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  1. #61
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    "Infiltrated the church?" Do you really mean "infiltrate" as in "enter or gain access to (an organization, place, etc.) surreptitiously and gradually, esp. in order to acquire secret information?" I've always assumed that many gay men become priests for the normal reasons, although no doubt some are trying to escape their sexuality. I would be surprised if many were consciously trying to "infiltrate." I would also assume that, like their straight brethren, not all of them are able to keep their vow of chastity.
    I wasnt thinking so much of homosexuals, there are others who have deliberately infiltrated the church to abuse their position of trust within the community, its happened in Ireland, there where reports from Germany of hierarchy investigations of entire clerical colleges after visiting clergy witnessed a lot of open sexualised behaviour among male priests towards one another and the predatory history of some of them came to light.

    I'm not suggesting that its the exact same thing happening with homosexuals, I wouldnt make the comparison between homosexual men and predators or peadophiles that is too readily made sometimes, but if the news of things like this keeps circulating I'd only expect one result.

    When the ancien regimes said that the masonic lodges where hotbeds of revolutionary activity prior to the French revolution revolutionaries flocked to them and it became a self-fufilling prophecy.



    There's some solid evidence that the Mormons and Catholics coordinated to help get Proposition 8 (which revoked gay marriage in California) passed:

    Or for example, being involved in organizing an anti-gay marriage protest in Argentina, or making ultimatums in DC about having to stop providing sevices if same sex marriage passes.

    So I certainly agree that although the Catholic church doesn't have direct political control, it seems to be reasonably active politically on issues it sees as important.
    I'm very, very surprised at the RC church sharing any sort of platform with Mormons to be honest, very surprised, there's a history there which is not amicable in the least.

    So far as actively resisting redefinition or reconceptualisation of marriage I'm glad to see its happening, I think its important that opposition isnt forced out onto the fringes where fascists or haters will exploit the issue to make political capital of it.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    But if you demonize Catholic priests, it seems to me (I say with respect and possible ignorance begging the pardon of any Catholics on board who should feel free to correct me), you hurt their faith in God, because they believe that priests are the only ones who can absolve them of their sins. (Protestants believe if you want to be absolved of your sin, you yourself talk to God about it.) This leaves the poor Catholics wandering lost and I think it's hateful to people who are trying to hold to their faith.
    The earlier part of your post about simply leaving one Church and going to another, its something I've experienced first hand, I mean I've seen families and entire congregations migrate between different churches. To me its bizarre or impossible, like deciding you're tired of being human and will be a horse or dog or bird today.

    So far as Papal authority goes its limited, more limited than many secularists or protestants believe, the Pope is also fallible and there have been errant Popes, wrong Popes, contested Papacies when more than one Papal authority existed at one time and even a supposedly female Pope, "Pope Joan", at one time. So the Papal office is not one of dictator or Furher or divine right kingship.

    On the question of infallibility the Pope is only considered infallible in matters of faith and morals which are rarely pronounced upon, considered or reconsidered, the canon law exists like a constitution and is rarely subject to revision. Vatican Two was such a revolution and surprise because it appeared to do so, introducing such things as mass in the vernacular instead of Latin and a drive for ecumenicism, hierarchical politics has meant that the meaning of V2 is still debated, conservatives wanted Benedict to reverse it, as though that could happen, as though like some democracy or political apparatus that could happen. Apart from anything else the fact that the Pope introduced it so unexpectedly could indicate divine inspiration.

    The Priesthood is an office of individuals called to a the vocation of religious life, it is very different from being a member of the laity but there are priests and priests, some understand their vocation better than others, some are much better than others in their ministry and there is nothing like the idea of infallibility that some presume.

    Clericism and superstition has harmed the church in so far as believers have not acted to root out corruption and fight as hard against the enemies within as they could have but in all and any instances where this has been the case there has been a powerful cultural dimension, most of the time there has been direct collusion or complacency with the corruption by secular authorities and the public. Injuries to the Church hierarchy should not be injuries to the faith of parishioners, it does happen I know, sometimes with older or young adult members of the congregation.

    It is true that the sacrament of confession is officiated by priests but those same priests attend others for confession too, they're just as culpable to be sinners, it shouldnt be a revelation that some of them prove to be as in need of forgiveness as members of the laity, particularly if their vocation is not true anyway.

    Lots of RCs (too many) treat confessions as optional, some have rote lists of sins they repeat, not mainly people study the whole idea of sin anymore now anyway or no mortal sins from deadly sin from regular sins. Its a bit of a charade got in some circumstances now and not a serious process of reflection and reform of character aimed at a kind of conscious personal and spiritual development. Properly understood that sacrament in conjunction with spiritual direction should have the same regenerative possibility as a course of psycho-analysis.

    But I think it's understandable that the secular public wants to out the unholiness of the people who supposedly have the direct route to god and the power to forgive sin (thus preserving your soul), because that power is so misused by the church telling people what to do and where to put their money and who to vote for.
    In my experience the Church has never provided anything like that kind of direction to me personally, of late we've had some encouragement not to vote for parties which are not pro-life/anti-abortion but its not a command by any stretch of the imagination and I take nothing to do with it and tell them why if anyone asks me (those being matters of private conscience, decisions or dispensions made on a case by case basis, Jesuits in Dublin told me so).

    I'm unsure that the secular public cares, besides a general rejection of all things holy, all judgementalism or even certainty to be honest, I find most of the Churches harshest critics are people who envy or despise moral clarity, whatever the office but dont feel as bothered by its secular incarnations as the spiritual ones. I dont know why, sometimes its suggested that its the bigger lie but whatever.

    Sorry if I've gone on a bit. :P

  3. #63
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    I seems to me that celibacy is not particularly natural. I have never understood this aspect of Catholicism.

    To deny something so much a part our our nature - I don't know how that could be a good thing.

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  4. #64
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Smile Celibacy, Chastity and Celebrity

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I seems to me that celibacy is not particularly natural.
    To be celibate is to be unmarried, while to be chaste is to be without sexual sin.

    Celibacy and chastity are usually confused by the non compos mentis.

    For instance, I myself am celibate, that is unmarried, and it seems perfectly natural to me.

    However I am unchaste, that is I am not without sexual sin, just as Jimmy Carter was unchaste in his heart.

    And Jimmy and myself both find unchastity to be as natural as celibacy.

    Perhaps you are thinking of celebrity.

  5. #65
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    To be celibate is to be unmarried, while to be chaste is to be without sexual sin.
    Actually, celibacy has several meanings, of which unmarried is typically only part, even though "unmarried" is the original meaning etymologically. For example, from dictionary.com:
    Quote Originally Posted by dictionary.com
    cel·i·ba·cy   [sel-uh-buh-see]
    –noun
    1. abstention from sexual relations.
    2. abstention by vow from marriage: the celibacy of priests.
    3. the state of being unmarried.
    Note that merely unmarried is the least common definition listed here.

    Or from wikipedia:
    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    Celibacy is defined as the lifestyle of someone who is voluntarily abstaining from all sexual activities (also known as "abstinence"), possibly remaining unmarried all his/her life. It is often incorrectly used to refer to a mixed, an involuntary, or even temporary abstinence from sexual relations – the word "celibacy", when it appears by itself, is properly defined as being a freely chosen state of practicing sexual abstinence, usually in the context of an unmarried state.
    So it's most typical meaning is not merely unmarried. Still, interesting to contrast celibate and chaste. Based on what you've said, I wouldn't use neither celibate nor chaste to describe you... but maybe that's just me.

  6. #66
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Um..definitions aside, I guess the point is that they are denying themselves sex, which seems unnatural.

    "non compos mentis"

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  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    I wouldn't use neither celibate nor chaste to describe you...
    Just call me a celebrity.

    Or even 'wombat' will do.

  8. #68
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    I'm feeling "ad hominem" attacks coming on. *suppresses urge*


  9. #69
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I seems to me that celibacy is not particularly natural. I have never understood this aspect of Catholicism.

    To deny something so much a part our our nature - I don't know how that could be a good thing.
    See I'm interested in that view because its uniquely modern and I think also unreflective of objective conditions, there is a presumption at the heart of that reckoning that sex is available, inconsequential, always fun and a positive good.

    Objectively that's not the case, sex is not available to everyone, is not inconsequential considering not simply health implications, unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, its not always fun and its not always a positive good either.

    In the last two instances questions arise also about is it the most fun you can have? And what is it positive in comparison to? For instance is it better to crave sexual satisfaction or reputation, spirituality?

    Equally there is bad and good sex, not simply sex, and surely it ought to be obvious to anyone that no sex is preferable to bad sex?

    I reckon if that really and truly was factored into peoples thinking there'd be really different lives being lived by just about everyone, possibly even less rape, child abuse or predatory behaviour, human trafficking, objectification and if you buy some of the Freudian or psychosexual theorising there is less torture, sexual violence or sado-masochism.

  10. #70
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    If you are ever home sick and channel surfing, see if you can find the religious tv channel. (EDIT: Here y'go: CatholicTV - America's Catholic Television Network)
    There is one, might be more than one. Catholic priests and nuns specifically tell you what to think about various issues. I was never so shocked in my life as to see this nun looking straight into the camera telling people what their views should be on abortion. It may not come from the pulpit, but it's definitely in the media. If you watch any religious tv, you will see it.

    In contrast to the Evangelicals, who are absolutely shocking about taking your money away from you. I watched over an hour of some guy talking about the good that could be done with your money and how it will come back to you a thousand-fold and you'll be rich, and he's asking for $1,000 "seed money" from each viewer -- and goes on to suggest you should mortgage your house and liquidate your children's college fund, it's that important. I almost called the station. Somebody's gonna come home and find grandma sold the farm to the preacher, I promise you.

    So I'm not saying any religion jerks you around more than any other, but my observation is that the Catholic church will flat out tell you what to think. And that confession and absolution have to be performed by a priest or else it doesn't count. So it causes huge pain to have to leave something you believe in but you can't believe in, something you think is necessary to your survival and nothing else will do -- as you said, Lark, it's for you like up and deciding one day to be an animal -- the link for you is stronger to the church than for many of us Protestants who are even encouraged to critique the preacher in their own minds to discern whether they are preaching right or not (shorthand, you get what I mean). And if that church doesn't suit, find one that is more comfortable. It's a Christianity that's not attached to any church, so it's completely portable.

    Anyway, so if you can get Catholics to come away from their church, you decrease the number of Catholics to supply the church's coffers, you decrease its political influence, therefore it's worthwhile to keep up the outcry over sinning priests.

    I don't see anybody going after the Mormons, who, as has been documented, threatened their flock's souls if they did not rise up financially against homosexual marriage. It was not left to individual discernment. It was couched in language that made them understand they could lose their souls.

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