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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:07 am 
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theJack wrote:
I dont understand the initial objection. If you think the RCC is the church Christ founded, what have you to gain be leaving on a count of corruption in her human leadership? It doesn't take much Scripture reading to see that God's chosen people have frequently had to deal with mismanagement (to put it mildly). On the other hand, if you dont basically believe Christ founded the RCC, why join at all? For whatever agreement you may have with particular doctrines or whatever cultural or historical appreciation you have for the church, her fundamental claim is that she is the body Christ founded and that hell will not overcome her.

I guess that just strikes me as a yes/no proposition. You either believe it or you dont. Corrupt leadership just doesn't seem to enter the picture for me. [/confused]


Penn Jillete (militant atheist) said something similar [emphasis mine above]. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevin-wax/penn-jilette-defends-the-pope-to-piers-morgan/

It's interesting to me that a "protestant"* (theJack) and an atheist (Jillette) better understand the claims of the RCC that many, dare I say most Catholics, don't [understand].

* - I know you disagree with the label, only using it to make a point. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:51 am 
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Peetem wrote:
theJack wrote:
I dont understand the initial objection. If you think the RCC is the church Christ founded, what have you to gain be leaving on a count of corruption in her human leadership? It doesn't take much Scripture reading to see that God's chosen people have frequently had to deal with mismanagement (to put it mildly). On the other hand, if you dont basically believe Christ founded the RCC, why join at all? For whatever agreement you may have with particular doctrines or whatever cultural or historical appreciation you have for the church, her fundamental claim is that she is the body Christ founded and that hell will not overcome her.

I guess that just strikes me as a yes/no proposition. You either believe it or you dont. Corrupt leadership just doesn't seem to enter the picture for me. [/confused]


Penn Jillete (militant atheist) said something similar [emphasis mine above]. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevin-wax/penn-jilette-defends-the-pope-to-piers-morgan/

It's interesting to me that a "protestant"* (theJack) and an atheist (Jillette) better understand the claims of the RCC that many, dare I say most Catholics, don't [understand].

* - I know you disagree with the label, only using it to make a point. :D


May I add my own concurrence here?

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:14 am 
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theJack wrote:
I dont understand the initial objection. If you think the RCC is the church Christ founded, what have you to gain be leaving on a count of corruption in her human leadership? It doesn't take much Scripture reading to see that God's chosen people have frequently had to deal with mismanagement (to put it mildly). On the other hand, if you dont basically believe Christ founded the RCC, why join at all? For whatever agreement you may have with particular doctrines or whatever cultural or historical appreciation you have for the church, her fundamental claim is that she is the body Christ founded and that hell will not overcome her.

I guess that just strikes me as a yes/no proposition. You either believe it or you dont. Corrupt leadership just doesn't seem to enter the picture for me. [/confused]


You are right and what you say is logical/rational. In the issue at hand, some people feel so much shock, pain and shame. They are guided not by logical reasoning but by emotion and passion.

2 cents

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:36 am 
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My guess would be that the bad leadership causes doubt as to whether the Catholic Church is indeed the Church that Christ founded.

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:57 am 
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Emotions are powerful things but also always rooted in beliefs, even if those beliefs are misguided. I'm shocked and ashamed at things done in the name of Christ. It doesn't lead to any sense of doubt but rather indignation. Again, I cant grasp the leap from anger at corruption to rejecting the claim that Christ founded the church. It is a complete non-sequitur. I think such an action demonstrates a basic failure of the person in what they think they are supposed to be placing their faith. I dont mean to pull a "never catholic to begin with", as if I endorsed no true scotsman, but I think it's truly fair to take such as strong evidence they never understood the basis of the Catholic faith.

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:18 am 
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It's the same as the argument from evil. I can't give an account for every evil that God allows; I believe that He is good on other grounds, and therefore I believe that there is a reason He allows any given evil to happen. So I can't refute an atheist, or even encourage a troubled believer, by providing an account for every evil. I can only give the reasons that I believe God is good.

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:35 am 
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theJack wrote:
Emotions are powerful things but also always rooted in beliefs, even if those beliefs are misguided. I'm shocked and ashamed at things done in the name of Christ. It doesn't lead to any sense of doubt but rather indignation. Again, I cant grasp the leap from anger at corruption to rejecting the claim that Christ founded the church. It is a complete non-sequitur. I think such an action demonstrates a basic failure of the person in what they think they are supposed to be placing their faith. I dont mean to pull a "never catholic to begin with", as if I endorsed no true scotsman, but I think it's truly fair to take such as strong evidence they never understood the basis of the Catholic faith.

If you are clear in your understanding of who or what ROMAN CATHOLICS are supposed to place their faith in, then can you, or anyone else, tell me.

The Pope is the head of the Church. If I cannot have faith that the Pope's version of Catholicism is correct, then how do I know whose version of Catholicism is correct?

If Pope Francis misleads then how can I have confidence that Pope Benedict or Pope John Paul did not also mislead?

How do I know that Pope Paul did not mislead when he said that it is a sin to use contraceptives?

How do I know that the leaders of the Church who taught that divorce and remarriage is never allowed did not teach incorrectly (especially as other Christian Churches allow divorce and remarriage)?

How can I know that the leaders of the Catholic Church who taught that it is a sin to not attend Mass on Sundays did not mislead?

I have read a lot recently about how traditional or conservative Catholics disparagingly refer to liberal or progressive Catholics as 'cafeteria Catholics'. If Catholics pick and choose which Popes to obey, and which Popes not to obey, are these Catholics not also cafeteria Catholics?


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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:23 pm 
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Denise does raise valid questions. When John XXII held that those who die in grace still do not see God face to face until after the resurrection, what justified Thomas Waleys denouncing that doctrine, and what made it wrong for Church authorities to punish Thomas Waleys? How do we know that Benedict XII, who followed him, was right in defining that they do see God face to face?

In some ways it is far easier to see the answer after the fact. John XXII held what he did as a personal opinion, albeit one he shared publicly, which he recanted later. Benedict XII clearly defined the matter with authority. But at the time, before the issue was settled (and in the midst of debates over papal infallibility that were raging at the time) it would be quite difficult to sort out.

The practical answer is this: we hold what is clearly taught. As stated by the Church, e.g. in Canon law, we do not hold as infallible any doctrine unless it is clearly so. At the same time, we hold the ordinary teachings of bishops and popes in reverence. Where there is ambiguity, we must hold to what is clear and interpret in light of that.

But at the same time, not every Catholic need be a theologian. He does not need to read, interpret, reconcile, every magisterial document, let alone every statement of whatever authority by the pope. And yes sometimes there will be misunderstanding, especially in the modern world where a far greater number want answers to very particular questions.

There are a host of questions where the answer is clear, even as given by Francis elsewhere- on abortion, on homosexuality, on homosexuality in the priesthood, where he has explicitly and clearly taught the same thing as his predecessors. If he speaks, especially off the cuff, in a way that seems contrary, clearly the clear and unambiguous teachings take precedence, and we should either interpret other statements in light of that, or, failing seeing how they are reconcilable, hold to what is clearly taught with authority, and not be bothered with other statements.

Now sometimes there may not be a clear answer, or there may be confusion as to what that is. That is why the confusedness in many statements and pronouncements are so troubling, because they cause confusion.

In anycase, in matters clearly defined (like the indissolubility of marriage, defined at Trent) there is no doubt as to the true doctrine, and anything seemingly contrary is either reconcilable in fact or not, but even were a pope to say something clearly irreconcilable with Trent, well we would still know the truth, because it was clearly defined. And that is what we must fall back on, explaining what is obscure by what is clear.

The pope is the servant of the deposit of faith, not its author. He is to hand down (tradere) not invent doctrine. And hence we defer to the tradition, whether in scripture, in the Fathers, in the Theologians or in prior magisterial teaching, to understand this deposit, and in understanding this or that pope's exercise of his guardianship.

The pope is not the object of faith. God is. And revelation is the matter of faith, with the Church' s witness being the proximate matter, that is the immediate means, by which it is received. But that witness is not any one pope, but the witness of the Church as a whole. Each pope has exercised supreme authority here in this tradition. Francis is no less than Pius XII. But the witness of his predecessors is no less than his. Consequently, we must choose what is clearer and more authoritative whether between Francis' own statements, or between his and his predecessors. And understand him, as far as possible, in this context.

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:34 pm 
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theJack wrote:
I don't understand the initial objection. If you think the RCC is the church Christ founded, what have you to gain be leaving on a count of corruption in her human leadership? It doesn't take much Scripture reading to see that God's chosen people have frequently had to deal with mismanagement (to put it mildly). On the other hand, if you don't basically believe Christ founded the RCC, why join at all? For whatever agreement you may have with particular doctrines or whatever cultural or historical appreciation you have for the church, her fundamental claim is that she is the body Christ founded and that hell will not overcome her.

I guess that just strikes me as a yes/no proposition. You either believe it or you don't. Corrupt leadership just doesn't seem to enter the picture for me. [/confused]


I don't think you understand. We're not concerned about 'corruption', well, we are, but that's not what the objection to Pope Francis is. The objection to Pope Francis is that he seems to be deliberately attempting to dramatically transform the fundamental nature of the Church and its teaching.

It's not that he is trying to actually formally reverse the teaching of the Church, for example by retracting Humane Vitae, what he is doing is actually more insidious than that. He isn't changing the teaching of the Church so much as he is 'nuancing' it into non-existence. Let me pick a really obvious example, homosexuality. Has Pope Francis said that gay marriage is okay? Not in so many words, but he has made many comments denigrating traditional marriage (such as his 'most Catholics are not in a valid marriage' comment) while simultaneously saying things like how many homosexual marriages are 'more real' than heterosexual marriages. What the hell does that mean?

Another good example is divorce and remarriage. The Pope wants divorced persons who have remarried without an annulment to be able to receive communion, and yet he claims (incoherently) that this does not violate the traditional teaching of the Church against divorce and remarriage because it is only a 'pastoral' measure. But you can't have a pastoral provision that directly contradicts the teaching of the Church. That doesn't make sense.

So, what Francis is doing is changing the teaching of the Church in every conceivable way except actually literally changing it. This is probably the most damaging thing that he could possibly do, it causes more harm than formal, explicit heresy.

So, the reason why Pope Francis causes a crisis among many Catholics is that it raises the question 'is the Catholic Church the Church founded by Jesus Christ or not?' If it is, then how can the existence of someone like Pope Francis, who frequently implies that 2,000 years of Church teaching are completely wrong, be explained?

That is the problem. And I'll tell you flat out that I don't know how to resolve it except by trying to train myself not to think about it.
'

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:53 pm 
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If it is, then how can the existence of someone like Pope Francis, who frequently implies that 2,000 years of Church teaching are completely wrong, be explained?

If I thought, as some were alleged to have thought at the time of Vatican I, that every word of a pope was irreformable, I would see the problem. Since the Fathers of Vatican I knew better, I am at a loss to see the problem. The pope, teaching outside of the bounds of ex cathedra, has no more protection against error than anyone else. That is, he may have more graces available to him by virtue of his office, but he can still err seriously if he doesn't make use of them.

It grieves me that this may be the case, but it doesn't change my conviction that the Catholic Church is the Church established by Christ.

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:49 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
theJack wrote:
Emotions are powerful things but also always rooted in beliefs, even if those beliefs are misguided. I'm shocked and ashamed at things done in the name of Christ. It doesn't lead to any sense of doubt but rather indignation. Again, I cant grasp the leap from anger at corruption to rejecting the claim that Christ founded the church. It is a complete non-sequitur. I think such an action demonstrates a basic failure of the person in what they think they are supposed to be placing their faith. I dont mean to pull a "never catholic to begin with", as if I endorsed no true scotsman, but I think it's truly fair to take such as strong evidence they never understood the basis of the Catholic faith.

If you are clear in your understanding of who or what ROMAN CATHOLICS are supposed to place their faith in, then can you, or anyone else, tell me.

The Pope is the head of the Church. If I cannot have faith that the Pope's version of Catholicism is correct, then how do I know whose version of Catholicism is correct?

If Pope Francis misleads then how can I have confidence that Pope Benedict or Pope John Paul did not also mislead?

How do I know that Pope Paul did not mislead when he said that it is a sin to use contraceptives?

How do I know that the leaders of the Church who taught that divorce and remarriage is never allowed did not teach incorrectly (especially as other Christian Churches allow divorce and remarriage)?

How can I know that the leaders of the Catholic Church who taught that it is a sin to not attend Mass on Sundays did not mislead?

I have read a lot recently about how traditional or conservative Catholics disparagingly refer to liberal or progressive Catholics as 'cafeteria Catholics'. If Catholics pick and choose which Popes to obey, and which Popes not to obey, are these Catholics not also cafeteria Catholics?


This is WAY over simplified, but here goes....

Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, Teaching of the Magisterium. If the Pope is exercising his teaching authority, and where he agrees with all three, he's correct. Where the Pope disagrees with any of the three, he's in error (which hasn't happened).

This only when it comes to faith and morals not things like if there's life in outer space.

Going to Mass on Sunday, divorce & remarriage, and contraception have always been taught as intrinsically evil. The Pope can't change Church teaching. Pope Francis hasn't changed Church teaching nor formally declared anything in opposition, in his official position as Pope, to these things.

What Francis says to reporters and other people in private is meaningless (although can create confusion).

My faith is in Christ, His Church and His promises. Not the Pope.

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:58 pm 
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Peetem wrote:
Pope Francis hasn't changed Church teaching nor formally declared anything in opposition, in his official position as Pope, to these things.

What Francis says to reporters and other people in private is meaningless (although can create confusion).




That is just it, I am saying is that what he is doing is WORSE than formally declaring a heresy. He is upholding Catholic doctrine in words while implementing policies that undermine it in reality. This is the worst of all possible worlds. And it is not just a question of what he says privately to reporters, I'm talking about his official teaching, such as AL.

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:08 pm 
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Peetem wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
theJack wrote:
Emotions are powerful things but also always rooted in beliefs, even if those beliefs are misguided. I'm shocked and ashamed at things done in the name of Christ. It doesn't lead to any sense of doubt but rather indignation. Again, I cant grasp the leap from anger at corruption to rejecting the claim that Christ founded the church. It is a complete non-sequitur. I think such an action demonstrates a basic failure of the person in what they think they are supposed to be placing their faith. I dont mean to pull a "never catholic to begin with", as if I endorsed no true scotsman, but I think it's truly fair to take such as strong evidence they never understood the basis of the Catholic faith.

If you are clear in your understanding of who or what ROMAN CATHOLICS are supposed to place their faith in, then can you, or anyone else, tell me.

The Pope is the head of the Church. If I cannot have faith that the Pope's version of Catholicism is correct, then how do I know whose version of Catholicism is correct?

If Pope Francis misleads then how can I have confidence that Pope Benedict or Pope John Paul did not also mislead?

How do I know that Pope Paul did not mislead when he said that it is a sin to use contraceptives?

How do I know that the leaders of the Church who taught that divorce and remarriage is never allowed did not teach incorrectly (especially as other Christian Churches allow divorce and remarriage)?

How can I know that the leaders of the Catholic Church who taught that it is a sin to not attend Mass on Sundays did not mislead?

I have read a lot recently about how traditional or conservative Catholics disparagingly refer to liberal or progressive Catholics as 'cafeteria Catholics'. If Catholics pick and choose which Popes to obey, and which Popes not to obey, are these Catholics not also cafeteria Catholics?


This is WAY over simplified, but here goes....

Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, Teaching of the Magisterium. If the Pope is exercising his teaching authority, and where he agrees with all three, he's correct. Where the Pope disagrees with any of the three, he's in error (which hasn't happened).

This only when it comes to faith and morals not things like if there's life in outer space.

Going to Mass on Sunday, divorce & remarriage, and contraception have always been taught as intrinsically evil. The Pope can't change Church teaching. Pope Francis hasn't changed Church teaching nor formally declared anything in opposition, in his official position as Pope, to these things.

What Francis says to reporters and other people in private is meaningless (although can create confusion).

My faith is in Christ, His Church and His promises. Not the Pope.

Who is in a position to judge whether or not the pope is in agreement with scripture, tradition and magisterium, when it's a matter of interpretation?

What exactly is the magisterium, who is in the magisterium and who appoints them to be in the magisterium?


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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:48 pm 
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Doom wrote:
I don't think you understand. We're not concerned about 'corruption', well, we are, but that's not what the objection to Pope Francis is. The objection to Pope Francis is that he seems to be deliberately attempting to dramatically transform the fundamental nature of the Church and its teaching.

I think I do understand. The OP seemed particularly concerned about the Pope's perceived defense and even promotion of homosexual priests while denigrating traditionalist bishops and their response to his actions. It doesn't really matter, as far as I can tell, how nuanced Francis's position is (or if it is even nuanced at all and not just in direct contradiction to church traching). The media and liberal "Catholics" are having a field day with the man's words as the push to change official doctrine.

And after all that, my post remains exactly the point (or at least exactly my point). If Christ really did found the RCC, then nothing Francis says or does has any bearing on that truth. So while there could be plenty to take exception to or be angry about or worry about from a pastoral or even evangelistic perspective, no one of this provides even a shred of support for leaving the church. Heck, I'm not Catholic, and I wouldn't dream of using his claims to undermine the basic claim that the was founded by Christ. In the interest of full disclosure, I think it well illustrates my long running argument about the self contradictory nature of any body claiming interperative authority over any set of communications. But even there, Francis's views dont prove my argument or justify a crisis of faith in the church.

At least, that's my perspective. Were I catholic, I'd say what I do today about health and wealth crooks: it is unfortunate that they are fleecing the sheep, and God will have His own vengeance. They are an embarrassment to the faith, but they provide no warrant to the claim that Jesud is not who He said He is. Those claims are just entirely unrelated.

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:51 am 
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If I thought, as some were alleged to have thought at the time of Vatican I, that every word of a pope was irreformable, I would see the problem. Since the Fathers of Vatican I knew better, I am at a loss to see the problem. The pope, teaching outside of the bounds of ex cathedra, has no more protection against error than anyone else. That is, he may have more graces available to him by virtue of his office, but he can still err seriously if he doesn't make use of them.

Well, part of the problem is the extreme ultramontanism that has characterized the practice of the Catholic faith since at least the time of St. Pius X. We've been conditioned to believe that not only are Popes infallible under certain conditions, but also that they are impeccable. This was less of a problem before the current Papacy, even though many ill-advised changes were introduced under previous Popes (e.g., the Breviary reform of St. Pius X, the Holy Week reform of Pius XII, the New Missal of St. Paul VI - to name a few!).

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:57 am 
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I would like the Catholic Church to be united behind the Pope, whoever the Pope is. The alternative is very confusing. Who's teaching should I try to follow if not the Pope's? Am I supposed to be have more faith in some joyless Catholic opponent of the Pope in a YouTube video or some maverick cardinal possibly with a personal grievance against the Pope?

Doom you said Pope Francis is undermining doctrine. But the bitter opposition to Pope Francis risks undermining the Catholic Church.


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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:28 am 
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Denise Dee wrote:
I would like the Catholic Church to be united behind the Pope, whoever the Pope is. The alternative is very confusing. Who's teaching should I try to follow if not the Pope's? Am I supposed to be have more faith in some joyless Catholic opponent of the Pope in a YouTube video or some maverick cardinal possibly with a personal grievance against the Pope?

PED says:
Quote:
The practical answer is this: we hold what is clearly taught. As stated by the Church, e.g. in Canon law, we do not hold as infallible any doctrine unless it is clearly so. At the same time, we hold the ordinary teachings of bishops and popes in reverence. Where there is ambiguity, we must hold to what is clear and interpret in light of that.

...
In anycase, in matters clearly defined (like the indissolubility of marriage, defined at Trent) there is no doubt as to the true doctrine, and anything seemingly contrary is either reconcilable in fact or not, but even were a pope to say something clearly irreconcilable with Trent, well we would still know the truth, because it was clearly defined. And that is what we must fall back on, explaining what is obscure by what is clear.

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:30 am 
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Denise Dee wrote:
I would like the Catholic Church to be united behind the Pope, whoever the Pope is.... But the bitter opposition to Pope Francis risks undermining the Catholic Church.

Should a Pope be opposed if he leads a very luxurious life, wasting ridiculously vast amounts of money for trivial things?

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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:20 pm 
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Religion: Looking for answers
Jack3 wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
I would like the Catholic Church to be united behind the Pope, whoever the Pope is.... But the bitter opposition to Pope Francis risks undermining the Catholic Church.

Should a Pope be opposed if he leads a very luxurious life, wasting ridiculously vast amounts of money for trivial things?

It's a question of degree. I'm no expert but my impression is that most Popes had a very luxurious lifestyle, but that doesn't necessarily mean it was wrong. If a Pope spent an unprecedented amount on trivial things, he should and probably would be criticised for it. If everything else he did was good, then he should be criticised for that one weakness, but respected for all the good he does. With too little information about your hypothetical question, I cannot say definitely yes or not. It would depend on all the circumstances, which you have not described.


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 Post subject: Re: Questioning Catholicism because of Pope Francis
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:28 pm 
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Religion: Looking for answers
Here is a direct question to every Catholic who thinks the Pope is a bad leader of the Church and I should therefore not be guided by his version of Catholicism: Name me one leader of the Church whom I should be guided by. Name a name.


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