Question: If Christians want to convince us of their great beliefs, shouldn’t they make an effort to come across as more intelligent? They often come across as irrational, prejudiced and a bit wacky.

Question: If Christians want to convince us of their great beliefs, shouldn’t they make an effort to come across as more intelligent? They often come across as irrational, prejudiced and a bit wacky.

Answer: You are very observant.

Authentic Christianity, along with all its doctrines and dogmas, is laid out much like a computer algorithm: If it isn’t true and it isn’t logical/rational, then it doesn’t work and it should be rejected, since anything that doesn’t meet the standard of divine truth is essentially, good for nothing.

The Catholic Church used to excel in teaching and preaching only superb, rational and scholarly theology, but since it got “reformed” some fifty years ago, Catholic leadership seems to think that type of thing is no longer necessary, so they have opted instead to promote the kind of weak, superficial, irrational, politically correct drivel that had previously, been the hallmark of the followers of Martin Luther.

It’s still possible to discover and learn authentic Christianity and it’s still possible to learn to practice it and clearly explain it, but that evidently, requires more time and effort than many are willing to invest.

ASK A QUESTION OF YOUR OWN

Rabbi Skorka: “We need a theological explanation of what a Jew is to a Catholic, and what a Catholic is to a Jew.”

Christ on the Cross by Diego Velazquez, 1632

Cardinal Koch made much the same point at the press conference.

“The next step has to be a deepening of our theology,” Koch said. “We need a Christian theology of Judaism and a Jewish theology of Christianity.”

“I’m convinced Pope Francis wants to go in that direction,” Koch said.

At least vis-à-vis Judaism…

Link

Editor’s note: OK, let’s give this a try:

Catholics first –

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Now, the Jews –

(There is no authoritative Jewish “Creed”)

Some of us believe in one G-d,
who is reputed to be the maker of heaven and earth.
But even if that’s true, we’re certain
he has nothing at all to do
with that great blasphemer, Jesus of Nazareth,
who was never mentioned in the scriptures
and who was rightly put to death for his crimes.
Nor has G-d anything to do with the mother of Jesus,
the woman known as Mary,
who was secretly impregnated by a Roman soldier.

We believe that Jesus of Nazareth
was guilty of blasphemy and sedition,
and that he was rightly put to death,
according to both Jewish and Roman law.

We believe that the dead body of Jesus of Nazareth
was stolen by his followers, who falsely claimed
that he had risen again from the dead
and who subsequently founded a heretical
new religion, in his memory.

According to the Talmud,
our most sacred book of Rabbinical commentary,
that same Jesus is now in Hell,
suffering a most humiliating eternal punishment.
He won’t be coming back. Now, or ever!

We’re not sure whether there will be
a resurrection of the dead or not,
but if there is a world to come,
we remain G-d’s Chosen People. Amen.

As you can see, there is much common ground on which
to build the new, joint Catholic – Jewish theology!

Take the quiz: How much do you know about the Catholic Church?

vatican_view

Can you tell your aspergillum from your alb? Your cassock from your chasuble? Take our quiz on all things Roman Catholic to test your knowledge of one of the world’s oldest, largest, and most powerful institutions.

Take the quiz

Editor’s note: This quiz will probably pose a bit of a challenge, for most Catholics.

Megan Hodder was a young, avid reader of the New Atheists, but her life changed when she read the work of their Catholic foes

I looked for absurdities and inconsistencies in the Catholic faith that would derail my thoughts from the unnerving conclusion I was heading towards, but the infuriating thing about Catholicism is its coherency: once you accept the basic conceptual structure, things fall into place with terrifying speed.

“The Christian mysteries are an indivisible whole,” wrote Edith Stein in The Science of the Cross: “If we become immersed in one, we are led to all the others.”

The beauty and authenticity of even the most ostensibly difficult parts of Catholicism, such as the sexual ethics, became clear once they were viewed not as a decontextualised list of prohibitions, but as essential components in the intricate body of the Church’s teaching.

Read more

A Saint defines what it means to be a true Catholic

St Vincent of Lerins

“..he is the true and genuine Catholic who loves the truth of God, who loves the Church, who loves the Body of Christ, who esteems divine religion and the Catholic Faith above every thing, above the authority, above the regard, above the genius, above the eloquence, above the philosophy, of every man whatsoever; who set light by all of these, and continuing steadfast and established in the faith, resolves that he will believe that, and that only, which he is sure the Catholic Church has held universally and from ancient time;

but that whatsoever new and unheard-of doctrine he shall find to have been furtively introduced by some one or another, besides that of all, or contrary to that of all the saints, this, he will understand, does not pertain to religion, but is permitted as a trial, being instructed especially by the words of the blessed Apostle Paul, who writes thus in his first Epistle to the Corinthians,

‘There must needs be heresies, that they who are approved may be made manifest among you:’ as though he should say, This is the reason why the authors of Heresies are not forthwith rooted up by God, namely, that they who are approved may be made manifest; that is, that it maybe apparent of each individual, how tenacious and faithful and steadfast he is in his love of the Catholic faith”

Link

More from St. Vincent of Lerins

12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit, in the Catholic Tradition

hspiritenhbig

…altogether we have 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit in Catholic Tradition. As we can see many  of them speak to zeal, while others in a way that seeks to set forth a virtue rooted in moderateness.

One of the great gifts the Spirit seeks to give us is not a rejection of passion or other human gifts, but a moderation and proper appropriation of them. For God the Holy Spirit has given all the gifts of the World, including beauty, and human passions for a reason and for a good end. But the Fruits of the Spirit are gifts to both to inspire zeal and to regulate and appreciate what God has given for a reason and a purpose. By these gifts we steer a middle ground between rejection and indulgence, excess and defect, enjoyment and hedonism. Modus omnibus in rebus (All things in moderation (including moderation)). The Sequence Hymn for Pentecost says of the Holy Spirit:

Flecte quod est rigidum (Bend what is rigid),
fove quod est frigidum (warm what is cold),
rege quod est devium. (rule what deviates).

And thus we see both zeal and moderation in these gifts and in all things a ruling over anything that deviates. Come Holy Holy Spirit, rule our hearts and inflame them with your love.

See all 12

The theological art and science of Catholic apologetics

apologetics