Tuesday, 27 September 2016

On Quora

Abbreviations: Q = Question, D = Description by questioner, A = my own answer directly to it, signatures = someone else's answer, my comments, RQ = (answer) ReQuest.

How can God loving Christians be racist?

My Auntie is a preacher and very religious but she stopped going to church when they started letting black people in .

That sounds your auntie is a wee bit Pagan.

What was the Medieval church? What were some of their positive effects?

Which one of them?

To a Catholic, it was simply the Catholic Church - plus a few schismatics (like Photians/Orthodox, those adhering to wrong Pope when there were more than one) and a few heretics (lighter heresy in the East, and those acting like populations : Nestorians, Monophysites [actually Jacobites and Armenians are not same confession of heresy], some would call Photians heretics too; heavier heresy in the West, like Petrobrussians, Waldensians, and, worst, Albigensians).

So, the “Medieval Church” if you mean the Catholic one was simply the Church of Christ subsisting during the Middle Ages.

Can you defend Zionism without using any religious argument?

I am not a Zionist and I am religious.

To me Palestinian Christians are the most correct Israelites.

The best defense of any Zionist I can come up with is if they defend Palestinian Christians.

Answer requested by Daniel Kogan

How do I get free bibles?

On internet, for instance.

Douay-Rheims Bible Online, Verses Search.

And with a comment:

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

Answer requested by Olukayode Crown

Do you find it difficult to live up to the Catholic Church's doctrine?

I do not know if I want children but I would like to one day wed someone. In the Catholic Church, this is kind of no-no. Marriage is for children. I am not sure if I believe in afterlife. I think people just die.

I’d certainly like to marry and as certainly like to … have many children.

What are some of the key similarities and differences between Catholicism and the ancient Roman religion?

Key difference : Catholicism is Christian.

Key similarity : both use Latin (except insofar as ancient Roman religion used Etruscan instead).

Answer requested by Groo V Err

Ethan Leuchter,
Romanophile and Amateur Historian
Catholicism is montheistic. The Romans were polytheistic.

Catholicism has no animal sacrifice. Animal sacrifice was an integral part of Roman religion.

Ancient Rome had no single mythology, it varied greatly across time and geography. Catholicism has a strict mythology defined in a single work.

Ancient Roman gods had many different epithets and each epithet represented a slightly different version of that god. The Catholic God has no such variations.

The Ancient Romans believed in omens sent by the gods, usually in the forms of animals or objects associated with a god. Catholic beliefs in omens sent by God are much more limited and are much more supernatural in nature.

The Romans represented their gods as being pretty much all-powerful humans. They were just as petty as any mortal and all had their own faults. The Catholics represent their God in a way that makes him superior to humans.

The Romans had gods of both sexes whereas the Catholic God is asexual but shows himself as a male so is expressed in male terms (see David Aldred's comment).

The chief priest for both is the Pontifex Maximus.

They both speak Latin.

They both have male gods.

They both believe that gods can have children.

They both believed in a number of more minor gods or god-like beings.

They both believe in an underworld (though the Romans believed that everyone went to the underworld instead of just the sinners).

They both believe that divine beings can interact with the mortal world.

They both are based in Rome.

This list is by no means comprehensive, it is just everything I could think of in a few minutes. However, you can still see how the similarities are pretty much skin deep and that they have extreme theological differences.

Are there any studies which correlate Vatican II to Roman Catholic priests leaving the priesthood?

In John Jay Study Undermined by Its Own Data* Catholic commentator Bill Donohue claims that there is a causal link between Vatican II and the rise of same-sex identity in that there was an increase in "heterosexual" priests leaving to get married, thus leaving the others behind in greater numbers.

I don't think this is a credible claim or theory, but would like to find more research materials which might have studied these events.

On the flip side, Leaving the Priesthood** gives statistics that during the past 60 years, over a third of priests have left the priesthood. Is there a public source for these kind of statistics?

* URL : http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/john-jay-study-undermined-by-its-own-data

** URL : http://www.leavingthepriesthood.com/

my A:
I don’t know if there are any “studies”.

I have heard there were lots of cases.

Nate S3,
Cradle Catholic. 30yr atheist; 8yr practicing Methodist.
I think anyone who blames Vatican II as the chief cause of the Priestly Exodus (esoteric OT pun intended) is keeping their head in the sand.

Vatican II ended 12/1965. Let us think: were there any other cataclysmic cultural transformations rattling the U.S. around that time?

I mean, other than John Lennon recognizing The Beatles were more popular than some Jewish carpenter’s son from Nazareth. (3/4/66) Face it: can anything of consequence ever come from Nazareth?

Howzabout that whole Hippie thing? You know, that “question everything,” “trust no one over 30” movement that would shake the foundation of every last socio-governmental organization in American society and take d.e.c.a.d.e.s to recover from?


Let’s just blame the cardinals. It’s easier that way. Dropping Latin is why the priests left.

Pax vobiscum!

HGL comm.
Has it occurred to you that with Beatles around, keeping soutane and Latin was the move needed (and heeded by some) to retain or regain some of the popularity?

If John Lennon gets away with gaining popularity from long hair why can’t a priest get it from a long coat?

If John Lennon gets away with gaining popularity from Mersey side skiffle + some fortifications, why can’t a schola get it from Gregorian?

At precisely that time, someone was actually ATTACKING both cassocks and Gregorian.

If there was no intent of harm (which I think there was), there was at least a huge lack of talent in timing (not exactly what one expects if at same time changes are being touted as “we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit” or “Vatican II is the New Pentecost”).

Do Catholics believe everything happens for a reason?

I don't understand the idea that we are punished for sin even though most likely through out lifetime we will sin. The Lord has a plan for our lives yet we have free will? Why do we meet the people we do? Chance or divine intervention?

We believe God has a reason for everything which He makes happen or which He allows to happen. A reason grounded in justice and in mercy in His infinite wisdom. We do NOT believe we always are able to understand it.

Why do only Muslims celebrate the supposed sacrifice of Abraham's son as Eid and not Christians and Jews?

We celebrate what the sacrifice of Abraham prefigures, namely Good Friday.

Everything in that chapter of Genesis prefigures Good Friday, God’s Own Son dying on the Cross, and being a replacement victim for us.

What arguments are there for modern day Christians to practice religious fasting?

Apart from "the ancient Christians did it, so we should do too", I don't see much reasons for modern day Christians to continue with this practice. I mean, I can't see any benefit coming from it neither any reasonable justification.

So what good reasons are there for modern Christians to practice fasting with religious motivation apart from the mentioned above?

Notice that I'm talking about fasting as done in the Bible, that is, AFAIK total abstinence of food (and sometimes of water as well) up to 40 consecutive days.

Before answering the question as such, which I will do further down, I will comment on the EDIT for description of question.

"Notice that I'm talking about fasting as done in the Bible, that is, AFAIK total abstinence of food (and sometimes of water as well) up to 40 consecutive days."

Apart from Jesus's fast, I am not sure anyone was abstaining day and night from both drink and water.

Even in Jesus' case

Matthew 4:2
And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry. (Douay Rheims)
And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. (KJV)

Luke 4:2

For the space of forty days; and was tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry. (Douay Rheims)
Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. (KJV)

It seems He might have drunk water.

At least from what I could find on the internet. If you have a printed page saying otherwise, that is another matter.

Now, there IS a kind of fasting which does not require this.

Jonah 3:[4] And Jonas began to enter into the city one day' s journey: and he cried, and said: Yet forty days, and Ninive shall be destroyed. [5] And the men of Ninive believed in God: and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least. [6] And the word came to the king of Ninive; and he rose up out of his throne, and cast away his robe from him, and was clothed with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. [7] And he caused it to be proclaimed and published in Ninive from the mouth of the king and of his princes, saying: Let neither men nor beasts, oxen nor sheep, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water. [8] And let men and beasts be covered with sackcloth, and cry to the Lord with all their strength, and let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the iniquity that is in their hands. [9] Who can tell if God will turn, and forgive: and will turn away from his fierce anger, and we shall not perish? [10] And God saw their works, that they were turned from their evil way: and God had mercy with regard to the evil which he had said that he would do to them, and he did it not. (Douay Rheims)

Here it says they fasted without food or water, but not that the fast lasted forty days, only that they began fasting forty days before the impending date of destruction.

Here are Haydock comments on the three passages:

Jonah 3: Ver. 4. Journey. He records what he said the first day, though he seems to have preached many (Theodoret) even during forty days, after which time (Haydock) he expected the city would fall, and therefore retired out of the walls, chap. iv. --- Forty. Septuagint three. St. Justin Martyr, (Dialogue with Trypho) "three, or forty-three." Theodoret thinks that the mistake was made by some ancient transcriber, and has since prevailed in all the copies of the Septuagint. All the rest have forty. St. Augustine (City of God xviii. 44.) believes the Septuagint placed three for a mysterious reason. Origen (hom. xvi. Num.) suggests that the prophet determined the number, and hence God did not execute the threat. (Calmet) --- This and many other menaces are conditional. If men repent, God will change his sentence. (St. Chrysostom; St. Gregory, Mor. xvi. 18.) (Worthington)

Matthew 4: Ver. 2. Jesus wished to manifest a certain corporeal weakness, arising from his continued fast, that the devil might venture to tempt him; and after a fast of 40 days and 40 nights he was hungry. (Haydock) --- Christ was well acquainted with the thoughts of the wicked fiend, and his great desire of tempting or trying him. The devil had learnt that he was come into the world from the songs of the angels at his birth, and from the mouth of the shepherds and of St. John the Baptist. To fast 40 days without being hungry, was certainly far above the strength of man, but to be hungry at any time is inconsistent with God; for which reason our blessed Saviour, that he might not manifestly declare his divinity, was afterwards hungry. (St. Hilary) --- On this example, as well as that of Moses and Elias, who also fasted 40 days, the fast of Lent was instituted by the apostles, and is of necessity to be observed according to the general consent of the ancient Fathers. St. Jerome (ep. liv. ad Marcel.) says, we fast 40 days, or make one Lent in a year, according to the tradition of the apostles. St. Augustine (serm. lxix.) says, by the due observance of Lent, the wicked are separated from the good, infidels from Christians, heretics from Catholics. Our Saviour fasted 40 days, not because he stood in need of it, as we do, to subject the unruly members of the body, which lust against the spirit, but to set an example for our imitation. (Haydock) --- Another reason might be, to prevent the captious remarks of the Jews, who might object that he had not yet done what the founder of their law, Moses, and after him Elias, had done. (Palacius in Mat.)

Luke 4:Ver. 2. In collating the present narrative with that of St. Matthew it appears that Jesus Christ was not tempted till the expiration of forty days. (Bible de Vence) --- Many reasons may be assigned why Christ permitted himself to be tempted. 1st. To merit for man the grace of overcoming temptations. 2d. To encourage us under temptations. 3d. To teach us not to be cast down with temptations, however grievous they may be, since even Jesus Christ submitted to them. 4thly. To point out to us the manner in which we ought to behave in time of temptation. (Dionysius)

Now, this means that however much Christ's own fast be superior to ours, by fasting He showed we should also fast.

In Matthew 17 we find Him saying it about one certain reason, for all who are exorcists:

Ver. 20. See here the efficacy of prayer and fasting! What the apostles could not do, prayer accompanied with fasting can effect. How then can that be genuine religion, which makes fasting an object of ridicule? We see also here that the true Church in her exorcisms follows Scripture, when she uses besides the name of Jesus, many prayers and much fasting to drive out the devils, because these, as well as faith, are here required. (Bristow)

Now, to resume:

1) Fasting, whether as in Bible or not, need not imply remaining without food or water for 40 days 24/24. Christ is not said to have abstained from water. Ninivites are not said to have done it for 40 days.

2) Fasting is nevertheless recommended in the Bible (Matthew 17:20, as cited, your KJV may number it as 21, because passage opens with an intro and then the words of the possessed man's father, DR numbers all that as one verse 14, KJV as 14 for intro and 15 for the words of the father).

3) Pharisees fasted.

This is relevant in two places.

Pharisee and Publican, the Pharisee tells God he is fasting two days per week. In Orthodox Church this passage is read at beginning of every Lent (no food before 3pm, 40 days, but saturdays and sundays off; certain foods not allowed).

As to the "two days a week", in Didaché ton dodeka apostolôn we find we should not use same weekdays, but use Wednesday and Friday for fasting.

Roman Catholics realise this as:

  • fasting Wednesday, Friday and Saturday four times a year (today would be Ember Saturday after Cross Mass or Rood Mass, the three days with a pause on Thursday start Wednesday after 14 Sept, Elevation of Holy Cross, and since that was on wednesday this year, the Ember Wednesday fell on St Matthew's Day, Sept 21, not a fasting day since a Feast Day, I presume, but on the other hand Sept 20 is a Vigil Fast)

  • abstaining from certain foods, chiefly meat, ideally dairy and eggs too, every Friday except in Christmastide

  • keeping Lent.

We can make a case for not fasting as intensely as the first Christians (they would certainly have waited till 6pm or sunset before the fast day meals, changing to 3pm is later), but there cannot be any for not fasting at all.

There is of course one against deciding just for oneself when one should fast, some specially eager people could fast too much and hurt themselves (not my case, since I have never fasted MORE than required by the Church I was at the time obeying), while others would be too lax and not fast at all.

How can I become more mature in my Catholic faith?

D - not read bef answering
Why is humility, forgiveness and charity so difficult? I try to pretend I do not understand sin so I am not held as accountable. I know what the right thing to do, but often it is difficult or goes against my vanity/pride. I think of hurting myself often because this life seems miserable.

Become a Creationist (as in Young Earth Creationist) and Geocentric too.

Mark Shea has his good sides, today I had to try to get this through to him:

A Reach Out to Mark Shea

Through other channels than his normal contacts, of course.

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