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Friday, August 06, 2010


Rozann Carter

Excellent post, Mr. Olson. Your statement about public argument is so well-formulated, and so true! Thank you for your insight.

Christopher Lake

Carl, thank you for this thoughtful post (spurred by Father Barron's similarly thoughtful post). The only thought I would add would be that in these times, especially, lessons two and three should not only be applied to convert and reverts to the Catholic Church but also to priests, nuns, and/or CCD and RCIA teachers. (I speak from lamentable experience.)

I was conversing with a faithful Catholic friend from the Phillipines recently, and she was utterly aghast (frightened, even) to hear about the often-troubling state of Catholic homiletics and catechesis in the U.S. There are signs of springtime in the Church, to be sure, and we should celebrate them and praise God for them wherever they exist. However, I cannot help but sigh when I think of the many stories of faithful, orthodox Catholic parishioner who continue to suffer under *unorthodox* preaching and teaching. We (I) must pray, pray, and pray still more for faithful, courageous priests-- both the already-ordained and those in seminary or discernment (and for that matter, those yet to be born!).


I'm a convert, and I think *most* converts take very seriously the solemn declaration that they believe everything that the Church teaches. (This is especially true if the convert is well-catechized, since he will then realize tha the DOES NOT KNOW all that the Church teaches. Even the Catechism is only a summary!) Perhaps part of the problem with Ms. Rice is that she is not a convert, but a revert. She did not have to go through an RCIA process and be Confirmed; her Confirmation was presumably many decades ago. All a revert needs to do is go make a good Confession and pick up where they left off. Even though that is sacramentally sufficient, it may not be enough emotionally or intellectually for reverts to really, REALLY understand how different it is to cleave to the Church vs. what they had been doing before.

I don't think it would be possible to require a public commitment to Catholic doctrine as a condition for returning to the Sacraments. Maybe, though, it could be recommended to priests that they include some private affirmation (within the confessional) of Catholic commitment as part of the penance for those who have been away from the Faith for a long time -- something that would remind them what it means to be fully "Catholic".

Michael Iott

"Proper ecclesiology" is the problem, at least from my perspective. This whole discussion is the a perfect place to apply "Occam's Razor". The response that (paraphrased) -"You don't understand the intricacies of Catholic/Christian Theology so your opinion is uninformed" is obtuse. Engaging in dialog with the Church over the issues Anne has raised get's one excommunicated. Anne just skipped to the end of the conversation and "excommunicated" them.

Roger Scott Montano

I absolutely agree with your positions here. We must always remember that all believers are at differing levels of spiritual maturity, and when we first come to Christ, we are as infants spiritually, and must "feed" on His Word to grow. Anne Rice seems to lack deep and profound spiritual understanding, and it may be due to her lack of "feeding" on God's Word, and praying for HIS revelations of TRUTH. I believe everything happens for a REASON, that the Almighty is in complete and autonomous control, and that He will work everything for good to those that believe on His name! We should hold her and all of God's children up to our Lord in prayer, and continue this dialogue, as I feel many will be led to their own spiritual reckoning and awakening by the Holy Spirit.


I don't think you get it. The church that Paul was persecuting is NOT the church that you think it is. It is not Popes and priests, nuns and canon law or any of the rituals, pomp and circumstance that is in Catholicism, nor even in Protestantism, especially the North American evangelical kind.

The church that Paul was persecuting had none of the trappings of our age or anything remotely like it since before 70 BCE. That church died unfortunately when someone(s) got the great idea that we should no longer be a movement that will bring about God's reign of peace on earth, but instead opted to be power motivated and seek political and social recognition.

It is not Anne who has left the church, but a majority of so-called Christians in the world who haven't got a clue about the radical call of the gospel. I hate to be the one to tell you, but Anne's getting it right while the rest of you whiners hide behind your cloak of religiosity. She knows that the call to Christ is a call to "gospellizing": The religion of Jesus was a movement to make men and women equal, slaves and free the same, rich and poor shared things in common. And if the movement had continued to be a "reforming" one, it would have realized that that same kind of "gospellizing" need be extended to gay and lesbian peoples, black and Hispanic peoples, poor people.

No. Anne is more church than all your theological gibberish, church law, traditions and your biblical interpretations. Her quest is more sacramental than your Eucharist and your baptism. Her words are inspiring more conversations than all the sermons preached in parishes on any given Sunday.

And yet, you continue to hide behind the petticoat of your "church" and with twisted words make yourself feel better and rationalize the falsehoods which your "church" proclaims.

Instead of patting yourselves on the your backs, why not bring about the kingdom of God now. Reach into the future and bring about that justice and righteousness that Amos foresaw. Repent of your quest and ask God to fill you with a new vision.

Carl E. Olson

The response that (paraphrased) -"You don't understand the intricacies of Catholic/Christian Theology so your opinion is uninformed" is obtuse.

Maybe it is. But since that's not what I wrote or am arguing for, it doesn't really matter.

Engaging in dialog with the Church over the issues Anne has raised get's one excommunicated.

Right. If that is so, please name five Catholics, off the top of your head, who have been excommunicated in the past year because of raising the issues of "same-sex marriage," women's ordination, contraception, etc.

I don't think you get it.

LOL. Am I correct to assume, Richard, that you are familiar with what I know and believe, and how I came to those positions? Obviously not. No, you are simply another Catholic-basher who assumes, for the sake of "argument" (that is, to avoid having to deal with the truth), that Catholicism is evil, period.

That church died unfortunately...

"And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:17-18)

Hmmm. I think I'm gonna have to go with Jesus on this one, Richard. No offense, of course; your position appears to be exquisitely argued and theologically erudite.

Anil Wang

Richard, you're speculating about history rather than looking at real history. There are records on the early church. For instance, the Didache was written at the time of the apostles and clearly shows priests, preliminary canon laws, rituals, and pomp. Letters from people who sat at the feet of the apostles also look remarkably like Orthodox or Latin masses...some Orthodox and Eastern Catholic masses actually date pretty close to the time just after the people who sat at the feet of the people who sat at the feet of the apostles. Nuns and Monks also appear around this time (look at the life of St. Anthony). Do the research yourself. The letters and wikipedia summaries are freely available and only a google search away.

TJ Colatrella

I am a Maffei a direct descendant of St. Ignatius's Confidant...The Maffei's have fortunately often been first to point out the errors of the Church, from the Witch trials to the corruption and perversion of The Medici Pope, Martin Luther witness to the issue as astronomers of also Science and the nature of the Universe they could see at the time...They remained true to Christ which was also always in the Churches best interest as history itself proved..over and over..4 Cardinals from my family and the first precept of the Vatican and now here in the 21st Century I am faced with a similar dilemma and dichotomy due to evil corrupt perverted men and weak misguided obfuscating superiors...This is Christ's Church built upon Peter's Rock as Christ foretold and promised never doubt that.. My only wonder is where is the appropriate outrage and revulsion and finality warranted..?

Roberta Young

Richard, you need to read St. Justin Martyr description of what Christians do when they get together on a Sunday. He's describing the Mass.

abby schult

Thanks Father. Well said.

Manuel G. Daugherty Razetto

For Catholics, religion is the main bond that can exist. That Unity signifies the meaning, boundaries and fruits of such union.

Francis Bacon wrote at the end of the 16th century of the fruits of unity in religion mentioning two of them: one for those who are without the church, the second for those that are within the church. Heresy and disagreement for the former whereas peace and Faith for the latter. We know too well where Ms Rice befits.

As it has been mentioned there cannot be separation between Christ and our Church however Ms Rice, in a fashion that can only be attributed to ignorance or supposed misunderstanding, expresses a forward, irresponsible diatribe that is so incongruent one should repudiate it.

The untuned charge against us by a writer that spews such dislike for our Church exhibits more wilfulness than reasoning. Carl in his usual equable, accurate explanation is much kinder I would have been with a response.


The cult of celebrity has no place in the Catholic Church

Has any rich/famous Catholic/convert since Henry VIII been refused an annulment?

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