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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:17 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
What's the point of a Pope, serious question, what's the point of the Catholic Church having a Pope, any Pope, nowadays, if past teachings cannot be changed, and Catholics like Doom can just pretend he doesn't exist, and when Francis dies and there's a new Pope, the same Catholics or different Catholics can equally pretend he doesn't exist. So what's the point of a Pope nowadays?

The pope, any pope, has never been able to change past teachings once those teachings have been made definitive, and I suggest that most of the hot-button issues of the present day have long since been made definitive by morally unanimous consent.

When Doom says that he pretends that Pope Francis doesn't exist ... I do not want to put words into his mouth, but he could reasonably be saying that he goes about his day to day spiritual life without concern for what Pope Francis has said in his latest audience or whatever. The Pope continues to have his universal jurisdiction over the Church, so that, for example, if Doom's diocese were to be given a new bishop, he would presumably accept that. It's just that his faith would be (as it should be) focused on the Holy Trinity and the worship of Jesus Christ, and not on Pope Francis's day-to-day activities.


Pretty much, although I would add that the reason I don't pay attention to what he says is that what he says usually infuriates me and is therefore an occasion of sin. The only way I can avoid falling into despair is to just not pay attention at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:04 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
What's the point of a Pope, serious question, what's the point of the Catholic Church having a Pope, any Pope, nowadays, if past teachings cannot be changed, and Catholics like Doom can just pretend he doesn't exist, and when Francis dies and there's a new Pope, the same Catholics or different Catholics can equally pretend he doesn't exist. So what's the point of a Pope nowadays?

The pope, any pope, has never been able to change past teachings once those teachings have been made definitive, and I suggest that most of the hot-button issues of the present day have long since been made definitive by morally unanimous consent.

These are genuine questions to which I’d like a genuine answer:

What’s the definitive agreed teaching on Climate Change?

What’s the definitive agreed teaching on the influx of large numbers of refugees to many countries?

What’s the definitive agreed teaching on whether or not Yoga is “satanic” and spiritually dangerous (as some priests have claimed) or benign and beneficial or at least harmless?

What’s the definitive agreed teaching on whether or not meditation which has no religious aspects to it but focusses instead on the breath, etc, is spiritually dangerous or benign and beneficial or at least harmless?

What’s the definitive agreed teaching on whether or not non-Abrahamic religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism contain some truth and goodness or whether they are dark and from the devil?

I’m not asking for long time-consuming answers.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:11 pm 
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Doom wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
What's the point of a Pope, serious question, what's the point of the Catholic Church having a Pope, any Pope, nowadays, if past teachings cannot be changed, and Catholics like Doom can just pretend he doesn't exist, and when Francis dies and there's a new Pope, the same Catholics or different Catholics can equally pretend he doesn't exist. So what's the point of a Pope nowadays?

The pope, any pope, has never been able to change past teachings once those teachings have been made definitive, and I suggest that most of the hot-button issues of the present day have long since been made definitive by morally unanimous consent.

When Doom says that he pretends that Pope Francis doesn't exist ... I do not want to put words into his mouth, but he could reasonably be saying that he goes about his day to day spiritual life without concern for what Pope Francis has said in his latest audience or whatever. The Pope continues to have his universal jurisdiction over the Church, so that, for example, if Doom's diocese were to be given a new bishop, he would presumably accept that. It's just that his faith would be (as it should be) focused on the Holy Trinity and the worship of Jesus Christ, and not on Pope Francis's day-to-day activities.


Pretty much, although I would add that the reason I don't pay attention to what he says is that what he says usually infuriates me and is therefore an occasion of sin. The only way I can avoid falling into despair is to just not pay attention at all.

Is what Doom is saying compatible with this, which Obi posted:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:

The Pope's Power. The sovereignty of the Pope over the Church differs from that of the rulers of other societies. He has direct authority over all Catholics, from the most exalted prelate to the humblest layman; and he is obliged to render an account of his administration to no human being. None of his power is derived from or delegated by anyone else. According to the [First] Vatican Council, he has "the whole fulness of supreme power, ordinary and immediate, over all and each of the pastors and the faithful." He is the supreme judge in matters of faith. To him belongs the right to regulate all the Church's discipline. He may enact laws for the whole Church and for any part of it, and dispense from them. He can inflict censures, such as excommunication. He can reserve to himself the power of absolving from certain sins. [Note that there are currently no sins reserved to the Holy See.] He and he alone can form, suppress and divide dioceses and approve new religious orders. He can dispense from any vow, no matter how solemn or sacred.

The Externals of the Catholic Church


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:45 am 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
What's the point of a Pope, serious question, what's the point of the Catholic Church having a Pope, any Pope, nowadays, if past teachings cannot be changed, and Catholics like Doom can just pretend he doesn't exist, and when Francis dies and there's a new Pope, the same Catholics or different Catholics can equally pretend he doesn't exist. So what's the point of a Pope nowadays?

The pope, any pope, has never been able to change past teachings once those teachings have been made definitive, and I suggest that most of the hot-button issues of the present day have long since been made definitive by morally unanimous consent.

These are genuine questions to which I’d like a genuine answer:

What’s the definitive agreed teaching on Climate Change?

What’s the definitive agreed teaching on the influx of large numbers of refugees to many countries?

What’s the definitive agreed teaching on whether or not Yoga is “satanic” and spiritually dangerous (as some priests have claimed) or benign and beneficial or at least harmless?

What’s the definitive agreed teaching on whether or not meditation which has no religious aspects to it but focusses instead on the breath, etc, is spiritually dangerous or benign and beneficial or at least harmless?

What’s the definitive agreed teaching on whether or not non-Abrahamic religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism contain some truth and goodness or whether they are dark and from the devil?

I’m not asking for long time-consuming answers.

There is no definitive teaching on global warming because it is a scientific, not theological, issue.

Lectio Divina.

Other religions contain elements, as taught by V2.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:03 am 
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The answer is that the Church defines principles and only rarely defines their application. Climate change cannot be subject to a binding definition because whether it's happening is not a matter of faith and morals. Idolatry is strictly forbidden, but whether yoga and some forms of meditation cross into idolatry ... I guess it could be defined, and the Church has suggested in non-binding form that they can be problematic.

Etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:22 am 
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Pope Francis issued an encyclical about the environment including Global Warming, so is that definitive agreed teaching?


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:27 pm 
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does this help?

http://catholicstraightanswers.com/what ... al-letter/

Quote:
Broader in scope and less solemn, an encyclical denotes a pastoral letter written by the Holy Father for the entire Church. This document focuses on a pastoral issue concerning a matter of doctrine, morality, devotion, or discipline. Since the earliest days of the Church, Popes have issued this kind of letter. However, Pope Benedict XIV was the first in modern times to specifically use “an encyclical” with his Ubi primum (1740) which dealt with the duties of bishops. (Note that the official title of an encyclical is generally the first two or three words of the text’s Latin translation, the official language of issuance.) Since that time, the Popes have used encyclicals as the normal medium for teaching to the whole Church.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:05 pm 
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I wonder what the Pope knows about global temperature change. It is certainly not in his background or training. At best, I think he is concerned about common sensical environmental issues. At worst, I fear he is captive to hysteria about an impending Armageddon.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:27 pm 
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For something to be definitively taught, it has to be at least implicitly contained in what's called the "Deposit of Revelation," which consists of all that God revealed through special revelation. The period of revelation reached its height with God's self-revelation in Christ. When the last witness of that died (St. John, around the year 100), the deposit was complete.

No one has argued that "there will be global warming/climate change in the 20th and 21st centuries" is contained in that deposit. (Well, someone probably has, but no reasonable person has), so it can't be definitively taught.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:54 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
For something to be definitively taught, it has to be at least implicitly contained in what's called the "Deposit of Revelation," ...

No one has argued that "there will be global warming/climate change in the 20th and 21st centuries" is contained in that deposit. (Well, someone probably has, but no reasonable person has), so it can't be definitively taught.

Well, that's just another area which must be changed in the Church. Perhaps, we can use majority vote to decide what can be definitely taught. Of course, we can't let the bad people vote. And, to be inclusive and diverse, non-Catholic Christians, Moslems, Hindus, Taoists, Shintoists, animists, and atheists must be allowed to vote on issues of what is definitely taught. Andi its content, of course.

We'll bring the Church into conformity with the 21st century yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:01 pm 
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Highlander wrote:
I wonder what the Pope knows about global temperature change. It is certainly not in his background or training. At best, I think he is concerned about common sensical environmental issues. At worst, I fear he is captive to hysteria about an impending Armageddon.

I wonder what any of us know about global temperature change, apart the relatively small number of people whom God gave the gifts to enable them to know? God gave most of us the gift of recognising when a whole community of scientists are rational, sincere and are telling us the truth, the gift to understand how science works so as the truth emerges, if not the science itself.

Here’s a thought experiment for you Highlander, even if you don’t accept that Climate Change is the threat the experts are telling us it is, SUPPOSE it were a real threat, how would we know? How could we possibly know?


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 8:25 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
I wonder what any of us know about global temperature change, apart the relatively small number of people whom God gave the gifts to enable them to know?


How do you know how many people received such gifts, and how do you know they received gifts?

Quote:
God gave most of us the gift of recognising when a whole community of scientists are rational, sincere and are telling us the truth, the gift to understand how science works so as the truth emerges, if not the science itself.


How do you know that is a gift, and not a personal perception, or personal opinion? By what standard do you judge? How do you know you have this "gift"? How do you know you aren't being misled?

Quote:
Here’s a thought experiment for you Highlander, even if you don’t accept that Climate Change is the threat the experts are telling us it is, SUPPOSE it were a real threat, how would we know? How could we possibly know?


You're the one with the "gifts". Highlander could simply ask you.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:18 pm 
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Signum Crucis wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:
I wonder what any of us know about global temperature change, apart the relatively small number of people whom God gave the gifts to enable them to know?


How do you know how many people received such gifts, and how do you know they received gifts?

Quote:
God gave most of us the gift of recognising when a whole community of scientists are rational, sincere and are telling us the truth, the gift to understand how science works so as the truth emerges, if not the science itself.


How do you know that is a gift, and not a personal perception, or personal opinion? By what standard do you judge? How do you know you have this "gift"? How do you know you aren't being misled?

Quote:
Here’s a thought experiment for you Highlander, even if you don’t accept that Climate Change is the threat the experts are telling us it is, SUPPOSE it were a real threat, how would we know? How could we possibly know?


You're the one with the "gifts". Highlander could simply ask you.

It’s common sense. It is of course possible that all those experts are somehow wrong, but highly unlikely. Why would the Pope with all his very knowledgeable advisers teach about it in a papal encyclical if there was much likelihood of all those experts throughout the world are wrong.

One of the reasons I am opposed to abortion is because when I was agnostic about abortion, I was persuaded by a Catholic who told me that if you’re in doubt about a potentially very serious decision, such a life and death decision, that we should always err on the side of caution, err on the side of possibly saving a life.

An example he gave was that if you’re rabbit shooting or fox hunting (or something) with a gun, and you see something moving in the bushes and you’re pretty sure it’s a rabbit or a fox or whatever you’re hunting, but you have a little bit of doubt and think it could possibly be a child, though you think it’s unlikely, you should err on the side of caution so as not to risk a life.

Shouldn’t we all apply that principle to the threat of Climate Change? We may doubt it, but if we are wrong, and don’t take appropriate action, countless lives will be lost. Surely that’s a moral question just as abortion is. I don’t have enough knowledge about when life begins to know for sure, but I err on the side of caution. Shouldn’t we at least err on the side of caution in regard to Climate Change when we can’t rule out the possibility that the experts (and the Pope, and his advisers) may be right?


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:24 pm 
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Might I suggest that a climate change discussion is a bit off-course for apologetics? Especially because whether or not it's real has nothing to do with resolving the question of what constitutes definitive teaching.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:26 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
For something to be definitively taught, it has to be at least implicitly contained in what's called the "Deposit of Revelation," which consists of all that God revealed through special revelation. The period of revelation reached its height with God's self-revelation in Christ. When the last witness of that died (St. John, around the year 100), the deposit was complete.

No one has argued that "there will be global warming/climate change in the 20th and 21st centuries" is contained in that deposit. (Well, someone probably has, but no reasonable person has), so it can't be definitively taught.

So is it okay for a Catholic to choose not to follow papal teachings which are not definitively taught? If you think a lot about a teaching and decide you don’t like it, and it’s not definitively taught, can you just decide that the Pope is wrong, even what he teaches in an encyclical?


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:59 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Highlander wrote:
I wonder what the Pope knows about global temperature change. It is certainly not in his background or training. At best, I think he is concerned about common sensical environmental issues. At worst, I fear he is captive to hysteria about an impending Armageddon.

I wonder what any of us know about global temperature change, apart the relatively small number of people whom God gave the gifts to enable them to know? God gave most of us the gift of recognising when a whole community of scientists are rational, sincere and are telling us the truth, the gift to understand how science works so as the truth emerges, if not the science itself.

Here’s a thought experiment for you Highlander, even if you don’t accept that Climate Change is the threat the experts are telling us it is, SUPPOSE it were a real threat, how would we know? How could we possibly know?


Questions, questions, questions.

BTW, my personal conclusion on climate change, after following the topic with detailed interest for decades is -- I don't know. Part of my keen interest has resulted in the substantiation of my personal experience, working intimately with scientists and engineers for nearly 20 years, that more than half of the scientists and engineers are corrupt when it comes to truth, rationality, and sincerity. Why? In a word or two, ego and money.

But that's another discussion. However, as a snippet, one can, if one so desires, compare and contrast the very recent geological climate record from the Last Glacial Period, 120K - 12K years ago, and the Last Glacial Maximum, 22K years ago, and the current interglacial warming period, with the span since man has been keeping relatively accurate climate records, 200 years or so. And one must ask about the efficacy of generalizing climate effects of the last 200 years against the last 120,000 years. And one can note that the earth is cooler now than during the period from 8,000 - 500 years ago. That's but the tip of the tip of the tip of the climate change iceberg.

I just don't know.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:12 am 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Might I suggest that a climate change discussion is a bit off-course for apologetics? Especially because whether or not it's real has nothing to do with resolving the question of what constitutes definitive teaching.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:46 am 
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In reply to Treebeard's OP, I think there's a point that hasn't gotten pointed out yet (unless I missed it up there in the storm), which is the apparent snarkiness. Maybe I'm misreading you, TB, but it seems like you're taking a crack at people who post threads like the pagan worship thing. I'm sorry if I'm getting you wrong. But if I'm getting you right, then you ought to apologize. The fact is that Francis is all over the media. It's very hard not to have him in your face, especially if you read websites like the National Catholic Register or whatnot, which of course many Catholics do. And when the content of this in-your-face Francisness is his constant idiocy, it's hard to avoid being angry, confused, or otherwise distressed. Coming here--whether apologetics or the lyceum or elsewhere--to ask for help with this is thoroughly sensible. It beats silently stewing and letting that distress eat away at your Faith. Mockery--for example, implicitly referring to such questions as "obsessing" is not a fraternal response.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:49 am 
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Denise Dee wrote:
So is it okay for a Catholic to choose not to follow papal teachings which are not definitively taught? If you think a lot about a teaching and decide you don’t like it, and it’s not definitively taught, can you just decide that the Pope is wrong, even what he teaches in an encyclical?

Let me take this in pieces.

1) The solemn definition of the Immaculate Conception was done by a bull (a type of papal document), not an encyclical. Likewise for the Assumption.
2) Many encyclicals do not intend to teach doctrines at all (e.g., this one, though I could add many examples). They are often intended to exhort or to focus the Church's attention on something rather than to promulgate doctrine of any sort, even at a non-binding level. The language of Laudato Si pretty clearly makes it an example of this sort.
3) Even when things are not definitively taught, they can be clearly correct and denying them would be a clear error, so it's not the case that things can be neatly divided into "definitively taught" and "realm of free belief."

Here's how Dr. Ludwig Ott describes the situation in his book on Catholic doctrine:

Quote:
1. The highest degree of certainty appertains to the immediately revealed truths. The belief due to them is based on the authority of God Revealing (fides divina), and if the Church, through its teaching, vouches for the fact it a truth is contained in Revelation, one's certainty is then also based on the authority of the Infallible Teaching Authority of the Church (fides catholica). If Truths are defined by a solemn judgment of faith (definition) of the Pope or of a General Council, they are "de fide definita."

2. Catholic truths or Church doctrines, on which the infallible Teaching Authority of the Church has finally decided, are to be accepted with a faith which is based on the sole authority of the Church (fides ecclesiastica). These truths are as infallibly certain as dogmas proper.

3. A Teaching proximate to Faith (sententia fidei proxima) is a doctrine, which is regarded by theologians generally as a truth of Revelation, but which has not yet been finally promulgated as such by the Church.

4. A Teaching pertaining to the Faith, i.e., theologically certain (sententia ad fidem pertinens, i.e., theologice certa) is a doctrine, on which the Teaching Authority of the Church has not yet finally pronounced, but whose truth is guaranteed by its intrinsic connection with the doctrine of revelation (theological conclusions).

5. Common Teaching (sententia communis) is doctrine, which in itself belongs to the field of free opinions, but which is accepted by theologians generally.

6. Theological opinions of lesser grades of certainty are called probable, more probable, well-founded (sententia probabilis, probabilior, bene fundata). Those which are regarded as being in agreement with the consciousness of Faith of the Church are called pious opinions (sententia pia). The least degree of certainty is possessed by the tolerated opinion (opinio tolerata), which is only weakly founded, but which is tolerated by the Church.

With regard to the doctrinal teaching of the Church it must be well noted that not all the assertions of the Teaching Authority of the Church on questions of Faith and morals are infallible and consequently irrevocable. Only those are infallible which emanate from General Councils representing the whole episcopate and the Papal Decisions Ex Cathedra (cf D 1839). The ordinary and usual form of the Papal teaching activity is not infallible. Further, the decisions of the Roman Congregations (Holy Office, Bible Commission) are not infallible.

Nevertheless normally they are to be accepted with an inner assent which is based on the high supernatural authority of the Holy See (assensus internus supernaturalis, assensus religiosus). The so-called "silentium obsequiosum," that is "reverent silence," does not generally suffice. By way of exception, the obligation of inner agreement may cease if a competent expert, after a renewed scientific investigation of all grounds, arrives at the positive conviction that the decision rests on an error.

4) This authority pertains to matters of faith and morals only. As already noted, climate change isn't a matter of faith and morals, though our response to it (if it is real) is, and so the level of expertise required to disagree is considerably lower. To some degree, this also pertains to matters of prudential judgment, such as how nations should balance the needs of their people with the needs of immigrants and would-be immigrants.
5) See the paragraph beginning "In the last years of John's pontificate" in this article.


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 Post subject: Re: Am I a bad person because...
PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:14 am 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Might I suggest that a climate change discussion is a bit off-course for apologetics? Especially because whether or not it's real has nothing to do with resolving the question of what constitutes definitive teaching.

That was a cheap shot. I was responding to an issue you raised. Which, I realize, was my mistake.

BTW, I know I know more about the tainted subject than does the Pope.


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