Wednesday, May 27, 2009

For the warriors.

For all of those who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice, I know this is late for memorial day, but it reminds us that it is not about war, but about the warrior.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A response to: Thoughts of Francis Turretin: Avoiding Landmines in Roman Catholic Apologetics

I ran across a blog post titled:Thoughts of Francis Turretin: Avoiding Landmines in Roman Catholic Apologetics, I thought it was finally going to be an honest piece about the mature discussion of Apologetics, boy was I wrong.

He gives a list of what he considers arguments to be avoided, he doesn't believe any of them to be wrong, just to be avoided. First, he states that "Rome should be identified with the Whore of Babylon and that the Pope is the Antichrist." but that Anti-catholic apologists should not actually say that.

The second is that the sexual abuse allegation "may even be the necessary and natural outworking of the celibate priesthood that Rome imposes" and that they are "simply a reason not to make your son an altar boy or your daughter a nun" This is a gross over-generalization and surely not a reason to deprive your child of the privilege of serving at the altar or to discourage them from entering a religious life. It implies that sexual abuse is widespread and in every parish when just the opposite is true. It is blatently dishonest.

Next, he alleges "doctrines within Roman Catholicism are not static and modern Catholicism's beliefs do not much resemble the beliefs taught in the Bible or believed in the early church" This is of course another gross generalization. His post is quickly becoming a bad apologetics post.

Next is the myth of Catholic disunity on many issues. While this is true on some issues, the idea that there are few "official catholic positions" is ludicrous, the Catechism gives the "offical Catholic position, on many issues, the Dogmas of faith are non-negotiable and there are lists of those available but the author makes no attempt to point his readers to these resources, in fact he makes no attempt to point them to sources of good information at all!

In his segment titled "Martyrologies" I must give him credit. That was well written and spot on.

In his section 6 titled " Arguments You Don't Understand" he makes the understatement of the year, he says "If you don't understand them (scriptural arguments), though, you have no business using them." Boy is that true, he goes on to list scriptural arguments he clearly does not understand.

He goes on to list some good advice, that apologists should be honest, not be arrogant.

He goes on to reinforce his belief that Catholics are not Christians, and actually calls those who believe that they are "bad apologists". He concludes with "Our regard, generally speaking, of the lost condition of Romanists is (contrary to their complaints) a judgment of charity, because it exhibits a concern for their never-dying souls, and should always be kept in mind in dealing with them. This regard for their lost condition is not because we bear them animosity, but because we care for their souls."

A word of advice to Turretin, if you want to "evangelize" Catholics, don't call us "Romanists". If you do, don't expect us to listen. You should add a new "landmine" that you missed, avoid name calling. It is juvenile and gets you nowhere.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Why the "Paperwork" matters.

(Originally posted at CARM)

I have seen a new slant to the postings of some here in this forum, that the actual beliefs of the RCC does not matter, but that what matters is the "fruits" of Catholics.

This, of course, is a major error in thinking. After thinking about it myself, I do see what they are trying to do.

Those people here who are attacking the church believe that Catholics only believe what they do (Assumption, PV of Mary, the Eucharist) because they are Catholic. So, their logic is that if they can convince us not to be Catholic, we will also abandon all the "unscriptural nonsense" that Catholics believe.

But here is the flaw in that argument. I do not believe in those things because I am Catholic. I am Catholic because I believe in those Dogmas. All Convincing me not to be Catholic would accomplish is either to drive me to the Orthodox faith, or away from religion all together, because if I am wrong, and you are wrong, then what is the point?

Those who would point out every error, sin, lapse in judgment, crime and questionable practice of this Bishop or that Priest or some church in the middle of nowhere are doing nothing to convince me that they are right, they are merely arguing that I am wrong. I have seen this on discussion boards before, rarely do radicals succeed in driving people away from the church and into their brand of Fundamentalism, if anything they succeed in driving people into agnosticism.

When Jesus preached to the people, he criticized the Jewish leaders for their hypocrisy and failing to practice what they preached. But never once did he claim Judaism was a false belief because of it. He said: "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger."

Notice that Christ never says that they negate Judaism, but merely that they are hypocrites. It is a good statement of what Catholics believe about our Bishops. You could paraphrase this: "The (Bishops and Priests) have seated themselves in the (chairs of the apostles);
therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger."

Now, I feel this is a little harsh as the overwhelming majority of Priests and Bishops are good men. But I am trying to illustrate why posting story after story of a bad priest or a Bishop who did not do the right thing, will not affect my faith. Jesus never instructed the Jews to abandon their faith because of their questionable leadership, nor will I abandon mine.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Crypt of Bl Emperor Charles of Austria

Blessed Emperor Charles is one of my patrons. A man of peace in a time of war he did his Christian duty as a Emperor and King, and also a great model of a husband and father.

"weisserstier" over at flickr has some great photos from Igreja de Nossa Senhora do Monte Church in Funchal Madeira. The church is the final resting place of the Emperor who died there in 1922 after being exiled to the Island by the Great Powers.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Friday, May 01, 2009

A very powerful pro-life ad.

I can see why the pro-abortion networks refused to air it. The ad destroys their arguments: