We were unable to load Disqus. If you are a moderator please see our troubleshooting guide.

David W • 1 year ago

So the Pope is saying nothing different than the Church has always said. But some people are of the opinion that the Church is in error because she will not change her teaching. But if the Church believe that this teaching is from God and therefore she has no authority to change His teaching, perhaps the quarrel they have is not with the Church, but with God.

Neighbor in Illinois • 1 year ago

No, it will be like the teaching on usury, democratic governance, artificial contraception. It will be ignored and then it will wither.

Guest • 1 year ago
jwelhwel • 1 year ago

How many Catholics of child bearing age do you know who do not usesome form of artificial birth birth? These would all be "relevant" and not in the aging category!

David W • 1 year ago

In logic we call this the "appeal to ignorance" fallacy. Basically one argues that because one is not aware of A, Not-A must be true.

Mike A • 1 year ago

Your entire argument is circular: It is predicated on the logical fallacy of ‘appeal to authority.’ Your argument reduces to “The teaching is true because the church says so.” This allows you -- it requires you -- to dismiss the contributions of history, theology, biblical studies, and the empirical sciences to our understanding of human sexuality. It also requires you to ignore the experience, reflection, and witness of gay persons and their families.

I think it best for you to avoid invoking logic in service of your argument. Your argument is profoundly dishonest and, as a matter of logic, radically flawed.

David W • 1 year ago

That would be false. I say the Church has authority because Christ says so. Time to ask yourself. Is Christ merely a man? Or is He God? If you recognize Christ is God and the Catholic Church is His Church, then what it teaches has His authority. But if you deny that Jesus is God or that the Catholic Church is His Church, then it doesn't matter what it says.

It's time for people to ask why they profess to be Christians and why they profess to be Catholic.

Mike A • 1 year ago

On December 6, 1965, the teaching of the Catholic Church was that “error has no rights”, and that the concepts of religious freedom and freedom of conscience were “anathema.” On December 7, 1965, Pope Paul promulgated the Council’s Document on Religious Liberty, affirming that ideas don’t have rights, but people do -- and that among the rights that flow from the dignity of the human person (the very name of the document, by the way: ‘Dignitatis humanae’) are the rights to religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

If you are not familiar with the older teaching or the documents of the magisterium in which they are found, you are really not equipped to discuss this issue. It is intellectually dishonest to claim that the church has not changed its teaching and theologically and logically untenable to claim that it cannot.

David W • 1 year ago

I am quite familiar with documents old and new, and DH was saying the same thing in a new way. Just as Pope Francis (remember when this discussion was about him?) says the same things in a new way.

Mike A • 1 year ago

>> DH was saying the same thing in a new way. <<

Dignitatis Humanae affirmed precisely the propositions about religious freedom and freedom of conscience that the older teaching condemned. It is nonsense to say that DH said the same thing. And it is dishonest. The preposterous claim that the church cannot and does not change its teaching forces its proponents into that intellectual dishonesty. You may as well argue that black is white and up is down.

In a footnote in the Abbot edition of the Documents of Vatican II, John Courtney Murray (the principal author of DH) comments on this dramatic change. He says that it would remain for future theologians to discern a continuity between the old teaching and the new. Of course, since the new teaching simply reverses the old, no-one has shown the continuity -- because there is none. (The Abbot edition of the documents is no longer in print, but it is available as an ebook from America Media.)

David W • 1 year ago

You're comparing Apples to oranges here

Mike A • 1 year ago

I'm not comparing anything to anything. I demonstrated that the church can and does change its teaching, and I pointed to the reversal of the older teaching which "anathematized" the concepts of freedom of conscience and religious liberty to make my point. You've been defending an indefensible proposition, and I think you know it -- you've been reduced to this vacuous assertion about apples and oranges.

I noticed that the link to this article is no longer on the NCR home page. I'm thinking that few people are still reading it. I wonder if in the semi-private discussion we're having you would be willing to acknowledge that you have found it difficult, even uncomfortable, to sustain your position that the church cannot and does not change its teaching. My question is this: What happens if you do acknowledge the irrefutable fact that church teaching can and does change? Have you really staked your faith on a proposition that is demonstrably false?

Mike A • 1 year ago

That's an intellectually dishonest response to the historical fact that the church can and does change its teaching and has done so many times.

Margie • 1 year ago

How many aging people are now using contraception? A lot of the African and Asian women not using it are dying.

Neighbor in Illinois • 1 year ago

Actually, I teach high school students in a Catholic school, and my perceptions are quite different.

David W • 1 year ago

If you teach them what you profess here, I pray for them. But it seems orthodoxy is growing.

colkoch • 1 year ago

It isn't. It just seems to be growing in your filtered mind.

David W • 1 year ago

So you say. But even the Pope that people put their hopes in to "change teaching" is saying the same things his predecessors say. So whose mind is filtered now?

colkoch • 1 year ago

Not mine David. I stated after six months of Pope Francis there would be no change in teaching and that this would eventually undermine his entire papacy amongst first world Catholics. Francis can not keep asking for a change of heart when the core teachings are often heartless.

BROhthor • 1 year ago

Yet, it is - by most any standard - far too early to tell what this papacy will and won't do. There is so much yet to unfold, I sort of cringe when statements of such finality are made. I urge a wait-and-see approach. We have even yet to hear what reforms of the curia are, but it seems they will come fairly soon.

BROhthor • 1 year ago

It is called "wish fulfillment." Characteristic of the thinking used by very young children in looking for "magical" solutions and answers to problems.

Patricksday • 1 year ago

David, there is no quarrel with God, I have God no matter where I go as Gay man, I no longer give the Roman Catholic Church permission to create or dictate my Divine experience, they forced me to do that when I was called "disordered" and "evil", something Jesus Christ would not say to a child of God such as myself. Burned out celibate men furious that they could not live an honest and open life in their youth with family and friends, must be very painful. The youth of today have Gay friends and family and are turned off by the old celibates who dont live in their world or care to embrace the family and friends these young people hold dear to them. The church will have its small purer self with all the Costumes, Latin, Organ music, Pomp and Circumstance that old world people need to feel close to God. Nothing wrong with that, I went through my phase of that too.

David W • 1 year ago

If God gives the Church His authority, then to reject the authority of the Church is to reject Him (Luke 10:16)

1LittleBear • 1 year ago

Jesus is NOT the church. The church IS NOT God.

David W • 1 year ago

The Church is the body of Christ, and Christ affirmed that rejecting His Church is rejecting Him. Why try to create a straw man with a claim nobody made?

1LittleBear • 1 year ago

Christ never said anything about "If you reject the church, you reject me."
Jesus lived and died a Jew. The Apostles, Jesus' relatives, Mary, Mary Magdalene---lived and died Jews. Jesus DID NOT begin a church. The church developed from Christian communities that were all around the middle east and parts of Europe. This took at least 100+ years to begin to form.

So don't cite the malarkey that the official church has been peddling for so long---that they even believe it. History clearly demonstrates the development of various Christian communities---with differing backgrounds, social and cultural roots---into the concept of Christianity as occurring over TIME---not a pre-packaged concept that everyone understood and accepted.

And Jesus didn't found any church. In fact, the Apostles believed that Jesus would return before they died. If they were supposed to be the foundation of a church----Jesus certainly didn't tell them about it!

Patricksday • 1 year ago

I was brainwashed too, until they called me "disordered" and "evil" then I finally saw the Light of God, I was being lied to and betrayed by men who once had me believing God hated me because of how I was created by God. Cling to your fear based Faith, I have found true connection with Jesus and its based on Love, not fear.

David W • 1 year ago

Name calling is not rebuttal. I follow God from love, and because of that love I seek to set aside those parts of my life that go against what He teaches.

Patricksday • 1 year ago

So glad that is working for you, Peace- Patrick

BROhthor • 1 year ago

Well, that is very nice of you. But I'm waiting for some proof from David W.

Patricksday • 1 year ago

Our faith in God is driven by Love or Fear, I choose Love. And I finally understand, not everyone is capable of Love, its a sign of weakness to them.

colkoch • 1 year ago

Perhaps the quarrel is with a Church that claims the power of the Keys when it's convenient and then denies it has that power when it becomes inconvenient.

David W • 1 year ago

The Church has never claimed that it has the power to overrule what God has taught.

colkoch • 1 year ago

"Call no man father". Direct quote from Jesus. Totally ignored and overruled.

David W • 1 year ago

You know, you could research these things...

colkoch • 1 year ago

I am perfectly aware of the Church apologetics for calling clerics 'father' in spite of this injunction from Jesus.

JKirkLVNV • 1 year ago

"No man." Can't refer to your male parental unit in that way, either.

colkoch • 1 year ago

We can call our parental unit 'dad'.

1LittleBear • 1 year ago

If the official church practiced everything that Jesus taught, we would not have had:

1) Schisms
2) Wars tolerated between Christian countries
3) Slavery tolerated,
4) Sexual abuse of children/youth
5) Denial of INDIVIDUAL rights---speech, religion, etc.
6) The treatment of women as subservient members of humanity

Jesus' public ministry lasted about three years. HE wasn't able to bring about lasting changes in HIS religious leaders. Nor, were his immediate followers [those in charge of the Christian communities] able to free themselves from their own personal prejudices, either. I give them credit for trying. But over the centuries---the leadership was more concerned about its status, power, and wealth. This is more than over seventeen hundred years of corruption---either at the top level, the curia, the bishops, the clergy, the religious institutes. There were the practicing saints, of course, but the vast majority were mired in corruption.

Pope Francis, who is not the God-Man, has been in office not quite three years, yet. He will only be able to do as much as he is able to open his heart and mind to do, in God's time.

David W • 1 year ago

You confuse teaching without error with being without sin. The fact that God protects His Church from teaching error does not mean those who lead the Church do not sin. Nobody ever claimed that.

This is nothing more than a tu quoque fallacy.

1LittleBear • 1 year ago

Vatican II taught that the Church is the entire People of God [a phrase that traddies never use].
So who is supposed to be "teaching the truth" [according to what you are stating]?
I can cite you at least ten popes who were so degenerate that anything that they 'TAUGHT' would have been suspect.
Truth does not come to us in its entirety----pre-packaged. Sorry, but the human mind is not capable of dealing with TRUTH in its entirety. It takes TIME for the human race to understand bits and pieces of truth.
As a church historian, I can point out many places where the church taught in error. And the church pays heavily each time----and for centuries and centuries. The more the church insists that it teaches without error----the more it is revealed that it does not.

Mike A • 1 year ago

On the other hand, if the teaching is wrong, then it is not from God and the church can, should and must change it -- and the claim that it cannot change it is nothing more, and nothing less, and nothing other than a manifestation of the sin of pride. The claim that the church cannot change its teaching is not a claim about God; it is a claim of and about human beings who are trying desperately to cling to power and control over other human beings.

David W • 1 year ago

If the Church can teach error, then she is not the Church established by Christ in the first place and she has no authority to teach anything.

Mike A • 1 year ago

To further this discussion, would you be willing to take a one question, True/False quiz? Of course, you don’t have to participate, but if you do, I ask you to provide a clear, unambiguous response: True or False. Obviously, ou may explain or expand your answer as you see fit, but please answer the question unambiguously:

In 1965, the Catholic Church changed its teaching on freedom of conscience and religious liberty.

True or False?

1LittleBear • 1 year ago

The Holy Spirit came to enlighten all. But the Holy Spirit does not FORCE anyone [including the leadership] to ACCEPT enlightenment.
God doesn't force anybody to do anything. Our church's history is filled with examples when it taught plenty of error. And what is more, it enforced it.

David W • 1 year ago

So, you deny that God protects His Church? Why be a Catholic then?

1LittleBear • 1 year ago

God cares for everyone! And I'm not a Catholic because I believe that God PROTECTS the Church. Christians died as martyrs in the past and do so today.

The dedication is to God and how Christ taught and demonstrated for us to love God and neighbor. It is not a task for shivering, shaking cowards.

Truth is discovered, bit by bit----and mistakes are often made. But one has to take a chance----just as Jesus taught in his parable of the servants given money by their master---who left for a long time. On his return---he demanded an accounting. The two servants, who took chances and invested the money, so that it would make more [and it did] were praised and put in charge of more. The last servant, was too afraid to do anything---he didn't take any chances---hid the money and returned the single coin to his master. He was rebuked and what he had was taken away and given to the first servant.

We are not Catholic/Christians to be huddling under bushel baskets afraid to move, to act, to grow---even if it means possibly making mistakes. I pray, reflect, and follow the inner voice of God within me and proceed. If I fail---I trust in God's mercy and forgiveness.

BROhthor • 1 year ago

The term "protects" is a far cry from the notion that the Church is as inerrant as God is. And the long history of our Church shows that, indeed, it is far from being without error. So either God can be in error, or the Church as a man-made institution is clearly prone to error. But there are ways to tell of the Church got it right about something. However, the Church is not availing itself of that methodology at present - and not a whole lot in the past, either. Indeed, God protects us, our Church. But that does not mean the Supreme Being has chosen to keep us from our own nature. We sin, and the Church sins. We can be in error, and the Church can be in error. It is arrogant, and her_tical, to think or state otherwise.

Guest • 1 year ago
BROhthor • 1 year ago

And all that I know from all that I have learned and from all I believe and from all of the prayer I do rather constantly, that option does not exist for me. Praise be to the Lord.