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Filum Romanum - A Thread for the Catholic Church:

 1 Achaemenid, Tue, 9th Apr '13 5:05:54 AM from Mitakihara Town, Copenhagen Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Seeing as the two threads we've had on the Papal Election have veered off-topic and into discussing the Catholic Church in general, I thought it might be worth creating a general thread to discuss the Church of Rome.

The Catholic Church is the world's largest Christian denomination - of Earth's 2.2 billion Christians, 1.2 billion of them are, at least nominally, Catholics. It is headed by the Pope, who holds supreme authority over the Church and it's adherents, though since Pius XII, this power is exercised in conjunction with the Curia and the will of the Faithful. When speaking on a matter of faith or moralsnote , he may claim infallibility - speaking "from the chair of St Peter" (ex cathedra). The only explicit use of this infallibility was in 1950, when Pope Pius XII declared that the corpse of the Virgin Mary was assumed bodily into heaven, rather than decaying, though other pronouncements are thought to be infallible. There have been 217 Italian popes, 17 Frenchmen, 13 Greeks, 8 Germans, 6 Syrians, 3 Africans (though none from Sub-Saharan Africa), 2 Portuguese, 2 Spaniards, 2 from what is now Israel, an Englishman, a Dutchman, a Pole, and most recently an Argentine.

The Catholic Church has historically been "anchored" in Europe, where it was founded (sort of), but the rise of Protestantism, secularism and unbelief in Europe, as well as a corresponding ascendancy of the Faith in the New World and Asia has led to a decisive shift away - the current Pope, Francis I, is the first from outside Europe, and the papabile (those Cardinals considered likely to become Pope) at the 2013 Papal Conclave included Cardinal Tagle of the Phillipines, Cardinal Turkson of Ghana, Cardinal Ouellet of Canada, Cardinal Scherer of Brazil, Cardinals O'Malley and Dolan of the USA, Cardinal Ranjith of Ceylon, Cardinal Maradiaga of Honduras, and Cardinal Sarah of Guinea.

The Church has lasted for nearly two millenia, making it possibly the institution on Earth. The Church maintains that it is the One True Church of Jesus Christ. It has survived wars, Reformation, tyrants and saints, corruption and charity, scandal and triumph, Communism and fascism, heroes and villains.

However, it faces modern challenges, such as the clerical abuse scandal, the rise of secularism in Europe, a deeply inflexible Curia (the Church's civil service), and a modern world that, perhaps, is changing faster than the Church can keep up.

  • Note: The list of banned topics for OTC includes "abortion" and "atheism vs theism", as well as a number of others that could conceivably come up, what with the Church being a global institution and what not. Please refrain from discussing them, or, if they must be discussed, discuss Catholic doctrine on them. Tread lightly, etc.

So, some news:

Fun fact: The Catholic Church was founded with an Incredibly Lame Pun: Jesus supposedly said "Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesia meam. (Matthew 16: 18-19, Vulgate) This translates as "You are Peter, and upon this rock I shall build my Church." The Latin spelling of Peter is "Petrus", which is also Greek for rock.

edited 9th Apr '13 9:02:54 AM by Achaemenid

Die Russen seind gefallen in Preußen ein;

Auf, laßt uns sie zeigen, daß wir brave Landeskinder sein!
 2 Ramidel, Wed, 10th Apr '13 3:47:03 PM Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Well, Pope Francis' opening moves seem to be getting results. Millions of lapsed Catholics are returning to the Church under the new Pope.

Euo will do!
[up]Hmmm... maybe this will get some in the Vatican looking long and hard on the reasons why people lapse in the first place... Well, maybe. <_<
"When all else failed, she tried being reasonable." ~ Pratchett, Johnny and the Bomb
 4 Gaon, Wed, 10th Apr '13 7:10:04 PM from Grim Up North Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
I've been wondering lately about The Exsorcism division of the Catholic Church. We never hear much about them [besides a while ago where the Vatican chief exorcist claimed Satan was in the Vatican]. Do they even work these days?
Mouth whines. Hands changes.
The Catholic Church is the world's largest Christian denomination - of Earth's 2.2 billion Christians, 1.2 billion of them are, at least nominally, Catholics.

Wow, really? That's interesting. I thought it was Protestant.
 
 6 Trivialis, Wed, 10th Apr '13 7:33:26 PM from contemplation
Happiness
Protestant isn't a division...

I have mixed, mostly no hard feelings toward the Catholic Church.
I don't need praise, I need help.
Mouth whines. Hands changes.
Protestant isn't a division...

 
 8 0dd 1, Wed, 10th Apr '13 7:40:31 PM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
Protestant is more like a huge collection of denominations that aren't Catholic. That's where the name comes from in the first place, just that it was deviating from the main Church when it first came about. There isn't a single "Protestant religion".
Insert witty and clever quip here.

My page, as the database hates my handle.

My music.
 9 Trivialis, Wed, 10th Apr '13 7:44:44 PM from contemplation
Happiness
Yeah, there is no "Protestant Church". The denominations all have different names.

OP: I don't think Peter's name is a pun. The title was fully intentional. Wasn't that in fact the verse when Simon was given that title?

[up]Just to be clear, it does not include all non-Catholic denominations.

edited 10th Apr '13 7:48:36 PM by Trivialis

I don't need praise, I need help.
 10 Pykrete, Wed, 10th Apr '13 7:52:02 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
"Protestant" is a catch-all term for an incredibly disparate collection of denominations whose chief (and possibly only) common element is "not Catholic". Ideally you'd get funny looks for haphazardly throwing Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, and everything between into the same bag and expecting some sense of coherency, but sadly it's modus operandi for most study data.

Oh, and this was silly. We really need to work on our presentation.

edited 10th Apr '13 7:54:06 PM by Pykrete

 11 Cider, Wed, 10th Apr '13 8:25:18 PM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
The Catholic Church in its conception was nothing but a tool of Roman Imperialism and not at all in line with the ecclesiastic assembly that the Bible called for.

Eccelisa was a democratic gathering of citizens in Athens, the earliest Christians wanted that and they wanted it separate from the Roman empire. That goal has been partially achieved as most Christians live in democratic countries today and Rome gone but the Church was an active hindrance to this process. In fact, if the protestant reformation was fought by anything other than Christians(who are not suppose to fight) it would have been seen as heroic.

The Catholic Church has made positive progress from its corrupt gentile empire roots, the Pope tried to speak out against fascist insanity even if Benito Mussolini effectively silenced him and did good things for the Jews after the war. A long way from Constantine's "Let us have nothing more to do with these detestable Jews" but you still have a long way to go. You have had a fairly good Greek manuscript for 1709 years. It is high time the Church start jettisoning that which is not in line with it. Let the church be more ecclesiastic than the governments that allow it to operate, not less. Let the church teach the Greek wording, the meaning it would have in the time period and the attitude of the Jewish Jesus. Let the Church inform the assembly in these matters and give them more power to vote.

Surely to be eligible for clergy positions one should probably have the proper education, I am not saying the body of believers should just vote for whoever they want, but they should have direct voice wherever possible. As the largest Christian denomination it is your responsibility to draw the modern, water down Christian back to his roots and at the same time to modernize, setting the example for the smaller sects to follow. The Anglicans should not have been the first with Women, Gay and Black Bishops. There are insane preachers praying for the deaths of world leaders, Ann Coulter calling for the invasion of nations to turn them Christians, fire-brimstone spewers(for where is it written Sheol is place of such torture?) and nuts sputtering about the end of times that will not come. It is your job to reign in those who would twist scripture as well as those who would slander it, and lo do you make slander easy with your images of Christ Jesus which are not only idolatrous but inaccurate to the anointed one's Mediterranean BCE Jewish figure.

Yes the protestant reformation was good for its time but today anyone can start his own religion so long as he calls it Christian. It is time for reform, it is time for a change, it is time for the churches and denominations to fade and the ecclesiastic assemblies to arise, starting with the Vatican Catholic Democratic Assembly, Amen.
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
Is that cake frosting?
It is a little unfair to judge the first times of the Catholic/Orthodox Church through a concept — separation between Church and State — that was developed more than one thousand of years later. The earliest Christians were Hebrews; and presumably, they would have wanted for Christianity the same role that the Jewish religion had in Israel, in which it was absolutely a state religion. Yes, in hindsight, we can certainly say that the authority that the Roman Emperors had over the early Church was absolutely excessive; but that's, well, hindsight.

For example, the Armenian Apostolic Church, which developed independently from the Roman Empire (Armenia was not a part of the Empire...) was definitely a state religion during its early times.

The Reformation, from my perspective, was a mixed bag. Martin Luther was absolutely right in criticizing some aspects of the Church (and other people, for example Erasmus of Rotterdam, had done it before); but his theological innovations, especially Sola Scriptura, were incompatible with the Tradition of the Church and (again, from my perspective as a Catholic) heretical. And his religious movement was immediately appropriated as a political tool by the German princes, who used it to take for themselves the political and religious authority that first was of the Catholic Bishops.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 13 Captain Katsura, Thu, 11th Apr '13 5:33:55 AM from    Poland   
Decoy
[up]When I hear Sabaton's song from their new album which wanks Swedish armies as liberators from tyrannic Catholic countries, I facepalm. Some Catholic countries, especially the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (which respected noble titles of Jews and Muslims, not only Protestant and Orthodox Christians), were more liberal in the aspect of religious freedom exactly because Protestant rulers had too much power over religious matters. No wonder Protestants from western Poland were not amused by the prospect of being under rule of Protestant princes and kings.

My President is Funny Valentine.
 14 Ramidel, Thu, 11th Apr '13 6:46:01 AM Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
@Katsura: Remember that that song was explicitly a POV song, and the Swedes get slammed pretty hard when it comes time for the "fall" part of "rise and fall."

@Carc: The Protestant princes were, of course, following in the example of the Popes that Luther was railing at. I really can't see the difference between the two, in fact.

edited 11th Apr '13 6:49:56 AM by Ramidel

 15 Captain Katsura, Thu, 11th Apr '13 7:18:48 AM from    Poland   
Decoy
[up]I'm aware, but I still have bad aftertaste.
My President is Funny Valentine.
Is that cake frosting?
[up][up]Oh, absolutely. Renaissance Popes were as totalitarian and corrupt as... well, as someone who is very, very totalitarian and corrupt. I am not debating this — it is a very big part of why North Europe, for the most part, quickly joined the Reformation.

[up][up][up] I was more under the impression that the matter was that Polish people, no matter their religion, were not amused by the prospect of being ruled by German people, no matter their religion. I mean, they were not exactly fans of the (Catholic) Teutonic Knights either.

edited 11th Apr '13 7:46:28 AM by Carciofus

But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 17 Cider, Thu, 11th Apr '13 7:50:16 AM from Not New York Relationship Status: They can't hide forever. We've got satellites.
The Final ECW Champion
Notice I said time to do away with the church(es) plural. It was good that the protestants recognized enough of the problems with the Roman Catholic Church to separate from it but it was still a mistake on their part to create more churches rather than ecclesiastic assemblies.

Think of how much better the world would have been if democracy had come back then? Athens and Mongolia were democracies but one served a war god and was only one city. The other was a pastoral society that had only recently took to despotism over annihilation. Scripture was again in common language, everyone should have seen the Jewish Jesus who would have been very disappointed with them, especially Martin Luther for deporting Jews when his attempts to appease them were rejected. The Christians could have been special but blew it!
Modified Ura-nage, Torture Rack
 18 Captain Katsura, Thu, 11th Apr '13 7:52:53 AM from    Poland   
Decoy
[up][up]Ekhem, those Protestants I mentioned were predominantly German burghers (most non-noble born Protestants here were either German, Dutch or Scottish). So majority of Germans here, who were dominant ethnic group in Royal Prussia a.k.a Eastern Pomerania, preferred to enjoy their privilidges granted by Catholic kings than be stripped of them by neighbourhood Protestant tyrants of Brandenburgia. And they joined Poland willingly by seceding from Teutonic Order in 1450s, so they didn't see Poles as conquerors.

Our nobility (which included German nobles as well) wasn't against German kings in general, but Habsburgs specifically, arguing that they would care more about their dynasty rather than the country. How Genre Savvy.

edited 11th Apr '13 7:57:29 AM by CaptainKatsura

My President is Funny Valentine.
Is that cake frosting?
Ah, OK, I stand corrected.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 20 Captain Katsura, Thu, 11th Apr '13 8:02:53 AM from    Poland   
Decoy
Don't worry about any mistakes. Even Poles don't always know everything about Polish history as far as our minorities are concerned. At least 17 distinct languages spoken and almost all Christian, Jewish and Muslim denominations present. Can give one a headache.
My President is Funny Valentine.
 21 Achaemenid, Fri, 12th Apr '13 4:39:30 AM from Mitakihara Town, Copenhagen Relationship Status: Showing feelings of an almost human nature
Pope Francis launching "new phase of Vatican II", says Cardinal Walter Kasper.

Cardinal Kasper is the retired head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He made his remarks in an interview in L'Osservatore Romano (The Roman Observer), the Vatican's official newspaper.

So, Vatican 2.5, then. The article seems vague on whether or not it was a figure of speech, though I assume Francis is not calling a pontifical council. Essentially, this "new phase" seems to move on from the doctrinal changes of Vatican II and into a procedural change - the "problems in the Southern hemisphere" (i.e, poverty and war) are to be put to the top of the Church's agenda. Pope Francis, if he can keep this up (God forbid he should die early like JPI), might become a great Pope, and a greater social worker.

For those interested, the Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, was an enormous ecumenical council set up by Pope John XVIII in 1962, and which led to several procedural, liturgical, and doctrinal cchanges. Hugely controversial at the time and since, it is the most significant single event of the modern church. Giovannni Battisti Montini (future Pope Paul VI), Albino Luciani (future Pope John Paul I), Karol Wojtyla (future Pope John Paul II), and Josef Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI) were all in attendance. Such was the upheaval that some Catholic groups, like the ultra-traditionalist Society of St Pius X, and the sedevacantists, who argue the seat of the Bishop of the See of Rome has been empty since the death of Pius XII because every holder since has been a Modernist heretic.

edited 12th Apr '13 4:39:48 AM by Achaemenid

Die Russen seind gefallen in Preußen ein;

Auf, laßt uns sie zeigen, daß wir brave Landeskinder sein!
 22 0dd 1, Fri, 12th Apr '13 6:29:57 AM from Nowhere Land
Just awesome like that
I'm glad I read more than just the beginning sentence there, because otherwise, I'd've been convinced that this was a real life "Catholicism, Wow!!" campaign.

edited 12th Apr '13 6:30:03 AM by 0dd1

Insert witty and clever quip here.

My page, as the database hates my handle.

My music.
 23 Greenmantle, Fri, 12th Apr '13 6:58:41 AM from Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
"Per ardua ad astra"
Such was the upheaval that some Catholic groups, like the ultra-traditionalist Society of St Pius X, and the sedevacantists, who argue the seat of the Bishop of the See of Rome has been empty since the death of Pius XII because every holder since has been a Modernist heretic.

Yep, Fundamentalism isn't just a Protestant thing — Catholics have Fundamentalists, too.
Is that cake frosting?
Well, not literally — The Fundamentals, the book that inspired Christian fundamentalism, is very much Protestant in nature.

But we have our share of... interesting characters, that much is true.
But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

 25 Greenmantle, Fri, 12th Apr '13 7:29:18 AM from Britannia Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
"Per ardua ad astra"
I know. I've read a few when I used to read the Daily Telegraph comments online — such as an Anglican (or was he agnostic or atheist?) who had a conversion and became a very Conservative Catholic.
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