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[P]
Is it time to let the Pope die?

By BottleRocket in Op-Ed
Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 09:41:37 AM EST
Tags: Round Table (all tags)
Round Table

Pope John Paul II is in stable condition in the hospital. His respiratory ailments are the latest of a string of health problems. As his time draws nearer, the Synod for Europe no doubt is convening to select his successor. Perhaps this time they should just let the event lapse.


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The papacy of John Paul II has seen some great events, notably the Beatification of Mother Theresa. However, the same period has observed many events that it may not have preferred. In October, 1996, the Pope finally granted that evolution is a viable theory with significant arguments in its favor. He positioned himself against the Iraq war, saying that war must be the very last resort.

Perhaps the most damning for the Catholic Church has been the recent series of sex abuse cases.

Since 1990, at least 26 bishops, archbishops and cardinals around the world have resigned or been stood down after allegations of sexual misconduct
(full text here) and the credibility of the Catholic Church may have been permanently besmirched. Though collections went up after 2002, hundreds of millions of dollars will have to be paid out to victims of abuse. The Vatican is a sovereign state that is invulnerable to lawsuit, but each parish has to operate within its own independent budget. In particular, Boston parishes have been badly hit, and about a quarter of them have had to close or merge. With the emerging possibility that the Catholic Church is on the decline, the question arises whether the death of the Pope is a tragedy, or an opportunity for the Catholic Church to reposition itself.

Recently, a number of significant events have occurred that have opened doors for change. History may view the death of Yassar Arafat as the event that jumpstarted the peace process in the Middle East. Certainly, many of the advances made in recent weeks had not happened since 1969 when he became head of the PLO. Another example is the reelection of George Bush. His reelection gave him the opportunity to overhaul his cabinet. The overhaul included 9 of the 15 members of his first term, but with Rumsfeld, Rice, and Cheney still his closest advisors, little has really changed. In certain circles, the aged Fidel Castro is watched with great interest, because some believe that his death might be an event that opens Cuba to free market enterprise.

The comparisons in all of these cases to the situation with the Catholic Church cannot be denied. How many Americans proclaimed that the U.N. became obsolete when the U.S. invaded Iraq? To my knowledge, no one said the same about the Catholic Church, which took the same position as the U.N. The papacy has been forced to slowly distance itself from the possibility that the Bible is infallible, as is evidenced by the proclamation that evolution is compatible with the Christian faith. Crucially, The bishop sex abuse cases could be compared to Yassar Arafat's rapid decline in health. Both came as terrible shocks to already failing systems.

Since the end of the 1400s, the Catholic Church has spoken with one voice; that of the Pope. In the eyes of the Vatican, and the Roman Catholic religion, his word is law. The Synod may not even suggest that there exist possible truths outside of his proclamation. The passing of his holiness presents leaders of the Catholic Church with a chance to reform or divide, or point themselves in a new democratic direction.

Perhaps this time, the Roman Catholic Church should view the death of the Pope as a blessing in disguise. It could be a chance for the largely outmoded Roman Catholic Church to redefine itself for the next 1000 years.

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Related Links
o string of health problems
o Synod for Europe
o Beatificat ion of Mother Theresa
o evolution is a viable theory
o against the Iraq war
o sex abuse cases
o here
o Boston parishes
o Yassar Arafat
o watched with great interest
o U.N. became obsolete
o Also by BottleRocket


Display: Sort:
Is it time to let the Pope die? | 190 comments (175 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
How can the Church redefine itself? (2.60 / 5) (#3)
by Adam Rightmann on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 06:17:03 PM EST

The Pope is God's voice on Earth, when John Paul II passes, God's Will will be reflected in the next Papal choice. The Church is as capable of redefining itself as one of Japhar's iPod Shuffles can gain consciousness.

It has done so before. (none / 0) (#9)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 06:50:30 PM EST



[ Parent ]
organized religion is spiritual zombification (2.37 / 24) (#5)
by circletimessquare on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 06:36:50 PM EST

you don't get love from a whorehouse.

likewise, you don't get spirituality from a church/ temple/ mosque.

but that is ok, because just as there are some who will never know real love due to intellectual or character issues, and therefore need whorehouses to sake their lust that would otherwise drive them insane or drive them to commit horrendous crimes on the street, so to are their spiritual pinheads in this world who need churches/ temples/ mosques to give answer to their doubts and fears, so they don't commit horrible atrocities of spiritual void.

so the lowest common denominator empty pap we call organized religion is vile, but still necessary. just like whorehouses.

we don't want ugly or crude men raping women on the streets and we don't want small-spirited people walking around without a sense of morality or a human conscience. if they don't have the spiritual backbone to decide right or wrong, or find the basic goodness in human existence on their own, well then please, let the church turn them into sheep. better sheep than demons without a sense of social responsibility or a clue as to their relationship to human society and the idea of a greater good.

however, when these spiritual pinheads band together and try to gain political power and enforce their narrowminded interpretation of human nature on everyone else, including those who are spiritually sound on their own, they need to be stopped. in many ways, the consolidation of spiritual pinheads into organized religion and then their subsequent desire to see all of humanity fall in lockstep to their blind interpretation of a given creed is unavoidable, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't head them off at the pass and continually deny them political power over the rest of us who are spiritually grounded all on our very own.

so organized religion should not be stopped, it is useful to the health of society by satisfying the spiritual needs of those who can't do that on their own. organized religion and the fruits of its passion is even enjoyable in the way a quaint parade in a rural backwards town is enjoyable to a tourist.

but the cost of accepting that means we must be forever and eternally vigilant that the church, the mosque, and the temple never ever enjoy political power. lest they doom the rest of us to the spiritual zombification that is organized religion.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

sweet jeebus! (2.00 / 2) (#22)
by CodeWright on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 12:35:47 AM EST

stop already.

my entire world is breaking apart at the seams since i have started seeing circletimesquare posts that i agree with...

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Indeed (2.33 / 3) (#39)
by twickham on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 05:47:55 AM EST

The pope is dying... circletimesquare is posting rational and well argued posts... obviously this is a sign of the end times... +1 FP

[ Parent ]
CTS... (none / 1) (#146)
by issachar on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 05:35:52 PM EST

CTS hasn't changed. He's just saying something you that happens to jive with your preconceived notions. Try telling him that we need to heal Bin Laden's emotional scars to stop terrorism and see if you still live what he says. :P


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

bin laden (none / 1) (#148)
by circletimessquare on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 10:11:27 PM EST

can't be healed

he can be killed though, and he should be

painfully and slowly if there is any justice in this world


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

damn good post (2.00 / 2) (#66)
by mpalczew on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 06:20:45 PM EST

One of the best posts I've ever read anywhere!
You've just summarized all I've ever thought about religion in a way I never could.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
Since You're Quoting Blake in Your Sig (2.00 / 2) (#118)
by czolgosz on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 02:17:05 PM EST

I recall, in Jerusalem, his reference to churches as "dark Satanic mills." I don't think old Will saw much upside there, and neither do I.

Since one of your points is that organized religion keeps the ignorant and potentially violent in line, consider the converse: it can also be used to stir the ignorant to violent action, as has been done recently with the more troglodyte of the Protestants. So perhaps we're in agreement. My only reason for not wanting to get rid of it entirely is fear of what might replace it. Those damaged individuals who feel that they must be led are a ticking time bomb.

I see the same problem in organized religion and in a market society: something that can be quite wonderful, a sense of connectedness with all life and awe at one's existence is mediated, ritualized and turned into a stultifying, canned experience that has as little to do with the religious experience as a Big Mac has to do with food, or porn with lovemaking. This is the opposite of genuine life.

Some mystical Christians say that organized religion is the Antichrist. If I were a Christian at all, that would be a good summary of my belief. However, I don't see the need to assume an alpha male in the sky just because I believe the world is deeply connected.


Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
[ Parent ]
bravo (none / 1) (#120)
by circletimessquare on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 02:35:33 PM EST

in thinking like yours is the salvation of mankind from itself

nothing will ever stop the spiritually inept from banding together and trying to enforce whatever narrow interpretation of humanity it is they champion onto us

so all that is left is the wages of maintaining civilization: the continued vigilance of fundamentalist religiosity and the continued smacking of them down to save us from their narrow minds

what fundamentalist don't understand is that their narrow interpretations of spirituality leads to the destruction of human spirituality

we need the mystics


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Not nice (none / 1) (#126)
by paranoid on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 05:47:40 PM EST

Church is not good. By giving it power over the sheep, you give up the possibility of turning the sheep into humans. Any human can be educated and enlightened with relative ease. The only things that are needed are some money, good books and decent honest teachers.

Approving of church, even in as limited a way as you do, is counterproductive. We should instead support and promote secular humanism that envisions each man as ethical, intelligent and honest being.

[ Parent ]

do you conceive of stopgap measures in your world? (none / 1) (#127)
by circletimessquare on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 05:55:24 PM EST

or in your world is utopia easily achieved?

when you are ready to talk reality, get back to me


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Stopgap (none / 0) (#138)
by paranoid on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 05:27:23 AM EST

The reality is that church is not needed. There is no proven positive effect of believing in god or being a member of a church on ethical behavior.

Soviet Union didn't have a church to take care of the sheep, but there was no sudden explosion of crime there.

By saying that church helps the weak people to behave ethically you are giving it too much credit and accept extravagant claims without any proof whatsoever. This is counterproductive.

[ Parent ]

ok, fine (none / 1) (#147)
by circletimessquare on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 10:09:47 PM EST

you remove the church from the usa

you remove the mosque from the middle east

good luck!

rather than accept that some people need a certain level of lowest common denominator pap to keep them going?

you, me, fine: were spiritually well-grounded on their own

a lot of people are spiritiually inept, they seek guidance, why not let them get it?

you reference the soviets... the soviet system WAS religion, all of the propaganda, all of the indoctrination

the soviets didn't abolish religion, they just created a new form

there will always be people who cry out to be led in matters you and i have no problem working out on our own

you have to lead them with something

religion serves that function

it will always exist, for the sake of those who are spiritually inept

you're not going to magically remove spiritually inept people from any present or future human society where free will is respected

that's called realism

you seem to abide by a sort of idealism that everyone can be turned into spiritual mystics of great personal insight and spiritual grounding

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Soviet Union (none / 0) (#153)
by paranoid on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 05:34:48 AM EST

the soviets didn't abolish religion, they just created a new form

This simply isn't true. There was nothing religious about Soviet ideology. I guess you are simply not very familiar with the life in the Soviet Union.

The "spiritually inept" were not turned into zombies, were not forced to read Marx instead of Bible, there was nothing of that sort. The role of religion drastically decreased (there were still some religious people and some churches), but this haven't led to crime problems.

Religion will not always exist, it will disappear in this century. Technological progress will lead to significant human improvements, better education, intelligence amplification, etc. Very soon almost noone will continue to believe in god.

Your position is simply not supported by any evidence.

[ Parent ]

ever hear of the falun gong? scientology? (none / 1) (#156)
by circletimessquare on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 09:21:22 AM EST

fact: it is simple human psychology of spiritually inept people playing itself out in society that religion will spontaneously appear in any future society should someone like you come along and magically remove christianity/ islam

organized religion HAPPENS

shit HAPPENS

the difference between you and i is that i recognize that, while you refuse to see that there is a LOT of spiritually inept motherfuckers around you who will follow whatever schizophrenic with shit in his hair who comes around yelling at them about magical men in the sky

i simply recognize that these people exist

you seem to think that if you abolish organized religion, spiritually inept people will suddenly stop being spiritually inept

nice wish-fulfillment, poor grasp on reality


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No Falun Gong in the USSR (none / 0) (#186)
by paranoid on Sun Feb 13, 2005 at 06:56:49 AM EST

I agree that there are some spiritually inept people, who are susceptible to religion. What I disagree with is that they "need" religion. They don't, it's just that there are idiots, who would believe anything. But 1) if you destroy religion and make reasonable precautions it won't spontaneously reappear, because there is no compelling need for it in a modern society 2) it is possible to create a population of smart, educated and rational people. Hard, but possible.

[ Parent ]
Er... (2.00 / 2) (#159)
by skyknight on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 05:14:49 PM EST

No explosion of crime... There was just a wave of government sponsored terror that ultimately resulted in tens of millions of people being wiped out. I'm glad to know that wholesale genocide is not a crime in your mind.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
One voice? (3.00 / 14) (#8)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 06:49:58 PM EST

Since the First Council of Nicaea began in 325, the Catholic Church has spoken with one voice; that of the Pope.

No, truly it hasn't. The pre-eminence of the Bishop of Rome in the west was not an established fact until well into the sixth century, and it was never accepted by the metropolitans of the other great imperial cities, or by the Byzantine state (even before the official schism). In much of the late medieval period the Pope's authority was regularly flouted and ignored by the archibishop of Ravenna. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries there were even periods with multiple competing popes, each claiming to be the legitimate one true pope, and each drawing support from different political forces in Europe.

Thanks (none / 1) (#12)
by BottleRocket on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 07:12:08 PM EST

I'll fix that. That was the one part where I was really going out on a limb.

$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
. ₩ . . . . . ¥ . . . . . € . . . . . § . . . . . £
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$ . . . . .
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Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
$ . . . . .
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. ₩ . . . . . ¥ . . . . . € . . . . . § . . . . . £
$ . . . . . $ . . . . . $ . . . . . $
$B R Σ III$

[ Parent ]

You are incorrect (none / 0) (#188)
by borborygmus on Thu Feb 24, 2005 at 11:05:35 AM EST

I don't know where you obtained these "facts," but this was taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, under POPE: "Thus, at the very commencement of church history, before the last survivor of the Apostles had passed away, we find a Bishop of Rome, himself a disciple of St. Peter, intervening in the affairs of another Church and claiming to settle the matter by a decision spoken under the influence of the Holy Spirit. Such a fact admits of one explanation alone. It is that in the days when the Apostolic teaching was yet fresh in men's minds the universal Church recognized in the Bishop of Rome the office of supreme head." There is a very lenghy explanation of the Papacy providing citations of the historical documentation supporting this claim. More from the same site: "The primacy of St. Peter and the perpetuity of that primacy in the Roman See are dogmatically defined in the canons attached to the first two chapters of the Constitution "Pastor Aeternus": "If anyone shall say that Blessed Peter the Apostle was not constituted by Christ our Lord as chief of all the Apostles and the visible head of the whole Church militant: or that he did not receive directly and immediately from the same Lord Jesus Christ a primacy of true and proper jurisdiction, but one of honour only: let him be anathema." "If any one shall say that it is not by the institution of Christ our Lord Himself or by divinely established right that Blessed Peter has perpetual successors in his primacy over the universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of Blessed Peter in this same primacy. -- let him be anathema" (Denzinger-Bannwart, "Enchiridion", nn. 1823, 1825).

[ Parent ]
the next pope (2.80 / 10) (#10)
by aphrael on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 06:51:32 PM EST

The next pope will probably be socially and doctrinally conservative, will likely be drawn from the growing Catholic movement in Africa, and will probably increase the alienation of sophisticated Americans and Europeans from the church.

Oxymoron (1.10 / 19) (#11)
by Big Dogs Cock on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 07:00:11 PM EST

"sophisticated Americans".
People say that anal sex is unhealthy. Well it cured my hiccups.
[ Parent ]
Shut up, cunt. (1.41 / 12) (#18)
by Nosf3ratu on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 10:43:20 PM EST




Woo!
[ Parent ]
You're saying... (1.62 / 8) (#23)
by CodeWright on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 12:37:47 AM EST

...he's a cock AND a cunt? Like some crazy China Town hermaphrodite?

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
In awe of your sense of humour [n/t] (none / 0) (#179)
by mettaur on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:35:27 AM EST


--
[Applying business theory to trolling]
[ Parent ]
Actually (none / 0) (#44)
by Pelorat on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 07:50:28 AM EST

According to NPR, there's a sort of 'pendulum policy' that the Pope Appointers (whatever they're called) tend to use, to balance things out - and given the trend, the next Pope should be more progressive.

No indication on where he might be drawn from. Or rather, where he's already been drawn from, since I doubt they actually wait till one is dead before tapping and prepping another to take his place.

[ Parent ]

perhaps (3.00 / 2) (#49)
by aphrael on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 12:16:32 PM EST

but since the college of cardinals was mostly appointed by this pope, and mostly are *more conservative than he is*, i doubt it, NPR's analytical skills notwithstanding.

[ Parent ]
Interesting idea. (2.50 / 2) (#63)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 03:11:32 PM EST

I would have guessed South America, myself.

I never said that.
[ Parent ]
Pope had a role in dismantling communism (2.86 / 15) (#14)
by MSBob on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 07:50:18 PM EST

Many people who aren't Polish fail to understand or often uderestimate the impact that the Pope had in providing the support for the Polish Solidarity movement (btw. it was in Poland, not in Germany that the iron curtain fell down first).

This is considered by many Poles the bigget legacy of John Paul's papacy. Unfortunately this is being overshadowed by the sex scandals combined with ignorance of people who think that communism collapsed in Germany first. In reality, the first pilgrimage of the Pope to Poland was the galvanizing event that united the nation in opposition to the communist dictatorship. It took almost another decade after that until the communists finally gave up but the voice of oppposition became enormously stronger after it was boosted by John Paul's visit.

Never underestimate his input into dismantling the iron curtain.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

rhetorical question... (2.00 / 2) (#15)
by CAIMLAS on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 08:26:12 PM EST

"No, I think we should put his head in a jar and let him live there eternally as our holy ruler!"

Of course we should let him die. What else can you do when someone ages to the point of death?
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.

Wait a second! (none / 1) (#24)
by CodeWright on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 12:39:25 AM EST

Let's not give up on the Holy-Ruler-in-a-Jar idea! I think it goes places!

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
Freeze him (none / 0) (#125)
by paranoid on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 05:42:29 PM EST

How about cryonics suspension for the pope? We already know that he and other Catholics are hypocrites - why else is the Pope getting medical treatment? I mean, if I was the God's representative on Earth, I'd feel more confident about God's will. :-)

So, since we know that the Pope himself doesn't really 100% believe in God, why shouldn't he be frozen and revived later when we can do it?

[ Parent ]

I know it's Op-Ed, but... (2.54 / 11) (#19)
by Nosf3ratu on Wed Feb 02, 2005 at 10:49:44 PM EST

I'd still advise against basing opinions and ideas on stereotypes or baseless preconceived notions.
For example:
" . . . However, the same period has observed many events that it may not have preferred. In October, 1996, the Pope finally granted that evolution is a viable theory with significant arguments in its favor. He positioned himself against the Iraq war, saying that war must be the very last resort."
[emphasis added]

These ideas are not anti-Catholic, and they do not go against the Church. The Christian faith (in particular, the Catholic faith) is pro-life. This INCLUDES being anti-war, and anti-capital-punishment.

As for evolution: That's just common sense.

Making assumptions that Catholics are unintelligent bafoons because "Evangelicals" are backward-thinking homophobic closet racists just isn't cool.

p.s., nice troll.


Woo!

the evolution admission was a bit slow (2.50 / 2) (#90)
by Delirium on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 01:35:03 AM EST

Given that evolution has been widely considered highly unlikely to be false for nearly a century now, coming out in favor of evolution in 1996 is hardly a progressive and timely statement.

[ Parent ]
Timely no. (2.50 / 2) (#113)
by mold on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 12:51:17 PM EST

But it is progressive, since the church denied it up to that point.

---
Beware of peanuts! There's a 0.00001% peanut fatality rate in the USA alone! You could be next!
[ Parent ]
Better late, (none / 0) (#123)
by Nosf3ratu on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 03:48:45 PM EST

than never.


Woo!
[ Parent ]
slow evolution of the roman catholic church : ok (none / 1) (#130)
by chro57 on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 09:36:39 PM EST

I used to think of the RCC as something old, obsolete, made of idiot living with old ideas.

Then I understand that they tried to speak for everyone, everywhere...

including to the poorest of the poorest.

Debating details such as genetic or cosmologic evolution and
best brand of contraceptive are pointless and obscene
when many are dying of lack of food.

Galile was condemned not because of his theory, but because he called "simpleton" the pope of this day. Heresis, schimatics view was considered as the root of wars.

The center of the RCC is the universality of the human condition.

Now I understand while they promote abstinence and are against abortion : it's just that these are the only "technologies" safely available to most.

Those who disagree should share more.

The RCC, like other churches,  has an organisation that make it very solid. As well if not better organised than many states. They have everything from bankers to experts in genetics. Everyone is welcome as long as you respect the goal : sharing and giving, and living as an human being, *accepting* it's own death, and self-sacrifice. This is the ultimate communist party or free software project.
Frightening ;-)


[ Parent ]

stereotypes... (none / 0) (#145)
by issachar on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 05:31:46 PM EST

Making assumptions that Catholics are unintelligent bafoons because "Evangelicals" are backward-thinking homophobic closet racists just isn't cool. p.s., nice troll.
Same to you :P


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

Logic, not assumption (none / 0) (#180)
by mettaur on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:38:05 AM EST

Making assumptions that Catholics are unintelligent bafoons because "Evangelicals" are backward-thinking homophobic closet racists just isn't cool.
If you believe there is a giant bearded bloke in the sky who disapproves of you masturbating, you are probably an unintelligent bafoon.
--
[Applying business theory to trolling]
[ Parent ]
couldn't agree more (none / 0) (#185)
by kromagg on Sat Feb 12, 2005 at 07:56:26 AM EST

Who got this posted anyway? I mean slamming the pope for being too progressive and anti-war? WTF?

[ Parent ]
The pope could just retire. (2.50 / 4) (#21)
by kamera on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 12:12:54 AM EST

He wasn't born as a pope; he doesn't have a die as a pope. He's just a vicar, after all.

"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live." -- Oscar Wilde

That's sort of problematic (2.66 / 6) (#59)
by nkyad on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 02:33:52 PM EST

No one really knows if the space-time continuum can hold two infalible beings at one time (there have been times when two Poes ruled, but each one held the other as heretic).

It is also unclear if, once infalible, someone can cease to be so - it would be strange to require God to "un-bless" his former representative.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
REMEMBER! (1.42 / 14) (#25)
by CodeWright on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 12:44:36 AM EST

VOTE CODEWRIGHT FOR POPE!

NOT ONLY IS HE THE IDEAL CANDIDATE FOR HOLY ROMAN EMPEROR, HE IS UNIQUELY SUITED FOR POPULIST POPEDOM.

A VOTE FOR CODEWRIGHT IS A VOTE FOR RETURNING THE PAPACY TO ITS ROOTS... THE DAYS OF A BORGIA POPE.

HIS SUPREME HOLINESS CODEWRIGHT BORGIA IMPERATOR REX!

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

i'm not voting for you (none / 0) (#132)
by wampswillion on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 11:14:33 PM EST

you are just in it for the ducats.

[ Parent ]
not just the ducats... (none / 0) (#133)
by CodeWright on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 11:19:37 PM EST

...i mean, there's the nun orgies and gladiatorial combats too...

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
the perfect statesman (none / 0) (#134)
by wampswillion on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 11:25:38 PM EST



[ Parent ]
i strive... (none / 0) (#135)
by CodeWright on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 11:31:03 PM EST

...to follow in the footsteps of Great Men.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
yeah (none / 0) (#140)
by wampswillion on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 11:24:32 AM EST

for the ducats.  

don't you have any shame?

[ Parent ]

no shame (none / 1) (#165)
by CodeWright on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:17:50 PM EST

this is something i learnt by studying history...

...the nobility has always been without shame.

when i was a child, i was dumbfounded by this oft-made assertion in the historical works i perused.

but it made me think... why did they have no shame? what benefits accrue from a lack of shame?

as i got older, i realized that shame was a serious self-inhibitor.

those without the prison of shame were able to seize spoils, woo damsels, and relish opportunities that were otherwise denied to the shameful majority.

in other words, the inculcation of a sense of shame was an acknowledgement of inferiority.

as i alone am best, i knew that i could not acknowledge any sort of inferiority.

life has been far more fun ever since.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
It's time... (3.00 / 7) (#27)
by driptray on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 01:21:10 AM EST

...for the current Pope to get out of the way and make room for the dynamic, young, female Pope that the Catholic Church has got lined up to replace him.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating

Yes ! (2.33 / 3) (#38)
by twickham on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 05:44:14 AM EST

... A young dynamic female pope... in a bikini !

[ Parent ]
Actually, (none / 1) (#43)
by Nosf3ratu on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 07:48:56 AM EST

I've heard that one of the "runners-up" as it were, is black.

Not "African-American"; he's not an American.


Woo!
[ Parent ]

Wouldn't be the first time. (none / 0) (#114)
by mold on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 12:53:10 PM EST

The church has had black popes before. It isn't a common occurance, but it has happened.

---
Beware of peanuts! There's a 0.00001% peanut fatality rate in the USA alone! You could be next!
[ Parent ]
It is a far more common occurence (none / 0) (#161)
by hummassa on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 04:14:38 AM EST

than the USofA having a black president, which only happens in 24... :-)

[ Parent ]
IAAT (2.73 / 26) (#30)
by Donatus on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 04:14:48 AM EST

(I Am A Theologian)

You seem to have Catholicism confused with evangelical Christians from the United States.

The church has not 'moved toward' the theory of evolution and 'moved away' from the infallibility of the bible - indeed, the Catholic church has always held that science is a wonderful way for us to more greatly appreciate God's creation, because the truth that science unlocks simply acts to help illuminate the Truth that is God.

Also, the way you use the word infallible is entirely incorrect for Catholic usage.  The bible contains Truth, but that does not mean that every word should be taken as literal 'truth'.  Read Dei Verbum if you want the whole story.

History shows that science and theology are closely related disciplines in academia.   Science as we know it today grew from Catholic theology, so don't go saying that the church is moving away from the bible and toward science, when the church invented _both_ of those itself, eh?

--Donatus.

[Encourage] (2.87 / 8) (#31)
by ubernostrum on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 04:29:44 AM EST

I was a philosophy major, and I find it odd to see the religion which did so much to promote "the harmony of faith and reason" represented as having only just recently moved away from fundamentalist Bible-thumping.




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
Historically (2.36 / 11) (#32)
by kitten on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 04:53:41 AM EST

I'm going to break out ye olde Galileo example here. Some say that the real reason he was hassled was that he had annoyed the wrong people, and there may be some merit to that, but the given reason was most definitely the view of the day. I believe one church father declared that the heliocentric view was contrary to the teachings of scripture, while another announced that "geometry is of the devil". At the time, my high school geometry teacher had not been born, so he was referring to geometry as a discipline.

When the evidence finally became overwhelming to support Galileo's claims, suddenly the church reversed its position, and today we are told how the clockwork precision of planetary orbits actually magnifies or exemplifies the glory of god.

The Catholic church is full of examples like this through the ages. Virtually every advance in science and society has been fought tooth and nail by the church and is only adopted after a bitter struggle, at which point they pretend like that's what the Bible meant all along, retroactively interpreting scripture to suit modern thinking.

mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
They fought virtually every advance... (2.85 / 7) (#33)
by ubernostrum on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 04:58:13 AM EST

Like, say, all the science ever done by the ancient Greeks?

There's a reason why the writings of Aquinas basically treat Aristotle as one step below the Bible in authority; the prevailing doctrine in the Church has long been that certain truths can only be revealed through faith (e.g., the Incarnation), but that many others (up to and including the existence of God) are easily demonstrated by a reason which harmonizes with, rather than conspiring against, faith.




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
One epoch. Ever hear of the Dark Ages? (1.57 / 7) (#34)
by kitten on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 05:10:50 AM EST

A period during which absolutely nothing happened for several hundred years?

Slight exaggeration, but the point stands. Society was essentially treading water for the entire Middle Ages, and this is due in no small part to the influence of the church.

Aquinas made some laudable attempts but much of his work is derided by others in the field who contend that rationality and faith cannot co-exist, for when something can be demonstrated rationally there is no need for faith. There is hardly a consensus here, nor has there ever been, Aquinas notwithstanding.

Finally, the science of the Greeks was basically status quo by the time the church came around. They didn't have to fight that advance because it was already there (e.g., not advanced during their sphere of influence), but they made damn sure no one did much with it afterwards.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Corrections. (2.91 / 12) (#42)
by ubernostrum on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 06:20:58 AM EST

Society was essentially treading water for the entire Middle Ages, and this is due in no small part to the influence of the church.

The Dark Ages, or the Middle Ages? The Dark Ages were more first-millennium AD, the Middle were more early second-millennium. And I'd like you to take note of Bertrand Russell on the topic:

"With great difficulty, beginning in the eleventh century, the Church succeeds in emancipating itself from the feudal aristocracy, and this emancipation is one of the causes of the emergence of Europe from the dark ages."

   -- The History of Western Philosophy, p. 303

"For the first time since the fall of the Western Empire, Europe, during the eleventh century, made rapid progress not subsequently lost. There had been progress of a sort during the Carolingian Renaissance, but it proved to be not solid. In the eleventh century, the improvement was lasting and many-sided. It began with monastic reform; it then extended to the papacy and Church government; towards the end of the century it produced the first scholastic philosophers."

   -- The History of Western Philosophy, p. 407

Another large factor, of course, was the re-discovery, mostly by monks, of classical thought which had been lost or forgotten after the fall of the Roman Empire.

Aquinas made some laudable attempts but much of his work is derided by others in the field who contend that rationality and faith cannot co-exist, for when something can be demonstrated rationally there is no need for faith.

Don't mind me, I've only got a degree in the stuff. It's not like I know what I'm talking about or anything. Seriously, faith and reason is and has been a tenet of Catholicism for a long time, including a vast number of thinkers besides Aquinas.

And really, nobody in the Church argues with Aquinas; you don't disagree with someone who's a saint and a Doctor of the Church, so his writing on many topics simply is Catholic doctrine.

And no-one ever really argued "well if you can show it with reason you don't need faith"; they argued "all of these things which are taught by Christianity can be demonstrated by unaided reason, so probably the rest of these things Christianity teaches are true, too. Wouldn't you like to convert?" Seriously, it was a missionary tactic (that's literally what the monumental Summa Contra Gentiles was -- its full Latin title translates as "Treatise on the Truth of the Catholic Faith, against Unbelievers").

Finally, the science of the Greeks was basically status quo by the time the church came around. They didn't have to fight that advance because it was already there (e.g., not advanced during their sphere of influence), but they made damn sure no one did much with it afterwards.

I hate to break it to you, but for most of the Dark Ages nobody knew anything about what the Greeks or Romans had done; Aristotle's work, for example, was not widely known again until the twelfth or thirteenth century. The rediscovery of classical thought around that time spurred a lot of innovation and creative thought in the Church and elsewhere in the centuries which followed; for example, science as we know it is often said to have been "invented" by Francis Bacon, but it was one Roger Bacon -- a thirteenth-century Franciscan monk -- who really deserves a lot of the credit. Unfortunately, most public schools these days gloss over that and teach that nothing interesting happened between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Renaissance.




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
Russell (1.25 / 8) (#56)
by kitten on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 01:55:55 PM EST

"With great difficulty, beginning in the eleventh century, the Church succeeds in emancipating itself from the feudal aristocracy, and this emancipation is one of the causes of the emergence of Europe from the dark ages."

So in other words, it wasn't until the church stopped (to an extent) being part and parcel of the government that anyone got anything done?

Your next quote seems to back that up nicely, where it states that now that the church is less worried about how things are being run, people are actually making progress. Astounding.

I hate to break it to you, but for most of the Dark Ages nobody knew anything about what the Greeks or Romans had done; Aristotle's work, for example, was not widely known again until the twelfth or thirteenth century.

I didn't say it was "widely known", I said it was "status quo" as in, the Church saw no reason to pick at it because it had been established two or three hundred years before Jesus was even born. As for what the common man knew, who cares? Most of them couldn't even read. If you want to go that way, we should be crediting Muslim clerics for keeping mathematics alive during the era of the Church's stranglehold, since the Catholics certainly weren't having any part of it.

Seriously, faith and reason is and has been a tenet of Catholicism for a long time, including a vast number of thinkers besides Aquinas.

Yes, and as someone with a degree you should know that most, if not all, attempts at reconciliation between faith and reason have come under heavy fire from theologians, both Catholic and non-Catholic.

The evolution issue is another prime example of how Catholics are fond of accepting science and reason only after bitter fights; the article in question does say that Pope John Paul did so only recently, and I expect that in a generation or two, all Catholics will be able to tell us how the grand subtleties and intracacies of natural development are a symbol of God's magnificent work, something their predecessors and our contemporaries have been railing against for one hundred fifty years.

I believe it was also John Paul who, a few years ago, finally decided that the literal hellfire-and-brimstone concept was too harsh, and "revised" the official interpretation to mean that Hell was more a sort of void absent of God.

Catholicism has a long history of doing this -- updating, revising, reinterpreting their ideas to keep up with the zeitgeist. They've always needed to keep up with advances in society, almost never vice versa.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Your preconcieved notions... (2.60 / 5) (#57)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 02:23:55 PM EST

...are getting in the way (again).

The evolution issue is another prime example of how Catholics are fond of accepting science and reason only after bitter fights;

What bitter fight? Please elaborate and remember, we're talking about the Catholic Church here not just any random Christian sect.

the article in question does say that Pope John Paul did so only recently

The RCC long ago learned its lesson about unnecessarily getting involved in scientific disputes (eg the Galieo affair). The Church is not, nor does it presume to be, in any position to judge the veracity of specific scientific claims.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Bitter fight (none / 1) (#71)
by kitten on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 06:44:33 PM EST

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
He was presently interrogated before the Inquisition, which after consultation declared the system he upheld to be scientifically false, and anti-Scriptural or heretical, and that he must renounce it. ... In thus acting, it is undeniable that the ecclesiastical authorities committed a grave and deplorable error ... What was objected to was the assertion that Copernicanism was in fact true, "which appears to contradict Scripture".
Note that the "error" they refer to is not the suppression of science by force of doctrine and decree, but that they happened to be wrong this time. This was hardly the first or last time that the Catholic church has attempted to neutralize advancement that doesn't agree with their writ.

And what do Catholics have to say about evolution? Again quoting the Catholic Encyclopedia:

# The origin of life is unknown to science.
# The origin of the main organic types and their principal subdivisions are likewise unknown to science.
# There is no evidence in favour of an ascending evolution of organic forms.
# There is no trace of even a merely probable argument in favour of the animal origin of man. The earliest human fossils and the most ancient traces of culture refer to a true Homo sapiens as we know him today.
# Most of the so-called systematic species and genera were certainly not created as such, but originated by a process of either gradual or saltatory evolution. Changes which extend beyond the range of variation observed in the human species have thus far not been strictly demonstrated, either experimentally or historically.
# There is very little known as to the causes of evolution.
This is at the bottom of a twelve-page document in which evolutionary science is derided.

The RCC long ago learned its lesson about unnecessarily getting involved in scientific disputes (eg the Galieo affair). The Church is not, nor does it presume to be, in any position to judge the veracity of specific scientific claims.

Sorry, but as we can see, they are entirely unapologetic when it comes to Galileo's case (they're only sorry that they were wrong) and in the case of evolution, they continue to fight it, John Paul's (somewhat reluctant) acceptance notwithstanding. In America, Catholics (and other Christians) are constantly bringing forth legislation against evolutionary teachings -- it happens every single year in my old high school district of Cobb County, so feel free to look it up for yourself. This year's debacle has centered around stickers placed on science textbooks informing the students that evolution is "just a theory". Catholics are not solely responsible for this, I admit, but they are not without guilt either.

Whether you want to call this "bitter" or not is up for debate, I suppose, but you cannot seriously deny that Catholics do and have made it their lot to judge science and fight it when they don't like it.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
More error and ignorance (3.00 / 3) (#79)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 08:31:44 PM EST

You do realize the version of the Catholic Encyclopedia available online is nearly 100 years old, don't you? The above account of the state of evolutionary science isn't altogether that off the mark if we're talking about 1900 rather than 2000.

Sorry, but as we can see, they are entirely unapologetic when it comes to Galileo's case

The Church is highly reluctant to apologize for anything. Now you may take issue with that, I surely do, but their behavior with respect to Galileo is hardly unique or notable.

in the case of evolution, they continue to fight it

This is what remains to be demonstrated, your bald assertions not withstanding.

In America, Catholics (and other Christians) are constantly bringing forth legislation against evolutionary teachings

The Catholic laity does not determine doctrine. I have no doubt that there are individual Catholics who doubt, or even outright reject, the theory of evolution, but that hardly amounts to evidence that the Catholic Church opposes the theory of evolution now or that it ever did so in the past.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
I thought we were talking about history? (1.00 / 5) (#85)
by kitten on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 11:52:20 PM EST

So the online Catholic Encyclopedia is nearly 100 years old -- I thought the issue was how Catholics have dealt with issues historically. That they may or may not have changed their tune in the past couple decades is sort of irrelevent to nearly two millenia of their existence.

I have no doubt that there are individual Catholics who doubt, or even outright reject, the theory of evolution, but that hardly amounts to evidence that the Catholic Church opposes the theory of evolution now or that it ever did so in the past.

And yet you freely admit that, at least 100 years ago, they were firmly against the concept. That sounds like "in the past" to me. What gives?

By the way, the fact that the article is from 1917 is almost irrelevent, seeing that their arguments rely just as heavily on the science of the time as it does on the veracity of the scripture and an inability to admit that the current interpretation of the day might be wrong.

The Church is highly reluctant to apologize for anything. Now you may take issue with that, I surely do, but their behavior with respect to Galileo is hardly unique or notable.

Precisely -- it's not unique because it's happened so many times before and since Galileo. What makes Galileo's case interesting is that it's fairly well-known, and to this day, the only concession the Church has made has been that they happened to be factually wrong -- not a word, to my knowledge, has been spoken about the practice of suppressing advancements as such, whether later proven to be right or wrong.

In other words, contrary to your claims, they set themselves to be the judges of science, and have admitted only that they were wrong in fact, but not that they were wrong to judge.


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
We've been talking about... (2.50 / 2) (#86)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 12:36:41 AM EST

...a variety of things included the RCC's position, current and historical, with respect to the theory of evolution.

And yet you freely admit that, at least 100 years ago, they were firmly against the concept.

I do? Please show me where I admit any such thing. That is precisely what I've been arguing against.

By the way, the fact that the article is from 1917 is almost irrelevent, seeing that their arguments rely just as heavily on the science of the time as it does on the veracity of the scripture and an inability to admit that the current interpretation of the day might be wrong.

I'll happily grant you that the RCC is hardly at the vanguard of scientific thought, but that remains a far cry from actively opposing it.

it's not unique because it's happened so many times before and since Galileo

I'll ignore your willful misconstrual of my statement, but I'm going to have to insist, yet again, that you at least make some attempt at substatiating this claim.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Substantiation. (2.00 / 4) (#91)
by kitten on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 02:09:22 AM EST

I do? Please show me where I admit any such thing. That is precisely what I've been arguing against.

You said:
You do realize the version of the Catholic Encyclopedia available online is nearly 100 years old, don't you?
I interpret this to mean that you admit the Church was staunchly against evolution, but dismiss the argument I made because it's old.

Yet you also stated that the Catholic Church has never been against evolution, historically or otherwise.

I'll happily grant you that the RCC is hardly at the vanguard of scientific thought, but that remains a far cry from actively opposing it.

....
make some attempt at substatiating this claim [that the Church has always, historically speaking, been relucant to accept ideas and fights advancement whenever it can].

Did or did not Tertullian publish De Carne Cristi in which he argues strenuously against reason, asking "What has Jerusalem to do with Athens?"

Was or was not one of Augastine's central ideas the notion that "the doctrine requires to be believed, things not demonstrated (whether it was that they could in themselves be demonstrated but not to certain purposes, or could not at all be demonstrated)"?

Did or did not Pope Paul V state, "The doctrine of double motion of the earth about its axis and about the sun is false, and entirely contrary to Holy Scripture"?

Was or was not Galileo brought before the Inquisition more than once and repeatedly silenced under threat of torture to stop spreading his ideas?

Was there, or was there not, a Church-written-and-sanctioned index of books banned for reading by Catholics, and this index included the works of Galileo, Kepler, and especially Copernicus, at least as late as 1820?

In the wake of this debacle, did or did not Descartes give up trying to publish his Treatise on the World?

Is it, or is it not true, that Church dogma of the Middle Ages declared the heavens to be eternal and unchanging, causing a great deal of astronomical phenomenae to go unnoticed (or rather, unreported)?

These are off the top of my head. Research would reveal many more. (And if we were discussing Christianity as a whole, not just Catholics, I've got plenty more I could spout without research.) Do I really need to go on? Are you really going to sit here and insist that the Church has never made itself judge, jury, and executioner of progress and advancement, has never been slow and reluctant to accept new ideas, has never declared itself an authority which may judge science?
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Reading comprehension 101 (none / 0) (#109)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 12:33:49 PM EST

I said:
The RCC long ago learned its lesson about unnecessarily getting involved in scientific disputes (eg the Galieo affair)

You said:

Are you really going to sit here and insist that the Church has never made itself judge, jury, and executioner of progress and advancement, has never been slow and reluctant to accept new ideas, has never declared itself an authority which may judge science?

I'll refer you back to what I've previously said. Do pay more attention this time, won't you?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Church and state (2.80 / 5) (#58)
by ubernostrum on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 02:31:33 PM EST

So in other words, it wasn't until the church stopped (to an extent) being part and parcel of the government that anyone got anything done?

Actually it's more like "once the Church got a handle on kicking out interlopers"; prior to the eleventh century far too many people who had power in the secular realm had leveraged their way into the spiritual as well, to try to reap the benefits of both sides at once. For example: at the time priests could marry and have children, and the male children of priests could inherit Church property provided they became priests themselves. It made for a neat little scam if you were a noble with enough influence to get a good position. The eleventh century saw a groundswell against this and other practices which began among the monks and percolated all the way up.

I didn't say it was "widely known", I said it was "status quo"

So it was the status quo, but nobody knew about it?

Yes, and as someone with a degree you should know that most, if not all, attempts at reconciliation between faith and reason have come under heavy fire from theologians, both Catholic and non-Catholic.

Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking; I'm sure that Æterni Patris and Fides et ratio weren't really about the relationship of faith and reason in the Catholic church. And certainly nobody on the Protestant side ever looked into it; Leibniz and Kant, for example, were probably just writing metaphorically about something and I didn't catch it.

Catholicism has a long history of doing this -- updating, revising, reinterpreting their ideas to keep up with the zeitgeist. They've always needed to keep up with advances in society, almost never vice versa.

Catholic doctrine has actually changed surprisingly little in the past six or seven hundred years; the acceptance of evolution was actually laid down doctrinally by Pius XII at least a half-century earlier than you're claiming, in Humani generis, and the fundamentalist line about creation was never really espoused by the Catholic church; it traces back to an archbishop of the Episcopal church whose hatred of Catholics surpassed even his hatred of Jews.




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
nobility leveraging their way in (2.66 / 3) (#70)
by aphrael on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 06:36:36 PM EST

Some of that had to do with the way that, in many cities, church officials became the de facto temporal leaders as Imperial authority ebbed and the new secular authority had yet to establish itself; this created an incentive for the new aristocracies to "infiltrate" the Church.

Another explanation for it is given in somewhat great detail by State and Society in the Early Middle Ages, which postulates that the aristocracy would make land donations to the church and send family members off to be high church officials for the purpose of those family members interceding with God for the good fo the family. Eg, they infiltrated the church not to strangle it, or to control it in a political sense; according to the theory in the book, the infiltrated it in order to improve their standing in the afterlife.



[ Parent ]
Well? (1.00 / 5) (#72)
by kitten on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 06:56:41 PM EST

The eleventh century saw a groundswell against this and other practices which began among the monks and percolated all the way up.

I see. And meanwhile, the fact that the church was in bed with the govnerning body at this time is entirely irrelevent?

So it was the status quo, but nobody knew about it?

Not "nobody" -- the educated class certainly did, but you seemed to be indicating the population at large, so I was obligated to point out that the population at large was a mass of illiterates anyway. The point I was making was that Aristotle and his contemporaries had already established their work several hundred years before the Church existed -- to tell me that the Church didn't fight the Greek sciences as an "advance" is absurd, because the Greek sciences weren't advanced during the Church's influence. They were advanced hundreds of years prior.

Really all you're saying is that the Church didn't go back and decry what the Greeks said hundreds of years previously -- and this is hardly related to how they handled advancements made during their own time.

Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking; I'm sure that Æterni Patris and Fides et ratio weren't really about the relationship of faith and reason in the Catholic church. And certainly nobody on the Protestant side ever looked into it; Leibniz and Kant, for example, were probably just writing metaphorically about something and I didn't catch it.

Are you seriously contended that there is a universal consensus on the relationship of faith and reason in the Catholic church? That's the only point I was making.

Catholic doctrine has actually changed surprisingly little in the past six or seven hundred years; the acceptance of evolution was actually laid down doctrinally by Pius XII at least a half-century earlier than you're claiming, in Humani generis,

See my reply below this thread; the Catholic encyclopedia seems to be under the opposite impression you are regarding the Catholic stance on evolution. Pius and Paul notwithstanding, the Catholics still think it's a load of dingo's kidneys.

t traces back to an archbishop of the Episcopal church whose hatred of Catholics surpassed even his hatred of Jews.

As a Jew I approve of that.

mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Once more unto the breach (2.00 / 2) (#139)
by ubernostrum on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 09:32:24 AM EST

And meanwhile, the fact that the church was in bed with the govnerning body at this time is entirely irrelevent?

Actually, the Church got used. A lot. The rise of papal power in later centuries was arguably a backlash against the ways in which the Church had been abused by temporal authorities.

The point I was making was that Aristotle and his contemporaries had already established their work several hundred years before the Church existed -- to tell me that the Church didn't fight the Greek sciences as an "advance" is absurd, because the Greek sciences weren't advanced during the Church's influence. They were advanced hundreds of years prior.

If your contention is correct, then the Church would have fought Greek science and philosophy tooth and nail as being the heretical babblings of pagans. But they didn't; when classical thought was rediscovered, the Church pretty much embraced it with open arms.

Are you seriously contended that there is a universal consensus on the relationship of faith and reason in the Catholic church? That's the only point I was making.

This is the wonderful thing about the Church: once they reach an official position, that's the position. If you deviate from it, you're not Catholic anymore.

See my reply below this thread; the Catholic encyclopedia seems to be under the opposite impression you are regarding the Catholic stance on evolution. Pius and Paul notwithstanding, the Catholics still think it's a load of dingo's kidneys.

Er. Did you read the articles there? I'm seeing basically a lengthy explanation of how the theory of evolution does not contradict any article of faith and in fact complements much Catholic theology. The article then goes on to point out that such theories would never be able to explain the origin of the human soul, and that for this we must refer to God.

Which basically says that faith and reason are in harmony insofar as what reason alone is able to explain, but that there are some further items which must be taken on faith. Which, amazingly, has been the position of the Catholic Church for at least the past thousand years or so...




--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
how embarassing. (1.57 / 7) (#64)
by the ghost of rmg on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 04:27:44 PM EST

i'm going to zero your comments in this thread. someone as abjectly ignorant as yourself who lets bitterness stand in for knowledge so readily should not be allowed to post here.

this is really just a housekeeping issue of the sort rusty ought to attend to, but i often find myself having to attempt to compensate for his negligence (with inadequate tools, sadly). or worse, try to lobby him to do things correctly. such a trial, but i digress.

enjoy your zeros and please stop posting.


rmg: comments better than yours.
[ Parent ]

Let me find my Give A Shit button. (1.00 / 10) (#74)
by kitten on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 07:31:50 PM EST


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Dark ages vs. Middle ages (2.50 / 4) (#69)
by aphrael on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 06:30:52 PM EST

most of the works published in the last five years, that i've seen, prefer the distinction "early middle ages" and "late middle ages" and eschew "Dark ages" entirely.

[ Parent ]
Not that I'm a Catholic or in favour of the pope, (2.66 / 6) (#48)
by Stinky Bottoms on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 10:17:17 AM EST

but we should all realize that society would not be anywhere near as advanced as it is today without the constant antagonism of the Catholic church throughout the last 1600 years, since they basically took over from Roman empire.

The only reason we know anything about the world of the pre-1300's is due to the Catholic church and its Roman mind-set of keeping the status quo.

They are hopelessly out of date and pointless now, mind you, but they should be given their due for maintaining the most reliable historical records in Western culture.

Like 'em or hate 'em, they are the reason we still read Plato, Aristotle, Caeser, Xenophon, Herodotus, etc.

[ Parent ]

That's absurd (2.88 / 9) (#68)
by aphrael on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 06:28:38 PM EST

A period during which absolutely nothing happened for several hundred years?

That's one of the silliest things I've read on Kuro5hin in a long time.

Yes, the early middle ages is taught this way in public high schools. Yes, once upon a time historians believed this. But they don't really any more, especially those who specialize in that era.

The so-called dark ages witnessed the integration of the more-or-less nomadic Germanic tribes with the remaining Roman aristocracy; this intermingling is generally blamed for the birth of the national cultures of at least three of the major European states (Spain, France, and Germany). The economy changed significantly from century to century, as did the political situation; the arrival of the Vikings, for example, caused increased militarization and urbanization, and the widespread construction of castles (none of which were attested in any large degree during the preceding centuries).

Not a lot is known about parts of the era, largely because the preserved written record is concerned almost entirely with proving legal title to lands donated to churches. But the notion that society was treating water during the early middle ages, let alone during the middle ages as a whole, is a fiction in which historians no longer believe.

[ Parent ]

Yep, and the article... (2.33 / 3) (#37)
by J'raxis on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 05:39:12 AM EST

Yep, and the article basically backs this point up without intending to:
In October, 1996, the Pope finally granted that evolution is a viable theory with significant arguments in its favor.
Oooh, how progressive and rational of them. This theory was only first proposed in 1859.

— J’raxis

[ J’raxis·Com | Liberty in your lifetime ]
[ Parent ]

The authority of scripture (3.00 / 7) (#60)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 02:36:21 PM EST

Virtually every advance in science and society has been fought tooth and nail by the church and is only adopted after a bitter struggle, at which point they pretend like that's what the Bible meant all along, retroactively interpreting scripture to suit modern thinking.

You seem to be operating here under the misconconception that the RCC is somehow obligated to harmonize the text of the Bible with "every advance in science and society." Its not. The RCC holds the Bible to be necessarily inerrant only with respect to those matters directly concerning the salvation of the soul. Basically, that means the historical and/or "scientific" veracity of all of the Old Testament, as well as most of the New Testament, are, doctrinally speaking, up for grabs.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Now, perhaps, this is the position (2.50 / 2) (#99)
by Harvey Anderson on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 10:11:24 AM EST

but was it always so?

Science: "The Earth goes around the sun."
RCC: "This dimishes human dignity, not being at the center of the universe.  This belief has a negative effect on your soul and opens it to other dangers, etc."

Science: "We can't detect a soul in this zygote.  There likely is no such thing."
RCC: "We can not ignore this 'scientific advancement' as it has a direct bearing on the salvation of the soul."

In 2,329 AD?:

Science: "We've been able to conclusively show that a soul springs into existence where there are at least 3,049,822 neurons formed in a fetus."
RCC: "Ok, abortion is ok before that point is reached."

[ Parent ]

Was it always so? (none / 0) (#110)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 12:34:52 PM EST

Of course not.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
n/s (none / 1) (#116)
by Harvey Anderson on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 01:43:01 PM EST

You state that the RCC isn't 'obliged to harmonize the Bible with every advance in science and society'.

If 'obliged' means 'we don't hold ourselves to this duty' then I would say they will find that they are indeed going to have to reconcile doctrine with uncomfortable discoveries as time goes on, based on past experience.  At that time, they are then 'obligated' (forced/left no choice) to deal with it.

In other words, whether or not it's officially part of procedure to monitor advancements and apply them to doctrine, that process happens anyway.

[ Parent ]

Well, of course... (none / 1) (#117)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 02:06:03 PM EST

...but that's a much broader notion of "obligated" than what I was getting at. I meant only doctrinally obligated and, in all honesty, the authority of scripture was a matter of significant dispute within the RCC prior to their official adoption of Aquinas' view on the subject.

That said, your point is actually rather important, IMHO, so please don't think I'm just dismissing it. Metaphysical belief systems are, by their very nature, highly dependent upon our more immediate experience of mundane reality.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Umm... (2.50 / 8) (#36)
by siener on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 05:26:54 AM EST

the Catholic church has always held that science is a wonderful way for us to more greatly appreciate God's creation, because the truth that science unlocks simply acts to help illuminate the Truth that is God.

Go tell that to Galileo

Also, the way you use the word infallible is entirely incorrect for Catholic usage. The bible contains Truth, but that does not mean that every word should be taken as literal 'truth'. Read Dei Verbum if you want the whole story.

Go tell that to all the heretics who were burnt at the stake because that disagreed with the RCC over small interpretation issues of the bible

Science as we know it today grew from Catholic theology, so don't go saying that the church is moving away from the bible and toward science, when the church invented _both_ of those itself, eh?

Go tell that to the ancient Greeks. Go tell that to Francis Bacon (father of the scientific method) and Isaac Newton, both puritans.

While it might be true that the RCC has in certain respects a healthier view of science than most other churches, please don't try to rewrite history.

[ Parent ]

You might be a theologian (1.33 / 3) (#40)
by nusuth on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 05:55:17 AM EST

Science as we know it today grew from Catholic theology, so don't go saying that the church is moving away from the bible and toward science, when the church invented both of those itself, eh?

But you are definetly not a historian. Infact, you don't seem know even basic history of science. Science as we know today (whatever that means) preceeds church by centuries, constanly held back by church in Europe (thanks to Arabian scholars, church failed to halt real scientific progress in the middle ages) and the most modern aspects of scientific method are best described as anti-faith.

[ Parent ]

Thats only one side of the story (2.83 / 6) (#41)
by zakalwe on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 06:13:46 AM EST

Science as we know today (whatever that means) preceeds church by centuries)
Science as we know it today certainly does not. Many central tenets of science, such as the scientific method and the importance of experimentation are relatively modern. The ancient greeks for instance certainly didn't practice modern science, and placed a much higher weight on philosophy than experiments in judging the truth. Fundamentally false statements were regarded as universal truths by prominent scholars that would be trivially disproved by experimentation. Aristotle for instance claimed that objects fell at a rate proportional to their weight.
constanly held back by church in Europe.
On the other the church also did a lot to help science. You can't just look at its retarding effects and ignore its contributions - it attracted many intelligent men, who contributed significantly to early scientific discovery. It was also instrumental in preserving much knowledge through difficult times.

[ Parent ]
much of that grew out of the Enlightenment, though (none / 1) (#89)
by Delirium on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 01:32:42 AM EST

Much of modern science in the sense you're discussing it grew out of the Enlightenment, which was in practice rather antireligious, and often explicitly antireligious. Some of it—like the idea of falsification—grew out of 20th century academic science, which is large areligious as well.

[ Parent ]
Yes and no. (none / 0) (#102)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 10:22:26 AM EST

I don't think the Church was responsible for the Enlightenment, but I do think it made the Enlightenment possible - much as a plow isn't responsible for wheat growing, but does make the wheat's job easier.

Remember that during most of the past 2000 years there was only one educated social class in Europe - the religious. By preserving knowledge and by creating a culture which honored education, the Catholics made the Enlightenment possible.

I never said that.
[ Parent ]

or vice versa. (none / 0) (#191)
by masse on Thu Mar 10, 2005 at 03:03:40 PM EST

one can also argue that the Enlightenment grew out of the new scientific methods and the striking explanative power of the science of the 17th and 18th centuries. I'd regard these as two movements that reinforced each other.

-- Be yourself. There are already so many others.
[ Parent ]

Uh. no. (2.00 / 2) (#62)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 03:04:42 PM EST

Once the roman empire collapsed, the only organization that held onto knowledge and education in Europe was, guess what, the church.

The knowledge preserved in monastaries, and communicated by priests is what brought about the end of the dark ages.

I never said that.
[ Parent ]

The Roman Empire collapsed? (3.00 / 6) (#65)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 04:45:43 PM EST

Are you sure about that? Don't you mean the western half of the Roman Empire collapsed?

I'm really not trying to be overly pedantic here, but the Byzantine Empire, and the absolutely central role they played in "preserving" the knowledge and culture of classical antiquity, is a subject which recieves shockingly scant attention when one considers the significant role they were to play in the development of western European culture in the 15th and 16th centuries C.E..

A quick googling brought up this, which seems to do a good job of spelling out some of the essential connections between the migration of greek speaking peoples during the declining years of the Byzantine Empire and the subsequent emergence of the Italian Renaissance.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Yes, the Roman Empire collapsed. (2.66 / 3) (#67)
by aphrael on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 06:23:48 PM EST

The collapse in the west seems to have happened in the fifth century. The collapse in the east seems to have happened in the seventh century, when the Arabs took Syria, Egypt, and Cilicia, and the Roman hold on the Balkans was reduced to a thin strip along the coasts. It recovered, but the political and economic organization of society was quite different than what had come before, and the culture was demonstrably different.

The resultant empire did play a significant role in the transmission of knowledge and culture, particularly through its continuing presence in Italy up through the late tenth century. But it was a quite different entity than the pre-Arab Eastern Roman Empire.

[ Parent ]

True (3.00 / 3) (#76)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 08:12:42 PM EST

Also, one could make a relatively strong argument that it was the reign of Justinian--at least in part due to the consequences of his ambitious overreach--which marks the point at which eastern Empire began on its inexorable path away from its Roman origins and toward a more endogenous, if still highly syncratic, culture of its own--a culture in which the classical Roman identity and civic institutions were more thoroughly christianized.

In any case, where exactly we draw the line between Byzantium-as-Eastern-Empire vs. Byzantium-as-Byzantine--and indeed whether or not it is proper to draw any such distinctions--the point remains that the Byzantines recieve curiously little attention in most conventional accounts of western history.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
true. (none / 0) (#81)
by aphrael on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 09:29:24 PM EST

so, too, do the reconquista states and especially the states of italy; and, for that matter, so too do Poland and Sweden. "Medieval European history", as taught in America, means England + the Carolingian Empire.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps (none / 0) (#87)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 12:39:12 AM EST

But, you see, the Byzantine Empire is what I am interested in ;-)

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
*grin* (none / 0) (#104)
by aphrael on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 11:14:06 AM EST

Ahh, I see. :)

[ Parent ]
to be fair... (none / 0) (#96)
by Battle Troll on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 09:13:43 AM EST

The Eastern Empire was by far the most important state in Europe between 450 AD and 800 AD, and by a smaller one likewise from 800 to at least 1057 (Manzikert.)
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
1071. :) (none / 0) (#105)
by aphrael on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 11:14:43 AM EST



[ Parent ]
a loser is me /nt (none / 0) (#111)
by Battle Troll on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 12:41:50 PM EST


--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
heh. (none / 0) (#112)
by aphrael on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 12:44:58 PM EST

i had to look it up. I always think it was in 1080 for some reason.

[ Parent ]
wha...? (3.00 / 2) (#78)
by Battle Troll on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 08:24:53 PM EST

The collapse in the east seems to have happened in the seventh century, when the Arabs took Syria, Egypt, and Cilicia, and the Roman hold on the Balkans was reduced to a thin strip along the coasts.

That's like arguing that Russian civilization ended with the fall of Kiev. Kievan Rus' fell, and Russia changed forever, but it didn't disappear.

In the West, the collapse of Rome meant the permanent end of Western Roman political power and institutions. In the East, the Arab expansion didn't even lead to a change in government.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

yes, exactly. (2.75 / 4) (#80)
by aphrael on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 09:27:16 PM EST

Most Russian historians would claim that the Kievan state and the Muscovite state were almost entirely unrelated and that, while they were culturally similar, their culture constituted distinct entities.

It's difficult to put that one into words, though. Historians of the area went through a period of referring to the Kievan culture as 'Ruthenian' as opposed to 'Russian', but then the Ukrainian nationalists attempted to claim 'Ruthenian' as 'proto-Ukrainian', and the conversation got tied in knots.

In any event, i'll stand by my claim: while the Byzantine state of the late seventh century claimed to be the Roman Empire, its internal structures were entirely dissimilar to those in place before the early seventh century, as were its administrative structures, its economy, and its concept of its borders. Historians of the east, whether they focus on antiquity or the middle ages, recognize this distinction and treat the roman and byzantine empires as different entities - and while nobody alive at that time would have accepted the difference, the difference is every bit as clear (from a modern vantage point) as the difference between the Carolingian and the Ottonian states.

[ Parent ]

I don't disagree with your evidence (3.00 / 3) (#82)
by Battle Troll on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 09:56:29 PM EST

Just with your concluding from it that 'Rome fell.' You might as usefully argue that the Rome of Elagabalus was so different from the Rome of Coriolanus that 'Rome fell' with the end of the Republic. The only problem with that is that Rome was Rome's own successor state, and that was clearly the case in the East as well.

All your evidence really demonstrates is that an entity calling itself 'the Roman Empire' underwent substantial upheaval at a certain point in its history. Myself, I'd say there's a much stronger case for saying that 'Rome fell' in the Fourth Crusade.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Europe (none / 0) (#94)
by nusuth on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 06:38:02 AM EST

You are overstating importance of church as
even if Europe had lost all of its antique science, (provided some kind of englightment happens) science is set back a few decades, at most. Ancient greeks contribution to mathematics and geometry is invaluable. Beyond that, their science is totally trash.

Also near eastern science was based on antique western science in the first half of 1000s. There was persian and arabian translations of many classics.

BTW science, based on experimantation and observation, is NOT born in Europe. You know, there is more to world than Europe and Greeks. Does Egypt or China ring any bells?

[ Parent ]

Why, yes, they do ring bells. (none / 1) (#101)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 10:18:20 AM EST

So, exactly why is it that China is still trying to drag itself out of the 3rd world?

And where is Egypt?

The cultural innovations of Europe - including humanism - were made possible by an organization that honored, collected and transmitted knowledge. Ignoring theology for the moment - the Catholic church is still a unique institution in world history and responsible for much (both good and bad) of European history and advancement.

Certainly it has had corrupt periods - what human organization has not? But that should not lead you to overlook the other effects it had on human events.

I never said that.
[ Parent ]

Context (none / 0) (#108)
by nusuth on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 12:06:57 PM EST

We are talking about history of science, so current status of China and Egypt is irrelevant.

I didn't say church didn't preserve knowledge, I said you overstating its importance in preserving scientific knowledge.

[ Parent ]

Nonsense. (none / 1) (#119)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 02:18:22 PM EST

We are talking about history of science, so current status of China and Egypt is irrelevant.

Then why did you bring them up? The current state of China and Egypt is perfectly relevant, because it illustrates the point: it doesn't matter where individual discoverers lived because unless their culture supported and honored science their knowledge was lost as soon as they died. Thus, the scientific revolution didn't occur in Egypt, or in China, or in South America - it happened in Europe.

And, guess what? The Church was the instrument in preserving knowledge across locations and generations - which is what allowed the revolution to happen.


I never said that.
[ Parent ]

tsk. Is that the Turkish narrative today? (1.50 / 4) (#77)
by Battle Troll on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 08:21:02 PM EST

That's just sad, man. Pamuk's characterization of you Kemalist lot seems dead on.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
indeed (2.25 / 4) (#121)
by circletimessquare on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 03:16:29 PM EST

there is no conflict between spirituality and science

both seek the truth from opposite ends: one from the pov of observable fact, the other from the pov of heartfelt impression

the roots of the impulses that move us to science and spirituality: reason and emotion, are entirely inseparable from what it means to be human beings

therefore, we will always have science and spirituality in our lives, and always should

those who see conflict between science and spirituality that is unfixable, or portentious of great danger, simply fail to understand the central immovable duality of human nature itself

and those who are spiritual and are deeply suspicious of science, or are scientific and are deeply suspicious of the spirituality, are merely out of touch

there is nothing that science can discover, there is nothing that spirituality can have faith in, that counteracts anything the other says, if you truly understand what it means to be a human being in this world


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Always held, my arse. (none / 0) (#136)
by rodgerd on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 01:38:48 AM EST

While the Church has certainly been a fan of reason since Aquinas, previous Catholic thinking owed bnore to Paul and Augustine's love faith and distaste for reason.

[ Parent ]
This will be a big surprise for you... (2.33 / 9) (#35)
by Donatus on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 05:20:56 AM EST

I'll actually agree with you.  Yes, the church uses the knowledge that is gained by scientific insight in order to better understand the message that the Bible gives.

You see this as 'retroactively interpreting scripture to suit modern thinking', I call it 'using the advances of science to better know God.'  _That_ is the Catholic way, my friend.

If you want to get a Christian to argue that science is a bad thing, you'll need to find a non-Catholic to talk to, sorry.

I'll even go one step further and agree with your next claim, that "the church has done many evil things".  Guess what, I don't disagree!    The Catholic church has always held that we are a church made up of sinners.   Sorry if that bursts abother bubble :(

--Donatus.


What the issue is in a nutshell: (none / 1) (#98)
by Harvey Anderson on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 10:02:09 AM EST

Take Galileo.  At one time if you believed what he had to say you were, according the the CC, in the midst of an extreme heresy.  But later it became ok.  Therefore, what issues today are there where one might believe something opposite the CC that will later on be recognized as a-ok?  Therefore, since not everything that has come out of the CC in the past has remained constant, why should anyone believe that any particular position is today 100% correct?

[ Parent ]
Because no position is. (nt) (none / 1) (#124)
by Run4YourLives on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 04:15:04 PM EST



It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
How about positions taken in Encylicals etc? (nt) (none / 1) (#129)
by daani on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 08:33:35 PM EST



[ Parent ]
You mean (none / 0) (#162)
by monkeymind on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 04:28:47 AM EST

Like the one about birth control in all its forms being a sin?

I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
[ Parent ]

yes (2.75 / 4) (#45)
by szo on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 08:19:53 AM EST

He's been a puppet for at least ten years now. On the other hand, I'm afraid the next pope will make him an extremely liberal one :(

Szo
--
I guess it wasn't the dove...

Why redefine? (2.60 / 5) (#50)
by emwi on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 12:26:36 PM EST

It could be a chance for the largely outmoded Roman Catholic Church to redefine itself for the next 1000 years.

Please name one other organization which has been equally successful as the Holy Roman Catholic Church (TM) in the last 1000 years.
Except the protestant movement glitch, which let northern Europe slip out of their power, they grew in every direction. Whole south america, the philippines, Large parts of Africa and the US. The pope today is spiritual leader of at least 10 times as many people as in 1005 AD, if I may pull this number out of my behind.
The concept of excluding anyone with children has proven to make the organization last longer than anything else, every once great dynasty or empire. Oh, being against abortion is not very popular anymore these days? They can wait. They will still insist on their dogmas when you and I are long dead.
The only change you can expect from them, as soon as their power would really start to crumble, is a return to the fanatism which is in the heart of every monotheism . I am sure you would see a lot of italian suicide bombers as soon as saudi-arabian troops would guard the streets of Rome.


Anyone Ever Notice (2.66 / 3) (#51)
by thelizman on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 12:38:52 PM EST

...that the Pope looks like Carol Shelby? I only bring this up because the Pope's first name is Carol (or more correctly Karol), and I only mention that because this article doesn't include a bio of the Pope, nor does it even explore the question as to whether the Pope ought to be allowed to die of ailments which aren't normally fatal these days.
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
In Catholicam (2.36 / 11) (#52)
by mpalczew on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 01:00:53 PM EST

> With the emerging possibility that the Catholic Church is on the decline, the question arises whether the death of the Pope is a tragedy, or an opportunity for the Catholic Church to reposition itself.

I think anyone's death is a tragedy.  

> However, the same period has observed many events that it may not have preferred. In October, 1996, the Pope finally granted that evolution is a viable theory with significant arguments in its favor. He positioned himself against the Iraq war, saying that war must be the very last resort.

You mean observed events you wouldn't have prefered.

> Perhaps this time, the Roman Catholic Church should view the death of the Pope as a blessing in disguise. It could be a chance for the largely outmoded Roman Catholic Church to redefine itself for the next 1000 years.

And by outmoded you mean, disagreeing with your beliefs.
Perhaps next time you decide to write an article against the Catholic church, start with the assumption that not everyone shares your beliefs.

-- Death to all Fanatics!

Huh? (2.00 / 2) (#149)
by iCEBaLM on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 10:48:57 PM EST

I think anyone's death is a tragedy.

Why is the natural course of life a tragedy? Without death there can be no life. This statement is just retarded on so many levels.

Perhaps next time you decide to write an article against the Catholic church, start with the assumption that not everyone shares your beliefs.

Oh, you seem to be religious in the direction of Catholisim or Christianity, that explains a lot. Nevermind.

[ Parent ]

Life, also, is a tragedy. (none / 0) (#182)
by ghjm on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 01:46:12 PM EST

The American Heritage Dictionary provides one definition of tragedy as "a disastrous event, especially one involving distressing loss or injury to life."

A death is obviously a disastrous event for the person who died, and by definition constitutes an injury to life. Every death, therefore, is a tragedy.

To go beyond the simplistic definition, operatic or classical Greek tragedy is usually considered to occur when a character's inherent flaws or weaknesses give rise to catastrophic events. With suitable adjustments to scale, this is a good way of describing the bulk of what happens in a person's life - hopefully interspersed with a few heroic or at least blissful moments as well. Death is certainly an example of an inherent flaw - mortality - catching up with you, with catastrophic consequences.

Having said this, I now await the opportunity to be called "retarded" by you. Please do not disappoint.

-Graham

[ Parent ]

when you assume, you make an ass of yourself (none / 0) (#183)
by mpalczew on Thu Feb 10, 2005 at 06:05:47 PM EST

> Oh, you seem to be religious in the direction of Catholisim or Christianity

nope, neither.

> Without death there can be no life. This statement is just retarded on so many levels.

Couldn't have said it better myself.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]

heh (2.50 / 2) (#151)
by ill decide later on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 11:30:45 PM EST

I think anyone's death is a tragedy.
Do you also think that a million deaths are a statistic?

Badum-tsch.

[ Parent ]

What we really need... (3.00 / 6) (#53)
by alby on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 01:05:25 PM EST

... is a pope who goes totally batshit insane.

That would be so much fun. Imagine the coverups, Vatican backstabbing. It'd be like The Da Vinci Code on acid or something...

--
Alby

Yet another one? (2.71 / 7) (#61)
by nkyad on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 02:38:37 PM EST

Many Popes seem to have gone, to use your colourful expression, "batshit insane". Some were already "batshit insane" when they ascended to Papacy...

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
Stephen VI/VII (2.33 / 3) (#107)
by Nimey on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 11:49:56 AM EST

Dammit. I was saying, Stephen VI/VII was batshit insane. He conducted a trial of his predecessor's corpse, found it guilty, and had it beheaded.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]
Of course he should (none / 1) (#54)
by A Bore on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 01:13:33 PM EST

Yes, he should be allowed to die. It's clear that the anti-retrovirals are no longer working, and it just makes no sense to prolong the life of someone who is past the point at which modern medicine can help them. The HAART regime is so intensive for someone who can count their natural lifespan on the fingers of one hand anyway, and you really have to draw the line somewhere and say "this is doing more harm than good".

Let him pass away with dignity out of the spotlight.

What really interests me is the Terry Schiavo case (2.84 / 13) (#55)
by Kasreyn on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 01:21:58 PM EST

In case you haven't been following this landmark right-to-death case, clicky.

In essence, those who are trying to prevent Terry from dying with dignity - among them FL Governor "Jeb" Bush - are claiming that, as her religion (Roman Catholicism) is against any form of human-mediated termination of life, including humane suicide or humane killing, that for Terry to be disconnected from her life support is equivalent to murder.

What is most interesting to me is the fact that the Pope has already spoken out specifically on this issue:

"I feel the duty to reaffirm strongly that the intrinsic value and personal dignity of every human being do not change, no matter what the concrete circumstances of his or her life. A man, even if seriously ill or disabled in the exercise of his highest functions, is and always will be a man, and he will never become a `vegetable' or an `animal.' Even our brothers and sisters who find themselves in the clinical condition of a `vegetative state' retain their human dignity in all its fullness. The loving gaze of God the Father continues to fall upon them, acknowledging them as His sons and daughters, especially in need of help"


So, is John Paul hoist by his own petard? What will happen if the Pope himself winds up in a persistent vegetative state, or even becomes brain-dead? Will the Roman Catholic Church, as seems most likely, keep him alive for several years of bed-pans and baby-wipes, all the while being effectively bereft of leadership? Will the Cardinals elect a new Pope while the old one is still "alive"? Or will the Church be forced to reconcile its belief system with the unfortunate realities of life?


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
'reasonable measures' (none / 0) (#75)
by Eight Star on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 07:36:06 PM EST

I am not Catholic, but I used to be.

If I recall correctly, the church does not require people to take 'unreasonable measures' to keep people (or themselves) alive. I think the church recognizes that problems that would occur if we try to keep every body alive to the extent medically possible.
You have to give people food, I think you have to feed them if they can't feed themselves, but you do not have to shove a tube down their throat if they can't swallow. Likewise with respirators.
My understanding of Terry's case is that she cannot swallow. Based only on my interpretation of the conflicting news reports, I don't think she can make medical choices. Assuming these things are true, I think that most medical ethicists, including catholic ones, would say that removing the food tube is permissible.

Basically, pulling the plug is ok, and is seperate from suicide/murder.

[ Parent ]

morally untenable (2.50 / 2) (#137)
by crayz on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 01:42:58 AM EST

You accept that the consequence of removing the tube will be death, so why not do it in a humane way? There's probably nothing left in Terry Shiavo that cares, but in some other cases there may be, and it seems groteseque to allow people to starve to death

Once the decision has been made that they will be allowed to die, why not help the process be quick and painless?

[ Parent ]

pain relief (none / 1) (#144)
by Eight Star on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 04:53:36 PM EST

playing devil's advocate, in princple at least I agree that your solution may be the best, but:
It is also acceptable to administer pain relieving drugs. I think it would also be ok for the person to be made unconscious as they starve to death. You can also dance on the fine line between enough morphine to ease pain, and enough to kill. If Death is assumed certain, you can give as much morphine as you want so long as your goal is to ease pain, not hasten death, even if you know it will hasten death, if that is not your goal, you're morally ok. I think in many cases this ends up being between the Doctor and God.
Morphine is a handy Catholic dual-use technology. My point is that this is an area where Catholic teaching is actually relatively permissive. They church is bound by a certain theology, but they are also compassionate. For most of their insane rules, they make functional loopholes, these are the people who invented absolution. (Yes, I just saw Dogma)

[ Parent ]
They'll do what they've always done (3.00 / 9) (#84)
by sllort on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 10:37:44 PM EST

Poison him and say he passed in his sleep.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
lol (none / 0) (#150)
by ill decide later on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 11:27:35 PM EST

More like, hoist by his own retard.

[ Parent ]
-1, Wrong Logic (2.25 / 8) (#73)
by sudog on Thu Feb 03, 2005 at 07:05:18 PM EST

"The papacy has been forced to slowly distance itself from the possibility that the Bible is infallible, as is evidenced by the proclamation that evolution is compatible with the Christian faith."

Wrong. There is no reason to think that it's impossible to theologically accept evolution as a viable theory.

This one sentence makes so many annoying assumptions all by itself that I have to give it a -1.


The Pope... (2.66 / 9) (#88)
by jd on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 01:22:10 AM EST

...hates everything the Republicans stand for - war in Iraq, the death penalty, Creationism, torture, etc. If the Pope could only bring himself to tell George Bush to FOaD, it would make a lot of people (devout athiests included) very happy.

As it stands, the Pope is a huge thorn in the side of the despot known as President Bush. The Pope is more popular, more widely respected and actually tolerated outside his own country. Largely because he does oppose everything Bush does.

So, no, I don't want the Pope to die. I want him to enjoy an incredibly long and prosperous life. If only he could be talked into excommunicating the entire Republican party in America... That would be wonderful.

Insightful (none / 0) (#93)
by eclectro on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 05:49:03 AM EST

I have been thinking along these lines myself, but not with the pope.

The true conservative really needs to understand that the republican party does not really represent their values at all. The most visible leaders need to recognize this (Dobson, Robertson et al). I don't think Robertson can, Dobson could though.

The constitution party I think is a viable alternative, and one of its leaders sounded a similar note recently.

I think the next couple of years this could become evident, as the ability to blame Bill Clinton completely evaporates. The "values voter" needs to realize that all talk and no follow up is not "values."

I'm more moderate than conservative, though I share some of the "hot topic" views of the "value voters."

BTW, the pope does not "hate" Creationism, and the majority of catholics will default to that over evolution. But this is beyond the scope of this post.

[ Parent ]
No (2.83 / 6) (#103)
by ak1 on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 11:01:36 AM EST

BTW, the pope does not "hate" Creationism, and the majority of catholics will default to that over evolution.

No. The majority of catholics doesn't give a fuck about Creationism. Basically, the only country where Creationism is widespread are the United States. In most other countries it was actually possible to separate science and religion, and to first teach testable science (or knowledge based on testable science) in schools, and to clearly separate it from religious contents.



[ Parent ]
Even in... (none / 0) (#166)
by jd on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 11:58:50 PM EST

...England, where "religious education" is included in State-run schools, and where the "head of State" is also the head of the Anglican church, creationism is treated as a dead issue.

[ Parent ]
Excommunicate Republicans? (3.00 / 3) (#115)
by smithmc on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 01:28:27 PM EST


If only he could be talked into excommunicating the entire Republican party in America... That would be wonderful.

Um... I'm guessing that most of 'em are not Catholic.

[ Parent ]

George W. Bush is not Catholic (none / 0) (#184)
by Earwig Nose Picker on Fri Feb 11, 2005 at 11:59:12 PM EST

the Pope cannot tell him to do anything. Bush does not follow the Pope. Don't confuse the different flavors of Christianity with each other.

[ Parent ]
WIPO: The the fuck cares (1.50 / 8) (#95)
by Anonymous Howards End on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 06:41:27 AM EST

what a bunch of zombie worshipping cannibal cultists do?

They can appoint a ham sandwich as their next grand high wizard for all that I care, and I hereby invite all rational people to join me in treating any discussion of organised religion with the amused contempt that it deserves.
--
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.

translation: (1.85 / 14) (#97)
by Harvey Anderson on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 09:49:57 AM EST

"Hi K5, I'm Anonymous Howards End!  I am just here to let you all know that I suck.  I love to stir the pot, because the more I dis on dweeby Christians, the less of an Asperger's baby that makes me.  Weeeeeee!"

[ Parent ]
Do you get magic powers with that cult initiation? (none / 1) (#172)
by Anonymous Howards End on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 12:29:50 PM EST

What can you do?  Turn people into frogs?
--
CodeWright, you are one cowardly hypocritical motherfucker.
[ Parent ]
What in (none / 0) (#174)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:51:26 PM EST

tarnation are you talkin' about, boah?

[ Parent ]
i like this idea (none / 1) (#100)
by wampswillion on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 10:14:27 AM EST

because then when we tell jokes we can say "is the pope a ham sandwich?"

[ Parent ]
My God, (2.14 / 7) (#106)
by davidduncanscott on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 11:45:10 AM EST

do you even own a history book, or at least an encyclopedia? This is your idea of a time of crisis for the Roman Catholic Church?

The Church has dealt with a revolt from within its ranks, and years of consequent warfare, and survived. It has dealt with assaults from Islam, Communism, and Fascism, and survived. Priests have been caught raping, stealing, and murdering, and the Church has survived.

The sex-abuse scandal is largely an American issue, after all, (where else would men having sex be that big a deal?), and being out of fashion is hardly a problem for an organization that is roughly 2000 years old. The United Nations, the United States, and even the English language are latecomers to the scene.

where else would men having sex be that big a deal (none / 1) (#122)
by circletimessquare on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 03:18:24 PM EST

ummm...

in the teachings of the catholic church?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Hey Pedophile (none / 1) (#131)
by heptapod on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 10:41:42 PM EST

The sex-abuse scandal is largely an American issue, after all, (where else would men having sex be that big a deal?) Sex with children and rape. This issue doesn't revolve around Father Mackenzie having a twenty year old strumpet on the side for a little R&R winky emoticon. Considering your comment I presume you're not on the North American continent. I'm surprised that pederastry and forced non-consensual sex are acceptable across the pond. You are a fucking pedophile.

[ Parent ]
Wrong (none / 1) (#143)
by davidduncanscott on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 03:46:35 PM EST

on both counts. I'm an American, and sex with children revolts me.

All I'm saying is that the problem cannot be uniquely American. Is there a crisis within, say, the South Korean Catholic Church? (not picking on the ROK, BTW, just pulling them out of the air) Are there no Canadian pedophilic priests? Mexican? Norwegian? Does it really seem plausible to you that only here are there predators in clerical collars, or is the rest of the world, by and large, yes, looking the other way?

The reaction here has as much to do with the perception (one that I've never heard any member of the church confirm, BTW, but which is taken for granted by most) that these priests are preying on little boys, and since this country is extremely uncomfortable with any form of homosexuality this whole thing becomes that much more serious to us.

[ Parent ]

Um, Hello (2.00 / 2) (#152)
by The Real Lord Kano on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 01:26:57 AM EST

You made some good points right up until you said this...

The sex-abuse scandal is largely an American issue, after all, (where else would men having sex be that big a deal?)

Grown men having sex with prepubescent children is a big deal in every industrialized nation.

[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 1) (#157)
by davidduncanscott on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 12:28:54 PM EST

Then why isn't Ireland discussing the death of the Church? How about Wales?

I don't mean that elsewhere this would be ignored, just that elsewhere it wouldn't be as spectacular as it is here. It happens worldwide (and that's just the Catholic Church -- anybody think that there can't be pedophiles with Anglican collars?)

[ Parent ]

Synod of Europe Doesn't Choose Pope (2.50 / 2) (#128)
by scott122 on Fri Feb 04, 2005 at 07:03:53 PM EST

"Pope John Paul II is in stable condition in the hospital. His respiratory ailments are the latest of a string of health problems. As his time draws nearer, the Synod for Europe no doubt is convening to select his successor. Perhaps this time they should just let the event lapse."

The Synod for Europe doesn't choose the pope, the College of Cardinals does. As it stands now, the College is dominated by third world cardinals, who could choose anyone they wanted if they formed a bloc.

Europeans, acutally Italians, used to dominate the College, but no longer. What the Church needs now is a dynamic Brazilain pope. That would shake up a lot of established points of view!

Yeah, but be warned (none / 1) (#142)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 01:44:43 PM EST

A lot of people might expect a 3rd world pope to "shake things up" - but AFAIK, the 3rd world bishops tend to be extremely conservative.

I never said that.
[ Parent ]
a black pope would be nice (none / 1) (#155)
by boxed on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 06:26:24 AM EST

Not only does it look pretty probable right now, it would be a nice kick towards the US.

[ Parent ]
Black pope (none / 1) (#160)
by Repton on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 03:40:44 AM EST

From what I've read about the strong black candidate, he is even more conservative than PJP2. It might not be the win many people are looking for...

--
Repton.
They say that only an experienced wizard can do the tengu shuffle..
[ Parent ]

racism (none / 1) (#170)
by alien on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 11:04:05 AM EST

What does skin color or race have to do with anything, and how would a pope with dark skin be a "kick towards the US"?
--
a l i e n

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."

[ Parent ]

Skin colour has everything to do with racism (none / 0) (#173)
by PhilHibbs on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 02:20:21 PM EST

hat does skin color or race have to do with anything, and how would a pope with dark skin be a "kick towards the US"?
I get the impression that most Americans, as with most European christians, believe that God is white. A black Pope would provoke thought at the very least.

[ Parent ]
US & Euro Christian's believe God is white? (none / 0) (#176)
by issachar on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 09:15:18 PM EST

none that I've met think so. Considering Jesus' is Jewish it would seem to be contrary to Christian records on the subject.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
heh (none / 0) (#177)
by boxed on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 12:11:57 AM EST

Well you see, the argument against that is that "Jesus is a miracle of God" and thus can have any skin color God chooses. Of course, that jews ARE white is another matter which USians seem to not grasp.

[ Parent ]
Arafat reference in article... (1.33 / 3) (#141)
by dostick on Sat Feb 05, 2005 at 01:08:35 PM EST

Pope is Arafat of religion. let him die!

being against the Iraq war is a no brainer (2.50 / 2) (#154)
by boxed on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 06:18:13 AM EST

From a simply cynical PR point the fact is that opposing the Iraq war will make the Pope a LOT more popular than supporting it, or even not taking a position. The measly 60 million US catholics or even the 293 million US citizens overall wouldn't be nearly enough to even counter out the European catholics, not to mention the rest of the 1 billion around the world.

catholicism is dying in europe (nt) (none / 1) (#163)
by circletimessquare on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:02:43 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
it's already dead in the US [nt] (none / 1) (#167)
by boxed on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 03:48:46 AM EST



[ Parent ]
does netcraft confirm it? [NT] -- couldn't resist (none / 1) (#178)
by strlen on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:24:24 AM EST



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Perhaps you are right, (none / 1) (#158)
by lastobelus on Sun Feb 06, 2005 at 01:20:20 PM EST

when the pope speaks out against a holy war instead of being its instigator, perhaps his office HAS become irrelevant. Or inconvenient at least.

i'm the anti-catholic (1.50 / 2) (#164)
by circletimessquare on Mon Feb 07, 2005 at 12:06:39 PM EST

i am pro-death penalty and pro-choice on abortion

i am pro-iraq war and pro-euthanasia

i am pro-birth control and pro-stem cell research

i am pro-marijuana legalization and anti-circumcision

these are my real, genuine heartfelt beliefs

and they all seem to lay diametrically opposed to the political statements and teachings of the catholic church

i'm the frickin' antipope

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Interestingly enough... (none / 1) (#168)
by BJH on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 07:04:56 AM EST

...the term "anti-pope" does not refer to someone who possesses views that oppose the Catholic Church - it's used to refer to Catholic leaders who declare themselves Pope without the authorisation of the Church (or are declared Pope by a group that is not in control, or thereafter loses control, of the Church).
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
Circumcision? (none / 1) (#171)
by Niha on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 11:29:43 AM EST

That one is not among Catholic church teachings. About marijuana legalization, I´m not sure about its opinion...

[ Parent ]
A. Yes, is it time to let the church die (none / 1) (#169)
by alien on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:56:43 AM EST

"the credibility of the Catholic Church may have been permanently besmirched"

Duh. The whole concept behind the church permanently damages credibility. The Pope finally acknowledging that evolution makes sense is possibly the only thing you've listed that might actually LEND the institution a bit of credibility. At least it is papal inconsistency in a rational direction...
--
a l i e n

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."

Opinions based on ignorance (none / 0) (#189)
by borborygmus on Thu Feb 24, 2005 at 12:05:54 PM EST

The church is not goin to "die": "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16: 18-19 As far as the Catholic teaching on Evolution, it has remained essentially unchanged since the first Vatican Council (1869-1870). It was reiterated and by Pope Pious the XII in Humani Generis on August 12, 1950. "There are definite parameters to what is acceptable Catholic belief. Concerning cosmological evolution, the Church has infallibly defined that the universe was specially created out of nothing. Vatican I solemnly defined that everyone must "confess the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, as regards their whole substance, have been produced by God from nothing" (Canons on God the Creator of All Things, canon 5). The Church does not have an official position on whether the stars, nebulae, and planets we see today were created at that time or whether they developed over time (for example, in the aftermath of the Big Bang that modern cosmologists discuss). However, the Church would maintain that, if the stars and planets did develop over time, this still ultimately must be attributed to God and his plan, for Scripture records: "By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host [stars, nebulae, planets] by the breath of his mouth" (Ps. 33:6). Concerning biological evolution, the Church does not have an official position on whether various life forms developed over the course of time. However, it says that, if they did develop, then they did so under the impetus and guidance of God, and their ultimate creation must be ascribed to him. Concerning human evolution, the Church has a more definite teaching. It allows for the possibility that man's body developed from previous biological forms, under God's guidance, but it insists on the special creation of his soul. Pope Pius XII declared that "the teaching authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions . . . take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter--[but] the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God" (Pius XII, Humani Generis 36). So whether the human body was specially created or developed, we are required to hold as a matter of Catholic faith that the human soul is specially created; it did not evolve, and it is not inherited from our parents, as our bodies are. While the Church permits belief in either special creation or developmental creation on certain questions, it in no circumstances permits belief in atheistic evolution." http://www.catholic.com/library/Adam_Eve_and_Evolution.asp

[ Parent ]
Let the Pope die? (2.00 / 2) (#175)
by Niha on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 04:12:10 PM EST

 As far as I´m concerned, the Pope is not being keeped alive artificially, or anything like that.
 The current question is whether he should retire or not

Pope Daddy (none / 1) (#181)
by childleftbehind on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 04:47:52 PM EST

I suggest breeding a special species of Pope. This way, the child will be bred in a papal fashion, and only have a life expectancy of 45 years. This way, not only will the Pope's views be up to date with the changes of the world, he also will remain moderately attractive for his term or whatever it is you call the time in which you are pope. Or perhaps we could have democratic elections in the Catholic Church. I'd nominate Gore to be the next pope.
child-left-behind :(
a pointer to literature (none / 0) (#190)
by masse on Thu Mar 10, 2005 at 01:51:43 PM EST

for a marvelluos vision of human breeding programs, read the 'Dune' series, by Frank Herbert.

-- Be yourself. There are already so many others.
[ Parent ]

Ostensively, no \nt (none / 0) (#187)
by bob6 on Mon Feb 14, 2005 at 08:25:27 AM EST



Cheers.
Is it time to let the Pope die? | 190 comments (175 topical, 15 editorial, 0 hidden)
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