Happy Easter everyone!In case, you didn't see my reply to your message, thanks for asking after me Measured. I have given a reply and explanation underneath your message- on the "Would it hurt if Labour stopped...?" post.
Happy Easter, Albert, and welcome back. Hope you enjoyed Chocolate Sunday.
Chocolate Sunday? I fear you may be reading the wrong Bible.
@Albert You gave up commenting on blogs for Lent! Is commenting on blogs a bad habit? I would have thought that it gives solace to many. For some there may only be a few weeks left for this camaraderie. We need someone to keep Patently on his philosophical toes. @patentlyThe experiments on the M25 always have the traffic nose to tail imho. Commonsense wins the day.
Is commenting on blogs a bad habit?Not at all measured! The things we give up for Lent are not bad habits (for then we would sink back into bad habits when Easter comes), rather they are good things we rightly enjoy but which are subordinate to the love of God. In this particular case I gave up blogging in order to give more time to spiritual reading. I was more successful on giving up blogging than on the spiritual reading mind you!For some there may only be a few weeks left for this camaraderie.What do you mean by that? Have I missed something? Don't tell me Patently has been exposed as an MP who is standing down at this election.
@AlbertGosh, that last link gave me a nasty shock! Your links are wicked! Patently Is lucky as he still has the comeback of Boney M to look forward to. Life will be grim whoever gets into power, but I won't constantly criticise a Tory government as they must do what they have to do. If Labour gets in, emigration must be on the cards, to return 5 years later richer. What will Parently blog about?
Not a Freudian slip above. Well, it might be. It is difficult to scroll up & down on my phone.
Let's make one thing utterly clear right now. I am not, and have never been, and (what's more) never will have been in the position of, and I say this completely clearly, speaking for myself and all my colleagues, and, I have to say, it's about time we were frank about this, no, no, let me finish, it's an important point, I, and John Prescott, are separate and different people, that is to say, I am not him, and he is not me, and neither of us are the other one, and nor have we ever will be.
@Albert I think you touched a raw nerve!@patently ".....and nor have we ever will be." Huh?
I think you touched a raw nerve!You're telling me. This is what happened when I bumped into Patently yesteday.
@AlbertWell, whatever you did in retaliation, it worked. You've scared him off!
In his dreams....
I would just like it to be absolutely clear: I do not dream about Patently. Not in his Patently form or any of his other avatars real or imagined .
@AlbertROFL!He wasn't confusing me with you, was he? That is not like the Patently I know. Doesn't the male form come in all shapes and sizes? The world is truly wonderful to prevent us from becoming bored.
Doesn't the male form come in all shapes and sizes? The world is truly wonderful to prevent us from becoming bored.It would certainly appear that God has a sense of humour! :-)O all ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord : praise him, and magnify him for ever.
@Albert Be careful of the use of the word 'magnify'; He might get a big head.* See I was blessed with a sense of humour too; He is indeed very generous! Now do you think P has still lost his sense of humour? ;-)*He won't, as He is The Lord. I never did quite get this justification as it seems a bit of cop out. Now, who said never judge by appearances? I think this is true as beauty is more than skin deep in the eye of the beholder. *combining proverbs*
He might get a big head... *He won't, as He is The Lord. I never did quite get this justification.Well, it's quite simple M, being God he a) doesn't have a head and b) is already infinite. As such, it is not possible to magnify him so he gets a big head.
Ah, didn't think of that. *humbled*Maybe I mixed up the Father with the Son.
Maybe I mixed up the Father with the Son.Or perhaps the Son in his divinity as opposed to the Son in his humanity. But the passage quoted definitely refers to God in his divinity, not his humanity.
Careful, Albert. Any more talk like that and you'll have to open a B&B.
As I have small children I wouldn't open a B&B under the present rules. If we ended up having two men sleeping in the same room, I don't think I would be able to explain it:Master A: "Why are two men sleeping in the same room?"Me: "Because homosexual relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships"Master A: "'Equally' what?"Does anyone have an intelligible answer to that question?
@Albert "'equally'... It is all about having the right people in high places and being vocal about it. Amazing what can be achieved. Now I could have argued that if The Lord is infinite, then he cannot be magnified, but that would depend on being infinite in all dimensions and neither of us have proof of that. I was therefore kind not to follow this thread.Now, personification; there lies another discussion. Perhaps Jesus meant he was a son of God in that he believed himself to be perfect, not because he meant he was, but I think you may disagree. I cannot understand how so many eminent scientists, like Jocelyn Bell on television this week, are believers. Hey ho. Each to their own.@patently Where have you been? Not on the campaign trail for lost causes I hope.
If He is infinite, how do we fit in?
Maybe we are inside him. Maybe he is 'space'. Maybe Albert's definition of infinite is different to mine or yours. At least Albert cannot say He is a concept because he is real (skip the 'living' part). Puzzling. So are you back from peddling or pedalling? ;-)
If He is infinite, how do we fit in?Interesting question. Russian Orthodox theologian Sergii Bulgakov suggested God limited himself in creation in order to make space for creation. That's obviously mad, since God is unchangeable.The simple answer is that your question represents a category mistake, since God and creation are not on the same ontological level, and therefore cannot be "competing" over the same ontological "space". Put the matter another way, God is not infinite in any quantitative way. Click here and here for St Thomas Aquinas on the question.(You did ask, Patently .)@ measuredNow I could have argued that if The Lord is infinite, then he cannot be magnifiedQuite. But then the language we use for God doesn't make sense if we understand the language to apply as we apply it to things God has created. I notice that the Latin reads: BENEDICITE, omnia opera Domini, Domino; laudate et superexaltate eum in saecula.Obviously we cannot "superexaltate" God either, since he is by necessity above all things. However, we can exalt God above other things in our affections, thoughts priorities etc. I assume that's the kind of meaning.that would depend on being infinite in all dimensions and neither of us have proof of that.God is not infinite in any dimension. Perhaps Jesus meant he was a son of God in that he believed himself to be perfect, not because he meant he wasJesus meant he was the Son of God in this sense: he is begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father. But that this Son had become human by assumption of the Manhood into God. I cannot understand how so many eminent scientists, like Jocelyn Bell on television this week, are believers.What's it got to do with science?A happy Second Sunday of Easter - Gospel tomorrow: Doubting Thomas.
A nice picture of St Thomas being convinced.
@Albert There is an answer for everything. "by assumption of the Manhood into God." I don't know the in's & out's of this but it seems a convenient assumption. I sadly still remain unconvinced, and suspect that because I feel lonely inside, I feel the attraction of faith. I wonder if Patently will satisfied with this answer or claim misrep.
There is an answer for everything.Not in theology. Many questions are answered "God", but if we ask what God is, we have to reply "We don't know." Of course, there is an answer to the question "What is God?" it's just that we don't know what it is. Only God knows."by assumption of the Manhood into God." I don't know the in's & out's of this but it seems a convenient assumption.I was being a bit naughty in my last post: theology has its own language which sounds particularly mysterious when used without explanation.The incarnation means God becomes human. God becomes human to reconcile humanity with himself. Therefore, Jesus must be both God and Man. What is meant by saying Jesus is both God and Man?God has become human, but it cannot be that God has changed himself into a human being - for if that happened he would have ceased to be God, and would not in fact be both God and man. Likewise, it cannot be that a man has been changed into God for then he would have ceased to be man and would not be both God and man.Therefore, we are left saying that in the incarnation God and humanity are simultaneously united in a single person ("heaven is wedded to earth" as the liturgy puts it). So the person of the Son of God has two natures: his divine nature he received from God the Father before all time, and his human nature he received (assumed) from the Virgin Mary at the time of his conception.I sadly still remain unconvinced, and suspect that because I feel lonely inside, I feel the attraction of faith.I'm sorry you feel that way. I believe that we are made for union with God: "O God you have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you" (St Augstine). Consequently, the human drive for God is analogous to (though deeper than) our attraction towards human relationships. It stands to reason therefore that you should feel that way.I think there are very good reasons for believing that there is a God and that Jesus is his Son. But faith is something slightly different. It's not about coming to a conclusion, it's more like the way a woman comes to an awareness that her husband loves her and that she loves her husband. It's a kind of knowledge, but a sort of relational knowledge, not the kind of thing you can defend purely by argument.
"Only God knows." I must be content with that. Perhaps God will come looking for me one day if He is there for me. Thank you for such wise counsel. I hope all is going smoothly for you in your work. I advise everyone to be careful of the use of the word 'all' from now on. I hope the threat of the arrest of the Pope does not deter the Holy Father. Think of the international uproar that would cause. It may make this election look trivial in comparison. Thanks, @Albert. Eloquent as always.
Thanks Measured, I appreciate your comments. It's a sad time in many ways. Everyone is clearly horrified and rightly so, by the abuse. Catholics realise that there is a lot of misreporting and unfairness in all this. I read an American study which reckoned that 8% of American men have had sex with minors. Even in the worst scandals, once all the papers have been handed over to the police it turns out that the proportion of priests involved has never been as high as that.In my life, I have known of two cases of people convicted of sex offences. Neither was a priest. In contrast, if I want to find a homeless person, I know where to look - the local Catholic presbytery, where they get food, drink, sometimes shelter and always friendship. Perhaps homeless people above all know who the people are in their communities who are good and kind. They know how unfair this is to Catholic priests.As for the arrest of the Pope, I almost wish he would be arrested. The evidence against him is non-existent - one of the two cases doesn't concern him at all (except that the matter was dealt with by his department). In neither case were children put at risk by action by the Vatican, and under the circumstances I'm not sure that the decisions taken were wrong.There's no chance a court would act on that kind of evidence, and the fact that those are the best cases against the the poor man tells its own story. It's clear that Dawkins and Hitchens are just using child-abuse victims to further their own ideology. In so doing, they are pointing the finger away from where children are most at risk (in the family) to where there is very little risk. All Catholic cases in England and Wales were handed over to the police years ago for the last 40 years. They show that the proportion of priests accused in that time is 0.4% - too many of course, but nothing like the 8% threat of society as a whole.For Dawkins and Hitchens unjustly to point the finger at the Pope and distract people from where children are really at risk, in order to advance an ideology is sick. It's not really terribly different from bishops who put children at risk in order to protect the Church.
Perhaps God will come looking for me one day if He is there for me.God is already looking for you measured, you wouldn't be seeking him, if he wasn't already drawing you to himself. See here. Here Jesus depicts himself as a shepherd and here as woman, searching for what is lost.
But is it clever marketing? Time will tell.
But is it clever marketing?Dawkins and Hitchens you mean? It could back-fire on them, but probably won't, because the media are currently too blind to see that, given the two cases they've picked, they are effectively calling for the Pope to arrested for not covering up a crime he didn't commit. What has happened in the Church is obviously a disgrace and it is right that offenders and culpable bishops be held to account - the media have a proper role in that. But if anyone needed evidence the media frenzy is being fuelled by anti-Catholicism, they now have it.
No, that was not what I meant. I was referring to the bigger picture!As far as paedophilia is concerned, the Catholic Church still fails to grasp the seriousness of these crimes. It was widespread, Albert, just to cite the cases in Germany and the US as examples. This is also demonstrated by the amount the Catholic Church has already paid out in damages. The Holy Father's letter in Ireland was read out by someone who had covered it up. I saw it with my own eyes on holiday in Papua New Guinea and I wish I had intervened. What a complete and utter betrayal of trust. It is more than a disgrace. The Church should recognise that priests should be allowed to marry and have sex. There is still further to go on this.
No, that was not what I meant.Sorry, I had misunderstood. I think the Church does realise the terror of what has happened. The Pope's letter to the Irish Church for instance, is unprecidented in many ways. In 2001, thanks to the work of Cardinal Ratzinger, a department in the Vatican was finally given responsibility for prosecuting offending clergy. Cardinal Ratzinger has been so aggressive in prosecuting such clergy that he has faced opposition from those who felt his fast- tracking of "defrocking" offending priests, violated due process. There's a whole other side to this story than we hear about in the papers.(Incidentally, only a small amount of the abuse is actual paedophilia, most of it is men having sex with adolescent boys - 80-90% of cases. This doesn't make it any more acceptable, but it does make a difference in how such priests should be treated.) If anything to describe the abuse as "widespread" is an understatement, as you say, it is more than a disgrace (I find it hard to find the right words to describe it). However, the reason the abuse was/is widespread in the Church is because it is widespread in society, and the Church is made up of the same humanity as society.Matters have been worse by the fact that society has not really acknowledged this problem. Indeed, it might be that the efforts to make it seem that the Catholic Church has a particular problem with abuse is another way for society not to face its own problem. One wonders how many other institutions covered it up. Given how widespread this problem turns out to be, it would seem the answer is many. We frequently hear today of abusers who abused (or even murdered) in UK children's homes in the 1970s - all of those institutions were secular. In a Catholic country like Austria they have found 527 cases of abuse in institutions. 510 of these were in non-Church institutions.I saw it with my own eyes on holiday in Papua New Guinea and I wish I had intervened.I think many people will share that feeling - including some of the bishops, who in good faith acted inappropriately (of course, not all bishops did so act). Ann Widdecombe said on the radio the other day that when she trained for the Samaritans in the 70s they were not told to violate the principle of client confidentiality in cases of child sex abuse - unthinkable today. Without a good deal of painful experience, it is very hard to know how to respond for the best. The Church should recognise that priests should be allowed to marry and have sex.There is perhaps a problem that a celibate priesthood can attract men who are having difficulties integrating their sexuality, or who quite simply think the priesthood would be a good context in which to abuse.However, there is no evidence that celibacy causes sex abuse. Celibate Catholic clergy do not offend at higher rates than married clergy. Indeed, married men offend in this way at much higher rates than celibate clergy. But however one tries to understand all this, there is no sense in pointing the finger at the Pope if the evidence against him is as weak as it is. All that does is let the guilty men have an easier time of it.Please don't misunderstand me in all this. I am not trying to pretend that there isn't a Catholic problem, or that the problem is someone else's fault. I am shocked, ashamed and angered at what has happened and been allowed to go on. However, there is a bigger picture, and the bigger picture is that this is a much more ubiquitous problem than the present pointing the finger at the Catholic Church would suggest.
The opportunity for abuse is not afforded to most people and certainly not on the serial basis some priests attained. Furthermore, people are aggrieved that the betrayal of trust was aggravated by people continually colluding to cover it up this horrendous crime. It is a grave situation for the Catholic Church which will take a generation to repair and could (although I doubt) bankrupt it.On a friendlier note, do tell me what you do and how it is you are allowed to have children! I never know if you are young or old. As for Patently, I think we should congratulate ourselves for scaring him away from his blog. I hope he hasn't fallen down a cattlegrid.
The opportunity for abuse is not afforded to most people and certainly not on the serial basis some priests attained.Most abuse takes place in the home. This is part of the tragedy of the present situation, it is distracting us from getting a better understanding of where children are most at risk. In any case, the evidence is that priests do not abuse more than those engaged in similar professions which afford access to children (teachers etc.). Most of the abuse (and mishandling) took place decades ago - but we're still getting the blame for it. Furthermore, people are aggrieved that the betrayal of trust was aggravated by people continually colluding to cover it up this horrendous crime.Spot on, that's how I feel about it. I'm more angry about the bishops than the abusing priests. At any one time, there are between 400 000 and 500 000 ordained Catholic clergy in the world. Multiply that by several decades, and you realise that even if the proportion of abuser clergy is much smaller than that of the population as a whole, you would still get a pretty large scandal.What's less understandable is how bishops could think putting such priests into another parish is the right thing. It clearly violates explicit Church teaching, and, as the Murphy report into Dublin made clear, also violates Church law. Had the latter been followed Murphy concluded the problem would have been properly contained. This of course, is why it makes no sense to claim a centrally orchestrated plot by the Vatican. The bishops weren't obeying the rules anyway.The one thing I would say though is that not every claimed case of a cover up is such a case. A bishop may operate with the best information and advice available to him at the time. He quite properly does so confidentially. But if his good faith response turns out to be inadequate they will call it a cover-up.It is a grave situation for the Catholic ChurchUndoubtedly. As for how long it will take to repair, things could be speeded up a bit if other institutions did what the Catholic Church in England and Wales has been doing for years: full public disclosure of their abuse records. Then we would see if the Catholic Church really was worse in its handling of this, or if it was simply following what people in general thought was best at the time. Unfortunately, no other institution seems to have the courage to do this. I wonder why this is: it is noteworthy that although there has been much comment on the crisis, very little is coming from other institutions. I also note a 1994 report from the US stating that in New York only 1% of abusing teachers had lost their licence to teach. None had been reported to the police, but a sizeable proportion had been passed onto new schools with positive recommendations.On a friendlier note, do tell me what you do and how it is you are allowed to have children! I never know if you are young or old.Perhaps it's because I am not a Catholic priest (don't be fooled by the Fr Ted picture - I'm not a deceased Irish comedian either). For the record I am in my mid 30s. As for Patently...I hope he hasn't fallen down a cattlegrid.Despite the superficial similarities, Patently isn't in this picture.
Never underestimate cows! (I am working today so apologies for my brief response.)
As for Patently...I hope he hasn't fallen down a cattlegrid.Still here ... I just have this "job" thing that keeps distracts me from enjoying myself.