Not everyone is going to just take it

Not everyone is going to just take it

Interesting. Efforts by angry Catholics (mainly pro-gay politicians upset at the Church’s opposition tosame-sex marriage) to whack the Church with a financial disclosure law have resulted in opposition from Protestant and Orthodox churches who don’t want to be caught in the dragnet.

‘Many churches have deep historical memories of an experience of undue influence by the state in the affairs of the church, and thus many churches are wary of giving the state unnecessarily intrusive powers over their internal workings,” said the Rev. Diane C. Kessler, executive director of the council.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • I think every and all meetings conducted by a politician regarding public and legislative duties should be recorded.  This will allow the media and the taxpaying public full access to all that our elected representatives do.

  • “reimagined” – gotta love the lingo. Our seminaries did the same thing – now it’s time to…..“revert”.

  • You’re kidding, right? I mean, you can’t be seriously considering that Jesus could have been married.

    Actually Christ was and is married. His bride is the Church. And Jesus is monogamous.

  • You didn’t answer the question.

    Which council, which pope, condemned the proposition as heresy?

    You see, to call someone a ‘heretic’ requires that you can show that the statement—in this case, “Could Jesus have been married? Of course”—is something that has been formally shown as heretical.

    In your supposed “heretic’s” writing on the matter, here is what follows the little snippet you chose to use …

    “Was Jesus, in fact, married? There is no evidence in the New Testament or in Christian tradition that he was, and there are at least two other credible arguments, based on the New Testament, that he was not married.

    First, the anti-erotic bias of the New Testament churches came very early into Christianity, and it can be supposed that if Jesus had been married, that tendency would have been checked.

    Second, when Paul invoked his right to marry a believing woman “as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas” (1 Corinthians 9: 5), he did not appeal to Jesus’ own marriage to support his argument. (The “Cephas” here is, of course, Peter.)”

    Is this ‘heretical’ too?

  • ! Corinthians 9:5
    Do we not have the right to take along a Christian wife, as do the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the Lord, and Kephas?

    Where does it say Our Lord was married. It mentions only the BROTHERS of the Lord. The first heresy of the Church was between those who claimed Jesus was a man, albeit a very holy one, and those who believed He was the Son of God. The proposition that He was a man was condemned at all the Ecumenical Councils.


  • “Objective”, RC? Hardly. That is the line of the anti-smoking cabal.

    Smoking is a choice, just like drinking or sky-diving. I haven’t done the latter, but certainly the former. But I don’t demonize those who sky-dive, bungee-jump, gamble or ride motorcycles (I do the last two also!).

    As with any pastime, they are not good or evil per se. If abused – as with any human endeavor – they can be bad.

    What gets me is the ‘holier-than-thou attitude of anti-smoking people. They think they know what is good for everyone. But if everyone quit smoking tomorrow, they would find something else to be supercilious about.

    Much junk science has been advanced about smoking, which is now accepted as conventional wisdom – things “everyone knows” – but they are at odds with reality.

    This country used to be about independent-minded people who refused to be influenced by ‘conventional wisdom’ or what do-gooders thought was ‘good’ for them.

    Because it was “in the papers” doesn’t make it true. Think for yourself, and – smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em!

  • I think GOR’s ox is being gored today, if you’ll pardon the expression: what else would call forth such name-calling about the “holier than-thou”, “supercilious”, “cabal” that fails to “think for” itself?  Somebody’s under the influence of a mind-altering drug! 

    My opinion about “addiction” doesn’t come from junk science, but from the common observation that cigarette smokers suffer more when they’re deprived than cigar or pipe smokers do.  Dom can probably go through a whole day without smoking a cigar and not even wince.  Most cigarette smokers can’t stand going through eight hours of work without one.  Y’know, that’s sad. 

    But if Dr. GOR will tell us where his medical degree is from, I’d be willing to listen to some analysis of the research from him.

  • Prior to what I quoted, McBrien says that Jesus could have been married, and it would not have affected his divine nature, because he was also fully human.

    No evidence of ‘spouting heresies’ here. I think you can e-mail your apology to him.

  • From the Vatican site (
    Christ never married. His life is valid justification for the vocation to celibacy. Jesus Christ calls the laws of creation and of nature into question; he calls into question the law of the Old Covenant which sought to re-establish order in creation and in nature which had been disturbed by sin.

    In the words of Paul VI (Sacerdotalis Caelibatus) :
    Wholly in accord with this mission, Christ remained throughout His whole life in the state of celibacy, which signified His total dedication to the service of God and men.

    There’s the quote by a pope that you requested, RP Burke.  In the teaching of the church, yet.  I’m sure there’s more too.  It’s in big T tradition.  Christ was never married in the normal sense to a human woman—in other words, he was celibate and chaste.

  • Also, RP, Christ was fully human but also fully divine—the hypostatic union.  This does not justify making up things about his humanity because of what you or someone else might suppose about the human state.  What one supposes is not fact, but mere supposition.  History cannot simply be made up to suit you or McBrien.

    Are you guys becoming Mormons or Cathars or something??  Or did you just read the Da Vinci Code and fail to figure out IT’S FICTION, guys? 

  • I see I have smoked you out, RCDALUPE—
    I believe it’s not going to be a good program—at all!
    “The Two Marys”
    CNN Presents looks at two women at the heart of Christianity—Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Mary Magdalene, the most misunderstood and controversial of his disciples. This show reveals the historical reality of these two main archetypes of Christian womanhood, and examines how they are being reimagined today.
    Airs Sunday, December 12, 7/8 p.m.

  • Read again what McBrien says in analyzing the argument over whether Jesus was married. “No evidence he was married. Two credible arguments he was not.” You must have forgotten how difficult it is to prove that something is not true.

  • Church teachings as much as anyone else and I suspect that RP share such dislike.  I also don’t know the facts of the story, since I did not see the ad, nor have I read McBrien (lots better stuff available).

    But I think that all RP is saying is to be careful in accusing someone of heresy based on a snippet taken out of context.  What’s wrong with that?  If there are other reasons to object to McBrien, let us hear them, but if the problem is with the media’s presentation, let us focus on that, not on the person whose views have been distorted.

  • Then, RP Burke, I suggest that you give something a bit more scholarly than you have given us. 

    If there is no evidence of something in Scripture and from tradition, then we cannot surmise something to be true.  Put in another way-if it’s not there, it’s simply not there.  We know/believe that there is a Trinity, there is no evidence of a 4th being. Or a 5th, or what have you.  Hence, we believe in the Trinity. (very short example, not intended to prove existance of the Trinity).

    The problem may be a small percentage with the media, however McBrien has said things that are outside of Church teaching before, and he includes them in as if they were Church teaching.  His book “Catholocism” is rife with heresy.  Again, look at St Thomas Aquainas’ definition of heresy-as well as, be reminded that it does not take formal condemnation for something to be heretical.  If it corrupts truth, then it is heresy.  If the Church is what we say it is, the fullness of Truth and McBrien is teaching things that are in condratiction to the Truth, then he is indeed spreading heresy. 

    For a review of his work “Catholicism” go to:

    It is also worthy to note that this is not about being a so called “right wing echo chamber” , and not about bashing someone who disagrees with what many of us here believe and hold dear, but having the intellectual honesty to be educated in, pray about, accept and teach the fullness of Truth. 

  • “If there is no evidence of something in Scripture and from tradition, then we cannot surmise something to be true.”

    Exactly as McBrien says.

    And what is “heresy”? From an authoritative modern source, the code of canon law:

    Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith[.]

    Do McBrien’s statements make for an obstinate denial or doubt? Hardly. QED.

  • Only his large published work “Catcholocism”. And much of modern authority is based on the Angelic Doctor, St Thomas Aquainas. McBrien repeatedly makes statements of obstinate denial and doubt.  “Could Jesus have been married? Of course” is only one of many.

    I suggest you do a serious study of his work and pit it against the teachings of the Catholic Church.  This is why his work is called into question. 

  • Burke,

    I quoted from a snippet in a TV ad, a snippet that, as it was shown, depicted a Catholic priest saying that Jesus could have been married. That is the problem.

    If McBrien denies that in some other writing, that’s fine, but unless the entire viewing public then goes to research is other writings they have been mislead as to the Church’s teaching.

    McBrien himself should be clearing up the contradiction: In one venue he seems to be saying that Jesus could have been married. In other he says not. That’s a problem.

  • I’m sure the snippet is 1% of what he said on film—and the producers ignored the rest, which would be (if consistent with the published writing) that as a scholarly question there is no evidence to support and two good logical scripture-based arguments against the claim that Jesus was married.

    Any serious scholar, however, would have to admit that a new argument or—most strongly—new evidence could lead to a different conclusion. That is, for example, how we got to “Gaudium et Spes,” which was a really radical change, based on ideas that had been condemned prior to Vatican II. (John Courtney Murray’s superior suggested that Murray write poetry after the Holy Office “silenced” him.)

    Beyond brushing aside the issue of possible development of doctrine, which cannot occur in a world where people are fired and muzzled as you would have it, all the fire and venom in this discussion also appears to dismiss the hierarchy of truth (Unitatis Redingratio, No. 11) It would really be heretical to say that Jesus was not the Son of God; don’t you think that’s a much more serious offense than to say that Jesus was not a life-long bachelor?

  • Wait a minute, RP. 

    It is the case that Jesus was the Son of God; it is also the case that Jesus was an unmarried man.

    The two propositions are not opposed. 

    But you said: “donow so far Not the truth.

  • I feel the need to point out at this juncture that RP Burke has a Notre Dame alumnus email address and thus has perhaps a familiarity with McBrien. This isn’t an accusation, just an informational note and an invitation to RP to clear up any predispositions he may have that would shed light on his defense of McBrien.

  • As I made clear in my comment, I was not attacking you or accusing you of anything. I just think that knowing you might have more than a passing third-party interest in what McBrien says colors your statements. For all we know, you could be McBrien himself. There is a lot more anonymity on the Internet than most other kinds of discourse and so I think it’s relevant to ask these questions.

    In this case, your statements do not speak for themselves. Not every cry of argumentum ad hominem is valid and accurate.

  • RP—Then stop comparing them. 

    You wrote:  “It would really be heretical to say that Jesus was not the Son of God; donopposition so it can be said one is preferable to the other, so that it can be insinuated that at least one (for now) might be so.  And it’s bad logic, worse language, sneaky, dishonest and screwy as hell.  When I hear someone say something ****** like this (and I’m being tactful here), they lose all credibility as a thinker.  Because *that’s* not thinking, that’s whining.

    Both of these propostions—that Jesus was the Son of God and that Jesus was unmarried all his life have a few things very important in common:
    1) They’re both taught non-negotiably by the Catholic Church.
    2) Neither of them can be changed by your or anyone else just by saying so. 

    Get off the head-trip and stop insinuating things that aren’t true!

  • RP.  QED, my butt.  You are a funny man, but no logician.

    1. McBrien says that X could have been the case.  You come in here saying the same thing. (X=married Christ)
    2. The Church teaches that “not X” is definitely the case.  (see papal quotes above, etc.)  You challenge us to provide proof of what the Church teaches and that the church teaches it, which we do.
    3. Then you claim ad hominem for McBrien, saying that he didn’t say X was the case, only that X *could* have been the case.
    4.  But having already established that X was not the case, and could not have been the case, McBrien (and you) are simply wrong about the status of X.  There is no ad hominem involved there at all.  You obviously are not very clear on what an ad hominem is, my friend. 

    The conclusion is not an ad hominem,  but rather, the observation that when McBrien says this idiotic thing, he has absolutely no clue whatever of what he is talking about. 

    And about this other matter.  Domenico says that you have an address from Notre Dame. 

    1. Domenico says it could be the case that X.  (X=you either ARE McBrien or you SUPPORT McBrien personally).
    2. I request that you provide proof that “not X”, in other words that you are not McBrien, or alternately proof that you do not support McBrien personally.  If you provide the information that X is the case, Domenico is simply right.  If you provide the information that “not X” is the case (you are not or don’t support McBrien personally), then by your own reasoning, Domenico can claim you are applying an ad hominem to him.  Simply because one might have taken him to say something meaningless in a meaningful tone.  Isn’t that weird??? Heh.  Bad logic.  Totally fouled up.

  • I am not McBrien. I did not study theology at Notre Dame. I did NOT saying that the two propositions are opposed, and I guess “michigancatholic” needs a remedial reading class. I did NOT say that Christ could have been married. I DO say, with ample documentation, that the arguments against McBrien are ad hominem; and that pointing out my standing as a Notre Dame graduate is ad hominem. That’s all I have to say.

  • Which would be-what? teaching something as truth that the Church has not proclaimed to be Truth is, what-acceptable? Laudable?

  • The person in question is NOT “teaching something as truth that the Church has not proclaimed to be [t]ruth.” Where do you get off saying that?

  • Look, RP.  McBrien knows that most people don’t have academic training in theology and/or philosophy.  He knows that if he raises the question in such a way, then unsuspecting people will draw the conclusion that there is some question and the church might consider it an open question.  There are a lot of people around who cannot recognize a (stupid!) academic question when they hear one.  In addition, a lot of people believe the church can change anything it wants.  This is wrong—and I’m going to credit you with knowing that—I hope you do.

    The church does NOT consider this matter an open question.  I have given you quotes above to show you this.  McBrien has no right to ask it as an open question instead of teaching what he was ordained to teach. 

  • The church once taught geocentrism with the same surety as it teaches Jesus’ bachelorhood. It burned Giordano Bruno at the stake for arguing it, silenced Galileo Galilei for publishing it—and had to apologize, centuries later, for being wrong.

    Closer to the “deposit of faith,” Pope Pius X anathematized those who argued that the Pentateuch was not directly written in Moses’ own hand. The dangerous radical Pius XII (irony intended), in a 1943 encyclical, put in motion the process that has removed that non-open question to discussion and then to reversal.

    So from the historical record it is easy indeed to refute the claim that an issue in the church could never ever be open to question—even if the pope himself says so.

    Thus the act of raising a question—while at the same time coming to the same conclusion as the official hierarchical position—can hardly be considered “heresy,” and calling for the questioner’s firing, silencing and defrocking.

    Further, it is the height of anti-intellectualism for anyone, the pope or even the denizens of the right-wing echo chamber, to say that a question—any question—is settled for all time.