Drowning in a sea of smugness.

In response to Women hardest hit commenter Micha Elyi smugly explained that the RCC’s hard line on divorce puts Protestants to shame:

Kind’a makes you think that King Henry VIII and Martin Luther were wrong and the Catholic Christians have been right about divorce all along.

God hates divorce so a mark of God’s true Church is its unwillingness to accept what God hates.

I would be inclined to agree with him, if the RCC wasn’t infected by a slightly different strain of the same disease Protestantism is infected with.

The RCC sees the explosion in destroyed homes in the US after the 1960s as progress, as justice. They just don’t call it divorce*. As the Archdioceses of Boston explains in its lengthy defense of the modern annulment process, the only problem is that the rest of the world hasn’t caught up with our divorce annulment revolution:

13. There are too many declarations granted in the United States – NO.
The United States vs. other countries

In the last twenty years, the numbers of declarations are much higher in this country than they had been in the past. Yet this is due to the fact that the procedural laws governing marriage cases were expanded in the late 1960’s. Cases no longer had to go to Rome. They could be adjudicated locally. The appellate system was also somewhat streamlined. Furthermore, Roman jurisprudence was expanded in the light of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council. Cases could be heard on new grounds of jurisprudence.

Tribunals across the United States are operative so that individuals may vindicate their rights. The bishops of our country have invested personnel and resources to ensure the church’s jurisprudence and procedural law are fulfilled. Unfortunately, such an investment in justice is not as evident in other parts of the world. This is why the numbers in the United States appear high. In fact they are skewed.

Think of the implications of this statement.  For 2,000 years the RCC got it wrong by not granting absurd numbers of annulments.  But along came the 1960s, and the RCC finally understood that the whole process needed to be… streamlined.  The same document explains that as a result of this streamlining, so many declarations of nullity are now issued that Catholics believe they are easy to obtain:

The misconception that it is thought to be easy may rest in the increased number of declarations over the past twenty years. In 1968 the Boston tribunal processed 10 cases involving defective consent. In 1996 the same tribunal processed over 700 of these cases. The increase is due to a substantial change in the procedural law of the church. Cases are heard locally rather than in Rome. They may also be handled by single judges, rather than a tribunal panel of three judges. However, the sentence of every case is sent to the Appeal Court and reviewed by a tribunal, i.e., a panel of three judges.

One way a marriage can be ruled to have defective consent is if one of the spouses thought marriage isn’t permanent.  What the RCC has effectively taught with this process is if you think marriage isn’t permanent, it isn’t.  Now canon lawyers wonder why so many Catholics think marriage isn’t permanent.  Why isn’t the laity getting the message?

Either this progress is what Elyi is so smug about, or he smugly has no idea what is going on regarding marriage in the RCC.  I don’t know which is worse.

While Elyi is Catholic, his smugness is no less common among Protestants.  When Instapundit linked to one of my posts on the topic of modern churches being corrupted by feminism, Pastor Donald Sensing smugly responded:

Maybe the author needs to get out more.

His church is different.  As a United Methodist pastor, he is fighting the good fight against SJWs and feminists.  He doesn’t see the rot I was writing about, so I must not get around much.  But how blind do you have to be if you are a United Methodist pastor and don’t see the rot all around you?  From Lesbian Bishop Calls Jesus a Bigot

United Methodist Church bishop Dr. Karen Oliveto is not only a lesbian, she also believes (and publicly teaches) that Jesus was a bigot filled with prejudices. She does say that Jesus grew and changed, and that’s her point. Bishop Oliveto admonishes, “If Jesus can change, if he can give up his bigotries and prejudices, if he can realize that he had made his life too small, and if, in this realization, he grew closer to others and closer to God, than so can we.”

Moreover, on a separate Instapundit post Pastor Sensing put in a plug for a book by his gender nondescript child:

Grateful for the link, Glenn, thanks!

I hope you will indulge a “proud dad” moment for me in providing the link to my eldest’s first novel on Amazon, Winter Three, a military sci-fi tale of far future Marines landing on their homeworld to wrest it back from the bad guys. It went live on Kindle today. It does rely quite a bit on the author’s experience as a US Marine in the Iraq War (Fallujah and environs, 2005-2006) and pays homage to Heinlein. It’s only $1.99, so give a vet a break and buy it!

What Pastor Sensing is carefully not disclosing with his gender neutral language is that his hard bitten combat veteran “eldest” is his daughter [Correction:  it is his son].

The smugness of men like Elyi and Pastor Sensing is all around us, and it is this very militant cluelessness that makes feminism possible in Christian culture.

*Instead, the RCC prefers the term annulment. Coincidentally, before you can request an annulment you have to first get a civil divorce.

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This entry was posted in Denial, Divorce, Instapundit, Military, Traditional Conservatives, Turning a blind eye. Bookmark the permalink.

142 Responses to Drowning in a sea of smugness.

  1. djz242013 says:

    Although defending smugness isn’t exactly appealing, I feel compelled to point out that all of these RCC policies are immanently changeable, unlike the dogmas surrounding the indissolubility of Holy Matrimony. The RCC just like every modern church is full of modern people who grew up in a modern world. Resisting the temptations to go with the flow is hard, and we should expect many men and women to fail. However, the RCC is notable in that it still, at least on the level of dogma, considers divorce immoral. This (rather weak) statement cannot be uniformly applied across other Christian denominations.

    It is a matter of practice versus theology. RCC has good theology here, and (just like everyone else) bad practice. So it’s not really something I’d be *smug* about, but it is a slightly better situation than many other churches find themselves in.

  2. Anon says:

    Micha Elyi, as I recall, is an infamous cuckservative who openly said he prefers Hillary over Trump.

  3. Boxer says:

    His church is different.

    Yes, indeed! This is the general attitude I find among men of my own tribe, too. They seem to think that they’re immune from the consequences of bad decision making, right up until the day that they’re served with papers.

  4. Dalrock says:

    @djz242013

    It is a matter of practice versus theology. RCC has good theology here, and (just like everyone else) bad practice. So it’s not really something I’d be *smug* about, but it is a slightly better situation than many other churches find themselves in.

    I’m not taking a shot at RCC theology here, but as you say the practice, and more to the point, the smugness of disregarding the reality of the practice.

  5. Boxer says:

    However, the RCC is notable in that it still, at least on the level of dogma, considers divorce immoral. This (rather weak) statement cannot be uniformly applied across other Christian denominations.

    They do pay lip service to morality; but, what good is that, when I can go to the web page of the US Council of Catholic Bishops, and get encouraged to go down to the parish offices and file for a Catholic divorce, pro se?

    The things we do and say have consequences. When the Catholic church puts up a FAQ telling its people to come on down and file the papers, they and their devotees (lookin’ at you Earl) should expect criticism from people who care about civil society and its families.

  6. Elspeth says:

    When people say their church is different, they are no doubt telling the truth. The problem is that “different” is a matter of degree and kind. When there isn’t a hard interpretation of Scriptural Truth (Or the Magisterium or whatever) being uniformly applied, it’s easy to see how “different” you are compared to “those people” or “those churches”

    At the end of the day, we’re trying to live the Bible in the context of the postmodern thinking we’re all infected with. When you’re not so thoroughly infected as to be obviously at death’s door, you feel safe.

  7. djz242013 says:

    They do pay lip service to morality; but, what good is that

    Would you rather have a church that preaches lies and acts on them, or a church that preaches truth and fails to live up to it?

  8. OKRickety says:

    “cannon lawyers”?  That must be a new specialty. 🙂

  9. Gerald says:

    “She does say that Jesus grew and changed, and that’s her point. Bishop Oliveto admonishes, ‘If Jesus can change, if he can give up his bigotries and prejudices, if he can realize that he had made his life too small, and if, in this realization, he grew closer to others and closer to God, than so can we.'”

    So a Lesbian UMC Bishop denies the divinity of Jesus, and no one even notices? God is unchanging; Jesus is God; therefore, Jesus is unchanging. Also, God is perfect, Jesus is God, therefore Jesus is perfect. If Jesus held a wrong opinion, He can’t be God. And if Jesus changed His mind, He can’t be God.

    I’m shocked that the UMC has fallen so far.

  10. djz242013 says:

    considering that (according to Wikipedia) canon law “was the first modern Western legal system[3] and is the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the West,” I’d have to say that it’s actually a very old specialty.

  11. Boxer says:

    Would you rather have a church that preaches lies and acts on them, or a church that preaches truth and fails to live up to it?

    Would I rather have a menu that offers pizza and delivers pizza, or one that offers steak and delivers nothing? Your analogy is meaningless.

    If the Catholic bishops are going to encourage their flock to divorce, while pretending they’re opposed to divorce, and if they’re going to indulge in this hypocrisy for money, then they’re going to be scoffed at — never in the wider sewer-culture, but here on Dalrock.

  12. stickdude90 says:

    I’d have to say that it’s actually a very old specialty.

    Canon law may be very old, but I’m not sure about cannon law. 😉

    [D: Thanks. Fixed.]

  13. The Question says:

    “Either this progress is what Elyi is so smug about, or he smugly has no idea what is going on regarding marriage in the RCC. I don’t know which is worse.”

    Or he smugly thinks that annulments aren’t really divorces.

  14. Derek Ramsey says:

    @djz242013 – “It is a matter of practice versus theology. RCC has good theology here, and (just like everyone else) bad practice.”

    No, not just like everyone else.What hopelessness that would be! One of the advantages of “getting out more” is being able to see places where theology and practice coincide. One of these is the Mennonites in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I’ve known hundreds of people who attended these churches and they both teach and practice the strong anti-divorce pro-family biblical theology. Divorce in these congregations is rare. This is typical of many Anabaptist congregations (e.g. Amish, Mennonite, Church of the Brethren). The church I attended as a child, with active membership > 200 persons, had so few (none?) divorcees that I mistakenly thought for most of my childhood that only non-Christians got divorced. I didn’t know anyone personally who had gotten a divorce. I had to attend college before I met classmates with divorced parents.

    It’s of particular note that the Mennonite Church USA had a precipitous drop in membership when the majority of Mennonite churches in Lancaster County left the denomination over these doctrinal issues. Now, Lancaster County may be a rare bastion of protection for marriage, but at least it exists somewhere.

  15. Wilbur Hassenfus says:

    Bishop Oliveto deserves a lot of credit. In the old days, bishops used to struggle to be more like Christ, but now Christ is apparently struggling — with, to His credit, some qualified success — to be more like her.

    These are the kind of improvements you see when you put women in charge of your institution. Very impressive!

  16. Cary says:

    However, the RCC is notable in that it still, at least on the level of dogma, considers divorce immoral. This (rather weak) statement cannot be uniformly applied across other Christian denominations.

    My Dad, never a Catholic, had an affair divorced my Mom after 32 years and married the woman. She was raised a Catholic and also had 2 prior divorces. After a few years they started attending RCC and began to seek an annulment. During this time my Dad could neither join the church, be baptized, or receive communion.

    The RCC sought approval from my Mom for the annulment. I helped her write the response making the point that there had in fact been a marriage of 32 years which was in a Christian church with a Christian pastor. She was willing to offer forgiveness to him but not deny the reality of the marriage. Eventually after a couple of years the annulment was granted. Then my Dad joined the RCC, was baptized, and the new marriage was recognized.

    As I understand RCC theology, my father was not saved until he could join the church and be baptized. So from my view they did NOT consider divorce immoral. They just pretended that it never happened because the prior marriage was now never valid to the church. However, until they could do that they risked my Dad’s eternal fate (in their theology). Instead of admitting the sin of divorce and granting forgiveness, they ended up denying the sin without there ever being a true confession of guilt needing forgiveness. I consider this approach neither more moral or even Christian.

  17. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Gerald – “So a Lesbian UMC Bishop denies the divinity of Jesus, and no one even notices? … I’m shocked that the UMC has fallen so far.”

    Oh, it’s noticed. The UMC is a hotly divided denomination, and the pastors know it. The UMC “supreme court” recently ruled against Oliveto and has instructed her jurisdiction to bring her to “trial”. The jurisdiction may well defy the order and the denomination may ultimately experience a schism. This is probably a good thing, but it’s not going to happen overnight. A lot of individual churches are waiting to decide on leaving the denomination until the “legal” process resolves. A lot hinges on the ramifications of that case. We may well see the UMC take a strong stance in the next few years, or maybe it will dissolve completely.

  18. Opus says:

    I once represented a young woman in her Matrimonial Affairs who wanted out from her perfectly legal marriage and alleged that her husband had abused her by punching her on the knee. On further enquiry she confessed to me that she had deliberately annoyed her husband so much that (he doing what she wanted namely hitting her) she could now regard herself as a victim and obtain a Divorce alleging violence and thus at the same time an Ouster Injunction. Legally she was right and so she obtained in the Family Court a Divorce and an Injunction. She then decided that I might be Mr Right – it is very difficult to be polite to ones client when she has, faking physical incapacity, thrown her arms around ones neck and is refusing to let go. We performed some sort of two-step towards the front door and even then on the doorstep she did not wish for extrication.

    As I say she was divorced whereupon she decided that ,being a Roman Catholic she wanted an annulment and thus for the first and only time I donned my cap as a Canon Lawyer. I must say however that I rather liked the way the Church handled the matter that is to say in Latin and in great seriousness and thus not ramshackle or illiterately like the Family Court. I forget what her reasoning for an annulment might have been though I am sure it could have had no more veracity that that for her Divorce. Last time I saw her (a year or two later) she was pushing a Pram so it all turned out for the best.

    God she was ugly.

  19. Dalrock says:

    The case of Pastor Sensing’s “eldest” just got weirder. See the edit I just added to the bottom of the OP for details.

  20. LexHow says:

    @DalRock WHat you see now is the Vatican 2 Apostate Novus Ordo Sect. Vatican 2 is absolute heresy, therefore, is not Catholic. It started in 1962. Under true Catholic law, the ordinations of the bishops and priests are AT BEST Valid but are definitely ILLEGAL/ILLICIT. There are ONLY a few both VALID and Licit(Legal) Catholic Bishops out there and THEY WILL NEVER DO IT. Bishop Sanborn, Pivaranus, Dolan, Wiliamson, Zendejas, Faure, Tissier.

  21. RobJ says:

    “What Pastor Sensing is carefully not disclosing with his gender neutral language is that his hard bitten combat veteran “eldest” is his daughter.”

    “…a military sci-fi tale of far future Marines landing on their homeworld to wrest it back from the bad guys.”

    Yet he breezily describes the villains in his daughter’s book as bad GUYS.

  22. flathatter45 says:

    Dalrock, as an orthodox Catholic with pre-Vatican II sensibilities, I can tell you that a lot of us are uneasy about the seemingly easygoing attitude of some bishops about annulments. But let me add some perspective: one reason American annulments seem so high is that by comparison, nominal Catholic couples in Europe are less likely to seek a church wedding over a civil ceremony. Those couples in Europe that do marry in the church and later divorce are far less likely to even bother with the annulment process. Even in the USA, a fair number of divorced Catholics don’t bother with it. Often as not, they find a Protestant sect that has long abandoned Christ’s teaching on marriage. Also, poor catechesis, mental or emotional immaturity, or mental or emotional instability brought on by childhoods filled with ritalin, prozac, a woman who has so many notches on her belt her ability to pair bond is in serious doubt, those are all potentially impediments to a valid union.

  23. earlthomas786 says:

    When the Catholic church puts up a FAQ telling its people to come on down and file the papers, they and their devotees (lookin’ at you Earl) should expect criticism from people who care about civil society and its families.

    My own personal experience in talking with a person who was hired by the diocese in that process…their standard goal starting out is keeping the marriage together not looking for a way to seperate a vaild marriage. It’s only when they find proof it was invalid. Now that may not be the case in every diocese as there are always corrupt clergy out there (looking at you Commiefornia and New England). However I did read stories about where Benedict XVI at the time cracked down on the number of annulments in the US.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/01/29/catholic-divorce-annulment/1875315/

  24. earlthomas786 says:

    If you want to rip US bishops for not being good shephards of the faith….I’m with you there and won’t claim any smugness. A lot of them aren’t and a lot of them are in the US. I read a Catholic website called Church Militant and they seem to find all the US bishops who favor homosexuality and all sorts of worldly nonsense. However just because they aren’t following Catholic dogma doesn’t mean Catholic dogma is incorrect.

  25. Cane Caldo says:

    @djz242013

    Although defending smugness isn’t exactly appealing, I feel compelled to point out that all of these RCC policies are immanently changeable, unlike the dogmas surrounding the indissolubility of Holy Matrimony. The RCC just like every modern church is full of modern people who grew up in a modern world. Resisting the temptations to go with the flow is hard, and we should expect many men and women to fail. However, the RCC is notable in that it still, at least on the level of dogma, considers divorce immoral. This (rather weak) statement cannot be uniformly applied across other Christian denominations.

    It is a matter of practice versus theology. RCC has good theology here, and (just like everyone else) bad practice. So it’s not really something I’d be *smug* about, but it is a slightly better situation than many other churches find themselves in.

    In our church, we correctly teach that serpents are not fish, and scorpions are not eggs. Though in practice: Whenever someone asks for a fish we give them a serpent, or a scorpion if an egg is requested. It’s not really something I’d be *smug* about, but I thank God that we are not like those other men.

  26. Dalrock says:

    @Nobody

    Its a dude, or at least it was in 2005:
    http://pastordonblog.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/four-veterans.html?m=1

    You and I must have found that post at the same time. I posted an edit just before your comment with the same link. I’m inclined to agree with you. Yet why is Pastor Sensing so cagey when defining his “eldest” child’s sex? It isn’t just the reference to initials instead of a name. Sensing refers to his middle child as “he” and his youngest as “daughter”. But at least for the three references I could find, Sensing takes great pains to avoid such a tipoff as son/daughter or he/she, his/her.

    And why does this dude write from the perspective of a female marine? Also, I just noticed that the female space marine on the cover has the same expression on her face as the pic of the author at Sensing’s blog. It is all, at the very least, quite weird.

  27. imnobody00 says:

    As a Catholic, I don’t feel anything to be smug about and I’m completely ashamed with my Church using annulment as a cover for divorce.

    My Church is in practical heresy (the last communication by our heretical Pope, “Amoris Laetitia”, is a nuclear bomb for Christian morality). The apparitions of Virgin Mary (I know that you don’t believe that, but please bear with me) announced that there was going to be a spiritual catastrophe in the Church, starting from the 60s. And it has happened exactly like this.

    I pray for things to become normal again (while I think things will get worse and worse until they get better). I admire these rare (Evangelical) churches that have been able to sustain Biblical marriage, as Derek Ramsey said. I would like my Evangelical brethren to follow the example of these Churches instead of the disaster we have in the Catholic Church. Definitely, nothing to be smug about.

  28. Ernst Schreiber says:

    For 2,000 years the RCC got it wrong by not granting absurd numbers of annulments.

    Or perhaps the Archdiocese of Boston (& possibly the rest of the Catholic Church in America) instead got it wrong, probably sometime around 1960, by failing to adequately prepare couples to make a sacramental marriage. That goes to your point about the Catholic Church failing to Catholics what they’re supposed to believe about marriage.

  29. Ernst Schreiber says:

    failing to teach

    I regret the error

  30. djz242013 says:

    @cane

    In our church, we correctly teach that serpents are not fish, and scorpions are not eggs. Though in practice: Whenever someone asks for a fish we give them a serpent, or a scorpion if an egg is requested. It’s not really something I’d be *smug* about, but I thank God that we are not like those other men.

    Would you prefer that we teach that serpents are good and no one should ask for fish in the first place?

    And “but it is a slightly better situation than many other churches find themselves in” is quite a bit less smug and self-assured than your “but I thank God that we are not like those other men.” Don’t be a prick for no reason bro.

  31. BillyS says:

    Those who claim that “RCC core doctrine is correct” fail to realize that this is not a valid reason. The core doctrine of the churches I frequent is that divorce is wrong. It is the practice, once again, that is faulty.

    The church I was attending had a sermon the Sunday before my wife filed for divorce that “Divorce is Not an Option”. The main pastor clearly did not believe the message preached by the associated pastor enough that he failed to do several things to support that assertion. He did attempt to personally talk with my wife, but never confronted the many women who were more concerned about my wife’s “safety” than her divorce filing, including the pastor’s own wife. That was a failure of practice, not core doctrine. It was a church where women were not allowed in leadership positions, but where several women ended up running many things, including the pastor’s wife.

    The issue is standing on “the RCC is so much better” with the smugness that comes with that. Remember indulgences? That was one factor that pushed Luther over the edge.

    The RCC has merit, especially for some, but men are always men, and that is the core problem. Modern society has normalized divorce and it will take a crash (of some sort) to reset that principle.

    Divorce will clearly always happen, God even allowed for it in His Law, but it is not the good thing it is really treated as today. It sounds a lot like the situation Jesus spoke on Matthew 19.

  32. djz242013 says:

    @derek ramsey

    No, not just like everyone else.

    Do you know what a generalization is? Have you heard of bell curves? NAXALT. Sure. Fine. Whatever bro. Not every Catholic parish hands out annulments like candy either.

  33. BillyS says:

    Djz,

    Which church actively teaches that divorce is a good thing? Most drape it in nice words instead. Kind of like those who favor murdering children (abortion), but wrap it in a supposed desire to make abortion rare.

    Dalrock,

    It could be that his oldest has had a sex change operation, making things more complicated for him. One of the individuals in that area I knew was a Ranger previously (before they nuked the rules to earn that status), so it is not inconceivable.

  34. djz242013 says:

    @BillyS

    Those who claim that “RCC core doctrine is correct” fail to realize that this is not a valid reason.

    Be perfect, or shut up! Only Jesus can tell me what to do! Authority is a lie, man!

    As a Catholic, trust me, I care way more than you do about the fact that the Church does not practice what she preaches very well. But I am actually thankful that she does preach good things.

  35. UK Fred says:

    I remember when I was young in the faith bemoaning the fact that I could not find the sort of church I wanted to attend that I was counseled, “If ever you find the perfect church, you should never join it. You are a human, and imperfect. You’ll spoil it.”

    I am saddened to see the denomination I grew up in, the church of Scotland has conformed to the society in which it dwells, rather than transform it. Living in England now, I see the Church of England sell out Biblical Christianity for trendiness, the United Reformed Church not know what it believes, The Methodist church having a youth wing where a significant number consider that sex outside marriage is not a sin, The Baptists teach that homosexual activity is not inconsistent with Scripture and some even more weird distorted theology come out of some of the other churches.

    Then I remember the words of St. Paul, that our battle is with spiritual powers and dominions and I realize that I too commit sins,. but perhaps mine are better hidden from my fellow man, though not from God and that, just like all the members of every church world-wide, I too will have to face the Judge of all mankind one day.

  36. djz242013 says:

    @BillyS

    Which church actively teaches that divorce is a good thing?

    I thought documenting those churches was like 90% of the point of this whole blog. Dalrock can probably give you a long list of names off the top of his head.

  37. Ras al Ghul says:

    “One way a marriage can be ruled to have defective consent is if one of the spouses thought marriage isn’t permanent. What the RCC has effectively taught with this process is if you think marriage isn’t permanent, it isn’t.”

    It is worse than that. You can claim you didn’t understand what marriage was at the time of the vows and so the consent was not valid Imagine someone in the military saying that didn’t understand what war entailed when they volunteered and you can see how absurd this position is.

    And if you ever look in the forms that you fill out (even in opposing the annulment) the fact that the marriage was not valid is presumed in the form of the questions.

    If you want some fun, remember that the annulment means there was no valid marriage (that a marriage never occurred) which means there was no divorce if you follow the train of thought. Go read how they explain that the child of a marriage that never existed are NOT bastards.

  38. BillyS says:

    Djz,

    Be perfect, or shut up! Only Jesus can tell me what to do! Authority is a lie, man!

    You hold that standard on those not in the RCC.

    I thought documenting those churches was like 90% of the point of this whole blog. Dalrock can probably give you a long list of names off the top of his head.

    Dalrock is free to correct me, but I have only read about those with bad messaging here, not all non-RCC churches. You may want to read here a bit more before jumping in and defending foolishness.

  39. djz242013 says:

    @boxer

    If the Catholic bishops are going to encourage their flock to divorce […] then they’re going to be scoffed at

    “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride (Proverbs 21:24)

  40. djz242013 says:

    @BillyS

    You hold that standard on those not in the RCC.

    News to me, man. Here I was thinking that I had learned from imperfect humans before, but I guess I was wrong.

  41. thedeti says:

    Derek Ramsey:

    You’re not the only one that has noticed what is going on in the United Methodist Church. A rift is coming very soon, and it’s going to be probably over ordaining homosexuals as Elders (the formal title for the ordained ministry, whether pastoral, pulpit or otherwise). Right now the issue of ordaining open homosexuals has been taken up at every Conference for at least the last 10 years, and the vote has always been majority “no” but the margin slims down every year. Soon, the majority are going to win this issue, and a sizable majority are going to split and leave the UMC over it, just as with happened over Bishop Vicky Gene Robinson in the American Episcopal Church/Anglican Communion. (Robinson was the first openly gay man elected a bishop in the Anglican Communion and it caused the rift. His parents gave him the first name “Vicky” because they had wanted a daughter. Draw whatever conclusions you want from that.)

  42. earl says:

    It appears one reason why annulments have went up is that the definition of marriage in Canon Law went from a contract to a covenant. Basically went from consenting to have sex in marriage to consenting to knowing what marriage is all about.

    http://canonlawmadeeasy.com/2007/07/26/marriage_and_annulment/

  43. Anchorman says:

    In his bio page, he identifies two sons:

    I married the former Catherine Stephens of Durham, N. C., in 1980. We have two sons, the elder a former U.S. Marine and Iraq veteran now living in Madison, Wisc., where he works for a company that is a journal of the electronic-online gaming industry. Our younger son graduated in 2010 from Wake Forest University and is presently in medical school in Florida under the US Air Force’s health professions program. His wife is a physician in residency there. Our daughter is studying chemical engineering at Tennessee Tech.

  44. David says:

    It is pretty easy to guess what Pastor Sensing is all about.

    i) USMC and UMC have very similar acronyms, so he is extremely protective of both institutions.
    ii) Both institutions are totally dominated by feminism.
    iii) His oldest boy saw his whole life how women are treated so much better than men, particularly by his father (the pastor) himself, that he thought gender conversion is a good deal (never mind that his chromosomes are still XY).
    iv) This is a source of secret embarrassment for Pastor Sensing, so he reacts badly to anyone pointing out that his own church might be polluted by feminism. He desperately wants to believe that no one has noticed his son going trans (even though his whiteknighting for women while boasting about an institution that sees trains men to see themselves as expendable (USMC) is a primary contributing factor), so gets angry when there is a chance someone has noticed something.

    That is what the whole thing is. A supposedly ‘brave’ Marine, who was too afraid to push back against women to keep feminism out of his church, has claimed his son in a far more unacceptable way than a combat death as an expendable male would be. The poor boy just wanted to change into the gender that his family and community values far higher.

  45. BillyS says:

    Djz,

    News to me, man. Here I was thinking that I had learned from imperfect humans before, but I guess I was wrong.

    Backpeddling a bit? Your first post noted that the RCC at least had the right doctrine. That directly implied others did not. Dalrock’s OP was noting they don’t live up to their doctrine, so smugness is not smart. Yet you repeated that in many replies here.

    I will ask directly then: Do you think the RCC is better than others since it has “divorce is bad” as a core doctrine? You did say you felt that this blog proved non-RCC churches had a wrong doctrinal base on divorce.

  46. Derek Ramsey says:

    @djz242013 – Do you know what a generalization is?…Not every Catholic parish hands out annulments like candy either.

    My point had little to do with rare edge cases or failure to appreciate generalization. It’s easy to say “my church or parish is different”, but what difference does this make when the denomination (i.e. RCC) fails to condemn, or worse promotes, divorce? It’s a different category entirely to say “my denomination is different”. Parishes need to do way more than just fail to be terrible. The Mennonites took the practice of theology seriously and did what needed to be done: they left the denomination. Large chunks of the UMC may not be far behind.

    Let me use a concrete example. My father, an Anabaptist minister, won’t perform a marriage ceremony if either couple has ever been divorced. That’s not just passively refusing to participate in divorce like these parishes you cite. Lukewarm parishes deserve criticism too.

  47. Jack Russell says:

    The Archdiocese of Boston. The Archbishop (who recently died in the Vatican) after fleeing there from the U.S., due to the child abuse scandals. He shuffled around priests who were pedophiles knowingly. He had his own apt. in the Vatican and a 8K per month salary. Wouldn’t surprise me if he was also funding the IRA back in the day, then feigned shock when there was a bombing in Boston.

    As for homosexual priests and others not following doctrine and changing it to their ideals. It will be easier to be Larry Flynt or Hugh Hefner on judgement day.

  48. David says:

    TL:DR :

    If a man devotes his entire life to whiteknighting and training men to see themselves as expendable (as Pastor Sensing has), there is an increased chance that his son (especially if the eldest child) will see transitioning to a woman as having a favorable cost/benefit analysis.

  49. Dalrock says:

    Good find Anchorman. That is a repost of the same 2007 bio I found on his hold blog. The newer version has been edited to state that he has two sons. I added an asterisk to my most recent post to note this.

  50. Novaseeker says:

    what difference does this make when the denomination (i.e. RCC) fails to condemn, or worse promotes, divorce?

    Well but they say that they don’t, due to their theology of it. In other words, they say that these are not divorces in an ecclesiastical sense — there is a civil divorce, of course, but in the eyes of the church these people were never married to begin with so there is no divorce in the eyes of the church, either. In *practice*, it’s basically divorce for Catholics, but because of the theological explanation of it (nullity vs divorce) they will say that they are not promoting divorce, but simply declaring marriages to be null that were always null from the beginning.

  51. MarcusD says:

    @David

    If a man devotes his entire life to whiteknighting and training men to see themselves as expendable (as Pastor Sensing has), there is an increased chance that his son (especially if the eldest child) will see transitioning to a woman as having a favorable cost/benefit analysis.

    The last I checked, there were far more male-to-female reassignment surgeries than vice-versa. To me, that wouldn’t likely happen in a patriarchal society.

  52. imnobody00 says:

    @Novaseeker

    You explained very well the situation in the Catholic Church. Could you explain how things are in the Orthodox Church? I’m curious and I know you are Orthodox.

  53. Gunner Q says:

    djz242013 @ 11:16 am:
    “Would you rather have a church that preaches lies and acts on them, or a church that preaches truth and fails to live up to it?”

    A church that preaches lies. It’s easier for a cheap whore to be righteous than a professional clergyman because the whore is honest about her value.

    James 2:14,17: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? … faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

  54. djz242013 says:

    @Derek Ramsey

    > My point had little to do with rare edge cases or failure to appreciate generalization

    > Lancaster County may be a rare bastion of protection for marriage, but at least it exists somewhere.

    Pick one.

    the denomination (i.e. RCC) fails to condemn, or worse promotes, divorce?

    Pretty sure that (like was the point of my initial comment), the RCC does in fact condemn divorce. They often weasel their way around it by calling things annulments. But the dogma condemning divorce remains. Are you mad that they say X is bad and then do X? Well, I am too. But it is better than saying X is “empowering” or “good in the case of abuse” or whatever.

    The Mennonites took the practice of theology seriously and did what needed to be done: they left the denomination

    Because, like any good protestant will tell you, schism is preferable to reform. When Christ spoke about his Bride, he was really talking about more of a harem, you know?

    My father, an Anabaptist minister, won’t perform a marriage ceremony if either couple has ever been divorced.

    Good for him. My priest won’t either, but then again, you and I are lucky to have social networks with relatively sane people in them.

  55. Pingback: Drowning in a sea of smugness. | Reaction Times

  56. earl says:

    “Would you rather have a church that preaches lies and acts on them, or a church that preaches truth and fails to live up to it?”

    IMO

    The first church sounds Satanic (http://biblehub.com/john/8-44.htm).

    The second church sounds like it preaches Christ (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14%3A6) and realizes we have fallen human nature and are sinners. Hence the need for a Savior.

  57. imnobody00 says:

    @ djz242013

    As a fellow Catholic, please drop it. There are websites to have this kind of debate about which Christian church is better (in some area) but this is not one of these websites. This is a non-denominational website devoted to Biblical masculinity and marriage. Please stop this kind of debates that go on and go on, never finish and never convince anyone.

  58. djz242013 says:

    @Gunner Q

    A church that preaches lies.

    Then I assume that your church either preaches heresy or has a pastor who has never once condemned a sin that he himself has engaged in.

    faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

    Here I was, silly old me, thinking that this meant “some action” as opposed to “perfection.” Apparently if you have ever sinned or even failed to act when you should have, St James considers your faith dead.

  59. djz242013 says:

    @imnobody00

    Sorry for defending the Church from being compared to a “sea of smugness.”

  60. Novaseeker says:

    You explained very well the situation in the Catholic Church. Could you explain how things are in the Orthodox Church? I’m curious and I know you are Orthodox.

    @imnobody —

    In Orthodoxy, if you divorce it is considered to be an excommunicating sin, which requires repentance and a period of abstention from the Eucharist before you can be readmitted to communion.

    As for remarriage in the church after a divorce, this is done as a matter of “ekonomia” (in other words, pastoral praxis by the bishop not enforcing the no remarriage rule in a strict manner) by the church authorities, but is not as a matter of “right”. Most of the time the ekonomia is granted unless you are doing something like marrying the person you cheated on your former spouse with, or you have psychological or physical problems (such as unresolved addictions) which led to breakdown of the former marriage and have not been addressed satisfactorily. The “process” for obtaining an ekonomia to remarry in the church differs a bit as between Orthodox jurisdictions — in most of them it is simply a right of the bishop to grant or deny a request for an ekonomia to remarry, but a couple of them have a review panel type of thing that is more similar to the Catholic tribunals, but which is looking at different things — ie, not trying to determine if the marriage was void ab initio, as the Catholic tribunals do, but looking at who did what to whom, where you are currently at, and therefore whether it makes sense to permit you an ekonomia to remarry.

    Note that the nature of the sacrament is different in Orthodoxy as well — the couple are not the ministers of the sacrament as they are in Catholicism, and so the “deficiency of consent” (i.e., imperfect consent) isn’t relevant as to the efficacy of the sacrament. The priest ministers the sacrament as he does with the other sacraments. The marriage service for a second marriage is also completely different from that for a first marriage, and is primarily pentitential in character, as is suitable given the situation.

  61. imnobody00 says:

    @djz242013

    It was not the Church (1.2 billion people). It was commenter Micha Elyi. Other non-Catholic Christians were criticized as well. I don’t think all Catholics are perfect and beyond criticism.

  62. imnobody00 says:

    @Novaseeker

    Thank you. Fascinating stuff.

  63. Novaseeker says:

    The last I checked, there were far more male-to-female reassignment surgeries than vice-versa. To me, that wouldn’t likely happen in a patriarchal society.

    Yeah that’s had to know. There are cultures which are pretty patriarchal but are more tolerant of male-to-female transgenders than they are of male homosexuality — in some of them, the more passive male homosexuals are strongly encouraged (or practically forced) to become transgenders, due to the idea that being a “receptive” male homosexual is inconsistent with being male, therefore they should be feminized. Iran comes to mind here, but to a certain degree this is also the case in places like Thailand and Brazil, both of which have, as a result, a LOT more male to female transgenders than virtually anywhere else on the planet, but which are still basically patriarchal societies.

  64. Frank K says:

    Do you know what a generalization is?…Not every Catholic parish hands out annulments like candy either.

    For starters, parishes do not grant annulments. That’s under the Bishop’s jurisdiction. Some are definitely abusive in handing them out. and the Holy See in the past (prior to Francis) has expressed its displeasure with American Bishops lax attitude in this matter.

    I know more than a few divorced people who were denied an annulment. Most of them left the Church and found a nice Protestant Pastor who was more than happy to perform their second marriage. One of our Deacons, who interviews couples seeking the Sacrament of Marriage, has told me that many couples have a prior marriage. He tells them that they can try to get an annulment, but that many fail and he never hears from them again.

  65. Derek Ramsey says:

    @djz242013 – Pick one.

    It is a different category, not a comparable edge case: Lancaster Mennonites (“my denomination is different”) vs the RCC (“my parish is different”) and Pastor Sensing (“my church is different”).

    To quote Dalrock: “Pastor Sensing smugly claimed that he (ze?) and others like him (hir?) were holding the line on traditional sex roles, and that if I or my readers thought that Christian culture was caving in this regard, well we must not get out very much…”

    In the matter of practice vs theology, it is notable that not every denomination has caved to culture. While this is nothing to be smug about, it is a positive example to emulate. All I was trying to do was share a little hope among the negativity. Pastor Sensing isn’t completely nuts to think that the line can be held.

    “schism is preferable to reform”

    Nonsense. When reform isn’t possible, schism or capitulation remain. I’ll take the former over the latter every time. The UMC is still attempting reform (good for them!), but if it fails they should follow the example of the Mennonites in Lancaster County.

  66. djz242013 says:

    When reform isn’t possible, schism or capitulation remain. I’ll take the former over the latter every time.

    Because what even is authority anyway. Submission? Naw. Get outta my face with that shit, I’m leaving this dump.

  67. Dalrock says:

    @Derek Ramsey

    In the matter of practice vs theology, it is notable that not every denomination has caved to culture. While this is nothing to be smug about, it is a positive example to emulate. All I was trying to do was share a little hope among the negativity. Pastor Sensing isn’t completely nuts to think that the line can be held.

    1) Your choice of Mennonites as an example of modern Christians holding the line tells me you don’t understand what I’m getting at. And yet, I see in the news that Mennonites are in the process of splitting on the issue of gay marriage.
    2) His argument wasn’t that the church is under siege but he and others like him are doing everything in their power not to give in to the siege. His argument was essentially “What siege?” For context, see: https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2015/05/24/if-you-cant-feel-the-current-you-have-already-been-swept-away/

  68. Gunner Q says:

    djz242013 @ 3:51 pm:
    “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

    “Here I was, silly old me, thinking that this meant “some action” as opposed to “perfection.””

    Read the OP again. We aren’t talking about priests who try to get it right but sometimes don’t. We’re talking about some priests who pride themselves on a low divorce rate because they use a synonym for “divorce” and other priests who pride themselves on a high divorce rate because they now have a faster process. They’re all well-paid for their “faith”, Prots and Cats both, but by their actions they show their loyalties.

    Guess what, I have HIGHER standards for professional theologians than laymen. It makes me sick that I know Christianity better than nearly all the pastors holding PhDs. I didn’t even try to be better than them. I just cared about God and didn’t confuse Him with the Greek alphabet. No, I will not be considerate about professional, experienced priests who are LESS obedient to Christ than me the nobody in the pews.

  69. Anonymous Reader says:

    Some of this is the old “is” vs. “ought” issue. Roman Catholic doctrine says “ought”, practice says a different “is”. Micha has long tended to hold up the “ought” as reality, as the “is”. Another way to look at it: actions vs. words. Pretty words often wind up as pretty lies. Actions speak louder.

    Ignore what they say, watch what they do – applies to a wider set of people than just “some girls”.

  70. Derek Ramsey says:

    @Dalrock

    Are you saying that all of Christianity is under siege* and will soon surrender?

    The LMC broke off from the MCUSA in 2015 (“official” in 2018). The LMC is an excellent example of a denomination with consistent doctrine and practice regarding divorce over hundreds of years. How you can say it is under siege when (1) the marriage and divorce statistics are superior to other denominations and to the culture at large; and (2) it severed itself from the outside cancer that threatened it? It would be silly to say of the LMC “If you can’t feel the current, you have already been swept away.”

    I’m not denying that feminism exists or that the culture isn’t a huge threat. It obviously is. But what’s the point in denying the successes? They should be emulated, not diminished. Imagine if the RCC took a strong universal stance against all divorce (including civil divorce). That’s the way you break the siege and win the culture war.

    * The word siege implies an impending or inescapable risk of surrender. If you mean something by this word other than the straight dictionary definition, please clarify.

  71. Boxer says:

    “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man who acts with arrogant pride (Proverbs 21:24)

    I wish it was my place to assume the title. I’d like to be able to hold up my own people as an example of a good patriarchal contrast to the Catholics. Unfortunately, we do the exact same thing that they do (though we do have the dignity of not lying to ourselves about the nature of divorces).

  72. djz242013 says:

    Gunner Q accuses priest of pride. “priests who pride themselves on a low divorce rate”

    It makes me sick that I know Christianity better than nearly all the pastors holding PhDs. I didn’t even try to be better than them.

    also Gunner Q.

  73. David says:

    Derek Meyer,

    Are you saying that all of Christianity is under siege* and will soon surrender?

    Jesus Christ.

    Most churches think nothing has changed in man-woman relations since 1965. That is why they ludicrously claim that they have successfully resisted feminism, when in fact they have swallowed about 99% of it. For example, women expressing no interest in marriage until age 35, and after 20 sexual partners, is something most Churchian losers see as normal, and the fault of men.

    There is no limit to their cowardice in terms of avoiding holding women accountable. Dalrock has proven that there are extremely few, if any, US churches that still follow Biblical rules on marriage.

  74. You might find this Lutheran satire video on the difference between devout Catholic laity and faithless clerics apropos: The Two Faces of Rome: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feHTWSl4GJI

    Mother Kirk is a wise and beautiful woman who is ill-served by some of her sons.

  75. Jeff Strand says:

    The mistake being made here is to equate the RCC of the ages (from St. Peter to Pius XII) with the apostate Vatican II Sect. They are not the same religion. And Jorge Bergoglio is certainly not a valid pope; he’s not even a Catholic!

  76. Derek Ramsey says:

    @David

    Your assertion is easily disproved. In Lancaster, 59%/73% of all marriages are to women under the age of 30/35 compared to 48%/67% for the rest of the state. Current statistics on Mennonites are hard to come by, but in the 80’s and 90’s the statistics for Mennonites were quite the contrast with the rest of America. The average marriage age was almost 3 full years (!) lower than the national average. The divorce rate was less than half the national rate. So was percentage of those who had premartial sex. There is good reason to assume that these statistics have deteriorated absolutely (see below), but not necessarily relatively.

    Can you imagine being unable to find any divorcees at a decently sized church?

    Nobody said that nothing has changed in man-woman relations. Of course they have deteriorated over time and that is reflected across all statistical measures. A sinking tide lowers all boats. No, the real question is, what more could these churches possibly do to combat the cultural transition than they have already been doing?.

    Why this hostility towards churches that take marriage seriously? I fail to see any benefit in that approach. Successfully supporting and promoting biblical marriage does not mean that the church has its head in the sand regarding the wider culture, which is what seems to be implied here.

    Sources: http://www.statistics.health.pa.gov/HealthStatistics/VitalStatistics/MarriageDivorce/Documents/Marriage_Divorce_2016.pdf
    http://family.jrank.org/pages/82/Anabaptists-Amish-Mennonite-Mennonite-Families.html

  77. Oscar says:

    The fish rots from the head down.

    “I don’t know if His Holiness ever gets into street clothes and leaves his impressively walled city-statelet to wander the streets of Rome, but, if he did, he would see, in Italy as in France as in Spain as in Germany, that Christendom is dying on his watch. In 2016 I attended (as the Pope did not) the funeral in Rouen Cathedral of Père Hamel, the eighty-five-year-old Catholic priest whose throat was slit during Mass by two Muslim men. The service, for all its protestations of unity and forgiveness, chilled me: I felt mostly the absence of faith, or at most its exhausted remnants. Père Hamel had shared, enthusiastically, his Holy Father’s illusions: In Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, he had given land next to his church to the local Muslim community to build a mosque. So no ‘closed’ heart there. And he was repaid for his generosity with ritual decapitation.” ~ Mark Steyn

    https://www.steynonline.com/8365/virtue-signaling-while-rome-burns

  78. Anon says:

    Derek Ramsey,

    Why this hostility towards churches that take marriage seriously? I fail to see any benefit in that approach. Successfully supporting and promoting biblical marriage does not mean that the church has its head in the sand regarding the wider culture, which is what seems to be implied here.

    There is no such hostility here.

    Rather, the point (which you are apparently missing) is that churches that THINK they take marriage seriously still have adopted huge ‘feminist’ assumptions.

    A church where women marry no later than 22, as virgins, and that has a 5% divorce rate, is a church that takes marriage seriously. Among other things, they have to preach male headship.

  79. BillyS says:

    Novaseeker,

    How would the Orthodox church handle my situation where my wife abandoned me for “reasons”? She claims some things, but those claims were only to get spiritual cover to move out (and to then divorce, justifying it in her own mind), nothing documented by any authority.

    I had understood I am condemned to stay single per their doctrine (a practice some here would recommend ironically), but I am curious what the direct view is. I don’t have any significant sin to repent of to be allowed to be remarried from what I read in your post above.

  80. Isa says:

    Regarding a bishop granting annulments, it can be any number of acting bishops etc. who actually do it. My bishop was in palliative care due to stage 4 cancer for 10 years prior to his death, so I rather suspect he outsourced most of it.

    And again, most of the current bishops recieved truly insane education in the seminaries from the late 60s to 80s, but luckily the seminaries seem to be on a better path now. Most recent graduates I have met are solid, so in 20-30 years the bishops ought to be more solid in the west. Africa and Asia are solid in general, but Latin America got a good dose of liberation theology so no luck there outside of the Neocathecuminal way.

  81. MarcusD says:

    @Novaseeker

    Yeah that’s had to know. There are cultures which are pretty patriarchal but are more tolerant of male-to-female transgenders than they are of male homosexuality — in some of them, the more passive male homosexuals are strongly encouraged (or practically forced) to become transgenders, due to the idea that being a “receptive” male homosexual is inconsistent with being male, therefore they should be feminized. Iran comes to mind here, but to a certain degree this is also the case in places like Thailand and Brazil, both of which have, as a result, a LOT more male to female transgenders than virtually anywhere else on the planet, but which are still basically patriarchal societies.

    I agree that there are exceptions, particularly based on what is considered “patriarchal” and “masculine” (etc) in a particular culture. A related example that comes to mind (FtM) is that of Albanian sworn virgins. I do wonder if the variation in benefits that being female accrues or entails has some effect on the acceptability of MtF.

  82. Anonymous Reader says:

    Most recent graduates I have met are solid, so in 20-30 years the bishops ought to be more solid in the west.

    I’m sure that will be a great comfort to those Roman Catholic American men whose wives frivorced them in the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and 10’s, took that state piece of paper bishop-shopping to buy an annullment, also taking their children away and even remarrying. Yes. A great comfort to those men, for sure. What could possibly be better?

  83. Isa says:

    @Anonymous Reader

    Institutions go through cycles amd phases. Now is a rebuilding phase after severe destruction (the depths of degeneracy in the diocesan seminaries is shocking), and frankly knowing why this phase is currently bad and that it is improving *is* of comfort to the faithful. Would you rather have no improvement nor righting of the ship?

    “Goodbye Good Men” has more extensive treatment of the causes and implications of the seminary issue, and would be of benefit for you to read.

    And no, you cannot go Bishop shopping as you must file in your diocese where you have registered as a parishioner. The chancellery has various auxilliary bishops, but they do not have the same power as the appointed bishop *unless* one is appointed to serve in times of duress (illness etc). Parishes also have geographical boundaries, so you generally cannot go parish shopping either.

  84. feeriker says:

    A church where women marry no later than 22, as virgins, and that has a 5% divorce rate, is a church that takes marriage seriously. Among other things, they have to preach male headship.

    You can also count on such a church being on the receiving end of ceaseless attacks from people who, in their own hearts and minds, are “true Christians.” Refer to my earlier comments about “the Great National Religion” and its missionto seek out and destroy those who seek to fight against the prevailing secular culture by being true to the tenets of their faith (ALL prominent American Protestant leaders, as well as the American Catholic Archbishops, are part of this movement. Anti-pope Bergoglio is a practicioner-leader of it on a global scale).

  85. Novaseeker says:

    How would the Orthodox church handle my situation where my wife abandoned me for “reasons”? She claims some things, but those claims were only to get spiritual cover to move out (and to then divorce, justifying it in her own mind), nothing documented by any authority.

    I had understood I am condemned to stay single per their doctrine (a practice some here would recommend ironically), but I am curious what the direct view is. I don’t have any significant sin to repent of to be allowed to be remarried from what I read in your post above.

    Hi Billy —

    Orthodoxy views any divorce as a sin itself that requires repentance — regardless of the circumstances. A separation may be warranted in abuse situations, but a divorce is always a serious sin, regardless of what you did, or didn’t do, in the marriage.

    In terms of permission to remarry, your case would likely be granted an ekonomia to remarry. Everyone knows that accusations are wildly thrown around in divorces, that isn’t what the church is looking for. They’re looking for people who have mental illnesses or addictions that make the likelihood of a feasible second marriage low, or people who have obvious track records of abuse (documented, like you were arrested and charged), or if you were trying to marry your mistress or things like that. In judging whether to grant the ekonomia to remarry, the church (in most cases the bishop) is typically trying to weigh whether it would be more spiritually beneficial to you (and your prospective spouse) to permit the marriage rather than not to permit it.

  86. Novaseeker says:

    I agree that there are exceptions, particularly based on what is considered “patriarchal” and “masculine” (etc) in a particular culture. A related example that comes to mind (FtM) is that of Albanian sworn virgins. I do wonder if the variation in benefits that being female accrues or entails has some effect on the acceptability of MtF.

    It’s possible. Something strange is indeed going on, and it does seem like in some places there are obvious cultural norms or pressures which generate a lot more transgenderism than in other places.

    I will say this, though. It seems to be on the rise in the West (among both men and, much more recently, young women and girls). This seems likely due to various factors, including, for men, the relatively increased social power of women and in particular the vast difference in sexual power and “pull” as between young women and most young men (in a culture which revolves around sex as much as the current West, this is no small thing) and, for women, a mirroring desire, by some, to “opt out” of that hypersexualized culture because they do not fit into it and, for both young men and young women, the lionization of transgender people in general in the culture in the last 5 years or so (it’s very much the koolkids fotm type of thing among the young).

  87. tkatchev says:

    How would the Orthodox church handle my situation where my wife abandoned me for “reasons”? She claims some things, but those claims were only to get spiritual cover to move out (and to then divorce, justifying it in her own mind), nothing documented by any authority.

    According to the Russian Orthodox Church, these are the valid reasons for a second marriage:

    * Adultery committed by the spouse.
    * “Unnatural perversions”. (Meaning homosexuality.)
    * “Inability to participate in conjugal life”, especially “as a result of purposeful self-harm”. (Transgenderism, basically.)
    * Leprosy, syphilis or AIDS.
    * Prison sentence.
    * Attempted murder or spouse or child.
    * Prostitution.
    * An incurable mental illness.
    * Chronic alcoholism or drug addiction.
    * Abortion committed by the wife against husband’s objections.

  88. SkylerWurden says:

    This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read period and easily rhe dumbest thing Dalrock has ever written.

    1.2 billion Catholics worldwide. In 2007 there were 58,322 annulments, worldwide.

    Round that up to 60 thousand.

    60 thousand is .00005% of 1.2 billion.

    So the scourge of ‘Catholic divorce’ currently affects .00005% of worldwide Catholics yearly. It’s an epidemic! A terrible tidal wave sweeping across Catholicism! Look at those numbers and weep in despair!

    Seriously, this is retarded.

  89. SkylerWurden says:

    Keep in mind that the argiment here was not that Catholics get divorced. They do. Practicing Catholics have a significantly lower divorce rate than the national average, but way too high. Absolutely, no question.

    The argument put forward by Dalroxk was that annulments are divorce by another name, and that the annulments are theologically comparable to divorce. They aren’t but lets take that at face value.

    So the Catholic Church apparently “authorized” the “divorces” of less than .01% of the total married couples in the Church. Tell me? Is there a mainstream Protestant denomination you want to point me too that has comparable divorce numbers?

    Now, someome will obviously whine that the vast majority of those annulments came from the US and that if we take only US marriages, the “divorce” (annulment) rate would actually be closer to 1%-5% of the total.

    Bad numbers, definitely. But not really the “revolution” Dalrock casts it as.

  90. SkylerWurden says:

    Correction: Taking only US marriages and US annulments, the ‘Catholic divorce rate is ~10%

    The numbers (gleaned from a quick study may not be totally accurate) are

    An average of about 290,000 US Catholic marriages a year since 1969

    An average of about 30,000 annulments per year since 1968 (this number is a ROUGH estimate).

    So at least in the US, which has 6% of the Catholic population, the ‘Catholic divorce’ rate is ~10%. Absurdly high, to be sure. Though annulment rates are falling, they are falling slowly. Definitely an issue to watch out for.

    For reference (all numbers US):
    US Non-denomination divorce rate: 34%
    Southern Baptist divorce rate: 29%
    Episcopal: 28%
    Pentacostal: 28%
    Methodist: 26%
    Presbyterian: 23%
    Lutheran: 21%

  91. Jeff Strand says:

    Skyler: “60 thousand is .00005% of 1.2 billion.”

    You’re off by a factor of a hundred, using your own numbers. It’s actually .005%.

    Maf is hard.

  92. feministhater says:

    So the scourge of ‘Catholic divorce’ currently affects .00005% of worldwide Catholics yearly. It’s an epidemic! A terrible tidal wave sweeping across Catholicism! Look at those numbers and weep in despair!

    Seriously, this is retarded.

    So at least in the US, which has 6% of the Catholic population, the ‘Catholic divorce’ rate is ~10%. Absurdly high, to be sure. Though annulment rates are falling, they are falling slowly. Definitely an issue to watch out for.

    Amazing the change in just two postings?? Are you going to walk back your previous statements or just pretend that it isn’t a ‘creeping’ problem for Catholics? Furthermore, the reason Catholic Annulments are down from over 70000 in the 1990s in America is because of far fewer marriages. The same reason why divorce is down in every other Christian denomination.

    So yea, infinitesimally retarded shit.

  93. SkylerWurden says:

    @Jeff

    Lol it’s 7 am and ive been up all day. Forgot to move the decimal back. Mea culpa.

    I guess that’s a serious problem though. That changes the game. 0.005% of Catholics are suffering the scourge of Catholic “divorce”

  94. SkylerWurden says:

    @feministhater

    Well, Catholicism is a worldwide religion, so hyperfocusing on the US you can’t really call it a “Catholic problem” as much as a “United States” problem.

    Furthermore, the reason Catholic Annulments are down from over 70000 in the 1990s in America is because of far fewer marriages. The same reason why divorce is down in every other Christian denomination.

    Well, actually, the peak rate for annulments GRANTED (not requested) in America was 63,000 in 1991. So not over 70,000 ever, much less “for the 90s”

    And since the annulment rate is a little over 1/3 since then: ~18000 (2014).

    The marriage rate since 91 has halved. So the rate is going down. Slowly, yes, but it is falling. I said it was slow.

    Yes, it is definitely retarded.

    Also, another correction!!!!

    Catholic “divorce” (Annulment) rate is actually closer to 7%

  95. feministhater says:

    Sorry, it was 72000 introduced not granted but was still higher then than now and really all due to reduced pool of Catholics getting married. not a restricting on granting them. It used to be 400 or less back before the 1960s when marriage was booming but you guys have everything sorted out, your smugness is well earned. Have a cookie!

  96. SkylerWurden says:

    Oh God, my math is terrible tonight.

    Annulment rate has actually a little UNDER 1/3 of 1991 rates. Marriage rates have halved since then. I’m not even going to try to figure out how much that means the annulment rate has fallen when compared to marriage rate, but it is falling faster.

    Seriously though, I’m very worried about the creeping problem of annulments which affect less than 1% of Catholic marriages worldwide.

    If you wanted to make a point that Catholics suffer from divorce just like everyone else, cool. I agree. If you want to make the point that the Church is secretly allowing Catholic “divorce” en masse then yeah, that’s dumb.

  97. feministhater says:

    If you wanted to make a point that Catholics suffer from divorce just like everyone else, cool. I agree. If you want to make the point that the Church is secretly allowing Catholic “divorce” en masse then yeah, that’s dumb.

    Agreed.

  98. Dalrock says:

    @SkylerWerden

    This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read period and easily rhe dumbest thing Dalrock has ever written.

    1.2 billion Catholics worldwide. In 2007 there were 58,322 annulments, worldwide.

    Round that up to 60 thousand.

    60 thousand is .00005% of 1.2 billion.

    So the scourge of ‘Catholic divorce’ currently affects .00005% of worldwide Catholics yearly. It’s an epidemic! A terrible tidal wave sweeping across Catholicism! Look at those numbers and weep in despair!

    Seriously, this is retarded.

    Forgot to move the decimal back. Mea culpa.

    I guess that’s a serious problem though. That changes the game. 0.005% of Catholics are suffering the scourge of Catholic “divorce”

    There are three problems with this smugness.

    1) The point I was making was that RCC leaders are teaching that the church was wrong about [don’t say] divorce for 2,000 years. Then along came the 1960s and the church learned that it needed to officially dissolve 70 fold more marriages than it did before the enlightenment of the 1960s. Be as smug as you like. This is a catastrophe.
    2) The RCC responded to the no fault divorce revolution by teaching that marriages aren’t permanent unless you think they are. Being cute with language hasn’t confused the laity. They get it.
    3) The RCC teaches that annulments merely are a formal recognition that the marriage never was binding. They aren’t “granting” an annulment, they are merely declaring what was always true. Coincidentally, nearly every divorcée regardless of faith already believes this. Getting an annulment is merely a formality. As others have pointed out up thread, divorced Catholics can simply marry again outside the RCC. The RCC hasn’t just destabilized the marriages of 0.005% of Catholics. It has destabilized the marriages of all Catholics. This is an incredible achievement, but not one I’d brag about.

  99. SkylerWurden says:

    but you guys have everything sorted out, your smugness is well earned. Have a cookie!

    Well, that’s the interesting thing. Should we be smug about divorce rates?

    No. 21% of Catholics get divorced.

    Should we be smug about our Church opposing divorce doctrinally and largely in practice? Ehhh, maybe not smug, but definitely happy. Even granting the radical misconception (bad theology) of annulments, it still isn’t some massive problem.

    Basically if US Catholics just followed Church law, they’d have less than 10% “divorce” rate.

  100. SkylerWurden says:

    The RCC teaches that annulments merely are a formal recognition that the marriage never was binding. They aren’t “granting” an annulment, they are merely declaring what was always true. Coincidentally, nearly every divorcée regardless of faith already believes this. Getting an annulment is merely a formality.

    That’s just poor theological understanding. The marriage is assumed valid until “proven” otherwise. The divorcee can say they don’t think marriage is permanent all they want now, what matters is what they thought about it on the day of their marriage. If a person never intended to keep the vow, then God didn’t consecrated the vow. That seems pretty simple and straightforward to me. That doesn’t destroy the Catholic marriage or add instability, it just recognizes the destruction that already occurred: if people treat marriage like a 7-year shack-up then God isn’t going to call it marriage and neither is the Church. Nor should they.

    I’ll grant that way too many annulments are being declared. But even granting that, we’re talking about sometjing that affects relatively few Catholic marriages in a problem that is heavily localized in a country that has 6% of the worlds Catholics. If anything, this is a USCCB issue.

    Anyway, I agree that if someone is “smug” about divorce as a Catholic, they are dumb.

  101. Dalrock says:

    @Derek Ramsey

    Are you saying that all of Christianity is under siege* and will soon surrender?

    * The word siege implies an impending or inescapable risk of surrender. If you mean something by this word other than the straight dictionary definition, please clarify.

    My understanding of the meaning of the word is different than yours. I’m not sure what dictionary you are referring to, but this one is in line with my own understanding of the term (although I wasn’t aware of definitions 5-7): http://www.dictionary.com/browse/siege

    But to answer, no, I don’t think there is any reason to fear that all of Christianity will surrender. Christ won’t, and can’t fail.

    The LMC broke off from the MCUSA in 2015 (“official” in 2018). The LMC is an excellent example of a denomination with consistent doctrine and practice regarding divorce over hundreds of years. How you can say it is under siege when (1) the marriage and divorce statistics are superior to other denominations and to the culture at large; and (2) it severed itself from the outside cancer that threatened it? It would be silly to say of the LMC “If you can’t feel the current, you have already been swept away.”

    I’m not denying that feminism exists or that the culture isn’t a huge threat. It obviously is. But what’s the point in denying the successes? They should be emulated, not diminished. Imagine if the RCC took a strong universal stance against all divorce (including civil divorce). That’s the way you break the siege and win the culture war.

    I’m not sure what you are objecting to. I don’t see Mennonites as part of modern Christian culture. Perhaps I’m wrong there. But from what you have described, the Mennonites who have resisted the cultural onslaught have done so by not denying that the onslaught was happening in the first place. This is the point of the OP. Feminism (and the larger SJWism) has spread with the assistance of conservatives who are not just clueless, but militantly clueless. If someone points out the culture war, they say “lighten up Francis” or accuse you of not understanding what is really going on in the larger culture (you must not get out much!). So feminism and gay marriage and gender bending complete their long march through the institutions, while conservatives stand watch to make sure no one notices.

    GK Chesterton famously wrote:

    The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.

    This is true. But there is an earlier stage he didn’t mention, the stage where the Progressives are very publicly making the mistakes, and the Conservatives are telling everyone to lighten up, nothing is happening.

  102. Pingback: Militantly clueless | Dalrock

  103. Opus says:

    The only grounds that I can think of whereby a marriage should be regarded as void ab initio and for which an annulment might be obtained are:

    1. If either or both parties are not of full age (i.e. not yet sixteen)
    2. Either party is already validly married and without being divorced.
    3. Either party was not sufficiently compos mentis (i.e. subnormal – and not just high).
    4, The parties are within too close a consanguinity (e.g. Mother and Son)
    5. One or both parties are not Human
    6. One or other party is marrying under duress
    7. There is no second party

    I can think of various other grounds which I might like to be a sufficient ground:

    1. Both parties are of the same sex*
    2. The parties are not of the same religion
    3. The parties are not of the same race or even tribe
    4. The parties are not of the same nationality

    In my extra special wish-list of grounds

    1. The woman had an N higher then 0 and had failed to disclose the same
    2. One of the parties was married previously and has failed to disclose the same
    3. One or other party was infertile and knowing this had failed to disclose the same
    4. One of the parties was suffering from an infectious STD and failed to disclose.
    5. One or other parties has children living or dead which have not been disclosed
    6. The man had mislead and materially the other party as to his wealth or social position
    7. Either party had failed to take legal advice

    There then are other grounds which whilst not making the marriage void ab initio are nevertheless grounds for annulment post facto:

    1. One of the parties refuses and without reasonable cause to consummate the marriage
    2. I forget but there are I think some others

    That’s it: my Father always asserted that he was not legally married because the bans had been defective in some way much to my mother’s distress.

    * This used to be in the first list

  104. Anonymous Reder says:

    Isa
    frankly knowing why this phase is currently bad and that it is improving *is* of comfort to the faithful.

    How many frivorced men do you personally know, in the sense of “have spent time listening to them”? Based on your smugness I would hazard the guess of “none”.

    Would you rather have no improvement nor righting of the ship?

    I would rather not be trolled for flames in such a clumsy manner, if it is all the same to you.

    And no, you cannot go Bishop shopping as you must file in your diocese where you have registered as a parishioner.

    There’s that “ought” vs. “is” again. Your lack of imagination and ignorance of the real world is not my problem.

    Great comments, Isa, you are illustrating Dalrock’s original point very well.

  105. PokeSalad says:

    * The word siege implies an impending or inescapable risk of surrender. If you mean something by this word other than the straight dictionary definition, please clarify.

    I’ve checked four “straight dictionary definitions,” and not one even had the word “surrender” mentioned. Apparently this meaning is only implied by yourself.

  106. Derek Ramsey says:

    @PokeSalad – Apparently this meaning is only implied by yourself.

    Yeah, apparently. Nice of Dalrock to explain himself in spite of my inept reading comprehension skills.

  107. JDG says:

    The only grounds that I can think of whereby a marriage should be regarded as void ab initio and for which an annulment might be obtained are:

    1. If either or both parties are not of full age (i.e. not yet sixteen)
    2. Either party is already validly married and without being divorced.
    3. Either party was not sufficiently compos mentis (i.e. subnormal – and not just high).
    4, The parties are within too close a consanguinity (e.g. Mother and Son)
    5. One or both parties are not Human
    6. One or other party is marrying under duress
    7. There is no second party

    I can think of various other grounds which I might like to be a sufficient ground:

    1. Both parties are of the same sex*

    Parties of the same sex are not married regardless of what governments, lunatics, or other misguided folks say about it. You have to be of the opposite sex or what you have is something other than a marriage. Marriage requires a man and a woman. So how can a “church” annul a something that was never a marriage? And why do these apostate churches bother calling themselves churches when they follow nothing but they’re own imaginations and the doctrines of demons?

    7. There is no second party

    Like the woman who thinks she’s married to her dog? Then there’s the one who thinks she’s married to a bridge. Wait, I just remembered the one who thinks she married herself.

  108. BillyS says:

    I think I understand Novaseeker. I was reading it to say people who were bad in the past, but reformed now, were the only ones who could be remarried.

    Though what would be the sin in having a spouse file for divorce? Would it be the fact that I signed the paperwork and participated in the negotiated settlement? I certainly sought restoration the entire way.

    I am just curious still. It is fairly academic for me, since I would be more likely to return to my RCC roots (unlikely) than convert to the Orthodox Church. Thanks for the reply!

  109. Jeff Strand says:

    Dalrock: “The point I was making was that RCC leaders are teaching that the church was wrong about [don’t say] divorce for 2,000 year”

    Exactly so. But the problem is much bigger – the Vatican II Sect says the Church was wrong about many things, not just divorce. Things that are core doctrines, like justification, ecumenism, the doctrine of Christus Rex, etc.

    But if the Church can err, then it is not the true church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ. Ergo, today’s Roman Catholic Church (aka FrancisChurch) is not the True Religion.

    Either the Catholic Church was never the True Religion, or it was and still is…but it’s separate from the heretical Vatican II Sect. This is a simple matter of logic, and faith does not come into it.

    The True Religion (the Roman Catholic Church from St. Peter to Pius XII) went underground as the abomination of the Vatican II Sect rose up in the world, claiming to be the RCC when it was not. The real RCC survives underground, just as the Faith was once confined to the catacombs underneath Rome.

    So as a (real, believing) Catholic, I could care less what “Pope” Francis or his “bishops” say. About as much as I care what the Ayatollah says. Neither are Catholic.

  110. thedeti says:

    Skyler:

    The problem with the number of annulments in the RCC, at least to me, is the attitude it creates among rank and file Catholics and among Christians in general, toward marriage. It encourages everyone to take marriage much less seriously.

  111. Novaseeker says:

    Though what would be the sin in having a spouse file for divorce? Would it be the fact that I signed the paperwork and participated in the negotiated settlement? I certainly sought restoration the entire way.

    It’s still considered a divorce, though. It’s understood that it was against your will, but the sin of divorce is viewed more holistically in terms of both parties being somewhat responsible for the breakdown, even if not equally responsible for the actual decision to divorce.

  112. BillyS says:

    Jeff,

    You are killing the “the pope is Catholic” joke….

  113. Opus says:

    Vatican II

    I once read its chapter on Church music. Couldn’t understand a word though I gathered that (following the Council of Trent) it would not forbid Palestrina.

  114. earl says:

    So as a (real, believing) Catholic, I could care less what “Pope” Francis or his “bishops” say. About as much as I care what the Ayatollah says. Neither are Catholic.

    But we still don’t know who your pope or his bishops are so we can point out their foibles and say they aren’t as Catholic either.

  115. Derek Ramsey says:

    This article (Bruce Charlton @ the Albion Awakening blog “The covert decline of even apparently-growing Christian churches“) just popped up on my feed. It’s right on this topic. To quote:

    “In general these serious Christians are doubling-down on traditionalism in response to liberalism and apostasy – however, the best that can be said for this as a strategy is that it is less of a failure than liberalisation… It is not actually succeeding.”

    @Dalrock – I’m not sure what you are objecting to.

    This type of fatalism is pretty much the notion that I was objecting to in my comments, but even the Mennonites I highlighted are not winning the war. At best they are just less of a failure than most others. They are still losing members. I’m not sure my objection is anything more than my wishful thinking in light of the evidence.

    Christ won’t, and can’t fail.

    Yes, but what will be left of the church? Is it time to do as Bruce Charlton suggests and develop new kinds of institutions or to take Christianity individual?

  116. Jeff Strand says:

    Earl: “But we still don’t know who your pope or his bishops are so we can point out their foibles and say they aren’t as Catholic either.”

    True. If there is a pope, he’s hidden from us. That’s why it’s called sedevacantism, meaning literally “the seat (of Peter) is empty”.

    But to repeat, it is a certainty that Bergoglio is not the pope. As a public heretic, he is not even a Catholic (per Canon Law, not to mention common sense). Therefore, to claim Bergoglio is pope is to claim that a non-Catholic can be a valid pope. And that’s an absurdity.

    P.S. What “foibles” can you point out in the teachings of the True Church, prior to the Great Apostasy of Vatican II? Be specific please. Because I can list you plenty of heresies the Vatican II Sect has taught in just the past half century…but strangely enough, there were NO heresies taught in the actual RCC of the prior 19 centuries. Is this telling us something?

    All them with ears to hear, let them hear.

  117. Anon says:

    I dare say that Pastor Sensing has a complete lack of genuine faith.

    He has not overtly whiteknighted for women yet, but I am certain that he would if given the slightest opportunity.

  118. earl says:

    True. If there is a pope, he’s hidden from us. That’s why it’s called sedevacantism, meaning literally “the seat (of Peter) is empty”.

    But to repeat, it is a certainty that Bergoglio is not the pope. As a public heretic, he is not even a Catholic (per Canon Law, not to mention common sense). Therefore, to claim Bergoglio is pope is to claim that a non-Catholic can be a valid pope. And that’s an absurdity.

    A certainty to whom? Jeff Strand? Sedes?

    I’m not a fan of Pope Francis…but I don’t have any judgement or authority to say with ‘certainty’ he’s a heretic.

    I will wait for Catholic church authority to make that proclamation. Do you have that?

    So again I say…who is your pope and why is he hiding if the ‘heretic’ keeps destroying the church?

  119. Jeff Strand says:

    “A certainty to whom? Jeff Strand? Sedes?”

    A certainly because Bergoglio teaches dogmas, on matters of faith and morals, that are directly contradictory to the established teaching of Holy Mother Church.

    For example, Bergoglio teaches explicitly that all Jews will be saved. They will be saved as Jews, while they continue to deny Our Lord Jesus Christ, because the Old Covenant “has not been revoked.”

    The pre-Vatican II RCC always taught explicitly that all those outside the Church will be lost. The Council of Florence, in a formal statement that contains infallibility, stated that “all those outside the Catholic Church, not only the pagans but also Jews, heretics, and schismatics, are not in the least fit for eternal life and can have no share of the Kingdom to come unless, before their death, they are joined to Holy Morher Church.”

    So are Jews saved or not? As a real Catholic, I can say no..and mean it to a certainty. For you, as an adherent of the apostate Vatican II Sect, you must answer that before 1965 all Jews were damned, but since Vatican II they are all now saved. As apparently God has changed His mind.

    If you want to claim absurdities like that as your own, knock yourself out.

    So, yes, I can know to a certainty that a non-Catholic like Bergoglio can never be a valid pope. If you knew the religion you claim to espouse, you would see this immediately.

  120. earl says:

    A certainly because Bergoglio teaches dogmas, on matters of faith and morals, that are directly contradictory to the established teaching of Holy Mother Church.

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/new-vatican-document-on-jews-salvation-and-evangelization

    ‘The text is not a magisterial document or doctrinal teaching of the Catholic Church, but is a reflection prepared by the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews on current theological questions that have developed since the Second Vatican Council.

    It therefore does not carry magisterial authority. Of course, when it repeats existing magisterial teaching, that is authoritative.

    When it doesn’t, it offers insights into the Holy See’s current thinking. That includes the thinking of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was involved in the drafting of the document and approved it before publication (as made clear at he press conference where the document was released).’

    It has no authority or dogma in the RCC. It’s Francis spinning ideas in his head. Get back to me when it’s official dogma. The type of stuff your hidden pope could do.

  121. JDG says:

    Earl and Jeff, according to the teachings that you believe, who is the head of the Church?

  122. JDG says:

    Earl me too. Jeff how about you?

  123. Jeff Strand says:

    Earl: “It has no authority or dogma in the RCC. It’s Francis spinning ideas in his head. Get back to me when it’s official dogma. The type of stuff your hidden pope could do.”

    I’ve heard this before, it’s just wrong. It says we can ignore everything the pope teaches except when he speaks “ex cathedral”. Which has happened exactly twice in the last couple of centuries – the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception in the mid-1800’s, and the proclamation of the Assumption about a century later.

    So other than those two occasions, the popes taught nothing which is binding on the faithful? Why do they even publish encyclicals and such, if it is all completely ignorable? But anyway, the question has already been answered by Church teaching, which says we must adhere to papal teaching in all matters of faith and morals, when the pope is speaking as the head of the Church, and not just a private theologian. And Bergoglio was speaking in his papal capacity as head of the Church when he clarified that all Jews go to Heaven, which he said was “certain”.

    So we have a “pope” who teaches heresy. My response, fully consist with Tradition, is to state clearly that such a public heretic CANNOT be pope. Your response is the typical “recognize and resist” bit, often advocated by tradcons. Whereby you set yourself up as a judge over papal teachings. If you approve of his teachings, you accept them. If you don’t approve of them, you reject them. So you reserve to yourself the right to decide doctrine. You are a Protestant, pure and simple.

    I am not, because I state that I would readily submit to the pope’s teachings in faith and morals, without hesitation (as my Faith requires), IF ONLY WE HAD A POPE. Since there is no pope living (or if so, he is hidden), I have no pope submit to.

    We either have no pope, or we have a pope (Bergoglio) who publicly teaches heresy. It’s one or the other. Yet we know it’s impossible for a valid pope to teach heresy (which would mean he’s a non-Catholic). On the other hand, it is NOT impossible that the seat of Peter be vacant for an extended period of time. There is even precedent.

  124. Derek Ramsey says:

    @anon – “I dare say that Pastor Sensing has a complete lack of genuine faith.

    Well, who doesn’t? He must be a pastorbator of the greatest manginatude!

    “A church where women marry no later than 22, as virgins, and that has a 5% divorce rate, is a church that takes marriage seriously. Among other things, they have to preach male headship.

    People can be wrong without being the devil: all of sinned and fallen short and all that. To add to my previous point, it’s obvious that pretty much all churches are failing to combat the culture war. Some do better than others, but they all just, as earl put it, “try to slow down the car going over the cliff.”. You’re suggestion is to just double-down even harder on traditionalist views until you get a church that is essentially perfect (doesn’t exist, never has) or completely culturally isolationist (i.e. the Amish).

    The Mennonites, for all their success, have flaws. Success apparently isn’t enough, it has to match whatever view you have of the perfect church or it doesn’t count. Do you think that cleaning up the other doctrinal problems in these churches is going to solve the cultural problems? The point of diminishing returns has been reached.

    Fixing churches won’t stop the bleeding because the culture is still corrupt. Fixing churches may even accelerate the losses. Perhaps the best plan is just to accept the losses. Let them go. Christianity will be diminished, but it will never be destroyed. Start with a new foundation, whatever that may be.

  125. earl says:

    ‘I’ve heard this before, it’s just wrong. It says we can ignore everything the pope teaches except when he speaks “ex cathedral”.’

    Then you better read up more on papal infallibility.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_infallibility

    A doctrine proposed by a pope as his own opinion, not solemnly proclaimed as a doctrine of the Church, may be rejected as false, even if it is on a matter of faith and morals, and even more any view he expresses on other matters. A well-known example of a personal opinion on a matter of faith and morals that was taught by a pope but rejected by the Church is the view that Pope John XXII expressed on when the dead can reach the beatific vision.

    So was Pope John XXII a heretic too? Maybe we haven’t had a pope since Peter.

  126. Anon says:

    Derek Ramsey,

    @anon – “I dare say that Pastor Sensing has a complete lack of genuine faith.”

    Well, who doesn’t? He must be a pastorbator of the greatest manginatude!

    I have not yet called Pastor Sensing a pastorbator. But I have said that he has a complete lack of genuine faith.

  127. earl says:

    On the other hand, it is NOT impossible that the seat of Peter be vacant for an extended period of time. There is even precedent.

    The only precedent is death of a pope…and even then the longest time was 3 years between elections. Not one pope being on the throne and a group of people saying there is no pope.

  128. Jeff Strand says:

    Earl,

    You’re never gonna convince me. Not in a million years.

    You go ahead and acknowledge the public heretic Jorge Bergoglio as the Vicar of Christ on Earth. And the apostate Vatican II Sect as the Holy Catholic Church.

    Good luck with that. You’ll need it.

  129. earl says:

    You go ahead and acknowledge the public heretic Jorge Bergoglio as the Vicar of Christ on Earth.

    It’s not just me…it’s the Roman Catholic Church. If you disagree…there’s plenty of other church options out there who don’t subscribe to papal authority.

  130. Jeff Strand says:

    It’s not papal authority I have a problem with. It’s that you are asserting that a non-Catholic like Bergoglio can be a valid pope. (Canon Law and long-standing Church teaching is very clear that a public, obstinate heretic is not to be considered a Catholic) And that’s an absurdity.

    But go ahead and keep your head stuck in the sand. It’s not for me. I’ll stick to the actual Catholic Faith, as was universally taught for 19 centuries. The apostate Vatican II Sect can go straight to Hell…which is where it originated anyway.

    Go ahead and have the last word (I know you will anyway). Knock yourself out.

  131. Opus says:

    The above argument looks rather similar to the Birthers doubting of B.H.Obama’s right to be American President or for that matter the legal right of William the Bastard.

    Opus
    founder and sole member of the ASLF (the anglo-saxon liberation front)

  132. @Opus:

    Obama & his wife, on multiple occasions before 2004, said he was born in Kenya, he just never thought he’d have a chance to run for President. So people had legitimate questions about it (started by Hillary Clinton), and the Obama people played the issue in such a way to never actually answer the issue. (He was born in Hawaii, btw, but they intentionally left doubt about it because it was brilliant smokescreen.)

  133. BillyS says:

    LG,

    I don’t believe Obama was born in Hawaii. Why would they need to photoshop (add a layer) if that was the case. Something was tweaked there and only one thing really explains that. (Their incompetence at forgery explains why it slipped through, but not why it happened in the first place.

  134. BillyS says:

    Jeff is now the authority that gets to decide whether a pope is genuine or not! That is a major responsibility. Congrats Jeff!

  135. Anonymoug Reader says:

    BillyS, nah, Jeff’s just Protesting. He’s Protesting that the church has strayed from basic, fundamental tenets. This Protesting is very, very different from the Protesting of Luther, because Jeff Strand says so.

  136. Jeff Strand says:

    AR: “BillyS, nah, Jeff’s just Protesting. He’s Protesting that the church has strayed from basic, fundamental tenets. This Protesting is very, very different from the Protesting of Luther, because Jeff Strand says so.”

    It IS very different, smartass. Because the Vatican II Sect (which claims to be the RCC) teaches doctrines in matters of faith and morals that directly contradict the constant teaching of the RCC for 1900 years. They cannot both be right. Either one is right and one wrong, or both are wrong. But common sense tells you that they can’t both be right.

    If I accept the Vatican II Sect as the True Church, that I am implicitly saying that for 1900 years the real, true RCC was in serious error and heresy in matters such as justification, ecumenism, the Social Reign of Christ the King, marriage and the family, etc. And that I will never do.

    BTW, my family attends a traditional Roman Catholic Church – one that is faithful to the historical teachings of the RCC for the past 2000 years and has the traditional Latin Mass. Our priest told me that the sacraments in the Vatican II Sect are invalid, and even to attend one of their Masses is a sin against the First Commandment (because the Vatican II Sect is a false religion). He further said that I’d be better off attending a Protestant service – that’s how offensive to God is the Vatican II Sect!

    Pardon me for trusting this holy priest in these matters, over you and Earl. But anyway, just common sense would lead you to the same conclusion, as I said above.

    Great day to you. But maybe reel in the snark a bit.

  137. Pingback: Sentence first; verdict afterwards. | Dalrock

  138. Caspar Reyes says:

    @JeffStrand,
    Great, if a Protestant v. Catholic debate doesn’t send a thread past the event horizon, a Vatican II v. Traditional debate is sure to. I didn’t even know that was a thing, as I am not of like persuasion with either, but I am educateder now.

    @Skyler,

    If people treat marriage like a 7-year shack-up then God isn’t going to call it marriage and neither is the Church. Nor should they.

    Herein lies the problem: the idea that God’s thoughts on a marriage are determined by what one or the other party thinks it is or intends it to be. The problem is Not Treating a 7-year Shackup Like a Marriage, which they should.

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