Iran’s secret weapon in case U.S. moves to attack: The Catholic Church

posted at 11:37 am on November 27, 2007 by Allahpundit

I’m just trying to picture Hitchens’s face when he inevitably sees this.

Perhaps I’ll e-mail him the link myself.

Iran, which has had diplomatic relations with the Holy See for 53 years, may be trying to line up Benedict as an ace in the hole for staving off a potential attack in the coming months. “The Vatican seems to be part of their strategy,” a senior Western diplomat in Rome said of the Iranian leadership. “They’ll have an idea of when the 11th hour is coming. And they know an intervention of the Vatican is the most open and amenable route to Western public opinion. It could buy them time.”

If the situation heats up in the coming months, the question of exactly what role the Vatican would play could become pivotal. Says one high-ranking Vatican official: “The Iranians look to the Holy See with particular attention. It is born from our common religious matrix. This could be utilized to offer ourselves as an intermediary if the crisis worsens.” Among the potential moves: a forceful series of public appeals by the Pope, a Vatican emissary sent to Washington and Tehran, or a visit to the Vatican by Iranian President President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…

[O]ver recent months, the conversations have centered on the looming showdown over Iran’s nuclear program. Says one key Catholic Church player involved in these discussions: “The Pope will speak explicitly only when the conditions call for it. One difference this time [compared with Iraq] is that we’re hoping the American bishops could speak out [against any attack plans]. That would be of great help.”…

Though Vatican officials say they are concerned about Iran’s development of nuclear arms, the pontiff is both doctrinally bound and personally inclined to pursue a negotiated settlement at almost any cost. In 2003, then serving as a senior Vatican Cardinal, the current Pope was firmly behind John Paul II’s opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Indeed, many in Rome cite parallels between the current push from American hardliners to confront Iran and the walkup to the war in Iraq. “The Holy See hasn’t forgotten what happened in Iraq,” says one Vatican insider. “Seeing how that situation has developed, there is great, great prudence on the part of the Holy See. The judgment shown on Iraq weighs on the Iran situation.”

in case the Pope’s best efforts fail and God declines to intervene, Iran will turn to other options. In the meantime, follow the link up top and scroll down to the end for an interesting comparison of Catholicism to Shia Islam. Exit question per last week’s post: Which doctrine compels the Pope to seek a negotiated settlement at all costs? I’m pretty sure I know, but I’m also pretty sure our hawkish Protestant readers will have a more … nuanced reading of that particular passage.

Update (Bryan): Mahmoud is about five centuries and a Reformation behind, if he thinks this strategy has a prayer of succeeding. For starters, Bush is a Methodist, so the Pope isn’t even in his spiritual chain of suggestion.


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thuja,

Take your scheduled meds and re-read my comments.

Anyway, you ask so what if the Catholic Church is against birth control. Well, because of Catholic opposition to birth control efforts to provide AIDS prevention methods to prostitutes in Africa have gone unfunded, as have efforts to provide condoms to gay men, who presumably aren’t up to activities that could lead to birth

thuja on November 27, 2007 at 2:15 PM

Oh boy, I am not even gonna touch that one.

awake on November 27, 2007 at 2:19 PM

thuja,

What you fail to understand is that Church teaching exists to help us be better Christians. It’s about PERSONAL behavior. When the Church says it’s against artificial birth control it isn’t taking a stance on how the world must act, it is instructing us as Catholics for our own personal being.

Everyone is free to take it or leave it. It’s that simple.

Rightwingsparkle on November 27, 2007 at 2:23 PM

And Bush’s secret weapon TO attack Iran is the Evangelical church, with Pastor Hagee leading the pack.

Drum on November 27, 2007 at 2:33 PM

Like I give a good one what the Pope thinks.

mojo on November 27, 2007 at 2:33 PM

Rightwingsparkle on November 27, 2007 at 2:23 PM

I’m sure we don’t agree, but I do want to thank you for the sane way that you make your points. I’m not sure about putting words in all caps, but otherwise you are a credit to your beliefs.

thuja on November 27, 2007 at 2:35 PM

When the Church says it’s against artificial birth control it isn’t taking a stance on how the world must act, it is instructing us as Catholics for our own personal being.

Rightwingsparkle on November 27, 2007 at 2:23 PM

LOL! For our own personal being? I seriously doubt it. The Catholic Church has been in a panic mode for quite a while watching the numbers of their members drop each year. It’s far more likely the Catholic Church is terrified at the evaporating birth rate among white American Christians. How to combat this trend? Easy. Convince white American Christians that it’s wrong to use birth control, and at the same time, open the doors of the Church to illegal alien Hispanics who happen to be multiplying like rabbits.

It’s all about money, and numbers. Money and numbers equals overwhelming power.

See my earlier comment on November 27, 2007 at 1:17 PM

Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 2:38 PM

It’s all about money, and numbers. Money and numbers equals overwhelming power.

See my earlier comment on November 27, 2007 at 1:17 PM

Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 2:38 PM

Yeah, aside from the minor detail the “no birth control” policy extends to the entire world, not just America, and has been around for decades.

Nice try Gregor.

BKennedy on November 27, 2007 at 2:47 PM

Protestants tend to have a Bible-centered idea of Christianity, thinking, as I did, that the soul source of the religious teaching comes from the Bible and our interpretation of it. They dismiss the idea of Church tradition and anything external to the Bible.

daviddunn on November 27, 2007 at 1:39 PM

What????Where did you get that from? Luther, the father of the reformation, was steeped in the tradition. A liturgical church.
Go back to seminary 101.

Ummm, and just to set the record straight…tell me which church is not bible centered. The word of God (the bible), I think, is pretty much more than a tradition in the Christian world, Catholics included.
Maybe you are confusing tradition with doctrine.

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 2:49 PM

Yeah, aside from the minor detail the “no birth control” policy extends to the entire world, not just America, and has been around for decades.

BKennedy on November 27, 2007 at 2:47 PM

And your point is???

Last I checked … the Catholic Church extends to the entire world too, and thus … they’re interest in increasing numbers is not limited to the U.S.

Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 2:55 PM

Gregor,

I see you smartly ran away from your statement about the Pope. Good boy.

First, are you even a Catholic?

Second, you wrote:

Convince white American Christians that it’s wrong to use birth control, and at the same time, open the doors of the Church to illegal alien Hispanics who happen to be multiplying like rabbits.

Why did you substitute Christians for Catholics in that statement? All Catholics are Christians but all Christians are certainly not Catholics.

awake on November 27, 2007 at 3:00 PM

How many divisions does the Pope have?

mcgilvra on November 27, 2007 at 3:09 PM

Kensington on November 27, 2007 at 1:34 PM

Agreed. In the case of Mr. Sullivan, my ignorance is my bliss. I won’t read his whining nonsense.

Jaibones on November 27, 2007 at 3:14 PM

First, are you even a Catholic?

awake on November 27, 2007 at 3:00 PM

Yes, and I was educated in Catholic schools.

Second, you wrote:

Why did you substitute Christians for Catholics in that statement? All Catholics are Christians but all Christians are certainly not Catholics.

For the exact reason you just stated.

Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 3:18 PM

Yes, and I was educated in Catholic schools.
Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 3:18 PM

Is that an oxymoron?

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 3:20 PM

Is that an oxymoron?

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 3:20 PM

Why would it be?

Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 3:21 PM

I see you smartly ran away from your statement about the

awake on November 27, 2007 at 3:00 PM

In the interest of honesty, I believe I was mistaken on this claim. I’ve been searching for the quote and it seems that I confused his threat of excommunication related to abortion supporters, and his comments against “Amnesty” International.

His position, and the position of the Catholic Church in favor of amnesty and illegal immigration is well documented however.

I apologize for my mistake.

Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 3:26 PM

ColtsFan on November 27, 2007 at 2:17 PM

You are taking that exodus passage out of context. You can’t just take one sentence out of the paragraph in which it stands and expect it to have new meaning. That passage is specific only to that particular time and for a that very specific purpose.

Defense Guy on November 27, 2007 at 3:27 PM

I apologize for my mistake.

Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 3:26 PM

A classy way of handling it.
We all make these minor mistakes and errors. Covering it up compounds it…accepting a mistake is classy.

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 3:29 PM

How many divisions does the Pope have?

mcgilvra on November 27, 2007 at 3:09 PM

Wasn’t that Stalins line?

right2bright on November 27, 2007 at 3:30 PM

Last I checked … the Catholic Church extends to the entire world too, and thus … they’re interest in increasing numbers is not limited to the U.S.

Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 2:55 PM

Considering an overwhelming number of Catholic missions are in places where Catholics are a minority, and they dispense aid, education, and other meterial and spiritual goods without the need to convert to Catholicism, your branding of the Catholic Church’s motives as solely about numbers and power is ridiculous on its face.

Moreover, you were using birth control in the context of expanding numbers in order to gain more power in America. Therefore, the universality and age of the policy is very relevant. They had this policy long before Church attendance was dropping.

BKennedy on November 27, 2007 at 3:34 PM

ColtsFan on November 27, 2007 at 2:17 PM

You are taking that exodus passage out of context. You can’t just take one sentence out of the paragraph in which it stands and expect it to have new meaning. That passage is specific only to that particular time and for a that very specific purpose.

Defense Guy on November 27, 2007 at 3:27 PM

Valid point.

I agree, in a sense, with you.

But my purpose was limited to only showing how, even at a cursory glance, the ***left-wing religious liberalism practice of taking Bible verses and using them to push political ideas by importing them into the text*** quickly backfires.

A careful reading and understanding of that Exodus passage was outside the scope of my original comment.

ColtsFan on November 27, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Don’t forget that the Catholic Church of today is both a product of the Protestant reformationa and the Counter Reformation but also was influenced by liberal Christianity in the 60′s and 70′s. The modern Church see itself as improved and far removed from the Church Militant of the crusades. The Popes actions illustrate the the idea of the Church as leading thew world through peace and love as opposed to using arms and political influence which was how the Church maitained order in Europe for hundreds of years.

I frankly would prefer to see a little of the old Church these days. Just not here in America.

Rob Taylor on November 27, 2007 at 3:37 PM

ColtsFan on November 27, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Fair enough, thanks for the clarification.

Defense Guy on November 27, 2007 at 3:49 PM

Gonna be mighty interesting to watch this thread progress and see the ratio of comments objecting to me versus the ratio of comments objecting to the Catholic Church serving willingly as useful idiots for nuclear-armed Islamic fascists. Bring it on.

Allahpundit on November 27, 2007 at 11:51 AM

And, there we have it. Proof positive that the god of atheism is really narcissism and hedonism. Oh, and, if you’re still READING ABOUT YOU, you might want to look into how a psycho-sexual, dysfunction, under the guise of “atheism,” can manifest itself into hatred of Christianity.

Your Christian-baiting appears to be getting sexually gratifying to you.

OhEssYouCowboys on November 27, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Your Christian-baiting appears to be getting sexually gratifying to you.

Peace be with you!

Allahpundit on November 27, 2007 at 4:07 PM

if you’re still READING ABOUT YOU, you might want to look into how a psycho-sexual, dysfunction, under the guise of “atheism,” can manifest itself into hatred of Christianity.

Your Christian-baiting appears to be getting sexually gratifying to you.

OhEssYouCowboys on November 27, 2007 at 3:59 PM

The tone and nasty content of the above has no place for any Christian believer who wants to imitate Christ by loving one another, even those folks whom we may disagree with.

There is no question that it is so easy to fan flames by engaging in ad hominem attacks which are really logical fallacies.

The real question for professing Christians, me included, is the harder one:

how can we show an unbelieving, skeptical world that our Lord Jesus Christ alone does provide a life-giving alternative to all the false counterfeits this temporary world has to offer?

And I wrestle with that question, existentially.

ColtsFan on November 27, 2007 at 4:19 PM

I apologize for my mistake.

Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 3:26 PM

Accepted.

His position, and the position of the Catholic Church in favor of amnesty and illegal immigration is well documented however.

Agreed.

The Catholic Church has been in a panic mode for quite a while watching the numbers of their members drop each year. It’s far more likely the Catholic Church is terrified at the evaporating birth rate among white American Christians.

I still do not understand your answer to this one. What influence on birth control does the opinion of the Pope have with non-Catholic Christians?

awake on November 27, 2007 at 4:21 PM

I also disagree with Gregor saying that birth control and amnesty is about money and power. I’ve seen how they wield both. I went to a Catholic high school. During my Freshman year the Principal was sacked and the Diocese sent in a Jesuit to run things and set us back on track. He discovered the school was $97,000 in debt. Rather than paying it off we were told we had to raise the $97,000 in a year ourselves, or they would close the school.

The Church doesn’t spend much at all. Most money made through tithes go to the Parish. Then the Diocese gets some, then missions get some. The Vatican doesn’t spend much (except on Soccer teams evidently) they just sit on a goldmine. And large tracks of land in Europe.

That’s what is most dismaying to me about the Church. Here we have Mother Theresa of Calcutta. An extraordinarily pious woman who gave her life to care for the sick and dying in the streets of Calcutta. How much money did the Church give her to do her work? Hardly anything. She raised the funds herself. All they did was recognize her, and flaunt her. And the Catholic Church is worth Billions. Maybe even Trillions.

But I have no doubt their doctrines regarding Amnesty and Birth Control are genuine. Birth Control follows logically from their Pro-Life stance, and John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Amnesty follows logically from their rhetoric regarding Catholic Social Teaching. Given the unpopularity of their Birth Control stance one would think if their goal was converts that they would allow it.

Keljeck on November 27, 2007 at 4:23 PM

The whole birth control thing stems from the concept that sexual intercourse is intended for procreation and not recreation. If you are having sex, you should be intending to procreate (therefore you shouldn’t be using birth control – or you shouldn’t be having sex). This is the Catholic stance which I don’t particularly agree with, but I understand.

The illegal alien and amnesty positions of the church I DO have a major problem with. They are telling members of the church that it is OK to disobey the law. Jesus specifically said ‘render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s’. Earth is NOT God’s domain. God takes no side on whether or not illegals should be given citizenship. . . and the Church should take the side of the state with regard to laws or start paying taxes.

Also, I hate it when people consider deportation as a ‘punishment’. If I were in another country, and they wanted to deport me to America, I’d be pretty offended that they thought that deporting me to my home country is a punishment. That’s just me.

As for the position on Iran, the Catholic Church has had lots of problems with the Jewish community. . . I know I’m going to get a lot of heat for that comment (and likely more comments about KKK and white supremacy groups will follow), but it is true. The Catholic Church has been as critical of the state of Israel as anyone. This is not something to just gloss over. It does not surprise me that Iran has a similar position on Israel as the Catholic Church.

ThackerAgency on November 27, 2007 at 4:38 PM

But frankly, if the modern Catholic Church were more like the Crusader Catholic Church, I’d probably strive to be a Knights Templar and spread Christianity by defending Truth with the sword.

ThackerAgency on November 27, 2007 at 4:40 PM

Birth Control follows logically from their Pro-Life stance

It does in the sense that it is about taking responsibility and accepting the concequences of one’s actions. It is not about every sperm being sacred. Just want to make sure you are not getting your Catholic dogma from Monty Python.

BohicaTwentyTwo on November 27, 2007 at 4:45 PM

It does in the sense that it is about taking responsibility and accepting the concequences of one’s actions. It is not about every sperm being sacred. Just want to make sure you are not getting your Catholic dogma from Monty Python.

BohicaTwentyTwo on November 27, 2007 at 4:45 PM

Yes, it does it that sense. I should have just said Theology of the Body, I was doing some other things while writing and forgot that Birth Control prevents insemination, it doesn’t work afterward.

But to keep on walking this balance beam, it could be argued that since the Catholic Church is drawing the line at Birth Control they are trying to prevent an environment where the destruction of life is morally permissible.

Keljeck on November 27, 2007 at 4:53 PM

your branding of the Catholic Church’s motives as solely about numbers and power is ridiculous on its face.

BKennedy on November 27, 2007 at 3:34 PM

Nice try, but I never suggested the Church’s motives were “solely” about numbers. I don’t appreciate the misrepresentation of my comments. If you can’t debate honestly, stay out of the conversation. I was referring specifically to the debate on immigration.

For the correct context of my comment, see the entire comment on November 27, 2007 at 2:38 PM.

Moreover, you were using birth control in the context of expanding numbers in order to gain more power in America.

Would you please point out the comment of mine that indicates that I was only referring to “America?” The fact that I used America in my example does not indicate that it is only about America. In my earlier comments I mentioned Latin America, “and other socialist/communist countries.” I also specifically linked to an article indicating that the Church is involved in the same type of nonsense in the U.K.

Many of the Church’s current actions are indeed part of an agenda to increase membership. This does not mean “the Church’s motives” are all about money and power. That’s like you telling me you are actively seeking a better job, and me then saying that your “entire life” is all about money.

Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 4:54 PM

What influence on birth control does the opinion of the Pope have with non-Catholic Christians?

awake on November 27, 2007 at 4:21 PM

Based merely on my belief that the Pope is not intending to limit his words to Christian “Catholics.” I doubt seriously that the Pope, when speaking, is not directing his comments to ALL Christians throughout the world. I don’t think Jesus spoke with the intention of only touching those who agree with him.

Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 5:01 PM

if you’re still READING ABOUT YOU, you might want to look into how a psycho-sexual, dysfunction, under the guise of “atheism,” can manifest itself into hatred of Christianity.

Your Christian-baiting appears to be getting sexually gratifying to you.

OhEssYouCowboys on November 27, 2007 at 3:59 PM
The tone and nasty content of the above has no place for any Christian believer who wants to imitate Christ by loving one another, even those folks whom we may disagree with.

There is no question that it is so easy to fan flames by engaging in ad hominem attacks which are really logical fallacies.

The real question for professing Christians, me included, is the harder one:

how can we show an unbelieving, skeptical world that our Lord Jesus Christ alone does provide a life-giving alternative to all the false counterfeits this temporary world has to offer?

And I wrestle with that question, existentially.

ColtsFan on November 27, 2007 at 4:19 PM

Thank you for your lecture about what is, or is not, truly Christian of us. Please, if you would, equate your expertise on Christianity with Jesus Christ driving out [with force] those who were in the Temple. Of course, He saw what society thought about His Temple. Of course, He was angered by the spiritual voidness of the people. Of course, it angered Him. And, of course, He acted, not only with bitter words, but with violent action. Please, fill me in on your thoughts about Jesus Christ, and His actions in the Temple. Maybe you could lecture Him, too.

OhEssYouCowboys on November 27, 2007 at 5:04 PM

He may very well be speaking to all Christians, although I doubt many of the non-Catholic Christians are listening.

Thanks for the clarification.

awake on November 27, 2007 at 5:06 PM

And, of course, He acted, not only with bitter words, but with violent action.

Now we’re getting somewhere. Come on, let’s see some righteous violence, people.

This will be a useful comment to refer back to in future religion threads.

Allahpundit on November 27, 2007 at 5:07 PM

Please, if you would, equate your expertise on Christianity with Jesus Christ driving out [with force] those who were in the Temple.

He was God, he was in his house, he cleaned his house.

Keljeck on November 27, 2007 at 5:11 PM

And, there we have it. Proof positive that the god of atheism is really narcissism and hedonism. Oh, and, if you’re still READING ABOUT YOU, you might want to look into how a psycho-sexual, dysfunction, under the guise of “atheism,” can manifest itself into hatred of Christianity.

Your Christian-baiting appears to be getting sexually gratifying to you.

OhEssYouCowboys on November 27, 2007 at 3:59 PM

OK, IMO that was uncalled for. Allah (by and large) shows respect to Christians–he’s not perfect but who of us is? Could we lay off the personal attacks please?

Here we have Mother Theresa of Calcutta. An extraordinarily pious woman who gave her life to care for the sick and dying in the streets of Calcutta. How much money did the Church give her to do her work? Hardly anything. She raised the funds herself. All they did was recognize her, and flaunt her. And the Catholic Church is worth Billions. Maybe even Trillions.

Where do I begin? First of all, how do you know how much the Church gave to Mother Teresa? Enough said.

Also, I work for a Catholic Church in the inner city. We do NOT have a lot of money; most of the value of the (worldwide) Church is in properties and buildings which are supposed to last for generations and generations. Day to day expenses? I don’t have the worldwide figures, but most churches in my diocese are living hand to mouth. And this is, I might add, as it should be, if as Christians we trust in our Father for our daily bread, not our yearly bread.

inviolet on November 27, 2007 at 5:13 PM

Now we’re getting somewhere. Come on, let’s see some righteous violence, people.

This will be a useful comment to refer back to in future religion threads.

Allahpundit on November 27, 2007 at 5:07 P

Ah, I see that you’re still READING ABOUT YOURSELF. Of course, you would read my quote as being a call to violence. When, in fact, it was simply proof that words and actions are sometimes needed, in order to deal with those who worship themselves, and disregard God. I might add, that the act of the Apostles in shaking the dust from their shoes, was hardly a “nice” act. But, of course, was an action used as a commentary on a spirtiually dead world. You know, your world.

OhEssYouCowboys on November 27, 2007 at 5:13 PM

And, of course, He acted, not only with bitter words, but with violent action. Please, fill me in on your thoughts about Jesus Christ, and His actions in the Temple. Maybe you could lecture Him, too.

Not addressed to me, but I’ll bite: Jesus Himself knew what would “wake up” certain people. Of course He did, He’s God.

Some would respond to, “come down from that tree, I’m staying at your house today,” some would respond to, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” some would only be woken by a whip and righteous anger at turning God’s house into a moneychanger’s bazaar. He also had the unparalleled advantage of being both omniscient and without sin Himself, in dealing with sinners around Him.

But we’re not God. I can’t read AllahPundit’s soul, nor can you. Also, Jesus commanded us to “love one another as I have loved you” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Can’t be positive but I don’t think your first attack really qualified as agape. Perhaps you could explain to the other posters here how it does.

inviolet on November 27, 2007 at 5:24 PM

Given the unpopularity of their Birth Control stance one would think if their goal was converts that they would allow it.

Keljeck on November 27, 2007 at 4:23 PM

Not that the Church’s views are really having an impact on who uses birth control, but the Church knows that if Catholics stop having babies … the Church will eventually collapse. The Church is dependent on Catholics having children and raising them to be good Catholics. The Church is not exactly experiencing a large influx of Christians converting to Catholicism.

Birth Control follows logically from their Pro-Life stance

I don’t see the logic. I see the possibility for an emotional connection, but logic doesn’t support connecting “birth control” to a “pro-life stance.” There’s no life being taken by using birth control. It simply prevents a woman from becoming pregnant. Using that logic, then the Church should not be preaching abstinence, because those who practice abstinence are preventing the woman from becoming pregnant.

I would understand the argument against birth control more if the Church argued that sex is designed for reproduction, rather than physical pleasure. Unfortunately, this isn’t the argument they use.

Gregor on November 27, 2007 at 5:26 PM

Where do I begin? First of all, how do you know how much the Church gave to Mother Teresa? Enough said.

Also, I work for a Catholic Church in the inner city. We do NOT have a lot of money; most of the value of the (worldwide) Church is in properties and buildings which are supposed to last for generations and generations. Day to day expenses? I don’t have the worldwide figures, but most churches in my diocese are living hand to mouth. And this is, I might add, as it should be, if as Christians we trust in our Father for our daily bread, not our yearly bread.

inviolet on November 27, 2007 at 5:13 PM

You must have misunderstood, because you are proving my point.

I don’t know how much exactly Mother Theresa was given. That’s why I said it was minimal and didn’t give a figure. Given the state her missions were in, I’m suspecting not much. I’m also guessing this because of my own experience with the diocese, and you can also guess this because of yours.

The Catholic Church in the Vatican does not spend much at all. Most tithes are kept at the local level, the Diocese only gets a small amount. Dioceses are expect to operate on their own income. Despite all the wealth of the Church in Rome it sits there, that’s troubling to me.

You are right, it’s in properties. Why should it be? They own large tracks of land in Europe. What use is it to the church? Can’t they sell it? How about all of the riches in the Vatican left uncounted. Can’t some of them go?

Jesus led the first Eucharist with a wooden cup. The Pope is fed on a plate of gold. His shoes alone are worth $400.

Oscar Andres Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga came to speak at my college. He talked about poverty and the sin the world is in for letting this go on. He urged for more aid, debt relief, and the elimination of the School for the Americas. After we were done we had a reception with the best food I have ever tasted. Wine, Cocoa and Coffee flavored roast beef, Apple Roast Beef, hor durbs (SP?), things I can’t even name.

And it must be tough to work in the inner cities. You have my prayers. And I’m sorry if this sounds insulting to you, I’m not talking about your own Parish, it sounds like they are earnestly doing the Lord’s work.

Keljeck on November 27, 2007 at 5:29 PM

Not that the Church’s views are really having an impact on who uses birth control, but the Church knows that if Catholics stop having babies … the Church will eventually collapse. The Church is dependent on Catholics having children and raising them to be good Catholics. The Church is not exactly experiencing a large influx of Christians converting to Catholicism.

They are in developing countries. They are one of the leading forces there. That’s why Pope Benedict XVI is turning his sights to fighting Relativism, for which I must commend him.

Keljeck on November 27, 2007 at 5:31 PM

Thank you for your lecture about what is, or is not, truly Christian of us. Please, if you would, equate your expertise on Christianity with Jesus Christ driving out [with force] those who were in the Temple. Of course, He saw what society thought about His Temple. Of course, He was angered by the spiritual voidness of the people. Of course, it angered Him. And, of course, He acted, not only with bitter words, but with violent action. Please, fill me in on your thoughts about Jesus Christ, and His actions in the Temple. Maybe you could lecture Him, too.

OhEssYouCowboys on November 27, 2007 at 5:04 PM

I will not trade words with you.

I will choose to only comment on your misinterpretation of Jesus, for the larger viewing audience.

First,

my comment was not intended as a “lecture” but as a call to urge professing Christians, me included, to imitate who we are supposed to be “professing about,” namely, the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Second,

your reference to a story in the Bible, in no way, supports the nasty tone and content of your original comment.

The Bible states that we as professing believers are to honor Jesus Christ with the proper tone and conduct of our speech.

For you to even equate your comment with a reference to Jesus driving people out of the Temple is sheer, hermeneutical foolishness on your part.

God ordains for his people to honor Him in our speech and conduct.

Third,

I have no intention on lecturing Jesus. He makes the rules, not me. Even the rules about honoring Jesus Christ with the proper attitude and speech.

To equate your vulgar comment with the actions of Jesus is really foolishness.

ColtsFan on November 27, 2007 at 5:34 PM

He talked about poverty and the sin the world is in for letting this go on.

I didn’t realize that poverty was a sin. It says in the Bible that there has always been poverty and there always will be poverty.

ThackerAgency on November 27, 2007 at 5:37 PM

ColtsFan on November 27, 2007 at 5:34 PM

Thank you. Excellently done.

inviolet on November 27, 2007 at 5:40 PM

Deuteronomy 15:11 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

Had to find it, but it’s there. Helping poor people is a common theme, but eradicating poverty, according to this passage, will never happen. Maybe someone should tell the Democrats that.

ThackerAgency on November 27, 2007 at 5:45 PM

I didn’t realize that poverty was a sin. It says in the Bible that there has always been poverty and there always will be poverty.

ThackerAgency on November 27, 2007 at 5:37 PM

That it does. I suppose the argument is that we have the ability to redistribute our wealth so that everyone can live well above poverty. And we choose not to. Our inaction to help our fellow man and acknowledge their human dignity is a sin. A social sin.

I disagree with him, and I agree with you. His Eminence is known to be more interested with Social Justice issues than doctrine. He’s also a very nice guy in person.

Keljeck on November 27, 2007 at 6:32 PM

Allah, I’m a Maronite Catholic and am all for preemptive strikes on what ever targets in Iran or elsewhere our military determines needs to be destroyed. We have a new bishop in Pittsburgh (Roman Catholic) and I’ve already given him an ear full on these topics. Turning the other cheek is one thing, defending one’s family and country is another.

Zorro on November 27, 2007 at 7:19 PM

Matrix? Agent Benedict?

- The Cat

MirCat on November 27, 2007 at 8:34 PM

I agree that the Pope has little or no influence on world affairs.

The Pope has little or no political influence on world affairs but he has a profound moral influence on the world which does tend to reverberate from time to time.

Even his influence among Catholics is minimal (the vast majority use birth control and many have had divorces).

No they don’t.

Why do you think there are so many pro-choice Catholics when the Church has been fighting for pro-life causes for so long?

I don’t know but it might have something to do with Paul’s Letter to the Bostonians.

aengus on November 27, 2007 at 9:12 PM

The Pope is proper to caution against the use of violence to solve world conflicts – if he endorsed violence, he would be viewed in the same light as the Islamic leaders who claim that the way to achieve peace on earth is to kill one’s enemies.

redaerobaby on November 27, 2007 at 9:24 PM

Yeah, aside from the minor detail the “no birth control” policy extends to the entire world, not just America, and has been around for decades.

Centuries actually.

It’s hardly an exclusively Catholic agenda. Examine Bush’s policy in Uganda, his insistence on abstinence and the resulting decline in AIDS.

To Gregor and his ilk I would say, paraphrasing Marx, “You’ve nothing to lose but your license to self-gratification.”

aengus on November 27, 2007 at 9:41 PM

Had to find it, but it’s there. Helping poor people is a common theme, but eradicating poverty, according to this passage, will never happen. Maybe someone should tell the Democrats that.

ThackerAgency on November 27, 2007 at 5:45 PM

I have found this
book
and this book to be very informative, knowledgeable, and relevant about the issue of Bible and Economics.

ColtsFan on November 27, 2007 at 10:01 PM

OH MY GOD!!! The Pope/Anti-Christ might MEDIATE/URGE PEACE between the United States and Iran! My worst fears about the Babylonian/pederast-protecting “Christian” church have been confirmed!!! We CANNOT let this happen. WE MUST BOMB IRAN!!! We MUST. Better yet, I agree with Defense Guy up at the top! Let’s bomb Iran and the Pope! Yea, that’ll do it: not only will it end all the problems with terrorists, we will get rid of the world’s OLDEST AND MOST CORRUPT bureaucracy! Bomb Iran and the Pope.

In the name of JESUS, MY PERSONAL BUDDY AND SAVIOR.

WillBarrett on November 27, 2007 at 10:50 PM

So let me get this straight…

Allah promises to follow this thread and stay on top of it, and it degenerates into a disgusting rant over how the Catholic Church is about money and power and some strange complaint about birth control.

I don’t know why any Catholic bothers with this blog sometimes. I can’t believe Michelle would approve of this stuff. And you should be ashamed of yourself, Allah, for allowing this kind of thing to go on here, especially when you promised to keep order. I wonder if you really are glad over posts like these. If so, then you have a serious problem.

Sydney Carton on November 27, 2007 at 11:14 PM

So let me get this straight…

Allah promises to follow this thread and stay on top of it, and it degenerates into a disgusting rant over how the Catholic Church is about money and power and some strange complaint about birth control.

Sydney Carton on November 27, 2007 at 11:14 PM

Lighten up Francis, I mean Sydney. I and others successfully defended the Pope’s “honor” and the argument by the Catholic dissenters was proven frivolous and baseless.

All in good fun in the land of free cyber-speech.

awake on November 27, 2007 at 11:41 PM

Sydney Carton on November 27, 2007 at 11:14 PM

YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH, SYDNEY. Your Church is E-V-I-L. Remember, I know a lot Catholics who left the Church and became either an evangelical like me or an atheist. Therefore the Catholic church must be bad. QED. Plus, I follow the Bible while all you do is worship Mary, and light candles, and do WHATEVER THE POPE TELLS YOU.

WillBarrett on November 27, 2007 at 11:49 PM

WillBarrett on November 27, 2007 at 11:49 PM

LOL, Will. I don’t think Sydney will get your sarcasm based on your last two posts though.

But I enjoyed them, nonetheless.

awake on November 27, 2007 at 11:52 PM

Actually, I thought WillBarrett’s posts were great. Shame they’re coming so late in the day, though.

I don’t mind sarcasm like that. But I’m really getting tired of seeing serious bashing threads like this, especially after Allah said he’d try to watch over it. What a freaking liar.

Sydney Carton on November 28, 2007 at 12:12 AM

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