Saturday, 30 September 2017

THE PAPACY - A HUMAN CONSTRUCT


Image result for Vatican


AT THE TOP OF CORRUPT ROMAN CATHOLICISM SITS THE PAPACY - A HUMAN CONSTRUCTION - AND NOT CREATED BY GOD OF HIS SON JESUS CHRIST.

The words of scripture that the RC apologists rely on for their doctrine of the papacy and papal infallibility are:

Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


This passage is most frequently quoted by Catholics to support Petrine theory (papal succession), that proposes Jesus founded His church on Peter (the rock). The Protestant will usually point out that two different words for "rock" are present in the Greek text- "thou art Peter (Petros), and upon this rock (petra) I will build my church;" ... . The distinction that is apparently being made in the Greek is one of size. Petros equates to a pebble, or small stone, while petra equates to a massive foundation stone, too large to be moved:

This distinction in the Greek, the Protestant points out, makes it clear that Peter is not the rock that the church is founded upon, but rather Peter's profession of faith and/or Jesus Himself. To this the Catholic will likely respond that early church fathers indicate the book of Matthew was originally written in Aramaic, not Greek. The Greek, they will say, has been incorrectly rendered because petra, being feminine in the Greek, could not have been used to represent Peter's name. They will propose that what Jesus really said in Aramaic to Simon Peter was this: "thou art Peter (Kepha), and upon this rock (kepha) I will build my church;" ... . The original Aramaic, they will point out, makes it quite plain that Peter was indeed the rock.  No Aramaic texts of Matthew have survived, they have all been lost. So just what the Aramaic texts might have said is nothing but pure speculation. So speculation is all they can muster as evidence to support Petrine theory in Matthew 16:18.

Some Catholics may even suggest that there has always been a unanimous Church interpretation of this passage in support Petrine theory, at least up until relatively recent Protestant dissent to the presumed authority of the papacy. The following is presented to show that even early "Christian fathers" were actually quite diverse in their interpretation of this passage in Matthew and they most certainly did not agree that Peter was the foundation rock (petra) which Jesus spoke about.


BISHOP STROSSMAYER


An interesting and important speech - which some say was made by Bishop Strossmayer of Croatia ant Vatican One in 1890 - and others say was actually written by a former Augustinian priest - a Mexican named Dr Jose Agustin de Escudero.


FATHER JOSE AUGUSTIN DE ESCUDERO

Whichever of them wrote the speech it seems to me that the content of the speech is very important and very informing. Its conclusions are:

    (1) That Jesus has given to His apostles the same power that He gave to St. Peter.

    (2) That the apostles never recognized in St. Peter the vicar of Jesus Christ and the infallible doctor of the church.

    (3) That St. Peter never thought of being pope, and never acted as if he were pope.

    (4) That the Councils of the first four centuries, while they recognized the high position which the Bishop of Rome occupied in the church on account of Rome, only accorded to him a pre-eminence of honor, never of power or of jurisdiction.

    (5) That the holy fathers in the famous passage, 'Thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build my church,' never understood that the church was built on Peter (super Petrum) but on the rock (super petram), that is, on the confession of the faith of the apostle. I conclude victoriously, with history, with reason, with logic, with good sense, and with a Christian conscience, that Jesus Christ did not confer any supremacy on St. Peter and that the bishops of Rome did not become sovereigns of the church, but only by confiscating one by one all the rights of the episcopate.

It is also important to note that for the first 1870 years of Catholicism it was not a defined doctrine of the church that the pope was infallible.

The doctrine of papal infallibility was not totally new - it had been used by Pope Pius in defining the Immaculate Conception of Mary as a dogma in 1854.

The bishops at the council were divided into three camps:

1. Those promoting infallibility and their supporters - people like Henry Manning.

2. A majority of the bishops who did want to strengthen papal authority - but not actual papal infallibility.

3. A minority of 10% who opposed the definition because it was a departure from the position of the early church and would create more tensions with non-Catholic churches and governments. In this group, you had most of the German and Austro Hungarian bishops, half of the American bishops, one-third of the French bishops and most of the Chaldean and Melkite bishops.

The First Vatican Council was very controversial and involved the 1050 bishops present in a great argument. Urged on by Pope Pius the majority got their way.

The council was suspended by the pope - and never resumed and left most of what it had intended to do undone/

PATS VIEWS:

1. I believe that JESUS HIMSELF is the head of the Church and not the pope.

2. I do not believe that the pope is the Vicar of Christ on earth.

3. I do not believe that Peter regarded himself as a pope.

4. I don't know if Peter was ever in Rome?

5. I believe that the papacy is a human construct.

6. I think that the pope by tradition and by being the bishop of an important city has become the FIRST AMONG EQUALS.

7. I believe that the Vatican has become more and more corrupt over the ages and that many of the popes were bad, weak or evil men.

8. I believe that the Vatican and the RC Church needs major reform.

9. I believe that the Holy Spirit speaks through EVERYBODY and not just through prelates and clerics.

10. I believe that the Catholic church and all churches should be governed by a council of all its members - representing laity and clergy.

11. I believed that all churches should follow the Bible - especially the New Testament - rather than man-made canon laws.


99 comments:

  1. Pat, I'll take time out from my Times crossword to offer a few thoughts on yesterday and today's subjects.
    Firstly, the defender of the faith and of the unfortunate bishop stated that the bishop "is not the church ". Correct. However, I have little doubt that before entering into the public domain to pontificate on a medical issue of such importance he would have consulted other senior figures and had he scored well the other members of the hierarchy would have crowded the airwaves this week. Alas no! The "suck it and see" tactic has backfired and the poor bishop has become an object of amusement. Right thinking folks don't need the opinions of catholic bishops any longer. The sham has been laid bare. Maynooth, gay mafias, financial exploitation and an increasingly uncontrollable clergy have emptied the pews. Added to that the fact that in ROI the teaching of religion and preparation for the sacraments must be done out with school class time. People are rejecting and kicking back. They are saying NO in classrooms NO in the pews, NO in recruitment to seminary (6 in maynooth this year) and now, worst of all NO with their money. Poor Phonsie was given a poison chalice!!
    As for today's offering, well apart from an ever decreasing number of good well meaning adherents nobody really gives a damn about papal infallibility. As for the amount of time wasted on biblical study I often feel that had the same effort and industry been put into medical research or scientific pursuits we could have eradicated cancer by now.

    Dalriada Dick

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    1. All well said. It is good to see the Irish people breaking their chains.

      I that sense another cancer is being defeated.

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    2. Excellent stuff DD. I like the phrase, "nobody really gives a damn about papal infallibility..........."
      I have the increasing impression that more and more people are adopting that position in relation to the RC church in general, particularly as its hierarchy persist in making such fools of themselves. By that, in essence, I believe an increasing number of churchgoers are simply following social customs of tribal observance of familiar rituals. The main cement holding this together is the social and familial observance of the rites of passage rather than any deeply held religious faith. This seems certainly the case especially among the younger generation and those better educated outside the RC system.
      MMM

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    3. I thought the only infallible one is God

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    4. What a great gift you have MM. You are able to analyse intention and assign mootivation to millions of people in Ireland alone, and most of whom you've never seen or met. I bet you win the Lotto every time.

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    5. Thank you anon @ 15.56 for your insightful comments. No I don't do the lotto!
      MMM

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  2. PHONSIE AND it LETTERS PAGE:

    Bishop’s views on HPV vaccine
    The Irish Times30 Sep 2017

    Sir, – I found it incredible that the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Phonsie Cullinan, would use the pages of a national newspaper to attempt to conflate the clinical value of the HPV vaccine with the church’s views on the need to “help young people stay chaste”. I know well and have enormous respect for the excellent work that Bishop Cullinan does in the Waterford community. He is a man of great integrity. But he is fundamentally wrong in his comments on the HPV vaccine, which go against a massive body of medical and scientific evidence. And his attempts to weigh in on a medical argument are ill-advised, to say the least. Religion has no place in medical debate and the Catholic Church’s track record on the medical welfare of Irish women speaks for itself. Our health and health education policies need to be evidence-based, with faith and morals left firmly at the door. I would urge Bishop Phonsie to leave clinical debates to the clinical experts. – Yours, etc,
    JOHN HALLIGAN TD, (Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development), Leinster House, Dublin 2.

    Sir, – When my doctor starts offering advice on matters ecumenical, I may start to listen to Bishop Cullinan’s opinions on matters medical. – Yours, etc, VINCENT HEARNE, Nabinaud,
    France.

    Sir, – In reference to Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan and the HPC vaccine, David Harte comments that “a person in a position of respect questioning the opinion of qualified medical personnel without any relevant qualifications is not good”, and Dr Niall Breen suggests that the bishop’s comments “were at best ill-advised and at worst extremely ignorant” (September 28th). Both are surely correct. What needs to be said too is that such interventions are a source of excruciating embarrassment to Catholics who, after all that has happened, have to witness Catholic bishops still imagining that their position confers knowledge and expertise on issues clearly beyond their competence. – Yours, etc, Fr BRENDAN HOBAN, PP, Moygownagh, Ballina, Co Mayo.

    Sir, – Why is the opinion of a bishop on the effectiveness of vaccines given such weight in the newspaper of reference? The position of the global expert body – the World Health Organisation – was given minor billing in the story.
    I look forward to future stories in the series: “Greengrocer rejects latest quantum computing breakthrough” and “Dental surgeon sceptical of badger link to bovine TB”. – Yours, etc, GERARD HENNESSY, Athlone,
    Co Westmeath.

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    1. should have known that clanging gong Hoban would have to spout shite. would be great if he was as against Gaynooth last year. even though I agree that Fonsie spoke bout something outside his area of knowledge.

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    2. Fr Hoban is intelligent, articulate and prophetic in telling us what we dont want to hear. God bless him.

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    3. Fr Hoban tells people exactly what they want to hear. He and his association of anti-Catholic priests tell people to break God's commandments. That is why, and only why, they have are given a platform to speak by a consonant media who lap up every unoriginal and
      non-Christian word they utter.

      At least the writer of this blog had the integrity to leave a Church he is so fundamentally at odds with.

      Fr Hoban and the AOCP, on the other hand, are happy to remain in the bosom of the Church which houses, feeds, clothes and remunerates them while they try to destroy her from within.

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  3. You've finally lost my respect Pat, denying the Vicar of Christ is the last straw. We're you drinking when you wrote this? You don't agree with canon law because it doesn't suit your agenda or twisted sense of Church. You finally made up my mind to remove you from my blogs.

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    1. God does not need a vicar. He is omnipresent and at work in everyone and everything in the universe.

      He does need disciples and servants.

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    2. I've got to wonder if anon @ 11.50 has examined the objective historical evidence to arrive at an informed perspective. Alternatively perhaps he/she may simply be another of those who steadfastly believe all the bumph mainstream RC orthodoxy has pushed out for centuries.
      What does it look like?
      MMM

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  4. I think it is time for a well meaning TD who never studied theology to start telling the Bishops of Ireland how they should run their churches... mainly because I'd like to see their faces with such a role reversal...

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    1. And of course John Halligan in Phonsie's TD.

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  5. Good Lord!! Our Pat, the New Messiah has arrived. His Church overfloweth. People are thronging from all over the country. The end is nigh. Better put my Irish Times aside, head for confession, make up with the estranged, feed the hungry, clothe the naked. Conversion is a must. Your comments today are apocalyptic. Poor Jesus didn't mean what he said that his Church would survive. Of ciurse the Holy Spirit is at work in a myriad of ways Pat. One question Pat - tell us where we can see the new communities you have inspired into formation whuch are glowing brightly through your preaching and Chrustian witness? I'm searching the landscape like a list soul!!(you bet). Tell me where to go! Poor Pope Francis. He will be so upset!!.

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    1. Sometimes the Holy Spirit works by inspiring people to abandon and walk away from corruption?

      The same Holy Spirit will gather people around him in new ways.

      Your cynicism shows where you are at.

      Better to be a member of no church than a member of a totally corrupt one.

      Jesus preached KINGDOM not a church.

      There are many who are part of that KINGDOM who are not church bound.

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    2. I'm not being cynical Pat. Just making an observation and challenging you on why you behave so sneeringly, maliciously, always judging and all dome with a gleeful contempt. Why do you proclaim so self righteously that everyone else is wrong? People like myself, a practising Catholic look for signs of new life through the Holy Spurit. We want meaningful Christian communities where the gospel of Christ is truly alive. Yes, the Church is struggling to be relevant amidst its own sinfulness. I, like many others, desire to live the values of the gospel of Christ. I abhor much of Church dominance and abuse but I remain because I find nourishment in my own Parish where I experience welcome and caring and where my faith is challenged and nurtured. But I am also deeply inspired by my priests and by the Christian witness of many who belong to the same community. I know I speak fir multitudes who have similar experiences. I'm sti waiting for your reformation to take roit after 30 years or more if practising being the New John The Baptist! Till then I will stay in the Christian community and Church where I feel I am valued and welcomed....It would help if yiu answered questions a little more honestly....

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    3. Now that's a comment worth reading.

      Where did you get the notion that I feel I am always right and everyone else is always wrong?

      I know I am a sinner with very many weaknesses.

      I have also tried to serve God and others since I entered the seminary 47 years ago.

      I also know that there are good priests and parishes out there.

      My problem is with the church institution and with those who defend it right or wrong.

      I have watched Rome, bishops, priests and seminarians for 47 years now.

      Most seminarians and priests started out with good intentions. But a rotten barrel will always spoil the wine inside it.

      The whole institution and system is rotten and it is spoiling the good within it.

      A true and thorough reformation of the institution is needed.

      Those who do not accept that and who defend the system prevent that happening.

      Surely you know that Christ cannot be happy with all that is going on.

      It is not enough to say: "Yes there is bad in the institution but there is also good.

      Any good builder will tell you that you cannot leave any rot when you renovate a building. You must eradicate it all, often party demolish and start again.

      I am far from perfect. I may not even be a builder. Maybe I am only a member of the demolition crew?

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    4. Thanks for that much needed balance 13.09 a few comments above this..aU totally agree with you.
      You are not alone...

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  6. Pope Francis is upset. Not by Pat but by those around him! Dublin. PP.

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  7. All religion is construct Its the way humans are made Sometimes we get it right and often we get it wrong. The model of religion was never meant to be static but evolve and grow as humanity evolves

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    1. There is a lot of wisdom in that Sean.

      Of course evolution creates both "gods" and "monsters".

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  8. The hierarchy should be aware that Catholics today get more uplift from the Vicar of Dibley than from the Vicar of Christ ! True

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  9. Poor Phonsie. That whole shite in the newspaper. He must have been in menopause or it totally got him off.

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    1. Phonsie is full of false certainty and anger.

      When he refused me Communion I was more concerned with palpable hatred in his eyes and face than the refusal.

      It would have taken very little more for him to physically assault me. One Waterford priest told me they were waiting for him to hit me.

      I think that Phonsie is sexually very repressed and unhappy.

      Hence his interest in reproductive matters.

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    2. Pat, As a Waterford priest I was upset and embarrassed by Phonsie's treatment of you. He actually asked for four of us to physically remove you from the church and only one of my poor embarrassed colleagues moved. We have been landed with a right wing outsider who well have for the next 17 years. We are totally embarrassed by him this week and his cervical cancer outburst. Pray for us.....

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  10. I read with interest your correspondent MMM who suggested that the younger generation tend to use the church only for rites of passage occasions.
    Let me share my increasingly disappointing experiences.
    I'm PP in a large city parish. In the last year 13 families in my congregation have had weddings. Only 3 of these had a church wedding. The rest were a mixture of hotel based civil ceremonies with 2 being on a beach somewhere warm and sunny. Quite frankly the concept of a sacramental marriage ceremony in the parish church means absolutely nothing to them. Many of these young people come from families with parents who practice.
    The future is not looking too good!

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    1. You are a very honest man PP.

      Even my marriage ministry to "ordinary" or divorced couples has decreased while "Catholics" have hotel managers, humanists, white witches, HSE registrars, druids etc preside at their wedding ceremony.

      When I started 30 years ago I had 200+ marriages a year. I have celebrated some 4,000 weddings and blessings. Nowadays I have 50 a year.

      The future will only be "good" if those in authority in the Church are re-evangelised themselves and as a result build a church that 21 century people find relevant.

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    2. Let me tell you straight (to PP @ 13.59) when the rot set in and why...
      When the "Catechism of Catholic Doctrine" was outlawed to us as primary teachers and thrown in the bin in the 1970s and we were duty bound to use the new "Children of God" series instead. Full of waffle and traditional hymns and majority of prayers were OUT! I did my best to keep both going rather than see a generation of children move on to Secondary school not able to even say The Commandments or ever taken part in a decade of the Rosary for example and who genuinely had never ever heard of Benediction or knew anything - - even elementary--about the structure of Holy Mass.
      This will probably cause outrage as some teachers preferred the increasing vagueness of each new "religion syllabus" but I know what I saw and I know the concerns that I had at the time. I remember mentioning that to one of the schools' religious examiners, Fr Sean Cahill and he told me the children would hear "all that and their hymns at Mass" and dismissed my misgivings. I told him that in a generation's time or less even the adults wouldn't have a clue and that then, worse still, a generation of religious teachers wouldn't know or care what they were supposed to be teaching in RE classes and it would be - - so what? - - anything goes.
      Thirty years later, I have been proved overwhelmingly right - - even more than I had foretold, sad to say.
      That really is the "value" of our Catholic schools. Once they stopped doing a THOROUGH job day and daily in the religious education class, the weakness grew and grew and grew. The new class workbooks were full of "nice activities" and a LOT easier to teach but we have paid the price. Worst of all, was the huge denial that everything was being lost.
      I knew better and thank God, I continued to do my best.
      But let me tell you this and it certainly won't be popular here!! - - If it doesn't happen in the school - - then it simply doesn't happen. Sorry. Time to face the elephant in the room... (Retired teacher)

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    3. Vatican II and appalling catechesis strike again.

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    4. Very wise words by the retired teacher. Sean Cahill went on to be PP of Enniskillen and a Mgr no less. In his time there he wreckivated the church there, saw the clergy team reduce from five to 3, renovated the Parochial House and the curates' house at great cost and the number of Sunday Masses was cut, to relect fewer Massgoers.

      Meanwhile, most Catholics under 50 don't go to Mass, even at Christmas and Easter now, children entirely are entirely unchatechised (apart from vague stuff about being nice and giving to charity), couples live together before matrimony but get a big church wedding, adolescents disappear after confirmation, grandchildren go unbaptised, and entrants to semininaries and convents are at historic lows.

      I'm sure Mgr Cahill, now in comfortable retirement in Maguiresbridge after an enviably soft life, knew what he was doing.

      PS they had to repaint the ceiling of his well-appointed drawing room in the multi-bedroomed Parochial House in Enniskillen after he left it. The ceiling turned brown from the smoke from his cheroots.

      Senior Clogher PP

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    5. Clogher PP. There were two Sean Cahills - one one in Clogher and one in Down and Connor.

      The D&C one was also a religious examiner.

      Was your Sean Cahill also a diocesan religion examiner?

      Pat

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    6. Yes, Fr Sean Cahill was a religious examiner and beforehand - - and afterwards - - he spent time in Down and Connor parishes (NOT the same priest as Monsignor Cahill who was in Clogher Diocese in later years)

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    7. The Sean Cahill who was religious examiner was definitely the Down and Connor one. I remember him coming round the schools promoting the new syllabus. I also remember him clearly living in Holy Family parish in the house in the grounds of St Therese of Lisueux Church.

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    8. One aspect of studying logic is to understand cause and effect. One aspect of studying research methodology is to ensure an objective analysis of results to provide correct assertions based on factual evidence rather than erroneous assumptions. Control groups are essential in this respect.
      I recall these long forgotten studies when reading the assertions of the retired teacher above. As an educated educator I suppose I'm correct in assuming he or she has taken into account all the other prevailing influences upon the young people referred to, and that the assertions made are not simply personal assumptions?
      For what it's worth, my memories of primary school religious education was parroting off the catechism, commandments and the like, with little explanation or understanding other than one had to be able to answer correctly. And it wasn't much better at secondary school. We chanted three rosary decades at 9:00am before first class, and frankly I'd assumed for ages that was to allow the bus travelling stragglers to get in before formal lessons began. And it was two decades after lunch. The actual religious class daily was taken by a semi senile none too bright religious brother nicknamed Snowball we constantly tormented. It mainly consisted simply in him getting one or other of us to read from the new testament.
      MMM

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    9. MMM. I get what you are saying and some had same school experience..
      Yet..... xx years later, MMM I wouldn't mind betting that you still remember how to say your Rosary if you chose to.
      I bet if you were placed side by side in a quiz with a present-day religious education TEACHER and with no prior notice, you both had to recite the commandments, my money would be on you!
      At this stage of your life you DO understand the fine print though in huge classes of forty pupils or more years ago, sadly most learning had to be rote.. or not at all. There was so much to do and so little time to do it. At least pupils got something - - they left with the scaffolding well hammered into place. Of course it was going to be years later when you had the maturity to put the meat on the bones. The teachers knew you were capable of doing that. They were right MMM.
      The retired teacher is right too. I will not write about my own lifelong experiences but I know that to be exactly how it was /is.

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    10. I can see your point of view.

      I learned the 10 commandments and the 7 sacraments by heart and remembered them.

      Nowadays in Catholic schools they have'nt a clue.

      Memory does play an important part as the foundation to build the rest on.

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    11. Yes, Pat. I agree with you.

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    12. "Meat on bones":(anon @ 20.45)
      I think it was pearls before swine! But to pick up the analogy if RC religious teaching/beliefs are the 'Meat' I'd prefer to be a vegan.

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    13. "Meat on bones":(anon @ 20.45)
      I think it was pearls before swine! But to pick up the analogy if RC religious teaching/beliefs are the 'Meat' I'd prefer to be a vegan.

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    14. The Sean Cahill I'm thinking of is from Teconnaught in D&C near Downpatrick. His older brother took over as principal from father of primary school there while younger brother Finbar was solicitor in Dublin. I think Fr Sean is a curate or PP here in the Mourned.
      MMM

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    15. I think today's Gospel has some relevance here. Matthew 21:28-32 "Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you." Why? I understand Him to mean that the disciples were blinded by cultural and religious legalism and prejudice and had great difficulty in accepting that Christ's message is for all, not just for the religiously observant and socially acceptable Jews. Those shunned by the mainstream were liberated and empowered by Christ's unconditional love and responded to it!

      We are likewise being challenged in our own time to not let a rote of legalism both blind us and inhibit the unconditional love of God for all. I believe this growing reactionary obsession of the church which is stifling both it's mission and growth in wisdom, clearly manifest in words like "Secularism" are evident of a trend to do exactly that! Let's not be late to the banquet again because it doesn't fit our rules and regulations or place itself within stained glass walls...and yes..it might mean a huge devolvement of an institution, but the institution is not the message, merely a vehicle for delivering the message which has not always served it well. The Church institution needs to be flexible, diverse in unity to embrace all members of the body Christ, where they're at, and open to the Spirit's revelation in and through all. I think our brethren in reformed churches have summed up the challenge, "We need to do Church differently!" (Alongside the same! No one excluded!)If we nurture and deepen our own relationship with God, that essence will touch others who in due course will respond, but it's not a numbers game to gain. God's possession is already His own, it's how we can grow together in love to all we can be. That's true perfection!

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  11. I agree with some of the analysis given today, even when there are sweeping generalisations, some being very unfair and imbalanced. That said, this blog could provide a useful forum for an exchange of positive, visionary and imaginative ideas about being Christian and living the gospel of Christ. More increasingly people have/are choosing their own spiritual pathway. If the Church can encourage just "being" Christ and leaders give example, this will speak louder and more prphetically than any pronouncements by Bishops. I expect my Church to give moral guidance but in a way that understands the society in which we live. I believe many priests give good and caring support and understand the vagaries of people's struggles and of life more than the institution. We are in very changing and challenging times. The Church cannot continue in its present structure. For now I just work with the "given" vineyard entrusted to me and make it as caring, welcoming and Christian a community as is possible. We each have to be true to our own integrity of ministry, with all the difficulties this brings our way. I've never got too caught up with the "institution" My true learning has come from the inspiring witness of priests gone before me and from the immense goodness of the people I encounter in my parish. They give me the witness of true gospel living. (P.P.)

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    1. Sounds like you are one of the highly thought of caring clerics providing a focus on what I understand true christian values to be.
      Keep it up, and don't get disillusioned by what you see around you.
      MMM

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  12. Pope Francis has reappointed cardinal Burke to the post he removed him from 3 years ago, the church court. I suspect being accused of heresy has shaken the pope.

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  13. Wrong. Not true. He had been prefect of the Signatura. He has renewed his term as a member of the Tribunal of the Signatura.,

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  14. Rubbish. That's what you get for half reading something or for your poor grasp of Italian.

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  15. What was the story about Cardinal Burke?

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    1. Burke's position as prefect of the Signatura was discontinued by Francis. He was transferred to a role in the Order of Malta. He is one of two remaining members of four cardinals to present Francis with dubia re his orthodoxy. The other two were called to their eternal reward in rapid succession this year, where they will probably present the Justus iudex ultionis with different dubia about His orthodoxy.

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  16. *************

    A reader told me that the original picture I placed on today's blog was "antisemitic".

    I did not realise that and still do not understand.

    But to be careful I have replaced it.

    I am not in any way antisemetic. I feel for both the historic and current problems of both Jews and Palestinians.

    I really wish they could share their land together.

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    1. Nor do I understand.

      I think it may have been a 'wind-up'.

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  17. To @ 17.22

    Hear, hear!
    You have hit the nail right on the head. But as you say, have people the courage and insight to hear the unpopular truth?
    God bless.

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  18. That scene in Matthew's gospel (oddly, for such a seminal event, it appears only in Matthew) is, as likely as not, part history and part human contrivance.

    Matthew was probably (we are dealing here with ancient history, so certainties are often thin on the ground) written in the last third of the First Century AD, probably (that word again) after the martyrdom of Simon Peter in Rome under Emperor Nero. When the leader of a sect falls, his followers can be thrown into disarray, as Jesus' disciples were after his arrest in Gethsemane. It is very likely that this happened also to the early Christians following Simon Peter's execution.

    The Greek-speaking author of Matthew seems to have tried to rally fellow Christians by presenting Simon Peter as a unifying figure, as Christ himself became a unifying figure for his frightened followers post-Ressurrection. And the author of Matthew did this, I believe, by embellishing what was likely a historical incident in which Jesus asked for his disciples' opinion of him.

    When Jesus asked his question (And who do you say that I am?), Matthew has Peter answer with the Greek word 'Christos' ('Anointed One'. In English,'Christ'.) rather than with the Hebrew word 'Mashiach' (meaning, in English, 'Messiah')

    These words are posited as verbal co-equivalents, but they are not synonymous. 'Christos' in the post-Ressurrection period referred to Jesus as the risen son of God; in other words as God himself. But this is not the case with the Hebrew word 'Mashiach'.

    The Jewish concept of messiaship did not express divinity as one of its qualities. The expected Messiah would be exclusively human.

    Jesus, and his disciples (certainly for the most part), spoke Palestinian Aramaic, and it is highly unlikely that Jesus would have asked, in Greek, such a fundamental question of his disciples, Greek being a language they would not have spoken fluently (if at all). Which means that Simon would have answered Jesus' question with the Hebrew word 'Mashiach' rather than with the conceptually very different Greek word, 'Christos'. He could not, therefore, have recognised, at this time, Jesus as the son of God. (Indeed, gospel accounts post-Crucifixion make it clear that none of the disciples expected Jesus to rise from death.) It was on this apparent basis that Jesus proclaimed Simon the 'rock' on which he (Jesus) would build his church.

    This was nothing more than a literary licence. And it is the foundation, not of Petrine authority and primacy, but of a simple (though well-meaning) deceit to stop the fragmentation of a very frightened, early Christian church.

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    1. Interesting and well presented comment Magna.

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    2. It's a nonsense exegesis, I'm afraid. Wikipedia at it worst.

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    3. A cursory perusal of the LXX will show that indeed christos is synonymous with its Hebrew and Aramic counterparts, both of which predate Matthew's gospel. Faulty exegesis.

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    4. 19:10 and 19:14,from the Sanhedrin's perspective, Jesus was put to death for blasphemy: for making himself God's equal. The Sanhedrin did not expect to meet God incarnate in the Messiah, because the Messiah, officially and generally, was expected to be exclusively human: a charismatic and great leader who would free the Jews from Roman occupation and unite them under God, yes; but exclusively human nonetheless.

      This was the common understanding of messiahship at the time. Of course, from the intellectual-faith highground of the 21st century, we can see intimations of divinity in Old Testament references and allusuons to the Messiah, but these generally went unrecognised, even by Jesus' closest followers.

      Incidentally, if both of you had more than a dilttante's knowledge and understanding of the Gospel, you would know that the disciples' reaction on hearing that Jesus had risen from death exactly coincides with this Jewish messianic understanding.

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    5. Thank you MC for keeping this debate connected to the issues.

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    6. I love this posting. Brilliant. Thank you Magna.

      CR

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    7. It seems that scholars are agreed that there are no NT Aramaic texts extant and that we are depending on the early Greek texts and it being unlikely that Jesus spoke Aramaic?

      But it also seems that there are Aramaic fragments in the Greek translations - fragments like: "Eloi Eloi lama sabachtani" etc.

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    8. Sorry, Bishop P., but didn't you mean 'unlikely that Jesus spoke Greek'? Those fragments, because they were preserved in Aramaic, do suggest themselves as Jesus' actual words.

      No, there are no known Aramaic texts on Scripture.

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    9. Yes I did mean that it was unlikely that Jesus spoke Greek. And even if he did his listeners would not have understood him.

      I agree about the fragments too.

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    10. Where to begin refuting the Wiki exegesis is the question.
      For a start there was no single 'common understanding' of messianic expectation but rather a complex patchwork-quilt plethora of such.
      Secondly it's more correct to speak of messiahs. Many strands of the tradition, apocalyptic and prophetic messianism expected more than one messiah.
      It's ill-informed speculation to claim Simon (Peter) would have answered in Hebrew. Hebrew had died out as a spoken language during the period of the Second Temple.
      All in all a sham exegesis.

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    11. Where to begin refuting the Wiki exegesis is the question.
      For a start there was no single 'common understanding' of messianic expectation but rather a complex patchwork-quilt plethora of such.
      Secondly it's more correct to speak of messiahs. Many strands of the tradition, apocalyptic and prophetic messianism expected more than one messiah.
      It's ill-informed speculation to claim Simon (Peter) would have answered in Hebrew. Hebrew had died out as a spoken language during the period of the Second Temple.
      All in all a sham exegesis.

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    12. 23:28, you really need to pay more attention to my posts. I did not state that Simon Peter spoke Hebrew. Nevertheless, though he, and his fellow Jews, spoke Palestinian Aramaic, (from the time of Jewish exile under the Assyrians) liturgical services were conducted in Hebrew. So ALL Aramaic-speaking Jews of that period would have known some Hebrew.

      You missed my point about messiahship. It is irrelevant how many contemporaneous notions of messiahship existed, OFFICIALLY and GENERALLY, Judaism expected the Messiah to be exclusively human, and this is attested by the behaviouh of both the Sanhedrin AND Jesus' followers.

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    13. The Jewish exile wasnt under the Assyrians but under the Babylonians.

      It's nonsense to speak of an 'official' position on messianism. There was no such thing.

      Jesus' reply to the High Priest in Mark 14.62 refutes your position in a sentence.

      The difficulty for you is being able to assess your sources. Wikipedia is a morass.

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    14. 09:49, I shall ignore your snide remark, implying that my knowledge of the Old Testament is dependent on 'Wikipedia' and, therefore, superficial or inaccurate.

      Were you better acquainted with Old Testament history, you would know that the northern kingdom of Israel was finally conquered by the Assyrians in the eighth century BC, when tens of thousands of its leading citizens were deported by the Assyrian king, Sargon II. The Babylonian exile came two centuries later.

      Exile under the Assyrians was not so great as that under the Babylonians, but it did occur as an Assyrian strategem to reduce the risk of revolt by indigenous people.

      It was during the time of Assyrian occupation and exile that citizens of the former kingdom of Israel learned to speak the Semitic language of their conquerors, Aramaic. However, they did preserve ancient Hebrew texts in order to keep alive, as best they could, their mother tongue. The Hebrew word 'Mashiach' is one such preserved word.

      Spend some time reading the historical books of the Old Testament to improve your knowledge of its timeline and content, particularly for this period, 2 Kings. One or two of the prophetic books would be helpful, as well. Isaiah and Amos, for instance.

      I am not going to continue debating with you whether mainstream Judaism expected the Messiah to be exclusively human: among other things, the behaviour of the Sanhedrin towards Jesus and the disbelief among Jesus' closest followers on hearing of his resurrection bear out my point.

      As for Mark 14:62, how does it 'refute' my point? Jesus' disclosure of his divinity provoked from Caiaphas the very response one would expect (he accused him of blasphemy and sought his death) from a Jew who did not forsee the Messiah as God incarnate.

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    15. You referenced the Jewish exile. This happened under Babylon.

      It was the Samaritan exile which took place under Assyria.

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    16. I have already addressed your first point in my previous comment.

      The Samaritans you referred to were not those we can read about in the New Testament; you are confusing the two, a common error by those with superfical knowledge of both the Old and New Testaments.

      The Samaritans referred to in the New Testament were likely a completely new sect that emerged shortly before Christ's birth; they were called 'Samaritans' because of their religious ideology, not because they came from the ancient city of Samaria. The two groups are not the same.

      The Samaritans of the New Testament were considered by the Jews to be an apostsizing sect. By contrast, not once are the Samaritans of the northern kingdom, Israel, referred to as a sect anywhere in the Old Testament, much less an apostsizing one.

      The Samaritans of this period in the Old Testament were, therefore, bona fide Jews.

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  19. You might be interested in the below link Pat?

    Southampton-based 'paedophile hunter' Stephen Dure posed as a 14-year-old boy on Grindr to catch Robert Babey (a serial sex abuser of boys).

    http://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-41281122/southampton-paedophile-hunter-sting-captured-on-video

    May God have mercy on those Grindr protectors in maynooth...

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  20. Is it true the PP in Donaghmede which is Georgeous home Parish is gone. Any one know?.

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    1. Perhaps a sabbatical, or leave of absence, but it is not unusual for a pulpit poove to disappear without reason given.

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  21. Pat isn't answering questions about who is gone and who is living with who

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    1. Pat does not know the answers.

      Donaghamede has two Co Parish priests which is DMs way of not giving priests certain rights.

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    2. What concern of yours is that?

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  22. My goodness Magna, you sure know your stuff
    On the other hand is all that knowledge imparted to all studen priests, and mor importantly do they need to know it ?

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    1. No, this knowledge is not imparted to all student priests; but they do need to have it, in order to challenge the lies on which, for example, the papacy is founded.

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    2. MourneManMichael1 October 2017 at 01:23

      I'm glad to see the depth of Magna's knowledge is being recognised. I could see it in some earlier comments, but regrettably also saw that frustration at some of the limitations of other contributors spilled over into OTT personalised diatribes on both parts.
      MC's more recent comments show a depth of knowledge and understanding that is often lost on certain contributors whose only response is to personalised attacks. I readily admit some of Magna's info is certainly lost on me too with my very limited study of theology of 50+ years ago.
      What I do find revealing is that those who attack MC invariably resort to ad hominem personal abuse rather than debate the points made, albeit MC too has resorted to much scathing denigration.
      I do hope that recent changes to the tenor of debate will continue and we will all learn from each other's contributions.
      MMM

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    3. MC does not “know his stuff”! This offering today is pure claptrap. It is a pure rehash of old antiCatholic arguments against the Church since the days of Luther et al. A good Catholic apologist would demolish these arguments against the primacy of Peter and the Popes without a problem and have been doing so for centuries. The incurably contemptuous MC might be feted on here for his “knowledge”, for “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”!

      Every scriptural text that does not coincide with this “genius”, MC’s, esoteric notions about religion and the Church are written off by him as being “invented” by the early Church. What utter rubbish from this dilettante masquerading on here as a polymath!

      You cannot rewrite the sacred texts to suit your own views. You cannot rewrite history. This blog on the papacy is a rant worthy of a Protestant fundamentalist extremist by a man who wants to keep the trappings and trimmings of Catholicism but rejects its nature andsubstance because of his own pride and hubris!

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    4. Whoo hoo hullabaloo!

      16:51, I didn't serve up any 'old antiCatholic (sic) arguments against the Church since the days of Luther et al'. What an imagination you have!

      My case is my own, based on scholarly study. If I'm wrong, then, please, tell me which of the reformers expressed precisely my argument.

      You sound very angry; in fact, too angry. All those petulant exclamation marks in your post.

      Are you afraid that I hit a nail squarely on its head? Because that's what your anger suggests: fear.

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    5. Mmm, I'm afraid your assessment of the said lady's/gentleman's outpourings reveals that you are completely out of your depth in these matters. Better to admit as much and to refrain from judging things which you are clearly neither qualified to do nor capable of doing.

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    6. Scholarly study, Magna Carta? Who has attested to your scholarship? What scholars have assessed your earthshaking conclusions from your “scholarly” studies?

      If the papacy is not in God’s Will and can be so clearly shown to be what you are alleging, surely you have a most solemn obligation to the souls of your fellow men and women, to shout these things from the housetops?

      Have you debated your views, arrived at through this scholarship, with other scholars, or are you the sole judge of your own work?

      Where can we read your scholarly studies of these matters, apart from this anonymous blog site?

      Who can attest to your academic credentials?

      I won’t hold my breath waiting for your sources - something about which all true scholars are meticulous.

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    7. I have a solemn obligation 'to shout these things from the housetops'? In truth, I could shout these things until I was hoarse (and that is exactly what would happen), but cynics like you, and vested papal interests, would hear, and not heed.

      But Ecclesiastes has wisdom for our times: 'To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven...' (A Sinn Féiner might put it less portentously: 'Tiocfaidh ár lá'!)

      Yes, the time for papal reform will come (indeed, is coming), even though little people are doing their utmost to prevent it.)

      Had you been clever enough to understand my posts correctly, you would know that I never denied the leadership role of Simon Peter, but I did object to the worldly direction the 'papacy' took not long after Simon Peter's death.

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    8. Ah, now we are getting somewhere! I agree with you about the worldly direction the papacy took. Every true Catholic would agree with you. And, of course, the papacy like every institution is in need of ongoing reform - Pope Francis would be the first to say it.

      However, the problem always, with the likes of yourself and Pat Buckley, are the broad sweeps of your damning brushes. Everything is written off and to be raised to the ground. And much of it is dictated by your own hubris and pique. Jesus Christ did not lie when He said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against my Church”. He did not say, “I know I said I am with you always until the end of time but I’m actually going to go on a long break after the first few hundred years and leave you all to it for a 1000 years or so. Then, when Martin Luther is ready, I shall return from holidays”.

      Jesus Christ works in His Church despite there having been some corrupt popes. The fact that the Church has survived corruption sometimes at the highest level is proof that Christ protects and guides His Church as He promised to do until the end of the ages.

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    9. Your interpretation os Qoheleth is off the mark too. The sentence you quote is anything but a detached conviction that every dog has its day. A simple aquaintance with the context of Chapter 3 makes clear that instead it's a morbidly depressive articulation of the banality and predictability of life.

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    10. Clearly comments such as those by Anon 16.51 are baseless. Magma has made excellent and informed observations in his above points and Anon 16.51 is throwing toys out of prams.

      People who have studied the sacred scriptures are normally well aware of such in depth understandings or at least open to such conversations.

      Anon 16.51 therefore appears as an uneducated and ignorant commentator who has chosen to attack Magna because he cannot really attack Magna's point.

      Anon 18.50 again repeats this pattern attacking MMM personally rather than on point.

      In both cases Magna and MMM appear to be the commentators who are on the ball... a point further supported by they being the ones willing to sign their names, unlike the Anons attacking them.

      To both Anons; please educate yourselves because clearly those ye encounter here are both well informed as to their subject matter.

      CR.

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    11. Some people are SO easily taken in!!

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  23. Priests and prelates were corrupt in the time of St. Francis but he didn't condemn the Church for their faults and leave it, neither did he deny the primacy of the papacy. But, of course, others know better than he did. Silly old St. Francis, silly old St. John Vianney etc. etc. etc. Everyone their own Pope (Luther's lie), that has worked out so well with 30,000 denominations (pick one folks, as God obviously intended).

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    1. Do you really believe that Roman Catholicism is a doctrinal monolith?

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  24. If we all knew as little as MC about biblical studies and wrote as much there'd be a constipation of wisdom and knowledge and a diarrhea of babble.

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    1. I'd wager, 18:15, that you're pleased with yourself for crafting that little sentence.

      Well done. We're all entitled to our tuppence worth.

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    2. Pleased with himself!!! Err.... Look in a mirror, for goodness' sake.

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    3. Ha ha @18,15
      Nice one!

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  25. MournemanMichael1 October 2017 at 23:43

    Thanks anon @ 18.50.
    You absolutely confirm the point I made earlier.
    MMM

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