Parish priest breaks the silence, shares that he is gay
#21
(12-26-2017, 03:24 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: 2.  Your post really does seem to say that there is something "evil" or "wrong" with sexual relations between married couples.  Here are a few of your quotes: "Granted, that married men could become deacons or priests, but that was if they observed afterward perfect continence."  ""Married" priests were not supposed to be having sex. They violated a vow in doing so and committed a grave sin. They were expected to be perfectly continent and live as brother and sister. The abuses often rampant, because it was such a serious and near occasion of grave sin, the Church mandated celibacy, not merely continence."  In other words, a priest had to take a vow of continence and then would commit a sin by having relations with his lawful wife.  This was contrary to scriptural instruction. (1 Cor. 7:5)  

I am not Magister, but will respond to all this stuff.

In no way did Magister imply that there is a thing evil or wrong with sexual relations between married people. There is something wrong, though, with sexual relations with a priest before offering a sacrifice, let alone THE Sacrifice. This was the way things were in Old Testament times, and it is the way things are in the New Covenant. This is the apostolic practice, maintained by the Roman Church. 

OT priests had to refrain from sex before offering their sacrifices, and NT priests do the same. NT priests, however, offer the Sacrifice daily. Hence, perpetual continence, and, ergo, celibacy.

Re. 1 Corinthians 7:1-5: "Now concerning the thing whereof you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. But for fear of fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render the debt to his wife, and the wife also in like manner to the husband.  The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband. And in like manner the husband also hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud not one another, except, perhaps, by consent, for a time, that you may give yourselves to prayer; and return together again, lest Satan tempt you for your incontinency." 

-- obviously, that pertains to non-priests, as do all laws pertaining to marriage. Keep reading:

I Corinthians 7:6-8: "But I speak this by indulgence, not by commandment. For I would that all men were even as myself: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that. But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I.

I Corinthians 7:33: "But he that is with a wife, is solicitous for the things of the world, how he may please his wife: and he is divided."



Luke 18:18-30

And a certain ruler asked him, saying: Good master, what shall I do to possess everlasting life?  

And Jesus said to him: Why dost thou call me good? None is good but God alone. Thou knowest the commandments: Thou shalt not kill: Thou shalt not commit adultery: Thou shalt not steal: Thou shalt not bear false witness: Honour thy father and mother.

Who said: All these things have I kept from my youth. 

Which when Jesus had heard, he said to him: Yet one thing is wanting to thee: sell all whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. 

He having heard these things, became sorrowful; for he was very rich.  

And Jesus seeing him become sorrowful, said: How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God. For it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

And they that heard it, said: Who then can be saved? 

He said to them: The things that are impossible with men, are possible with God.  

Then Peter said: Behold, we have left all things, and have followed thee. 

Who said to them: Amen, I say to you, there is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,  Who shall not receive much more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.


Matthew 19:9-11

And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery. 

His disciples say unto him: If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry.

Who said to them: All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given.


Matthew 19:28-30

And Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, that you, who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting. And many that are first, shall be last: and the last shall be first.



Tertullian, A.D. 160 - 240, Prescription against Heretics, Chapter 40 - shows that he accuses followers of Mithra of copying Christians in their sexual continence:

The question will arise, By whom is to be interpreted the sense of the passages which make for heresies? By the devil, of course, to whom pertain those wiles which pervert the truth, and who, by the mystic rites of his idols, vies even with the essential portions of the sacraments of God. He, too, baptizes some — that is, his own believers and faithful followers; he promises the putting away of sins by a laver (of his own); and if my memory still serves me, Mithra there, (in the kingdom of Satan,) sets his marks on the foreheads of his soldiers; celebrates also the oblation of bread, and introduces an image of a resurrection , and before a sword wreathes a crown. What also must we say to (Satan's) limiting his chief priest to a single marriage? He, too, has his virgins; he, too, has his proficients in continence. 



St. Cyril of Jerusalem A.D. 315-386, Catechetical Lectures 12:25

For it became Him who is most pure, and a teacher of purity, to have come forth from a pure bride-chamber. For if he who well fulfils the office of a priest of Jesus abstains from a wife, how should Jesus Himself be born of man and woman? For thou, says He in the Psalms, art He that took Me out of the womb. Mark that carefully, He that took Me out of the womb, signifying that He was begotten without man, being taken from a virgin's womb and flesh. For the manner is different with those who are begotten according to the course of marriage.



Council of Elvira, A.D. 306, Canon XXXIII

Bishops, presbyters, deacons, and others with a position in the ministry are to abstain completely from sexual intercourse with their wives and from the procreation of children.  If anyone disobeys, he shall be removed from the clerical office.



Council of Nicaea, A.D. 325, Canon III

The great Council has stringently forbidden any bishop, priest, deacon, or any of the clergy, to have a woman living with him, except a mother, sister, aunt, or some such person who is beyond all suspicion.




Directa Decretal of Pope Siricius, A.D. 10 February 385

VII. ...Plurimos enim sacerdotes Christi atque levitas post longa consecrationis suae tempora tam de conjugibus propriis, quam etiam de turpi coitu sobolem didicimus procreasse: et crimen suum hac praescriptione defendere, qua in Veteri Testamento sacerdotibus ac ministris generandi facultas legitur attributa. Dicat mihi nunc, quisquis ille est sectator libidinum, praeceptorque vitiorum, si aestimat quia in lege Mosis passim sacris ordinibus a Domino nostro laxata sunt frena luxuriae, cur eos quibus committebantur sancta sanctorum praemonet dicens: Sancti estote, quia et ego sanctus  sum Dominus Deus vester (Levit. XX)?


 
Canon III, Council of Carthage 387 or 390

Aurelius the bishop said:  When at the past council the matter on continency and chastity was considered, those three grades, which by a sort of bond are joined to chastity by their consecration, to wit bishops, presbyters, and deacons, so it seemed that it was becoming that the sacred rulers and priests of God as well as the Levites, or those who served at the divine sacraments, should be continent altogether, by which they would be able with singleness of heart to ask what they sought from the Lord:  so that what the apostles taught and antiquity kept, that we might also keep.



Council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451, Canon 14 shows that even readers and cantors weren't allowed to marry in some places:

Since in certain provinces readers and cantors have been allowed to marry, the sacred synod decrees that none of them is permitted to marry a wife of heterodox views. If those thus married have already had children, and if they have already had the children baptised among heretics, they are to bring them into the communion of the catholic church. If they have not been baptised, they may no longer have them baptised among heretics; nor indeed marry them to a heretic or a Jew or a Greek, unless of course the person who is to be married to the orthodox party promises to convert to the orthodox faith. If anyone transgresses this decree of the sacred synod, let him be subject to canonical penalty.



St. Ambrose, A.D. 340-397, Epistle LXIII, 62

And that we may observe that divine grace rather than human works in priests, of the many rods which Moses had received according to the Tribes, and had laid up, that of Aaron alone blossomed. And so the people saw that the gift of the Divine vocation is to be looked for in a priest, and ceased from claiming equal grace for a human choice though they had before thought that a similar prerogative belonged to themselves. But what else does that rod show, but that priestly grace never decays, and in the deepest lowliness has in its office the flower of the power committed to it, or that this also is refered to in mystery?

Nor do we think that it was without a purpose that this took place near the end of the life of Aaron the priest. It seems to be shown that the ancient people, full of decay through the oldness of the long-continued unfaithfulness of the priests, being fashioned again in the last times to zeal in faith and devotion by the example of the Church, will again send forth with revived grace its flowers dead through so many ages.

But what does this signify, that after Aaron was dead, the Lord commanded, not the whole people, but Moses alone, who is among the priests, to clothe Aaron's son Eleazar with the priest's garments, except that we should understand that priest must consecrate priest, and himself clothe him with the vestments, that is, with priestly virtues; and then, if he has seen that nothing is wanting to him of the priestly garments, and that all things are perfect, should admit him to the sacred altars. For he who is to supplicate for the people ought to be chosen of God and approved by the priests, lest there be anything which might give serious offense in him whose office it is to intercede for the offenses of others. For the virtue of a priest must be of no ordinary kind, since he has to guard not only from nearness to greater faults, but even the very least. He must also be prompt to have pity, not recall a promise, restore the fallen, have sympathy with pain, preserve meekness, love piety, repel or keep down anger, must be as it were a trumpet to excite the people to devotion, or to soothe them to tranquillity.

It is an old saying: Accustom yourself to be consistent, that your life may set forth as it were a picture, always preserving the same representation which it has received. How can he be consistent who at one time is inflamed by anger, at another blazes up with fierce indignation, whose face now burns, and now again is changed to paleness, varying and changing color every moment? But let it be so, let it be natural for one to be angry, or that there is generally a cause, it is a man's duty to restrain anger, and not to be carried away like a lion by fury, so as not to know to be quieted, not to spread tales, nor to embitter family quarrels; for it is written: A wrathful man digs up sin. Proverbs 15:18 He will not be consistent who is double-minded; he cannot be consistent who cannot restrain himself when angry, as to which David well says: Be angry and sin not. He does not govern his anger, but indulges his natural disposition, which a man cannot indeed prevent but may moderate. Therefore even though we are angry, let our passion admit only such emotion as is according to nature, not sin contrary to nature. For who would endure that he should not be able to govern himself, who has undertaken to govern others?

And so the Apostle has given a pattern, saying that a bishop must be blameless, 1 Timothy 3:2 and in another place: A bishop must be without offense, as a steward of God, not proud, not soon angry, not given to wine, not a striker, not greedy of filthy lucre. Titus 1:7 For how can the compassion of a dispenser of alms and the avarice of a covetous man agree together?

I have set down these things which I have been told are to be avoided, but the Apostle is the Master of virtues, and he teaches that gainsayers are to be convicted with patience, Titus 1:9 who lays down that one should be the husband of a single wife, Titus 1:6 not in order to exclude him from the right of marriage (for this is beyond the force of the precept), but that by conjugal chastity he may preserve the grace of his baptismal washing; nor again that he may be induced by the Apostle's authority to beget children in the priesthood; for he speaks of having children, not of begetting them, or marrying again.



St. Jerome, A.D. 340-420, Against Jovinianus, Book I, 35

35. The bishop, then, must be without reproach, so that he is the slave of no vice: the husband of one wife, that is, in the past, not in the present; sober, or better, as it is in the Greek, vigilant, that is νηφάλεονchaste, distinguished, both by chastity and conduct: hospitable, so that he imitates Abraham, and with strangers, nay rather in strangers, entertains Christ; apt to teach, for it profits nothing to enjoy the consciousness of virtue, unless a man be able to instruct the people entrusted to him, so that he can exhort in doctrine, and refute the gainsayers; not a drunkard, for he who is constantly in the Holy of Holies and offers sacrifices, will not drink wine and strong drink, since wine is a luxury. If a bishop drink at all, let it be in such a way that no one will know whether he has drunk or not. No striker, that is, a striker of men's consciences, for the Apostle is not pointing out what a boxer, but a pontiff ought not to do. He directly teaches what he ought to do: but gentle, not contentious, no lover of money, one that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all chastity. See what chastity is required in a bishop!...

36.  But you will say: If everybody were a virgin, what would become of the human race? Like shall here beget like. If everyone were a widow, or continent in marriage, how will mortal men be propagated? Upon this principle there will be nothing at all for fear that something else may cease to exist. To put a case: if all men were philosophers, there would be no husbandmen. Why speak of husbandmen? There would be no orators, no lawyers, no teachers of the other professions. If all men were leaders, what would become of the soldiers? If all were the head, whose head would they be called, when there were no other members? You are afraid that if the desire for virginity were general there would be no prostitutes, no adulteresses, no wailing infants in town or country. Every day the blood of adulterers is shed, adulterers are condemned, and lust is raging and rampant in the very presence of the laws and the symbols of authority and the courts of justice. Be not afraid that all will become virgins: virginity is a hard matter, and therefore rare, because it is hard: Many are called, few chosen. 



Background: The Nicolaitans were spoken of in the Apocalypse, and below is what Epiphanius of Salamis had to say about them.


Apocalypse 2:1-6

Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write: These things saith he, who holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks:  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil, and thou hast tried them, who say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:  And thou hast patience, and hast endured for my name, and hast not fainted.  But I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first charity.  Be mindful therefore from whence thou art fallen: and do penance, and do the first works. Or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou do penance. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaites, which I also hate.

Apocalypse 2:11-15

He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: He that shall overcome, shall not be hurt by the second death. And to the angel of the church of Pergamus write: These things, saith he, that hath the sharp two edged sword: I know where thou dwellest, where the seat of Satan is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith. Even in those days when Antipas was my faithful witness, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have against thee a few things: because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat, and to commit fornication: So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaites.


Epiphanius of Salamis, A.D. 310/320-403, The Panarion, Part 25 (Epiphanius Against the Nicolaitans)

1:1 Nicolaus was one of the seven deacons chosen by the apostles, together with the saint and first martyr Stephen, and Prochorus, Parmenas and the others.

1:2 He was from Antioch and became a proselyte. But after that he received the message of the proclamation of Christ, joined the disciples himself, and was at first ranked among the foremost. He was thus included among the ones who were chosen at the time to care for the widows.

1:3 Later, however, the devil slipped into him and deceived his heart with the same imposture of the ancients whom we have been discussing, so that he was more severely wounded than the ones before him.

1:4 Though he had a beautiful wife he had refrained from intercourse with her, as though in emulation of those whom he saw devoting themselves to God. He persevered for a while but could not bear to control his incontinence till the end. Instead, desiring to return like a dog to its vomit, he kept looking for poor excuses and inventing them in defence of his own intemperate passion. (Being ashamed and repenting would have done him more good!) Then, failing of his purpose, he simply began having sex with his wife.

1:5 But because he was ashamed of his defeat and suspected that he had been found out, he ventured to say, 'Unless one copulates every day, he has no part in eternal life.'

1:6 For he had shifted from one pretence to another. Seeing that his wife was unusually beautiful and yet bore herself with modesty, he envied her. And, supposing that everyone was as lascivious as he, he began by constantly being offensive to his wife and making certain slanderous charges against her in speeches. And at length he degraded himself not only to normal sexual activity but to a blasphemous opinion, the harm of perverse teaching, and the deceit of the covert introduction of wickedness.

2:1 And from this source the founders of what is falsely termed 'Knowledge' began their evil sprouting in the world—I mean the people who are called Gnostics and Phibionites, the so-called disciples of Epiphanes, the Stratiotics, Levitics, Borborites and the rest. For each of these, in attracting his own sect with his own passions, invented countless ways of doing evil...

4:8 ...For the sake of their lustfulness they have destroyed, and are destroying, both themselves and whomever they can convince.



The point is that clerical celibacy is rooted in the Apostolic demand for clerical continence. This isn't some made-up law. Even the Council in Trullo, A.D. 692, an Eastern Council not accepted by the Roman Church, acknowledges that the Roman Church holds that "those who are deemed worthy to be advanced to the diaconate or presbyterate should promise no longer to cohabit with their wives." It also acknowledges that it is "meet that they who assist at the divine altar should be absolutely continent when they are handling holy things, in order that they may be able to obtain from God what they ask in sincerity." In the West, the Sacrifice is offered DAILY.


(12-26-2017, 03:24 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Moreover, what of the near occasion of grave sin that happens for many celibate men when they wake up every morning?  I bet having wife right there when they wake up makes it much less a near occasion of sin than having no one there at all. 
 
Morning erections are only an occasion of sin if one dwells on them.
 
(12-26-2017, 03:24 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: (I venture to say that self-abuse is just as rampant today among the clergy as married priests returning to their wives was back then.  Which one is worse?  Which one is more unnatural?)  Again, I had the image as I read your post that suddenly something I hold as very beautiful and to be a gift from God was to be viewed as dirty and shameful and something that married priests were not supposed to be doing because it was so dirty and shameful.  Yet, the implication of your post is contrary to what the Roman Church currently teaches.  But I am uncharitable because I point this out?  Am I uncharitable because I point out how much it reflects a Gnostic mindset which rejects the goodness of the physical body?  Is your view more correct than the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church?  Unfortunately, again we disagree.
 
I think you're revealing more about yourself than you are relating about self-abuse among clergy. It really is possible to be sexually continent. Priests aren't refraining from sex because it's dirty or shameful, but because they are called to perfection. Salvation and perfection are two different things. 

You were being uncharitable when assuming that Magister implied at all that marital sex is dirty. He most certainly does not think that. At all. But just because something is good, not dirty, not shameful, etc., doesn't mean it's allowed to a given individual. Driving is good, not dirty, and not shameful, too, but we don't allow 10-year olds to do it. Sex isn't dirty, but we don't condone the unmarried doing it. Making a living is good and not shameful, but giving up money for the cause of perfection is better:

Quote:In Matthew 19:16-30, Jesus is asked how to be saved. He answers. And then He also reveals what we must do to be perfect -- two different things:

And behold one came and said to him: Good master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting? Who said to him: Why asketh thou Me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 

The young man saith to him: All these I have kept from my youth, what is yet wanting to me? Jesus saith to him: If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow Me. And when the young man had heard this word, he went away sad: for he had great possessions. 

Then Jesus said to His disciples: Amen, I say to you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. And when they had heard this, the disciples wondered very much, saying: Who then can be saved? And Jesus beholding, said to them: With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible. Then Peter answering, said to Him: Behold we have left all things, and have followed Thee: what therefore shall we have? 

And Jesus said to them: Amen, I say to you, that you, who have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of His majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for My Name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting. And many that are first, shall be last: and the last shall be first.
  

(12-26-2017, 03:24 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: 3.  "Methinks ..." again indicates that this is how I am interpreting your post.  What is uncharitable about me simply stating how your post came off to me?  Yes, we disagree again.

I don't know how many of Magister's posts you've read, but if you've read more than two, you should've given him the benefit of the doubt that he for damned sure knows the Faith inside and out and, therefore, knows that sex isn't dirty and wouldn't hint at such a notion.
 
(12-26-2017, 03:24 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: 4.  "Keep your head in the sand..."  Yep, guilty as charged.  I was uncharitable and I apologize, especially if you viewed this as pointed directly to you.  But it was directed to a much broader audience than you by the time I got to this section of my post.  I was no longer writing specifically to you, I was directing it to those who do not see that the scandal crisis continues and especially to those in charge of formation who, in my opinion, have their heads in the sand as to what is really going on in the seminary.  Again, two options: (1) mandate that the monastic priesthood live in community like real monks or (2) allow married priests.  But don't keep ordaining men who are simply using the collar as camouflage for their internal disorders.   Well, at least here we can find some common ground.
 
Those aren't the only two options. But having priests in some form of community is the best way, and it was the way things were until Vatican II watered down the liturgy and Church teaching, gave away the Church's beauty and sense of Mystery and Tradition, all resulting in too few vocations. We used to have rectories with a number of priests living in them, typically next door to a school that was right next door to a convent filled with nuns. Keep pushing for watering everything down and there'll be nothing left. 

(12-26-2017, 03:24 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Here are just a few headlines from this past year that have really upset me:

https://nypost.com/2017/07/05/vatican-co...apartment/
http://cathnews.com/cathnews/30797-vatic...h-seminary
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/james-csasz...stigation/
https://www.twincities.com/2017/11/03/ar...f-a-minor/

AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ON!

Yup, there's a lot of faggotry in the ranks of the priesthood. The solutions are to 1) treat homosexuals like human beings instead of shameful creatures who have to hide who they are, thereby tempting them to use the seminary as a hideout, and 2) get on with the restoration of the human element of the Church, her liturgy, the priesthood, religious orders, etc. The answer isn't to not do what Christ and His Apostles told us to do.
 
(12-26-2017, 03:24 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: While you say that "Celibacy has absolutely no causal relation to deviant sexual behavior."  I would say, based on experience in the field of crime, that there is a correlation between deviant sexual behavior and those who live a "celibate" or unmarried life.  The reason for this is that many of those who have a penchant for deviancy cannot maintain a stable marriage and many times cannot even "perform" the "missionary" act so to speak.  They can only perform in a deviant setting.  So while I agree that celibacy does not cause deviant sexual behavior, deviant sexual behavior often flourishes in a "celibate" environment because marriage is simply impossible to obtain or maintain.
 
Celibacy isn't the issue; sexual continence is -- and beware of priests who go on about their "celibacy." We all know they are celibate; what's at issue is whether they're continent, and obviously perfect continence has an absolute negative correlation with deviant sexual behavior. 

Besides which, it's almost 2018. We have gay "marriage." Men aren't becoming priests to avoid the stigma of being gay. They may be gay and are becoming priests because there is, in fact, a lavender mafia around, but it's not celibacy or the demand for continence that caused that; it's lax gatekeepers, or gatekeepers with an agenda.
 
(12-26-2017, 03:24 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: And I absolutely disagree with your supposition that Christ chose only unmarried men.  Peter's mother-in-law is mentioned in scripture.  Further, the writings of the early Church Fathers attest to the presence of a married priesthood, as well as the writings of the early Church Council's that I cited in my previous post.
 
He never said that Christ chose only unmarried men. He chose men who would be sexually continent, celibate or not. And Peter was continent though not celibate.
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Sorry, Magister; I typed over you. I started my post above some time ago, and posted it without having seen yours.
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In related news:

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Vox quite rightly said, 

Quote:Celibacy isn't the issue; sexual continence is -- and beware of priests who go on about their "celibacy." We all know they are celibate; what's at issue is whether they're continent, and obviously perfect continence has an absolute negative correlation with deviant sexual behavior. 
Which reminds me of a story I once heard. A good priest of my acquaintance told me that one of his brother priests had said, 'I took a vow of celibacy, not a vow of chastity'! Of course, as my friend and I agreed, he had taken an implied vow of chastity at his baptism, and had renewed it at his confirmation, and again at his ordination. The lack of catechesis these days!
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(12-26-2017, 08:22 PM)VoxClamantis Wrote: Sorry, Magister; I typed over you. I started my post above some time ago, and posted it without having seen yours.

No worries. Glad to have you type out the citations, I was a bit lacking in time to do so.
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#26
Vox:  Yes, I have read most of all that you posted before.  But there was in fact a time when dualism entered into the thought process of the Church - just as platonism entered into the thought process of the Church.  Many thought that the body was evil.  (And yes, the Church changed from a focus on the Holiness of the Church vs. the profane world about it to the focus on the holiness of the clergy versus the profane laity that they served.  This change is noted in the history books.)  The idea of continence among the married clergy did have some relation to the conclusions the Gnostics drew from their dualist approach which ultimately led them to debauchery.  You see, if sex between two married people is good, and in fact ordained by God, why prevent it?  Why require continence?  Some historians believe that Gnostic principles of dualism were at work and that the Church indeed feared that the body was evil and had to be constrained among the clergy. Some of Jerome's writings have such an obsession about them that I must wonder where this obsessive fear comes from.  But we aren't taking about the 3rd century, we are talking about today and the Roman Church has a big problem with sexually active priests - lot's of them.  In my life time, I have seen photos of the pastor of my Parish being taken to the police car in hand-cuffs because of child porn.  I have seen another pastor of my parish laicized because he couldn't stop having affairs with women.  

By the way, please do not make such vulgar conclusions about my personal life.  I revealed nothing of my personal life.  I revealed simply what I have observed in certain case studies on addictions (and some of those involving priests).  

Yes, I have read a number of MM's posts before and I have been on the receiving end of quite a few of them.  I can assure you, MM can handle my posts without you jumping to MM's defense.

Is the Eucharist consecrated by an incontinent married Anglican Use priest less valid than the Eucharist consecrated by a perfectly continent Roman Rite priest?  Or is it equally valid? YES, it is equally valid.  What of the sacrament of penance administered by each?  AGAIN, YES equally valid.  If the sacraments administered by both priests are equally valid, what role does continence play (or should it play) in the life of the married Anglican Use priest?  Should he be forced into a de facto divorce from his spouse?  No he shouldn't and the Roman Church allows him to be with his wife.

What of the incontinent, celibate Roman Rite priest?  (whether incontinent by fornication, sodomy, or masturbation) The Church holds that the sacraments he performs are all valid despite his sin.  His celibacy demands continence else he sins.  (The same as a single man, admittedly.)  So then who is more capable of ministering to me: (1) a priest constantly battling his own desires and temptations and unable to maintain continence for more than a fortnight and constantly struggling with his own holiness or (2) a married priest in a stable relationship with his wife who has no such struggle?  (I have experienced both and I can assure you the married priest met my spiritual needs whereas the celibate priest couldn't be bothered with the situation I was dealing with at the time.)

Then, the question becomes, what percentage of priests live in perfect continence from the day of their ordination forward?  I would venture to say very few.  Moreover, it seems to me that those who bear the cross of SSA have somewhat of a hyper sexual drive making perfect continence even more arduous for them.  (And yes I cannot count the number of times I have heard, "I didn't promise not to have sex, just not to get married." Jovan's point is well taken, chastity is required of all baptized.)  So if the Roman Church's gatekeepers are letting those who do not have their SSA or other sexual compulsions under control slip through the gates (or they find that only those with SSA or other sexual disorders are petitioning for the priesthood) then the concept of a celibate priesthood becomes self-defeating, especially if the Church is unable to provide a proper living environment to foster continence after ordination.  

If continence is not in fact required for validity, nor is celibacy required for validity, and a married priest being incontinent with his wife does not sin, whereas a celibate priest who is incontinent does sin, then why does the Roman Church still require celibacy if it cannot offer the celibate priest the proper support he needs to live a life of both celibacy and continence?

Again, even within the context of an EF mass, I would rather have a married priest who has a stable spiritual life than a sexually active celibate priest who is more concerned about his next conquest than he is about the needs of the parishioners.  That is my preference.  Like it or not that is how I see it.  

So in my viewpoint, right now in 2018, the celibate priesthood comes with a lot of negative side effects that we call scandals.  I really don't believe that celibacy and continence ever worked 100% throughout history anyway.  And it still isn't working so well.  So in my mind, a non-celibate priesthood might not be a bad thing.  Then again, if your premise is correct and continence is really that important, perhaps we should go in the opposite direction and tighten the discipline.  Perhaps the Roman Church should require perfect continence among the celibate priesthood and require immediate laicization if that status ever changes.  That might weed out a few.  Or if we don't laicize them, at least revoke their faculties for a significant period of time and make them do public penance.  Put them in the back of the church and label them as penitents.  Now there is something that has precedence.  After all, they are called to a higher standard, right?  Then make them live up to it and make their small indiscretions public before they blow up and become a full-fledged scandal.  But please, one way or the other, stop the charade of ordaining sodomites and other deviants who have no intention of abandoning their deviant ways.
Mater Dei, Ora pro nobis.
Reply
#27
(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Vox:  Yes, I have read most of all that you posted before.  But there was in fact a time when dualism entered into the thought process of the Church - just as platonism entered into the thought process of the Church.

Platonism, along with Aristotelian thought, did enter the Church (and is still there) for good reason: Plato and Aristotle figured some things out and were right about them.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote:  Many thought that the body was evil.  (And yes, the Church changed from a focus on the Holiness of the Church vs. the profane world about it to the focus on the holiness of the clergy versus the profane laity that they served.  This change is noted in the history books.)  The idea of continence among the married clergy did have some relation to the conclusions the Gnostics drew from their dualist approach which ultimately led them to debauchery.  You see, if sex between two married people is good, and in fact ordained by God, why prevent it?  Why require continence?

As I wrote out, it has not a thing to do with Gnosticism, which didn't exist when the Old Testament books were written, esp. Leviticus.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote:  Some historians believe that Gnostic principles of dualism were at work and that the Church indeed feared that the body was evil and had to be constrained among the clergy. 

And some "historians" claim that Jesus Christ never existed.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Some of Jerome's writings have such an obsession about them that I must wonder where this obsessive fear comes from.  But we aren't taking about the 3rd century, we are talking about today and the Roman Church has a big problem with sexually active priests - lot's of them.  In my life time, I have seen photos of the pastor of my Parish being taken to the police car in hand-cuffs because of child porn.  I have seen another pastor of my parish laicized because he couldn't stop having affairs with women.  

You seem to be intimating that sexually healthy males who enter the seminary will likely become pedophiles if they can't get laid. This isn't the case; that's not how pedophilia works. And a man who can't stop having affairs with women likely wouldn't stop having affairs with women if he were married, either. Such a man isn't fit for the priesthood or marriage.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: By the way, please do not make such vulgar conclusions about my personal life.  I revealed nothing of my personal life.  I revealed simply what I have observed in certain case studies on addictions (and some of those involving priests).  

Seminaries should screen for addicts, obviously.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Yes, I have read a number of MM's posts before and I have been on the receiving end of quite a few of them.  I can assure you, MM can handle my posts without you jumping to MM's defense.

I wasn't writing primarily to defend Magister; I was writing to defend priestly celibacy and continence. But in your post, you took some jabs at Magister, and he is my friend, so I will defend him.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Is the Eucharist consecrated by an incontinent married Anglican Use priest less valid than the Eucharist consecrated by a perfectly continent Roman Rite priest?  Or is it equally valid?  YES, it is equally valid.  What of the sacrament of penance administered by each?  AGAIN, YES equally valid.  If the sacraments administered by both priests are equally valid, what role does continence play (or should it play) in the life of the married Anglican Use priest?  Should he be forced into a de facto divorce from his spouse?  No he shouldn't and the Roman Church allows him to be with his wife.

The matter isn't one of validity; the matter is sacrilege and the nature of the priesthood as it was defined by Christ and His Apostles. Continence plays a role for all the reasons I wrote about in my earlier post. And, BTW, I don't think the Roman Church should have allowed married Anglicans to become ordained.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: What of the incontinent, celibate Roman Rite priest?  (whether incontinent by fornication, sodomy, or masturbation) The Church holds that the sacraments he performs are all valid despite his sin.  His celibacy demands continence else he sins.  (The same as a single man, admittedly.)  So then who is more capable of ministering to me: (1) a priest constantly battling his own desires and temptations and unable to maintain continence for more than a fortnight and constantly struggling with his own holiness or (2) a married priest in a stable relationship with his wife who has no such struggle?  (I have experienced both and I can assure you the married priest met my spiritual needs whereas the celibate priest couldn't be bothered with the situation I was dealing with at the time.)

You keep talking about validity as if that is the concern. It isn't. But to me, the best priest is one who does what he's supposed to do, who's mastered himself, who's focused on Christ and not his wife and picking things up at the store for her and making sure she's happy and ensuring she's not pouty today and keeping her satisifed and and and and The priesthood isn't supposed to be a 9-5 gig; it's a vocation that requires priests to go out in the middle of the night to hospitals and homes to give Unction, to go out to give Communion to people at hospitals and who are home-bound, to give spiritual direction, to offer Confession for more than 30 minutes on Saturday, maybe. A priest is on call always. At least they used to be. Nowadays, with everything so watered-down, most people likely don't even think of things like Unction (er, sorry, the "Sacrament of the Sick"). But we have to restore what we've lost, not keep moving in the direction we're headed by throwing out celibacy and continence, too.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Then, the question becomes, what percentage of priests live in perfect continence from the day of their ordination forward?  I would venture to say very few.  

Since Vatican II, who knows? Before then, I'd wager that most of them did. And I'd wager that most -- almost all -- priests of the FSSP, ICK, and SSPX are doing what they're supposed to be doing just fine.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Moreover, it seems to me that those who bear the cross of SSA have somewhat of a hyper sexual drive making perfect continence even more arduous for them.  (And yes I cannot count the number of times I have heard, "I didn't promise not to have sex, just not to get married." Jovan's point is well taken, chastity is required of all baptized.)  So if the Roman Church's gatekeepers are letting those who do not have their SSA or other sexual compulsions under control slip through the gates (or they find that only those with SSA or other sexual disorders are petitioning for the priesthood) then the concept of a celibate priesthood becomes self-defeating, especially if the Church is unable to provide a proper living environment to foster continence after ordination.  

Those with SSA are not to be ordained. At all. And not just for the reasons you state. But the solution to the lavender mafia, as I said, isn't to throw out celibacy and continence; it's to kick out those gatekeepers who made that "mafia" possible.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: If continence is not in fact required for validity, nor is celibacy required for validity, and a married priest being incontinent with his wife does not sin, whereas a celibate priest who is incontinent does sin, then why does the Roman Church still require celibacy if it cannot offer the celibate priest the proper support he needs to live a life of both celibacy and continence?

I answered that above.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Again, even within the context of an EF mass, I would rather have a married priest who has a stable spiritual life than a sexually active celibate priest who is more concerned about his next conquest than he is about the needs of the parishioners.  That is my preference.  Like it or not that is how I see it.  

This isn't about what you personally want; it's about what Christ and His Apostles laid out for us.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: So in my viewpoint, right now in 2018, the celibate priesthood comes with a lot of negative side effects that we call scandals.  I really don't believe that celibacy and continence ever worked 100% throughout history anyway.  And it still isn't working so well.  So in my mind, a non-celibate priesthood might not be a bad thing.  Then again, if your premise is correct and continence is really that important, perhaps we should go in the opposite direction and tighten the discipline.  Perhaps the Roman Church should require perfect continence among the celibate priesthood and require immediate laicization if that status ever changes.  That might weed out a few.  Or if we don't laicize them, at least revoke their faculties for a significant period of time and make them do public penance.  Put them in the back of the church and label them as penitents.  Now there is something that has precedence.  After all, they are called to a higher standard, right?  Then make them live up to it and make their small indiscretions public before they blow up and become a full-fledged scandal.  But please, one way or the other, stop the charade of ordaining sodomites and other deviants who have no intention of abandoning their deviant ways.

Few things "work 100%." But that's not the point.

We most definitely should tighten up the discipline, teach again what the priesthood is and what the liturgy actually is, get rid of the homosexualist gatekeepers, etc. But it's that second thing that's the root of the problem, IMO, or at least a big part of it: since the Council from Hell, the Mass has become seen and treated as nothing but a big communal Happy Meal rather than THE Sacrifice, the Offering of the Son to the Father. Priests have become entertainers, facing the people and putting on shows every Sunday, complete with visual aids, puppets, clowns, Cheesehead mitres, etc. The liturgy has become feminized, as well, with liturgical dancing and women swarming the sanctuary. That post-conciliar view of the priesthood is bound to attract narcissistic types, those who are in it for personal emotional reasons (such as "validation," the need to feel "important" or "accepted"), and those who are immature. Whom does that sound like to you? 

The answer is Tradition, not more of the same crap we've got since VII.
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#28
(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: But there was in fact a time when dualism entered into the thought process of the Church - just as platonism entered into the thought process of the Church.  Many thought that the body was evil.

Dualism, in all its forms is a heresy, opposed to Christian doctrine.

Manachæism was the main "Christian" version, but was not ever extremely widespread in the Church, itself.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: (And yes, the Church changed from a focus on the Holiness of the Church vs. the profane world about it to the focus on the holiness of the clergy versus the profane laity that they served.  This change is noted in the history books.)

Cite one.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: The idea of continence among the married clergy did have some relation to the conclusions the Gnostics drew from their dualist approach which ultimately led them to debauchery.

Proof?

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: You see, if sex between two married people is good, and in fact ordained by God, why prevent it?  Why require continence?

Because sex, considered in itself, between married people is not always good.

No one would say that sexual intercourse using prophylactics or other contraceptive methods or intentions is good. In fact it's a sin contrary to nature.

Likewise, a couple is not bound to use the sexual act. The marital contract gives rights for sexual acts which of their nature can be procreative, but there is no obligation created. So a couple could legitimately choose not to exercise these rights, and even perpetually.

They can do so by vow, which makes such an action not only an exercise of the Virtue of Temperance, but also now, of the Virtue of Religion, with an added merit.

That was what married men who wished to become priests were to do as a condition of entry to the priesthood. Obviously, in such a cases it was not a one-sided deal, because both have rights over the other, so both had to agree not to use those rights.

Thus both husband and wife have each willfully chosen to forego, and under a vow to forego, sexual relations. That vow is why makes the relations illicit, not because sex is dirty or bad, nor the body, but because by having relations they are breaking their sworn promise to God.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Some historians believe that Gnostic principles of dualism were at work and that the Church indeed feared that the body was evil and had to be constrained among the clergy.

Catholic historians? Citation, please.


(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Some of Jerome's writings have such an obsession about them that I must wonder where this obsessive fear comes from.

He is a Saint, Church Father, and Doctor of the Church, you know. That doesn't make him infallible, but it does make him and his writings worthy of a bit of respect, at least the respect due to a Saint.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: But we aren't taking about the 3rd century, we are talking about today and the Roman Church has a big problem with sexually active priests - lot's of them.  In my life time, I have seen photos of the pastor of my Parish being taken to the police car in hand-cuffs because of child porn.  I have seen another pastor of my parish laicized because he couldn't stop having affairs with women.

Anecdotes do not an argument make.

You see problems today not because the principles of the "3rd century" don't apply today. You see problems today because the principles of the 3rd century (and all of tradition) are not applied today.

Your solution is no different that the Eastern's take on lack of continence. Not "it's the Apostolic practice and institution, so we need to preserve it," but "It's too hard, so let them off the hook."

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Yes, I have read a number of MM's posts before and I have been on the receiving end of quite a few of them.  I can assure you, MM can handle my posts without you jumping to MM's defense.

This is a public message board, meaning, like having a discussion with lots of people, anyone may chime in.


(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Is the Eucharist consecrated by an incontinent married Anglican Use priest less valid than the Eucharist consecrated by a perfectly continent Roman Rite priest?  Or is it equally valid?  YES, it is equally valid.  What of the sacrament of penance administered by each?  AGAIN, YES equally valid.  If the sacraments administered by both priests are equally valid, what role does continence play (or should it play) in the life of the married Anglican Use priest?  Should he be forced into a de facto divorce from his spouse?  No he shouldn't and the Roman Church allows him to be with his wife.

The Eucharist consecrated at a Black Mass is valid. The Eucharist consecrated by a Schismatic Orthodox priest is valid. Validity is a pretty silly thing to use as your measure here.

The Anglican Use priest has no right to be ordained a priest. No one has a right to be ordained. It is a gift, and it is perfectly within the rights of the Church and Christ to demand certain conditions for that gift.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: What of the incontinent, celibate Roman Rite priest?  (whether incontinent by fornication, sodomy, or masturbation) The Church holds that the sacraments he performs are all valid despite his sin.  His celibacy demands continence else he sins.  (The same as a single man, admittedly.)  So then who is more capable of ministering to me: (1) a priest constantly battling his own desires and temptations and unable to maintain continence for more than a fortnight and constantly struggling with his own holiness or (2) a married priest in a stable relationship with his wife who has no such struggle?  (I have experienced both and I can assure you the married priest met my spiritual needs whereas the celibate priest couldn't be bothered with the situation I was dealing with at the time.)

Again, particular situations cannot be the source of principles. Just because you had a good experience with a married priest and not with a celibate priest means nothing more than perhaps the latter was a bad priest.

Also, it is a bit unfair to suggest the majority of, or even a significant number of celibate priests have any serious struggles with continence.

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Then, the question becomes, what percentage of priests live in perfect continence from the day of their ordination forward?  I would venture to say very few.

You have absolutely zero experience of the lives of most priests, yet with a level of arrogance and rashness you are willing to assert that most priests regularly violate chastity.

You accuse me of having a warped view of sexuality, but instead it is rather you who have the disordered notion. Why is everything about sex?

(12-27-2017, 03:00 PM)prostrateinawe Wrote: Again, even within the context of an EF mass, I would rather have a married priest who has a stable spiritual life than a sexually active celibate priest who is more concerned about his next conquest than he is about the needs of the parishioners.  That is my preference.  Like it or not that is how I see it.

But fundamentally, you're creating a depraved false dichotomy.

You seem to be obsessed with this idea that the only two options are married non-continent priests (= good) or celibate sodomite/unchaste priests (=bad).

This is like you saying, "you can have the poisoned 4-course meal, or your can starve to death". I say, how about you just give me a sandwich.

How about a tertium datur : a celibate priest who takes seriously both the vow he took, the demands of his priesthood, the importance of his spiritual life as a means to take care of the needs of his faithful? In short, a celibate priest who is faithful to his vocation : what Our Lord desired and what the Church has demanded in the West for over a millennium.
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#29
Quote:MagisterMusicae wrote:

Cite one.


"[T]here was a big shift in the very idea of the sacred.  Before Constantine the whole Church was considered the realm of the sacred as opposed to the profane world outside; after Constantine and the breakdown of the separation between Church and world, the polarity between sacred and profane was transformed into one between sacred clergy and profane laity."  Thomas Bokenkotter, A Concise History of the Catholic Church.

"This sacralization of the clergy was brought about by various developments - theological, liturgical, and legal.  The Old Testament priesthood, for instance, was seen as the type and model for the New Testament priesthood.  The more elaborate liturgy of the post-Constantinian era, with its features borrowed from paganism, enhanced the image of the minister as a sacred personage.  ...  Imperial legislation established the clergy as an independent corporation with its own rights and immunities."  Bokenkotter.

"Even before it became a necessity for Western clergy, virginity and celibacy were held in high esteem."  Bokenkotter.  (emphasis added) (it was not always a necessity but came to be so after the Church was well formed)

Quote:MagisterMusicae wrote:


Proof.



"Gnosticism set out to answer one question: how do we explain the riddle of the world, evil, and human existence?  The Gnostic answer was dualistic.  Man lives in an imperfect world, controlled by an evil force, and he can escape only by gaining a knowledge of himself and the true and perfect God.  Again, this sounds almost Christian, except that it assumes too great a divide between the human and the divine.  To Marcion, it was impossible for Christ to be God since a perfect God would never lower himself to take on impure flesh."  John Vidmar, OP, The Catholic Church Through the Ages

"[T]he innumerable mystery religions were dualistic.  And for many pagans as well as for many Christians, "the body became the chief locus of all the frustrating powers of the world." The Christians were simply more emphatic in the abuse they heaped on the flesh."  Bokenkotter.



Quote:VoxClamantis wrote:

As I wrote out, it has not a thing to do with Gnosticism, which didn't exist when the Old Testament books were written, esp. Leviticus.

The early Church did not initially adapt the Levitical priesthood as a model but specifically rejected it.  The Church began in small gatherings and they specifically called the celebrant the "President" initially rejecting even the notion of a priest.  It was only later that the Levitical structure was superimposed on the Church's liturgy.  By the way, there is much in Leviticus that was not adapted to the Church, for example:  Leviticus 15:19-33.

The early Church viewed both clergy and laity as having been cleansed by baptism.  The concept of being ceremonially unclean was simply not part of the early Church's purview and scripture records St. Paul as being vehemently opposed to those who wanted to superimpose Judaism on the Church.  

The point that is to be understood with the concept of validity is that neither celibacy nor continence is required for validity.  Our Lord does not require either to effect His sacraments.  We have no teaching that sexual relationships between married spouses is in any way evil (absent of course contraception and I would include NFP in the list of contraception but that is my opinion only).  It is merely Ecclesial law that would make it a sin for married priests to engage in sexual relationships with their wives. 

Unfortunately, there is only a diocesan EF available in this area.  It seems somewhat futile to attend only to have a priest who swishes about the Church for the Asperges as if the aisle were a runway for models sporting the latest in shimmering copes.  My position remains, I would rather have a married priest (continent or incontinent, doesn't matter to me).  Maybe celibacy and continence are more preferable for the personal holiness of the priest, but whether or not he is married or continent that doesn't affect the validity of the sacraments and thus doesn't affect me or anyone else in the laity.  When celibacy becomes a hiding place for those who will cause scandal, then that practice should come under scrutiny.
Mater Dei, Ora pro nobis.
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#30
About that Bokenkotter you cite as your source for your thinking: http://insightscoop.typepad.com/2004/200...rs_hi.html

Or there's this from Kirkus Review, which reveals that this priest-writer (one who should've been laicized a long time ago) doesn't even accept that Christ rose from the dead. Nor does he dig the Virgin birth, the idea of original sin, etc.:
 
Quote:'Tis all in pieces, all coherence gone'--or so readers familiar with traditional Catholicism may think when they finish this broad, balanced, startlingly pluralistic account of the Church's doctrine and practice. Bokenkotter has good orthodox credentials: a church historian, former seminary professor (of theology), and currently a pastor in Cincinnati--but on many key issues, he sees lots of latitude. The ""empty tomb"" has always been the cornerstone of apologetics for the Resurrection; Bokenkotter weighs the scriptural evidence pro and con, decides it may or may not have been a historical fact, but it's not all that important anyway. Many Protestant scholars reject the Virgin birth (Bokenkotter consistently works from an ecumenical standpoint); the magisterium has taught it since the year 200; but it's not really part of the ""core of the Gospel."" There are good reasons for the Reformers' criticism of sacramental confession as Pelagian, magical, legalistic, a tool of clerical tyranny, etc.--and then again there are good reasons for faulting these charges. Original sin has only a doubtful basis in the Bible (Augustine followed a misreading of Paul by Ambrosiaster); but suitably reinterpreted by the ""situationists"" and ""personalists,"" the dogma still has merit. These days, Catholic sexual ethics bristles with conflict and confusion, now that the age-old taboos against contraception, abortion, premarital sex, married clergy, women priests, and so forth, have been challenged. Bokenkotter clearly favors the left on most of these questions, but he stacks up the arguments and stands aside. He crams in an enormous amount of material and effectively draws on secular thinking to explain the psychology of faith (e.g., Erik Erikson on ritual as a way of transcending separateness). If he fails to define ""essential Catholicism,"" that's because his crisp summaries of doctrinal development and present-day divisions show there scarcely is such a thing (except in the mind of the Vatican). 
 
Ever read Rudolph Hochhuth's play "The Deputy", a work which, like John Cornwell's "Hitler's Pope" has been almost thoroughly discredited but which I've personally had thrown in my face as "proof" that "Church=Bad"? Some "historians" and others took that seriously, too. Even certain of our hierarachs did, likely those who were hierarchs because they infiltrated the Church with an agenda, just like Pope St. Pius X warned us was happening. From that Wikipedia page on "Hitler's Pope": Michael Phayer notes that during the Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church a direct reference was made by Bishop Josef Stangl to Hochhuth's play when he declared to the council: 'If we speak in the name of God, in the name of Jesus Christ, as the deputies of the Lord, then our message must be [a clear] 'Yes, Yes! [or] 'No, no' - the truth, not tactics'. His 'moving address'" made a significant contribution "to reversing the church's anti-semitism" (see Nostra aetate).'" 

"The Church's anti-semitism." Chyeah. 

Bad sources --> bad conclusions --> bad action.
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