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Fr Dwight Longenecker Asks, Does Mitt's Mormonism Matter? Comments

Most Americans are unaware of just how peculiar the beliefs of Mormons are. Do they know about Mormonism's exclusivity? It's secretive rituals? It's strange doctrines? Probably not. Even if they do know all the shady and weird stuff about Mormonism, do most Americans care? Should they care? With the possibility that their next president is a Mormon, does it matter? Continue Reading

21 - 30 of 135 Comments

  1. js2
    2 years ago

    As a practicing Mormon, my opinion is that this article is inaccurate and misleading. First, to bucket Warren Jeffs with other Mormons would be the same as bucketing a Lutheran with Catholics. It doesn't feel right, does it? Second, it seems a little disingenuous that someone with a conflict of interest (i.e. a priest from another church) would use an article about Mitt Romney to essentially bash the founding of a faith and to suggest that Mormons can't possibly accept the history or teachings of the LDS Church at face value. Longnecker should try to do a better job of getting the terminology right next time, and he should stay away from categorizing worshippers, particularly those of a faith that's not his own. It comes off as classless and not a great representation of the Catholics.

  2. R. Skip Hellewell
    2 years ago

    I'm Mormon and I don't recognize the church you speak of. This is a pathetic article.

  3. Carrick
    2 years ago

    Given Catholicsm's . . . um, interesting . . . history and the anti-catholic propoganda (some warrented but most not) of the past, I find this poor attempt to classify Mormons in stereotypical fashion rather amusing.

  4. ccs
    2 years ago

    Okay, I apologize for my previous confrontational tone. I'm willing to engage in a two-way discussion to help us understand each other better. In reading through the comments by Mormon commenters, I have noticed a few points: 1) Many posts tell Catholic commenters that we are mistaken about Mormon doctrine but do nothing to correct our supposed mistakes. Instead, the Mormons point us to the official LDS website. Personally, I think that if you are going to come to a Catholic website to correct what you think are misperceptions of your doctrine, then it is incumbent upon you to make the argument on the Catholic website. You are the one who came here. Are we wrong in saying that Mormons believe that humans can literally ascend to godhood? If so, then what precisely do you believe? And if we are wrong on that topic, then how would you account for this discussion among Mormons: Are these Mormons wrong? 2) I have noticed a tendency for Mormon commenters to rely on emotional rather than logical appeal. For example: any questioning of Mormon doctrine is considered a personal attack on 14 million fellow human beings. If we question the doctrines of Islam, are we similarly making a personal attack on 2.1 billion fellow human beings? In challenging the doctrines of Catholicism, are you making a personal attack on 1.2 billion fellow human beings? The numbers, actually, are not relevant to the question of Truth. But if they were relevant, then we would have to say that - at 1.2 billion - Catholicism would be more true than Mormonism, and that Islam - at 2.1 billion - would be more true than Catholicism. That is the logic behind the "14 million" argument. From a Catholic perspective, Truth is objective, immutable, and eternal. If we claim that something not conforming to that Truth is false (as we do), this is not to be read as bigotry or a personal attack. It is a claim about Truth. It's not personal. And it is not hate. 3) It is probably unfortunate that Fr. Longenecker used "weirdness" as a criterion because "weirdness" is not the issue. The issue is Truth and Falsehood. And this leads to the unfortunate discussion about Catholic "weirdness" vs. Mormon "weirdness." For starters, it is a red herring to discuss how Protestants perceive the "weirdness" of transubstantiation. Jesus' disciples, in fact, thought it was a "weird" doctrine when he said that the bread He would give was His flesh for the life of the world. Many disciples (though not Apostles) left Him at that time. So it's hardly surprising that our Protestant brothers and sisters find this a hard teaching as well. But the fact is: this has been the teaching of the Church since the 1st century. It's in Scripture, and it is verified by the Apostolic Fathers. For me, the issue is not "weirdness" so much as adherence to the Nicene Creed ( - in the same sense that the Creed has been understood by Christians throughout all ages. Only those who believe in the Creed - in the same sense that it was understood at Nicea and Constantinople - and who have been baptized in the Trinitarian formula using that same historical understanding of the Creed are considered Christians. Protestants have this same understanding, which is why we accept their baptism and recognize them as Christian. According to the Creed, there is ONLY One God. From what Mormons I've known have told me, all of the post-scriptural teaching of the ancient Church is irrelevant because Joseph Smith claimed that the ancient Church underwent what he termed a "Great Apostacy" - and so for a period of about 1800 years, there was no Church on earth until he miraculously "restored" what he claimed to be the ancient faith. So I suppose the teachings of the Apostolic Fathers and the Church Fathers at the time of the Nicean Council are irrelevant to Mormons. Would that be a correct assessment?

  5. JoAnn
    2 years ago

    Judy: Unfortunately, in my neck of the woods, RP is very popular and they are very passionate about getting him elected. I wish he would drop out but I don't think he will and I'm afraid he will be one of the reasons that Obama will get re-elected. The country is too divided. A third candidate is bad news. Remember what happened when Bush, Sr was trying to win his second term against Clinton and Ross Perot was the third part? Ross Perot was in cahoots with the Clintons. They paid him off to split the vote so Clinton could win, and, of course, Clinton won. I don't believe RP can win but his supporters do. Those people, along with the Cino's that will vote for Obama again, plus the Latinos, Gays, 90 to 95 % of blacks and of course, all the Socialists (not to mention the fraudulent votes Obama will get) and some Independents, I don't think it is looking very good for Mitt. This is just an opinion, I don't have actual facts YET, but I have a hunch that is what's happening with RP in the race. There is a rumor that RP is in George Soros' pocket. RP is working with Barney Frank to try and cut a trillion dollars from the budget and 11 of the people on that committee were/are communists associated with ole Georgie Boy. I believe it will take a miracle from God to get Obama out. Did you, by any chance, get to watch that documentary I mentioned? If enough people that support Obama and RP watch it, it may wake them up. If, after watching that documentary, people still vote for Obama and RP, THEY will be the undoing of this nation. God bless.

  6. George Robinson
    2 years ago

    This article is another example of a badly misinformed person who thinks he understands Mormonism, but probably hasn’t read the Book of Mormon, hasn’t listened to General Conference or read a Church magazine, or familiarized himself with all the other authoritative sources of Mormonism. Fundamentalist Mormons who practice polygamy are not Mormons. They are further from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church) than the Protestants are from the Catholic Church.

    Members who follow the teachings of the Church do so because they know for themselves that the teachings are true. They know that because of a witness from the Holy Ghost. They have thought it out, prayed to God, and received a manifestation of the Spirit. If one doesn’t have that witness, he or she will not be a good member. Rather than being mindless, people who are most active are often best educated according to a Pew Forum survey, and you can warm your hands by the fire of their testimony.

    Is revelation and prophecy still coming from God? Everyone who has a testimony of Jesus Christ can answer yes.

    White-washed history? Baloney! The best place to read authenticated historical research is from the Mormon scholars. They are going to great lengths to make every aspect of Joseph Smith’s life transparent and open to public inspection.

    Secrets? Baloney! Everything sacred has appeared on national television and the internet by those who have betrayed their vows.

    Our beliefs in the spiritual manifestations of God are no more outlandish than any other Christian belief. The really hard part to accept isn’t that God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to the boy Joseph Smith; or that John the Baptist conferred the Aaronic Priesthood, or that Peter, James, and John conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood by the laying on of hands to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery (LDS share with Catholics the importance of apostolic succession, in this case through a visitation of resurrected persons---a shared visitation at that---how many of those are there?)---the really hard part is the virgin birth, or Jesus turning the water into wine, or healing the leper, restoring sight, let alone His resurrection. In fact, our testimony, in an age of modernization (apostasy?), is that these things are true.

    The Pew forum addressed how the Church affects the lives of members, which is what counts when we judge whether to trust someone from any walk of life. The results are favorable. Many doctrines between our two Churches are the same. Differences on either side can be ridiculed and mocked, or accepted as sincere beliefs with an agreement to disagree. Mistakes on either side, and there are many, since both Churches are administered by imperfect mortals, can be emphasized---or forgiven with the same mercy we hope the Lord will show to us.

    To me the Vatican is sacred. The history is incredible. Likewise, the history and historical sites of Mormonism are sacred. These things preserve for us a sense of reality. This is so important, just as the history of Abraham and Moses and deliverance were important to the Jews.

  7. Vance
    2 years ago

    I would like to remind all the Catholics that it was the Mormons who upheld traditional marriage when California was voting on Proposition 8. The Marxists and Homos were livid at the Mormons because they were instrumental in defeating the Gay Marriage initiative. Meanwhile, The Catholic Church had a priest from Fresno touring around California campaigning FOR HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE. The Mormons deserve a BIG AT-A-BOY.

  8. JoAnn
    2 years ago

    Gerald Smith: I agree with you that we all HAVE to stand together if we are to vote Obama out of office. Judgement of each of us is God's alone. He sees into our hearts and He will be just and merciful in His judgements. None of us know all the truths of our different Faiths and it is not for us to judge. Just as Catholics are grossly misunderstood, so are the Mormons or any other Faith. Gerald, I do have to correct you though, regarding the Eucharist. (which means, by the way, Thanksgiving) The consecration of the bread and wine is called TRANSUBSTANTIATION, not consubstantiation. Transubstantiation is the scholastic term used to designate the unique change of the Euharistic bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. "Transubstantiation" indicates that through the consecration of the bread and the wine, there occurs the change of the ENTIRE substance of the bread into the substance of the Body of Christ, and of the ENTIRE substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ - even though the appearances or "species" of bread and wine REMAIN. The Holy Eucharist, after consecration, actually IS the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Consubstantiation means co-existance, like Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Eucharist was instituted at the Last Supper, as well as, the Priesthood. When Jesus told His disciples to "Do this in memory of Me", He was ordaining the apostles into the priesthood and gave them the power, through the Holy Spirit, to change the bread and wine into the REAL PRESENCE of His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity It is only through the Catholic Church can one receive Jesus, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. After Jesus returned to Heaven, through the ordination of the apostles to the priesthood, His apostles were able, through the power of the Holy Spirit, ordain and pass that power on to other men. That is why the Catholic Church is One, Holy, Catholic and APOSTOLIC. No other Faith on the Earth has Apostolic succession. Other ministers and pastors are ordained through Protestant theological colleges but NOT through Apostolic succession, so the bread and wine remains, just that, bread and wine. In John's gospel, Jesus tells us that "Unless we eat His Body and drink His Blood, we have no life in us." God bless.

  9. MarkV
    2 years ago

    This seems to be a long string of inappropriate posts. Not inappropriate for language, but content. Most of these posts do not respond to the article. This is NOT the place to voice your opinion for or against the Mormon faith. This is a place to comment on the article, not to vent. There are more than enough forums for each person posting to start their own thread or opinion (Facebook, twitter,, etc.).

    I encourage all my fellow commenters to remember that, not only here, but in other forums as well. Stay on topic, stay respectful, question if you don't understand, but use post your own article on your own site.

  10. Judy
    2 years ago

    JoAnn: At this point in time, do you really think Ron Paul is even in the race? I count him out, and Miit as candidate running against Obama. Then, as far as MR's religion is concerned...I agree w/Vance. Rob as well. MR is going to lead this country to Mormonism as much as JK did to Catholicism...nada. What matters, as Rob says, is that he can DO something. And he certainly is NOT Obama! The Third Reich as you know, was started by the "Socialist Party", and that seems to be the way Obama and is Free handouts and monopoly money are going. People who say negative things about MR, (and of course there are), need to take all of the Negative of Obama into consideration as well. We are Voting for Change. We are Voting for Life! Keep 'em coming! Prayerful Blessings...

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