Dom Post on The Pope

September 24th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The editorial:

He prefers a Vatican guesthouse to the luxurious papal apartment occupied by his predecessors, he’s swapped a bulletproof limousine for a battered old runabout with 300,000km on the clock and he ducked a symphony concert organised in his honour because he had more urgent business. “I’m not a Renaissance prince,” he said.

The big tests are still to come, but six months after cardinals chose 76-year-old Argentinian cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to succeed Pope Benedict XVI as the head of the Catholic Church, it looks as if they made an inspired choice.

I agree.

Cardinal Bergoglio, now , might just be that rarest of creatures – a holy man. Not for him the trappings of wealth or the layers of intermediaries that separated his predecessors from the real world. One of his first actions as Pope was to call his newspaper vendor in Buenos Aires to cancel his delivery. Another was to call his shoemaker. “No red shoes, make them black as usual.”

And it is not just his personal style:

He has said he is not interested in judging people on the basis of their sexuality and has opened the door to a discussion about the possibility of married priests. He has also said the church’s focus on abortion, marriage and contraception is too narrow and is driving people away.

That does not mean the church is about to change its position on any or all of those issues, but it does indicate a new willingness to consider issues of importance to Catholics.

That can only be good for the church and a world desperately in need of goodness and compassion.

I don’t see a change in doctrine, as much as emphasis. But even a 2,000 year old institution does change with the times to some degree. In fact one of the massive design faults in religions like Islam is an inability to modernise because there is no central authority in the religion. Christian churches can and do modernise to reflect the changing world, hence why the Catholic Church no longer bans reprinting Galileo’s works.

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70 Responses to “Dom Post on The Pope”

  1. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    Yes, it would be a bit much to expect a Bruce Almighty moment, even from the good Pope Francis! :)

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  2. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    In fact one of the massive design faults in religions like Islam is an inability to modernise because there is no central authority in the religion.

    Islam can and does have the ability to change with the times. That there is no central authority means that there are lots of different “takes” on islam.

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  3. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    Actually, perhaps I’m referring to another movie, where the main character finally states that there is no god. Never mind. God and religion are both man-made creations and when finally relegated to be a relic of historical curiosity, the better-off we will all be! :) Till then, the occasional breath of fresh air in the form of people like Pope Francis will have to do!

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  4. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    gazz: yes, like all religions, everybody has a slightly different taken on things. In Christianity, there are a huge variety of different takes on things, even within the Catholic church. One of the great issues that the current pope faces is the declining number of new priests being ordained and the aging of current ones. I read somewhere recently that the average age of Catholic priests in the US is something like 70! Ooops! That means that soon there won’t be enough to tend the flock, as it were!

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  5. wat dabney (3,716 comments) says:

    he’s swapped a bulletproof limousine for a battered old runabout with 300,000km on the clock

    Just another form of vanity.

    It’s the Pope’s job to spout pious-sounding platitudes. I could come out with exactly the same stuff yet people wouldn’t then fall over themselves to declare how humble and good I am.

    It’s simply theatre for the willingly credulous.

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  6. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    An improvement, though finding things to improve about the Catholic church is like shooting fish in a barrel.

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  7. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    Kea: indeed. Well, it would be a bit much for them to admit that its all a big con job. Pay me a tithe and I will have a chat with God and absolve you of your sins, my child! LOL

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  8. queenstfarmer (754 comments) says:

    Islam can and does have the ability to change with the times

    Not sure about that.

    The main problem is the Koran, which – unlike the numerous versions of the Bible – is regarded as authoritative and actual words & commands of Allah, as heard by Mohammed himself. It is simply not permissible to “change” from what is stated in the Koran.

    And the Koran expressly commands believers to kill non-believers (infidels).

    So without a central authority figure to ‘restate’ and ‘reinterpret’ things, as is constantly happening in Christianity, it is difficult for Islam to “change with the times”.

    [DPF: I agree the status of the Koran, along with the lack of central hierarchy makes it very difficult for reform to happen. Also a complicating factor is they don't even have any mechanism to decide who can and can not be a priest. Anyone can declare themselves a priest.

    On a pragmatic level though, country leaders can exert considerable influence on the religion within their own boundaries]

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  9. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    It’s all a PR image act to restore confidence in that church

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  10. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    queenstfarmer: so, in a christian or secular society, can’t that be see as inciting unrest or inciting someone to murder others? So, therefore the publishing and distribution of such material should be banned, much as there is similar material in the bible, e.g. Leviticus.

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  11. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    Wik: of course, he has been carefully chosen, because the last Pope was failing alarmingly, because most Catholics want to be able to use contraceptives, and the continued issue with Catholic priests sexually abusing young people are two issues which are driving people away from the Catholic church, which to me is a good thing, the fewer religious people in the world, the better. However, a more tolerant attitude from the Catholic Church is certainly a start.

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  12. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    In fact one of the massive design faults in religions like Islam is an inability to modernise because there is no central authority in the religion.

    Muslims call their central authority Allah. NZ’s corrupt state refuses to acknowledge the existence of deity in law.

    http://www.actsinjunction.info/nwo.html

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  13. Odakyu-sen (501 comments) says:

    “The main problem is the Koran, which – unlike the numerous versions of the Bible – is regarded as authoritative and actual words & commands of Allah, as heard by Mohammed himself. It is simply not permissible to “change” from what is stated in the Koran.”

    Therefore, surely, the more literally one follows the Koran, the “truer” a believer one must be. Logically, in the race to be “purer,” you would need to be more and more rigid in your following of the Koran. (If anyone deviates from “The Word,” then you can attack them as being “impure” (an infidel).

    And with no central body to lay down the rules, how do you rein in the tendency towards extremism?

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  14. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    And the Koran expressly commands believers to kill non-believers (infidels).

    Only in the context of oppression by those non-believers.

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  15. queenstfarmer (754 comments) says:

    @GJKiwi, yes there is similar material in the bible. But no one version or interpretation has ever been considered ‘authoritative’ (at least across all Christianity), and therefore there has always been room for moderating voices to point out that certain phrases are not meant literally, etc, and even do major rewrites.

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  16. queenstfarmer (754 comments) says:

    @UglyTruth: the prerequisite of ‘oppression’ may be the view of some, but think how easy is it to claim oppression. “I’m oppressed by the West because their liberal, godless culture is corrupting my brother Muslims.”

    I’m not a Christian, but I’m not aware of any mainstream interpretation of the (modern) Bible commanding Christians to kill non-believers if they feel oppressed.

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  17. LiberalismIsASin (288 comments) says:

    The media is trying to put words in the Holy Father’s mouth. The church is still opposed to abortion and sexual deviance, as they are grievous cardinal sins. But what I think he is trying to say is that there is more to the church than just these issues. If anyone thinks that the Pope is going to cave into liberalism then think again, that will not happen because as Christ said, he will build his church and the gates of hell shall NOT prevail against it, as they have everywhere else in western society. The Catholic church is now the last bastion of truth left in the West. The liberal media basically wants a church that no longer believes, or in fact exists, that is the only kind of “reform” they are interested in, and as a Catholic I am suspicious of the agenda that they are attempting to promote in regards to the Holy Father. If you are truly interested in what he says get it from him, not paraphrased through the filters of the corrupt liberal media.

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  18. Fletch (6,132 comments) says:

    That is because many have a wrong idea of what the Catholic Church is or what is teaches; yet, even if they do understand, as long as the Catholic Church keeps being attacked, I know that I am in the right church. Archbishop Fulton Sheen once wrote –

    “There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church—which is, of course, quite a different thing.

    These millions can hardly be blamed for hating Catholics because Catholics “adore statues;” because they “put the Blessed Mother on the same level with God;” because they “say indulgence is a permission to commit sin;” because the Pope “is a Fascist;” because the Church “is the defender of Capitalism.” If the Church taught or believed any one of these things, it should be hated, but the fact is that the Church does not believe nor teach any one of them. It follows then that the hatred of the millions is directed against error and not against truth. As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do.

    If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hates.

    My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh. If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world. Look for the Church that is hated by the world, as Christ was hated by the world. Look for the Church which is accused of being behind the times, as Our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned. Look for the Church which men sneer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth. Look for the Church which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. Look for the Church which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because he called Himself the Truth. Look for the Church which amid the confusion of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly, it is other-worldly. Since it is other-worldly, it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself. … the Catholic Church is the only Church existing today which goes back to the time of Christ. History is so very clear on this point, it is curious how many miss its obviousness…”

    Jesus pointed out in the Bible (John 15:18-25) –

     “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.  Whoever hates me hates my Father as well.  If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.  But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’

    So, as Archbishop Sheen points out (confirming what Jesus said in the Bible), the true Church of Jesus will be hated for standing up for the Truth.

    George Orwell wrote,

    The further a society drifts from Truth, the more it will hate those that speak it

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  19. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    @Uglytruth:

    UglyTruth (1,649) Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 11:37 am
    In fact one of the massive design faults in religions like Islam is an inability to modernise because there is no central authority in the religion.

    Muslims call their central authority Allah. NZ’s corrupt state refuses to acknowledge the existence of deity in law.

    http://www.actsinjunction.info/nwo.html

    And a good thing to! Why should the New Zealand government recognise the importance of a fairytale in law? All religions are a mixture of fantasy, myth, half-truths and lies, combined with occasional historical facts, and they should therefore be recognised as such. Misleading nonsense! Every time I go to a funeral or a commemoration or public ceremony, I have people standing there making statements in public which are obviously lies, when they state something about God or Allah or some other man-made fantasy, and no-one has the guts to correct them.

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  20. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    the prerequisite of ‘oppression’ may be the view of some, but think how easy is it to claim oppression. “I’m oppressed by the West because their liberal, godless culture is corrupting my brother Muslims.”

    The context refers to violent oppression: “Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you”

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  21. Fletch (6,132 comments) says:

    If anyone thinks that the Pope is going to cave into liberalism then think again, that will not happen

    Yes, the pro-abortion group NARAL jumped the gun and posted a thankyou note to Pope Francis on Facebook, saying, “Dear Pope Francis – Thankyou – from pro-choice women everywhere”

    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/christinerousselle/2013/09/20/oops-naral-thanks-pope-franciswho-then-blasts-abortion-n1705550

    Of course, the day after that the Pope gave a speech against abortion. Strangely, the ‘thankyou’ is still up on NARALs page.

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  22. Odakyu-sen (501 comments) says:

    The Bible and the Koran both have many commands to do certain things to certain kinds of people. However, I don’t think ordinary believers are going to act on those commands unless leaders in their churches/mosques tell them to do so.

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  23. Don the Kiwi (1,644 comments) says:

    You present a reasonable secularist view.

    Its a lot to do with perception – Benedict XVI is also a holy man, and was a very good pope. Its just that Pope Francis’ style is very different – a Latino is very different to a German, culturally and in their social and economic environments in which they were raised.

    He has said he is not interested in judging people on the basis of their sexuality and has opened the door to a discussion about the possibility of married priests. He has also said the church’s focus on abortion, marriage and contraception is too narrow and is driving people away.

    The problem with this statement indicates to me a bias in how his words are interpreted. To say that “the Church’s focus on abortion, marriage and contraception is too narrow and is driving people away” is actually quite incorrect. The Church has to respond to issues which contravene Natural Law upon which the moral teaching of the Church is based. These issues are always raised by a secularised society which has to a large extent abandoned traditional moral teaching. In fact, many Catholics over the past 40 odd years have been saying that the Church has not enunciated its teaching clearly enough, and the stronger stand the Church has taken in recent years is actually retaining and attracting people, particularly the young.

    What he is saying is that the Church must focus FIRST on its duty to proclaim the gospel and God’s mercy and compassion for sinners – all mankind. That is the primary mission of the Church. But he still says that the moral teachings must be stated and defended and correct teaching given; which includes love, mercy and compassion for all peoples, and condemnation of sinful acts – not people.

    And interestingly, despite what some have said above, the Catholic seminaries are quite full in most of the world – even here in li’ll old NZ

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  24. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    Fletch:

    Interesting that you quote George Orwell (Eric Blair).

    Here is a quote from the wikipedia article about him:

    “The ambiguity in his belief in religion mirrored the dichotomies between his public and private lives: Stephen Ingle wrote that it was as if the writer George Orwell “vaunted” his atheism while Eric Blair the individual retained “a deeply ingrained religiosity”. Ingle later noted that Orwell did not accept the existence of an afterlife, believing in the finality of death while living and advocating a moral code based on Judeo-Christian beliefs.”

    That sounds more like he was an atheist.

    However, it alright by me that you believe in your fantasies. However, that is what they remain. Religion was developed to assist humans to explain the world. Then over the millenia, we discovered science and that has assisted in a much clearer and rational understanding of our world and the universe. A study in the US showed that 95% of those in Mensa don’t believe in a god, which indicates that intelligent people have grasped what a crock it all is! :)

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  25. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Why should the New Zealand government recognise the importance of a fairytale in law?

    What the NZ state refuses to recognize is not a fairytale, but the historical fact that English common law is founded on aspects of Judaic law including the ten commandments. English common law recognizes the existence of natural rights, and as a consequence of the state’s perverted interpretation these rights are not recognized either. Common law operates on facts and reason, not fairytales.

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  26. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    @Don the Kiwi
    “and the stronger stand the Church has taken in recent years is actually retaining and attracting people, particularly the young.”

    How then do you explain the increasingly aged clergy, as note by me above?

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  27. Fletch (6,132 comments) says:

    GJKiwi, and yet most people on Earth are religious. If you’re not then you’re in the minority.

    Some of the most intelligent men that have ever lived believed in and believe in God. Scientists, poets, writers, musicians, artists, statesmen – men wiser than I am (and probably you as well) – even geniuses – believe in the God of the Bible. Some of the greatest thinkers of our time. Do you think they were wrong? Have been tricked?

    According to the CIA website, there are approx 7 billion people in the world -

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html
    (Click on the [+] People and Society link)

    According to the same site, 88.54% (6.2 billion) are religious in some way – Christian 33.35% (of which Roman Catholic 16.83%, Protestant 6.08%, Orthodox 4.03%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 22.43%, Hindu 13.78%, Buddhist 7.13%, Sikh 0.36%, Jewish 0.21%, Baha’i 0.11%, other religions 11.17%.

    Only 9.42% are non-religious and 2.04% are atheist.

    You must be in the 2% then.

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  28. Don the Kiwi (1,644 comments) says:

    GJKiwi.

    Yes, you are correct – but that time is passing. This has occurred at various times in the history of the Church. One of the worst periods was in France at the time of the French revolution – because thousands of priests were killed, it was not an attractive vocation to follow. But that rapidly changed within a few decades. Similarly in England at the time of the Reformation.
    Recent decades since the ’60s have seen a big drop off in entrants aspiring to the priesthood – this is due to many and complex reasons, and to an extent, a drop off in Faith as well. The Church is undergoing a lot of persecution at the moment – the Middle East, and parts of Asia, and in the Western world, through attacks on people pouring contempt on them for their beliefs – as we often see on this blog.

    But during Pope John-Paul II’s pontificate, the Church grew by many hundreds of millions. When the Church is persecuted it grows. Africa and Korea are two good examples. Similarly in NZ and other western countries, people can be confident in the teachings of the Church, and Faith Is strengthened, and that’s when we see vocations to the priesthood grow. In the larger immediate area where I live, 6 of the 10 priests are under 50 – the oldest would be 78, but he’s retired from active parish duty.
    And WRT married priests, that has always been an option for the Church. There are 29 churches within the Catholic Church – the Lating rite, which is the predominant western church, but there are Maronite, Syrian, Eukranian, Syrio-Malabar Catholic Churches, and many more. Many of the Eastern churches have married clergy – though not all are married. In fact there are married priests in the western church, but very few – mainly those married priests who have changed over from Anglican or other faiths, and have re-trained as Catholic priests.

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  29. kowtow (7,914 comments) says:

    “Only in the context of oppression by those non believers.”

    Gosh those 62 murdered people in the Kenyan mall ,including pregnant women,must have been really oppressing Muslims then.

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  30. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    Fletch: I hope so! However, why is it that one person is Catholic and another Muslim? Usually because of where they were born. As I noted earlier, George Orwell was obviously a believer in the moral code, but not in an afterlife. Einstein was not a believer in God and neither was Jacob Bronowski. As the 20C wore on, more and more highly intelligent people educated in science no longer believe in a god. Another person I highly respect is Sir David Attenborough. I have seen his statement where he said that, as a young boy, he sat in a church and thought, what a load of nonsense. And of course, he is right. I simply refuse to believe in such arrant nonsense.

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  31. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    Don: it is interesting that you say people begin to believe when they are oppressed. That means, when they live in fear, or are in some way persecuted they begin to believe. It seems then that succumbing to religion is somewhat like grasping for straws! Oh, I’m in a spot of bother hear, I need something to cling to! And so it is. Somewhat like young men who are dying in battle crying out for their mothers, the original source of comfort for all of us, and, of course, rather more realistic.

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  32. kowtow (7,914 comments) says:

    When I watch Attenborough all I see is an arrogant warmist.

    And I say to myself “What a load of non sense”.

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  33. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    Fletch: in the western world, the rate of growth of non-believers is growing at a rapid rate. In Ireland, the land that saved Catholicism, there are nearly 50% of people who are atheists. The number of non-believers/atheists in New Zealand is also rising. In fact, I personally don’t know anybody in my personal circle who attends religious ceremonies as such any more, unless you include marriage ceremonies or funerals. I’m a member of a Facebook group called Atheist Ireland, and I’m also a supporter of the Atheist Bus Campaign, founded by someone who thought what right do religious people have to write scary and intimidating messages on the sides of buses. They funded messages that said “There’s probably not God, so stop worrying and enjoy life”. In fact, I don’t really find much comfort in associating people who advocate the views of much of the bible and very much don’t support people who view killing people who oppose your religious views at all. Many of the wars have been started for religious wars (note the 30 years war in particular). I do note that the worst war in history was started by an atheist and fought largely against another country that promoted atheism. That being said, I would note that most of their soldiers believed in a god, though little good that it did them. I style myself as a humanist, in that I believe in treating people well for the sake of treating people well. I don’t believe in scaring people into submission, unlike most religions. Believe in us or you will burn in hell for eternity. Not very uplifting sorry. You should check out http://www.moandjesus.net for some good blasphemy.

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  34. GJKiwi (179 comments) says:

    kowtow: And there I was thinking that you might have been going to say, “and I say to myself, what a wonderful world.” Whether or not you believe in the theory for Global warming, the Artic ice cap is decreasing in size. If it isn’t caused by us using up huge quantities of petroleum products, we still might be in for an interesting time. It could well be that the earth is simply going through a phase of warming up. It has definitely warmed up since Captain James Cook came to our shores. Also, there is are quite measurable increases in the quantities of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere and decreases in the size of the world’s rainforests. I don’t always agree with everything he says, but at least he’s not a self-centred religious nutter.

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  35. Ed Snack (1,785 comments) says:

    GJKiwi, I’d have to say that in general the members are not so much intelligent as terribly convinced that they are intelligent. I’d guess that any truly intelligent person would avoid Mensa “like the plague” as they say.

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  36. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/church-dumps-rebel-priest-20130920-2u5jp.html

    It was interesting to see that the Pope can personally authorise the excommunication of priests who support gay marriage and yet enjoy increased good faith from media types.

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  37. Robo (24 comments) says:

    I am not a Catholic, but if I were I would be worried by where this Pope is going. He is systematically uncovering a set of views completely at odds with Catholicism, and moving away from revealed truth to whatever works/feels good at the time. Next he’ll convert to C of E, and that hasn’t exactly worked out well for them (Eddy Izzard’s “Tea and Cake, or Death” is well worth a watch on you tube). Saying that the Church is wrong but doesn’t necessarily have to change its views is just BS for a gullible audience. If it ain’t revealed truth its just bunkum. Bad times are coming for Catholicism.

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  38. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Gosh those 62 murdered people in the Kenyan mall ,including pregnant women,must have been really oppressing Muslims then.

    The killers were not involved in an Islamic jihad any more than Graham Fuller was.

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article178524.html

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  39. nasska (10,867 comments) says:

    Don the Kiwi

    …”When the Church is persecuted it grows.”….

    All the help I’ve given you sorry buggers & you’re still bitching. :)

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  40. Redbaiter (7,981 comments) says:

    Oh Gosh, here’s Narsekissa with his compulsory smiley face. Who would ever have guessed he would turn up here?

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  41. queenstfarmer (754 comments) says:

    @UglyTruth, are you saying that the Al Shabaab organisation that carried out the attach is not a jihadist group?

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  42. Kleva Kiwi (281 comments) says:

    Yet he still lives in a fantasy land, believing in sky fairies and all…

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  43. Don the Kiwi (1,644 comments) says:

    nasska.

    Thanks for your concern. :-)

    At this juncture, perhaps I should say I’m praying for you too? :-)

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  44. Fentex (909 comments) says:

    …one of the massive design faults in religions like Islam is an inability to modernise because there is no central authority in the religion

    Sunni and Shiite differ in the degrees to which authority is centralised, and even if neither had any, how does lack of centralisation contribute to lack of flexibility?

    We are constantly admonished in this blog and elsewhere that choice and competition is good for change and innovation so it seems odd to argue in this special case it isn’t.

    And then look at the most populous predominantly Muslim country in the world – Indonesia. It is substantially different from the homes of the savage sects that worry us.

    Islam is not substantially different from other religions that adherents freely interpret to justify what they want to do.

    It is the deeply corrupt, authoritarian and misogynistic cultures it was invented to bind to a common cause that are the problem with Islamic preaching enemies of civilization.

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  45. Fletch (6,132 comments) says:

    Einstein was not a believer in God

    He may not have believed in a personal God, but I think he believed in a God.
    He once famously said, “God does not play dice with the Universe”.
    Also, he was grateful to the Catholic Church for standing up against Hitler.

    Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks….
    .
    Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.
    .
    - Albert Einstein, Time magazine, 23rd December, 1940 p. 38

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  46. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “……and has opened the door to a discussion about the possibility of married priests….”

    LOL

    The stupid ABC in Australia asked the same question to a Catholic Priest at the start of the Enquiry into Sexual Abuse – and got a reply that went more or less like this:

    “…..no no……men who fuck women don’t necessarily make better men or husbands……the poofs and feminists would disagree for a start…..and it might be taken that men should then take to their wifes at will……and then there is the matter of raping women…..” :cool: [my language]

    The liberal media think that they are right all the time…….until the likes of the Catholic Church spell out the bleeding obvious…..in this case, it’s not ALL about sex! :cool:

    The same rules will still apply – some priests can and some can’t – depending on what orders they are from ect.

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  47. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “….Einstein was not a believer in God….”

    Silly arguement.

    Isaac Newton was! :cool:

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  48. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    Cato 1:53pm #

    “…..Archbishop Hart said Father Reynolds was excommunicated because after his priestly faculties were withdrawn he continued to celebrate the Eucharist publicly and preach contrary to the teachings of the church….”

    That’s how the Priest from Toowoomba came to be excommunicated also – relentlessly disagreeing with the Church.

    It’s fair enough. Cheers.

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  49. chiz (1,131 comments) says:

    Einstein’s use of God should be read metaphorically or poetically. When he says that God does not play dice with the universe he is talking about Nature, not some guy in white robes. As far as anyone can tell his beliefs were vaguely like pantheism.

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  50. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    Robo#

    “….Next he’ll convert to C of E…” – ‘Swimming the Thames’ it is called.

    “…..Bad times are coming for Catholicism…..” – Hardly…….Catholicism is growing – world wide.

    Also, a lot of Catholics don’t understand ALL the reasons why Church Doctrine opposes things like contraception. A lot of people just equate that contraception is better than starvation in Africa, and better than abortion.

    Women have demoted themselves in nature by using contraceptives for more than what they were intended for – limiting the AMOUNT of children or SPACING them apart. They weren’t intended for women to make their fertility difficult by putting off pregnancy till 40. Nor were they intended to create fatherless children. Both those types of mothers are bad women/mothers.

    The over use of contraception HAS INTURN turned women into being seen as economic units through their participation in the workforce. Some are then seen as being better economic units than others – rather than all women mostly being seen as good mothers, educators and ‘part time monetary providers’.

    Should women really be taken from their role in nature simply because democracy has been FORCED to believe through the excess use of contraception – that ALL women ‘should work’? No arguements that ‘all women should work’ were ever argued for before contraception came about – even in war time!

    ‘should work’ is NOW a nessecity for all women, as womens’ participation in the workforce has decreased the incomes of all males – the traditional family providers. Women and men get paid the same now. Rich men don’t marry poor women, so poor women now marry poor men on now poorer incomes – and they then both remain poor due to the higher cost of housing. Women have helped create a rich poor divide.

    Contraception has created an economy where women are seen as being different to what they were – they’re now MOSTLY seen as men!

    Yet women are still fundamentally different – and anyone who is rational would think that the differance is what should be celebrated! – As the Catholic Church does.

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  51. Fentex (909 comments) says:

    Also, a lot of Catholics don’t understand ALL the reasons why Church Doctrine opposes things like contraception.

    Foolish of them then to subsume their morality to authority they do not understand, especially if it contradicts what they feel is right for themselves.

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  52. RRM (9,633 comments) says:

    Il Pape should concern himself more with the core teachings of Christ: that condoms are the devil’s work and there’s something wrong with homosexuals.

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  53. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “…..especially if it contradicts what they feel is right for themselves….”

    “…..themselves….”

    Just as I pointed out – women have been selfish with regards to contraception, and now ALL WOMEN are EXPECTED to work – out of NESSECITY!

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  54. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “…..that condoms are the devil’s work and there’s something wrong with homosexuals….”

    There you go…….you got something right RRM……well done!

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  55. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    RRM (7,901) Says:
    September 24th, 2013 at 5:52 pm
    Il Pape should concern himself more with the core teachings of Christ: that condoms are the devil’s work and there’s something wrong with homosexuals.

    Well it goes a bit beyond that RRM

    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. — Lev.20:13

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  56. Lucia Maria (2,239 comments) says:

    Kea,

    Lev 20:13 is now metaphorical. As we all are immortal beings, death is now eternal death in Hell.

    Edited to add: Metaphorical is not really the right word as it refers to a greater reality. However, those who don’t believe could see it as metaphorical.

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  57. gump (1,542 comments) says:

    @Harriet

    “Yet women are still fundamentally different – and anyone who is rational would think that the differance is what should be celebrated! – As the Catholic Church does.”

    ——————————-

    There’s very little difference between men and women. Gender roles and behaviours are social – not biological.

    If the Church is teaching that they are fundamentally different, then it is out of step with science.

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  58. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Wow, when did the laws in Leviticus become ‘metaphorical’?

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  59. Andrei (2,531 comments) says:

    There’s very little difference between men and women. Gender roles and behaviours are social – not biological.

    If the Church is teaching that they are fundamentally different, then it is out of step with science.

    LOL, No Gump – what your comment shows is that you are fundamentally out of step with REALITY

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  60. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    mikenmild, I love it when the Old Testament is discredited. It forms the entire basis of judaism, islam & christianity. Discredit that and the whole edifice comes a tumbling down. I am glad we got rid of the ten commandments and that hilarious creation myth.

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  61. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    gump, bullshit. Total and absolute social engineering bullshit !

    No one would claim the physical appearance of men and women is a social construct. Yet the physical differences are smaller than the ones you do not see.

    Gender is not something we learn. If you say that it is, then you invite our Christian brothers [and you lucy ;) ] to “cure” homosexuals. You can not have it both ways.

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  62. gump (1,542 comments) says:

    @Kea

    If your other posts are any guide, you have nothing worthwhile to contribute to any discussion on Gender. You don’t even seem to be aware that Gender is entirely separate to sexual orientation.

    Gender roles and behaviours are almost entirely social. This isn’t controversial, it’s a simple fact.

    Perhaps you don’t understand what the word “Gender” actually means? Gender and Sex aren’t synonyms. Gender refers to cultural or social differences, whereas Sex is used for biological differences.

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  63. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    gump, yeah I know what you mean but a bunch of social engineering academics do not get to define the language for the rest of us. You are full of shit and your dislike of your fellow humans comes through clearly in your posts. I hope you can sort yourself out soon, as I do not like to see you suffer like this.

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  64. Scott (1,736 comments) says:

    GJ Kiwi at 1.27pm “I style myself as a humanist, in that I believe in treating people well for the sake of treating people well.”

    Really GJ Kiwi? Why treat people well? Surely that is a personal choice given atheism? In fact why not treat people poorly? Why not do whatever you can to people?

    Like many you sound like a “cultural Christian”. So you believe in some version of the Golden Rule and live according to many of the norms of our once Christian society. But given atheism you have no good reason for treating people well. It’s just a preference like chocolate or strawberry.

    But given God then it is incumbent to treat people well. It’s not just a whimsical preference. Because given God and given judgement day it makes sense to ‘fear God and keep his commandments’.

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  65. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    gump appears to be partially right – gender was an invented term to refer to social constructs but its meaning has more recently (1990s) broadened somewhat to inlcude physical difference also.

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  66. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Scott, there are sound evolutionary reasons for why we treat others well, for our altruism and our self sacrifice. Go read a few non fiction books for a change.

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  67. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    milky, I know what he means, but the issue is not semantics. This whole nature v nurture thing has been answered. Playing around with definitions won’t change the science or the evidence right before our eyes.

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  68. Don the Kiwi (1,644 comments) says:

    That can only be good for the church and a world desperately in need of goodness and compassion

    Its always been there – its just that the world fails to recognise it.

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  69. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “……If the Church is teaching that they are fundamentally different, then it is out of step with science….”

    Gump…..they are biologicly differant…..they bear children!

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  70. Harriet (4,614 comments) says:

    “…..Gender refers to cultural or social differences, whereas Sex is used for biological differences….”

    Idiot.

    Gump ……gender is what you use to describe WORDS which are male or female!

    The left hi-jacked it like they did with ‘gay’ and ‘sex’ – as in ‘anal sex’ – it’s sodomy. Sex is what is used to describe the union between TWO sexual organs. Sex is Not between one sexual organ and a mouth, hand or backside.

    Any GP will tell you that.

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