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16 August 2019


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Margaret Steinfels




The Less Caesarist and Calvinist Concepts Condition Rome the Better


I dunno. I think it's a slippery slope. I'm old enough to remember when, post Vatican II, progressive priests consecrated grape juice and hot-dog rolls in an effort to make the Mass more "relevant" ; as well as inviting parishoners to the alter to in effect act as co-consecrators. Additionally there were problems with charismatic study groups inventing/reformulating doctrine with no regard for orthodoxy.


Speaking as a lapsed member of a heretical movement, formed in reaction to the corruption of the 16th century Church of Rome, I do hope that the Church can reform itself and be a more relevant community for the faithful. It seems to me that the Protestant denominations have either "evolved" into politically-correct irrelevance, or devolved into mindless dominionism and deliberate ignorance. But my main concern is that in an world atomised by malign design, where the bonds of community have been deliberately and systematically weakened and destroyed by powerful interests, let us not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Community motivated to transcend selfishness in search of the eternal is critical to humanity, IMHO.

My own spiritual base is re-invented Druidry - I try to put myself on tree time, to feel the spirits of the forest and to foster and protect it. In gratitude for my life on this our only beautiful green planet, gift of our heavenly father's infinite love for all living. Jesus' admonition to love G-d with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself is how we can make heaven on earth, in loving feel the love of the Creator.

Thus endeth today's homily! Back to basics and seek common faith rather than trivial differences of man-invented doctrine.


Roman Catholic church turning into Anglican/Episcopal?

The Twisted Genius

I share your assessment of the upcoming Synod for the Amazon. It won't be a spiritual loss. Undoubtedly, some will be disappointed that the synod won't go far enough and others, like Cardinal Burke, will be disappointed that it goes too far. I'm glad to see this synod build on the message of Laudato Si and move towards the universality of the Church. I see it as a logical progression from Pope Francis' Jesuit teaching of seeing God in all things. Here's the Vatican's preparatory document for this October synod:


One of the first books I read as a youngster was "Jungle Ways" by William Seabrook. It was one of the many books that came with our old house. I know I was drawn to this book because of the photo plates of half naked young African native women, but what struck me most was Seabrook's realization that the culture and mores of the west African tribes he visited made perfect sense for those tribes even though it was topsy turvy from the western culture he came from. This was quite an admission for the 1920s. He came to the conclusion that maybe our society didn't have all the answers and that there was much to learn from people different from ourselves. Seabrook was an odd egg, but he was right in this conclusion.

John Minehan

I agree.

Well thought out.


And not just allowing women deacons: why not women priests? And these changes are surely as much to be welcomed in the developed world. I cannot give an assessment of the health of the church in North America, but I can say that in Europe, from Ireland to Poland, and from Belgium to Sicily, the Church (i.e.the Catholic church) is dying. Aged shrinking congregations, dreary dull routine Masses, vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life in the orders reduced to a trickle, achingly uninspiring dull sermons, tired inaudible prayers from the celebrants, mumbled responses by the congregations, closed down churche buildings, Catholic schools having to recruit non Catholics, non Christians even, in order to maintain numbers, and a dearth of Catholic teachers. As it was in the beginning, no longer is it now, and probably never shall be again for ever and ever.....


Here in Ireland, the Church had too much power and influence, and so it was corrupted. Furthermore, it deluded itself through surveys of Mass attendance to give itself comfort that things were not at all too bad. And then the scandals began to break.

I am not so much scandalised by the abuses of priests against children, as that is the story of humanity. Inevitably, there are those who seek to insinuate themselves into positions of trust wherein they will have access to children. Some will almost certainly succeed. No, the real betrayal and scandal was the hierarchical church leaders hiding and shielding these perverts by moving them around to new ground, where they could continue their predations so as to avoid giving scandal. The excuse sometimes given that the Church needed protection from scandal.

One very popular charismatic Bishop here, was outed as the father of her child by his former lover, a young troubled woman from the US who had been entrusted to his care. When the story broke, he disappeared overnight, instead of facing up to his people in Galway and asking their forgiveness for his hypocrisy.

Another, a Cardinal, tried to cover up his lies by claiming that he mentally held a "mental reservation", which apparently allows a prelate to mislead and then not correct the impression created by the deliberate intent to mislead.

I don't believe the Catholic Church is finished, as Jesus said the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. However, the institutional church is failing today, when it is so badly needed, because it is not dealing with the challenge of its past failures. It needs to swallow a massive dose of humility and get back out there on the streets and preach the Gospel, most especially in practical ways, by example.

In this, my country, even basic decency, self-respect and respect for others is so often derided, and all too many, especially, but not exclusively young people, cheer on the increasing celebration of degeneracy and proof that we are as good as our Anglo-American betters, that we so long were in awe of in our national inferiority complex. Those who disagree openly but respectfully in conversation with the "liberal" agenda, are openly scorned and rejected. There is no longer civilised discussion and respect for those holding non liberal views. Those who most demand tolerance being the most intolerant.

Perhaps the answer is the Benefict option?

John Merryman

From a logical point of view, the fallacy of monotheism is that a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which we rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell. The light shining through, than the images on the film. Consciousness seeking knowledge, than any form or brand of it.
A book I may have recommended here in the past is Gilbert Murray's; The Five Stages of Greek Religion.
One of the premises of his varied books is that to the Ancients, there was no distinction between religion and government, between culture and civics. So monotheism equated with monarchy, as in one god, one ruler. While pan and polytheisms equated with varieties of democracy and republicanism. That The West settled on a form of monotheism, in Trinitarianism, was an attempt to bridge that gap.
While monotheism might seem dated, we very much live in its monist shadow, as we seek some universal bottom line in a reality that is more about thermodynamic feedback and the resulting balance of opposites.
Maybe in the process of the approaching geopolitical, economic and environmental storm, we might go back and review some of the cultural cobwebs clouding our vision. Nodes and networks, between the absolute and the infinite.


I would have thought or perhaps I hoped that by now the Pope would have taken steps to introduce the Latin Rite Catholic church to the notion of married priests. Like their Orthodox counterparts, parish priests in the Eastern Catholic rites, can marry [or more accurately, a married man can become a priest.] And, or course, Anglican priests may become Catholic priests without having to leave their marriages.

Pope Francis knows this well, as during his service in Argentina, he oversaw the parishes of the Eastern Catholic rites as they did not have their own patriarchs there. The church has made clear that celibacy, which does have a long history, is not a law, per se, but what they call "a discipline." Therefore, the real barrier to making its application to the Latin Rite Church is really a cultural tradition.


No consideration given to reforming/dismantling the Church's hierarchical power system is herein recommended.

Without this other changes will just change the flavour of the impersonal Roman tyranny.

Maybe the RC Church is simply being willfully destroyed from within?


Well hopefully they take their time in prayer so thoughts can developed in how they will be bringing back all of us lapsed Catholics who are considered to be living in sin though still children of God. My little story revolves around the guilt my wife of 40 plus years and I share as we live in sin, so says the church. As my wife lying in a hospital bed a few years back when the local priest was moving from room to room bringing the Eucharist to all she on her turn brings up her guilt in that her husband was married in the church in his first First short lived marriage and she was married by a local judge in her marriage to I. Going on that an Annulment will not work as the children of the first marriage bring up “what does that make us”.......cutting it short the Priest refuses the sacrament politely and storms out of the room with his head held high while tears stream from our eyes. We all have burdens but hopefully the Holy Spirt sheds a little light on this problem so some openness develops in the ranks.

Sisters of Mercy

Sliding into Marxism or not, we fear, is up to the 3rd World people to decide, not to any of you, nor to The Church.

Joseph Moroco

"The walls of hell are lined with birettas." Saint Alphonsus de' Liguori


Sisters of mercy

Oh, BS. We are talking here about the church not the masses of 3rd World People.


Brazil`s government is pretty happy with that Synod.


It is being monitored by our (weak) intel agencies, and that went all the way to the president.

It also is more food for the protestant churchs in the country.

Sisters of Mercy

Then, we correct, slidding into Marxism is up to The Church, who, as Jesus claimed, are we all...

Our Engish is not good....


Hi john would you consider gravity as creator for a universal bottom line.

John Minehan

The same rule pertains to priests of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches "coming over to Rome" and (I believe) Lutheran Pastors as well.


SoM (supposed)

Entonces, escriban en espanol, es una lengua muy facil a comprender.

English Outsider

Some of those married Anglican clergymen who transferred did so because the Church of England allowed women to be ordained.

Some did so because the image of the Anglican Church - to the layman, I can't speak for how it is from inside - is that is has become politicised. Progressivism is de rigeur, it is more politically correct even than the secular politically correct, and - again from what the layman sees - theology has been sidelined in favour of straight Social Justice causes.

And it suffers from the same inconsistencies as do all Progressives. Concern is expressed for those suffering in Syria but I have seen no outcry, from Archbishop Welby downwards, against the causes of that suffering. And yet these are many of them establishment figures and must know what is happening. Whited sepulchres, and self-righteous with it.

As Social Justice Warriors also I do not find them adequate. There is an argument that the Church should not intervene in politics but if it does so it should intervene sincerely and not merely for virtue signalling.

The institution has succumbed to "managementitis". The oddballs - and the holy are often oddballs - are being successfully weeded out. The abolition of clergy freehold leads to the employment of the safe and conventional -

"On February 15, 2005, the General Synod of the Church of England decided to abolish the system of parson's freehold, gradually replacing it with a system entitled common tenure, which would apply to all clerics equally, removing the present distinction between those with freehold and those without. Under common tenure, the present proposal is that parsonages would pass to the diocese. Furthermore, such clergy would undergo assessment procedures to ensure that they are performing their function adequately, and parishioners would have further rights to those enjoyed under the Clergy Discipline Measure to complain about their parish priests." (Wiki)

Looks sensible and many think it overdue, but it imposes conformity. The "Anglo-Catholic" wing is succumbing to the evangelical wing and the old balance between the two is going.

Still many fine priests around, young and old. I meet them. The dwindling congregations consist of pleasant enough people too. But the general tendency is for the Church to become a hollowed out simulacrum of its former self. What is left of that once glorious sprawling mess of a Church, often infuriating but always alive, is finding its rightful place in modern England as the pallid handmaiden of the Left and the obsequious support of the elite.

The Catholics - not so far gone it seems. But they are subject to the same pressures too. And the outcry about paedophile priests, that I see glanced at above - yes, it's thoroughly justified. Yes, the Church failed itself and those in its care abominably. But it would be more seemly if those who use it as a stick to beat the Church with directed their ire at other but better protected targets with equal vigour.


FWLIW, I totally agree. The Church must serve the spiritual and secular needs of the people, and in that order. Christ washed feet. The message is clear. The Word is a gift, not a burden.

John Merryman

Think of galaxies as a cosmic convection cycle, of energy radiating out, as mass/form coalesces in. Yet there seems to be a lot of missing mass, for the amount of gravitational attraction. So what if the collapse/condense side of this cycle extends all the way out to where photons first form out of waves/fields of the expanding light, such that both sides of this cycle balance. Then gravity would not so much be a property of mass, as mass is the heavier end of the spectrum of this collapse/condensation. Then the missing contraction is not due to invisible mass, but contraction further out in the radiological spectrum.
We have the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems to process the energy driving us on, along with the central nervous system, processing the information precipitating out. As societies are the dichotomy of organic social energies pushing up, as civil and cultural forms coalesce in. Youth and age, liberal and conservative. It is just that as we as our culture is narrative based and goal oriented, both sides see themselves on the right path and those going the other way as fools, without seeing the overall dynamic.
A large part of our myopia is that we narratively view time as the point of the present, moving past to future, when it is change that turns future to past. tomorrow becomes yesterday, because the earth turns.
So process goes past to future, as the patterns generated go future to past. Consciousness goes past to future, while thoughts go future to past. As lives go birth to death, while life moves onto the next generation, shedding the old. The feedback is the patterns define and direct the process. Motor and steering.
My point in briefly drawing in all these other analogies, is to support the premise that it's thermodynamics all the way down and gravity is just a name of part of one side of the cycle.
Black holes are really just the eye of the storm. Thermodynamic cycles, between the absolute and the infinite.
If you remove all physical properties from space, the non-physical qualities of infinity and equilibrium remain. Infinity, as nothing to bound it and equilibrium is implicit in GR, as the frame with the longest ruler and fastest clock is closest to the equilibrium of the vacuum, the absolute zero of unmoving space.
So yes, you are right. Gravity does point towards that big zero at the center, where everything cancels out, aka black hole. But we don't want our political systems to think that is the ultimate goal, rather one side of the spectrum, between anarchy and tyranny.

John Minehan

Some earlier thoughts on the issue https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ordaining-women-catholic-church-thought-change-john-minehan/.

The major issues may be more political than spiritual.

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