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‘Earthquake’ in Rome as Vatican synod talks about homosexuality and divorce

13 October 2014

4:49 PM

13 October 2014

4:49 PM

The Synod on the Family in Rome today caused an ‘earthquake’ – the word is being used on Catholic blogs everywhere – when it appeared to tweak the Church’s line on homosexuality and second marriages. ‘Line’, please note, not its teaching on the sinfulness of all sexual acts outside marriage, which it does not have the authority to change and will remain intact long after this pontificate.

But the ‘line’ matters, and here it is, unveiled in an alarmingly haphazard fashion in a document called the relatio post disceptationem – a half-way report on the discussions read aloud in the synod hall this morning. As Mark Greaves of the Catholic Herald reports, it has been drafted by synod fathers selected by Pope Francis:

The document calls on the Church to build on the ‘positive aspects’ of relationships that are deemed irregular – such as between remarried couples or same-sex partners – and keep the ‘doors always wide open’ to people in those relationships.

The relatio says that the Church reaching out to divorced Catholics does not represent a ‘weakening of its faith’ but an exercise of charity.

The document cites calls by many synod participants to speed up the annulment process.

Regarding people who are gay, the document says: ‘Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community. Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities? Often they wish to encounter a church that offers them a welcoming home. Are our communities capable of providing that, accepting and valuing their sexual orientation, without compromising Catholic doctrine on the family and matrimony?

‘Without denying the moral problems connected to homosexual unions, it has to be noted that there are cases in which mutual aid to the point of sacrifice constitutes a precious support in the life of the partners.’

The document also emphasises the ‘principle of graduality’, the idea that Catholics move towards full acceptance of Church teaching in steps, and that the Church needs to accompany them with patience and understanding.

It speaks of ‘accepting the reality of civil marriage and also cohabitation’, noting that such unions can reach ‘a notable level of stability through a public bond’ and be ‘characterised by deep affection, responsibility with regard to offspring, and capacity to withstand tests’.

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I’m astonished by such boldness. The principle of graduality is not new – but St John Paul II emphasised that it should be Catholics that move gradually, not the Church. The ‘earthquake’ has been created by the implication – welcomed by liberals, greeted with dismay by conservatives – that the Church is moving, not towards doctrinal change but towards a much more relaxed attitude towards gay couples and people in second marriages (ie, divorced people or those married to them).

You can read the full text of the document by clicking here.

Most Catholic commentators on Twitter are either celebrating or blowing their top. But even more revealing is the fact that, according to the respected Vatican commentator John Thavis, some of the synod fathers are themselves bemused by the document:

The relatio has already occasioned some pushback. Following its presentation in the synod hall, 41 bishops spoke about the content, and several pressed for clarifications on specific points:

— Some asked whether, in the section on homosexuality, there shouldn’t be mention of the teaching that ‘some unions are disordered,’ a reference to the phrase the church has used to describe homosexual relations. That information came from Cardinal Peter Erdo, the primary author of the relatio, who spoke to reporters at a Vatican press conference.

— Sources said other bishops questioned the analogy the relatio drew between the principle of finding ‘elements of sanctification and of truth outside’ outside the visible structure of the church, expressed in the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, and the broader idea that positive elements can be found not only in sacramental marriage but also in irregular unions.

— At least one bishop asked what happened to the concept of sin. The word ‘sin’ appears only rarely in the 5,000-word relatio.

At the press conference, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines emphasised that this text was not the final version and said with a smile, ‘So the drama continues’.

It does indeed. But given the extent of the divisions that the synod reveals, which are certain to be replicated in parishes around the world, I don’t know what he’s got to smile about.

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Show comments
  • http://rt.com Schlomo Weinberger

    A good start but not enough. No more Passion plays. Extensive sections of the New Testament will be edited and/or re-translated. Vatican will pay a yearly tribute to Eretz Yisrael to demonstrate fealty.
    בעל־הבית

  • Veronica Lake

    “The document also emphasises the ‘principle of graduality’, the idea that Catholics move towards full acceptance of Church teaching in steps, and that the Church needs to accompany them with patience and understanding.”

    This sounds to me and to gay marriage activists like a statement that the Church is “evolving”, like Obama , although his was more of a Reveal.

    So in due course the Left and Gay Activists can expect their ultimate wet-dream: Francis will perform a mass gay marriage ceremony in Rome, at the conclusion of which nuns will run forward with babies from women in poor countries to give to the triumphant couples. The gay couples will then turn to the media holding their trophies aloft, and Francis will abase himself in front of Dan Savage in apology for 2000 years of church doctrine.

    You Catholics who insist there is Nothing To See Here are kidding yourselves.
    Francis is a South American Jesuit Liberation Theologist
    What a disaster is a Cultural Marxist Pope.

  • http://bigpulpit.com/ Tito Edwards

    John Thavis hyper-ventilated in his reports, he’s better than that, but I guess he succumbed to the smoke of Satan and all that.

  • Ambientereal

    Homos calling the Church “homofobic”? Try islam. They should be grateful for the tolerance and understanding of the Christianity. Sorry if we could not come as far as give you equal treatment as to the faithful believers. But, why you need it? If you do not agree with the ideas of the Church why you need to be in it?

    • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

      Only retards believe in imaginary friends.

      • Ambientereal

        You actually may be right, and I fully respect your opinion, but if someone do not have the same beliefs as the catholic church, why so much efforts to be let in?

    • Tim Morrison

      Believe me, I don’t want to be in your Church – I just wish it would stop talking about me and issuing pronouncements that stir up homophobia and raise doubts about my validity as a human. When it keeps quiet, I will.

      • Ambientereal

        You probably don´t but a lot of people having actually beliefs quite different to that professed by the Catholic Church are somehow pushing to enter or to stay inside despite the enormous fact that they don´t actually do and do not want to fulfill the conditions to be in.

        • Tim Morrison

          I get your point – I just wish your Church would stop claiming some understanding about people like me – it is so irritating being talked about but not being allowed into the conversation. Honestly, I really would keep quiet about them, if they did about me, or even if they were prepared to admit that I was a proper human without some kind of disorder.

    • LaurenceBoyce

      That’s like saying you should be grateful for a kick in the crotch because someone else has a knife.

      • Ambientereal

        I believe you did not read my whole statement. Homos don´t believe in the same thing as the church, so why they want to be admitted? Why do not create their own religion as many unsatisfied catholics have done in the past? Why don´t ask admission in the islam?

        • LaurenceBoyce

          The bit I read was:

          “They should be grateful for the tolerance and understanding of Christianity.”

          Nobody should be grateful for the tolerance and understanding of Christianity, because as far as gay people and indeed many others are concerned, Christianity has been intolerant, ignorant, hypocritical, and cruel.

          • Ambientereal

            Right, but why care? Is the catholic church so powerful? What do gays want? To be admitted in an organization that have different ideas? I am a Manchester United fan, I don´t want to be admitted in Chelsea.

        • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

          You know: gay people were “created” by god too.
          Why don’t you ask him? Let us know when he answers you back.
          Or when he answers all the people praying for ebola to be cured.

          • Ambientereal

            Only retards believe in imaginary friends.

  • Hippograd

    There’s a simple test of what is good or bad for Christianity: “Does The Guardian approve?” If it does, it’s bad for Christianity. If it doesn’t, it’s good. The Guardian will certainly approve of this. The Catholic church is hell-bent on committing suicide. And “hell-bent” is presumably the mot juste to genuine Catholics.

    • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

      The most ironic is that especially in the US, for decades the rallying cry during the cold war was to defeat those “godless communists” – well, the West is now showing that the USSR’s “godless communists” were in reality defeated by a bunch of perverted godless capitalists, who now impose on the Catholic Church a de facto doctrine of normalizing homosexuality. Funnily enought, it’s not the godless communists who destroyed the Church – it’s the West’s own sexual perverts – and because the Church has been too corrupted by its gay mafia on the inside, it only welcomes its own perversion with open arms- under a banner of now adopting a “nicer” and more “inclusive” approach than before.

      • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

        your church is dying! I will drink to that

        • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

          a church with one billion people dying? not quite, but becoming grotesquely corrupt thanks to all the homosexual perverts who have infiltrated it to destroy it, that yes.

          • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

            Yes – the gay mafia is working hard from the inside to take revenge for the 2000 years of persecution.
            Revenge is a dish best served cold – and we are almost ready to plate up.

            • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

              LGBTs have been raping, abusing, sexually harassing, and murdering other people for more than 2000 years. Time for revenge. Not to mention that you are always trying to convince society that all your perversities are normal. Although persecution was excessive against LGBTs in the past, all LGBTs had to do not to be persecuted was to refrain from being nasty, violent, destructive perverts – they chose not to. You hate decency, don’t complain about persecution.

  • swatnan

    The next Gay Pride march should be in Vatican City, at Easter.

    • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

      With Pope Francis dressed in homosexual black leather holding a sign “who am I to judge? this is how I support doctrine” Remember Pope Alexander and how corrupt he made Church?

      • Tim Morrison

        I would have thought on his knees and repenting for the sin of homophobia and commemorating all the lesbian and gay martyrs persecuted by a Catholic hegemony.

        • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

          For a pervert, not having a perverted mind and religion is what is sin! Which homosexual pervert is the Catholic Church currently persecuting? The Church coddled and aided countless homosexuals to abuse boy after boy for decades – what garbage and vile ppl

          • Tim Morrison

            Well people like you are doing your best

          • Antony

            Are you eating the word ‘pervert’ daily for your food? You have been vomiting this throughout your comments..Dont be arrogant like this..and hatefilled.

            • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

              Are you so upset because the word perverted describes your mind so entirely?

              • Antony

                You have made comments under this thread nearly 100 times..and in all comments i’ve seen the word ‘pervert’..do you feel any pleasure in reciting that word? i’ve heard that different kind of sexual abnormalities exist.like exhibitionism etc..i think ur case is, ‘reciting pervert’ ism.. 🙂

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Catholicism has always reserved a special place of condemnation in its hard little heart for homosexuals. “We hate the sin… We love the sinner.” Oh, sure.
    No Popery here. Get back to the Telegraph where you belong.

  • BotGregory

    Smoke of Satan.

  • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

    At least one bishop asked what happened to the concept of sin.

    The concept of sin is incompatible with the minds of the homosexual perverts preparing this document, hence, they have eliminated the concept.

    • Tim Morrison

      Your comments should be removed as the hate filled bile they are – you are an excellent case for censorship.

      • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

        As you well prove, for a pervert, the truth is what is most perverted!

        • Tim Morrison

          How? I would like to know so I can continue my insidious campaign of undermining the west more effecitvely. I thought I was just getting on with a life, minding my own business and my very existance is a threat to GOd.

          • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

            Sit back with popcorn and watch the catholic church implode and disappear … they will be gone long before you and I are.

            • Tim Morrison

              Isn’t that satisfying – they are tearing each other apart – and the Anglicans too – happy day.

              • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

                Finally all the people whose lives have been destroyed by the perverted catholic priests will get their justice.

      • Rocksy

        You can say anything hate filled about the Catholic Church. It’s only everyone else you can’t even mention unless you’re slobbering praise.

        • Tim Morrison

          If I understand your grammar, you seem to be saying that its ok to attack Catholics but not everyone else
          To point out the corruption of the Roman Catholic church, its rampant hypocrisy and its habit of enforcing its will whenever it can is not being anti-Catholic – it is a straight forward assessment of its hierarchy. And when its hierarchy does try and change in a way slightly affected by decent, human compassion it gets bricks thrown at by its own side.

          Just in case you are in any doubt about whom I am attacking – all fundamentalist religions are as bad as each other – Muslim, Buddhist, HIndu, especially when they are influenced by the far right.

          And if that homophobic woman is still around, all sexual violence is wrong whoever commits as are those who try and cover it up.

          • Rocksy

            The Christian and Catholic Church have much to answer to for sure. Nevertheless, I usually look at what has been produced by the many belief systems which exist around the globe (religious, political etc.) to help me distinguish between the soundness of the belief system and the frailties of its members.

            Societies based on Christianity, stand miles apart from all other societies.

            • Tim Morrison

              Really? Give me some examples please. Western societies started to become decent when the power of the church began to decline. Churches have opposed almost all progressive movements and made holy the status quo:

              the rich man in his castle
              the poor man at the gate
              God made them high and lowly
              and ordered their estate.

      • elmo5159

        That’s probably why she’s been banned from so many other sites.

        • Tim Morrison

          ah indeed.

        • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

          It’s funny how people who normalize homosexuality love to censor anyone who criticizes them- they can never win a debate merely with arguments

          • elmo5159

            In case you hadn’t noticed, Alessandra, we who support equality have WON — with our arguments. Yours, such as they are, are laughable at best.

            • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

              with your arguments? or with your morally corrupt ideology that encourages people to do harm and violence with impunity and call their perverted minds normal? In a corrupt and violent world, it’s surely the people offering the most corrupt ideology that will “win” – nothing new there! It’s much harder to build one good man than thousands of turdy ones.

              • elmo5159

                What “harm and violence” are occurring as a result of homosexuality — except for the attacks on homosexuals by bigoted morons such as you are?
                BTW, the medical and scientific communities also consider homosexuality to be normal — and their word on this trumps your pathetic, loathsome outrage.

  • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

    So Francis is the head of the Gay Mafia?

  • CraigStrachan

    “Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines emphasised that this text was not the final version and said with a smile, ‘So the drama continues’.”

    He’s such a drama queen.

  • Rocksy

    Jesus, isn’t He the One who befriended whores and adulterers? He never said what they did was OK. He did treat them with love and respect.

    • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

      That’s what the Church did to many of its homosexual pedophile priests – coddled and protected them to the end

      • Tim Morrison

        Go back into your rat hole and nurse your hate in private where it can infect no one.

        • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

          I’ll be right here rejoicing that many homosexual pedophile priests have been unmasked for the vile garbage that they are. It’s your disgusting mind that needs disinfecting.

          • Tim Morrison

            People who commit sexual violence should go to prison. Whoever they are. Or do you think that heterosexual people don’t do bad things – must incest, child cruelty and abuse is done by parents to their own children.

      • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

        more girls were abused than boys, but adult men later in life are less intimidated by the abused women and dare to come forward.

        • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

          80% of the abuse in the Church was of a homosexual nature, involving teenage males. The number of girls abused was very small. The gay mafia in the Church ensured nothing happened to all the homosexual monsters in the Church.

  • ardenjm

    Damian,

    You know all those crazy tin-foil-hat wearing Conspiracy Theorists you wrote about….

    What a mess.
    Proximate cause of it: Pope Benedict for resigning.
    Ultimately, though, it’s Modernism and the Fathers of the Council and the last 100 years or so.
    This is where I start re-reading the “Brother will be against brother” bit and wonder to myself what St Malachy had to say about Peter the Roman etc etc.

    I can’t see clearly on any of this at all. Talk about the smoke of satan.

    Maranatha.

  • Kasperlos

    Is the Vatican announcement t such a surprise? Anyone familiar with the late Irish Roman Catholic priest and author Father Malachi Martin would say not. He wrote and spoke decades ago of the dismantling of Catholicism and the inevitable march towards a church which fits the manners, mores and tastes of all. Vatican II was but the start. There may well be a schism. The traditional church is all but finished save for outcasts such as the late French archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s Society of St. Pius X. What is astounding is the 180 degree turn from German conservative Benedict XVI to Latin American Francis I, think ‘Liberation Theology.” Martin was right, by ‘keeping up with the times’ the church lost its raison d’etre, i.e. preparing souls not for the afterlife and eternity, but in its stead as an instrument to create a paradise in the here and now. This entire movement conforms with the human failing of shortsightedness and the ‘me’ generation. One weeps.

  • kag1982

    Yes. Perhaps people will debate things in the open rather than toeing the company line. As Cardinal Chito said, this is the “Spirit of Vatican II.”

  • David T

    ‘… Vatican synod talks about homosexuality..’

    Sounds like taking coal to Newcastle.

  • Pat Conway

    No, the earthquake that rocked the very foundation of the church was clerical sexual abuse not the synod on divorce and homosexuality.

    • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

      80% was homosexuals abusing adolescent males – the “gifts” that homosexuals who have power in the Church have to offer

      • Pat Conway

        Don’t mistake paedophilia with homosexuality.

        • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

          Don’t lie about the countless numbers of homosexuals and bisexuals who abuse, rape, murder, and harass children, teens, and adults, the world over. Having a sexually perverted mind is the root of abuse.

          • Pat Conway

            Paedophilia also involves the abuse of young girls and often it occures in the home where the father abuses his daughter.

            • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

              And many of these fathers who abuse children think homosexuality is normal – So many garbage of liberals in the world maligning decent social
              conservatives and claiming homosexuality is normal – only normal for
              junk of people.

              • elmo5159

                Sure, “decent social conservatives” like Rush Limbaugh, Larry Craig, Ted Haggard, Charlie Crist, Mark Foley, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Phil Hinkle — the list goes on and on. It is hypocritical bigots like you who are the true “garbage” in this world.

          • elmo5159

            WRONG. Approximately 90% of all pedophiles/child molesters are heterosexual, married men (probably a lot like your husband, if you have one); they are attracted to the age, not the gender. Do you EVER do any research that doesn’t come from the idiots at NARTH, NOM, FRC, etc.? It would seem not. You, like so many “good” bigots, only look for sources that confirm your twisted beliefs; it’s no wonder such ignorance spreads so easily.

  • AndrewMelville

    Perhaps the Roman Church might consider becoming a Christian Church.

    • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

      The vile Gay Mafia has got the Church by the throat – the only gift homosexuals have is to destroy the idea of healthy in society – every institution they infiltrate, they destroy

      • AndrewMelville

        I don’t care for the hierarchy of the Church of Rome. Neither do I care for homosexual rights activists. I cannot agree with your condemnation of homosexuals; they are perfectly ordinary people, good and bad, who are burdened with a different, but harmless sexuality.

        • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

          I see that you want to lie about all the harm and violence they perpetrate in the world due to their perverted sexuality…

          • AndrewMelville

            Alessandra,

            1. There are perverts who are homosexual and there are perverts who are heterosexual.

            2. Homosexuals don’t inflict their sexuality on anyone else.

            3. Christians were taught to forgive and not to judge.

            Leave them alone. And show some compassion.

        • Tim Morrison

          burdened?

          • AndrewMelville

            Not meant to be pejorative or judgemental, just recognition that it is more difficult to be homosexual than heterosexual.

            I was trying to stimulate some sympathy in Alessandra rather than to offend.

      • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

        The perverted idea of a fairy in the sky needs destroying.

      • Tim Morrison

        I want a ticket to join the gay mafia – what qualifications do I need – the protection racket would be wonderful – imagine the weapons – curtains at dawn ….

        But all we have is argument, reason, humour and a bit of imagination – so we are defenceless against your common sense and decency. I am so ashamed of myself that I post under my own name and my own picture – and you? You call people names under the protection of anonymity. What are you afraid of? That we will comment on your soft furnishings?

  • Cumberland

    Nothing wrong with being homosexual, the wrong is done if they go against church doctrine.

    • Tim Morrison

      Well I am glad the church doesn’t burn gay men any more.

      • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

        I’m glad at least some of the homosexual pedophiles of the Church are behind bars – although most are writing such documents as we speak

        • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

          Most of them are still working for your church and fiddling with your children every Sunday: because the pope happily lets them do it.
          Try and pray this gay away .. won’t work you nasty person.

    • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

      Having a perverted mind regarding sexuality and regarding both sexes is very wrong. As you well prove, for a pervert, nothing is perverted.

      • Cumberland

        There’s a need to act to sin, thought, word or deed, none of these, no sin.

        • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

          Wrong – having a perverted mind like you do is sinful – thinking evil is part of evil, it is the very foundation of evil

          • Cumberland

            thought is past tense of thinking.

      • Tim Morrison

        Your modelling of Christian love shows your faith in good colours.

        • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

          Then again, your perverted mind cannot understand either love or Christianity- which is why you hate a healthy mind most of all

          • Tim Morrison

            How do you know you have a healthy mind.

            • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

              for one, because a pervert like you hates it completely and rails against it – you hate what is good and wholesome and healthy.

              • Tim Morrison

                You feel free to insult people who disagree you with hatefilled language. You see conspiracies everywhere. MMM

                • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

                  You’re the one saying my comments are hate-filled! Malign much?

                • Tim Morrison

                  I am saying your comments are hate filled and misinformed and also I am accusing your of hypocritical behaviour. I am not calling you names but saying you are behaving in a disreputable way that calls doubt on your understanding of your own faith. If you call people like me vile names and accuse us of vile behaviour, don’t complain if we answer you back.

                  But then most Christians have never behaved in ways Jesus commended when it comes to things like forgiving neighbours, turning the other cheek and selling their goods for the benefit of the poor. Some do but not many.

                • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

                  I am not behaving in any disreputable way – that’s just your hate-filled, nasty view. If you are vile and engaging in vile behavior, don’t complain if people point it out to you. You want Christians to be silent about the vile things anyone thinks and does in the world – that’s just a pervert’s dream of a religion. All decent and healthy people must be now attacked because these little homosexual perverts just can’t go treat their vile mind.

                • Tim Morrison

                  All i want is you to have table manners and be polite.

                • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

                  “Politeness” for a pervert means that no one can speak out on what is perverted. “Politeness” for a pervert means that they call decent people “hateful” and malign them any which way their nasty mind endeavors to do so. What perverts want is to do harm and violence in society with impunity and not be criticized by anyone.

                • Tim Morrison

                  I call your language and your slurs hateful, not you. I have no idea who you are or your character but I can comment on your behaviour here – that I do call hateful and a disgrace to the God you profess. I can hate the sin, loving the sinner is a bit strong for my feelings towards you but I at least have no ill will for you.

                  Criticise my behaviour if you like – in a community we are all accountable to each other – but don’t call me names. To be precise, don’t accuse me of hateful crimes without evidence.

                • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

                  My language isn’t hateful at all. My behavior isn’t hateful and it’s not any disgrace. I’m criticizing your nasty mind – which is what is at the root of whatever perverted behaviors you live for. If you don’t want to be criticized, don’t think and behave like a pervert. I don’t care about you in particular, I care about the millions of garbage of homosexuals and bisexuals who are doing harm and violence in society with impunity – a problem for which there is plenty of evidence even though a lot of their sexual harassment, abuse, etc. is done away from the public view. Thanks to your silence and support. Homosexuals, if they are not doing violence, they are lying about all the others who are doing it and attacking anyone who speaks out on it.

                • Tim Morrison

                  I have spent a lot of my life fighting the abuse of children head on – I am not silent – I condemn the abuse of children head on – and any attempts to use power for personal or even ideological gain. I am not attacking you – but the way you construct your arguments. I have been a little snide perhaps but that is hardly what you have been doing to us as a group of people.
                  And how are ‘we’ doing harm? How have ‘we’ hurt you. Be specific. Don’t hide behind generalities. I say ‘we’ because of course, ‘we’ have no collective identity apart from in the imagination of our enemies.

              • elmo5159

                As if you know anything about “good,” “wholesome,” or “healthy”. Come back when you find out what they REALLY mean.

          • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

            Having an imaginary friend is perverted.

      • elmo5159

        And bigots like you are NOTHING if not perverted!

        • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

          And perverts like you are NOTHING if not bigoted!

          • elmo5159

            Can’t come up with anything original? Not surprising, given your obvious lack of so many other skills.

          • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

            but you talk to an invisible friend – that means you have a mental disease.

            • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

              But you love to have perverts for friends – talk about a nasty, mental disease!

  • Néstor Martínez

    Truth is not at our disposal. Doctrine is invalidated if practice contrary to doctrine is allowed. And in the end, a new doctrine emerges from that practice, contrary to the previous doctrine.

    • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

      nothing but the nauseous gay mafia destroying the Church from within – everywhere homosexuals and bisexuals gain power, they destroy society

      • Tim Morrison

        Don’t you dare associate homosexuality and peadophilia. Your attitudes are the poison that corrodes relationships and shows up Chrisitainity for what it is – a religion of hate; a gossip of love and mercy? But then you are the person who is without sin who could have thrown the first stone with alacrity.

        • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

          Don’t you dare lie about the millions of homosexuals and bisexuals who rape, harass, murder, and abuse children, adolescents and adults. Your attitudes are pro-pedophilia and pro-teen abuse and pro-adult abuse by homosexuals – yours is an ideology of cover-ups and perversity. And I don’t go around sexually abusing or harassing people like millions of homosexuals and bisexuals – and one wonders what you do in life indeed.

          • Tim Morrison

            I don’t go round sexually abusing anyone – and like a lot of straight people I don’t go round raping women and committing incest with my children, Thats’ ok I suppose for your twisted ideology. I also don’t murder people who disgaree with me. I don’t even normally call them names – in your case I am happy to make an exception.

          • elmo5159

            Don’t YOU dare lie about homosexuals and pedophiles. The fact is that approximately 90% of all pedophiles/child molesters are heterosexual, married men (maybe a lot like you, in fact); they are attracted to the age, not the gender. Get a clue (if you can).

            • terence patrick hewett

              Actually the correspondent “guest” may do precisely as he pleases within the law. His opinion is entirely subjective as your opinion is entirely subjective. If you wish to engage with the intertubes simply wishing to hear the echo of your own voice you will be sadly disappointed.

              • elmo5159

                I did not state my “opinion” — I stated FACT. If you wish to engage with people more educated than you are, YOU will be sadly disappointed.

                • terence patrick hewett

                  “Nay, nay,” quod he, “thanne have I Cristes curs!
                  Lat be,” quod he, “it shal nat be, so theech,
                  Thou woldest make me kisse thyn olde breech,
                  And swere it were a relyk of a seint,
                  Though it were with thy fundement depeint.
                  But by the croys which that Seint Eleyne fond,
                  I wolde I hadde thy coillons in myn hond
                  In stide of relikes or of seintuarie.
                  Lat kutte hem of, I wol thee helpe hem carie;
                  They shul be shryned in an hogges toord.”

      • Ambientereal

        I don´t understand why Homosexuals need to be accepted in a religion that doesn´t considers them. Besides, Church should be more concerned in other issues like the equality between man and woman which is not yet reached.

      • elmo5159

        How do homosexuals “destroy society”? It seems to me that it is the ignorance displayed by moronic homophobes like you that is destroying our society.

    • Tim Morrison

      Times have changed – the days when we asked endorsement from Churches have long since gone. If they had demonstrated the love of God in the days of the worst of AIDS then perhaps it would be different. Or if they had judged themselves by the standards they judged others – but no. They have failed and shown themselves for what they are … and I don’t need to say what that is, it speaks for itself.

      • Néstor Martínez

        The Church brings no endorsement, but salvation.

        • Tim Morrison

          And that I reject too – the idea that God would create us as gay with the capacity to love and then damn us for it is comical

        • Tim Morrison

          Perhaps the salvation from a God who allows less freedom of conscience than a dictator is not worth anything.

  • tolpuddle1

    No point of doctrine has changed.

    Welcoming sinners (i.e. human beings) into the Church is Basic Christianity, chapter 2.

    So – what earthquake ?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …this is just the media muppets spinning matters and seeking to fabricate an “earthquake”.

    • Pat Conway

      What ‘sinners’ ? More to the point why label people as sinners when sin itself does not even exist.

      • carlolancellotti

        I can assure you it exists, because I sin all the time. You must have been immaculately conceived.

        • Pat Conway

          Sin is an imaginary disease, invented to sell you an imaginary cure.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Parrot. Squawk Squawk. You repeat the same phrase over & over again on different threads.

            • Pat Conway

              Parrot. Squawk Squawk is all I have ever heard from theists and the church. Brainwashing young children to believe in nonsense.

              • steveherts

                Like Darwinist evolutionary theory-there was nothing, then there was something or that the infinite complexity of a single cell came about by a random accident let alone the unfathomable complexity of the cosmos, or that man is capable of creating his own perfect ethical system inspite of all the mass slaughter and bloodshed throughout history-thats brainwashing.

                • Pat Conway

                  It’s so easy to just say ‘god did it’. No need to provide any evidence. It’s magic.

                • steveherts

                  The evidence is all around us in created life-its so easy just to say “it evolved” As I said the simplest life form -a single cell with its complex arrangement of amino-acids is just too complex to have occurred by accident. You must have a lot of faith because you believe that life came from nothing-there was nothing then there was life-that is a fairy tale that requires more faith than those who believe in a creator God.
                  Google Professor Anthony Flew a leading philosopher and militant atheist who after a life time of telling the world that there was no God-finally concluded that there was a God-recognising that life in its simplest form is too complex to have happened by chance. I admire your faith. The evidence is all around you.

                • Pat Conway

                  The evidence of a ‘creator’ is nowhere to be found. Faith is belief without evidence.

                • steveherts

                  So as you do not accept that life is the creation of God, then you must “believe” that it came about by accident. Wow! Given the complexity of even a single cell with its very intricate structures-thats some faith you have because it is not based on evidence.

                • Ghostie

                  What Pat seems to believe is science based evidence. As do I. As does anyone who understands that “faith” is not evidence. The following link is to an article about actual evidence that supports the big bang theory.
                  http://space.io9.com/have-physicists-detected-gravitational-waves-yes-1545591865

                • Pat Conway

                  Your beliefs are not based on any evidence.

                • steveherts

                  I’ve stated my evidence the complexity of the most simple form of life and referred to one of the worlds leading proponents of atheism who finally recognised that and accepted that there must be a creator.You believe that life just happened by random chance.Thats a belief not a fact. You must also believe that there is no such thing as love or art , or the mind or consciousness as none of these things can be proven on the basis of empirical evidence.

                • Pat Conway

                  Your ‘evidence’ is not evidence. Merely your own assumptions based on your own beliefs and your beliefs are based on no facts at all.
                  To claim that human emotion is beyond me is incredible. We all share those emotions but we don’t all share a belief in a deity. Art is a substance not merely a shadow. You don’t need evidence to prove human emotions but to claim a god exists requires real evidence. Evidence that believers can’t provide.

                • steveherts

                  I ‘m afraid you have ignored my central point -if there is no God or creative force which we call God then you must believe that life came about purely by accident-I stress the word believe because you have no evidence to use your term and therefore just blindly believe that life in all its complexity happened by accident-you have ignored my central point. Even in its simplest form -a single cell it is too complex to have happened by accident -google the leading atheist thinker Professor Flew who rejected your position after a lifetime of militant atheism. Again you do not grasp the point-you keep talking about proof-evidence-this is empiricism and does not always apply-how do you prove love, consciousness, art? -they are not tangible- you cannot empirically prove their existence-that does not mean that they do not exist-the empirical method that you keep referring to is not the only way of “knowing” Go in Peace .

                • Pat Conway

                  I don’t pretend to have the answers like you claim to have.

                • newminster

                  Not so. The evidence for a creator is all round you.
                  Try reading a basic book on Christian Apologetics with an open mind. You might learn something though I strongly suspect you’re more comfortable in your ignorance.

                • Pat Conway

                  Incredible that a believer accuses me of ignorance when fear and ignorance created god in the first place. You choose to believe in a fairy tale so who truly is the ignorant one here?

                • tolpuddle1

                  So what DID do it ?

                • Pat Conway

                  It wasn’t magic.

              • tolpuddle1

                “Brainwashing” – control techniques pioneered by Communist governments.

                • Pat Conway

                  Communism is a political ideology. Religion is all about control and brainwashing young children should stop.

                • tolpuddle1

                  Politics and the police are all about control, so let’s abolish them, shall we ?

                  But children must indeed no longer be brainwashed by their elders into secular religions like atheism.

                • Pat Conway

                  Religion has always been about mind control. Why the need to indoctrinate young children?

                • tolpuddle1

                  Parents and teachers of secular views are just as determined to “indoctrinate” children. To some extent, this is a duty – adults have no right to leave children without guidance.

                  And in any case, the children are perfectly able to reject the “indoctrination” (and often do) when they reach adolescence.

                • Pat Conway

                  At least secular parents don’t feed their children fairy tales as truth.

                • tolpuddle1

                  Most secular beliefs are fairy tales.

                  You are making the prior assumption that Christianity is a fairy tale or includes fairy tales. Christians believe the opposite, as they have a perfect right to do.

                • Pat Conway

                  No. Fairy tales belong solely to religion. Virgin births, talking snakes, talking donkeys, resurrections, etc.

                • tolpuddle1

                  You’re working from the prior assumption that the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection couldn’t happen, i.e. that God doesn’t exist.

                  But atheism is a fairy tale.

                • Pat Conway

                  Once again making out that atheism, which relies on the rational, is a fairy tale is incredible considering that theists must accept the irrational and ridiculous as fact.

                • tolpuddle1

                  Atheism is incredible, irrational and ridiculous, yes.

      • tolpuddle1

        If bad behaviour, cruel words and selfishness aren’t sin, what then are they ?

        You’re working from a false assumption – that God doesn’t exist.

        • Pat Conway

          The false assumption is that god exists.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Atheist troll with a bee in your bonnet.

            • Pat Conway

              You can’t handle the truth of your man made religion and man made god.

          • Ambientereal

            Even if god doesn´t exists, sin does. Because sin is not against god but against human kind.

            • Pat Conway

              Sin comes from the Bible.

        • Ghostie

          They’re obnoxious behavior, which most of us have the ability to control. Those who can’t would rather lay the responsibility for everything on an imaginary daddy. Learn to work with your conscience.

          • tolpuddle1

            God is judge as well as daddy. Not an imaginary daddy, nor an imaginary judge. No sane religious believer blames God for his/her own bad behaviour.

            By and large, traditionally religious people are vastly more inclined to heed the voice of conscience than are atheists – after all, if Death is the end, why be good ? If conscience isn’t the voice of God, why bother with it ?

            Few (very few?) atheists are good people. Traditionally religious societies are more law-abiding than secular ones, even though it’s the latter who have the modern police forces, the DNA testing, skilled detectives etc.

            • Pat Conway

              Very few atheists are good people? That is an astonishing statement. Because someone doesn’t believe in an imaginary god that makes them automatically bad people. Wow. Plenty of secualar societies are law abiding. To maintain that atheists can’t have a conscience independent of a non existent deity is incredible.
              What you are effectively admitting as a believer is that without the promise of a reward: Paradise or the threat of punishment: eternal torture, you could not behave decently. I don’t need the promise of a reward to behave decently.

              • tolpuddle1

                Most people are law abiding and civilised – that’s only commonsensical. But decency is more than that; few people are kind, and atheists even less inclined to be so than religious believers.

                Whether you are one of “the Few” I don’t of course know.

                Everyone has a conscience – but why heed it if death is the end ? That’s why religious societies really are more law-abiding.

                • Pat Conway

                  Again you try to make out that atheists are less kind than religious people. How do you draw that conclusion? I have never harmed anyone or anything in my life. Again you could say that about most people but to try and say because someone is not a theist that they are less kind is nonsense.
                  Why do you believe that this life is meaningless without the promise of an afterlife? So your family, children, friends etc mean absolutely nothing to you.
                  The United States is one of the largest Christian societies in the world but it’s hardly one of the most law abiding in terms of the murder rate and crime.

                • tolpuddle1

                  My comments about religious versus secular people are based on painful personal experience; I have seen personal kindness rarely outside the Christian world – elsewhere, there’s a lot of blather about caring, compassion etc, but no performance.

                  It’s precisely because I and others care about loved ones, that we go to church. If death is the end, how can bereavement be borne ? It’s painful enough even with religious faith, often intolerable and incurable without religious faith.

                  With regard to the US – broadly, half of it is secular and the other half hypocritical.

                • Pat Conway

                  What does caring about loved ones have to do with going to church? You really live in a fantasy world if you believe in an afterlife. Sadly, death is the end for all of us.
                  The United States is predominately a Christian nation. The currency has ‘In God we Trust’. The military, government, schools all pledge allegiance to god and the flag. And yes I agree with you how hypocritical they are but that hypocrisy often belongs to Christians who preach one thing and practice another.

                • tolpuddle1

                  How do you know death is the end ? How do you know you aren’t living in a fantasy world by denying the existence of an afterlife (which is not necessarily, in all cases, a pleasant one) ?

                  How do you know that human nature doesn’t have a spiritual component that outlives death – we must all constantly choices between right and wrong; these are spiritual decisions.

                  The Founding Fathers of the USA were Deists and Freemasons; the Eye in a Triangle (on the US currency) is a Masonic symbol.

                • Pat Conway

                  How do you know that there is an afterlife?
                  Regardlees of the founding fathers, the USA is one of the largest Christian countries and one of the most violent.

            • Pat Conway

              Sacrificing the earth for paradise is giving up the substance for the shadow – Victor Hugo.

              • tolpuddle1

                “Those who aim at heaven, get earth thrown in as well. Those who aim at earth, get neither.” (C.S. Lewis)

  • Saikourufu

    Damian,

    In a post-cristian society doesn’t a evangelical church need to be charitable and merciful in order to bring gradually people back ?

    • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

      In a post-Christian society people need to know that there are some things that don’t change. christ is the measure of the Christian, not vice versa.

      • Saikourufu

        True. But turning our backs on these people won’t make things better.

        • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

          Since these people destroy any Church they infiltrate, yes, it does make things a lot better

    • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

      the Church is not supposed to be a corrupt and vile social club

  • telemachus

    Regarding people who are gay, the document says: ‘Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community.
    That of course includes the kiddy fiddling priests

    • Saikourufu
    • the viceroy’s gin

      …and your Rotherham buddies, eh lad?

    • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

      Are you comparing gay people to paedophiles? Unless you were being sarcastic … then that was a totally disgusting remark.

      • http://alessandrareflections.wordpress.com/ Alessandra

        Many homosexuals and bisexuals abuse children – it happens constantly. You just like to cover up for your homosexual pedophile pals – talk about how disgusting liberals are

        • http://www.ophiuchuscube.com/ Hendrik

          Crawl back into your cave you stupid cow … You make it sound as if it is a gay thing: that is not true. Most abuses are men on girls – and yes also women on girls, women on boys and men on boys.
          But if you don’t believe me that it is mostly heterosexuals: ask the 1700 girls in Rotherham that were systematically abused by men.
          And don’t you F-ing dare to imply that I cover anything up. You bitch, I’ll have you for breakfast.

          • Dorothy

            Cow…bitch… have her for breakfast. Wow, even gay men abuse women. You must be right.

        • elmo5159

          WRONG. Approximately 90% of all pedophiles/child molesters are heterosexual, married men; they are attracted to the age, not the gender. Seriously, Alessandra, do some research from credible sources, for a change. Oh, wait, then you’d actually be INFORMED about something — mustn’t have that! /s

  • Dorothy

    Neither do I, unless he is looking gleefully towards a schism.

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