Cardinal Gerhard Müller: There Will Be No Correction of the Pope For There Is No Danger to the Faith

mullerFrom 1Peter5, by Maike Hickson:

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), has just made comments that seem to be critical of the Four Cardinals and their published Dubia. The pope’s close friend, the journalist Andrea Tornielli, immediately picked up on these words and has now published a report on them in the Italian La Stampa publication, Vatican Insider.

In an 8 January interview given on television to an Italian TV station, TGCOM24, Cardinal Müller even said that he was surprised that the Letter of the Four Cardinals to the pope – containing the dubia concerning Amoris Laetitia – had been published. “I do not like that,” he added. In Müller’s eyes, it is not at all appropriate “almost to force the pope to answer with ‘yes’ or ‘no’” with regard to the dubia, especially because “there is not any danger to the Faith” which would then fittingly call for such a fraternal correction. Thus, such a correction of the pope “seems to me far away,” according to the Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine. He also considers it unfortunate that these matters are now being discussed “publicly.”

In the German cardinal’s eyes “Amoris Laetitia is very clear in its doctrine and [in it] we can interpret [sic] the whole doctrine of Jesus concerning marriage, the whole doctrine of the Church of 2000 years history.” Moreover, for Pope Francis, it is all about “discerning the situation of those people who live in irregular [sic] unions” and thus about helping them to “find a new integration into the Church according to the conditions of the Sacraments and according to the Christian message on marriage.” Cardinal Müller adds that he does “not see any contradiction: on the one side we have the clear doctrine on marriage, on the other the obligation of the Church to help those persons in difficulties.”

This new interview could easily be interpreted as a rebuke of the Four Cardinals and of their arguably courageous act of publishing their own serious objections about certain aspects of Amoris Laetitia. Additionally, Cardinal Müller denies here that the teaching of the Church on marriage has been altered in any way by the pope’s recent post-synodal exhortation. He thus puts himself in opposition to many well-respected cardinals and bishops who have indeed seen serious problems in Amoris Laetitia. Müller’s own position also seems to bypass the fact that Amoris Laetitia has now already encouraged several episcopal statements that are marked by a certain permissiveness and more open-ended moral laxity – such as in Rome, in Argentine, and in Germany.

On 16 December 2016, and in a similarly optimistic way, Cardinal Müller recently gave yet another interview to the German regional newspaper Passauer Neue Presse in which he had said that Amoris Laetitia merely dealt with the very particular problem of those “remarried” couples who are convinced – but cannot prove it in Ecclesial courts – that a previously vowed or contracted marriage had been invalid from its very inception. Here is the crucial question posed in that interview, and then Müller’s own response:

Q. Pope Francis has made it clear that the question of Holy Communion for remarried divorcees has to be decided case by case. What is valid here: the meaning of the Pope’s word or the contrary tradition of his predecessors?

Cardinal Müller: There is no exception to the indissolubility of a sacramental marriage. The individual case referred to here relates to the question whether or not all natural conditions (especially the desire to marry) and the right understanding of marriage were given in Faith at the moment of contracting the marriage. In the normal case, an orderly church procedure (marriage process) clarifies whether or not a marriage is valid. In this context, the Pope refers to the “individual cases” in situations in which no clarity can be achieved by the Church, but where a single person, in his conscience, and after careful consultation with his confessor, honestly comes to the conviction of the invalidity of his first marriage. The confessor needs a profound spiritual discernment on the basis of ecclesiastical teaching on marriage. He can not simply suspend the indissolubility of a marriage at his own discretion and judgment and thus ignore the word of God. According to this situation, therefore, general guidelines would be here a contradiction in itself. This is also written in the papal document [Amoris Laetitia]. There is no door opened to a kind of “Catholic divorce,” which is secretly conceived and embarrassedly cloaked with pious words. [my emphasis]

This very interview has caused much discussion among attentive and earnest Catholics, mainly because of Cardinal Müller’s unexpected reference to the “Forum Internum” which had and has been much contested during and after the two Family Synods.

Close research into this matter has further shown to us the following aspects. First of all, there is a doctrinal text published in 1994 by the Vatican (notably promulgated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith itself) which explicitly rejects this idea and application of a Forum Internum. Here are some important and pertinent quotes in this context:

In recent years, in various regions, different pastoral solutions in this area have been suggested according to which, to be sure, a general admission of divorced and remarried to Eucharistic communion would not be possible, but the divorced and remarried members of the faithful could approach Holy Communion in specific cases when they consider themselves authorized according to a judgment of conscience to do so. This would be the case, for example, when they had been abandoned completely unjustly, although they sincerely tried to save the previous marriage, or when they are convinced of the nullity of their previous marriage, although unable to demonstrate it in the external forum or when they have gone through a long period of reflection and penance, or also when for morally valid reasons they cannot satisfy the obligation to separate. In some places, it has also been proposed that in order objectively to examine their actual situation, the divorced and remarried would have to consult a prudent and expert priest. This priest, however, would have to respect their possible decision to approach Holy Communion, without this implying an official authorization. In these and similar cases it would be a matter of a tolerant and benevolent pastoral solution in order to do justice to the different situations of the divorced and remarried. Even if analogous pastoral solutions have been proposed by a few Fathers of the Church and in some measure were practiced, nevertheless these never attained the consensus of the Fathers and in no way came to constitute the common doctrine of the Church nor to determine her discipline. [….] In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ, the Church affirms that a new union cannot be recognized as valid if the preceding marriage was valid. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Holy Communion as long as this situation persists” (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the Reception of Holy Communion by the Divorced and Remarried Members of the Faithful, Sept. 14, 1994, nn. 3-4). [my emphasis]

The mistaken conviction of a divorced and remarried person that he may receive Holy Communion normally presupposes that personal conscience is considered in the final analysis to be able, on the basis of one’s own convictions (cf. Encyclical Veritatis splendor, 55), to come to a decision about the existence or absence of a previous marriage and the value of the new union. However, such a position is inadmissible (cf.Code of Canon Law, can. 1085 § 2). Marriage, in fact, because it is both the image of the spousal relationship between Christ and his Church as well as the fundamental core and an important factor in the life of civil society, is essentially a public reality.… Thus the judgment of conscience of one’s own marital situation does not regard only the immediate relationship between man and God, as if one could prescind from the Church’s mediation, that also includes canonical laws binding in conscience. Not to recognize this essential aspect would mean in fact to deny that marriage is a reality of the Church, that is to say, a sacrament. (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the Reception of Holy Communion by the Divorced and Remarried Members of the Faithful, Sept. 14, 1994, nn. 7-8). [my emphasis]

The Canon lawyer Edward Peters himself has written on this matter and also shows the limits of such resorts to a Forum Internum:

“A few examples of the exercise of power [in the internal forum are]: dispensation of certain occult impediments to marriage in special circumstances; [canonically] secret marriage; remission of reserved censures in certain cases.” Hill, in CLSA Comm (1985) 93-94; see likewise Viana, in Exeg. Comm (2004) I: 825. None of these classic examples of internal forum concerns looks to the reception of holy Communion by those remaining in irregular marriages; moreover, all require documentable intervention by ecclesiastical authority for their effectiveness; personal action on the part of the individuals concerned does not suffice.

For this current article, I have also consulted with many knowledgeable and well-formed persons: theologians, canon lawyers, prelates and priests. Several sources – whom I respect very much – were troubled by Cardinal Müller’s statement and have indicated that this Forum Internum idea is in itself problematic (one source said: “There is an old legal maxim: Nemo iudex in causa sui (“Nobody can be the judge in his own case”). The Church has never permitted individual Catholics – or a priest who hears only that one Catholic’s side of the story in the confessional – to decide that his/her own marriage was [from its inception] null and void.”)

However, several other very respected sources have said that Cardinal Müller himself did not commit an error in his interview with the German newspaper, inasmuch as he himself did not deny the indissolubility of marriage, did not explicitly mention Holy Communion for the “remarried” (even though the question itself indicated it); and also since the Church herself has already practiced a kind of Forum Internum for those very few exceptions where there was, indeed, for example, fraud involved; and thus the person himself cannot prove in an ecclesial court that the first marriage was a deception and thus invalid. (I myself, however, still wonder how this will transpire practically, in the face of the fact that most priests today tend toward a more lenient and laxer approach toward the multiple cases of “irregular” marriages; thus this promotion of such applied ideas about the especially protected Internal Forum might further confuse us all, rather than help us!)

However, what especially troubles many thoughtful observers in this matter is the following: Why is Cardinal Müller speaking here about such abstract and rare cases – and he even claims implicitly that that is, after all, what Pope Francis was really thinking of in Amoris Laetitia – when, indeed, the whole Catholic world is now in deep and demoralizing confusion; and when the first episcopal statements are now more permissively and openly allowing Communion for the “remarried”?

Is Cardinal Müller sufficiently helping us here in our trenchant distress, and is he likewise helping us to clarify and resist the permeating confusion? Or do we now also need a new set of clarifications from Cardinal Müller himself, as well as from the pope?

Update: A related article by Edward Pentin

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25 Responses to Cardinal Gerhard Müller: There Will Be No Correction of the Pope For There Is No Danger to the Faith

  1. With regard to the position that Cardinal Müller finds himself in, Upton Sinclair’s famous comment comes to mind: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

  2. It has long been my impression that there are so many bogus annulments from the external forum that the internal forum might work nearly as well. This seems to be Pope Francis’ impression too, except that he believes the annulments are authentic. As your research suggests, I suspect that if JPII were still alive, he agree with Cardinal Burke
    since as Pope he admonished the Catholic Church is the USA several times for being too lenient in granting annulments, and he brought Cardinal Burke from the USA to head the Roman Rota.

  3. marysong says:

    “Such a correction of the Pope seems to me far away”. Cardinal Muller seems to have slipped in making this statement. He leaves the way open for the question: When then? How could the Cardinal of the Congregation of Faith and Doctrine be unsure of himself?

  4. bvsg says:

    It seems to me that Cardinal Muller is under some duress from pro papal quarters.
    The time for his remarks was at yhe publicarion of the Dubia. Cleary his silence spoke volumes and not in the pope’s favour

    However the pope has come under increasingly harsh criticism as the bad fruit of his efforts appears in various dioceses around the world and a climate of darkness and confusion descends upon the Church.

    I am quite certain they found a way to pressure the Cardinal to speak falsely, when as your article clearly shows, the evidence proving him to have ” miss spoken” is there for anyone to find, with a little effort. And which Cardinal Muller knows is so easily obtainable.

    The Cardinal to my kmowledge , has never shown himself to be unfaithful to the magesterium. Neither is he a fool.
    He know the information proving him wrong is readily available
    Perhaps he’s hoping that people will be astute enough to see through his words to what is actually being done.

  5. Tom Fisher says:

    With regard to the position that Cardinal Müller finds himself in, Upton Sinclair’s famous comment comes to mind: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    RJB is absolutely right there. Everything else is detail

  6. Brother Burrito says:

    I see no Creative and Merciful Remedies in any of the above. Shame on us. Are we really God’s Children?

  7. kathleen says:

    @ BB

    Hmmm… “Creative and Merciful Remedies” sound like words straight out of the mouth of that wily character, Martin Luther, who wished to start a church in his own lusty image, rather than remain in the One created in the Divine Image and Likeness of God!!!
    And more recently, it has become a Kasperite phrase to twist Catholic teaching!
    Surely you, old friend, would not want to identify with such creeps as Luther and Kasper?

    We don’t need to “create” new doctrines to suit old sinful situations dressed up in new clothes.
    Nor has God’s abundant “mercy” (for sinners) ever been taught by the Church to be used as a byword to replace repentance for sin, and a firm purpose of amendment, BEFORE mercy and forgiveness can be poured upon the penitent.
    Or, IOW: forgiveness and mercy presupposes repentance.

  8. Brother Burrito says:

    Dear Tom, thanks. I expected a hefty kick in the buh-lox for wot I wrote

    Dear Kathleen, thank you for your kind response to my barbarous comments.

    I make my living in the unforgiving environment of intensive care medicine. Daily I witness such tragic situations that my hair should be whiter than it is. It can get depressing. I am daily challenged by situations that would put a moral theologian in a rest home. I am sure I am not the only Catholic who experiences this

    I find Pope Francis’s approach to sinful souls very refreshing. I agree with him that rote rule-keeping is not the solution, but rather encouraging the discovery of the law that is written on our hearts, and the living of it is.

    I recently went to a Syro-Malabar Mass celebrated in the Malayalam language. I couldn’t understand a word of it, but then as an infant, I couldn’t understand a word of the Mass my parents took me to either. I could sense the Spirit though in both cases. The music and participation were loud and hearty, and the Consecration was marked by bells ringing. I was dumbstruck.

    This opened my eyes. Christ is worthily proclaimed in many more tongues than Latin. The Church is bigger than the Latin Mass Society and its ilk.

    In conscience, I cannot post any further articles here until this blog stops attacking Pope Francis. Sorry about that

  9. toadspittle says:

    “There Is No Danger to the Faith”
    Müller means there is no danger to his faith. What about everyone else’s?
    What he doesn’t get, is that everyone’s faith is personal. For example here, Kathleen’s ideas on faith differ relatively to Burro’s, If only ever so slightly. (Surely nobody can argue with that/?)

    “Martin Luther, who wished to start a church in his own lusty image, rather than remain in the One created in the Divine Image and Likeness of God!!!”
    That is a very
    relative way of putting it. It can also be said that Luther thought the Catholic Church had gone so hopelessly haywire that the only thing to do was to dump it and replace it with one created in ‘the Divine Image and Likeness of God,’ as Luther saw it.
    He may have been utterly wrong. …Or maybe not.
    …Don’t know. Matter of opinion.

  10. toadspittle says:

    Dear Burro,
    Your trouble is, that you are more of a Christian than you are a Catholic.
    Peace and Love, Toad.

  11. The Raven says:

    Dear BB

    I think that Father Hugh says it very well.

    You know the old saw about tough cases making bad laws? I fear that we are seriously in danger of making those bad laws at the present.

    The rigid legalism, which you are rightly decrying, is really part of the problem, but I think that it is precisely the people around Pope Francis who are most guilty of this failing: they think that to achieve their ends they need to change the law; when, in fact, they need to change pastoral practice. Like Our Lord, the Church must proclaim the truth: sinners are damned, true health and life comes through love and repentance (as the vilest of sinners, I know the misery that sin brings into our lives). And like Our Lord we must be rigid in principle, but loving and generous in practice.

    I fear that the Holy Father is succumbing to the temptation to make the law loose so that practice may become rigid; and in doing so he will cause the Church to stop proclaiming the truth and stop teaching the faith as we have received it.

    I’m glad that you enjoyed the Syro-Malabar Mass: the Church has always spoken in many tongues, not just the Latin of our patrimony. It seems, by your account, that you truly participated in the Sacred Mystery of the liturgy – the Gradgrind fetishism of the word “participation” by the liturgical modernists really does us all a disservice.

    I’m puzzled by your reference to the LMS. We’re a heterogeneous bunch, united by our love of the sacred liturgy and the Faith, what have we (the LMS) done to upset you?

    As to the Holy Father, can you tell me why you do feel so strongly that his methods, appointments and sayings are beyond reproach?

  12. kathleen says:

    Toad @ 17:02

    It can also be said that Luther thought the Catholic Church had gone so hopelessly haywire that the only thing to do was to dump it and replace it with one created in ‘the Divine Image and Likeness of God,’ as Luther saw it.

    Absolute rubbish!
    First thing to remember is that wherever you find Man, you will find things going “haywire”! Even the nascent Church had its Judas. The Church Militant is the Church of saints and sinners on Earth, where fallen Mankind is working out his salvation. Therefore sinfulness among the members of the Church on Earth will always be among us. Take a look around and see how “haywire” the current situation is, thanks to Man’s pride and concupiscence!
    If anything, there was less sinfulness within the Church then, than there is now, but in any case, the Council of Trent that followed the Protestant Revolt, revoked and rectified many of the errors among the clergy at that time. The Church always rises strengthened and holier from periods of great treachery and trials.

    Luther himself was an arrogant, lascivious egomaniac. Each and every of his complaints (there were some that were legitimate) could have been dealt with if he had obeyed the Church’s requests. Instead he listened to the Devil’s temptations, and his greed and pride eventually led him to destroy Christendom.

    Matter of opinion

    What?? Only an unbeliever, a total relativist, or an enemy of the True Faith could talk like that. Perhaps you are all three?

  13. kathleen says:

    Dear Burro,
    Your trouble is, that you are more of a Christian than you are a Catholic.
    Peace and Love, Toad.

    That is probably the nastiest thing you have ever said here toadspittle!
    Do you need reminding that this is a CATHOLIC blog?
    It is also a great insult to Brother Burrito, who dearly loves his Catholic Faith.
    How sad that you can only get your kicks by offending and hurting people’s feelings!

  14. toadspittle says:

    “How sad that you (Toad) can only get your kicks by offending and hurting people’s feelings!”
    That is simply not true. Kathleen. You are mistaken.
    And, if I have upset Burro, (which I greatly doubt) by saying that, he can tell me – and I will apologise plainly, openly, and cheerfully, on here.
    He’s adult enough, and intelligent enough, to look after himself.

    “It can also be said that Luther thought the Catholic Church had gone so hopelessly haywire that the only thing to do was to dump it and replace it with one created in ‘the Divine Image and Likeness of God,’ as Luther saw it.”
    That’s not what I personally believe, as you appear to think. It’s what I believe Luther believed.
    If I say “Hitler wanted to kill all the Jews,” it’s not what I believe. It’s what I think Hitler believed.
    Luther may have been an arrogant, lascivious, egomaniac. I don’t know. I doubt if many Lutherans see him like that. Maybe they do. Or maybe that’s a matter of opinion.

    “Matter of Opinion” – Only an unbeliever, a total relativist, or an enemy of the True Faith could talk like that. Perhaps you (Toad) are all three?”
    Are those the essential requirements for holding different opinions to you, Kathleen? Maybe they are. Or is that another matter of opinion?

  15. Brother Burrito says:

    Dear Raven, my beloved and learned friend in Christ, I shall try to reply to all your points.

    Fr Hugh’s article is very good. Thanks for the link. Those of us mired in sin desperately need frequent Confession and Holy Communion to retain any semblance of spiritual health. I have previously referred to these Sacraments as “keno-therapy”-a pun on kenosis, (self-emptying).

    My first and only experience of the Latin Mass was Maundy Thursday 2016 at St Mary Moorfields. This was organised by the LMS. I brought along an Anglican friend whom I was lodging with. I regularly go to this church when in London. It is quite beautiful, and an oasis of calm right in the heart of the city.

    The foyer was full of dapper, em-blazered and be-tied, mostly-young fogeys with shiny black shoes who we had to fight past to get in. They were so enjoying each other’s smug company that they seemed unwelcoming and insensitive to these strangers in their midst. I explained that we had never been to a Latin Mass before, and asked if there were any booklets that would allow us to follow the service. There were none. This was an oversight surely?

    By the time the bell rang, the church was packed and silent. We did our best to follow the actions of the congregation, but could not join in the responses. The readings (and homily?-I forget) were in Latin. The liturgy was performed with enormous precision, dignity and devotion. I knew I had been to Holy Mass, but alas, I felt like a detached external observer. It was foolish of us to go so unprepared I suppose.

    My recent Syro-Malabar experience was very different. During the setting up period, the atmosphere was like that before a big party with people thronging around greeting one another and setting up a powerful sound system used for the very musical liturgy. There were many families present with young children-who were all exceedingly well behaved. I recognised many nurses from my hospital. Mine was the only English face amidst a sea of Keralans. The priest had come from afar to cover his sick confrere and was a little late. Apart from the first reading, in English, everything else was in Malayalam. I picked up “Amen” (pronounced ‘arr-meen’). At the sign of peace, my neighbour kindly said “Peace be with you” as we shook hands. The priest noticed me sitting in the back corner and apologised about the homily being not in my native tongue and offered to speak to me afterwards. I was really made to feel part of the family.

    The LMS has not done anything to upset me personally, but I see some, if not many, among their number are at the forefront of the anti-Francis movement, and I suppose I lazily have tarred them all with the same brush. The office of the Pope is very important to my Faith. It is a touchstone and anchor for me. It grieves me deeply to see him publicly calumniated and detracted, not by enemies of the Church, but by fellow Catholics! I understand that outside of infallibly pronounced doctrine and morals, he may make mistakes, and doubtless welcomes correction of these, but to do this aggressively in public? This is not of Christ IMHO.

  16. Brother Burrito says:

    kathleen @21:03,

    It’s OK, I do not feel insulted by Toad’s comment, which I think was actually offered in a kindly spirit. Thanks for coming to my defence though. Of late, since becoming such a CP&S contrarian, I feel I do not deserve such kindness from my fellow bloggers.

    God bless us all! (A much better battle-cry than “allahu akbar!” dontchathink?)

  17. toadspittle says:

    “It’s OK, I do not feel insulted by Toad’s comment, which I think was actually offered in a kindly spirit.”
    As it was. Believe it or not.

    “God bless us all!”
    Arrmeen! – says Tiny Toad.

  18. kathleen says:

    Toad,
    I’ve been busy all day, but I noticed your earlier comment of 06:53 still hiding in pre-moderation, and have ‘rescued’ it in order to respond.

    Dear Burro,
    Your trouble is, that you are more of a Christian than you are a Catholic.

    In that one sentence you were insinuating to all Catholics reading this blog (a) that they are not Christians, and (b) to BB that he is not Catholic! And you are surprised that I tell you this is hurtful and offensive? I know you are thick-skinned yourself (as you’ve often told us), but honestly….

    If you were a Catholic rather than a self-pronounced agnostic, you would know that picking and choosing what to believe just whenever it suits one is not a “matter of opinion”! For that we have the Church to teach and guide us, Deo gratias, or we could so easily be led astray by our petty, selfish whims. Like Luther.

    The subject of this post is all about that very danger! Even a Pope, or a Cardinal, if he listens to that alluring voice of the serpent: “If you eat of the forbidden fruit (of pride) you will be like God”, will suffer the negative consequences. And not only in himself, but also for those for whom he is responsible!

  19. toadspittle says:

    Kathleen, you have misread my comment utterly.
    Anyone else can see how, so I won’t bother explaining. Not worth it.

    …But I will say that “Traditional” Catholicism, as touted on CP&S, often seems a very uncharitable, unforgiving, intolerant, illiberal, and generally unkind, religion.
    In a word, unchristian. “Love God, or Go to Hell!” sums it up. I’ve thought that as long as I’ve been capable of thinking for myself. And I believe the current Pope agrees. But I don’t know.

    All just my opinion, of course , might be wrong, etc. – and I don’t expect any cries of “Right, Toad!” from anybody else on here.
    Read what Burro says – it’s a debate! There is conflict! This is good! Naturally there are differences of opinion, or else it’s all pointless.

    “If you were a Catholic rather than a self-pronounced agnostic,”
    Put me down as an a self-pronounced, “Agnostic, Sceptical, Catholic.”

  20. kathleen says:

    Toad,

    You’re gullible! I knew exactly what you were trying to say… but you didn’t catch on. Never mind.

    CP&S, as an orthodox (or traditional if you prefer) Catholic blog does no more than try to be faithful to all the teachings of our Holy Catholic Church. If you find this “very uncharitable, unforgiving, etc.”, perhaps the fault lies in you! Ever considered that possibility? There are lots out there who scream out those same insults at us for not being “accepting” or “tolerant” of their immoral lifestyles or ideas.
    Ever wondered if it was your own personal decision to “no serviam” that has led you down this path of cynicism towards all those who do their best (though in our human weakness we frequently fail) to respond with love and service towards so great a God, Who created us out of His abundant Love and Generosity?

    But how you can talk about anyone as being “unchristian” with a straight face, really makes me laugh!
    And you might just be able to work out why!

  21. geoffkiernan says:

    BB at 11.16: It seems you sometimes deliberately set yourself up to fail with what seems to be preconceived ideas and prejudices. Having said that I do see someone that is sincere and genuinely seeking a deeper relationship with Christ and His Bride. Mate, fall to your knees and implore His Grace and His (and your) Mothers solicitude…. God Bless You.

  22. geoffkiernan says:

    PS… Not so ‘deliberately’ perhaps…

  23. toadspittle says:

    “Toad, You’re gullible!”
    True, Kathleen. So gullible that I find it hard to believe in weeping Japanese statues. You have the better of me there.

    “There are lots out there who scream out those same insults at us for not being “accepting” or “tolerant” of their immoral lifestyles or ideas.” Is it “immoral” to be, say, a devout Lutheran – then?
    Or is it immoral to be anything at all – except a Catholic?
    And then only moral to a very special sort of Catholic – a “Traditional” one?
    Is it Immoral to be tolerant of the rest of mankind’s honestly-held beliefs?
    These are the real questions, aren’t they?

    “BB at 11.16: It seems you sometimes deliberately set yourself up to fail with what seem to be preconceived ideas and prejudices.” Really Geoff? What an extraordinary thing for a good Catholic to do.
    Preconceived pre what event?

  24. kathleen says:

    Okay, Toad, so you’re not the “gullible” one at all. It’s silly little Kathleen who is because she believes miracles really can, and do, happen. Sometimes.
    Feel better now?

    In Toad’s godless universe, all those daft Trad Catholics like K, are gullible enough to actually believe they have a Loving Immaculate Mother in Heaven, Mother of the Divine Saviour (they say) Who cares greatly about this supposedly fallen world and the loss of souls, sometimes even intervening in Person to impart messages through chosen visionaries to warn, chide and encourage her ‘children’ to repent and turn back to God. How more stoooopid can you get than that, sez Toad!?

    More blah, blah, blah ranting questions from Toad (who really couldn’t care two hoots about anyone’s beliefs…. unless they share his own scepticism about absolutely everything. Meaning, of course, total disbelief!)

    So you don’t really expect me to waste precious time answering you, do you Toad?
    Have a good evening.

  25. toadspittle says:

    “…all those daft Trad Catholics like K, are gullible enough to actually believe they have a Loving Immaculate Mother in Heaven, Mother of the Divine Saviour (they say) …”
    As long as we accept that we only personally believe in these sorts of things, Kathleen there is no significant problem. It’s only when we “know,” they are fact that we are in trouble, and treat them as such.
    Because there is no logical, rational, grounding for any of them. Only faith.
    They still might be true, for all that. But we can’t know. That’s it.

    “So you don’t really expect me to waste precious time answering you, do you Toad?”
    You didn’t waste a single moment, Kathleen. What you said was well worth considering.
    Anything thoughtful is.

    “More blah, blah, blah ranting questions from Toad (who really couldn’t care two hoots about anyone’s beliefs…”
    In fact, I care about little else – including the beliefs of Catholics, Marxists, Abstract Expressionists, Logical Positivists, Astrologists, and The Quivering Brethren.
    Don’t we all?

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