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BustedHalo Cast
Busted Halo® Cast
The Busted Halo Cast® is our weekly podcast that answers questions of faith ranging from the simple basics of the Catholic faith to complex dilemmas of everyday life. We also highlight a church to visit that other young adults have found welcoming and vital and preview next week's scripture readings.

Busted Halo’s Fr. Dave Dwyer, Fr. Steven Bell, and Barbara Wheeler-Bride co-host every week offering their faith-filled answers to your questions. You can call-in your questions to (917) 591 8476 or e-mail us at questionbox@bustedhalo.com

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May 19th, 2014
#403 – What to do about people who leave Mass early?
 
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early-exit2
Do you notice people leaving Mass as soon as they receive communion? Do you leave Mass as soon as you receive communion? This episode of the Busted Halo Cast covers the topic of leaving Mass early. Should I stay or should I go? Fr. Steve is on vacation so Fr. Dave and Barbara share some insight on the topic.

Coming Attractions — The Gospel readings for the Easter Season are starting to give us a preview of the Holy Spirit and what’s up next in the liturgical calendar … Pentecost!

Church Search features a personal recommendation from one of our listeners: Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston, Texas. And a special shout-out to their Young Adult Ministry!

0:00 — Intro
5:12 — Question
23:50 — Coming Attractions



 
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • JuliePurple

    Thanks for the explanations. It sounds like there’s hope for the CC, after all. (Oh, and do remember, I’m not atheist; I’m agnostic. Big difference — to me, anyhow! :-)
    You’re right, I probably would like the folks at your church. Sounds like we stand — and stand up for — the same things. With the exception, of course, of specifically religious matters. Re: loving one’s country, that reminds me of a Mark Twain quote that goes something to the effect of loving one’s country all the time, and one’s government when it deserves it. I do love my country, but it’s sure done some rotten stuff, and still does. I like Mr. Obama, though. Too bad he has to deal with Republicans and Conservatives.
    This is way off topic, isn’t it? I’d send you a PM if I knew how; I’m not sure you can via Discus, and I surely don’t want to share my private contact information with all and sundry!

    • YaraGreyjoy

      See this is why Disqus is the devil – there is no privacy, no way to PM someone, I tried Pming you & I found out!

      Yes, I think people like us love our country in a more vital way b/c we want it to be everything it should be & yes, we criticize the government when it is wrong b/c we want to make it right. If we didn’t care, we’d say nothing & if we were hostile to the country, we’d enjoy watching it’s flaws on display. Our love of country goes beyond the skin-deep, empty patriotism of cheap slogans & the mentality of “my country, right or wrong!”

      Yeah, I think you and I “get” each other, where we stand & whatnot. Hey I was an agnostic for years so I appreciate the difference between agnosticism & atheism & I don’t think they’re at all alike. I’m agnostic myself sometimes now – I’m not one of those steadfast true believers in the metaphysical side of things, that’s really hard for me. I hazard I have more days where I can’t believe in such stuff than days when I can.

      I didn’t think there was hope for the church either, after 2 conservative popes, JP II & then Benedict, ugh. But Francis is a ray of hope that the church can actually be well, moral & respectful of all human rights, including women’s rights which I specifically mention as it’s concerns her right to govern her own body & have a say in her own reproductive activities. I hope the day is coming (probably not in my lifetime) where access to birth control & abortion is not a sin anymore (it wasn’t a big priority until relatively recently in church history & for most of church history viewed as a very minor sin if you can believe it, I’ll find the source for that if you want – yes, I’m “pro-choice” and not ashamed, that’s actually a belief I’m rock solid on internally.

      I’m too spacey now to solve the contact info problem presented by this particular comment system, but I’ll let you know if I think of something.

      • JuliePurple

        Excellent. I did try to Google your name, and found out it was the name of a super hero! Good choice! But alas, no help in contacting. Well, I’m thinking your younger set of references might do you well in the figuring out department. Good luck!

  • mlzoiss

    Ever heard of the Judas shuffle: The act of leaving Mass early, typically between receiving communion and the concluding rite, without a justifiable reason for doing so. The Judas shuffle is named after Judas Iscariot, who left the Last Supper (the first Mass/Divine Liturgy) early in order to summon the guards to arrest Jesus.

    ie. My brother did the Judas shuffle because he wanted to watch the football game.

    • Rick Garland

      Thanks mlzoiss! I had never heard this before, and don’t know how not! That’s a great response and comparison! That’s exactly why I feel people should at least be let it be known that their leaving Mass early, except for a good, legitimate reason is not furthering their holiness or connect to Christ! Thank you, thank you, thank you, and God Bless!

  • Sharon Creamer

    Has it been determined that they are a Judas?

  • mlzoiss

    My favorite commentary on this topic was a sign on the exit doors of the Church that says, “Judas was also the first to leave.”

    • JuliePurple

      Wow, judgmental, much?

      • mlzoiss

        I didn’t post the sign, I’m not judging anyone. Maybe it will make people think if they are not leaving early for a serious reason. Are you suggesting that the priest who posted it is judging?

        It could be suggested by your profile picture that you don’t agree with Church teaching anyway.

      • JuliePurple

        As to whether or not the priest is judging, yeah, I think he is, but I suppose he sort of sees that as his job. And no, you didn’t post the sign, but you forwarded the message, which implies support.
        And you’re right, I don’t agree with church teaching when it’s fosters bigotry.

      • YaraGreyjoy

        Jeez… And I thought this would be a light-hearted thread, chill Juile! It’s just a gentle (humorous) chiding of folks being kinda rude to the Priest & the assembled people by leaving early w/o a good reason for it. I understand “Judas” sounds like a severe accusation but “the Judas Shuffle?” C’mon, don’t be such a prig.

        I’m not sure I grok the bigotry accusation… sexism yes – that is a major problem of the church but the church has been pretty right on with ecumenism & reaching back further to civil rights. I guess if you’re extending bigotry, which I agree is a flexible umbrella term, to mean sexism then yeah, I understand.

      • JuliePurple

        Okay, it’s cool, if that was supposed to be a joke, I can dig it. But just a sort of FYI, if you intend for something to be perceived as a joke, it helps to put a little smiley wink or something… you know, the semicolon, dash, and open parenthesis. Because a lot of folks write stuff that is really funny (“Pastor” Dwayne comes to mind), but if you take it as a joke they get mightily offended.
        That said, your response to my first comment in this topic gave me to understand it was *not* a joke. You certainly didn’t seem to be joking there. Where are you quoting “The Jusas Shuffle” from? I didn’t see it, above.
        Bigotry — against gays and women, for instance. Of course in times past (and to a far lesser extent today) it was against non-Catholics/Christians, when it used that as an excuse to steal land from other people; though I agree that the latter is pretty much on the decline these days, so it’s a sign that impovement is possible. And Francis is a huge improvement over that horrible Benedict, so that’s very good too.

        Back to the sign you like so much: it may well be intended as a gentle chiding for those who leave “without a good reason”, but for those who have no choice, it’s a slap in the face. That’s just not right.

      • YaraGreyjoy

        Whoa, I wrote you a pretty involved response to this comment (which I guess I can boil down to “my bad”) and I guess they scrubbed it – I don’t know why, it was just an explanation of what I meant, how I messed up plus some talking about the point of view I come from… nothing controversial at all… I did call Pope JP II a conservative pope, which he was but that doesn’t deserve a scrubbed post… I guess it’s possible I messed up posting? I’ll just respond to your other 2 comments to me I guess.

        To recreate a little: I “grew up” in a radical social justice oriented church, educated by Jesuit priests & nuns of different orders, but they were radicals & activists meaning they took action, some of it life-threatening. (no one ever even mentioned abortion & I went to church every Sunday – never, remember that religion is about what you emphasize as much as anything). This was in the 1980s & they taught me about the Reagan sponsored & American trained right wing death squads who murdered & oppressed the peoples of South America. I learned early that my country is not always morally right. They didn’t shy away from showing us the results of the brutality of the Contras, the death squads who killed anyone who resisted & many that did not, including priests and nuns who actively supported the people’s resistance. These are the same people who murdered Archbishop Romero – whether Catholic or no, he was a man of the people who knowingly died for his people.

        This was (is) my church (we also discussed women’s rights and discrimination against homosexuals within & without the church – I was taught “women’s (and gay’s – all people’s) rights were universal human rights, inviolate) – it was my long winded way of saying that in my blind, stupid (really it’s just lazy) assumption that everyone’s experience is like or near to mine rendering the whole “controversy” over people leaving early a big nothing. The priests I knew weren’t petty like that – them & the nuns not only talked the talked but walked the walk & I respected them very much. They were also the most loving & life loving (even though they risked their lives) people I’ve ever known. I was lucky I guess. In short, mea culpa – it’s my fault I couldn’t imagine this being anything more than a feather-weight joke of like 0 importance & that people are actually making “a thing” out of intimidating people in church from leaving early. I was wrong & I don’t like that sign no more. :(

      • JuliePurple

        No, Yara, you’re not stupid at all. Just underinformed. And kudos to you for being open minded. It’s a rare thing.
        I’ve had jokes fall flat before, too. I sympathize! It looks like you’re a generation younger than I am, which could account for a lot. How could you know what happened before your time, except by finding out from us “old folks”? :-) Sheesh, my Mom told me about the Catholic school she went to, and it was way worse than the one I went to!
        It’s nice to know that some churches have changed for the better.

      • Rick Garland

        We adore woman, want to protect them, help them get to Heaven, sorry if you “Judge that” to be so terrible….

      • JuliePurple

        With respect, Rick, that sounds a bit patronizing. How about just treat women as human beings. Forget gender altogether; treat people equally.

      • Rick Garland

        You see it as ‘Bigotry’ but we devoted loving Catholics see it as loving people so much that we want to help them get closer to Jesus, and that’s what we are called and instructed to do, by Jesus. I am sorry that you do not grasp that and I will pray for you. Love…..

      • JuliePurple

        No, Rick, you merely are arrogant enough to think you know what is good for people you don’t even know, and that they should be the way you think they should be, in order for them to do what you want. I am sorry for you that you are unable to understand what bigotry means. However, I’ll take the “pray for you” as an indication of general good wishes. Thanks. I wish you well, also, and hope your consciousness expands sufficiently to understand that there are many perfectly good ways to be that differ from what you think they should be.

      • Rick Garland

        you know nothing about me but as usual for hypocrites you judge like no body’s business after complaining about people judging others……Peace….Love…..Prayers….

    • George

      They should have another sign:”If you think you are purer than the rest, so did the Pharisees!”

  • JuliePurple

    By the way, folks, “Corporal Acts of Mercy” have to do with offering real, tangible help, such as feeding the hungry and suchlike. “Spiritual Acts of Mercy” are more about the intangibles. If you’re going to kvetch about somebody else’s business, at least get your terms straight.

    • Rick Garland

      Yep, and The Catholic Church feeds more hungry people, clothes more needy people, and gives medical care to more people on the planet than all other Christ based organizations (denominations) on the planet all combined! Did you know that?

      • JuliePurple

        Real, tangible help such as feeding the hungry and so forth is laudable, no matter who does it. It’s not a contest to see who does most. But yeah, it makes sense for the Catholic Church to do more than other Christian denominations, since they have the most adherents. For them to do less would be shameful. I’d be interested to know what percentage of their income is devoted to actual, physical help for people. Because historically, the Catholic Church has been one of the world’s richest orgainzations. These days, of course, I suspect a good bit of the income goes for legal fees.
        Now, I wonder how their charitable status ranks next to secular organizations. Have you looked into that?

      • Rick Garland

        Ah yes, more judging from you, you’re good at that and I have not read the totality of either of your last posts and do not plan to in the future as I am done with your hateful judging and lack of having an open mind in order to try to understand what true Christian Love is, so go ahead post what ever you’d like, I’m not reading or responding to any more of your hateful judging… Peace….Love….Prayers..

      • JuliePurple

        Wow, you confuse “facts” with being “hateful”. Good to know. But hey, as you said, you only read bits and pieces, so miss the point yet again.
        However, your not reading or responding is very cool! Good for you, so you don’t have to deal with those pesky facts or give rational answers to logical questions, right?
        Anyhow, I’m glad to hear it! Thanks!

  • JuliePurple

    Regarding the “Corporal Acts of Mercy”:
    Two guys were sitting on a bench in the park. One of them was eating candy bar after candy bar after candy bar.
    The other guy watched him, and after a while, said, “Wow, you just ate 7 candy bars in a row!”
    The first guy said, “My grandfather lived to be 93.”
    The other guy said, “What, by eating candy bars?”
    The first guy said, “No, by minding his own business.”

    • Rick Garland

      I don’t think the ‘Corporal Acts of Mercy’ are joke…… ;)

      • JuliePurple

        You missed the point. According to the legends, Jesus used parables to illustrate a point. Well, I’m using a joke to illustrate a point. And really, it *is* funny when people get their knickers in a twist over something that is really none of their business.
        By the way, interfering in someone else’s business wouldn’t be a “Corporal Act of Mercy”. If it were a real issue of importance, though, it could conceivably be considered a “Spiritual Act of Mercy”, under the general listing of “instructing the ignorant”. In this case, I think my joke qualifies. :-)

  • George

    Every time I start judging other people, I am reminded of my own sins. Now it’s like a reflex to me. As you get closer to the light, you start seeing the stains on your own clothes, and behave with a little more compassion to other people.

    There have always been Pharisees, and it seems there will continue to be more. This people worry about the people that leave early. What about the people that don’t come to church at all? Many can’t stand coming because these same Pharisees at some point just gave them more than they were willing to deal with and they left never to return.

    I wonder if there is something in the catechism about what type of sin you accrue for causing someone else to leave the church. Maybe Thomas Aquinas got to that already, he seems to have had a lot of time on his hands. There may be an indulgence for that.

  • Scooby Stephen

    Do you know for years I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. It took
    everything I had to stay in a crowded church but I wanted to go to mass
    and receive. Often I left early. Now I take medication. My aunt has irritable bowl syndrome and often has to leave
    to go to the bathroom and sometimes she had to leave early bc she felt
    sick. So you really are being ignorant instead of righteous and thinking
    you are doing the right thing by confronting them. You do not know why people are leaving.
    God bless you and just fold your hands, pray and keep quiet if you want
    to do the right thing. And for those few people who went out drinking
    (which is doubtful because people who went out drinking wouldn’t bother
    to show up), but if they did — good for them they they at least showed
    up. And lastly, those people who leave because they just don’t care,
    that’s between them and God. Let God deal with it. Not you.If you want to say to the congregation, “If you need to leave early, please do so discretely”, that is acceptable.

    • YaraGreyjoy

      Wow, that’s a real hardship to suffer. I don’t think the “people leaving early” for no good reason applies to you (or your aunt) at all! I’m glad to hear you using the post-tense that you “suffered” from terrible anxiety & panic & so glad that’s behind you. No one deserves to suffer like that. I’m amazed at your fortitude going to a crowded church despite your condition, wow. I know all parishes are different, but I know any of my priests if they were informed by someone of the circumstances you mentioned, they would completely understand & most certainly NOT hold anything against you. On a personal note, I hope you remain anxiety & panic free for the rest of your life.

      • Scooby Stephen

        Thank you for your encouragement and well wishes. I still do have anxiety and depression but it’s better controlled with meds. In any case, I just don’t think it’s anyone’s business why people are leaving. It’s between them and God. This is why a lot of people are turned off from Church because it tends to mind whatever everyone does, however trivial. Faith is a communal things, but it also is very personal and in the end it’s between you and God. Nobody else. Thanks again for your well-wishes.

      • YaraGreyjoy

        I mean them sincerely, I’m glad to hear how well you’re doing now – it’s rough stuff to be sure. I agree with you – I thought this particular podcast was meant as a light diversion as it is (in my opinion & yours) a pretty trivial matter (leaving a bit early? Seriously?) – I’m a little shocked that there are people treating this like it’s some “issue” of import… I agree totally, faith is very personal & it’s between you and God. Now onto something that is actually important: I’m going to say another prayer for you that you just get better and better til it’s gone – sooner rather than later. Can’t hurt. Love to you.

      • Scooby Stephen

        Thank you so much for your kindness and thoughtfullness. may God bless you abundantly for your prayers. :)

  • Scooby Stephen

    You shouldn’t be judging people and minding their business. God knows what their issue is and it’s between them and God.

  • Oeuf

    Hey God, I know I got here a little late, like when the Deacon was proclaiming the Gospel, but I had a heck of a night last night and couldn’t get up. Anyway, thanks for the Bread (of Life), but can I get that to go? My buddies and I gotta get to the tailgate party before the game.

    • Scooby Stephen

      Do you know for years I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. It took everything I had to stay in a crowded church but I wanted to go to mass and receive. My aunt has irritable bowl syndrome and often has to leave to go to the bathroom and sometimes she had to leave early bc she felt sick. So you really are being ignorant instead of righteous and thinking you are doing the right thing. You do not know why people are leaving. God bless you and just fold your hands, pray and keep quiet if you want to do the right thing. And for those few people who went out drinking (which is doubtful because people who went out drinking wouldn’t bother to show up, but if they did — good for them they they at least showed up. And lastly, those people who leave because they just don’t care, that’s between them and God. Let God deal with it. Not you.

  • Scooby Stephen

    I honestly would say, this man needs to pray more and get closer to God to find out why he is minding people’s business. When I am at church and people leave early, I focus on my prayers and the priest and what is going on….what is it about this man that he feels the need to worry so much about what other people are doing that doesn’t affect him. It’s like the nosy neighbor watching people next door to see what they are doing. No disrespect, but this seems more like your own personal issues rather than theirs.

    • Rick Garland

      As Christians we are to ‘Love’ everyone and wish the very best for them, and the very best thing for people to receive the full benefit of The Mass is to stay for The Whole Mass and to receive The Father’s blessing, which ends The Mass. Leading people down the right road is considered a Corporal Act of Mercy and we are actually all called to pay attention to such things and lovingly help out and correct, if we can. God bless ya’ Brother!

      • Scooby Stephen

        Corporal Act or Mercy? To stick your nose in where it doesn’t belong? Welcome people to the table….leave them with God. Not with you. You are not their keeper, their judge, their Lord. People who wish to butt into everything everyone does in church or outside of church, have a problem they need to fix.

  • Scooby Stephen

    As long as they aren’t disturbing others or being disruptive, we should mind our business and not mind theirs. It’s between them and God just like everything else. Maybe they are in a rush to pick up their kids or maybe they have to get to work but wanted to receive. Nobody knows, so it’s best to just mind your own business. :)

    • anonymous

      it’s just like the good samaritan story … i know your soul is dying brother but i can’t get involved with you … good luck staying alive …

      • JuliePurple

        No, the good Samaritan gave real, physical help for an obvious, real difficulty; he didn’t just stick his nose in where he didn’t really know the whole story. And wow, what a snarky comment. That was uncalled for.

    • Rick Garland

      If you check the Catholic Catechism, you’ll find that helping people to become better Catholics is a Corporal Act of Mercy, it helps you to become more holy, it’s not ‘butting in’ or ‘judging’ if done properly, and with the right intent. ;)

      • Scooby Stephen

        Do you know for years I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. It took
        everything I had to stay in a crowded church but I wanted to go to mass
        and receive but I had to get out of there. My aunt has irritable bowl syndrome and often has to leave
        to go to the bathroom and sometimes she had to leave early bc she felt
        sick. So you really are being ignorant instead of righteous and thinking
        you are doing the right thing. You do not know why people are leaving.
        God bless you and just fold your hands, pray and keep quiet if you want
        to do the right thing. OR better yet, donate food, volunteer, feed the hungry and pray for people if you really want to help and concentrate on making yourself a better person.

      • Rick Garland

        Of course there may be legitimate reasons and that’s great, but that doesn’t detract from what The Catechism says are Corporal Acts of Mercy, or do you disagree with The Catechism? Lovingly attempting to help people is not a bad thing, and it is what we are called to do. Jesus didn’t come to earth and ignore things, He became involved and helped people, we are called to imitate Him, and we are called to become involved too, and not simply bury our heads in the sand. Oh, and as far as all your great suggestions on right things to do, that’s why I am a member of The Knights of Columbus, those are all the things we do, all the time, and I think you may also find them to be a very rewarding organization to become involved with! Love, Brother…… ;)

      • Scooby Stephen

        You are not staying on topic. Of course we are to get involved and help the needy and people who oppress others and harm others. The topic here is people who leave church early. Nowhere does Jesus say, “Correct people who leave church early because you should be concerned with their personal affairs.” It’s minding someone else’s business that doesn’t need to be minded. They are not a bad person because they leave church early. They are not even a bad Catholic. They might be leaving early to get to work where they work long hours as a social worker to help others each and every day. It’s about knowing your place and minding your business. IF you saw a child being beaten in the bathroom of the church of course you would say something. We are not talking about that here. We are talking about people leaving church early which to me is a waste of time at this point. There are more important issues at hand. If you want to mind other people’s business go right ahead, but don’t think yo u are doing them a service or helping them be more “holy.” If anything you probably will push them away.

      • Rick Garland

        Yes, I totally agree, I’m sorry if you didn’t understand that, leaving early doesn’t make anyone a ‘bad person. I already said that there may be great and legit reasons, but does that mean you can’t talk about it? No, it doesn’t because perhaps they do not have a legit reason, perhaps they do not understand that Mass isn’t really over, perhaps they don’t know that they are short changing themselves from receiving the final blessing. Yes, there may be more important issues and we should talk about those also, and all of it must be done very gently, lovingly, and tactfully. I personally do not consider trying to help people ‘a waste of time,’ and neither does The Catholic Catechism. Peace….

      • Scooby Stephen

        Peace and grace and the wisdom to know where to direct your energies so that they might be most useful to the Kingdom of God.

      • Rick Garland

        Your arguments continue to make a lot of assumptions that are unfair, but I think we are talking about two different things because only God judges souls, but we are called to judge ‘behavior’ and there is a big difference there. We are not to judge ‘Eve’s’ soul, but we can all agree that eating the fruit was ‘bad behavior’ and ‘a sin.’ And leaving Mass early for no good reason is also ‘a sin.’ We are not to judge the person, but the action, yes. If we didn’t judge action/behavior then we wouldn’t need prisons because everything would be O.K. and we would never correct our children either for bad behavior, because that would also be OK. You are thinking that I’m judging souls, I am not, but we are called to judge behavior and that is in The Catechism.

      • JuliePurple

        Who says we are “called to judge behavior”? Unless in some capacity as juror, judge on a court, parent of the child, or some such, it’s really none of our business. And remember, the Garden of Eden story is a myth. Even if it weren’t, it would be more a story of god’s entrapment of “Adam and Eve” and vindictive punishment of them than a story of their bad behaviour.

      • Rick Garland

        It’s in The Bible, we are suppose to lead others to Christ though love and to encourage repentance, Lovingly lead people from sin, it is a Corporal Act of Mercy. God punishes no one, however, God loves us so much that he gave us the ‘Free Will’ to either love Him back, and follow His commandments, or not. If we follow Him, we have eternal life with Him, If we choose not to follow Him, we choose life somewhere else, but the key is, we are given our own choice to go where we want to go, God doesn’t punish us and send us anywhere, we choose where we want to go. Don’t we judge the behavior of our children, our friends, our family? If we truly love others, as God wants us to, shouldn’t we want to help others to eternal life with God, rather than to bury our heads in the sand, and allow them to stay on a path away from God? Lovingly? That is what The Gospels (The Good News) calls us to do….. love….

      • JuliePurple

        First of all, get your terms straight. “Corporal Acts of Mercy” have to do with real, tangible, physical things such as sheltering the homeless and suchlike.
        “Spiritual acts of mercy” are things like offering comfort and forgiveness, which are cool. But the “instructing the ignorant” is a pretty mixed bag. I can see where it could be really helpful, as when instructing someone in, say, how to cook or apply for a job or how to fish or something, but when it comes to religious matters, it can be making a huge assumption that you know more than the other guy about his situation. Do you know why the person is leaving early? Really, this has been addressed before, and very well, by Scooby Stephen. You don’t really know the situation. It’s not your business.
        And the idea that “God punishes no one”… well, you seem to like the bible. It’s clear that you either haven’t read it or have conveniently forgotton all the nasty, vindictive punitive acts of the supposed deity depicted therein.
        And Rick, please do me the favor of actually reading what I wrote. I mentioned instances in which it is reasonable for someone to judge and instruct, such as parents to children, judges in a courtroom setting, and so on.
        Assuming that others are on the wrong path … I bet you were a tattletale when you were a kid, weren’t you? From your postings I get the impression that you like to feel superior. Well, you’re not. Neither am I. Nobody is. We’re all pretty much just doing the best we can. We don’t need interference from busybodies.

      • JuliePurple

        Try to remember that what you call “choosing to follow Him” is merely doing what other people have told you. There is no objective proof that any biblical or religious source has a bead on what “God” wants. It’s all guesswork, based on unreliable data.

      • Rick Garland

        Just curious, do you think that leaving Mass early and missing the final prayer and blessing, simply in an effort to beat the traffic out of the parking lot, is a legit reason? If beating traffic is the only reason, do you think that would be in line with keeping The Lord’s day Holy as we are called to do?

      • Scooby Stephen

        I think it’s none of my business. i stay. i have also left early for legit reasons and to beat traffic because i was late. the bottom line is its between me and God and them and God. I’m sure people leave bc they are bored. that’s between them and God and most of all i am never to think i am better than them because i stayed.

      • Scooby Stephen

        Here, this is my “corporal work of mercy” to you:

        Look at (991)
        (blepo)
        means to look at or behold. Blepo
        generally denotes simply a voluntary observation or taking notice of
        something or someone. In some contexts blepo conveys the sense of
        directing one’s attention to something so as to take notice of it or
        consider it (eg,

        Speck (mote,
        KJV) (2595)
        (kárphos from kárpho = to dry or wither) refers to
        anything that is dry and light, such as straw, stubble, chaff, a little
        splinter of wood, a mote. It describes any tiny bit of dry material that
        might blow into the eye, such as a speck of dust, sawdust, wool, etc.
        Kárpho could refer to almost any tiny bit of substance. Figuratively
        kárphos refers to some slight moral defect seen in another. The
        self-righteous man is likely to see these, while being unconscious of
        greater evils in himself.

        Jesus addresses a
        similar type of judgmental hypocrisy in Luke 18…

        And He also told this parable to
        certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and
        viewed others with contempt:

        “Two men went up into the temple to
        pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. “The Pharisee stood
        and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not
        like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this
        tax-gatherer. ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

        Let me not judge my fellowmen,
        But understand them, Lord, and when
        The casting of the stones begins,
        Remind me of my many sins. –Vandegrift

        Inspect your own life
        before you look
        for specks in others.

      • Rick Garland

        I guess we will have to agree to disagree……

      • Scooby Stephen

        Jesus says, “Mind the log in your own eye, before you worry about the tiny spec in your brother’s eye.” I think that says it all. He is essentially saying, “Mind your own business because just as you think that person over there has sinned, you probably have sinned just as much or worse. So zip it.”

      • Rick Garland

        The scripture you quote is to point out that you should not be a hypocrite, no where does Jesus say ‘mind your own business,’ we are called to help people. I’m sorry you do not understand or agree with that. Love….

      • Scooby Stephen

        No, I think we have different meanings of helping people. My understanding of helping people is serving them, yours, from what you have expressed here is to mind other people’s personal affairs.

        Ask your priest what “mind the log in your own eye” means. It means mind your business and your own affairs in the language of Jesus’ time. You can look it up, consult a priest if you need to. Don’t take my word for it. ;)

      • Rick Garland

        I am an Apologist and am quite aware what the log in your eye scripture means, and if it did mean ‘Mind your own business,’ than we should ignore all sin, including criminals? There are many ways to help people and helping with sin is something we are called to do, it’s in The Catechism, it is a Corporal Act of Mercy and helps both the person you are helping as well as yourself. Check with The Catechism and check with your priest.

      • George

        If you truly check the catechism, you’ll leave the catholic church. It contains such things as: Natural law (Aristotelian greek pagan philosophy), and a whole lot of other innovations introduced this millennia and last such as purgatory, immaculate birth of Mary, infallible popes, indulgences, etc… If you want to do an act of mercy, go ahead and trace down were everything in the catechism comes from and then do the right thing for you and others that want to hear.

      • Rick Garland

        Jesus created His Church on Peter, then said The Father would send down The Holy Spirit to guide and teach The Church forever. Jesus said he would never leave us Orphans, so if you do not believe that His Church, The Catholic Church, including The Catechism is wrong, then you are calling Jesus a liar. Personally, I’m not going to do that and if Jesus is guiding us forever, I’m listening to the entity that He is guiding.

      • George

        The Orthodox church is thee Church as far as I can tell. They are the only ones that stayed true to the teachings of the early christians.
        Are you saying that the Holy Spirit led the Pope in the middle ages to sell indulgences for the forgiveness of sin so that all the fanciest and richest buildings in the Vatican were built? The Holy spirit told the Pope in the 19th century that he was now infallible? Yet, Peter, the first Pope, made a lot of mistakes and Jesus corrected Him various times. The catholic church has strayed and gone against tradition. In the 3rd and 4th century the RCIA was instituted to among other things, make sure that greek philosophy didn’t corrupt christianity. But the roman catholic church allowed greek philosophy into the church teaching on the 13th century with Thomas Aquinas and others. Was that the Holy spirit too?
        No, the catholic church strayed from christian tradition and uses philosophy to try to read the mind of God, and that was expressly forbidden by St. Paul’s revelation that we should not let anyone lead us away from christianity using philosophy. It’s all in the Bible and the tradition.

      • Rick Garland

        Yes, there are sinners in The Catholic Church, big sinners, there are sinners in every church. In fact, Jesus let us know that there would always be sinners because one of his very own Apostles/Priests, Judas, sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver, and Jesus spent all His time with sinners because the righteous did not need him. Peter also was a sinner, but giving Peter The Keys To The Kingdom was significant because that’s what the Jewish Prime Ministers (2nd in command to the King) had for when the King needed assistance. God has always had a representative on earth, starting with Adam, Noah, Mosses, the prophets, etc., then ultimately Jesus, who made Peter the representative on earth with The Keys. And every representative on earth, except Jesus, has been as sinner, some worse than others, but that doesn’t change the fact that Jesus made Peter the Pope, and Jesus said he’d be with us forever (all us sinners) and would guide us. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t sin, but he would guide His church, The Catholic Church, the only Church established by Jesus himself. If you don’t follow along with that you are calling Jesus a liar. If you need more affirmation of Catholicism, check out some the Eucharistic Miracles that have taken place over the years. My favorite, Lanciano Italy, where medical science proved that a piece of bread and some fluid that bled from the bread on the altar, which was now 1400 years old actually had turned into a piece of mydacardium tissue (human heart tissue) from a man between 30-35 years of age, and the liquid was human blood, type A/B Positive, the universal blood acceptable by anybody on the planet! Seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will be open….God has give us many miracles that affirms Catholicism, but if you do not seek them, you will be led astray. Yes there have been and always will be sinners in Jesus’ Church, he let us know that in many ways, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Catholic Church is still the only church that Jesus himself personally founded upon Peter…… :)

      • George

        I think you are putting way too much emphasis on Peter’s relationship to the city of Rome, and ignoring the fact that the catholic church has deviated significantly from the tradition. Anyone, in any city, that deviates from christian tradition is an apostate. The “second in command” has to carry out the orders of the King/Jesus, and the bishop of the city of Rome is a second in command so he can’t just change whatever he feels like if it contradicts tradition.
        Peter has been accepted as the leader of the Apostles by the Orthodox, and this preeminence is shared by the successor bishops in all the churches descended from the original apostles. Rome is a city, not an apostle, and as such claiming that the bishop of Rome is the highest among all because he is in Rome is not a valid claim. Look at the consequences of all the innovations of the roman catholics, what happened to the body of the church due to the innovation of indulgences? The bishop of Rome sinned deeply selling indulgences to pay for a lifestyle of sin and build palaces for himself. The protestant reformation, a consequence of the sale of indulgences, split the church, and today we have 20,000 christian denominations. History condemns the bishop of Rome.

      • Rick Garland

        yes, we are all sinners, including the bishops, including the Popes, some worse than others but Jesus made Peter the Pope and said he would guide His church forever, so I’m not going to doubt that and I’m not going to call Jesus a liar. ;)

      • George

        Peter did his work and died on Earth. Jesus made Peter and only Peter the leader among the Apostles, not a city and definitely not Rome only. Peter established the early church with the other Apostles, and accomplished his work. When did Jesus say that Peter’s successor IN ROME would be the one that would reign supreme over all the others? He never did. That is a power grab by many men in Rome that wanted power. The early fathers decided things in councils, not as one supreme dictator telling the others how it is.
        The bishop of Antioch can also claim the title of successor to Peter. Peter was the first bishop in Antioch. Linus was the first bishop of Rome, not Peter. The see of Peter was seen to be present at all the churches, not just in Rome.
        You can close your eyes if you want, but now that you’ve read what I wrote you won’t have an excuse when Jesus asks you about it. Good luck.

      • Rick Garland

        You need to check out the history of ‘Keys to the City.’ You see, every Jewish King had a Prime Minister with “Keys to the City” that tradition is still with us for police and fire fighters, even civilians who perform courageous acts and at a ceremony receive “The Keys to The City” Those keys establish God’s representative on Earth. And what about all the Eucharist Miracles over the years from The Catholic Church? How to explain them. If you don’t know about them, I’ll be glad to point you in the right direction so you’ll also know what to say to Jesus when he asks you about them! ;)

      • George

        Peter was given the keys, fine. Peter was given the keys, Peter, not Rome, and back in the day not even the roman catholic church existed in its present form. Peter is not equal to bishop of Rome today(or at any other time than when Peter himself was the bishop).
        The miracles are not performed by the catholic, orthodox, calvinist, lutheran, evangelical or any other church. The miracles are performed by Christ. That is how I explain it, no need to deify any church, and to be more specific no need to deify the Catholic church. Christ’s power continues to flow to bless Christians, even when they are formal members of churches that have strayed. That is how big His love is.
        Without Christ, no one or church has much power.

      • Rick Garland

        The miracles, more than one, by Jesus, were given to, shown to, or whatever you want to say, to The Catholic Church, so good luck arguing against that when you meet Jesus……Apostolic Succession exists, it’s real, and personally, as I said before, I’m not going to call Jesus a liar about guiding ‘His’ Church for ever and ever and not leaving us ‘Orphans.’ ;)

      • George

        I don’t need to argue with Jesus. He performs miracles for all christians in MANY denominations.
        The orthodox have the same authentic claim to Apostolic succession, Peter was not the only apostle as you know and Peter founded the church of Antioch and influenced all of them.
        Jesus’s church is the one that stayed faithful to his message, and that is the Orthodox. The roman catholic and orthodox cannot be both be correct, they have significant doctrinal differences, and the orthodox church doctrine hasn’t changed through millennia. So if they are wrong, then that is like saying that the early christians were wrong. There is no other conclusion than the roman catholic church is not “His” church since it deviated from the original church of the Apostles.

      • Rick Garland

        So which of the approx 7 orthodox churches do you think is ‘The One?’

      • George

        All 7 form one church.
        You should be aware that the Catholic church also has lots of churches, it seems the number is 23:

        1. Western Tradition:
        Latin Church
        2. Byzantine Tradition:
        Albanian Byzantine Catholic Church
        Belarusian Greek Catholic Church
        Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church
        Church of Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro
        Greek Byzantine Catholic Church
        Hungarian Greek Catholic Church
        Italo-Albanian Catholic Church
        Macedonian Greek Catholic Church
        Melkite Catholic Church
        Romanian Catholic Church
        Russian Catholic Church
        Ruthenian Catholic Church
        Slovak Catholic Church
        Ukrainian Greek Catholic ChurchAntiochian or West Syrian TraditionMaronite Church
        Syriac Catholic Church
        Syro-Malankara Catholic ChurchChaldean or East Syrian TraditionChaldean Catholic Church
        Syro-Malabar Catholic ChurchArmenian TraditionArmenian Catholic ChurchAlexandrian TraditionCoptic Catholic Church
        Ethiopian Catholic Church

      • Rick Garland

        Well, I’m sorry, but your original comment referred to singular, the Orthodox Church, but now you speak in plurals (sects), and there is only one Catholic (Universal) Church. I don’t think you put enough emphasis on the importance on Peter, Jesus gave Peter, no one else the keys. Jesus said he would guide us forever and not leave us orphans and I’m sure that Jesus (God) knew all about Peter’s short commings when He put Peter in charge. I’m also very sure that Jesus knew what future Pope’s would do, did I mention that many more Pope’s are Saints than who were lousy rotten scoundrels? So, again I’ll go with the ‘Leap of Faith’ so to speak and I’m going with what Jesus said as I’m not personally brave enough to call him a liar and to come up with my own rationalizations and better ideas….. ;)

      • George

        Are you serious, or are you kidding? Seriously.

      • Rick Garland

        Seems pretty simple to me, no need to over complicate it, no reason to doubt what Jesus said. Jesus created a church, The Church, on Peter, gave him keys to The Kingdom, said He would guide us always and not leave us orphans, and when He knew all that would happen, didn’t He (The Omnipresent thing.) so there ya’ go, and that’s where I am, The Church, seriously Brother. :)

      • George

        Peter founded the church in Antioch, which is Orthodox.
        Jesus knew there would be false prophets.

      • Rick Garland

        Yeah, but Peter got the keys….and I’m cool with that! Love Brother! ;)

      • Rick Garland

        From my perspective, you are following the false prophets.

      • George

        ok. Then you call Jesus and all the early christians false prophets. The orthodox have kept it like it was back then, unlike the roman catholics.

      • Rick Garland

        I would debate that everyone was agreed until the 1099 then the Greeks separated, everyone was the same till then and the Catholic Church is the same since then…..

      • George

        Since the schism in 1057, the catholic church has introduced among other things; immaculate birth of Mary, the summa theologica with its natural law, infallibility of the Pope, and many other innovations in Vatican councils and the council of Trent. Before the schism, the catholics were pushing purgatory, that the holy spirit was beneath/descended from the father and the son and other things.
        In the meantime, the orthodox remained the same as the church was before the schism. They didn’t separate and become something different as the roman catholics did; they didn’t agree to the changes the roman bishop wanted to make and the roman bishop retaliated by excommunicating the patriarch. It’s always been about an egomaniac roman desire to control and conquer everyone else. The roman empire is no longer in existence, and the roman catholic church is left with a bag of false teachings from those days. Repentance and humility is all that is needed so that all christians are united again.

      • Rick Garland

        Jesus – “I will guide and teach you forever.” Yes, things changed as guided by the ‘Holy Spirit’ just as Jesus had said. The only thing that stays the same in life that everything is always changing. However, nothing has changed on ‘Faith’ and ‘Morals’ Jesus said he would guide ‘His Church’ forever and not leave us Orphans. Seems pretty obvious to me that ‘He’ guided the changes and continues to guide us and I’m not going to doubt that. I’m not going to think Jesus lied to us…..

      • George

        Can you share the book, chapter and verse for the statement you are quoting from Jesus? I looked, but couldn’t find it.

      • Rick Garland

        John 14: 15-18 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the spirit of truth (the Holy Spirit), which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans.

        John 15: 25 – “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name – he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.

        Mt 28: 20 – “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

        Mt 16: 18 – “And so I say to you, you are Peter (The Rock), and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

        As a note, The Church did not all of a sudden decide to elevate Mary, The Church always had ‘The Tradition’ of ‘Venerating’ Mary and her ‘Immaculate Conception,’ but they felt that since it was such a strong and important ‘Tradition’ that they would (guided by The Holy Spirit) make it an official part of Church Doctrine. The Miraculous Medal came out in 1832, while the Doctrine was not promulgated until 1850.

      • George

        Yeah, I’m sure the Jehova’s witness, the mormons, the lutherans, the calvinist, and every corner Bible preacher claims to also be inspired by the Holy spirit and can cite the same passages.
        I’ve got to check with the bishop of Antioch, a direct successor to the Apostle Peter who was the first bishop of Antioch, to see why the Holy spirit didn’t keep him in the loop regarding all these innovations. We need to get the latest “update” from the Holy spirit to our doctrine so we can keep up.

      • Rick Garland

        Yeah, I figured you’d be sarcastic and a smart ass, rather than being Christianly, and not see the common sense logic in this, but you know what they say, ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.’ And what are many Christians really great at, not acting like Christians. Jesus said he’d guide us forever, it’s in the Bible, He created His Church, and he continues to guide us, period, common sense. If some other patriarch, even if he has apostolic succession decides to leave, then he leaves. Is he also guided by the Holy Spirit? Perhaps he is, perhaps he isn’t, but either way, that doesn’t change the facts that you want to continue to dispute. You asked for what Jesus said, I told you scripture, you don’t want to believe it. That’s your ‘Free Will Choice,’ and you certainly are a braver fellow than I, because I am not going to question what Jesus said, come up with some other line of logic to dispute it and/or call Him a liar, so good luck with that and may God bless you….love Brother…..

      • George

        I’m just not clear how you prove that the Holy spirit is guiding the RCC. Peter established multiple churches in addition to the roman church.

      • Rick Garland

        Don’t know where you’re getting that idea from. Peter establish one Universal (Catholic) Church, and only one, whose representative on earth, as appointed by Jesus, is The Pope, and all churches were lead by him, the Pope, and everyone agreed on that until 1057, and you can’t go back and undo that just because you didn’t like something a Pope did.

      • George

        Like I said before, Peter was the first bishop of Antioch too. So why are you so sure that only the roman bishop is guided by the Holy spirit? Peter founded all the churches with the other Apostles. You are assuming that Peter’s power only passed to his successor in Rome. Why didn’t it pass to all the other bishops? Why did the bishop of Antioch, also a successor to Peter, didn’t get Peter’s power?

      • Rick Garland

        In one of my posts, which I guess you didn’t see, I never said that the Holy Spirit doesn’t guide others churches, I think The Holy Spirit does guide other people in other churches too. I personally think that’s why so many Protestants eventually convert to Catholicism, but after doing a bit of research it seems that on The Catholic Church as some very convincing Eucharistic Miracles that other churches, including the Orthodox Church, do not have, which in my mind confirms the ultimate ‘Truth’ of Catholicism, even though the Orthodox church is so very, very close, that we Catholics are allowed to take Communion in an Orthodox Church and at Catholic Men’s Conferences there is almost always an Orthodox Priest participating in Adoration, Lectures, Prayers, and Masses.

      • Rick Garland

        Oh, sorry, I didn’t answer properly, no where did I say that The Holy Spirit is guiding only the RCC, The Holy Spirit may be guiding all churches, even Protestant Churches, and I think that He is, which would account for why so many people who study History, and the early Church Fathers have converted to Catholicism.

        All denominations who follow Christ have truth in them, however Catholicism has the ‘Fullness of The Truth,’ with the Orthodox Church running a very, very, extremely close 2nd! ;) Which is why most Catholic Men’s Conference today include both RCC and Orthodox Priests in their Masses, Adorations, and lectures.

        I did some research last night and at this time can only conclude that the only church who has bonafide Eucharistic Miracles is the RCC.

        And let me ask you to ponder the following:

        Battleground Earth is a struggle between good and evil, with Lucifer always trying to stop God’s people and church, and there is always great strength in numbers, so in 1057 when the schism occurred, who do think was happier, Jesus or Lucifer? When Martin Luther split from the RCC in approx. 1550, who was happier Jesus or Lucifer? When Henry VII split from the RCC, who was happier, Jesus or Lucifer? It’s an old trick used by Lucifer and used in many military conquests around the globe, the English used it big time against the Irish, “Divide and Conquer.”

        Well, Lucifer continues to battle us, continues to try to destroy the RCC, and many have often unsuspectingly joined him in that effort, but the RCC continues to be the very largest Christ based organization in the world, who feeds more hungry, clothes more needy, medically helps more sick than any and all other Christ based organizations in the world COMBINED! There is strength in numbers and Lucifer will continue to try to destroy The Church with his ‘Divide and Conquer’ strategy, so we have to continue to ‘Fight the Good Fight’ each and every day, but we all remember what Jesus said, “….I will build my church, and the gates of the neterworld shall not prevail against it.” Peace……

      • YaraGreyjoy

        Hey, hey, hey, man! NOT cool! As fellow members of the most ancient of Christian churches – whatever else you think of us Catholics we have more in common with you Orthodox folks than either one of us does with the mormons or the Jehovah’s Witnesses! There should be a mutual respect between us – don’t do us the disservice of comparing us to 400 or less years old Protestant groups! :D

        The Great Schism as we call it refers to our parting of the ways with the church in Constantinople – the magnitude of with which we hold that event is evidence of our respect for all the churches & people of the Orthodox faith. I don’t understand why you argue this, the argument was settled way, way back staring in 1053 – the results were we broke apart or in today’s terms “agreed that we disagree” on many things particularly key matters of doctrine.

        I was raised by my “Latin Rite” Catholic church to have great respect for our Orthodox “brothers” – your church body is full of the wisdom of thousands of years & no one doubts your legitimacy or sincerity of belief or would dare presume to tell you, or even have an opinion on, whether or not your church is guided by the Holy Spirit (that would be presumptuous in the extreme, not to mention rude). I just don’t “get” why people argue now over issues settled, in our case, nearly 1000 years ago…

      • Rick Garland

        Oh, and what you listed as Catholic ‘Sects’ are not Sects, they are simply different ‘Rites’ that can be celebrated for Mass, but every Catholic Church reports to ‘The Pope,’ so everyone has the same leader, one leader, one church. The Orthodox churches are ‘Sects’ as each has it’s own leader, not one. As Scott Hahn so aptly describes them, “They are a band of brothers without a father.”

      • George

        The patriarch of Constantinople is the first among equals. The Orthodox church has a father, in Heaven, His name is Jesus.
        I didn’t list any “sects”. I listed churches.
        “Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven” (Matt. 23:9)

      • YaraGreyjoy

        Yeah, it’s actually more a matter of cultural difference than doctrine – they’re all in “communion with the Holy See” these are the “Eastern” Catholic churches who have different “rites” (ie they might bow where we would genuflect) but not doctine/dogma, etc.

      • George

        Jesus also said that there would be false prophets. Kind of like Virgin apparitions that claim to be Queen of Heaven, etc… And churches that deviate from the christian tradition. All those are false prophets, and Jesus predicted some of those would come. That is why you need to think a little, instead of keep telling yourself that; Peter got the keys, Peter got the keys, etc…

      • Marty Quinlan

        “The only difference between a sinner and a saint is found in their attitude toward sins.” – Fulton J. Sheen

      • JuliePurple

        That quote is either taken out of context or Sheen didn’t think it through. And what’s with the picture? What does it have to do with this? Yeah , it’s the pope. So?

      • Marty Quinlan

        Sorry if it offends no malicious intent was
        implied. Enjoy your Sunday.

      • JuliePurple

        You mean about the picture? It’s not that it offends, but rather that it’s not relevant to the discussion.

      • YaraGreyjoy

        So you’re an atheist (which is totally cool, btw. All of my friends are atheists who happen to care deeply about the same stuff I do, actually, like radical social justice, liberation theology without the theology of course & as for me, I like most Catholics I differ with certain church teachings you can probably guess at). So to you, I’d guess it’s just a picture of the current head of the Catholic church. The main relevance isn’t so much that it’s the Pope, it’s that he’s giving the thumb’s up sign indicating approval of the above sentiment. Secondarily I’d hazard the context of using a picture of the pope is, well, this is an explicitly Catholic website so… I’m not getting the prickly reaction.

        You were very cool in the thread the (born-again, evangelical, whatever) Protestants that come to troll this site are currently having their collective meltdown in, the one about Mary. Nothing makes an Evangelical crazy like mentioning the exalted status Catholics give Mary – an issue on which the Catholics and Protestants radically differ. Works every time. Personally I think it’s got nothing to do with scripture, that’s just an excuse, it’s all just misogyny given the heat that comes of that particular topic. And I thought the church (RC) had issues!

        I can’t talk to them the way I can talk to you: you’re smart, have an independent mind, know how to think critically where they just scream their dogma in your face which is weird because of how they say it, like Catholics aren’t aware of what happened approx 400 years ago… I don’t really understand why they feel the need to come here – I think it’s just to hate on some Catholics for being Catholic – an exercise in futility & stupidity not to mention intolerance.

        Would it be acceptable to do the same on an explicitly Jewish website? I can’t even imagine seeking out a site full of people I know I disagree with just to disagree with them, weird. So I guess I’m going to do you the courtesy of asking you why you are here. Given all the givens: ie you being seemingly secure in your beliefs (or rather lack thereof – again, not threatening, totally cool with that) what’s the deal with raging against this particular machine? I could think of a few very good reasons, but you’re more general in your criticism so I have to ask. As an intelligent person I anticipate a reasoned, civil response. Apologies in advance if I’ve offended you, I’m just trying to keep a more jocular tone so everyone can lighten up & talk a little, no disrespect intended.

      • JuliePurple

        Wow, thanks. As you said, it’s nice to have an intelligent conversation. No, I’m not at all offended. Actually, I understand about attempting to lighten things up; see my joke, above.
        Okay, firstly, I’m not atheist, I’m agnostic. Big difference. An atheist claims to know for sure, just as religious people do. Me, I simply don’t think we humans have enough information yet to make an accurate decision on the subject of whether or not there is a god. Will we in the future? I don’t know. And first, one must define “God”. My thought on it is that if there is one it would have to be the totality of Nature, all its laws and processes, but possessed of consciousness. But I don’t know.
        As to why I’m here… I went to Catholic schools for many years. I had a lot of questions that never got satisfactory answers, and I was often reprimanded not only for the content of the questions themselves, but for even having questions in the first place. The whole subject was interesting to me, and I had often wished for some real dialogue about it all. Well, here it is. I am *still* interested in the topics and the dialogue still interests me. Not only that, but here and there I see a reasonable and compassionate (IMHO:-) response from a priest, which I find encouraging.

      • JuliePurple

        Oh, and by the way, it’s not “raging against the machine” so much as it is just trying to interject a bit of logic and to get people to actually THINK, rather than blindly follow and parrot the party line, and to have reasonable discussions.

      • YaraGreyjoy

        Just a quickie reply – I had a longer one to your post above (to be continued) but my computer is for lack of a better term “freaking out” which includes destroying large blocks of text apparently. :/ Ok, I admit, I failed emoticons.

        I’m behind you, I appreciate it whenever anyone tries to interject critical thinking into, well anything these days. I think though, and maybe this is just “lucky me” – see my response above re my experiences with “the Church” which strongly emphasized critical thinking & encouraged me to question & test everything – kind of the opposite of your experience. :(

        It’s been my experience & I think you’ll find at least some Catholics (I’ve yet to see a jerk priest on this site for example, they’re usually the most thoughtful – they lean liberal here which is why I’m here, honestly) are not just blindly mouthing dogma without question. Catholicism, like Judaism, Islam & Orthodoxy not to mention the ancient religions of the East – are 1000′s of years old, full of a great deal of humanity’s best works in terms of art, architecture, music, literature & of course scholarship, the progress of dialectic thought & teaching, by of some of the best minds in (I’m focusing solely for brevity’s sake) Western thought.

        Thomas Aquinas is a good example of such a person who is recognized outside the church as a great mind, intellectually relevant beyond his influence on the Church (that’s why I was lulz at the suggestion that – of all people & mind you there are some seriously “out there” saints – he was possessed! He’s this serious, kind of dry, scholar, with an image more like a law professor, so the idea of him as what? a pea-soup vomiting possession case (lol) is just… bizarre to me & pretty funny too. Aquinas? Really?)

        In my experience, the older religious traditions have a tendency to produce (not all the time) a fair amount of people with a longer, more nuanced, open, flexible & dare I say sophisticated view of reality & are generally more worldly than say Protestants of ilk that populates your favorite thread & mine! (Pastor Dwayne FTW!!! I love that guy… I love how he announces with such sound & fury mere… banalities or asks what you know he imagines to be this cutting, devastating question that he thinks will shake your faith (or your lack of faith – I saw that the good Pastor somehow figured out that “Satan” had a particularly strong “hold” on you LOL!) to the core(!) & you just know he’s expecting a shocked, embarrassed response when it couldn’t be further from what he consistently gets: every Catholic in the thread is just like this dispassionate “yeah, that’s a fact, we know Protestants follow the doctrine of sola scripture which Catholics (like Jews & Muslims etc revere, for lask of a better term, traditions, scholarship, etc accumulated over the centuries & you do not, sola scripture, got it, had it, knew it as a child)… this is more a “well known fact” rather than “mind-blowing” “revelation” & we just sort of sit back like “And your point is?”

        Wanna hear the craziest part? That thread is – are you ready? – 6 freaking years old!!! Kept solely alive by vigorous Evangelical Protestant trolling! It’s at once mystifying, and hilarious all at the same time. Wanna see the worst of religious, well I can’t call it “thought,” rather people just shouting dogma & non-sequiters at you and calling it an argument (that they’re convinced they’re winning, oh yeah)? Look no further…it’s a doozy. I can always get a good laugh by sticking my toe in there every once in a while & stir the hornet’s nest some – I never know what non-sequiter they’ll hurl at me – it never makes any sense(!), cracks me up) In contrast, lots of people that come from a relatively young religion, again in my experience & I’ve met exceptions… not to the evangelicals though. The various Protestant sects – yes I know there are exceptions, just not in that thread :D – the oldest Protestant religion is at most 400 odd years old, most are far younger & on top of that, they regard anything but the BIBLE! (emphasis theirs’) as heretical so there’s already an anti-intellectualism built in (I contrast this with the traditions of the Talmud, the tafsirs of Islam & the scholarly traditions of the Orthodox & Catholic churches – all encourage & are examples of thought & analysis) especially for the Evangelicals, it’s a very young movement that began in America (Los Angeles is usually cited as where it all began) in the 1920s with the advent of radio & was created & spread by radio preachers (the most famous one is also cited as the mother of what was/became evangelism: Aimee Semple McPhereson (sp?))

        Anyway that’s what counts as short for me – I’m not feeling so well today :( I wanted to write you something after my response to everything you mentioned in your longer post was “eaten” & that thread of crazy is some kind of marvel so I kinda went on at length.

      • JuliePurple

        All cool.
        So… Disqus practices graphophagy?

      • YaraGreyjoy

        Alas, it could have been my computer on it’s last legs wreaking havoc before it’s put to pasture. But I have heard that with the “new disqus” – I guess there was an update – it has a reputation for eating posts occasionally. I do know most comment systems nowadays automatically scrub posts with “trigger” words, usually they’re either very racist or anti-semitic, & they also filter out some of the stronger profanity people use when they’re having an all out fight, you can guess which ones I’m sure.

      • YaraGreyjoy

        Holy cow, what is it with these Protestant trolls hating on the influence of Hellenistic thought on Catholic theology? I’m afraid there’s bad news for them – pretty much ALL of Western ideas spring from “pagan” LOL! classical philosophy! They haven’t had a thought in their little pea brained heads that wasn’t in some way influenced in some way by the Greeks & to a lesser extent the Romans. Fond of Democracy much you PAGAN?!? Sorry, sorry I had to, their weird fixations are just too much for me sometimes.

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