Wednesday, September 02, 2009

"Bride of Christ" takes on a whole new meaning

In the combox of the recent post on the Perpetual Virginity of Mary, Pilgrimsarbour raised two questions, one of which was:
Do Catholics and Orthodox consider the idea of Joseph and Mary having sexual relations as "adultery," given that Mary was found with child by the Holy Spirit?
Matthew Bellisario replied:
Hi Pilgrim. I am not aware of anyone saying that it would have been adultery.
Richard Froggatt added:
Pilgrim, If I put myself in Joseph's shoes I wouldn't touch Mary that way, would you? I am being sincere when I say this.
I've heard similar sentiments expressed in the past. I'll paraphrase here my friend David Bryan, an EO seminarian - if I were Joseph, I'd have some serious hesitation about having intimacy with a woman whose womb had been inhabited by God Himself.

From Letters Between a Catholic and an Evangelical, pp 290-291, Fr John Waiss, Opus Dei, made a similar, yet more disgusting statement.

Q: Would God just use Mary?
John Waiss (questioning James McCarthy): Jim, would Jesus ever say to His mother, "What you would have gained from me is Corban" (that is, given to God, see Mark 7:11-12)? Would God just use Mary to bear Him in her womb and then deny any special relationship to His mother?

Jim: No, I wouldn't think so.

Q: Is implying Mary is a harlot offensive to Jesus?
John: The "until" of Matthew 1:25 - that Joseph "knew her not unti [Greek eos]..." - is similar to Jesus' promise to remain with us "until [Greek eos] the completion of the age " (Matthew 28:20, Darby Translation). This doesn't imply He will abandon us afterwards - at least I hope not! What you seem to imply is that Mary plays the harlot by having children by another lover (Joseph in this case) after having Jesus by the Holy Spirit (emph added), since:
If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? ... You have played the harlot with many lovers; and would you return to me? says the Lord. --Jeremiah 3:1
If someone implied this of your mother, wouldn't you take offense? Isn't doing the same to Mary a great offense to Jesus?

Jim: Does my claim that Mary had children by Joseph after the birth of Jesus really make her a harlot and Joseph "another lover"? Before drawing such conclusions, note that under Jewish law, Joseph and Mary were already husband and wife. Scr identifies Joseph as Mary's "husband"...Frankly, I think your whole line of reasoning should be abandoned. We cannot apply the terms of human relations to this extraordinary case. Mary and the Holy Spirit were not lovers, were not maried, and did not have sexual relations. No divorce occurred, so Jer 3:1 does not apply. Neither should we question the properity of Joseph and Mary having children. They were legally married, of which the Lord says, "they become one flesh" (Gen 2:24). After the birth of Jesus, they had children. What's wrong with that (link added, obviously)?


I was speechless when I read Waiss' statement. What other explanation than that Rome has a bizarre and unhealthy fascination with sex, expressed (again, bizarrely) in selective prudishness:
-For certain grown men, sex is not OK, nor is marriage, but if you do choose to have sex with little boys, the hierarchy will hide your crime and reassign you.
-For Mary, sex with your husband is not OK.
-For Mary, sex with the Holy Spirit is OK. Waiss' view reduces to Greek mythology, or to take a more homegrown example, Mormonism. Yikes.


53 comments:

Rhology said...

And no comments about heos hou here, please. I want to concentrate on the actual topic.

Ken said...

Indeed, it is this kind of language and argumentation, similar to Waiss, like with "Mary as the Spouse of the Spirit" that is part of the whole bad witness to the Muslim world that seems to say that Mary and God had sexual relations, which is impossible, and blasphemous.

it reminds me of the Gnostic tinged and creepy sexual language of the Odes of Solomon, 18-19.(one of the other early non-Scriptural sources for the PVM man made tradition)

Whereas, the Song of Solomon, Scripture, is not about God and His people, but about holy sex within marriage between one man and one woman. (early Solomon before his fall into sin.)

Matthew Bellisario said...

Rhology wrote, "I was speechless when I read Waiss' statement. What other explanation than that Rome has a bizarre and unhealthy fascination with sex, expressed (again, bizarrely) in selective prudishness:
-For certain grown men, sex is not OK, nor is marriage, but if you do choose to have sex with little boys, the hierarchy will hide your crime and reassign you."

Why don't you look at the Church's teaching on the matter instead of looking for an emotional red herring argument here? Talking about abuse cases and so forth has no bearing on the theology behind the teaching. This is just emotional nonsense. Protestants are guilty of sexual abuse as well. there are many cases each year of Protestant pastors abusing children. You don't see us using that as a summary of our arguments as you have done here. The fact is this trash talk is all you have. What is disgusting is that you will not deal with real theological arguments based on logic and history. All you have is character assassination. Deal with your own abuse cases before you throw stones at others.

Rhology said...

MB,

You missed the latter part in your quest to discredit any and all posts on this blog:
the hierarchy will hide your crime and reassign you.

You Romanists make much hay about the lack of a unified church hierarchy in Prot-ism, so I'll grant you the point here and ask you why in the world the Roman hierarchy has done that so much. It's not much like the cases in Prot churches, b/c there's no overarching hierarchy to hide and cover up abuse.

Matthew Bellisario said...

I bed to differ. Protestant pastors in large denominations also hide their abuses. Go throw stones at your own churches. Quite using red herrings to debate theological issues.

Rhology said...

MB,

But there's no Pope in those churches, and no college of cardinals. Think about it a little bit more, try to fight the emotional red tint over your vision, and maybe you'll be more rational.

Matthew Bellisario said...

As soon as you want to discuss theology, history, Biblical sources and scholarship, then post something. Until then you are only making yourself look bad.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario: Your response sounds a bit like "Romanism is just as corrupt as mainstream Protestantism." Perhaps I'm missing the point you are trying to make.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Turretin, yes you are missing the point. Scholarship and serious research, those are necessary for credible arguments; not red herrings.

Andrew said...

MB: If I may, I didn't read this:

"For certain grown men, sex is not OK, nor is marriage, but if you do choose to have sex with little boys, the hierarchy will hide your crime and reassign you."

as an argument against Catholic dogma. I read it as Rhology pointing out a seeming incongruity in the thinking of the Roman hierarchy. Rhology can correct me if I am wrong. I think the argument is this: The RCC says it would have been unseemly, or even sinful for Joseph and Mary to have sexual relations after she bore Christ and we wont hear of it. However, if you are an abusive priest (yes I know most are not) we will hide and protect you. Is child rape less dirty then sex between two married people? Like I said, it seems inconsistent.

Rhology said...

Well, it's a tossup, Andrew, whether Waiss (who's a member of Opus Dei, as opposed to MB, who's a blogger) would think that child molestation is worse than harlotry committed against Mary's first lover, the Holy Spirit.

Alex said...

"I read it as Rhology pointing out a seeming incongruity in the thinking of the Roman hierarchy. Rhology can correct me if I am wrong. I think the argument is this: The RCC says it would have been unseemly, or even sinful for Joseph and Mary to have sexual relations after she bore Christ and we wont hear of it. However, if you are an abusive priest (yes I know most are not) we will hide and protect you. Is child rape less dirty then sex between two married people? Like I said, it seems inconsistent."

This is the argument? How sad.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario, your response "Protestant pastors in large denominations also hide their abuses. Go throw stones at your own churches." is not an argument that supports the contention of red herring. So, I guess I'm still waiting for you to explain its relevance (if any) to the conversation.

-TurretinFan

steve said...

Hmm. Alan does a post on the surreal world of Catholic sexual ethics, and Bellisario replies by saying "I bed to differ." Talk about Freudian slips!

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Not trying to advance the theological argument here but merely as a point of clarification:

Protestant clergy abuse statistics are much lower than that of the RCC. Probably the biggest reason is that the RCC priesthood attracts bad people who can, under the guise of holy celibacy, engage in their nefarious sins. And for quite a long time it could be done with relative impunity.

I do not think it's a question of which communions or persons are more "spiritual," etc. I think the opportunity for this kind of thing is more prevalent in the RCC because of the way things are structured. I suspect that some men become priests knowing they have a serious problem, thinking that being a priest will help them immensely with their sexual self-control. I may think that being a minister or an elder will improve my own spiritual life immensely, and perhaps, on some level, it would. Sadly, when we desperately want to sin, we will find all kinds of ways to both do it and justify it.

I don't think Rhology is trying to argue for exceptional wickedness of priests directly due to RCC doctrines, although he may think that mandatory celibacy for priests is a bad idea and contributes to the overall problem.

I would suggest the book Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church by the Investigative Staff of the Boston Globe (Little, Brown & Co., 2002). This book was very helpful to me in understanding what happened and what can be done in future to insure that it never happens again, as much as is humanly possible.

EBW said...

There are three "states", finding approval with God, that any virtuous woman can choose. They are mother, wife or virgin. Mary embodies each of them due to God's election. No need for carnal relations. Also, this is why she is the type of the Church.
For Joseph and Mary, the introduction of carnal acts will only nullify the "virgin" state. This is the main reason (not the only reason) why all generations will call her blessed.

Alex said...

Where are the statistics? Show them.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Protestant clergy abuse statistics are much lower than that of the RCC.

This issue is much more complicated than I thought, even given some of the good reading I've done.

What I find after looking into it more is that my statement is unwarranted for a number of reasons:

1) The private nature of the acts themselves make statistics unreliable.

2) The descriptions of what constitutes sexual misconduct are varied and somewhat subjective, ranging from "harassment," whatever that means today legally, to outright rape and everything in between. It's frequently an apples-to-oranges thing.

3) The media furor over the high-profile Catholic abuse cases have eclipsed the reality that this kind of thing occurs in all faiths. Any reasonable person knows this, but a large, visible institution like the RCC casts a big shadow. The public perception also drives the idea that RCC clergy abuse is greater than other communions, a perception driven mainly by the media.

For these reasons (and probably more) I retract my original statement about Protestant clergy abuse statistics being much lower than RCC. Sometimes it's true in one area, and not in another.

However, I am still interested in what you may think of the rest of my comments on reasons that homosexuals are drawn to the RCC priesthood. Beyond that, I really did not intend to get into a long discussion on sexual abuse in this thread.

Andrew said...

No Alex, I don't think that is the argument. It was, I think, an example given to undergird the argument being made.

Alex said...

"No Alex, I don't think that is the argument. It was, I think, an example given to undergird the argument being made."

Like I said: "How sad."

Andrew said...

"How sad"
Talk about your bad arguments.

Andrew said...

Pilgrim, I respect your honesty. Many people on either side would have tried to come up with a way to be right instead of admitting that a mistake was made in something they said.

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tiber Jumper said...

Alex:

"Where are the statistics?"

Here they are: From a report put together by the Catholic Leaguein an effort, to not deny the Catholic sex abuse scandal, but to put it in perspective.

Alex said...

"Talk about your bad arguments."

Since you didn't specify, I'll just assume that you are referring to all of my arguments. That's unfortunate.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

From a report put together by the Catholic Leaguein an effort, to not deny the Catholic sex abuse scandal, but to put it in perspective.

That report was one of the reasons I retracted my statement.

Turretinfan said...

That Catholic League report is dishonest. I'll give you an example. Consider this line of the report: "Finally, in the authoritative work by Penn State professor Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests, it was determined that between .2 and 1.7 percent of priests are pedophiles. The figure among the Protestant clergy ranges between 2 and 3 percent.[xxii]" Footnote xxii reads: "Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests (New York: Oxford University Press), pp. 50 and 81."

When you go to page 50 of the report you find that "between 2 and 3 percent" figure, but you find it criticized by the work as something that should be "viewed skeptically" since "the methodology on which [those figures] are based is not clear, and they seem to rely disproportionately on individuals already in therapy." (Pedophiles and Priests, pp. 50-51)

Also, when you turn to the discussion discussed at page 81 and following, you find that the reason for the low estimate on pedophilia in priests is due to the exclusion of the "overwhelming number of cases" that "involved homosexual ephebophilia" (where priests prey on teenage males, rather than young children). That said, of course, the paper says that the data from the particular study it was discussing pegs the overall rate among Roman priests of sexual relations with minors at under 2 percent. (Ibid. at 82)

I guess they figured that folks wouldn't read the sources they listed in their footnotes. I'm guessing that you didn't, PilgrimsArbour, am I correct?

-TurretinFan

Rhology said...

Even if it were true that RC pedophile priests are less numerous per capita than in Prot churches, that gives the RC hierarchy who has hidden and protected the offenders even less excuse to have done what they've done, since they can't plead hardship or high numbers.

Alex said...

"Even if it were true that RC pedophile priests are less numerous per capita than in Prot churches, that gives the RC hierarchy who has hidden and protected the offenders even less excuse to have done what they've done, since they can't plead hardship or high numbers."

But none of this matters given the fact that the Church never contends that it controls the minds, hearts and attitudes of all of her members. Unless you can point to a doctrine itself that allows for pedophilia, or one that says that all members of the Church of necessity will adhere to everything the Church teaches, without exeption, once again your argument has no merit.

As far as the actual statistics go, anyone who has studied statistics should know that prior to dismissing them they should first see how they were drawn. We need to see what the statistics are actually in relation to. What was the design? What variables were used? How was the data generated? Were they generating data from raw information, or were they using existent information and is it comparable? If the data is problematic, then the analysis could be flawed as Turretinfan rightly pointed out.

I think that Pilgrimsarbour has the best approach, and that is that this is inconclusive.

However, we go back to the fundamental problem in that even if Catholic priests had a higher percentage of abuse cases comparably to Protestant ministers, this still does not add any value to the conclusion some of you are trying to draw.

Alex said...

"Even if it were true that RC pedophile priests are less numerous per capita than in Prot churches, that gives the RC hierarchy who has hidden and protected the offenders even less excuse to have done what they've done, since they can't plead hardship or high numbers."

Also, you are absolutely correct in this statement. There is zero excuse for those in the hierarchy to hide and protect sex offenders, especially the “we’re not as bad” excuse.

Rhology said...

minds, hearts and attitudes of all of her members.

Not members. PRIESTS. Keep dancing.


Unless you can point to a doctrine itself that allows for pedophilia, or one that says that all members of the Church of necessity will adhere to everything the Church teaches, without exeption, once again your argument has no merit.

To the blind slave of Rome, this is obviously correct. But for the rest of us, who think that conduct ALSO matters, especially in the purportedly infallible and established-by-Christ leadership, it has plenty of merit. It's so ironic that Romanists like to argue that salvation is by grace AND works, and then when it comes to questions like this, alluvasudden works don't matter.


Also, you are absolutely correct in this statement. There is zero excuse for those in the hierarchy to hide and protect sex offenders, especially the “we’re not as bad” excuse.

And yet they are still there, in the hierarchy. What does that say about your church? Where's the Holy Spirit guidance?

Alex said...

“Not members. PRIESTS. Keep dancing.”

I said ‘members’ because (A) priests are members too, (B) ‘members’ includes all those complicit within the hierarchy, and (C) I doubt that only the hierarchy were complicit alone. I said ‘members’ out of convenience of time, rather than going about listing ever possible ‘rank’ of individual involved. But if you want to use this as a “gotcha,” then I won’t take that from you. I’ll grant it to you and say: Oh boy, Rhology, you sure did get me on that one!

“To the blind slave of Rome, this is obviously correct. But for the rest of us, who think that conduct ALSO matters, especially in the purportedly infallible and established-by-Christ leadership, it has plenty of merit. It's so ironic that Romanists like to argue that salvation is by grace AND works, and then when it comes to questions like this, alluvasudden works don't matter.

“And yet they are still there, in the hierarchy. What does that say about your church? Where's the Holy Spirit guidance?”

Me from before: Unless you can point to a doctrine itself that allows for pedophilia, or one that says that all members of the Church of necessity will adhere to everything the Church teaches, without exception, once again your argument has no merit.

Me again: “that all members of the Church of necessity will adhere to everything the Church teaches, without exception”

Rhology A: “…this is obviously correct.”

Rhology B: “But for the rest of us, who think that conduct ALSO matters, especially in the purportedly infallible and established-by-Christ leadership, it has plenty of merit.”

[How do I go about explaining the inconsistency between Rhology A and Rhology B…On the one hand this guy admits that he understands and agrees that the Church cannot engage in mind control. Furthermore he admits and agrees that the Church doctrinally teaches against pedophilia. Yet on the other hand he seems to think that in practice members of the Church can not possibly sin against her teachings because her teachings are proclaimed to be infallible, and when taught those doing the teaching are doing so infallibly…Oh well, some just don’t get it]

My reply: Oh boy, you got me there again Rhology!

Rhology said...

The "this is obviously correct" was in reference to the fact that blind slaves of Rome have artifically and ad-hoc-ly limited themselves to "it only matters what RCC teaches, not what RCC does".
I worded it badly, sorry.

Alex said...

Well then you are much worse off in your knowledge of Roman Catholic teaching on free will, infallibility, and the fact that the Church doesn’t teach that as members the body (hierarchy as well) are necessarily sinless. Or you don’t know that the Church thoroughly teaches against pedophilia and all other sexually deviant acts.

Rhology said...

You're making very little relevant sense.
Yes, RCC teaches pedophilia is bad. DUH.

What does the hierarchy ****DO****? That's the question I've been raising. Your continued punting to "yeah, but we TEACH that's wrong!" is immaterial. I'd believe your hierarchy actually believed what you say it teaches if it actually took action to punish the evildoers rather than consistently hiding and moving them.

Richard Froggatt said...

Pilgrim,

I'd also like to add that I appreciate the approach you've taken in this discussion.

My comment to you as far as an answer goes I realize was not what you were looking for, and I didn't mean it as an apologetic, it was just a personal thought.

To be honest with you, I accept the doctrine mostly because the Church believes and teaches it. I do believe though that your questions can be answered (although I don't have them) by someone more familiar with the subject than myself.

Alex said...

“I'd believe your hierarchy actually believed what you say it teaches if it actually took action to punish the evildoers rather than consistently hiding and moving them.”

This has a problem of relevance towards the discussion at hand. So there are evil men who have sinned against their obligation to profess, believe, and live the truth…moreover as pastors of the Church their sins are heightened. But how does this meaningfully add to the discussion? It doesn’t. You’re grasping at straws. Because some people have distorted attitudes and actions against the professed beliefs of the Church are relevant towards those folks alone, not the professed beliefs of the Church.

Alex said...

“I'd believe your hierarchy actually believed what you say it teaches if it actually took action to punish the evildoers rather than consistently hiding and moving them.”

Besides, you are making an overgeneralization here. You assume that those complicit in the evil actions are representative of the whole. This is not a good idea to assume.

Rhology said...

The whole are complicit as they haven't punished those responsible for the evil acts and those responsible for hiding the evildoers.
Think, man. Every comment reveals you more and more as an unthinking Romautomaton.

Alex said...

“The whole are complicit as they haven't punished those responsible for the evil acts and those responsible for hiding the evildoers.”

This comment once again proves that your assumptions regarding the hierarchy are simply misinformed. Under Canon Law does the Bishop of the Diocese of Charlotte have control over the Bishop of the Diocese of Venice? No, he does not. Are they both part of the hierarchy? Yes, they are. Has the hierarchy existed prior to those who were present during the recent abuses? Yes. Are they likewise complicit?

“Think, man. Every comment reveals you more and more as an unthinking Romautomaton.”

This comment does not register in my data frame…a restart might be necessary…system is shutting down.

Louis said...

Honest question here: Has the RCC ever officially acknowledged and apologized for the role of its Bishops and leadership in those abuse cases?

Tim Enloe said...

(Peeking in for a minute)

Isn't the point here that supposedly the Catholic Church has been this great bastion of Christian morality in an increasingly relativistic world, supposedly shining the light of ethical truth better and with more "fullness" than all her "separated brethren," and yet, lo and behold, she doesn't even have her own moral house clean?

Another point might be that for an institution that trumpets the value of its very rigid authority structure, the guy at the top, with whom the buck finally stops (since he's the successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ and the Universal Pastor and all that jazz), doesn't have enough presence of mind or ability to actually enforce Christian morality on his subordinate pastors?

In other words, given the usually very ramped-up rhetoric of the Catholic Church (or at least, of many of its defenders) about its moral superiority, isn't the point here have something to do with motes and planks in eyes?

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I guess they figured that folks wouldn't read the sources they listed in their footnotes. I'm guessing that you didn't, PilgrimsArbour, am I correct?

Yes, that's correct. There are quite a few resources online and elsewhere than can be checked, if one has the time. My immediate concern was not to further advance a false (at least potentially) assertion that RCC priests abuse cases are much more numerous than Protestant cases. Since I knew I would not be able to spend the time on this issue that is really required to sort it all out, I thought it best to retract that assertion for now.

Besides, fact-checking complex minutiae is your forte, Turretinfan, am I right? ;-)

At this point I will defer to all those here who are much smarter than I, until I can gather the time to sort it all out.

Of course, "until" here means...;-)

Turretinfan said...

PilgrimsArbour:

To be clear, I wasn't trying to create a duty on you to actually factcheck everything you read. That would be absurd.

I was simply pointing out that the dishonest Romanists who initially presented the report were counting on the idea that typical readers would not go to the trouble of doing such a check.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Incidentally, I am glad you made the retraction you did. For a variety of reasons, it is quite difficult to compare the rates of abuse or to do so in ways that make sense.

Tim Enloe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Enloe said...

I see from the incoming links on my blog that DA is upset about my comment above.

Watch closely how he attempts to get around the responsibility argument. This is a serious sore point for him. He has never grasped it from the moment I first started putting forth the argument that as a matter of Medieval catholic theology the pope was required to be accountable both to the temporal power and to the rest of the Church, particularly when the Church, supported by the temporal power acting as the defensor ecclesiae met in a General Council. But even beyond DA's intellectually insulated little world, the responsibility argument is a key point against the papacy. For the papacy, as it has historically developed (even granting for argument's sake Newman's way of unfolding development) is an absolute kingship, or, to use the better and more accurate word, a tyranny. As such, it is fundamentally an irresponsible entity concerned primarily with the maintenance of its own power and prerogatives and not with what is good for the whole corpus Christianorum. Believing itself accountable to God alone - and that usually in the next life, not this life - the papacy (and all who defend its immoderate and intemperate authority claims) cannot join its claim to universal authority with either (1) basic biblical pastoral responsibility or with (2) basic Western political philosophy's insistence that human rulers must always be accountable to other humans.

I have discovered these past few years that this is one of the best ways, other than the usual biblical-exegetical and patristic ones, to challenge the papacy and its defenders. They can't handle the argument, because tyrants never can. That's why tyrants have never lasted; someone has always arisen to kick them out in the name of the justice that they so drastically pervert. "Tim Enloe, Nasty Quasi-Anti-Catholic Reformed Polemicist" my foot. This is basic Western political philosophy. The apologists can't deal with it because they don't know it. More's the pity for them.

Dozie said...

I thought Protestants think of themselves as Christians; read the piece below and see if that is remotely indicated (Catholics must, repeat, must follow the pope as they encounter and engage Protestants):

Pope's Message to Inter-Christian Symposium


"Build Together the City of God"

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 3, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the message Benedict XVI sent to Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, on the occasion of the 11th Inter-Christian Symposium, which began today in Rome.

* * *

Through you, venerable brother, in your capacity as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, I have the pleasure and joy of sending a warm and auspicious greeting to the organizers and participants of the 11th Inter-Christian Symposium, promoted by the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality of the Pontifical University Antonianum and by the Aristotle Orthodox Theological Faculty of Thessalonica, planned in Rome from Sept. 3-5.

I am happy first of all for this initiative of fraternal encounter and exchange on the common aspects of spirituality, which is beneficial for a closer relationship between Catholics and Orthodox. In fact, these Symposiums, which began in 1992, address important and constructive topics for reciprocal understanding and unity of intention. The fact that it takes place alternatively in a territory of Catholic or Orthodox majority also allows for real contact with the concrete, historical, cultural and religious life of our Churches.

In particular, this year you wished to organize the Symposium in Rome, city that offers all Christians indelible testimonies of history, archaeology, iconography, hagiography and spirituality, strong stimulus to advance toward full communion and above all, the memory of the Apostles Peter and Paul, Protothroni, and of so many martyrs, ancient witnesses of the faith. Of them, St. Clement of Rome wrote that "suffering ... many insults and torments, they became a most beautiful example for us" (Cf. Letter to the Corinthians, VI,1).

The topic chosen for the next meeting: "St. Augustine in the Western and Eastern Tradition" -- argument intended to be developed in collaboration with the Patristic Institute Augustinanum -- is most interesting to reflect further on Christian theology and spirituality in the West and in the East, and its development. The Saint of Hippo, a great Father of the Latin Church, is, in fact, of fundamental importance for theology and for the West's very culture, whereas the reception of his thought in Orthodox theology has revealed itself to be rather problematic.

Hence, to know with historical objectivity and fraternal cordiality the doctrinal and spiritual riches that make up the patrimony of the Christian East and West, is indispensable not only to appreciate them, but also to promote better reciprocal appreciation among all Christians.

Therefore, I express cordial wishes that your Symposium is fruitful in that it discovers doctrinal and spiritual convergences that are useful to build together the City of God, where his children can live in peace and in fraternal charity, based on the truth of the common faith. I assure you of my prayer for this end, asking the Lord to bless the organizers and the institutions they represent, the Catholic and Orthodox speakers and all the participants.

May the Grace and peace of the Lord be in your collaborators and in your minds!

In Castel Gandolfo, August 28, 2009

BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Dozie,

So let me see if I understand you.

In a symposium specifically designed to discuss fraternal relations between Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, you take it that a lack of mention of Protestants by the Pope means that we are "on the outs" with true Christianity?

Interesting reasoning. To someone.

And furthermore, you take it as a dogmatic sign from the Pope that Protestants are not even to be engaged with in conversation/discussion of spiritual matters?

I see.

I take it, then, that you plan on not commenting in this combox anymore.

The Lord is good.

Dozie said...

"I take it, then, that you plan on not commenting in this combox anymore."

I comment here to point out the futiliy of engaging Protestants; the pope has not done it, does not do it; why should Catholics be wasting their time talking to people who seem to be blinded by their own errors.

Dozie said...

"And furthermore, you take it as a dogmatic sign from the Pope that Protestants are not even to be engaged with in conversation/discussion of spiritual matters?"

See an earlier post I made:


“Benedict XVI's closest collaborator is denying media rumors that the Pontiff is working to gradually "undo" the changes implemented after the Second Vatican Council.”

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone “highlighted some applications of the Second Vatican Council that the Pope has "promoted constantly with intelligence and depth of thought."”

“In particular, he noted the Pontiff's collaboration in "the most comprehensive relationship" with the Orthodox and Eastern Churches and the dialogue with Judaism and Islam.” http://www.zenit.org/article-26707?l=english (August 28, 2009)

With “intelligence and depth of thought”: It seems the Pope did not, after all, forget about Protestants; he must have considered them with same intelligence and depth of thought and decided not to waste his time.

2:09 AM, August 29, 2009

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I comment here to point out the futiliy of engaging Protestants

You keep using that word futile. Since you continue to come here and comment, I don't think it means what you think it means.

GeneMBridges said...

In fact, Dozie, you elsewhere argue that posting here lends James credibility & plead w/your compatriots to not do so. In fact, when told to take your own advice, you agreed. Yet you continue...