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An interview with Cardinal Dolan on “Meet The Press” aired this morning on NBC.  He was asked for thoughts on the University of Missouri football player Michael Sam who had come out as gay recently.  Cardinal Dolan responded “good for him” and “bravo.”  Cardinal Dolan said the Bible says not to judge.  That isn’t necessarily correct.  There is one place in the Bible that says not to judge but you have to take into account the context in which this was said.  We are not to use do not judge broadly so as to attribute it to circumstances it does not apply.  Here are a couple of scripture passages:

John 7: 24 “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

Leviticus 19: 15 “You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”

As you can see the two scripture passages above DO NOT condemn judging others.

In response New Catholic at the blog Rorate Caeli wrote this: 

OK, then. Naturally, the Cardinal did not have to say anything at all regarding a specific individual, even if asked. But silence and discretion are one thing, explicitly refusing moral discernment is another, and raising such refusal to the status of “good” and “bravo” is quite noteworthy for a Prince of the Church, because it is in itself a moral judgment, a positive moral judgment.
It is quite easy to see that no moral debate in which the Catholic Church takes part, of any kind and on any level, can ever anymore advance even one inch if the parameters become simply an isolated reading of “not judging” – and much less if “not judging” is elevated to the positive judgment of “good” and “bravo.” Politicians quote a pontiff when casting immoral votes, and what can the Church say, from now on, on any legal matter (that presupposes a moral order)? It can always be used to stop any social debate. What can poor pastors and vicars say regarding any sin, even personally to a parishioner, when the isolated presentation of “no sense of judgment” becomes normative? Or even regarding, for instance, an inclination that our judgmental Catechism of the Catholic Church defines as “objectively disordered” (regardless of the practice or not of the “intrinsically disordered” acts attached to it)?

And if you do not like this post, who are you to judge us?…

[Op-ed update: Cardinal Dolan, in this age, it is keeping the faith that deserves a “Bravo”.]

Bravo New Catholic!  Politicians and laity sure do know how to twist and pervert the words of authority figures in the Church in order to support agendas that are contrary to the faith.  Going by his words it seems that Cardinal Dolan is talking as if he believes the Catechism is wrong when it says homosexual relations are “intrinsically  disordered.”  Yes, we are called to love every human being.  But it is wrong to cheer on a sexual orientation which the Church condemns as “objectively disordered.”  Loving everyone does not mean approving of everything they do.  

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Bishop Zubik’s friend who is a rabbi supports same-sex marriage on the basis of individual equality so he penned a great article in response to his friend, explaining the importance of marriage being between a man and woman, and how his friend is wrongly applying individual equality to marriage.  Here is the article:

 

Bishop David A. Zubik
Bishop of Pittsburgh

For a long time, three decades plus, I have been a fan of the ABC network morning TV show “Good Morning America.” Starting back in the early 1980s, from co-hosts Charlie Gibson and Joan Lunden, to current co-hosts Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos, the show has been the background voice to help me get ready for my day. In the 1990s, through the kindness of our local news anchor and friend, Mike Clark, I had the grand opportunity to be in the studio and on the set of “Good Morning America” in Times Square.

Of all the features I enjoyed about “Good Morning America,” my favorite was a duet interview every Friday morning back in the ’80s that was affectionately dubbed “The God Squad.” A rabbi and a priest each week would address some news item or contemporary issue. It was so interesting to hear Rabbi Marc Gellman and Msgr. Thomas Hartman from the New York area bring religion to “Good Morning America.”

What prompts me to share this slant with you is that, over the past few years, a number of Pittsburghers have commented on our own “God Squad” in southwestern Pennsylvania: once again a rabbi and a priest — Rabbi Aaron Bisno of Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood and yours truly. I must admit I blush at the comparison, but like it as well.

It’s no secret that Rabbi Bisno, his wife, Michelle, and I are friends — in fact, very good friends. We have traveled to Rome and the Holy Land together. Each year, Rabbi Bisno comes to the Christmas Eve Mass at St. Paul Cathedral. Each year, I go to Rodef Shalom to commemorate the Jewish high holy day, Yom Kippur. We have shared everything from good meals to even better conversation. We trust each other with our struggles and our joys.

We both realize that, while our friendship is personal, it also means more than that. Publicly representing the Jewish and Catholic communities, our friendship is within a much larger context. We have been able to use our friendship to further enhance Jewish and Catholic relations in Pittsburgh, while working together, we hope, for the good of the whole community of southwestern Pennsylvania.

More than two individuals

Which is my whole point in responding to Rabbi Bisno’s Forum commentary Sept. 8 in the Post-Gazette. My friend, Aaron, argues support for same-sex marriage based on the concept of individual rights. “Judaism teaches that all human beings are equal, unique and of infinite worth,” Rabbi Bisno wrote, and that by refusing to accept same-sex marriage, he argues, society fails to “honor every person’s divine likeness.”

No one, I hope and pray, would argue against the infinite worth of the individual. And central to Catholic understanding is that each of us is created in the image and likeness of God. Without exception!

But the inherent disagreement I have with my friend’s argument is that he defines marriage in the context of the individual. Marriage has never been understood in faith or society as based on an individual’s self-definition. Marriage has always been defined and understood as two becoming one to create life, to create family, to create society, to create goodness through the generations. CONTINUED 

 

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This may surprise the media that twisted the Pope’s so-called controversial remarks in an interview which came out yesterday.  Pope Francis has unequivocally condemned abortion. 

From LifeSiteNews: 

In a meeting with Catholic gynaecologists this morning Pope Francis strongly condemned abortion as a manifestation of a “throwaway culture.”

“Every unborn child, though unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of the Lord, who even before his birth, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world,” the pope said.

Speaking to the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, Pope Francis spoke of a paradox in medicine today. “On the one hand we see progress in the field of medicine, thanks to the work of scientists who passionately and unreservedly dedicate themselves to the search for new cures,” he said. “On the other hand, however, we also encounter the risk that doctors lose sight of their identity in the service of life.”

“While new rights are attributed to or indeed almost presumed by the individual, life is not always protected as the primary value and the primordial right of every human being,” said the Pope. “The ultimate aim of medicine remains the defence and promotion of life.”

The pope told the doctors, “Your being Catholic entails greater responsibility: first of all to yourself, in the effort to be consistent with the Christian vocation, and then to contemporary culture, to help recognize the transcendent dimension in human life, the imprint of the creative work of God, from the very first moment of conception. This is a commitment to the new evangelization that often requires going against the tide, paying a personal price. The Lord counts on you to spread the ‘Gospel of life.'”

As he has in the past, Francis condemned a “throwaway culture” that would eliminate the weak and vulnerable in society. “Our response to this mentality is a ‘yes’ to life, decisive and without hesitation. ‘The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some are precious, but this one is fundamental – the condition for all the others’”.

 

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A couple of years ago I put together this post which shows evidence supporting the doctrine of the Trinity.  I thought it would be good to repost it here. I ended up only posting a few in the series but I’m thinking of picking back up where I left off and continuing with the series.

For awhile I have been thinking of starting a series of posts in which I write on the basic beliefs of Catholicism and evangelizing to people of other faiths and unbelievers. My Catholicism 101 Basics of Catholicism will cover but will not be limited to : the Sacraments, Tradition, Saints, the Trinity, Papal infallibility, Incarnation, Mary, the Mass, Popes, encyclicals, heresies, misconceptions about faith and science being at odds, the development of Doctrine, moral teachings, as well as other issues, controversies, and topics in relation to the Church. I will be posting this on both Teresamerica and Tu Ne Cede Malis Contra Audentior Ito.

Catholics believe in the Trinity – God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is three persons which is the Triune God, or God is three persons in one God, or one God in three persons. Here is a portion of the Athanasian Creed which will help to explain the Trinity:

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Ghost Uncreate. The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensibles, but One Uncreated, and One Uncomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.

God is all-loving, omnipotent, and omniscient. God is agape. God is pure unselfish love.   Therefore, since God has always been unselfish love, there must always have been more than one self in God.

Biblical case for trinity doctrine

The Bible makes these truths clear –

– The unity of God – there is only one God, one Divine Being, uniquely and supremely possessing one absolute Divine Nature or substance. There are not two or three Gods.

– The full divinity of God the Father of Jesus Christ.

– The full divinity of Christ the eternally begotten Son of God.

– The distinction between the Father and the Son (they are not the same Person).

– The Son is eternally equal to the Father in nature.

– The Son is in submission and obedience to the Father in love (this statement of truth is not in conflict with the one just above it AT ALL!).

– The full divinity of the Holy Spirit.

– The Personhood of the Holy Spirit (The Holy Spirit is not a mere impersonal divine force).

– The distinction between the Holy Spirit and both the Father and the Son (The Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son).

Proof texts —

– The unity of God is expressed very clearly in the opening of the ancient traditional Hebraic hymn, the Shema Y’Israel: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord” – Deuteronomy 6:4

– The full divinity of God the Father: Matthew 3:16 – “And Jesus being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened to him: and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him. And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

“There is one [hen] body and one [hen] Spirit, one [hen] hope, one [hen] Lord, one [hen] faith, one [hen] baptism, one [hen] God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)

– The full divinity of Christ as the only Begotten Son of God the Father: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth… And of his fulness we all have received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ…the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father…Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world…this is the Son of God.” (John 1:1-3, 14,16-17, 29, 34)

“I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30)

John 8:58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” [“I Am” (Ex. 3:14)].

– The distinction between the Father and the Son: “The Lord [the Father] says to my Lord [the Son]: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’” Psalm 110:1

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.  For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.  Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. John 17:1-5

– The Son is eternally equal to the Father: “Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness.” (Phillipians 2:5-7 – the Greek word translated here as “grasped” is ἁρπαγμός harpagmos. In the King James Bible, that part of the verse renders that word by declaring that our Lord “thought it not robbery to be equal with God”. The Greek word refers to siezing, as in robbery, but it can also signify clutching, clasping, cleaving to – i.e, retaining with vigorous security that which is already in one’s possession. The implication is that the Son of God, prior to the incarnation, already properly enjoyed “equality with God”, the state of being “equal with God”. This also affirms full divinity, for only God can be equal with God. Combine that with the fact that there is only one God, and you have an affirmation that the Father and the Son are one in Being or substance.

– The Son is in submission to the Father in love: John 6:38 – “because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”

“Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.” (John 14:10)

– The full divinity of the Holy Spirit: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 27:19)

2 Cor. 3:16-18, “but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”

– The Personhood of the Holy Spirit: “And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever. The spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

– The distinction between the Holy Spirit and both the Father and the Son: “But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me.” (John 15:26-27) “But I tell you the truth: it is expedient to you that I go: for if I go not, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)

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I just started reading a book on the Holy Spirit.  So far it’s very good.  As I was talking to Kevin today about the Holy Spirit he noticed that I was conflating the Holy Spirit with Jesus.  He suggested I find the Athanasian Creed online. Then we discussed the Trinity as I read the Athanasian Creed.  He says the Trinity is hard to understand.  Reading the Athanasian Creed helped me to understand the Trinity more fully.  Here is the Athanasian Creed.

Athanasian Creed

1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;

2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.

5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.

8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.

14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;

16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;

18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;

20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.

21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.

23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.

26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.

27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.

32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.

36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;

39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;

40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;

42. and shall give account of their own works.

43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

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H/T Word On Fire

 

 

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