Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

12/23/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

That leads me to the second part of my title for this article, Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ. Phil Robertson was quoting the same Bible which Bill O'Reilly hears at Mass - and is supposed to be very familiar with. It appears that Bill O'Reilly was simply ignorant of scripture

As the debate continues over the A&E networks' punitive decision to suspend Phil Robertson indefinitely, because he openly professed his evangelical protestant faith in a magazine interview, I want to focus for a moment on a problem in my own Church - and among some of my fellow Catholics. I will use an example from a recent interview which Fox News mega personality Bill O'Reilly had with radio personality Laura Ingraham on Thursday, December 19, 2013.

Fox News mega personality Bill O'Reilly interviewing radio personality Laura Ingraham

Fox News mega personality Bill O'Reilly interviewing radio personality Laura Ingraham

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/23/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty, Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Duck Dynasty, GLAAD, St Paul Corinthians, Arts and Entertainment network, A%E Network, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - Lest I be accused of being 'judgmental' or 'intolerant' by the words I used in the last part of my title of this article, I will begin with proper attribution. "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ" was a phrase written by a fifth century monk and bible scholar, a man acknowledged as a Saint in the Catholic Church, St. Jerome.

In fact, the phrase has become one of the favorite quotes used by the Catholic Church in her continual efforts to encourage the Catholic faithful to not only listen to the Bible at Sunday Mass - but to read, pray with it and come to know the written Word of God, in order to be changed in the encounter with the Living Word to whom it points, Jesus Christ .

For example, in Article III of the Catholic Catechism, entitled "Sacred Scripture" the famous saying of St Jerome is quoted: The Church forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.(CCC#133) " The footnote in the text references St Jerome, as well as the beautiful document of the Second Vatican Council on the Scripture as the Word of God (Dei Verbum).

I think the United States could benefit from the kind of debate which the Duck Dynasty controversy has prompted, if it leads us all to a serious soul searching. The issues raised by the incident have deep importance for our future as a free people. I weighed in on it the day the news broke. You can read my thoughts here. Duck Dynasty and the GQ Interview of Phil Robertson: Rejecting Political Correctness.

However, as the debate continues over the A&E networks' punitive decision to suspend Phil Robertson indefinitely, because he openly professed his evangelical protestant faith in a magazine interview, I want to focus for a moment on a problem in my own Church - and among some of my fellow Catholics. I will use an example from a recent interview which Fox News mega personality Bill O'Reilly had with radio personality Laura Ingraham on Thursday, December 19, 2013.

Both of them are Catholics. In discussing the most quoted portion of the GQ interview, the part which caused offense to some homosexual activists, Phil Robertson used these words: Don't be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers - they won't inherit the kingdom of God.

In his comments, Bill O'Reilly paraphrased the words of Jesus, taken from the Gospel of Luke judge not lest you be judged. (Luke 6:37) He then "opined" - as he says - and offered his thoughts on the controversy. He made that facial expression which he often demonstrates when, to use an old expression, he feels "sure of himself".

He insisted that when Phil Robertson made the comment concerning the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers... he was violating the Bibles admonition against judgment. You could tell by the expression on his face that he thought he was being profound.

Laura Ingraham seemed a bit taken aback. Obviously she knows the Bible better than Bill O'Reilly does. She tried to steer the interview toward a critique of the intolerance which so often masquerades as tolerance these days. Her comments were truly insightful. However, Bill O'Reilly kept coming back, apparently thinking his own insight was much more important than hers.

It was an awkward moment. Laura Ingraham attempted to spare Bill embarrassment by saying something like, I think Phil was quoting Corinthians Bill. In other words, she tried to give Bill a clue, that Phil Robertson was quoting the Bible! However, Bill O'Reilly did not hear her. He was so enamored with his own take on the matter that he seemed to pay no attention.

Watching the awkward interplay between the two, I came to the conclusion that Bill O'Reilly simply did not realize that the words quoted by Phil Robertson were actually in the Bible - and not made up by Phil Robertson. So, in effect, Bill O'Reilly and A&E Network simply do not like St. Paul's words to the Christians in Corinth. They do not like what the Bible says.

That leads me to the second part of my title for this article, Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ. Phil Robertson was quoting the same Bible which Bill O'Reilly hears at Mass - and is supposed to be very familiar with. It appears that Bill O'Reilly was simply ignorant of scripture.

In the GQ interview which O'Reilly was purporting to discuss with Laura Ingraham, Phil Robertson continued his conversation with the interviewer: If you simply put your faith in Jesus coming down in flesh, through a human being, God becoming flesh living on the earth, dying on the cross for the sins of the world, being buried, and being raised from the dead-yours and mine and everybody else's problems will be solved. And the next time we see you, we will say: 'You are now a brother. Our brother.' So then we look at you totally different then."

The interviewer made this observation: Despite his beliefs, the 67-year-old says he doesn't judge others. "We never, ever judge someone on who's going to heaven, hell. That's the Almighty's job," Robertson told GQ. "We just love 'em, give 'em the good news about Jesus - whether they're homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort 'em out later." Thus, O'Reilly was not only misguided in his analysis of the words which Robertson used, he was wrong in his claim that Phil Robertson was deciding anyone's eternal destiny.

I love being a Catholic Christian. I am what is often called a revert - a person who came back to the Catholic Church. I can relate to some of what Phil Robertson so freely shares about his own Christian conversion. I followed a wayward path, wandering away from that the faith as a younger man. My journey back to placing my faith in Jesus Christ led me home to the Catholic Church into which I had been baptized as a child.

That journey home came, in part, by my falling in love with the Bible. My hunger to understand it more fully led me to a discovery of the early Fathers of the Church. Over time, I questioned my way back into the Church of my childhood. I have since spent years in theological study but I embrace what the Catechism also affirms in the same passage I quoted above:

Such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as her support and vigor, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life." Hence "access to Sacred Scripture ought to be open wide to the Christian faithful." Therefore, the study of the sacred page should be the very soul of sacred theology. The ministry of the Word, too - pastoral preaching, catechetics and all forms of Christian instruction, among which the liturgical homily should hold pride of place - is healthily nourished and thrives in holiness through the Word of Scripture." (CCC#131,132)

In the whole Catholic Church we are now committed to what Blessed John Paul II called the New Evangelization. The phrase refers to the need to work with Catholics in the pews, helping them to grow in their faith. To fall in love with the Lord Jesus Christ by encountering Him in prayer, receive  His grace in the Sacraments and, yes, hear His word as it comes to us in the Bible.

That requires noting something of real importance, too many Catholics are unfamiliar with the Bible. The Catholic Church is dedicated, as a vital part of helping them become well informed in their faith, to helping them develop a familiarity with the Bible, the kind of knowledge which comes by more than simply hearing it at Mass on Sunday.

I conclude with a quote from that Bible, the Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version. They are words written by the Apostle Paul. I offer them to my fellow Catholic Bill O'Reilly, just in case he reads this article:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. Shun immorality. Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. (1 Cor. 6: 9-11, 18)

Phil Robertson should not have been suspended by the A&E Network for being a Christian who knows the Bible, believes in it - and is willing and able to actually quote it in a freewheeling magazine interview. He should be affirmed for doing so by all who share the name Christian along with him, no matter which Christian tradition or Church within which they live out that relationship with the Lord. That includes Catholics, like me - and yes, Bill O'Reilly. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.



Comments


More U.S.

Play-doh Christianity and the Vanishing Cross

Image of Bell can have his happy-clappy, navel-centered religion and his wimpy god. He just can't call it Christianity, and he can't claim it's the Church.

By Jennifer Hartline

There is no Christianity without Christ, and no Christ without the cross. There was no need for the cross except for our Redemption, and no need for that except for our sin. To preach Christianity without preaching repentance from sin and taking up your cross is ... continue reading


Bella's Gift: The Santorum Book that Keeps on Giving Watch

Image of The book, Bella's Gift, has shaken me. On more than one occasion, it has forced me to my knees in tears. That is because, in a candid, honest, profoundly spiritual way, this splendidly written book puts the reader in the presence of unconditional love. then, through its deep spiritual truths, it unleashes the dynamic power of amazing grace.

By Keith A Fournier

I was with Rick Santorum at the Awakening Conference in Orlando, Florida. Rick and Karen Santorum are personal friends. Their whole family is a source of inspiration to me. But most especially, that little Princess named Bella Santorum. She is the center, the ... continue reading


Top Stories of the Week You Can't Miss Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

From a tragic airplane crash that killed 150 people to the blood of St. Januarius liquifying, this week in news has been quite a roller coaster. We saw nuns mob Pope Francis, a father lose seven of his eight children in a horrifying fire and the first announced ... continue reading


Majority of Latinos in United States speak English Watch

Image of  Latinos who only speak English are often ostracized by Latinos who only speak Spanish or are bilingual. Many Latinos, upon being hired for positions, are presumed to know and speak Spanish.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it would appear to some to be contrary, the majority of Latinos within the continental United States, 62 percent, speak English. A new analysis of the Pew Research Center's 2013 National Survey of Latinos has found that the current demographics will ... continue reading


The Christian Feast of the Annunciation is About More than Mary Watch

Image of The Annunciation: The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you. (Luke 1:26,27)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Walking along this Way of Yes, leads us into a dialogue, a conversation, a communion, a new Way of life, the Christian Way. By saying Yes, offering our own Fiat, we become consecrated and enlisted in the ongoing mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. Mary shows us that ... continue reading


Where's the most hate in the United States? A look into the top states with the highest amount of hate groups may shock you Watch

Image of There is hope. According to the center,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While California is typically known for laidback attitudes and acceptance of diversity - it comes as a shock to learn that the Golden State has the largest amount of "hate groups" across the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the ... continue reading


Fox News asks New York City's party district if they are proud to be an American: Watch their unbelievable responses (VIDEO) Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fox News producer, Jesse Watters, took to the streets in the "party district" of New York City to sample the opinion a certain demographic has toward America. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As a part of Watters' World and The O'Reilly Factor, Watters asks people ... continue reading


What would you do to get your childhood back? People spend big money to find their inner child in adult preschool Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Preschool Mastermind is a preschool for the adults in Brooklyn; it started the first week of March and ends the last week. Students come in every week, trying to get in touch with the magical world they left behind as their childhood ended. However, this adult ... continue reading


'Meet the Animals' SeaWorld continues to fight negative publicity from 'Blackfish' with new campaign Watch

Image of SeaWorld comes back to negative reviews with the

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. releases their new campaign, ahead of a book release by their former trainer John Hargrove. The company received a rapid decrease in audience attendance and revenue from negative responses after the release "Blackfish," a documentary ... continue reading


'Climate change denial is immoral' Episcopal Church bishop hopes to educate the church on issues of climate change Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"To deny climate change is to reject God's gift of knowledge," expressed Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and one of Christianity's most influential women. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The issue on climate change is ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 20:10-13
10 I heard so many disparaging me, 'Terror on every ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 5-6, 7
2 Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:31-42
31 The Jews fetched stones to stone him,32 ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 27th, 2015 Image

St. Rupert
March 27: Bishop and missionary, also listed as Robert of Hrodbert. A ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter