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View Diary: Pope Francis is changing people's lives (210 comments)

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  •  I hope he lasts long enough (19+ / 0-)

    for this to become habitual at the top.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Thu May 23, 2013 at 07:22:07 PM PDT

    •  This is not new- what Francis said (31+ / 0-)

      was exactly what was taught to me in sixteen years of Catholic school. It's what my mom was taught, what my kids were taught, and even Benedict said the same thing:

      So any Catholic who told people that non-Catholics go to hell either did not know his own religion or was just an asshole.

      •  It depends on what decades you're talking (15+ / 0-)

        about, and if the specific Catholics are so because "our clan's always been Catholic," a tribal kind of thing, or if there's a personal engagement and inquiry into the faith.

        Whatever Benedict or the priests might have said, I can assure you there are plenty of church-regular Irish, Italians, Polish, who are bigoted against anyone not really in the club, and there have been for generations.

        Benedict and his predecessor (can't recall at the moment) also issued statements about the failures of the Capitalist belief system, as well. But those didn't get featured.

        There's something about Francis, though, perhaps because he's done a series of these kinds of statements since the get-go, which is a lot harder to ignore than what went on previously.

        Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

        by Jim P on Thu May 23, 2013 at 11:11:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well I go back Decades. Sorry if you heard (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          caul, gramofsam1, Notreadytobenice

          bigoted things against anyone in 'the club'.  'The chuch has always been a place where one could fit into the  Liturgy no matter ones language.

          •  Well there is a whole other dynamic (0+ / 0-)

            with Irish Protestants if you are of a certain age.  But that is not necessarily a pure religious aspect - more of a broader conflict played out on religious lines.

            "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

            by newfie on Fri May 24, 2013 at 07:55:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Which decades?- (8+ / 0-)

          well if I start with my parents, they would have been educated in the early part of the 20th century, for my (much older) siblings, the 30's/40's, for me the 50's/60's, my kids were 80's/90's. That's a long time for this to have been the official Church doctrine.

          As for clannish behavior, I know that when my mom was growing up, there was a lot of friction between Irish and Italians, even though both were Catholic. So sure, there were and are bigoted Catholics, but I think that's a separate issue. As I said, people can be assholes, but in this case it was personal, not institutional. I'm not a big defender of the Catholic Church, but this is one thing I actually liked about them.

          •  Official church doctrine isn't what (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            svboston, kyril

            I'm discussing though. My experience in the community, growing up, was clearly a widespread attitude of "you ain't Catlic, yer damned."

            You look at Buddha's core teachings, where there is no God (at least, to be concerned with), and then see the actual practice of Buddhists everywhere, you'll see plenty of gods. The difference between what the most sophisticated and knowledgeable and the vast majority ordinary flock-member thinks and feels is almost always very big. In all the religions. Look at the Koran and Hadith on the treatment of women, and what actually happens in most of the Muslim world.

            What Francis is saying, I think just because it is so early in his papacy, and in context with the other public statements he's made, makes that category of people -- and a huge one it is -- take pause.

            Actual Democrats is the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats

            by Jim P on Fri May 24, 2013 at 11:30:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay, I think I see where you're (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              going with this- and yes, if it makes Catholics like the ones you encountered take pause and realize they're not just acting like assholes but also wrong on the doctrine, then that's a good thing.

              •  I should add- (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                it sucks that you were treated that way. I never saw behavior like that, but maybe that's because I grew up in South Philadelphia when 95% of the people were either Irish or Italian and an even bigger percentage were Catholic. We had one Jewish family on our block, and everyone thought they were great because- well, they were great.

                I didn't even meet many "non-Catholics" until I got to high school- by which point we didn't care if the public school boys we met were heathens or devil-worshippers, especially if they were cute.

        •  My Irish Great Uncles considered one of their (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          siblings  (great Uncle Ben) "lost" because he married a Polish woman. When he died in his 60's, they believed it was because her cooking killed him.

          "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

          by pengiep on Fri May 24, 2013 at 08:28:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Fair number ... (8+ / 0-)

        who don't know their own religions and/or are assholes.

        by Magenta on Thu May 23, 2013 at 11:25:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Me too. (12+ / 0-)

        I went to Parochial School in New Haven Connecticut and was taught by Irish nuns.
          The term used was "Baptism by Desire"  in other  words if someone is living their life consistent with their beliefs even if not Catholic, they still go to heaven.
          I went to the school , graduating  in the 8th grade in 1960.

      •  this (0+ / 0-)

        Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
        Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

        by TrueBlueMajority on Fri May 24, 2013 at 07:27:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ratzinger-Benedict said Catholics are better. (0+ / 0-)

        He might have said other things elsewhere (to appease public concern?), but where it really matters -- in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (a.k.a. the Holy Office, a.k.a. the Inquisition, which Ratzinger chaired before he became Pope), Pope Benedict explicitly asserted that Catholicism is the only true Christian church, and that non-Catholics have a harder time getting to Heaven (if they can at all). I remember being shocked at the time (and going to the original source to confirm it). I can't remember the exact words, but the general idea was that Orthodox and Protestant Christians might also achieve Salvation, though it would be harder than for Catholics, and non-Christians were S.O.L.

        •  I suspect you can't remember (0+ / 0-)

          the exact words from Ratzinger re non-Christians being S.O.L
          because I doubt he ever said those words (even in different phrasing). THAT would have been doctrinal news. If you can find a link I'll believe you. And I really don't like defending Ratzinger of all people.

          As far as Catholics being "better"- yes, they were considered to have the easiest chance at salvation (grace from baptism,etc), but not better in terms of being better people. "Luckier" would be more like what we were taught.

          •  "Luckier" is not "better"? That's hair-splitting. (0+ / 0-)
            •  You tell me. Is the guy (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mashed potatoes

              who wins the lottery a better person than the guy who doesn't?

              •  Which guy would you rather be? (0+ / 0-)

                (see links, below)

                •  I read your link, and yeah that's (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  messed up. But I've not made the argument that the Catholic Church did not sell itself as a better church, they always labeled themselves "the one true church"- Ratzinger just made it in an especially obnoxious manner.
                  That's what I meant about the relative "luckiness" they cited as being an advantage salvation-wise.
                  And unless I missed it, still didn't see the statement that non-Christians are S.O.L.

                  As I said, I don't like defending Ratzinger, who was abysmal in countless ways. I don't agree with what was said in that link, which is one of many reasons I left the church years ago. It just bothers me, always has, that people confused "we're the one true church" with "the rest of you don't stand a chance cause you're on the highway to hell". They're different things, and the overriding principle was that anyone of any religion or no religion could be "saved", although it was considered easier for the lucky Catholics.

          •  links (0+ / 0-)

            June 2007, with Ratzinger as Pope:

            The document considers above all the reality of the oriental Churches [i.e. Eastern Orthodox] not in full communion with the Catholic Church... the document could not ignore the wound (defectus) which they suffer...  It will, therefore, remain necessary to emphasise that the Primacy of the [Pope]...  [T]he ecclesial Communities originating from the Reformation [i.e. Protestants] are not recognised as ‘Churches’. In response to this question the document recognises that “the wound is still more profound in those ecclesial communities which have not preserved the apostolic succession or the valid celebration of the eucharist”. For this reason they are “not Churches in the proper sense of the word”... Despite the fact that this teaching has created no little distress in the communities concerned and even amongst some Catholics, it is nevertheless difficult to see how the title of “Church” could possibly be attributed to them, given that they do not accept the theological notion of the Church in the Catholic sense and that they lack elements considered essential to the Catholic Church. ... If [ecumenical] dialogue is to be truly constructive it must involve not just the mutual openness of the participants but also fidelity to the identity of the Catholic faith. Only in this way will it be able to lead towards the unity of all Christians in “one flock with one shepherd” and thus heal that wound which prevents the Catholic Church from fully realising her universality within history.
            June 2000, signed by Ratzinger:
   is clear that it would be contrary to the faith to consider the [Catholic] Church as one way [italics in original, implying 'not just one way, but the only way'] of salvation alongside those constituted by the other religions, seen as complementary to the Church or substantially equivalent to her, even if these are said to be converging with the Church toward the eschatological kingdom of God. ... This truth of faith ... rules out, in a radical way, that mentality of indifferentism “characterized by a religious relativism which leads to the belief that ‘one religion is as good as another'”. If it is true that the followers of other religions can receive divine grace, it is also certain that objectively speaking they are in a gravely deficient situation in comparison with those who, in the [Catholic] Church, have the fullness of the means of salvation. ...Because [the Catholic Church] believes in God's universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary”. Inter-religious dialogue, therefore, as part of her evangelizing mission, is just one of the actions of the Church in her mission ad gentes. Equality, which is a presupposition of inter-religious dialogue, refers to the equal personal dignity of the parties in dialogue, not to doctrinal content, nor even less to the position of Jesus Christ — who is God himself made man — in relation to the founders of the other religions. Indeed, the Church, guided by charity and respect for freedom, must be primarily committed to proclaiming to all people the truth definitively revealed by the Lord, and to announcing the necessity of conversion to Jesus Christ and of adherence to the [Catholic] Church through Baptism and the other sacraments, in order to participate fully in communion with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
            May 1992, signed by Ratzinger:
            The wound is even deeper in those ecclesial communities which have not retained the apostolic succession and a valid Eucharist. This in turn also injures the Catholic Church, called by the Lord to become for all "one flock" with "one shepherd", in that it hinders the complete fulfilment of its universality in history. This situation seriously calls for ecumenical commitment on the part of everyone, with a view to achieving full communion in the unity of the [Catholic] Church...

            When the 2007 document was released, religion-editors at major newspapers, and non-Catholic religious leaders, agreed on its implications. E.g.:

            Vatican Reaffirms Catholic Primary
            The Vatican said Tuesday that Christian denominations outside the Roman Catholic Church were not full churches of Jesus Christ. Some Protestant leaders responded that this would hurt interdenominational dialogue.
            Vatican bemoans 'wound' of other churches
            Christian denominations outside Roman Catholicism are either defective or are not full churches of Jesus Christ, the Vatican has reaffirmed. ... described Orthodox churches as true churches, but said they are suffering from a "wound" since they do not recognise the primacy of the Pope. The document, approved by Pope Benedict, went on to say the "wound is still more profound" in Protestant denominations. it is nevertheless difficult to see how the title of 'church' could possibly be attributed to them... It prompted swift criticism from Protestants, Lutherans and other Christian denominations.  "It makes us question the seriousness with which the Roman Catholic Church takes it dialogues with the Reformed family and other families of the church," said the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, which includes 75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries.

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