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10 October 2019


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Pope Francisco is fresh air for the Catholic church, much needed in places where she has lost terrain to the evangelical push like in Latin America. He is welcomed in Spain also, where most of the population is baptized but not practicing any more. The remnants are too conservative, Opus Dei types, they are opposing the exhumation of our late dictator Franco, after a long court battle up to the Supreme Court, the Vatican is not opposed, but the dominican prior is, the final stage of the long battle is coming and it will make international noise. It is amazing that some in the church favour the pharaonic burial site of a filonazi dictator with over thirty thousand of his victims, a burial site built with slave prisoner labour and a totalitarian architectural style. I wish good luck to Pope Francisco, he will need it.

Eric Newhill

There are still some gnostics around. I am one of them.

To us Jesus was a man who was able to set his ego aside so completely that he was filled, like an empty vessel, with aspects of God. God chose to use him because he was so well suited for the task. Jesus was a medium. What he communicated was the unadulterated Word of God. Not everything that God is; just aspects of God that humanity needs to hear and live by and that we can comprehend. There is much more to God that is beyond our capacity to comprehend or use in this life on earth. In other realms there are other bearers of different aspects of God that are helpful and comprehensible in those realms.

Harlan Easley

How is the Son of God God himself?


Harlan Easley

Far too cryptic.

Dave Schuler

It's been a long time since I studied this but my recollection is that Mark is the oldest of the gospels and was used as source material by Matthew and Luke along with a now-lost "sayings of Jesus" work called Q plus additional source material unique to each (called M and L, respectively).

The Twisted Genius

Jane, good point about dogs going to heaven. A remember Father O'Dea, our parish pastor, talking with a bunch of my friends under one of our maples. A friend asked if our pets went to heaven. Father O'Dea didn't miss a beat. He told us that Heaven is paradise and if paradise meant we would be reunited with our pets, he saw no reason why they wouldn't greet us when we got there. I don't think Father O'Dea was a heretic.

I know that many Lithuanians still kept some of the old pagan beliefs when they eventually converted to Catholicism. After all these generations, my father and I firmly believe all God's creatures have souls or spirits and that spirits inhabit many places. I guess we're both heretics.

Pacifica Advocate

One cannot be a human if one knows oneself is a god.

Babak Makkinejad

A Muslim could reply to your question that True Injil is lost, since the Gospels correspond to Sunnah of Prophet and not the Quran.


Babak very like what the Jews say.

Babak Makkinejad

The Good News has been the forgiveness of sins; an inconvenient and inconceivable idea with Muslim Tradition.


Incredible, what an era!
The pope is a heretic, even schismatic.
Soon a rehearsal of the Council of Constance (1412-1418)? Who to burn?

Constance = Konstanz (Germany) near Kreuzlingen (Switzerland)


Some thoughts i had on various possibilities of spirituality and our place on this earth.Also connects to a post here not so long ago on some trees in a forest.In my mind the abrahamic relegions have led people away from our spiritual connection to the earth and nature much to our detriment.The pope's stance on the amazon is a good start but more needs to be done.

I believe that home is where the heart is,but it is quite possible to have more than one home ,just as the weaver bird builds a new home each year to raise its young.

As i stood under the old mulberry tree watching the weaver birds building their elaborate nests i wondered why we humans cannot abandon our nests each year and move on like the weavers birds.
I surmised that it is memories that construct the homes where our hearts reside,even if the reality is very different.

In the tradition of the great kabbalist isaac luria.

When the soul leaves the body it chooses a suitable tree and occupies a tree with access to both the world above and below and resides there in its new home.
There it joins the cycle of life.One should always endeavor to plant at least one tree in your short life on this sacred earth so the souls of dead have a place to reside.Just as the living reside in houses made from dead trees so do the souls of the dead reside in houses made of living trees.


this is still ongoing? Grasped bits an pieces.

I wish good luck to Pope Francisco
me too


One cannot be a human if one knows oneself is a god.

Who does, or suggested something similiar on this thread?



You need to close the italics

Diana C

Gnosticism was always considered a heresy.

I'll have to review the history. I remember a story about St. Augustine's mother, St. Monica, who shed so many tears over her son's early loose living and dabbling in Gnosticism. The Pope's answer was something to the effect that no son of a mother who shed so many tears over him would not be saved. As I said, I'm typing just from memory.


No, you both are wise beyond the "wisdom" of those who think God can be boxed in. Nicholas of Cusa said, "God is a circle whose center is everywhere & circumference nowhere". Transcendent/imminent...

Diana C

It's getting very deep on this thread. Here are some of my simple (from my Protestant background) explanations of the two ideas that have helped me understand the Triune God: God in Three Persons. God created mankind, using Adam as the first example. He gave us free will, which we used to commit the sin that infects us. Using the once popular way of tying ideas from the Old to New Testament (Typology is, I believe, what it was called), we say that through one man's sin we all inherited sin, and through one man we could all be saved. That man would be Jesus (the man and the Christ).

(The Catholics, came up with the idea of immaculate conception to explain the virgin birth. Mary was born through immaculate conception. I remember that the engineers I worked with at a computer storage manufacturing company used to call a "mother board" Mary as a joke of some kind. But I digress.) I just accepted the biblical explanation of the angel's announcing to Mary that she would carry God's child, though she was still a virgin. An angel also announced John the Baptist's birth about the same time.)

Jesus as he walked on earth performed miracles that could only be explained by some special divinity, if you ask me.

Christ's (Jesus's) appearing to Mary in the open tomb, Christ's blinding of Saul who became the Apostle Paul, the Ascension of Christ as several of the apostles witnessed and many other miracles described in the New Testament all seem proof to believers of Jesus's double nature while on earth.

God's Triune nature was shown completely at Pentecost when the Spirit, the Advocate, the Comforter or what other term you want to use for the "still small voice" arrives, as Christ Jesus had promised.

If a person believes and if that person's life experiences give witness to the truth of the nature of God as three persons in one God, that is all that is necessary for me to understand Jesus as the Son of God.

Anyone can think he/she can explain my belief in some psychological way he or she wants.

I believed early as a young child, the minute I was introduced to it in Sunday School. And they often say that children can believe what is hard for adults to believe. My belief has always seemed justified throughout my now pretty long life. And I often felt sorry for people who did not believe. They seemed to get themselves into many unpleasant and painful situations. My belief even during some very emotionally painful periods of my life kept me strong and determined to live through them, and that was especially helped by the Spirit.

If God could be easily understood, there would be no need for us to search for God in our lives, to strive to know God. God has always wanted a relationship with us, so He wants us to question and search.

My mother's family were Lutheran. My father's family were from a Huguenot/Pietist tradition, with some Baptist infusion later on.

We attended an Evangelical Congregationalist church--where I am now still a member-as that was the denomination that was able to provide us a German-speaking pastor. Most of our families came out of Russia but spoke German. Until all the older people died, I heard a sermon in German and then one in English. We sang out of the Volga Gesangbuch, some singing in German and some in English. I had to attend a little over seven months's of Saturday confirmation school until I was confirmed in the church at 14. We were asked questions from the catechism as we sat in front of the church on Palm Sunday. Then we were deemed knowledgeable and prepared enough to be able to take Holy Communion. And to refer to one person who commented here, we had to be able to recite the Ten Commandments as well as the Sermon on the Mount.


Yes, Fred I noticed, but considering matters statistically, I have to admit it felt slightly unlikely. Once in while, but constantly?

On the other hand, considering repetitions in communications?

Should I worry about watching it? After all what exactly made me change M to K or M.B. to K.B. and Russia to Russian? Made a lot of difference after all.


Diana, wasn't the problem mother-and-son-wise Manichaeism? At least the legend seems to tell us. A variation only? I wonder?

Other then that the mother had problems of her own, as the legend tells us?


Ever read Augustine?


The Orthodox Bishop who taught me told me that it is possible that animals will also go to heaven.

Diana C

As I understand it Manichaeism was an early form leading to Gnosticism. It becomes very confusing. In either case, neither would not have been accepted then by the church. As far as St. Monica is concerned, all I can say is that somehow she became a saint. I leave that to the Catholics.

In regard to the issue that started this whole discussion--the sinful behavior of priests in regard to sexual acts with young children--the one person we studied only briefly who might be pertinent to the discussion was Origen. The rumor was that he literally castrated himself (See Matthew 19:12) since he was teaching young girls and men. Most doubt that is true.

However, mostly our group studied the writings of women, especially women writing during the Middle Ages and later. My favorite was Julian of Norwich. St. Therese of Claivaus (sp?) and St. Terese of Lisieux (sp?0, the Little Flower" were quite interesting. We read St. Bernard also, as we were trying to understand all the various orders of the religious estate: "those who pray" as opposed to "those who work" and "those who fight" while we were reading The Canterbury Tales.

I posted only from my memory of reading about St. Augustine during that time when I was digging deep into these subjects. It was most likely Manichaeism St. Augustine had dabbled in. It too would not have been accepted by the Church.

Diana C

Belief is quite different from Logic. I believe some things that I would never try to explain logically.

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