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I enjoy reading Catholic thought and I wanted to share. I believe the call for SSM and many other criticisms of the CoJCoLDS (primarily from those who still hold to some sense of its being “true”) is a product of lack of rigorous thought. An emotionalism where we substitute how we feel about things for sound principles derived by seeking God with faith and reason.
First two links:
Article by Archbishop of Philadelphia:
Faith and Reason by JPII:
I will admit that I have only read parts of Faith and Reason, but I hope to rectify this.
I think the Catholic Church is in crisis partially because its highest leaders have left behind sound thinking on issues for a hoped pastoral love of all. This is from First Things:
More poignantly from an interview with Bishop Chaput:
It is my opinion that there are many very concerning things coming for the Pope and the leadership around him. I fear he has forgotten (and I think it likely that many around him have forgotten) the second half of: “Truth without love is imperious self-righteousness. Love without truth is cowardly self-indulgence.” With an organization so committed to preserving the “truth once delivered,” how (with or without God’s supernatural guidance) can such a thing happen. How can it happen to the CoJCoLDS?
Somebody who wrestles with issues like advocating for or against SSM will become a general authority (not me). In my personal life, I feel the desire to embrace love without the restraining influence of truth. In the name of love sometime not just self love, I can stray from God’s path. As my attempt at my best self online, I feel the desire to embrace love without mentioning truth to those with whom I dialogue even though I do not face the same issues they do (I like to not speak of their sin or emphasize that I too am a sinner to eliminate or soften the truth). How much tougher will this be for the future bishop who can clearly see the pain in those he loves and knows that speaking truth to them will make him a lone voice in a world that has ceased to care about truth.
There are two things about the difficult and recent declaration concerning children of same sex couples. First, is that it would be somewhat cruel to ask a child to explain the reason his/her parents have embraced a way of living out of alignment with God’s teaching. The second is having not been cruel, those who likely believe that SSM is a wonderful institution that has blessed their lives will continue to grow and learn and progress in the church.
As I said in a recent thread, I think it quite possible that one day our church will embrace SSM in many and perhaps all ways. IMO today this would be the love without truth result. If this happens in the future, it will not be the end of the church, but too much of this love without truth could be (I have faith that God is in control and can steer away from this). But, one of the ways God steers away from this is by calling us to THINK correctly.
I believe that wrong thinking after Vatican II has lead to the place where the Catholic Church is today and while some of the things Pope Francis is doing may briefly increase the number of folks in the pews, I believe ultimately it will further water down truth and lead to more indifference to the things of God.
I do not think the highest leaders of the CoJCoLDS have succumbed to the thinking Pope Francis has embraced. And I believe that the highest leaders of the CoJCoLDS receive revelation and inspiration to guide God’s church. That being said, I have little doubt that Bishops and Stake Presidents struggle with these issues. Without a commitment to have both TRUTH and LOVE, I think errors can happen. As these error permeate the church AND society, there may be one day when our God (who I think is pragmatic) will recognize that it does more harm than good to continue to teach the truth in certain ways. Someday, the pain caused by the truth and the prevalence of societies tolerant arms willing to offer an ultimately cold loveless embrace, could make it better for the church to water down the gospel in certain areas (no more United Order comes to mind). Alternatively, if the gospel understanding of these issues is correct and discussion and dialogue helps folks to find ways to love in truth, perhaps pragmatic solution will not be required.
Anyway, there is great value in learning from wise folks like JPII and Arch Bishop Chaput. I believe God is in charge. I believe the CoJCoLDS passed through its first 200 years in a way far more remarkable than the years 33-233AD were for New Testament Christians and evidence God’s continuing inspiration and revelation for the whole body of the church. That being said, God’s hand is occasionally the wise and intelligent council of our brothers and sisters. The society into which President Nelson held his first press conference is hostile to God’s truths. I believe that the church is guided by God through President Nelson, but ALL of us imbibe inappropriately of the ideas evidenced in this press conference hostility (in the name of love or in the name of self-indulgence or in the name of …but we imbibe). May right reasoning and truth from God provide a counter force to societies pull!
P.S. In case it is somehow veiled by what I say above, I do not think I am superior in my thinking to all others. I offer the above because it is what seems true to me. If it didn’t seem true to me, my best self, would find something else to embrace that I think is true. I desire to align my beliefs with what God believes to be true!
This also means I want to read and discuss thoughts about the above.
When I was a nice little Catholic altar boy, I was taught that I should wear the "brown scapular" which on one side had some religious symbols, and on the other side it had some brown cloth.
I was told that it represented a garment like the habit of Catholic "Brothers" ("monks" to non-Catholics though that is a very vague term which really doesn't grasp all the nuances) and Catholic "Sisters" ("nuns" to non-Catholics- but that is at least as vague as "monks" is, and barely scratches the surface of all that is entailed)
I thought that was VERY cool that I could be a "kind of Brother" even as a kid and resolved to be extra good to live up to the promise I had made to God.
Later I studied Mormonism and thought it weird that everyone called each other "brother" and "sister", then I found out that they too wore a special kind of garment like the habit of monks and nuns.
Then suddenly it became reasonable. Mormons also wore special clothing and were all kind of like monks and nuns who made covenants with God.
So the parallels instead of being something "weird" suddenly became very comforting to me, and I could not wait to get to the temple to get my very own "garment"
But I know that many here are not aware of scapulars, though I have mentioned them in passing before and since we have some Catholics who visit here, I thought it might be fun to discuss. No Protest-ants please. (Just kidding )
Catholics also believe that scapulars offer a kind of spiritual protection for wearing them, which also parallels a Mormon belief about garments.
By Hamilton Porter
This is how the chapter "Authority" in Catholic and Mormon (New York: Oxford, 2015) went:
Webb made the standard argument that St. Peter passed on apostolic authority to the bishops.
Gaskill replied saying that the bishop office was already around concurrently with the apostle office during NT times, and it was a local office. The churchwide office of apostle went missing after St. Peter died, and the churchwide office of Pope wasn't there until the mid 4th century with Leo.
Webb said if you're gonna be picky about the difference between apostle and bishop, then why do you have a "prophet" that is above the apostles? In the NT, "prophets" are subordinate to apostles and does not have the authority of an OT prophet. Also, it's pretty clear that St. Peter intended to pass his authority down. In the NT, authority was spread by the laying of hands, and that's what Peter did.
Gaskill did not respond after that. But Stephen E. Robinson in How Wide the Divide mentioned that "prophet" is an apostolic office.
Pope Francis assures sceptics: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven
This article explains that Pope Francis emphasized that all people when they do good come closerto Christ and may find eternal redemption.
Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too!
So, we have that and just to be clear, reverend Thomas Rosica is NOT a spokesperson for the Catholic Church as news outlets have reported:
Catholic Church confirms atheists still go to hell, after Pope Francis suggests they might go to heaven
With all this said, my thoughts turn to LDS doctrines of "hell". If I'm not mistaken "hell" which is Sheol in Hebrew was understood as a place where souls are temporarily held and then released for God's final judgment. Under Joseph Smith and the restored gospel, it was taught and it is understood today that the souls will be released because Christ overcame death and thus unlocked the gates of hell and allowed all persons to be resurrected. The resurrection of the body, ergo, the reunification of the body and spirit is, according to Doctrine and Covenants, a redemption of the soul. That this redemption is for all unconditionally. It is pure mercy that Jesus did this for all mankind.
But then there is the redemption from sin. That is, unmistakably, from the blood of the Lamb of God. Jesus Christ taught that all *must* believe in Him to be saved and under LDS theology, the gospel of Jesus Christ will be taught to all those who did not accept it in mortality. This way, literally all who have lived or are alive all will be taught about Jesus Christ and after accepting Him, how to come unto Him under covenant. As Peter declared, the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached unto those who are dead. With this understanding, all individuals, even atheists, will be taught about Jesus Christ, have a choice to receive Him as their personal Lord and Savior, and be shown how to fully and completely come unto Him through the priesthood authority.
I actually see lots of commonalities between what Pope Francis and Reverend Thomas Rosica said regarding "believers" and "non believers" and eternal salvation as taught by the LDS Church. What are your thoughts?