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Thread: We Have a Pope!

  1. #21
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    [QUOTE=sackdance]R.Tyme - what do you really mean? I see you've at least gone to church. What for? With family, out of habit? I was raised Catholic. I bailed for years. I came back. I could give a flying f--- about changing the Church so the Church can save the world. [b]That's not my gig[/b] and if I made it my gig I'd end up bitter - I can only control my own actions. Again, my job is letting God in and being a better person. Prayer helps for strength, it really does. And you know what? This is what the priest says just about every Sunday, too. I am a parishoner, nothing more nothing less. If I had problems with the Church, I'd bolt and find a denomination that fit what I was looking for.[/QUOTE]

    I went back to church (masses) for the spirituality of it, for the teachings of Christ, the connection. I went back to RC church because there's a comfort and familiarity with it as I was also raised Catholic (and went to Catholic grammar and high school). My childhood is tied to the RC church. I don't agree with everything coming out of the Vatican and would like to see some things changed in this day and age. I feel 'distant' to the leaders because I am in disagreement, feel unsettled about that. Is it okay to get what you want out of it-- if you are in disagreement with some beliefs of the church? Should a member of a Roman Catholic church follow it like a Chinese menu-- picking and chosing what they want to follow? Or maybe they (the layman) should have a say in the direction of the church?

  2. #22
    TMahoney
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    Sackdance: First of all, I agree, faith is the most important thing, and that is why I am still Catholic. What the Church does doesn't affect my faith because I know they don't control what I feel inside and they are merely a man-made institution with faults of their own.

    But that doesn't mean I have to reserve my opinion about what they should do. They have a responsibility because they have so many people that look up to them as role models and contribute to them. They claim to be God's representitives on Earth and yet they are the richest organization in the world. By the way, that is a fact and you can look it up for yourself (assets, land and boatloads of money). But as Jesus himself said "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven."

    Now its not like I expect them to sell all of their works of art so some private business man can have some nice decorations, but they have so much money in their accounts as well. They could help so many people but they care more about keeping their traditions and teachings from changing. They care more about contraception, homosexuals and war than Love, charity and good will towards all. They SHOULD be trying to bridge the gaps between the faiths of the world rather than worry about their own hides. They should be spending all of their time with the poor, sick and weak rather than trying to stay strong themselves. They are the ones who dedicated their lives to Christ yet don't do what HE would do. Jesus would be out in Africa with those people not playing the political game.

    I am not criticizing the faith, I'm criticizing the Church, tis a big difference.

    The bottom line is that they hold a responsibility with the power, influence and wealth they have and right now, as a Roman Catholic myself, I am allowed to voice my informed opinion about them steering off course from the original goal: For the overall benefit of humanity, the spreading of the good news and to set an example on how a noble life should be led.

  3. #23
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    [QUOTE=Mavrik]I really don't think it is over the top at all. This is a ritual that has been going on for nearly 2000 years. The Pope is the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church so his passing is a big deal. What exactly about the whole thing did you find over the top? Pope John Paul died and masses and his funeral were made to commemorate his life and what he did. The Cardinals entered the Conclave to elect a new pope and in 2 days had one. There have been some times in history where it has taken 6 months to elect a new pope. This one took 2 days.


    Maybe non-stop, overzealous coverage of the event by the media in the United States is a major reason you think it's a bit much.[/QUOTE]

    Not saying a big deal shouldn't be made of his passing but...
    The scenes were dramatic and elaborate-- the mob who seem to 'worship' the pope like he's god, the many decorated costumes in the clergy and the guards, the white smoke, the bell ringing, the new pope dramatically appearing from the 'red curtains' from a balcony. The Catholic Church is what it is...always had elaborate rituals. Very rich, yet the priests from the pulpit talk about the un-importance of worldly things-- it's all about the soul but you wouldn't know it from watching the past few weeks.

  4. #24
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    [QUOTE=CarlSpackler]Sackdance: First of all, I agree, faith is the most important thing, and that is why I am still Catholic. What the Church does doesn't affect my faith because I know they don't control what I feel inside and they are merely a man-made institution with faults of their own.

    But that doesn't mean I have to reserve my opinion about what they should do. They have a responsibility because they have so many people that look up to them as role models and contribute to them. They claim to be God's representitives on Earth and yet they are the richest organization in the world. By the way, that is a fact and you can look it up for yourself (assets, land and boatloads of money). But as Jesus himself said "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven."

    Now its not like I expect them to sell all of their works of art so some private business man can have some nice decorations, but they have so much money in their accounts as well. They could help so many people but they care more about keeping their traditions and teachings from changing. They care more about contraception, homosexuals and war than Love, charity and good will towards all. They SHOULD be trying to bridge the gaps between the faiths of the world rather than worry about their own hides. They should be spending all of their time with the poor, sick and weak rather than trying to stay strong themselves. They are the ones who dedicated their lives to Christ yet don't do what HE would do. Jesus would be out in Africa with those people not playing the political game.

    I am not criticizing the faith, I'm criticizing the Church, tis a big difference.

    The bottom line is that they hold a responsibility with the power, influence and wealth they have and right now, as a Roman Catholic myself, I am allowed to voice my informed opinion about them steering off course from the original goal: For the overall benefit of humanity, the spreading of the good news and to set an example on how a noble life should be led.[/QUOTE]


    Catholic Charities is by far the largest charity in the world. The Roman Catholic Church DOES help the weak and poor and infirm, and has done so for longer than any other organization and in greater numbers than any other organization. You are simply incorrect when you imply that they don't help others.

    Aside from that point, your posts about the Church are great and well-formed and very, very good. I am also a Catholic who struggles to accept everything the heirarchy of the RC church does.

    I don't much care about women priests or priests marrying though. To me, those issues really aren't that big of a deal. The crucial point, though, is that those "rules" are man-made and are not basic tenants of the faith or dogma. So, they are changable. You allude to it with your very insightful "faith versus tradition" line. Some things are man-made, church-made rules and others are straight from God, through the bible - if you buy in to all of that. So, no matter how much people want to have it otherwise, the RC church will never change their dogma to state that Jesus wasn't really God's son, etc. But they can change things like who becomes priests or if a vow of celibacy is necessary. (Incidentally, your point about the money and land-ownership/estate rights aspects of why priests no longer marry is historically accurate and is a great point)

    It gets a little stickier when people want to talk about things like contraception and abortion, war, etc. The bible is a big book and people can find passages and take them out of context or "interpret" them to serve their own ends. Some liberal Catholics like to describe it as an "evolving" document, the same way many liberal activist judges describe the US Constitution, which essentially means that they can interpret it however they damn well please, regardless of what the words actually say and mean.

    I think you raise some very legitimate points and overall, the Church is run by men, who are by definition flawed. I agree 100% with your general thesis and appreciate the thoughtful posts. Martin Luther had it right when he said, (I am paraphrasing here) "Salvation is not acheived through ritual or membership in a chuch. Savlation is something that is between each individual and God. Every man with a Bible is his own Pope."

    That all said - what bothers a lot of people, especially US Catholics, about the church is that the church tells them that certain things they do are wrong. People in this day and age in America are usually never told that they do bad things or that some things they do are [I]wrong[/I]. Self esteem, "feelings" and "open-mindedness" are all the rage, and are essentially just code words for moral relativism and have all contributed to the complete loss of shame as a useful societal tool, creating a population of immature people who are utterly self-centered and consumed with their own appetites and wants, and who live unexamined lives. The church tells us that murdering our young for convenience is wrong, but people don't want to hear that for their own selfish reasons. The church tells us that there are more important things in this life than our own selfish desires, and people don't want to hear that, and have been conditioned to believe that they have a right to [I]never [/I] have to hear such things. The church tells us that marriage is forever, and that we are all sinners. People don't want to hear that because it doesn't validate them. Everywhere, we are told we cannot judge others and that everyone should be celebrated, etc.

    People nowadays feel that everything they do is OK and deserves validation and enthusiastic approval. Well, IMO, they are wrong. Some things they do are horrible, and if they do them, they are bad people. Abortion, cheating on a spouse, abusing children, stealing, lying, etc. The church, flaws and all, calls people on it. THAT is also a large reason why US Cathoics have a problem with it - the same way teenagers have a problem with what they think are strict parents. This whole cry for a "progressive" Pope or church is really just people wanting to be told that they aren't sinners and that they are good people, regardless of what they do. If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. People also forget that in addition to the firm, absolute rules the church has and stays faithful to, there also exists almost infinite compassion and forgiveness. People can go to confession and if they repent, they can be saved, no matter what they have done. It is only, however, if that reprentence is sincere. People want to be able to get divorces, have tons of casual sex, abort babies, live selfish lives, never go to mass, and [I]not be made to feel guilty about anything[/I], AND be told that they are good people and good Catholics. Sorry, that ain't the way it works. If you don't agree, leave the church. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. The RC church understands that and has compassion and forgiveness for people who sincerely seek it. But it will not compromise it's core beliefs simply because Sally doens't feel like having a kid with down syndrome or if Charlie is sick of his wife and the waitress is flirting with him, so he has an affair.
    Last edited by jets5ever; 04-20-2005 at 10:43 AM.

  5. #25
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    So many replies I don't know where to start. :confused:

    R Tyme - the Vatican can't sell any of its art/architecture/"treasures" because of treaties signed establishing Vatican City. Too lazy to google right now and hazy memories from high school prevent me from going into further details.

    Come Back - I was a traditionalist up until the priest sex abuse scandal. It made me really think about things. I"ve always considered myself to be pragmatic, and there really is a worldwide shortage of priests; even in Latin American and African countries where growth has been largest. Soooo - what would be the problem with married priests? I know a few guys who would have gladly become priests except for the celibacy requirements. Women priests? Isn't arguing against women priests almost like saying that God sees the sexes differently and not equally? I can't believe that at all.

    I believe the laity should have more say in the Chruch and joined Voice of the Faithful - you wouldn't believe the flak I caught from my aunt (a nun, Sisters of St. Joseph).

    Premartial sex/birth control/abortion: My first line of defense is "just say no"; that works for some. I consider abortion to be murder and probably one of the worst sins you can commit. But I'd rather have people using birth control to avoid having to even come to the abortion decision. Lesser of 2 evils kind of thing, you know?

    Homosexuality and gay marriage? I don't think these are sins, the same way I don't think having diabetes or Down's Syndrome is a sin. I"m against gay marriage because I believe one day a "cure" for this genetic defect will be found, and where would that leave these "families"? Not in a good way. (BTW - I'm not using "genetic defect" in a bad way; I have several genetic defects: I have poor eyesight and I'm on cholesterol medication. Nobody' s perfect.)

    So does all of this put me in the Warfish Fence Sitting Club? ;)

    (edit: also wanted to mention that there are some seriously intelligent posts in this thread. :yes: )

  6. #26
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    [QUOTE=CarlSpackler]Before I make my post, just know I am Roman Catholic.


    Okay, now I am a little upset with this new Pope's track record and stance on issues.

    I really think its time the Church changes its stance on certain very important issues.

    #1: We need to let Priests get married. Thats the main reason for our problems right now with the lack of new priests. If you are a student of the history of the Catholic Church than you would knw that the reason for that rule, which was adopted in the middle ages, was because the Church was having a problem with their land (which was their principle source of income then). See the married priest was entitled by law to be able to pass down the land that they lived on to their offspring thus taking away land from the Catholic Church and giving it to private land owners. Regardless of your feelings on this, it should be atleast agreed upon that the same problem wouldn't be a problem at all in modern times. We no longer make a living off our land and now the Church wouldn't have to give up any of their land to the sons and daughters of a Priest. It was a political reason not a matter of faith. Thus it can be changed without altering the message of Christ.

    #2: Women Priests. This was also a rule that was made in the middle ages. Many of the original christian leaders were in fact women and the unique thing about early christianity compared to the other religions at the time was its respect and equality that it offered to women. In the middle ages when the social/political climate for women was non-existant and society regressed, the powers that be decided women were "unfit" to be spiritual leaders. Look at the world now. The western/christian world believes in equal rights for women on almost every level. There is no plausible reason why women shouldn't be able to join the Priesthood.

    #3: Both of the previous two problems stem from what I believe is the most important problem with the Church today. The Church places emphasis on tradition rather than dogma. They equate the following of Catholic traditions to the personal belief and faith of the average person. Therein lies the problem. Is it more important to follow the word of God in scripture or the word of a man made church that inherently has mans flaws? The word of Jesus is to be followed over the word of some Pope in middle ages. Jesus preached equality of races, sex and religions. He talked to the Samaritan woman at the well, he never seceded from Judiasm, he never created the church, that was people after him. He never even created his own religion, his disciples did after him and much later even than them did the Catholic Church ever appear.

    Did Jesus ever do anything but praise women in the bible?

    He encouraged love between man and female saying its one of the greatest gifts God gave to humanity. Now how can we sit here today and say that a spiritual leader cannot be married? How can we say a female couldn't be a spiritual leader?

    This new Pope seems to be a hardliner on church traditions and doesn't see th need for any changes. We know from our own country that when the times change, the need to revise also comes with that.

    What was necessary or important in 1000 AD doesn't HAVE to be necessary or important today.

    Those who refuse to change with the times will fall. Its the most fundamental characteristic of humanity. The ability to adapt to ones environment = an organisms (or organizations) key to survival.

    I'm not asking the Church to give up its fundamental beliefs, but I am asking them to not treat precedents and traditions as unwaverable law.

    Case and point: FDR was the first president to not follow the precedent of George Washington by going for a third term. Our country needed him and he didn't care about some tradition that started in the 1790's, he knew what needed to be done at the present time for the survival of the country. Now we did pass a law after his death barring anyone from running for a third term, but the great part of constitution is that we're open to change. We know that maybe down the road, we'll have a great leader through a tough time and need him for a third term and we can change the constitution accordingly.

    Its not like FDR took away the first amendment, which was an essential "belief" if you will of Americans. Just like I'm not calling for the Church to say: "Hey, umm we thought about it, and Jesus didn't ressurect."
    I am just asking them too look to change certain traditions, not fundamental beliefs.

    Lemi know if any of you feel the same way.[/QUOTE]

    I have a solution for you:

    Convert to Lutheran. I considered it, myself. But after weighing all the options, I decided to stay Roman Catholic.

  7. #27
    TMahoney
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    Jet Moses - I considered it myself when I was a sophomore in high school and learning all about the reformation but I decided against Lutheranism or any other denomination for one simple fact: Sects don't solve the problem, but internal dialogue and the willingness of the powers that be to listen to the faithful would solve many of the problems. Its better to change it from the inside than judge from the outside because no Catholic will listen to a Lutheran about Catholic dogma and tradition.

    As for Jets5ever: I'm not saying that the Church doesn't give to charity, I'm just saying they could do SOOO much more. Lots of it has to do with these reasons:
    1. Modern day Catholics don't want to give money to a church that uses lots of money for lawyers to protect and hide their scandals. This is exactly why my father stopped giving to the Church, he now gives to other charities.
    2. They're way beyond the point of humble survival. My old-church, St. Elizabeth's in Melville spent a couple of million dollars on buying an organ. They did this a couple years back just when I was learning a lot about the reformation and church history in my high school. I was infuriated that they had the audacity to build a multi-million dollar organ for the 5 minutes they use it during mass. This was a complete misuse of funds.
    3. The church with all of its possesions, land and bank accounts is the richest institution in the world. You think Jesus would've liked to here that? His "most faithful" and the people left in charge of his ministry would become the richest organization ever. They should just give everything away except what they need for survival. That would set a serious example and I bet would call many people back to the faith. People want to be lead, but won't stand for poor leadership.

    The church has the potential to be sooooo great, and all I'm saying is that they're not doing nearly as much as they could or should.

  8. #28
    i don't think this was the best choice for a new pope. i read in a newspaper that this guy once claimed ac/dc was an evil band and that their name really meant anti-christ/death to christ. he just doesn't sound like a guy who is with the time. making a silly statement like that makes him sound a little bit ignorant to me.

  9. #29
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    [QUOTE=neckdemon]i don't think this was the best choice for a new pope. i read in a newspaper that this guy once claimed ac/dc was an evil band and that their name really meant anti-christ/death to christ. he just doesn't sound like a guy who is with the time. making a silly statement like that makes him sound a little bit ignorant to me.[/QUOTE]

    hmmm...now that's stretching it-- anti-christ/death to christ ??? I've heard other things on the news too that Ratzinger said that sounded a bit extreme but I'll guess we'll see what happens now that he's pope.

  10. #30
    Apparently he did equate rock music to being anti-religion.

    His message so far as Pope seems to be that moral relativism sucks, and that the relativists who call adherence to the faith "fundamentalism" are only interested in their egos and immediate gratification.

    Sounds like a Pope to me.

  11. #31
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    Good thing he never heard Metallica - The God that Failed



    "The healing hand held back by the deepened nail, Follow the God that failed."

  12. #32
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    [QUOTE=CarlSpackler]Good thing he never heard Metallica - The God that Failed



    [/QUOTE]

    Or played "Stairway to Heaven" backwards!! :theband:

    [QUOTE]Come Back - I was a traditionalist up until the priest sex abuse scandal. It made me really think about things. I"ve always considered myself to be pragmatic, and there really is a worldwide shortage of priests; even in Latin American and African countries where growth has been largest. Soooo - what would be the problem with married priests? I know a few guys who would have gladly become priests except for the celibacy requirements. [B]Women priests? Isn't arguing against women priests almost like saying that God sees the sexes differently [/B] and not equally? I can't believe that at all.

    I believe the laity should have more say in the Chruch and joined Voice of the Faithful - you wouldn't believe the flak I caught from my aunt (a nun, Sisters of St. Joseph).[/QUOTE]

    God most definitely does see the sexes differently..

  13. #33
    [QUOTE=quantum]
    Come Back - I was a traditionalist up until the priest sex abuse scandal. It made me really think about things. I"ve always considered myself to be pragmatic, and there really is a worldwide shortage of priests; even in Latin American and African countries where growth has been largest. Soooo - what would be the problem with married priests? I know a few guys who would have gladly become priests except for the celibacy requirements. Women priests? Isn't arguing against women priests almost like saying that God sees the sexes differently and not equally? I can't believe that at all.
    [/QUOTE]

    I still AM quite a traditionalist. God DOES see the sexes differently imo. What I believe you're not seeing is that he actually puts women on a HIGHER pedestal than men. A woman's role in life is far beyond what any man is capable of or gifted enough for.
    Marriage and priesthood is contradictory (imo) because a priest accepts a calling from God to do His work. A priest gives himself entirely to God. He gives his life to God. He cannot share his devotion with someone else.

  14. #34
    TMahoney
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    That whole belief that Women wouldn't be fit for priesthood and that marriage doesn't coincide with its basic principles was just a piece of propaganda used in the dark ages.

    Love is the greatest gift God gives to us and marriage is your expression of love. The whole idea that priests are married to God is rather ridiculous. It doesn't mention that anywhere in the bible and rabbis were allowed to get married in Jesus' time and he had no problems with it, now why wouldn't priests be allowed to get married? It just doesnt make sense.

    See you have to identify, as I said in an earlier post, between Faith and Tradition. The Church has said many things since its inception about how this and that is wrong in the eyes of God etc etc. But the truth is, they don't have a clue what he thinks about women priests or married priests because he never let his will be known on those matters. You can be a faithful Catholic without agreeing with every rule/regulation that the Church holds you too. Because faith isn't about showing up on sunday or not eating meet on friday, faith is about how you live your life and your belief in the Father and the Son.

    Furthermore, Priests today give marriage counsel, which in my humble opinion, is absolutely obsurd. What in the world would they know about marriage, thats like going to prison for moral guidance.

  15. #35
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    That's a pretty solid post, Spackler.

  16. #36
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    [QUOTE=jets5ever]That's a pretty solid post, Spackler.[/QUOTE]


    Not really...while I agree with the tradition part on the marriage issue, the "no women priests" is derived from the fact that all of Christ's twelve Apostles were men.

  17. #37
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    [QUOTE=CarlSpackler]Jet Moses - I considered it myself when I was a sophomore in high school and learning all about the reformation but I decided against Lutheranism or any other denomination for one simple fact: Sects don't solve the problem, but internal dialogue and the willingness of the powers that be to listen to the faithful would solve many of the problems. Its better to change it from the inside than judge from the outside because no Catholic will listen to a Lutheran about Catholic dogma and tradition.
    [/QUOTE]

    "Sects don't solve the problem, but internal dialogue and the willingness of the powers that be to listen to the faithful would solve many of the problems."

    Well see, that's where I disagree. I don't see a problem with the Catholic Church. It is what it is. Take it or leave it.

    As for the Lutharan Church, it's ironic that I picked them, because my namesake is actually a Lutheran. He was an ethnic German who came to the USA and married a Pole, who was a Polish Catholic, and for socioeconomic reasons, raised his children to be Catholic, as it was easier to assimilate. Coming through Ellis Island in 1913, my great grandfather was an ethnic german who lived in Russia, he served in the Czar's army for 17 years. He was a horse breeder. He was a veteran of the Russo-Japanese war (which preceded world war I).

    There was always friction in my family, with all generations, but in the end, like those before me, it's a personal choice, and I choose to be a Roman Catholic.

  18. #38
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    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]Not really...while I agree with the tradition part on the marriage issue, the "no women priests" is derived from the fact that all of Christ's twelve Apostles were men.[/QUOTE]

    I often wonder why Mary Magdalene wasn't a disciple.

    After all, where were his disciples when he was hanging on that cross for three days?

    Mary Magdalene was there.

  19. #39
    TMahoney
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    The Catholic Church is too powerful and too in love with its own history of influence. They should be a bunch of wandering preachers like Jesus, not a powerful organization trying to fix the world through their influence, power and wealth. As christians you are supposed to emulate Jesus, not worry about what some Pope thinks about todays world. I feel religion is more of a personal thing and not a devotion to a group of people, rather a devotion to God.

  20. #40
    [QUOTE=CarlSpackler]That whole belief that Women wouldn't be fit for priesthood and that marriage doesn't coincide with its basic principles was just a piece of propaganda used in the dark ages.

    Love is the greatest gift God gives to us and marriage is your expression of love. The whole idea that priests are married to God is rather ridiculous. It doesn't mention that anywhere in the bible and rabbis were allowed to get married in Jesus' time and he had no problems with it, now why wouldn't priests be allowed to get married? It just doesnt make sense.

    See you have to identify, as I said in an earlier post, between Faith and Tradition. The Church has said many things since its inception about how this and that is wrong in the eyes of God etc etc. But the truth is, they don't have a clue what he thinks about women priests or married priests because he never let his will be known on those matters. You can be a faithful Catholic without agreeing with every rule/regulation that the Church holds you too. Because faith isn't about showing up on sunday or not eating meet on friday, faith is about how you live your life and your belief in the Father and the Son.

    Furthermore, Priests today give marriage counsel, which in my humble opinion, is absolutely obsurd. What in the world would they know about marriage, thats like going to prison for moral guidance.[/QUOTE]


    I never said women wouldn't be FIT for priesthood. I'm also unsure what propaganda you're referring to. I DO separate tradition from faith. As a Catholic, however, I DO believe that the guidance we get is from God. It's not simply a bunch of guys sitting around and guessing at what God thinks. You can be a faithful Christian, but you can't necessarily be a faithful Catholic if you're picking and choosing what you believe. That's what Martin Luther did. As a Catholic, though, I believe that the Holy Spirit chose our Pope and I continue to believe that his guidance comes from God himself.
    Catholicism IS a devotion to God, CS. It IS a personal thing. But, just because we live in an area that doesn't necessarily need "wandering preachers" doesn't mean it isn't happening in other countries. Areas South of the equator are full of your wandering preachers. Ok, maybe they don't wander SO much. People tend to respect people who show them respect. Someone who stops by while wandering is less effective than someone who stays put and helps in the community while spreading the Word through his/her speech and actions.
    As far as priests giving marital guidance... they tend not to. They defer a lot of that to couples who are willing to help out in the Parish. Priests give spiritual guidance and help with what they can, but they don't pretend to know everything there is about relationships with women because, plain and simply, they don't.

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