catholic church hasn't done a good job with its response to child abusing clergy in particular (which I think is a separate issue from homosexuality and using adult prostitution services). There have been repeated cases in which the church hierarchy covered up abuse by its clergy members, re-assigning them to parishes where they abused children again.

    I feel since the Catholic priesthood is appealing for those attempting to flee their sexuality, the Catholic church has a special onus to prevent its clergy from abusing children. It also has a duty to respect the secular laws and report child abuse when it happens. When it fails to do so, it looks like a hypocritical organization that protects its own from the consequences of what it preaches against. It also looks like an organization that cares more for its own reputation than for the well-being of its members.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Right, as an RC this troubles me because just how a Church official was able to fund this is as scandalous to me as the boardroom pay deals, its not just a moral affront to me but an example of avaratiousness.

    Now the fact that the sexual angle has proven of greater interest to the public, especially the detractors and condemners is interesting and I'd say probably says more about the public at large than the Church.
    Considering the Catholic church's outspoken political involvement in sexually-related legislation in the U.S., I think the focus on sexuality is coming from within the church as well as outside it. This has become more true in the last 20-30 years, as the Catholic church has found areas of common cause with fundamentalists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The debate should be had about celibacy in the Church or even homosexuality, the Church does not condemn homosexuality per se and doesnt even get drawn into debates about the origin of homosexual orientation, however it does condemn sexual activity which doesnt correspond with natural law as they understand it (which means that the oral sex, anal sex and other sexual behaviour between heterosexuals is equally condemned).
    I agree that your summation of the doctrine is correct (not that I'm a Catholic theology expert or anything), but I do feel like homosexuals are treated as a separate, worse category of sinner than the other categories you mention. The pope's prohibition from allowing celibate, homosexual clergy is one example of this (where he calls homosexuals "objectively disordered"). Other examples include Catholic charities withdrawing from adoption in Massachusetts (for fear of having to allow adoption of children to gay couples) and withdrawing health care for spouses in D.C. (for fear of having to grant healthcare to a same-sex spouse). Those Catholic charities did not, to the best of my knowledge, treat divorced and remarried individuals in a similar way, even though such individuals would be equally unmarried according to Catholic doctrine.

    Even natural law is applied inconsistently, since the church does not forbid post-menopausal women from having sex (and even allows the rhythm method to fertile couples). The counter-argument of "a miracle could always happen" is equally true for any other kind of non-procreative sex.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    The debate may conclude that no change is warranted but I think it would be worthy none the less for the understand it could create, the positions of the RC church on these matters are seriously distorted and misrepresented by believers and non-believers alike, the reason being that the Church has been subject to assault since before the reformation, schism, rennaisance and enlightenment, there's been a lot of propaganda on all sides, its also a global institution existing in a lot of different contexts and cultures striving for consensus and universality, which is a collossal task.
    I do think an open debate within the Catholic church would be helpful, but I think it's not as likely because of the bunker mentality you allude to above. I also wonder if sometime such a bunker mentality leads to the cover-ups, since church officials may fear "looking bad" and "sending a confusing message" and thereby potential scaring off members to the detriment of their souls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I have heard of great defences of celibacy, not from a spirit of self-denial but for the same reasons which feature in plot lines in Smallville, Batman or other heroic archetypes in the mainstream media about the role of dependents in any context were someone is being asked to run risks and struggle against evil. That can be dated, it does hark most strongly from the time of the crusades and military campaigning.
    I certainly think celibacy can be a positive spiritual practice, and privation of various kinds can bring one closer to God with the right mental mindset. However, to have celibacy externally imposed as a requirement for one's career and calling is a different matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    This phenomenon is the only way in which I can explain some of the more ill shit that goes on, like some militant homosexuals seeking to infiltrate the church as "traditionalists" seeking to represent the church as a patriarchal, male, homosexual institution (check the lists on Amazon if you want to discover some of this). The actions of these people then are represented as the norm or mainstream by the enemies of the church.
    Ah, the "militant homosexuals!" I can't help but note they are always "out there" to you... infiltrating, converting, threatening safety. There are homosexuals inside and outside the church both, and I would be shocked if homosexuals were under-represented statistically in the church hierarchy. That's not the same as saying that the church is "really homosexual," but it does seem to me that the homosexual menace looms very large in your mind, since you bring it up often, almost always as an external threat seeking to find its way in.

  6. #76
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Seymour, I share the view that homosexuals can be considered objectively disordered, at least in many if not all instances. That's not to say that they cant be happy, harmless or even good people, that's the RC view, not that they are evil or pre-ordained to sin and worse sin at that.

    I dont have a problem with the actions of RC charities and welfare organisations, particularly since there are and always will be probably, homosexual charities and welfare organisations, many of whom by default or design dont tailor to the needs of others than homosexuals, neither would I expect them to. Its a little like expecting a help line for confused adolescents set up by maintained and staffed by homosexuals to tell them they could be straight rather than "No, you're definitely gay".

    The action of the Pope, of which your post is news to me, is probably one response to the clerical abuse and creeping corruption within the Church, I know that a lot of the abuse in Ireland involved male predators preying upon male children and while its wrong to connect male homosexuality and male on male peadophilia, whether opportunistic or pathological, they are connected in many peoples minds.

    If I could find the listmania I was mentioning I'd link it but so far I've not found it Seymour, I wouldnt say that suggestings I believe in some sort of "homosexual menace" or that it "looms large" was fair or an accurate representation of my view, I've not repeatedly mentioned it, infact I wasnt the original poster of this thread for instance. That's a little like suggesting that anyone who doesnt have a favourable opinion of homosexuality is a closet homosexual themselves or a bigot who cant abide difference, which is at once untrue and most of the time used simply to close down debate or close minds.

  7. #77
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Seymour here's a link to one of the individuals I'd regard as a "militant", its their listmanias on Amazon, their username advocates abolishing ages of conscent and you'll see that they have more lists categorised as "boy love" and their tags are exclusively "man boy", perhaps they could be considered something other, more sinister, than a homosexual in orientation but for the fact that they have almost equal listmanias and reviews dedicated to homosexuality per se.

    Now, I'm a heterosexual, I'm a practicing one, I've a lot of fun with it and its a big part of my identity and life there's not the same tact or content or exclusivity. Its possible to paint my view as a paranoia, phobia, whatever but in doing so its all simply a matter of dismissing or minimising it and that's not such a great idea, whether the people involved are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or pomosexual minds are being closed on this topic, which doesnt do anyone good.

    NB Here's the profile I was talking about:

    Amazon.co.uk: Profile for Pius

    The "in my own words" section says it all, its also content that I as a roman catholic find extremely offensive, far from believing this person an abomination I dont care actually, I'm not interested but I do believe they are revelling in their own self-ascribed outsider/outlaw/abnormal identity and dragging my faith into it. I dont believe that the RC church is homoerotic for an instance and find that offensive too, a little like I'm sure a homosexual might find associations of their orientation with peadophilia or NAMBLA would feel I suspect.

  8. #78
    Senior Member ChildoftheProphets's Avatar
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    Victor, let me reiterate, with emphasis added:

    First century Christians all had day-jobs, with the possible exception of missionaries who could not settle down in one place. Even then, St. Paul himself, the biggest missionary of them all, was a self-financed textile worker (possibly specializing in tent-making).
    As for the verse from I Corinthians 9 you quoted, I will reproduce it here, and again with additional emphasis to some of the context:


    13Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

    15But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. 16Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it.

    19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.
    20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
    The temple was once the earthly point of mediation between God and man, until Christ became the ultimate sacrifice and sole mediator (see John 4:21-24 and I Tim 2:5-6). There is no longer a caste of Levite priests set aside to offer animal sacrifices in Jerusalem and take a portion of meat for their livelihood, Christian missionaries have taken their place.

    But even then, if the missionaries can find work while they are on the go--as Paul did--then the support from their home churches and newly-planted churches is unnecessary.

    Is this the set-up we have today? Or is all of Vatican City and every single church building in America a return to the Jewish practices of the Old Covenant--the very Covenant Jesus came to fulfil?

    Christ is our nexus to the Father, not any earthy site or saint.

    So if a gathering of believers wants to put up an orphanage, finance a foreign mission, or build a hospital, that's absolutely fine. But to construct a basilica or mega-church so that they can sit like an audience each Sunday morning and be entertained by music and oratory--that's a completely different matter.

    I hope this clears up my position.
    "In the opening and shutting of heaven's gate, are you able to play the feminine part?" -- Lao Tzu

    "For when the One Great Scorer comes
    To write against your name,
    He marks - not that you won or lost -
    But how you played the Game."
    -- Grantland Rice

    “Life is a game, boy. Life is a game that one plays according to the rules.” -- from The Catcher in the Rye

    "The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do, and what a man can't do." -- Jack Sparrow

  9. #79
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Cotp,

    I'm only responding to the post above, I've not followed your debate with Victor as I've started ignoring him but I would say that I dont see the sense in attempting to literally practice or enact the old testament, the creation of grandiose churches is not a betrayal of faith but a sign of priority and propriety.

    Most of these creations fufilled multiple functions, fortification for the military, defence for the scholarly, refuge for the persecuted, the source and centre of health and social service in their day and it was the rise of tele-evangelism and stadium evangelism in the states before churches became a source of "edu-tainment" like following a particular football team or being a sports fan.

  10. #80
    No Cigar Litvyak's Avatar
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    Why am I not surprised by this? And why am I not interested?
    The misery of a once great theocracy with the potential to rule all minds and bodies of a continent fills me with pity. And nothing more.

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