57 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 8-27-18

  1. You folks were talking about Sirus yesterday.
    I don’t have Sirus, but Chuck does.
    I listen to CD’s and tapes. My car doesn’t play tapes, but my truck does.

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  2. Something good happened on FB yesterday and is a cautionary tale to all of us. A woman posted on a What’s Happening in (My Town) FB group looking for John Doe. It seems she and her husband had pulled up to a gas pump to fill their boat up for a day on the river. For some reason she looked at the receipt. It has John Doe’s name on it so she went inside to see what happened. “John” had pulled up to the pump ahead of them, swiped his card, but that pump didn’t have the fuel he needed so he put the nozzle back and pulled up to the next pump, got his fuel and left. What happened was that the first pump didn’t clear his card information and when the second people pulled up it charged their fuel on his card.
    1. There are a lot of people who would have quickly left thing the “universe” smiled upon them that day. 😦
    2. Always make sure you clear your information when who pay for gas at the pump. I personally have never given it any thought before yesterday and I don’t even print the receipt anymore because I have record of it on my bank statement.

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  3. Morning!! That bunny and birdie appear to be playing “freeze tag”!!
    What a good reminder Kim and so good to know there are still people of integrity in this sometimes stinky world! I always check my receipt at the pump and if there is a receipt hanging there when I pull up, I pull it off and dispose of it…who leaves their receipt hanging there anyway?! Makes no sense to me….

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  4. Re: Kim’s post.
    I wonder, what would happen if, John D’s card is on the pump, what happens when I swipe my card.
    If I pulled up to a tank, and it was already active, I would pump a dollar’s worth to clear the transaction, then proceed.

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  5. Glad to be back here today. That is a cute header. I missed church yesterday because of conference. I now have several writing projects to work on, and I made some good contacts. Sadly, one lady had an accident after the conference when she got rear-ended on I-85 by a car going 75 MPH. That is Atlanta. Now she is in the hospital but not hurt badly.

    Those on Facebook saw my photo with VIPs because I got 2nd place for my article, “Considering Introverts in the Church.” I may be able to expand that into a nonfiction book. If I can do so, I’ve been asked for a proposal.

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  6. Rain here today and today is the day we start the whole 30. For any who do not know, it is a short term eating plan to help identify what foods might be a problem Husband’s medical people don’t think he has rheumatoid arthritis anymore as he does not have deformation of joints or pain when they squeeze the joints, but are treating it as such with the same horrific meds. It may be he is reacting to farm chemicals that had built up in our creek area. Or it could be foods. We will give this a try and see if we learn anything. Sister in law requested we join her in it as she has done it before and wanted to go again.

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  7. Nightshades definitely cause me to have arthritus symptoms. Recently one of my fingers had an arthritus type pain, and I realized I had eaten a small bag of potato chips I had gotten with a sandwich the day before.
    Potatoes(not sweet

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  8. I’m getting new headshots today. My hair is done. But then I remembered I have to wear clothing and I’m in a sweat of anxiety trying to sort out what to wear.

    I’m famous for not knowing what to wear.

    Instead of scouring my closet, I’ve cleaned my office for the first time in forever.

    It will look good, even if I won’t. be put together, as usual. 😦

    But, at least I’ll look natural!

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  9. Gas tanks are common spots for credit card reader fraud around here.

    It used to be that gas stations treated a debit card like cash and you’d get the lower cost for gas if you used one (vs a credit card); but it looks like gas stations found here, anyway, aren’t doing that anymore.

    In November, Californians will have a chance to rescind the latest gasoline tax we’ve been paying on top of the already-high prices at the pump. Wonder how that vote will go? We already have folks arguing that the tax will do good things and we need to keep it (plus it just may get more people to choose to ride bicycles instead).

    On CDs, my former radio unit had a 6-CD changer in it which was nice as I’d just keep 4 of my favorite CDs loaded and would bounce among them (though I mostly listened to the radio). This one plays only 1 CD at a time. CDs are becoming rare (as are CD players) but you can still get them on Amazon. But I noticed even Best Buy no longer carries music CDs. (But they did have a rack of vinyl albums!)

    The gardener and painters come today; tomorrow it’s the window screen guy and painters.

    Congratulations to Janice on her article award. After the book deal, a movie?

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  10. I never could figure out why gas stations (the place after banks most notorious for robberies) would charge more for credit cards and thus encourage paying with cash. (They haven’t had lower prices for cash in this end of the country for ages, though, at least not any place I’ve lived. So maybe it’s a western thing.)

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  11. I think businesses have to pay a fee, even though you don’t if you pay your entire bill each month. I use credit cards often, but never pay interest.
    It’s better than carrying money.
    Especially at the gas (I started to say “service”, but that has been out for years) station. But also at the grocery store.

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  12. DJ, yes, businesses have to pay a fee for credit cards. BUT we weren’t seeing clothing stores, bookstores, etc. passing that cost directly on to the customer–just gas stations, the place that was known to be “robbable.” It seemed like it would be in their best interest not to encourage the use of cash!

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  13. 1. (Hos 4:1-3) A statement of the charge: Israel’s sin and God’s remedy.

    “Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel, for the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land. By swearing and lying, killing and stealing and committing adultery, they break all restraint, with bloodshed upon bloodshed. Therefore the land will mourn; and everyone who dwells there will waste away with the beasts of the field and the birds of the air; even the fish of the sea will be taken away.”

    This state of affairs sound familiar to anyone?

    I’ve been reading about the Pope situation. So very depressing and yet, does this mean we’ll be reaching remnant status soon?

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  14. Well, the hordes have departed for their permanent abode. Now to all the final preparations for my own departure. My schedule for the next few days involves considerable hoop jumping.

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  15. Michelle – Could one of the young women in your life help you with your wardrobe and accessories? Of course, that is assuming at least one of them has good taste. 😀

    Nightingale has good taste and has picked out a couple nice tops for me when we went shopping a while back. (And she paid for them, too!) She wants me to avoid “old lady” styles in clothes, accessories, and hair, but doesn’t go for the trendy younger styles, either.

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  16. Michelle, the Pope isn’t even a good Roman Catholic, and he certainly isn’t a Christian (one who hopes in Jesus Christ alone for his salvation). Frankly I’ve never seen the Pope as in any way relevant to my faith or my life, any more than, say, the mayor of Cleveland is relevant to my life.

    The Roman Catholic church went astray centuries ago. The details are new (maybe . . . or maybe we just don’t tolerate that sort of thing now), but the fact of grave error is not.

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  17. We have been trying to decide whether or not to allow seventeen year old daughter to start attending the Catholic church. We know there are some Christians in Baptist churches and Catholic churches and even some in Presbyterian churches. But we don’t think she is a Christian, and husband does not believe she has the intellect to be able to understand becoming one, but I disagree. Her IQ was put at about sixty. She does not talk about Jesus or God, only Mary. I think she thinks of Mary as a good witch.

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  18. Mumsee – Sounds like it may be wise to steer her away from the Catholic church, considering that bent in her thinking and focus. Is there a Lutheran, or some other kind of believing liturgical church in the area?

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  19. If I find the previous transaction on a gas pump is still active, I just press the “Cancel” button to clear it. No need to pump any gasoline.

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  20. Peter, I didn’t know you could do that.
    Mumsee, I would not allow the girl to go to a Catholic church. They will make her believe that she is a Christian because she goes to church and takes the sacraments. .

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  21. Michelle, I can barely keep the Presbyterians straight, and I’m definitely not good with the Lutherans. Could you remind me of your denomination?

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  22. Chas, she already believes that. We have tried to emphasize both our freedom in Christ and our need for Christ. She believes if she prays to Mary, Mary (who in her mind is apparently able to be everywhere and hear everyone, sound like a goddess to you?) She is very ritual oriented. And, does not see Christ as necesary. I will look into the local Lutherans.

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  23. Mumsee, Donna and I are in Presyterian and Reformed churches in a coalition called NAPARC, which is composed of confessional, like-minded churches. Our denominations and our churches aren’t even close to believing what mainline denominations such as PC(USA) and the United Methodists believe. I am sure God has His people even among the PC(USA) and I personally know a believer who attends a UMC church (though I think he is in error to attend and that he has harmed his family by attending).

    If you are including Donna and me among the “some Christians” who are Presbyterians, understand that it is not at all the same thing as some Christians being Roman Catholics. We attend churches that preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, risen, and coming again. We aren’t Christians in spite of official church doctrine. Our denominations have no “fellowship” with the apostate denominations that call themselves Presbyterian–“Presbyterian” itself is a matter of organization structure and not how one handles Scripture.

    It isn’t nitpicking to say that the Roman Catholic church is in grave error. They have denounced and condemned to hell those who believe in faith alone by God’s grace alone for salvation. They do not believe (official doctrine–not necessarily what individuals believe) that Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice was sufficient to atone for our sins, nor that He is a sufficient mediator. They add works, and purgatory, and Mary as mediator, and re-sacrificing Jesus in the blasphemy they call Mass, and priests as necessary mediators, and unbiblical requirements of those priests, and indulgences, and even extrabiblical books in their canon of Scripture and extra-biblical traditions as on equal grounds. They add praying to saints, and statues of Mary and Jesus and others as part of their worship. It is a syncretistic religion, and thus in regions with voodoo, it looks a fair amount like voodoo. In America, where evangelicalism has a stronger presence, their services use more Scripture and their idolatry is less visible–but the basic error remains. It is an apostate religion.

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  24. I do believe she is teetering on the brink again. I was thinking if I got the Catholic thing in ahead of her asking about it, we might get a bit of time before she slips entirely.

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  25. Agreed.

    I have two seventeen year olds. One of them, the boy, professes to believe. His actions, though he is slowly ever so slowly growing up, do not reflect a heart change. I believe some people change instantly but most take a while. But his continued resistance to authority is troubling. I asked him the other day how he and God are doing, he said, not. When I read Ephesians, I learn that I am to continue to love and forgive. But when there is no repentance and no desire to change, I am told to not be deceived by empty words. Not to be a partaker with them. MacArthur tells me in the commentary that this is referring to people claiming to be Christians and yet continue in persistent sin and show no shame for their sin or hunger for the holy. I am letting go He has been taught for six and a half years, is seventeen and shows no evidence of hearing I will be available to forgive at any time. He will continue to attend our Baptist church and probably the Methodist church as he enjoys both.

    Daughter also has shown no interest in things of the Bible. She draws pictures of Mary, gets things from various people that we do not want in our home and uses them in her own peculiar religion. I was thinking we could allow her to attend and learn about the Catholic church under the tutelage of certain people we believe really are believers and in return, she would abstain from trying to convert the younger two to her beliefs until they are out of the house. Not wanting to abdicate parental responsibility. She would continue to learn about our beliefs while at home but not be free to expound upon hers to younger ears.

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  26. The Anglican or Episcopal churches are very close to Catholicism but believe in Salvation through Christ alone. That would give her the ritual she craves and still be Christ based.

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  27. On Facebook, Nightingale posted a photo from The Boy’s very first day of school, three years ago, with him and his Papa sitting on the front porch steps. In the photo, Hubby has his arm around The Boy, with his cheek resting on top of The Boy’s head. You can see the love and affection in Hubby’s eyes. (We have a print of the photo in a frame on a book shelf in the living room. Gives me a bittersweet feeling when I look at it.)

    I commented, “Tears in my eyes. He loved that boy so much!” and then added “(I believe he still does.)” Nightingale may believe that there is nothing after death, but I wanted to make a gentle point that Hubby still exists.

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  28. No Anglican or Episcopal churches in the immediate area. And, as mentioned, her adoration goes to Mary. I have told her I did not believe Mary was appreciative as she was pointing toward Christ.

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  29. Well, what’s unfolding now in the Catholic church, if true, is unsettling, to say the least.

    Catholic Cold War Turns Hot
    By ROD DREHER • August 27, 2018, 1:03 PM

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/catholic-cold-war-turns-civil-war/

    ______________________________

    One of the enduring mysteries of the contemporary Catholic Church is why so many priests know about practicing homosexuals in the priesthood, but don’t do anything about it. An egregious example comes to mind from when I lived in New York City under Cardinal John O’Connor, and then Cardinal Edward Egan. A gay-friendly parish downtown used to hold pro-gay events all the time, many of which could not be justified in any authentically Catholic sense. I recall them once advertising an LGBT-oriented sex toy event in the church basement, though I can’t remember whether that was under O’Connor’s reign or Egan’s. It didn’t matter. That parish was going to do what it was going to do no matter what, and the chancery wasn’t going to stop it.

    There are a liberal Catholic priests, both gay and straight, who know who the sexually active conservative closet cases are, and won’t out them. There are conservative Catholic priests, both straight and chastely gay, who have no obvious interest in protecting the closet, who nevertheless don’t out liberals who are sexually active. Why is that?

    A gay Catholic friend told me that it’s because both sides live under a Cold War policy of Mutually Assured Destruction. They will snipe at each other in proxy wars, but when it comes right down to it, they will not turn on each other directly, because once the first missile is fired, there’s no stopping them. Both sides know that such warfare could destroy the institution that they both depend on. So they practice restraint, despite mutual loathing.

    An interesting theory. Made sense to me when I heard it.

    If it’s true, though, then we have to see conservative Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’s statement over the weekend as a nuclear bomb going off in the enemy’s capital.

    Vigano said openly the kinds of things that Catholic conservatives have said privately for years. He has told tales out of school. Some defenders of Pope Francis are questioning Vigano’s motivations for doing so, but no questions about his reasons are remotely as important as this one: “Is Vigano telling the truth?”

    A source reported to me recently that a prominent journalist in Francis’s circles had been saying that the McCarrick scandal had the potential to make the Church “implode.” I didn’t understand how that could happen, but now that Vigano has published, it makes sense. McCarrick is a condensed symbol of the entire web of sexual, ecclesial, and financial corruption spread throughout significant portions of the Catholic hierarchy. …
    ____________________________________________

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  30. Mumsee, is the seventeen-year-old girl afraid of men for some reason, and is that why she looks to Mary for her religious outlet? Is it a rebellion against macho men being in charge? Does she understand the current role of the man in charge (the Pope)? Her ways are mind-boggling to me. Maybe Mike’s distance and your closeness has made her feel like women are there for her more than men (not blaming y’all for any misconceptions on her part) but if her birth mother was around and her father was not, then your family situation might somehow influence her thinking.Maybe she misses her dream mother and Mary fills that absence.

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  31. I am still transitioning to being back home. I have almost finished unpacking but still need to do laundry. I have tried to make contact with all who I got business cards from at the conference. I still need to ask for PDF notes from some of the generous instructors.

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  32. I was never sure until pretty close to the last minute that I would go to the conference so I had no time to get my hair cut and new business cards made. I gave out all my cards, and had requests for more. I hope to be better prepared for my next conference. This was very low key since only about fifty people attended. That gave a better chance to have time to build relationships. And now I will know more people at my critique group.

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  33. Janice, she does not trust people in general and especially men. I will just say that there is a stat that says eighty five percent of children in foster care have been molested. Husband was very involved with the older seven but, keep in mind that we got burned with that. Due to their previous lives they learned to say things that could shake things up. So he is available but not as active, true. She does seem to trust him but there are times when we can see she is attempting to use him. And yes, I have thought that was why she was so focused on “the purity of Mary”.

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  34. Mumsee, that sounds like a likely angle, Mary being somehow safer than men.

    As to whether or not you allow her to go to the Catholic church, obviously it’s for you to decide. In our own household, if a minor in our house did so, she would be in rebellion. It would be akin to choosing recreational drugs or illicit sex–not a neutral decision. Teens make such choices everyday, but they are bad choices. But finding out exactly what the “draw” is sounds like a good approach.

    If I had a friend who was an unbeliever and thinking about attending a Catholic church, other than inviting her to come with me to my church, I’m not really sure what I would say. If she was a “lapsed Catholic” and grew up in the Catholic religion, I think I would be inclined to press a bit, to ask what made her leave in the first place and then compare her experience to what Scripture says about the church. But if she had not had any religious experience, I’m not sure what exactly I would say, since the wrong thing can just sound like rooting for “our team” and an unbeliever is unlikely to have a sense of discernment. But someone under my roof and under my authority, that one would be an easy call. Even more so for my husband–I think it might well be a “time to move out” thing for him if an adult child under our roof decided to become Catholic.

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  35. Mumsee, also does she understand that there is a huge difference between something done to you and something you choose to do? From what I have read (the experiences of other people), the church overall has done a horrid job of dealing with people who have been molested. The emphasis on sexual purity can be overly broad and leave a young person believing herself to be defiled and impure and untouchable, even if she herself never did anything wrong.

    Also, such abuse (as you know) can “awaken” a child’s sexuality and awaken lust, and even a rape victim can have an orgasm (which would really mess with the mind) and abusers can be really brilliant at making a child think that she is somehow responsible, that maybe she did want it or maybe it’s her fault because she didn’t fight hard enough.

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  36. None of the current scandals are surprising, although it is distressing to think of the innocent who have suffered without justice. I have mentioned the Residential School system in which First Nations children were forcibly placed in Canada, where they suffered not only neglect, but also active abuse. Three denominations ran those schools, the Catholic Church ran over half the schools, the Anglican Church of Canada ran one quarter, while the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches (became the United Church in 1925) ran the rest. Both priests and nuns were implicated in the sexual abuse that occurred. In the early 2000s, a series of scandals rocked the Catholic Church in Canada, and one Newfoundland bishop, who had been active in assisting an inquiry into abuse at an orphanage in his diocese, was himself arrested for possession of child pornography.

    The Catholic Church’s influence is slowly waning in Canada. It once had a stranglehold in French-speaking Quebec, where it actively sought to discourage Protestant evangelization (my parents can remember hearing reports of missionaries being jailed for handing out evangelistic material there). Quebec now rivals France for its nearly militant secularism (a recent premier of that province attempted to institute a charter which forbade any public servant from wearing religious symbols, including crosses or crucifixes – but such a charter would have violated the federal Bill of Rights). Recent legislation regarding assisted dying was strongly protested by the Catholic bishops, but no one paid them any heed – they have lost their credibility on the public stage. One of my siblings in-law grew up Catholic in Newfoundland, and his mother once remarked to us how she had lost faith in the Catholic church (to our knowledge, she is not yet a believer) because of the child abuse scandals. The Anglican and Presbyterian Churches in Canada are nearly as liberal as the United Church is, and as I’ve said before, the United Church is so liberal as to not merit the name of church anymore. There are a handful of more conservative holdouts among the Anglicans and Presbyterians, but there is generally little difference between the Anglican or Presbyterian and the United churches around here. They are also all shrinking, as their membership ages out. The diminishing of all four denominations seems just, in light of the abuses they were responsible for committing.

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  37. Her first several years were in the Catholic church. Her older sister and brother talked a lot about it with her. She knows she was raised there initially. It is part of her teen rebellion but she does not have the thought processes to think things out. She does not understand a lot of what goes on around her or with her.

    When she is off her rocker, she wants to be perfect and the only way she can attain that is through the Catholic church, in her mind. It does not help that when she ran away she was able to locate some Catholics that told her it was bad to take communion with us so she does not. Or that we live in a predominately Catholic area.

    But, you are correct about the rebellion idea generally. The first twelve were required to attend with us and the last two will be as well. I was just hoping that a different approach might help her to see Christ. But it does not sound like you folks see it that way and I am fairly confident in your views, which is why I brought it up. It would be nice if we could find a good way to keep her from slipping. She is busy, she is doing schoolwork, she helps with chores (if they are carefully explained), she is kind and thoughtful, she is cooperative. But she does not seem to have been honest when she asked to be baptized. Husband leans toward keeping her away from the Catholics as do I. But we were discussing the possibility.

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  38. Mumsee, perhaps, in light of the recent scandals, it could be said to be for her safety that she is kept from the Catholic church. But she doesn’t sound rebellious with her made up religion, she sounds mentally ill. Her self made rituals and obsession with one religious figure remind me of what I have seen in cases of schizophrenia or bipolar. It especially recalls a schizophrenic I encountered who talked about his rituals – he had become mentally ill after a serious head injury. I think she was quite honest when she asked to be baptized. I remember her sincere interest in God when I met her. Her brain, already bruised by her early childhood experiences, changing in response to hormone is more probably the root cause. When I developed symptoms of mental problems in adolescence, much of my obsession was around religion and more than once, I teetered on the brink of weird religious beliefs and rituals. For a time I obsessively crossed my forehead or my palms when distressing religious thoughts came to mind – so much so that I began developing callouses. The brain of a young adult keeps developing until the mid-20s. Hers is not finished forming.

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  39. I attend a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church–which is the conservative teaching end of the Lutheran Church.

    However, I believe there are many bona fide Christians who attend the Catholic Church–I know a bunch of them. They read the Bible, try to live according to Scripture. They then add some of the parts of Catholicism which border on idolatry and are the reason I left the Catholic Church when I became a Christian 47 years ago.

    But I do not deny nor denounce their personal faith.

    Like Kim, I love the Anglican Church, not the Episcopal Church, because it combines Scriptural authority with the liturgy and ritual I appreciate in worshipping God.

    I’ve just posted on the political page an article from David French that explains why this story is very important to all Christians. Many secular people do not distinguish between denominations–and while they may know there’s a difference between Catholics and Protestants they can’t articulate it nor do they care.

    So, when the Catholic Church falls, so do the rest of us. Here it is:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/08/catholic-sex-abuse-scandals-should-matter-to-protestants

    There are people who are bleeding–their hearts are broken, their souls are destroyed and they are turning away from God as a result. We should be praying for them, not condemning them because of how we perceive their beliefs.

    Amos is so right in that chapter above. We’re all guilty of sin.

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  40. Thanks, Phos, I had thought of her “rebellion” in the part where she starts doing things deliberately to prove her independence, and with that comes the desire to become a Catholic. It is probably the mental situation along with the age of maybe a thirteen year old. The total focus on Mary seemed odd to me but that makes sense that it is kind of an obsession.

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  41. Mumsee, your point about hospitals is well taken. I trained in the operating room in a Catholic hospital, and thus never had to deal with the abortion question until I went for a job interview in a non-Catholic hospital. However, Catholic hospitals here are being absorbed into the regional hospitals (hospitals are not government owned, rather they provide services deemed medically necessary for which the provincial public insurance system pays them; but if a hospital wants, for example, new equipment, while they may receive a government grant to help with the cost, they must fund raise from private donors), but whether that absorption is due to the dwindling influence of Catholicism in Canada, I cannot say. The hospital where I had the interview and had to say I could not participate in abortions was actually one of those regional hospitals which had absorbed a Catholic hospital, and the interviewer told me that she could not grant exemptions to OR from working in the room where abortions were done, because, “Nobody wants to do it.” I went home, did some research, and found that seven nurses who had worked for a Catholic hospital that had been absorbed by a regional hospital had successfully took their case to the Supreme Court and had a ruling in their favour to be granted exemptions from participating in abortions. In theory, nurses are exempted from participating in activities which violate their conscience, but in actual practice, as one of my teachers noted when discussing the new regulations regarding assisted dying, their employing agencies seldom honour those exemptions because it creates staffing shortages (which the interviewer talking to me had also noted). Such pressure to conform in the workplace is not limited to Canada, as I have read of similar dilemmas for nurses in the U.S. Catholic hospitals sometimes provide a refuge for such nurses, as the nursing staff in a Catholic hospital is no longer solely made up of nuns or even practicing Catholics (none of the nursing staff in the OR where I trained were nuns).

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  42. I, too, think of Catholic friends — whom I believe to be Christians if in a misguided church system — and how this must be so painful to see.

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  43. More blunt assessments here

    https://www.getreligion.org/getreligion/2018/8/27/3nx3hb5mmn2m7902r822pjxwhwknx3

    Why did Vigano act? Reading Jeremiah and a New York Times op-ed at the same time

    Terry Mattingly

    _____________________________________

    As usual, I was preparing to publish a “think piece” post this past weekend. Then all hades broke loose in Catholic cyberspace, again, and that didn’t happen.

    It didn’t require a doctorate in post-Vatican II sociology to see that the blunt letter from Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former Vatican ambassador to the United States from 2011-2016, was going to make some headlines in major media, while unleashing tidal waves of emotion online. It isn’t everyday that a major Vatican player asks for the pope to resign.

    So, before heading to Sunday Divine Liturgy, I pounded out a post: “Nuclear war in Rome: Vatican’s former U.S. ambassador claims Francis protected ‘Uncle Ted’.” The key point for journalists: Vigano was in the perfect place to see and hear what he is claiming to have seen and heard. The issue is whether he has copies of any key documents, or other important voices, to back him up..

    All of this is part of the drama of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a topic that has been the subject of a series of must-read posts by our own Julia Duin.

    So what if I offer a “think piece” on Monday, instead of Sunday? I say this because the New York Times team published an op-ed page piece on all of this by, believe it or not, Matthew Schmitz of the conservative interfaith journal First Things. …

    It isn’t every day (at least not for me), that reading an op-ed in the Times makes me think of the prophet Jeremiah, as in this famous passage:

    … Therefore I am full of the wrath of Jehovah; I am weary with holding in. … I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith Jehovah. For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush. …

    …. If you listen to candid voices on the Catholic left and right, you end up with this set of three essential Catholic scandal issues (which I have shared several times, in the chaos of the past two weeks):

    I: The key to the scandal is secrecy, violated celibacy vows and potential blackmail. Lots of Catholic leaders – left and right, gay and straight – have sexual skeletons in their closets, often involving sex with consenting adults. These weaknesses, past and/or present, create a climate of secrecy in which it is hard to crack down on crimes linked to child abuse.

    II. Classic pedophiles tend to strike children of both genders. However, in terms of raw statistics, most child-abuse cases linked to Catholic clergy are not true cases of pedophilia, but are examples of ephebophilia – intense sexual interest in post-pubescent teens or those on the doorstep of the teen years. The overwhelming majority of these clergy cases are adult males with young males.

    III. One of the biggest secrets hiding in the bitter fog from all of these facts is the existence of powerful networks of sexually active gay priests, with many powerful predators – McCarrick is a classic example – based at seminaries and ecclesiastical offices. Thus, these men have extraordinary power in shaping the lives of future priests. ….
    _______________________________________

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  44. Michelle, praying for people and condemning heresy are not mutually exclusive. I detest what has been done in the name of God in this instance, for a long, long time and to a lot of people. Much, much damage has been done to people–physical and spiritual and emotional.

    However, it is also true that the Roman Catholic church has been guilty of other gross sins, sins against God. Wolves have been guarding the sheep, not just physically predatory wolves, but spiritually predatory wolves. And many so-called Protestants and other non-RC folk (some of them in the denomination that was my denomination the last 15 years) have been edging ever closer to Rome. If we are being seen as guilty by association, it is because we have allowed association that we had no business having. (I’m not saying we should not be loving to our Roman Catholic neighbors. But we erred when we saw grievous, blasphemous errors as trivial.)

    The prayer now is that Satan will not be able to portray faithful churches as complicit in guilt here (no, the true church does not fall when error falls, though God does not always save His people from collateral damage)–and also that those who have been complicit in evil will repent of that evil. The Reformation came about because the Roman Catholic church refused to repent. Missionaries, pastors, and others who should know better have ceased calling for repentance, but have instead begun calling for the Protestants / Lutherans / Reformed / etc. to unite with Rome and in effect pretend the Reformation never happened, sometimes doing so by imagining that the RC church has changed and become more true and sometimes just by deciding that unity is more important than truth. In effect, so-called Protestants have called on us to repent of the schism, joining the RC church in doing so.

    I see this as a moment that is absolutely ripe for repentance. May God use this to call many out of this false belief system, and call many of “us” away from false attempts at unity that comes at the cost of truth. And may He give us wisdom and grace as we have opportunities to minister to those who have been hurt.

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