Integralism As Liberal Despair—Guest Post by Richard Greenhorn

Integralism As Liberal Despair—Guest Post by Richard Greenhorn

I point the reader to a fascinating exchange. Bishop Robert Barron had been confronted by a group of laymen pleading for some kind of leadership against the ghouls burning cities, smashing altars, and desecrating statues of our heroes. The most notable of these was St. Juniper Serra, whose work within what was to become Barron’s archdiocese of Los Angeles seemed to demand special defense.

Bishop Barron shot back. Yes, American bishops like “Dagger John” Hughes once threatened violence if Catholic worship were threatened. But that was the pre-conciliar Church. If the laity thinks that modern bishops were charged with protecting the material well-being of their flock and their temples, they are sadly mistaken. Said the bishop:

The immediate area of concern for bishops and priests is the Church, that is to say, the community of the baptized. Now the laity, by virtue of their baptism, are also priests, prophets, and kings (Lumen Gentium, 31)—but their sanctifying, teaching, and governing work is directed, not so much inwardly to the Church, but outwardly to the world. For the Vatican II fathers, the proper arena of the laity is the saeculum (the secular order), and their task is the Christification [sic?] of that realm. They are charged to take the teaching, direction, and sanctification that they have received from the priests and bishops and then go forth, equipped to transform the world and thereby find their own path to holiness.

In other words, the Second Vatican Council raised the dignity of the laity, raised it so high that the erstwhile leadership roles of the clergy are no longer necessary. The American Catholic now finds himself in the position of the peasant gloriously liberated from feudal obligations and free to pursue his own course or starve. What better proof that the Second Vatican Council was the French Revolution deified? You have been glorified ye laity—and now you’re on your own.

It is important to realize that this is the political environment the so-called integralists spring from. For all its claims to returning to tradition, to a proper allocation of power between Church and state, integralism is largely a liberal project. The integralists have done much good in resurrecting a bulk of Catholic Social Teaching, especially Thomas Crean, Alan Fimister, and much of the work at the Josias. But moral theology aside, integralism is a liberal project, one that makes sense only after the premises of liberalism have been accepted.

Take a second to reflect on the lunacy of the present state of affairs. In relative mediocrities like Amy Coney Barrett and Marco “Foam Party” Rubio, integralists are pushing for a politics and jurisprudence untethered to things like precedent and the plain meaning of words, and adopting a “common good” approach, however they choose to define that. Non-Catholics are understandably perturbed by this. A vast majority of Catholics don’t take Catholic teaching seriously. Now unelected jurists are expected to eschew what the Constitution has said for 230 years in place of what the Vatican has averred for the past five. If such slipshod reasoning is truly political Catholicism, then one must concede the Know-Nothings had a point.

But the problem with integralism is deeper than this. The problem is that, in their focus on secular government, they inadvertently concede defeat to the liberalism they claim to hate. Their obsession with the written Constitution (or more precisely, the 20th Century Court’s version of the Constitution) and their ignorance of the history and makeup of the polity and nation—that is, our actual constitution—lead to unfounded criticisms and undesirable solutions.

It is true that the clergy have no direct role to play under the Federal Constitution. But no one until the 20th Century thought the paper Constitution’s silence on this issue meant the church should have no role in statecraft. The Constitution gives no priority to clergy. But why did it need to? The clergy had the potential for power everywhere else. The Constitution prohibited a nationally established church, but direct clergy participation was allowed at least in theory until the bogus doctrine of “incorporation” in the 20th Century.

Nor was the Federal Government ever supposed to be free from all effects of the church. Tocqueville notes that the church/state separation was not because the American people wanted their politics free of faith, but because they wanted their faith free of politics. Jefferson’s “wall of separation” claptrap was in response to formal recognition within state government; but even he could not suggest that the church should be without influence in the government. The written Constitution does not mention the Deity. But the constitution (small-c) of the country always envisioned a role for the church. The fact that the church in question was not the Catholic Church is a question of conversion, not of politics.

We see, then, how the Church should interact with the government. By exercising their legitimate and God-given role of regulating the sacraments, the clergy can constrain the bounds of moral and political actions. American politics is flush with Catholics, and has been for generations. So long as these politicians wish to remain in communion with the Church, and palatable to their Catholic constituents, they must remain in good standing. They must, in other words, adhere broadly to Catholic moral teaching.

This relationship is broadly similar to the relation between Church and state during the middle ages. For although the medieval clergy had more direct power over the secular governments, its greatest authority was its immutable one, and came from the regulation of the sacraments. The sacraments tie even a lowly thing like a king to a force higher than himself; he can abjure them, but everyone in heaven and earth knows it will be better if he doesn’t. This is manifestly the Church interfering with a political issue—as she should—without having any formal role in the government. The Church by her authority amongst her subjects is able to affect the polity, yet even the most rabid Jeffersonian cannot object to the Church exercising her authority over her members.

I don’t claim that this system was ideal—nothing beneath the sun is—but it differs in kind from the Masonic bogeyman envisioned by so many modern political Catholics. A large part of this is because of the modern perversion of the American system, and that throughout the 20th Century, the actual constitution became occluded by the paper one. The Federal Constitution was not always the ideological document it is today; the First Amendment did not enshrine “free speech” and “religious liberty” as a principle, only with regards to the Federal Government, and the states could do and did what they wanted. Moreover, the totalitarian aspects of the document—the notion that all our rights flow “through” the Constitution rather than from Nature’s God—is a creation of the 20th Century Court.

There is much to be condemned in the Court’s modern Constitution, but there is nothing particularly Catholic about such condemnation; one does not need scholastic philosophy to recognize blatant tyranny. Those integralists most fervent in hacking at America from her very roots are those least able to recognize the terrible state we actually face.

Both the liberal and the integralist claim individual rights and liberty are at the heart of the liberal project. They are both wrong. The actual goal of liberal change is centralization, of putting power into fewer and fewer hands, especially those of managerial experts and the technical elite. The forces of “democratization” never arise from a love of Demos, but because the old privileges afforded to lord and bishop stand in the way of centralizing power. Liberal rights are perhaps best seen as a kind of booby prize granted by centralizing usurpers. The English Bill of Rights arose when Parliament usurped the real powers of the throne; the American Bill of Rights arose when the Federal Government threatened to strip sovereignty from the states.

The old understanding of liberty, exemplified by John C. Calhoun, understood that liberty is preserved by dividing power, not in paper rights. Justice Scalia did too; he was one of the few modern jurists who knew our liberties are better protected by the text of the Constitution than those pesky amendments. Countervailing powers are necessary in any complex civilized society if that society is to enjoy even a semblance of freedom. In a nation like ours, lacking titles and any proper aristocracy, the special benefits conferred to the states and certain electoral groups stood in for the traditional rights and privileges acknowledged by all sound statecraft. Lincoln’s War and triumph ended any real attempts at maintaining that complex constitutional system of states’ rights; unitary government under a single all-powerful state was to be the norm.

And the most stinging condemnation of the integralist is that he accepts the unitary state. He adores it, in fact, because it seems an ample means to enforce Catholic doctrine on the state. He is monomaniacal. He confuses the absolute monarchies of old with the totalitarian state of our own day. He wants to reconcile Church and state, not understanding that there has always been tension between church and state, and given our fallen nature, there always should be. The secular ruler is tasked with the protection and cultivation of property; the ecclesial ruler is tasked with making sure property is not everything. One can give the secular ruler control over religion, but this must disintegrate into totalitarianism. A state without the countervailing power called a Church cannot be free.

The integralist’s goal is to reinvigorate the political; the ecclesiastical he does not concern himself with. He wants the state Catholic; he is rather indifferent as to whether the Church is. The bishops appear as moral guides, but those moral guides are not expected to act within the functions of their office. Non-Catholic politicians are expected to adhere to Catholic teaching, but it isn’t clear that Catholic bishops adhere to Catholic teaching. It is a fundamentally liberal notion of statecraft—simply pasting a particular ideology on top of the existing social order and hoping for success.

And this is the crux of the matter: The true goal of an interested Catholic should not be establishing a formally Catholic state; it is no less impossible than converting the nation. The difference is that the latter goal is noble and the former is merely self-aggrandizing. One might complain about the very notion of popular sovereignty, but the fact is that if America could be converted, it would be ruled by a Catholic sovereign. Many complain about America’s secular Constitution when what they should complain about is her secularized people. Were the American people Catholic, the nation would be.

But conversion would require a Church willing to convert men. And the institutional Church has no interest in doing this, or any of its other functions. The bishops have absconded from their duties under the American constitution, and their proper roles anywhere on earth. The Church does not want to be a countervailing power. Integralism would be irrelevant if the clergy would do their jobs. This was all the result of the Second Vatican Council. The Council liberated the laity from overbearing bishops. Catholics are in the position now of the freed peasants begging their former lords for a pittance. Bishop Robert Barron could chastise the laity for “putting way too much onus on the clergy and not nearly enough on themselves.” This is all to say: The bishops will keep taking your money, your saints and altars will continue to burn, and Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi will keep receiving communion.

For all talk of the “common good” and return to tradition, integralism is a politics of despair. It relies on usurpation, not conversion. But conversion is what was, is, and every shall be necessary for any aspiring Christian polity. And the failure of conversion lies almost solely with the institutional Church. The Catholic Church has a place in the American polity, a place she fought for through brave and loyal Americans. The Church doesn’t need a novel role in US politics; it needs to reclaim her former role not of running the state, but of providing a countervailing institution to moderate and guide it.

And yet we are only a few months distant from nearly every US bishop blindly acquiescing to shuttering their churches based on Coronadoom. The bishops have appointed themselves the long role of ministering the sacraments, but they found in their self-imposed emasculation they could not even do this. They have manifestly failed in the ecclesiastical sphere, but they have failed in the politic sphere as well. The most bloodthirsty Know-Nothing could not have imposed a harsher sentence than the American Church imposed on herself. How appropriate, then, that the liberties of every American are disappearing as quickly as Catholics in the pews.

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  1. Michael Dowd

    “How appropriate, then, that the liberties of every American are disappearing as quickly as Catholics in the pews.” Yes, the very purpose of Vatican II, i.e., preparation of the Catholic Church by Communist sympathizers for a Communist take-over. They did their job all too well.

  2. L Ron Hubbard alias John B()

    Father/Bishop Robert Barron : The immediate area of concern for bishops and priests is the Church, that is to say, the community of the baptized. Now the laity, by virtue of their baptism, are also priests, prophets, and kings (Lumen Gentium, 31)—but their sanctifying, teaching, and governing work is directed, not so much inwardly to the Church, but outwardly to the world. For the Vatican II fathers, the proper arena of the laity is the saeculum (the secular order), and their task is the Christification [sic?] of that realm. They are charged to take the teaching, direction, and sanctification that they have received from the priests and bishops and then go forth, equipped to transform the world and thereby find their own path to holiness.

    Martin Luther couldn’t have said it better himself – only he wanted his flock to skip the middle men

  3. Simon Platt

    Greenhorn mentions two integralists (as I suppose them to be) by name: Fr Crean and Alan Fimister (I’m thinking of buying their recent book, which sounds interesting). Each is an Englishman. Can it really be true that there are two Englishmen obsessed with written constitutions? I’ve never met one.

    I appreciate that he might have had others in mind, but, still!

  4. Amateur Brain Surgeon

    Dear Mr. Briggs. The excellent Father Joseph Clifford Fenton, long time editor of The American Ecclesiastical Review, was a peritus at the second vatican council and he described traditionalist as integralists – see Prof Roberto deMattei’s study of the second vatican council, “The Second Vatican Council – An Unwritten Story

    The idea the Church should be separated from the State is a heresy, directly contrary to Catholic Doctrine – see “John Courtney Murray, Time/Life and the American Proposition: How the CIA’s Doctrinal Warfare Program Changed the Catholic Church.”

    The Catholic Amintore Fanfani summarises The Capitalist Spirit and Religious Liberty: Freedom is the principle of Liberalism. Liberalism and The Enlightenment philosophy in general served to create good conditions for the growth of the capitalist spirit. These philosophies provided justification to allow the private monied interests to pursue their objectives, while lessening the interference from the government. The view of society and human nature that underlay these philosophies permitted the atomization of society. This in turn gave the monied interests greater power over their fellow citizens, and allowed these interests to control the levers of government.

    The wealthy and powerful deists and calvinists who created America wanted the government to act as a referee between those powerful rich men and their desire to acquire wealth and power and they understood that religion was too puissant a force for them to deal with and so they set the true religion on the same plane as the false religions and so, as Pope Leo XII taught, religious liberty ends in atheism.

    The idea was that the various religions could compete amongst themselves but they had to leave the wealthy and powerful free to abuse the lower classes.

    What America is was described by Bishop Josef Fessler, secretary general of Vatican One, Heathen Caesearism.

    All one has to do is look objectively as the positive law of these Unites States which succors the Four Sins Crying to Heaven for Vengeance.

    America will never accept that Jesus is King and so it will not offer public worship of Him – Catholic Doctrine – and it will continue to legislate contrary to His commands.

    America is over and one of the reasons it is over his AmBishops, in 1948, publicly accepted the heresy of Religious Liberty and John F Kennedy even cited their statement when he was running for POTUS and promising protestants he would not let Faith prevent him from doing the will of the people – which surpasses the will of God.

    Even Scalia was jake with abortion if the citizens voted for it.

    In 11948, Rev Gustave Weigel, SJ, was the first Catholic Theologian who described how a Catholic politician had to live a “double life” because while he could be a Catholic privately, positive law meant he had to adhere to the law which framed for practical purposes etc etc.

    Mario Cuomo learnt his lessons well.

  5. James

    It is beginning to seem that there are 2 camps: There are Vatican II Catholics, and then there are Mystical Body of Christ Catholics.

  6. JohnK

    I applaud Mr. Greenhorn for endeavoring to make points, not score points, in his guest post. For the interested, a review of Fr. Crean’s and Dr. Fimister’s recent book on Integralism is available at this link.

    I would differ, however, from Mr. Greenhorn’s evaluation of the theology behind integralism, and thus I would directly criticize Fr. Crean and Dr. Fimister: their theology, while not exactly puerile, is at best mediocre; it is fundamentally superficial when it is not simply tired.

    In particular, I single out their almost studied a-sacramentalism, which has been a bug, not a feature, of Catholic theology for centuries. By contrast Mr. Greenhorn understands, and professes, that the sacraments are the linchpin, not merely of “the Church,” but of the universe, and that the authority of the bishops — an authority completely distinct from power: “two there are,” as Pope Gelasius famously defined — not only flows solely from the sacraments, but is only real if and only if the sacraments are real.

    Catholic bishops’ abdication of the responsibilities only they of all men can and must shoulder in history, is hardly a novelty; Mr. Greenhorn’s witness that our bishops with rare exception have used pretty words to justify hanging us out to dry is more than just. I would only add: so what else is new?

    Finally, I applaud Mr. Greenhorn for showing, in just a few words, how “easy” and “modern” Integralism proves itself to be when we see it try to apply itself in the practical realm. As I said above, I would merely add “mediocre” to his list.

  7. Amateur Brain Surgeon

    Dear Mr. Briggs. The first response by ABS was addressed to the wrong gentleman. It is Mr. Greenhorn who wrote this interesting article.

    As to integralism, this recent piece by Mr. Coulombe may be helpful.

    As to America specifically, its Constitution is bogus in that it claims its authority is anchored in the people/derived from the people but all authority comes from God (Romans 13:1) but this truth was guillotined during various European revolutions which resulted in America’s bogus fatuous, Constitution, which was erected on the quizzical quicksand concept that America’s government was created by the people and would be its servant.


    What complete and unadulterated nonsense.

    How’s your servant been treating you lately? Can you fire it and hire another servant?

    Are states bound by moral law?

    Yes, according to Pope Leo XIII, in Libertas There are others, somewhat more moderate though not more consistent, who affirm that the morality of individuals is to be guided by the divine law, but not the morality of the State, so that in public affairs the commands of God may be passed over…But the absurdity of such a position is manifest (#18)

    America’s government’s positive law succors Sodomy, Divorce, Usury, Willful murder – abortion, drones, assassinations unjust wars etc – Mass Immigration, which depresses the wages of the average Joe, and economic conditions which force Mother and Father to compete in the job market which keeps wages suppressed/eliminates any idea of a living wage etc etc.

    It is no accident that the average CEO in America earns 380 times what the average Joe earns. Increasing the wealth and power of the wealthy and powerful was the idea from the get go .

    Manchester Liberalism in all of its gory glory is America

  8. Benjamin Turner

    With respect, Mr. Greenhorn seems to understand integralism as the opposite of what it is. Though it’s hard to say for sure, since he doesn’t define it, and doesn’t cite any integralists on any point. He appears to think of the integralist ideal as something like a caliphate, in which the secular and religious spheres are ruled from the same seat: “And the most stinging condemnation of the integralist is that he accepts the unitary state.” This is explicitly contrary to any integralism I’ve ever heard described as such. For example, Fr. Waldstein’s statement at the front page of the Josias website, “Integralism in Three Sentences,” has as its second sentence:
    “Since, however, man has both a temporal and an eternal end, integralism holds that there are two powers that rule him: a temporal power and a spiritual power.”
    The words “Duo Sunt” come up in practically every discussion of the integralist project; a quotation-marked search for the words at the Josias comes up with seven articles on that site alone.

    And then there’s the following from Mr. Greenhorn:
    “The bishops appear as moral guides, but those moral guides are not expected to act within the functions of their office. Non-Catholic politicians are expected to adhere to Catholic teaching, but it isn’t clear that Catholic bishops adhere to Catholic teaching.”
    Really? Would you please cite someone who calls himself an integralist and approves of, say, Cardinal Wuerl? If you’re going to make such a damning accusation, you had better come with text. As presented, without even the name of an accused, this looks like a gratuitous insult.

    I suspect that a more careful examination of the integralists would reveal much more common ground than you thought.

  9. Mike

    Thank you, ABS. It had to be said. God bless.

  10. Dean Ericson

    Greenhorn? Well dad-gum it all what the devil does a greenhorn know about stuff here at Briggs? I mean, he’s fresh off the boat, just fell off the turnip wagon, a greenhorn, a newbie, and anyway if he would just join us Lutherans he could be his own Pope, problem solved, and furthermore… [SPLAT!]

    [Briggs just crushed Ericson like a bedbug.]

  11. Nate

    I really don’t see going back to the Church of the Grand Inquisitor as a better solution.

  12. C-Marie

    “Lincoln’s War and triumph ended any real attempts at maintaining that complex constitutional system of states’ rights; unitary government under a single all-powerful state was to be the norm.”

    And I am glad for God’s triumph through President Lincoln. I only wish that it had been carried out completely in loving our neighbors, the former slaves, as ourselves. If people look to God to form their government, it can be successful. Leave God out, it will always end up in a mess.

    Bishops, including Bishop Barron, have an obligation to belong to a party which fully supports the fullness of life for the boys and girls in their mother’s womb and the just born, from abortion. No issue is more important. God will no longer stand for the murders committed thousands of times a day in the United States alone.

    And remember, that Thomas Jefferson nearly completely, cut Jesus Christ out of the Bible, literally.

    God bless, C-Marie

  13. Amateur Brain Surgeon

    Dear Nate, If the Inquisition of Moses was good enough for the Jews back in the day then why isn’t a Catholic Inquisitor good for the Christians of today?

    Moses was the first Inquisitor – see the Old Testament

  14. Anonymous

    Since the Church in America is almost completely collapsed, isn’t the idea of Catholics running the government an impossible fantasy, not worth debating?

    Aren’t the bishops at some point in the future going to have to get back to focusing on authentically shepherding because there won’t be any other options?

  15. Amateur Brain Surgeon

    Dear Anonymous. Not only is the Catholic Church in America desiccated and deracinated so is even the secular state and who can identify who it is who is running America into the ground – surely it is not the interchangeable parts of the political machine one sees being blowed-up everywhere.

    Corrupt politicians are a dime a dozen and as Fred Blassie said, I’m looking for the guy who’s supplying the dimes.

    The Traditional Orders are where America’s future Pelayos and El Cids are being formed but until such time as that leaven effects the Body of Christ and the Body Politic, ABS is left avoiding the Cities and praying for an American Monarch to emerge from the ruins of this latter day Rome.

  16. Joy

    “If the Inquisition of Moses was good enough for the Jews back in the day then why isn’t a Catholic Inquisitor good for the Christians of today?”

    Because of the New Covenant, which Jews, ironically ignore, and Christians are NOT Jewish for that very reason.
    The Pope is just a man.
    So is everybody else. Even Dean and Briggs.
    “just men” often don’t take kindly to authority over themselves. It’s the pope in them.

  17. Amateur Brain Surgeon

    Matt 16: And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. [18] And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19] And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. [20] Then he commanded his disciples, that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.


    Yes, you think a Pope is just a man but Jesus doesn’t.

    That obvious truth aside, what the exchange about was Inquisitors and being one is not a duty of a Pope.

    Still not too bad for you…it did have to do with men.

  18. Joy

    The (authority )of the Pope is picked and chosen by church members who are ‘bound” to what he says. They are Protestants as well, no difference there at all as far as I’m concerned.

    Jesus also said,
    “if you bide in my word you are my disciples in deed and you will know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

    How do You know what Jesus “thinks” about the pope? Yet you assert it like it’s fact.
    Are you speaking about the role of “Pope” or the man? Your response conflated the two.
    There’s a clear distinction to be made there.

    God will judge all men and the Pope is a man.

    Nor do I believe that the current Pope is under any illusions about that. He may be wrong on other matters, too, like politics and the environment. BECAUSE he is just a man and we all make mistakes.

    “still not too bad for you”?
    What do you mean?

    I didn’t refer to what the Pope’s “duty” ism but “what” he is.

    Moses…to the Jews…versus “today”. Was the point which I was addressing.

  19. Joy

    “If you Abide in my word…”

  20. C-Marie

    Some interesting information on Catholicism…..

    Jesus named Peter as the “rock”….thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church. The word “rock” was used in the Old Testament most often to refer to God. So, Jesus gives to Peter Divine Authority over the Church as His Vicar, the Divine Power which Peter needs to fulfill the mission of Pope.

    In 1869-70, Vatican Council I declared the pope infallible when he spoke ex Cathedra on matters of faith and morals.

    God bless, C-Marie

  21. Joy

    C Marie,
    I don’t know about others but I was quite well aware of the statement.
    Here’s a few more facts and thoughts about those facts:
    Peter is dead and the deed was done.
    Yet, Paul’s rules live AND differed from those of Peter…IN particular about the Jewish law. It seems some want to go back to Peter and miss out Paul?

    Paul won the argument.
    That legitimates argument within the church, too.
    I’m quoting somebody; Kieth Ward (Reverend)

    Paul was just a man, too.

    Jesus also said,
    “why do you call me good? Nobody is good but God”
    The quote from Matthew also demonstrates that the Gospels all differ in what they “say” about Jesus.
    The “messianic secret” seems to demonstrate that there are things we are NOT to know.

    Claiming that the truth is all known because God gave us the keys?
    …so what we say goes, is cherry picking for purpose of attaining power, and It ignores the WHOLE truth.

    That’s where “the one true church” talk comes from. It is born of pride.

    It’s also where Tolkien seems to have got some of his inspiration.

    Jesus also said if thy right eye offend thee pluck it out?
    So what are all the literalists going to do about that?

  22. John B()


    One True Church

    Tolkien :: One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them,
    One ring to bring them all. and in the darkness bind them.

    The Church of Power

    Tolkien :: The Ring of Power

  23. L Ron Hubbard alias John B()

    I find it curious that Matthew’s is the only Gospel that includes the words from verses 17 … : Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    I’ve heard it that when Christ said “thou art Peter”, the name “Peter” was literally “pebble” and the “ROCK” upon which Jesus would build His Church was that Jesus was the “… Christ, the Son of the living God” This “ROCK” was “revealed” to the “pebble” by Jesus’ “…Father who is in heaven.”

  24. Joy

    John B that was a red herring. It is the same one which catholics always without fail present.
    They think others think what they think they think.
    Yos was the same.
    You, in this case semmto be saying the same,
    C Marie, says the same,
    abs. anti breaking system, says the same,
    and on and on.
    Oldavid said the same,

    Yet that’s not what everybody’s arguing about!
    It’s a straw. man which seems to satisfy only the catholic ho believes the prescribed view.
    Whoever the immaginary “fred” is. Is not remotely what I’m claiming. Fred was a catholic anyway. So he’s always a catholic. Like John B.

    I don’t care what group of people were first to become Christians. I do not think it has any bearing on me, or other people who are not catholic, *roman catholic.

    Who cares whether it’s a big rock or a little one?
    It’s intended as a metaphor. Something stable, solid, reliable and strong.
    Something a builder might use for foundation?

    It says nothing about truth or one true anything.
    Nobody I know, who thinks like me objects to cathlics having their own ideas about the universe. The problem is the other way around!

  25. John B()


    I did once tell my pastor (also a former Catholic although not steeped in it as much as I was); I told him you can take the “boy” out of the Catholic Church but it’s hard to take the Catholic Church out of the “boy”.

    My first point was that the event is only expanded in Matthew’s Gospel. The rest of the Gospels leave out the “rock” business.

    Matthew also underscored that it was God not Peter, Peter was a vessel of the revelation.

    Then there was Acts where the Apostles “chose” Matthias to replace one of the Twelve; Matthias disappears from scripture whereas Paul becomes the obvious Apostle replacement. So there’s that …

    See also …
    flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven

  26. C-Marie

    I could never leave the true Catholic Church due to the reality that it is the Church that Christ set up as instructed by His Father, and within which Church, the real presence of Jesus’ Body and Blood in Holy Eucharist is offered and can be received at every Mass.
    God bless, C-Marie

  27. John B()


    I totally and completely understand. A majority of my brothers and sisters remain Catholic. I have no intention of leading them nor you astray.

    Well, except for my oldest brother who is a complete liberal and rails about the “conservative” words and policies of the leadership. But can’t convince him otherwise.

  28. C-Marie

    Thank you, John B0. Once, when He Who is the Truth is personally known, one cannot leave Him. His Love is utterly precious and true. There is nothing the world can offer, that could take His place.
    God bless, C-Marie

  29. Joy

    It isn’t about being lead astray, it’s about the false justification of persecution of Christians by other christians.
    Also, the failure of bystanders to correct other Christians for fear of being given the same treatment.
    Just about pride and cowardice. That’s about the size of it.

  30. john b()


    Trust me! I have experienced or seen persecution from both sides now.
    I have a woman at my congregation who honestly believes things about the Catholic Bible that I know are not true; I’ve tried to explain it to her, but she won’t hear it. (It’s truly like she can’t hear or understand what I’m saying and simply thinks I’m in agreeing with her.)
    Interestingly, the earliest editions of the New American Bible did do some outlandish things with the text but those were corrected with later editions. Yes! Some comments can be quite strident and frankly hurtful but I’ve never seen C-Marie in that vein.
    Yes, pride and cowardice seem to be cut from the same cloth. I’ll admit to both. But as you may remember there are times when you have to let some points of contention go.

  31. Joy

    John B,
    Said it before, I don’t doubt what you know but there’s also what I know and what others know

    You and I cannot have a frank discussion on matters sectarian.
    Perhaps on your terms only…still based only on what you know.

    That’s okay.
    It cuts both ways though

    Regarding persecution. Historically there has been much murder and bloodshed, torture and unbendable hurt. Most still want to believe it has happened in medieval times and all forgotten now.
    It is not. The Catholic Church has been at it in living memory and my own life has been spent as a result of it. So don’t presume to think the problems of others amount to little more than some odd character at a church or some old doily who thinks she is all there and half way back. Those characters are just window dressing to the gates of what looks more and more to me, like somewhere I’d never want to go again.
    I have been to catholic mass and have taken parti in holy communion. Casual as the whole thing was and far less meaningful to its members. Those were the ones in Holloway Road. It’s all about the show and who turned up.

    God is not so petty as men’s squabbles about who is the mostest and who is the firstest.
    If what I write is hurtful to your sensibilities please refrain from responding because I refuse to tend to the emotions of the crowd whilst they refuse to acknowledge the mote in their own eyes.

  32. John B()


    Did we have a disconnect somewhere? I consider myself non-denominational (non-sectarian?). My point about growing up Catholic has to do with my EXPECTATIONS of myself, NOT others. I agree that many comments are as you call them hurtful and intolerant.

    In the past, Ianto has all but stated that the Popes since Vatican II are apostates. Recent commenters have (to me) seemed to question the legitimacy of recent Popes as well. But they all deny that is what they believe (it’s clear to me that they do). My brother seems to think the leadership in his local church do not have the welfare of their flock in mind. If they can’t get that right, how do they get God or Jesus right? I too see the irony that Jesus freed people from the Pharisees and somewhere down the line, the “Pharisees” found their way back into the “Church” and ultimately ALL the churches. It’s possible that I’m the very worst Pharisee of all. I often use the “L Ron” moniker because I understand how “dangerous” this business can be in the wrong hands.

    My brother still hopes in the Church.. I do not fear for my brother, I trust God. While you may have a negative opinion of C-Marie, if she has erred in any way, it is not how she treats “the other”. If you find her condescending, I can see that, but I’ve never felt any animosity from her. Like my brother, I do not fear for her nor do I fear her. She seems a beautiful person and my trust is in God.

    I apologize to you both if I’ve said anything untoward.


    Thank you for the link, I have a Douay-Rheims at home and have used “Bible Hub” to access it on line as well.

    I’ve also looked into the Jerusalem Bible but not Knox. My goto places in assessing Bibles is how they translate or treat 2 Samuel 14:14 (2 Kings 14:14 for those Bibles without Samuel) and how they deal with Isaiah (Isaias) 38 (Hezekiah’s Illness. That is why my regard for the NAB is so low.

    Good night and may God bless – Red Skeleton (Imagine hearing that once a week on broadcast television)

  33. C-Marie

    Hi John B(), All is well here!

    Re: freeing His Church from the Pharisees, and working their way back in … remember Paul and Peter’s warnings that those who would lead us who belong to Christ astray, were already present in the Church and would be until the end of time, plus Jesus and the tares and the wheat …

    If you like, here are the links to the scriptures in the Knox Bible, which scriptures were named by you for ones for translations and as ones to compare. If you would care to share why those??

    Knox, Douay-Rheims, King James (not the new one)(love the language) are my favorites. The only problem with the King James, which is nearly a clone of the D-R, is that it considers Mother Mary to have had children with Joseph, and yes, I am well aware of the scriptures where that could be thought.

    Joseph knows that Jesus was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit, that Jesus is literally God the Father’s Son, so, I think that knowledge takes care of the idea of any children by the two of them.

    On the other hand, I would love it if Jesus had had brothers and sisters to grow up with, and I expect that He did that very much with His cousins …. His Mom’s sister was at the foot of His Cross.

    And one scene I absolutely love is when Mother Mary and Joseph search for Jesus and finally find Him in the temple, and His Mom is sooo worried and tells Him so. She is sooo real!! I love it!!

    God bless, C-Marie

  34. John B()

    My assessment criteria actually concerns commented or footnoted Bibles
    Although I am often interested in where the text lands on 2 Kings 14:14

    As I discovered from one footnoted Bible, the Hebrew is uncertain for this passage
    and in checking a number of translation there appear to be two ways to interpret

    I can return here later to expand on all this – no time now

    God Bless

  35. Joy

    John B,
    Disconnect? Very much so.
    Glad I could be of service to you

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