Tag Archives: Catholic Church

The ‘Defense’ of Johannes Oecolampadius

‘Defense’ literature was exceedingly common in the early years of the Reformation, as the Reformers had to ‘defend’ their departure from the corrupt Church of Rome while maintaining their adherence to historic Christianity.  Indeed, most ‘Apologetic’ literature (which is what the term meant in the time) was a demonstration that the Reformers hadn’t departed at all from the truth, Rome had.

Johannes Oecolampadius’ contribution to the genre is an example of both the clarity of his thought and the ease with which he presents those thoughts.  you can download the entire book here (in PDF, in, of course, Latin).

For other of Oecolampadius’ works see the right nav panel under ‘Reformation Texts’.

Why Does the Catholic Church Reassign Pedophile Priests Rather than Remove Them?

1- Because the Catholic church’s theology, is, at its roots, a theology of redemption through the co-operation of the redeemed.   God does his part, to be sure, and then man must do his part (through cooperating with the gift of grace).

2- In accordance with that fundamental, the Catholic Church believes in the inherent goodness of mankind (else he couldn’t cooperate in his own salvation).

3- Given the inherent goodness of mankind, the Catholic Church asserts and believes that ‘people can change’ from terrible sinners to world-changing saints.  This makes the Catholic Church the ‘church of the second chance’.

Hence

4- When pedophile priests insist that they will, and can ‘do better’, it is within the character and nature of the Church to allow them the opportunity to do so- else it would deny both its fundamental truth and it’s belief in the inherent goodness of man.  Therefore, they are reassigned rather than removed.

Peter Leithart Thinks the Catholic Church is Led By Men too Old and too White

So he asks

What other institution on the planet produces as many impressive old men as the Catholic church?

I’ve got an answer for you Peter, it’s called Academia.

A white old male academic pointing fingers at the Catholic Church for being led by old white men who is himself part of an institution that is bogged down with old white men might be called a hypocrite in some quarters.

Luther, Rome, and Vitriol

romeA year before he died Luther wrote a little book titled AGAINST THE ROMAN PAPACY AN INSTITUTION OF THE DEVIL

It begins

The Most Hellish Father, St. Paul III, in his supposed capacity as the bishop of the Roman church, has written two briefs to Charles V, our lord emperor, wherein he appears almost furious, growling and boasting, according to the example of his predecessors, that neither an emperor nor anyone else has the right to convoke a council, even a national one, except solely the pope; he alone has the power to institute, ordain, and create everything which is to be believed and done in the church. He has also issued a papal bull (if one may speak like that) for about the fifth time; now the council is once again to take place in Trent, but with the condition that no one attend except his own scum, the Epicureans and those agreeable to him— whereupon I felt a great desire to reply, with God’s grace and aid. Amen!

And then he does…  And even becomes uncharacteristically abusive…

[NB- It seemed that, what with all the interest in the Papacy at present, Lutherans might want a reminder of their founder’s point of view on the subject.  You’re welcome, Lutherans].

That ‘Vatican Owns Beretta’ Thing? Yeah, That, it Turns Out, is a Hoax

From Beretta (in comments on the previous post)

«In relazione a notizie diffuse nei giorni scorsi circa la composizione dell’azionariato di Beretta Holding, la società smentisce nella maniera più ferma che IOR o società ad esso riconducibilisiano parte della compagine degli azionisti della società stessa o di società da essa controllate. Beretta Holding, che controlla un gruppo di imprese principalmente attivo nel settore dello sport, caccia e tempo libero, è un’azienda di proprietà famigliare da 15 generazioni».  

You can read it in the update of this article —  http://i.imgur.com/24X4S.jpg

Fun Facts From Church History: Luther’s Candid Thoughts on the Papacy

English: woodcut of the pope selling indulgenc...

On 6 February 1539 Luther shared these thoughts with his dinner-companions:

“These arrogant and unlearned papists can’t govern the church because they write nothing, they read nothing, but, firmly saddled in the pride of possession, they cry out that the decrees of the fathers are not to be questioned and decisions made are not to be disputed, otherwise one would have to dance to the tune of every little brother.

For this reason the pope, possessed by demons, defends his tryranny with the canon ‘Si papa.’ This canon states dearly: If the pope should lead the whole world into the control of hell, he is nevertheless not to be contradicted. It’s a terrible thing that on account of the authority of this man we must lose our souls, which Christ redeemed with his precious blood.

Christ says, ‘I will not cast out anybody who comes to me’ [John 6:37]. On the other hand, the pope says, ‘As I will it, so I command it; you must perish rather than resist me.’ Therefore the pope, whom our princes adore, is full of devils. He must be exterminated by the Word and by prayer.”

And there you have it.  Don’t hold back, Martin.  Tell us what you think.

In Which the Catholic Hospital Worships Mammon, and Not Christ

The Catholic hospital and its lawyers here exhibit the kind of reprehensible hypocrisy which gives all people of faith a bad name.  Shame on them.

Lori Stodghill was 31-years old, seven-months pregnant with twin boys and feeling sick when she arrived at St. Thomas More hospital in Cañon City on New Year’s Day 2006. She was vomiting and short of breath and she passed out as she was being wheeled into an examination room. Medical staff tried to resuscitate her but, as became clear only later, a main artery feeding her lungs was clogged and the clog led to a massive heart attack. Stodghill’s obstetrician, Dr. Pelham Staples, who also happened to be the obstetrician on call for emergencies that night, never answered a page. His patient died at the hospital less than an hour after she arrived and her twins died in her womb.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Stodghill’s husband Jeremy, a prison guard, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of himself and the couple’s then-two-year-old daughter Elizabeth. Staples should have made it to the hospital, his lawyers argued, or at least instructed the frantic emergency room staff to perform a caesarian-section. The procedure likely would not have saved the mother, a testifying expert said, but it may have saved the twins.

The lead defendant in the case is Catholic Health Initiatives, the Englewood-based nonprofit that runs St. Thomas More Hospital as well as roughly 170 other health facilities in 17 states. Last year, the hospital chain reported national assets of $15 billion. The organization’s mission, according to its promotional literature, is to “nurture the healing ministry of the Church” and to be guided by “fidelity to the Gospel.” Toward those ends, Catholic Health facilities seek to follow the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church authored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Those rules have stirred controversy for decades, mainly for forbidding non-natural birth control and abortions. “Catholic health care ministry witnesses to the sanctity of life ‘from the moment of conception until death,’” the directives state. “The Church’s defense of life encompasses the unborn.”

So far so good right?  Here’s where it gets hypocritical-

But when it came to mounting a defense in the Stodghill case, Catholic Health’s lawyers effectively turned the Church directives on their head. Catholic organizations have for decades fought to change federal and state laws that fail to protect “unborn persons,” and Catholic Health’s lawyers in this case had the chance to set precedent bolstering anti-abortion legal arguments. Instead, they are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights.

As Jason Langley, an attorney with Denver-based Kennedy Childs, argued in one of the briefs he filed for the defense, the court “should not overturn the long-standing rule in Colorado that the term ‘person,’ as is used in the Wrongful Death Act, encompasses only individuals born alive. Colorado state courts define ‘person’ under the Act to include only those born alive. Therefore Plaintiffs cannot maintain wrongful death claims based on two unborn fetuses.”

That’s right- the hospital is claiming that the unborn aren’t people.  All for the sake of money.  The hospital thinks the unborn aren’t people at all- when it suits them.  When it comes to money.    That’s sickening.

But that’s not the only thing that’s sickening in this story for the truth is, lots of folk who SUPPORT abortion are jumping on the ‘attack the hospital’ bandwagon- happily pointing out the hypocrisy here inherent while simultaneously encouraging the murder of the unborn themselves.  Yes indeed, they dislike the hypocrisy of the Catholics but don’t see their own hypocrisy as manifested in their faux outrage.  If they were really outraged they would be outraged at abortion itself and not at one of the far too many willing to allow it for the sake of filthy lucre.

This Is What Happens When Catholics Become the Majority of a City like Zurich

The other day I lamented the tragic fact that in Zurich Catholics now outnumber the Reformed.  What does it mean?  Stuff like this!

The Swiss city of Zurich is to open drive-in sex boxes in an attempt to rid the town of street prostitution. Zurich council has approved a plan to build the boxes, which will, it hopes, provide a discreet location for prostitutes and their clients to conduct business when they open in August next year. Located in an industrial area of the city, the row of garage-like boxes will have roofs and walls for privacy, and easy access for cars. The council estimates that around 30 prostitutes will meet clients at the site of the boxes, and use the drive-in slots on a first-come-first-served basis.

[Sic!!!!!][Yes, they actually wrote … use the drive-in slots on a first-come-first-served basis].

Catholics have a long history of frequenting prostitutes (from village clergy through Archbishops) so its no surprise that now that Zurich has a larger Catholic population it would enact nonsense like this. Catholics… for shame!

This Priest Would Have Been Right at Home in 1515…

Proving again that no matter how much things change, they remain the same.

Franciscan priest Father Sime Nimac disappeared after withdrawing the money he had made from selling a piece of Church land near Split without authorisation from the local diocese.  “The property was sold without the explicit written consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority,” the local Catholic Church said in a statement, adding that it had filed a lawsuit to nullify the sale….

Here’s where he resembles his corrupt 16th century brethren (except then they had fast horses, not fast cars)-

The 34-year-old priest reportedly had a reputation for living the good life, with a love of fast cars, good clothes and was often seen with a woman.  “He wasn’t trying to hide it; he went out quite openly with his girlfriend,” Lisana Ostrovickih, a resident of Father Nimac’s former parish in the town of Baska Voda, told the Sata24 news channel. “He was often seen on the beach with her. It was an open secret.”

Oh Those German Catholics

NPR tells us that

Germany’s bishops have a clear message for the country’s 25 million Catholics: The road to heaven requires more than faith and good intentions; it requires tax payments, too.  Last month, German bishops warned that if members of the Catholic Church don’t pay the country’s church tax, they’ll be denied the sacraments — including baptisms, weddings and funerals.

In increasingly secular Europe, Germany is one of the few countries where the state collects a special levy from tax-registered believers and hands it over to three organized faiths.  Registered Catholics, Protestants and Jews pay a surcharge of up to 9 percent on their income. The Catholic Church alone received some $6.5 billion in 2011.  In issuing the stringent new decree, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, the president of the German bishops’ conference, said that not paying taxes for the church is a grave offense, and that sacraments will be banned for those who distance themselves from the church.

Let me summarize this for those not in the Catholic Church in Germany:  pay what you owe the Church or you’re going to hell!   Man, I wish we had that in America for the Baptist church.  Darn German Catholics, they come up with all the fun ideas first….

Zwingli’s Observations on War and Peace

Zwingli writes, masterfully

… We [i.e., speaking in the voice of the Roman Church] wish to seem devoted to peace, even when we hold arms in our hands and live in camp.

So grateful a thing is peace to poor mortals, which yet these persons [i.e., the Roman Catholic Pope and Bishops] are strongly bent upon disturbing. For, the reason they take such pains to pretend that they are seeking peace is that they may meanwhile devour all things with their teeth.

For where peace flourishes, what churches are there, pray, in which they do not make demands like beggars? And if you do not put cakes into their mouths, but refuse, they even hallow a war against you. What princes, pray, for too many years now have refused anything to these Romanists, the bishops and their satellites, that the latter have not declared war upon them?

How often have we seen compacts broken by them! How many myriads of souls have they struck down!

I say nothing of the havoc done to bodies, property, and estates, of the destruction of cities, the ruin of chastity and faithfulness, the extinction of general righteousness, the barbarizing of men’s natures, all of which war brings with it.

Hence it comes that night is unto us instead of vision, that is, that we embrace darkness instead of light. Are we not all blinded to the clear light of truth? And do we not pretend not to see what we really do see? But through whose wiles does this come about? Those of the false prophets, who prophesy for money [that is, the Roman Bishop and his underlings].

Peace, in short, isn’t what Rome desired- it desired money and would do anything for it, including declaring war on all who opposed it. Mutatis mutandis, this is what war is always about- money.

The Boy Scouts Are a Lot Like the Catholic Church: Talk Big When it Comes to Homosexuality, and Shield Pedophiles

When volunteers and employees were suspected of sexually abusing children, Boy Scout officials often didn’t tell police, files from 1970-91 reveal. In many cases they sought to hide the situation. Over two decades, the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public. A Los Angeles Times review of 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign — and helped many cover their tracks. Volunteers and employees suspected of abuse were allowed to leave citing bogus reasons such as business demands, “chronic brain dysfunction” and duties at a Shakespeare festival.

May molesters rot in Satan’s hottest hole in hell.  There, they won’t have any protectors.  And they shouldn’t here.

Satan chewing child molesters

Ouch

The following comment of John Calvin during his lectures on Hosea (2:4) is offered simply for your instruction.  Take it as you will-

Since … apostacy prevails under the Papacy, and has for many ages prevailed, how senseless they are in their boasting, while they would be thought to be the holy Catholic Church, and the elect people of God. For they are all born by wantonness, they are all spurious children. The incorruptible seed is the word of God; but what sort of doctrine have they? It is a spurious seed. Then as to God all the Papists are bastards. In vain then they boast themselves to be the children of God, and that they have the holy Mother Church, for they are born by filthy wantonness.

The Bishop Who Lives Like a Millionaire

He extols the virtues of poverty and humility, but the German bishop of Limburg enjoys first-class flights and a luxurious new living complex. As the truth comes out about their secretive shepherd, local Catholics are threatening to abandon the fold en masse.

The Catholic bishop of Limburg, a small city in western Germany, apparently had noble motives when he boarded a plane to India with his vicar general in mid-January. “We were there to support social projects in and around Bangalore,” Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst reported after his return. They wanted to help children “who worked breaking stones,” he added.

But this man of God didn’t just want to do something good for the poor. He also wanted to do something nice for himself. On the upper deck of a jumbo jet, he and Vicar General Franz Kaspar had made themselves comfortable in the plane’s first-class section, which offers such amenities as champagne, caviar and a bed. “Traveling first class means you should always be able to expect the extraordinary,” Germany’s Lufthansa airline, which Kaspar flew with, promises.

SPIEGEL inquiries about this luxury trip to the slums triggered a flurry of contradictory reports. Questions directed to the diocese press office were answered by a law firm in nearby Frankfurt. The 10-page document contained a cease and desist declaration with a penalty clause forbidding the publication of the claim that the bishop had flown first-class to India — as well as a €1,890.91 ($2,400) bill for the legal warning. The bishop’s lawyer said that the claim “is untrue” and that his client had “flown business class.”

And

Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, 52, doesn’t only embrace luxury when he travels to India to visit poor children and nuns. He also puts a premium on a pleasant standard of living back home in Limburg, one that befits his status. His new, multi-million-euro bishop’s residence right next to the city’s cathedral is about to be finished. But the complex has sparked a mix of amazement, rage and resignation among the 600,000 Catholics in the diocese. Many cannot comprehend how they are supposed to live in want while their bishop splurges.

The Germans won’t tolerate that very long.  Nor should they.

The Catholic Church Pays its Book-Keepers Too Much

This astonishes me. Not because she’s an embezzling thief who stole $900,000 only, but because she was paid $124,000 a year for merely being a book-keeper!  And worst of all, her disgusting ‘rationale’ for stealing all that money!

A finance executive who linked her $900,000 embezzlement from the Philadelphia archdiocese to the church’s sex-abuse scandal was sentenced Friday to two to seven years in prison.  Anita Guzzardi, 42, said she succumbed to gambling and shopping addictions after feeling betrayed by the church over the priest sex-abuse scandal.  Guzzardi had worked at the Roman Catholic archdiocese since she was 20, and was making $124,000 a year as chief financial officer when she was fired last year.

She stole because she was mad because SHE felt betrayed?????  What about all the people SHE betrayed?!?!?!    Sickening.  And she couldn’t live on 124k a year?????  Please.  The Catholic Church has too much money and it pays people too much who don’t need to make huge sums of money.

Catholic Adoration of the Saints: Its Roots According to Calvin

In a fascinating segment of his lectures on Hosea (at 2:8) Calvin writes

As to the word Baal, no doubt the superstitious included under this name all those whom they called inferior gods. No such madness had indeed possessed the Israelites, that they had forgotten that there is but one Maker of heaven and earth. They therefore maintained the truth, that there is some supreme God; but they added their patrons; and this, by common consent, was the practice of all nations. They did not then think that God was altogether robbed of his own glory, when they joined with him patrons or inferior gods. And they called them by a common name, Baalim, or, as it were, patrons. Baal of every kind was a patron. Some render it, husband.

But foolish men, I doubt not, have ever had this superstitious notion, that inferior gods come nearer to men, and are, as it were, mediators between this world and the supreme God. It is the same with the Papists of the present day; they have their Baalim; not that they regard their patrons in the place of God: but as they dread every access to God, and understand not that Christ is a mediator, they betake themselves here and there to various Baalim, that they may procure favour to themselves; and at the same time, whatever honour they show to stones, or wood, or bones of dead men, or to any of their own inventions, they call it the worship of God. Whatever, then, is worshipped by the Papists is Baal: but they have, at the same time, their patrons for their Baalim.

I have set in bold face the most interesting bit of the passage.  Way back in Grad School (MDiv level courses) our Church History Prof, Glenn Miller, informed us that the reason the Medieval church so adored Mary was because women sovereigns were easier for the common folk to approach and so it simply made sense that Catholics would see Mary as playing the same role for Christianity.  Hence, the birth of Mariolotry.

Everything comes from somewhere and there’s just nothing new under the sun.

Aww, Poor Catholics: Their Visions of Mary Aren’t Going to Be Accepted Quite So Easily Anymore

Bummer.  Now all that toast for sale on Ebay with Mary on it will lose its value…

To help bishops determine the credibility of alleged Marian apparitions, the Vatican has translated and published procedural rules from 1978 that had previously been available only in Latin.

The “Norms regarding the manner of proceedings in the discernment of presumed apparitions or revelations” were approved by Pope Paul VI in 1978 and distributed to the world’s bishops, but never officially published or translated into modern languages.

However, over the past three decades, unauthorized translations have appeared around the world, according to U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The doctrinal office “believes it is now opportune to publish these ‘Norms,’ providing translations in the principle languages” so as to “aid the pastors of the Catholic Church in their difficult task of discerning presumed apparitions, revelations, messages or, more generally, extraordinary phenomena of presumed supernatural origin,” the cardinal wrote in a note dated December 2011.

Catholics… you guys crack me up!  Love ya, but ya make me chuckle!

The Dutch Government is Going to Investigate the Catholic Church for Castrating Over 400 Boys

And it should!

The Dutch government has promised to investigate “very serious and shocking” allegations that hundreds of teenage boys and young men were castrated while in the care of the Dutch Roman Catholic Church as a treatment for homosexuality in the 1950s.

And it seems the facts are far worse than revealed a few days ago…

Ivo Opstelten, the Dutch justice minister, told MPs that he would investigate the involvement of the police or the health authorities in alleged cases. “We will get to the bottom of it to the extent the government is concerned,” he said. The investigation follows reports that young men under the age of 21 were surgically castrated “to get rid of homosexuality” while in the care of the Dutch Roman Catholic Church. According to Dutch social historians at least 400 men were castrated in the post-war period up until 1968, over 40 per cent were classed homosexuals. One Dutch psychiatrist with close links to the Catholic Church was known as the “the castrator of the Netherlands”.

400 men and more????? That’s INHUMAN!!!!  Sick.  Sick.  Sick.

Gee, Just When You Think You Can’t Hear Something Worse About the Catholic Church…

You hear something worse.

At least 10 teenage boys or young men under the age of 21 were surgically castrated “to get rid of homosexuality” while in the care of the Dutch Roman Catholic Church in the 1950s.

The gruesome and senseless facts:

Evidence of the castrations has emerged amid controversy that it was not included in the findings of an official investigation into sexual abuse within the church last year. The NRC Handelsblad newspaper identified Henk Heithuis who was castrated in 1956, while a minor, after reporting priests to the police for abusing him in a Catholic boarding home. Joep Dohmen, the investigative journalist who uncovered the Heithuis case, also found evidence of at least nine other castrations. “These cases are anonymous and can no longer be traced,” he said. “There will be many more. But the question is whether those boys, now old men, will want to tell their story.” Mr Heithuis died in a car crash in 1958, two years after being castrated at the age of 20, while under the age of majority, which was then 21. In 1956 he had accused Catholic clergy of sexually abusing him in his Church run care home.

What didn’t the Church of Rome do in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and before and since?

International Conference on the ‘Council of Trent’: Call for Papers

The Catholic University of Leuven invites to submit proposals for the international conference on the Council of Trent, December 2013. On the 4th of December 2013, it will be 450 years since the Council of Trent (1545-1563) was solemnly brought to a close. This Council had an enormous impact on developments in religion and politics, not only in Europe but also beyond.

The international conference, to be held in Leuven from the 4th to the 6th of December 2013, will first shed light on the Tridentine theology and perspective on pastoral care, as the consequence of both the internal struggle to bring about reform within the Catholic Church and the controversy with Protestant Reformation.

Along the same lines, attention will be paid to initiatives subsequently taken by Rome in order to interpret and implement the Council, while at the same time giving shape to the Catholic identity, in confrontation with the Protestant confessions. Further, the conference focuses on three key questions: What kind of changes in the local religious life may be considered as the outcome of the Council? To what degree has the Council contributed, on a European level, to political polarization and confessionalisation? And finally, how were the Tridentine reforms implemented on a more global level, through mission and evangelization?

In each of the above mentioned questions, special attention is given to the contribution of the religious orders, in addition to the interplay between the Catholic and the Protestant Reformation. It is the explicit aim of the conference to bring together junior and senior researchers from different disciplines and confessional backgrounds.

Read more information here or go directly to the Call for Papers.

Via the grand folk at Refo500 (once again).

By the way, if you aren’t familiar with it, the Council of Trent was the Catholic response to the Reformation.  It was essentially the council of retrenchment (since it changed virtually nothing).  A conference on it, at a Catholic University, should nonetheless be quite amazing.