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Catholics and the Bible: Is the Bible the Only Source of Christian Beliefs? Comments

Over the last 25 years I've had more debates than I can count with Christians of various denominations. These conversations varied as widely as the perspectives of the different people I debated, but nearly every one eventually included the question: "Where is that in the Bible?" Why "sola scriptura" falls short and misses the mark. Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 67 Comments

  1. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago


    Sincerely, why do you think God allowed the Friar to die during the Inquisition and why did He allow Joan of Arc to be burned at the stake?

    Do you think that the mindset of the times was a good reason to bring a greater good out of such evil?

    I think so. Were more enlightened now regarding many things and I dont mean this at the price of believing less in Jesus Christ. I think its all part of our evolution process (For lack of a better word and the best explaination about Salvation History I can come up with.) in Salvation History.

  2. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago

    I asked you a question MikeFP whether you have a problem with the Catholic Church for a reason? I did not do so mean heartedly because today many forces have a problem with the Catholic Church that is all. I am not driven to fear by asking questions.

    There is nothing wrong with dallying with reason. I just asked you what your point is and you have answered it clearly. I still think I have given a poetic point to your metaphor "broken Rose" though.

    If your talking about the dark times that have happened in the past with the church that is history in the past. Considering the mindset of the times and I make no excuse for the past, Im not surprised it happened. People were not as educated as they are today.

    Now we have no excuse and we must find out more about our faith and the only way to do so is to study what is taught in the church---past and present information concerning what is taught by the Magisterium. That is all I am about here.

    Yes, our Lord teaches love and that is what we should show here if we know something of our faith. I have been giving you information about the Catholic Faith nothing more.

    Holy Father has asked us to use faith and reason and that is what I look for in my journey. Nothing more.

  3. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago


    Yes the Lord taught love and Im hoping to learn and graduate in this field someday because Im a work in progress when it comes to Catholicism. I needed to know what you mean and I didnt understand it but I do now.

    No I do not want to teach fear. I hope I have some confidence and hope to keep on using it.

    We engage in Catholicism here and if it was done badly MikeFP again I apologize.

    I am trying to understand what she has taught in the past what she is teaching in the future. That is all. She is trying to keep this teaching on foot with the modern times when it comes to the Natural Law.

    Check out sights like Priests for Life etc. It looks like the church is keeping up with the times and teaching the truths. She studies the issues also and confines herself with the ethics as well regarding some of the controversies today such as abortion etc.

    We didnt have invitro fertilization and other modern things back then but Jesus Christ didnt have a law degree, medical degree etc but He could engage in these areas and then some. Interesting????

  4. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago

    Mike FP: I think its time to move on since John Paul II has apologized for the past and we have learned from it I hope.

    Im interested in theology and I hope other things. No I dont think I run on fear and I owe you an apology because I wasnt attacking you but many do have a problem with the Catholic Church.

    Many rehash the things of the past that dont belong here anymore. Religion well studied should not be hidden in the darkness because Christ has much still to say to all of us.

    I ask this in sincerety: Have you studied anything in the Catholic Church Mike FP?

    I love the book Catholicism fro Dummies and other works out there which are quite brilliant. I also love the Bible and the Catechism. When I dont understand something I look them up. Were here to engage Catholicism. Were well aware there are other disciplines as well.

    By the way sincerely Mike FP the "broken Rose" metaphor could apply to the above as well from a different meaning and viewpoint just so you know. We are broken Roses compared the Mary the Mother of God.

  5. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago

    I mean this sincerely: You make me laugh Mike FP because I dont believe I have been hostile and Im really trying to understand your thinking. You do seem to have a problem with the Catholic Church on some level? You seem to imply that their theology isnt with the times? That Christ didnt give us enough into Salvation History to keep up with modern times? I think the church can and does engage the world in its modern thinking but your not going to against what she teaches on one hand--The Natural Law?

    Are you a Catholic to begin with, an agnostic or an atheist? As for fear based faith I didnt think that is what I was getting acrossed here. I thought I was engaging you in what Catholics believe and as for your metafor are you trying to imply that what were engaging you in is like a broken Rose when if comes to Catholic theology?

    How are we pushing square pegs into holes if were engaging you in what the Catholic Church teaches?

    Have you gone over to the Vatican website and looked any of this up regarding what the church believes and teaches for example on invitro-fertilization?

    Suggested sight: See

    The above is an approach which the Catholic Church agrees on when it comes to the Natural Law.

    By the way when you speak of the past do you forget that the majority of people were not educated but a small portion of those who could afford to be were even in the Church?

    That the mindset at the time was different than what we have today? Do you feel Im engaging you in the 16th Century as opposed to the 21st Century?

    John Paul II apologized for the things that happened in the past.

    We even have priests who are scientists now. We even had scientists back then. The church had no problem with Galileo on his science. They had a problem with his theology.

    I know I think where your thinking is here. I thought I was also trying to get acrossed what has been handed down to us from the Apostles directly from Christ.

    Tradition and Oral.

    As for fear and what the Bible says: Do not be afraid. The Lord said this first: Do not be afraid. I love everything the Lord has given us. I am humble before Him because the living word is incredible and you can go deeper with it if you have the time.

    I love what the Catholic Church teaches and as I have said until I meet my Lord someday I continue to believe what it teaches. Im sorrowful you thought I was being meanspirited. On the contrary hope I have helped engage you in my small humble way.

    I think what you have been trying to say dont you think for yourself? Yes I can think for myself but its so much more fun trying to follow the Lord and His precepts as guideposts for this world.

    MikeFP God Bless

  6. Mike FP
    4 years ago

    JEAN CATHERINE & PETER BRADY: Frankly, Peter, I'm very much inclined to agree with you about what really matters when all is said and done. But that's not really the issue, in my view. What is the issue is a distinction I would draw between faith based on love and confidence vs. a set of beliefs one clings to for fear of letting go of them -- even for a moment. This was the point about the metaphor concerning the rose that JeanCatherine appears to have misunderstood. Scripture does not direcatly address all topics under the sun. Witness in vitro fertilzation. It just wasn't a topic of discussion either in 700 BC or 100 AD. Pretending that Scripture does directly address all matters -- as opposed to providing principles and articles of faith that can be said to be applicable to all matters -- and twisting references to provide post facto justifications of beliefs does not strike me as a good thing to do, even if I happen to agree with the "end belief" -- as in the case of Purgatory. I do not believe that the ends justify the means in theology any more than it does in other spheres. In fact, I would argue that this kind of pushing of square pegs into round holes does quite a bit of harm. Witness the very heresies that Peter points out. (Incidentally, Peter, the conversion of the conquered to Islam seems not much different then the mass conversion to Christianity that followed its adoption by Roman Emperors). Additionally, it is my contention that this kind of fear-driven belief lays at the root of much of the excess perpetrated in the name of religion. After all, while I certainly believe that the balance sheet of the religious enterprise weighs vastly more toward the positive than the negative, I think that you would both agreed that many dark things have been done in God's name. How many of them do you think were done out of the kind of fear-based faith I'm talking about? Consider the case of the Dominican friar Giordano Bruno. He was declared a heretic in 1600 by the Inquisition and then burned at the stake by the civil authorities. Whether his heresies included simply heliocentrism is not clear. But you have to imagine a mindset that felt the Faith couldn't survive if people thinking such thoughts were allowed to live. Clearly, those that did the burning were wrong about this because his beliefs -- including heliocentrism and, apparently, pantheism -- persist to this day. Do you think fear did not play a great role in their actions? And Bruno, of course, is but one of many, many examples. Now, here's an exercise I would propose to both of you. What is the motivation for the small, ad hominem attacks you've made in your posts? I have been accused of "having a problem with the Catholic Church" by you, JeanCatherine, and among other things, "dallying with "reason"" [quotes are correct] and engaging in activities likely to provoke heresies by you, Peter, in the form of an argument not worth "pursuing" -- which you then pursue in a fairly substantial post. The cause of that small glimmer of hostility on both of your parts is -- I would suggest -- precisely the phenomenon I'm talking about.

  7. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago

    I am more than likely a "broken Rose" but my Lady is a "Living Rose" from Christ. If she wants to show us Purgatory or Hell through her son to prove to us they exist. then who am I before the Lord but a "broken Rose".

    We can do nothing without Him therefore I accept this.

  8. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago

    MikeFP I dont recall telling people I know things and I do believe very strongly in belief what God has given us in Scipture and I trust very much in the Magisterium and its superb teaching until such time that were told differently. I thought I was passing on information in the faith to be quite honest with you and backing up with church teaching in the documents which have studied scripture.

    "So telling people that you "know" things when what you really mean is that you "believe very strongly" undercuts what you are saying.

  9. JeanCatherine
    4 years ago

    Mike FP Re: Purgatory

    Sight teaching on Purgatory:

    Mike FP

    A friend just sent me this information havent read it but not surprised at the information found it in other sources I have read regarding the subject:
    Quote from my friends e-mail regarding Purgatory:
    "Right now I'm reading "HUNGRY SOULS...Supernatural Visits, Messages, And Warnings From Purgatory" by Gerard Van Den Aardweg. Very interesting reading and have gotten to the part of Eugenie von der Leyen (1867-1929) who has apparitions of souls coming to her from Purgatory. I'm looking her up in Google now. This book DEFINITELY has my interest!! I've always prayer for the souls in Purgatory and want to know more of how I can help them."

    Your not obligated to believe what the Saints or Catholics believe or have seen but its quite compelling evidence from the holy ones who have come before us.

    I see you want to be very logical in your thinking but I trust in Christ and what He has prepared for us be it Purgatory or Heaven of which humbly would I not mind going to if I have lead a life according to Christ. I am not here to argue with you and until Christ says otherwise I believe in a place of Purgatory, Heaven and Hell.

  10. Mike FP
    4 years ago

    JEAN CATHERINE: Thank you for your prayers. At the risk of seeming uncharitable, I would suggest that your responses kind of illustrate what I'm talking about. This has less to do with articles of faith than it does with how we go about holding them. To use a metaphor, if you hold a rose firmly by the stem, you get a far different result than if you crush it in your first. I think many of us -- not just Catholics (in fact, I think we're less that way than many other denominations) -- do the equivalent of crushing said rose in our fist, thereby damaging and distorting it. Let's take Purgatory. I can't imagine a universe created by an all-loving God that does not possess a "purgatorial function," so to speak. I could be wrong, of course, in part because I may be mistaken in my assumption concerning the existence of an all-loving God. Or maybe that reflects a limitation on my imagination. But that's the kind of God I believe in -- in no small part because it seems far less reasonable to believe anything else (kind of a via negativa, so to speak). I have dutifully looked up your scriptural references. Maccabees speaks of actions testifying to someone's belief in the resurrection of the dead. Matthew refers to an age to come. Revelation refers to a book of life. I would agree that you can construct an argument from these passages to something like Purgatory. But it is a bit tortuous. And you can just as easily use these passages to argue for a reality containing only Heaven and Hell. To some degree, you are pushing square pegs into round holes. With sufficient effort, they fit -- sort of. And that assumes that the translation from a dead language to modern English didn't distort some critical element -- such as a lost reference -- and that the text hasn't been altered (I mean, the section of Maccabees sounds to me like it was inserted by a different author). But I think you get to a strong argument for a Purgatory kind of place much more quickly, and much more securely, via reason and the assumptions Catholics share concerning the nature of God. Why quibble? Well, the approach you take matters a great deal when talking to someone who does not share your beliefs. At the intellectual level, at least, I find it to be much more persuasive to argue with such folks in a manner that reflects the last 2500 years of Western philosophy, because it has formed they way they think. For example, questions about the mechanics of, say, the Resurrection, the Ascension -- take your pick -- can usually be dispatched by the simple observation that, once you've assumed the existence of an omnipotent God, such questions are really about pretty minor details that we don't need to concern ourselves with. An omnipotent being would be the master of the laws of cause and effect, not the other way around. This means that there would be an infinite number of ways that these events could be brought about. To say it in "Catholic" it's a mystery. Additionally, beyond "I think, therefore I am" (or, more precisely, "perception, therefore existence), there's nothing else you actually "know." The rest is belief in various gradations from weak to very strong. So telling people that you "know" things when what you really mean is that you "believe very strongly" undercuts what you are saying. It's like applying for a job in the wrong outfit. Strange as it sounds, I would suggest that it is also the path that requires greater humility because it requires constant acknowledgement of one's own shortcomings. It think it is also more likely to breed less excess. Consider, do you think that the folks that support abortion do so because they have a "fairly strong belief" that fetuses are not human, or because they "know" it to be so? After all, there is a reason that guilt in our legal system is expressed in terms of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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