« Good job | Main | Here's a weird thing »

April 21, 2006

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451be0d69e200d83484a83153ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Wrath of Nicolosi:

Comments

Lynn

Right on, Nicolosi! The word "dialogue" has come to mean, as someone said, "having your mind so open that your brains fall out."

Ferde Rombola

Don't have a heart attack over this, Amy. It's nothing new. I just hope the 'Evangelicals and Catholics Together' maven gets wind of it.

F.

Chris-2-4

Between this post and the ones regarding the Notre Dame Closing Statement I am really beginning to wonder what the real motive is behind people promoting "dialogue".

As it has been implied (if not stated) they don't really want dialogue, they want the Church to shutup and not challenge any of the ideas that had already been rejected hundreds of years ago, but keep popping up as "progressive".

WRY

I'm actually reading DVC because I wound up with someone's copy (I'd NEVER give cash to that man!)
What gets me is how stupid the book is. How just plain flat out stupid about your faith you would have to be to even buy it for a second.
The other thing is how badly written it is. Everything is so predictable. All the characters do is stand around and explain stuff. And they're stupid, too: Like, if you were a cryptology expert like that Sophie whatshername who had grown up reading your grandfather's anagrams, don't you think you'd look for an anagram in his dying message? But Sophie has to learn that from the male hero. And I'd like to see someone calculate the odds on being able to throw a bar of soap out a window and get it to land right on top of a too-conveniently passing truck. And someone should tell Silas that wrapping a cloth around that candlestick isn't going to muffle the sound of it hitting the stones very much when it is a quiet church in the middle of the night.
I probably will not finish the book, as it is pretty much a complete waste of time.

austin

All the Protestant books (that I've looked at) about the DVC only deal with the New Testament mistakes or mistakes about Jesus. All the lies about Catholic history are ignored, as if that part of the book is true.

Richard

If only the Council Fathers could go back in time and yank out that reference to "dialogue" in Ad Gentes - the context is completely irrelevant to these people, after all.

But on to Barb's and Amy's real point here about the Christology at work.

The evangelicals will no doubt get squirmy at the high ecclesiology implicit (well, explicit, if you count Amy's inclusion of the shot of the baldacchino) in this (proper) reading of the Christology conveyed by Scripture. But it must be emphasized that they need not. Even if their ecclesiology is "low," highly congregational, priesthood-of-all-believers Protestant evangelical, they still can easily understand themselves as part of Christ's bride. The point is not that Christ could not have done "X" (X being married, having children, or whatever) seeing as no one wants to limit the power of Christ, but rather what was fitting in the Incarnation, what was meant to be conveyed by Scripture. And you don't need to be Catholic to grasp this or understand it as essential to the nature of the Incarnation that Scripture wants to convey. Take that as your starting point and we still have plenty of ecclesiological points that still need further...well, "dialogue," if you will.

To say nothing of the fact that nowhere in Scripture is there any hint at all of such a marriage. And if one believes, as most evangelicals do, in a close, literal reading of Scripture, they have to wonder what's at stake in accepting such radical hypotheses which have no basis at all in Scripture.

Richard

All the Protestant books (that I've looked at) about the DVC only deal with the New Testament mistakes or mistakes about Jesus. All the lies about Catholic history are ignored, as if that part of the book is true.

What else would you expect?

Their interest is in upholding Scripture, not the Church.

Which is not to say that some of them might even concede that, yes, we understand that some of that stuff about the Church and Opus Dei is bunk, too. Just that it's not what they're focused on talking about.

jane M

All my fifth grade RE kids know about the book and the coming movie. So I told them some home truths about it and they were Scandalized. Thank God they can still be scandalized. I told them they should say things about it if they got the chance. FIFTH graders!! I feel like I'm throwing them into the arena at a tender age. BUT they are all convinced that the most important thing in life is to be polite about other people's religions so when I finally said that the book is really rude they woke up.

WRY I think Amy's phrase a long time ago was "flicking cliches out of my hair..."

Jimmy Huck

I will say it again: the whole attitude in Nocolosi's ranting and Amy's frustration is rooted in a basic understanding of the "masses" as essentially ignorant sheep, whose embracing of the bad history and theology of TDVC is due not primarily to their own failures in truth discovery and critical thinking, but in how poorly the preacher/teacher did his/her job in filling their heads with the truth. I understand the important role of the teacher/preacher in doing his/her job of explicating knowledge; but that job is not to "spoon feed" the truth to a mass of uncritical thinkers, but to nurture the abilities of the "flock" to learn how to feed themselves and digest fact from fiction.

If someone doesn't know how to read TDVC in light of the available evidence, or simply refuses to be questioning of the claims of TDVC, or doesn't know how to get to the available evidence, then the fault is not with the preachers/teachers, but with the consumers. Lay some blame on the "sheep" for a change. And if preachers/teachers are, indeed, to blame for anything, it's not in the fact that they didn't spoon-feed and hammer in the "truth," but that they have done nothing but encourage an absolute passivity and an unquestioning approach among their "flock" in the individual discovery and affirmation of truth.

jane M

....also, I'm having human trouble imagining that Jesus should get married, have children, and then abandon them to be brought up by others as part of a deliberate act! I realize it happens to children all the time but ....

Really deep trauma for These kids to see or hear about their dad dying on a cross, or then coming back and then abandoning them? What kind of a lesson would That be. YUCK! It is Not right that some children should be sacrificed for the good of the nation....

Richard

Hello Jimmy,

I don't think anyone wants unthinking papalbots, or unthinking anything. Sentire cum ecclesia still means there has to be some sentire, after all.

Why not blame both the teachers and the "sheep" in some measure? I get the feeling there's plenty of blame to go around here. For us as the Church, our primary focus has to be on addressing our own shortcomings, and so that's why that seems to get the dominant treatment around here.

I suspect you're trying to take a shot at pre-conciliar rote Baltimore Catechism catechization here. All I will say is that "rote" has its value and its place, and that the excessive post-conciliar focus by many catechists on just thinking for themselves without adequate provision of the truths f the faith to do that thinking with my be in part - just in part, mind you, the causes are many - for some of the poor understanding of the faith on display in many quarters today.

jane M

Jimmy, You must be joking. The teachers who have inculcated an attitude about truth seeking are in the public schools where they have Pilate's attitude. What is truth? Let me wash my hands. Many of the kids I have in my RE have no concept of anything being really true and some of them have wonderful parents who haven't caught on to what the kids are learning/being taught. You can't have individual discovery of the truth if you never learned to look for it let along being actively discouraged.

Three posts at once. I'd better go get a life.

Jimmy Huck

"The teachers who have inculcated an attitude about truth seeking are in the public schools where they have Pilate's attitude."

I would imagine that many of the Christians who are the "unthinking" acolytes of TDVC's false claims are products of private or parochial schools. Your swipe at public school teachers exclusively is simply misplaced. And if kids have such "wonderful" parents who haven't clued in to what their kids are learning (or aren't learning) in their public schools, then I'd suggest that possibly a redefinition of what constitutes a "wonderful" parent is in order. Believe me, I send my daughter to a public school, and I am very attentive to what she is learning and how she is being taught. And, regardless, as a parent, my own role in developing in my children a sense of ethics, critical thinking, and truth discovery is not subordinate to what the public school teacher does or does not do.

Christopher Johnson

Campolo is a liberal evangelical of sorts. Tony's not in the Spong camp by a long shot but he's always seemed to me to be a bit too eager to be on good terms with the secular culture.

c matt

Lay some blame on the "sheep" for a change

I tend to agree with Jimmy to a good extent on this one. At some point, if the grass keeps tasting bad and making you sick, maybe you should stop eating it.

I am by far not the sharpest knife in the drawer, yet a rather cursory perusal of the internet is enough to help one sort most fact from fiction. Some extra slack needs to be cut for pre-internet era sheep, I suppose, but nowadays there is little excuse.

amy

Led by Jimmy Huck, some of you are missing the point. The point is not unthinking sheep. The point is people who have been taught by either the cultural moment (think Gospel of Jesus. Think Gnostic Gospels via Pagels, in the air for 30 years. Hell, think Bultmann) or by their own denominations that

1)the essence of Christian life is the experience of the present moment - history is irrelevant.

2) The objective heart of the Jesus story is almost impossible to find. Those of you involved with catechesis in Catholic churches know that this is no fantasy. It is a very short walk from "Jesus of History; Christ of Faith" and "The Gospels tell us more about the communities that produce them than Jesus himself" to..."There are many different stories about Jesus. Which one resonates with you?"

Jimmy Huck

Richard - All fair and good points you make. I don't disagree with any of it, especially the need for teachers/preachers to lay out the truth in full view for us to see, absorb, grapple with, and even, perhaps, question. But I will just point to the knee-jerk reaction to even the suggestion of "dialogue" here about TDVC. Is this an attitude in support of critical thinking and truth discovery and affirmation? If "dialogue" is such a dirty word when it comes to TDVC, where is our faith in the faithful's ability simply to even think, which is a necessary precursor to understanding truth, much less to dialogue. And I recoil in horror from the following sentiment that I have often heard on this site, which goes something like this: "Trust ME, the authority on such things, you do not need to read TDVC or see the movie in order to know it is trash." I mean, really, how were such "authority" figures able to arrive at that conclusion without reading the text?

It is an anti-intellectual (if not exactly a patronizing) attitude that really sells the faithful short on so many, many levels.

Clare Krishan

I think Barbara is onto something - this isn't just about Christology but Ecclesiology (both specialities of PapaRatzi, Deo Gratias) and perhaps our good Lord is permitting this for own edification ('lights under bushels' and so on). Whomever is to blame, we're the ones with the remedy. Allow me to quote from my reply to one of those annoying chain-emails one gets, called the 'Bible in 50 Words' which was rather cute with animated gif's and 25 lines of ryhming verse,

>>>SNIP "Where's the Blessed Mother, patron of Mother Church? Someone forgot that part!

Many evangelical Protestantants forget that part of the Mystery - when Jesus said

"It is consummated"

before surrendering his Spirit to the Father, he conceived the One Holy Catholic Apostolic 'Body of Christ', His Church,
carried in his heart for 40 days until his Ascension, while he taught his disciples how to be widwives and wetnurses before she was born 10 days later at Pentecost.

"In the Beginning was the WORD" - we're so special, it didn't take 50 words to make us smile, just one,

CHRIST

- the one they forgot in the poem, meaning 'Messiah', the promised one sent from God, like in 'Mass' where we meet him in the Eucharist - where we then too become the
promised one sent from God, not the bridegroom, but his bride!

Let's not forget it - shout with gladness!

<<

P.S. Happy Divine Mercy Sunday - pray for our separated brothers and sisters that they may
come to the table and share the Mystery too

Ken

There are also sound practical reasons for Jesus to never marry and never father any physical descendents, though I have never heard them stated in this context:

1) At that place and at that time, political power and spiritual authority was inherited from your parents and passed down to your descendants like any other piece of property. If Jesus sired any physical descendants, they would literally be Sons of the Son of God and inherit all the power and authority of God Almighty.

2) Imagine the inheritance fight about a generation later. (I've been through one; nothing is as nasty as a family inheritance feud; if you remember your Gospels, not even Jesus would get involved in "dividing the inheritance between me and...") The present Sunni vs Shia bloodbath within Islam is a 1300-year-old inheritance feud; is Ali (Shia) or Fatima's husband (Sunni) the true heir? The whole Arab/Israeli bloodbath is another, 4000 years old -- is Isaac (Jews) or Ishmael (Arabs/Muslims) the heir to Abraham and all he was promised? And both of those were over who was the heir of a mere mortal messenger; what if the "estate" being fought over was the power and authority of the Son of God Himself?

3) All this assumes, of course, the wife and any heirs were allowed to live that long. Romans believed in the personal inheritance of political power, too, and a sure way to ensure "No King but Caesar" was to break any other succession, i.e. exterminate any possible heirs. (Roman Imperial families were no slouch doing this to themselves, either -- how do you think Claudius ended up as Emperor?)

Jimmy Huck

Amy, I understand the point. But does that absolve the faithful from ever questioning what they are taught, including even such things as "history is irrelevant" or "the objective heart of the Jesus story is almost impossible to find?" If there is a "teaching/preaching" problem, it seems to me that the problem would be not that we are taught false truths or moral relativisms, but that we are not taught how to recognize them. The goal of the teacher/preacher is, as I see it, not primarily to simply lay out the truth and leave it there as if that were enough, but, more importantly, to develop in people their own abilities to affirm that truth for themselves. I think we, each of us, has that capacity which should be nurtured by engagement with controversy, not dissuaded from such engagement out of fear of being duped.

Jeff

How can you dialogue with something that distills everything about the dominant culture which you want to transform and not be conformed by? This is closer to John Edward and "Crossing Over" as an "opportunity" to share Christ than it is an opening for the Gospel . . . look at how many of us thought "The Matrix" was such a bridge, and then when we opened up an exit ramp, down rolled Matrix II, Matrix III, and one of the Wachowski brothers getting sex change . . .i mean, "gender reassignment" surgery.

No, i'm not staying stuck on stupid this time, thank you very much. And as for:

"Even if their ecclesiology is "low," highly congregational, priesthood-of-all-believers Protestant evangelical, they still can easily understand themselves as part of Christ's bride. . ." -- yes, we do.

;-)

pax et gratia, jeff

Blind Squirrel

Do I need to read the Protocols, or the Turner Diaries, or the latest David Irving treatment of the Holocaust, to know that they are trash?

JP

"I have asked several prominent theologians if getting married, having sexual intercourse, and fathering a child would have diminished, in any way, the sacredness of Jesus. There was unified agreement that there is no reason to suppose that it would have."

The above quote brings into broad daylight the ignorance of today's mainstream culture. I hope none of the "prominent theologians" queried were catholic. Prehaps JPII's Theology of the Body should be required reading for all divinity students and seminarians.

lisa

Dear Jane -

Thank you for your posts. You inspire this poor parent of a soon-to-be fifth grader who tries so hard to be polite about other people's religions - or non-religions.
:)

Scherza

Jimmy, just addressing the problem from the perspective of an educator --

1. It is not possible in any discipline to teach concepts without first teaching facts. Algebra and calculus don't work unless one knows his or her times tables and simple addition and subtraction. I can't teach a child to understand the concepts of parallel structure and subordinate clause if said child doesn't understand what subjects and verbs are, no matter how strong my own knowledge is or how excellent my lesson plans may be.

2. If a learner is not taught to recognize Truth first, he or she will not be able to discern between Truth and Not-Truth. Engagement with the popular culture of moral relativism can happen after the learner is already firmly rooted in the concept that the Truth is real, objective, and knowable. There is an absolute fear today from both the pulpit and the podium to look at anything and say that it is Right or Wrong.

I'd be thrilled to engage students in nuanced discussions about how to examine situations and positions and discern what is good from what is not, but that's really darned hard when I have difficulty convincing many of my students (in a very academically competitive Catholic high school) that Right and Wrong even exist. So I do see that as my primary goal -- to introduce students to the reality of absolute morals and then, when they're firmly grounded in that, to talk about how to apply it.

Caroline

It baffles me that people get more upset about the book's claim that Jesus was married than they do about the book's claim that he was declared to be God by Constantine and the church when he wasn't.

Do I misread the thrust of the condemnation of the book?

Richard

Hello Jimmy,

But I will just point to the knee-jerk reaction to even the suggestion of "dialogue" here about TDVC. Is this an attitude in support of critical thinking and truth discovery and affirmation? If "dialogue" is such a dirty word when it comes to TDVC, where is our faith in the faithful's ability simply to even think, which is a necessary precursor to understanding truth, much less to dialogue.

Thank you for the reply.

I might respond here that the difficulty many may be encountering - I fear I share it myself to some extent - is how the word "dialogue" has been used and abused over the last four decades. To paraphrase poor Pilate: "What is dialogue?" I have to be clear on that to proceed to the point at hand.

Because too often "dialogue" has been used by certain progressives - not you, mind you - to push a relativization of truths, and too often it is a one way street, especially where the Church's moral teachings are involved.

I myself prefer the term "engaging" the culture, although even that has its dangers. And we most emphatically are called to do that, just as, say, St. Paul was with his. Pulling up the drawbridge and pouring hot oil on anyone who approaches is not very helpful.

The question is: how do you engage? TDVC is a tricky case at hand, because it's not merely a flawed depiction of Christ's life, but a total refutation of everything orthodox Christianity has ever believed about the Incarnation; finding common ground becomes much more difficult. It *is* an evangelization and catechesis opportunity, no question about it. Whether we want to do so in the context of fattening Sony's bottom line is, well questionable, to take one case in point. I fear too many evangelicals are being used by the movie producers on this score.

Clare Krishan

Please, Jane and Jimmy,
RE:"The teachers who have inculcated an attitude about truth seeking are in the public schools where they have Pilate's attitude." AND "I would imagine that many of the Christians who are the "unthinking" acolytes of TDVC's false claims are products of private or parochial schools."

I honor your obvious commitment as parents for educating your children, but with all due respect, its not your battle that will win the war. Read Steve Kellmeyer's wee gem of insight "Why Catholic Schools Don't Matter" at Catholic Educator's Resource Center

catholiceducation.org/articles/education/ed0216.html

Allow me to reflect this glint of his brilliance to make my point:
"The American bishops know all this. They even wrote a letter, Our Hearts Are Burning Within Us that says adult education is of central importance and that the bulk of parish resources are to be devoted to adult education. The bulk of parish resources. Hmmm…."

We need more Amy's educating the grown-ups in parishes up and down the land - way to go Amy!

Lynn

Amen, Clare.

HA

"Campolo is a liberal evangelical of sorts."

Indeed -- Beliefnet lists him as one of the half dozen or so leaders of the religious left (alongside Sister Joan Chittister). He was also the spiritual adviser to President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Joe

As a former Evangelical, I can affirm that Campolo is routinely borderline heretical or hyper-controversial on debated issues. He flirts with affirming homosexuality [his wife in fact does so], for example.

As for sheep tp the slaughter, I have to take exception. Evangelicals may not know much hostory, but they have a fairly unshakable confidence in the Word as having transformed them. They will not by and large be cowed by such scholarship. As far as being sucessful in debate, that's perhaps another story. But lay Catholics will fare no better: they simply substitie in infallible Church for Scripture, and can offer no better reasons.

Joe

As a former Evangelical, I can affirm that Campolo is routinely borderline heretical or hyper-controversial on debated issues. He flirts with affirming homosexuality [his wife in fact does so], for example.

As for sheep tp the slaughter, I have to take exception. Evangelicals may not know much hostory, but they have a fairly unshakable confidence in the Word as having transformed them. They will not by and large be cowed by such scholarship. As far as being sucessful in debate, that's perhaps another story. But lay Catholics will fare no better: they simply substitie in infallible Church for Scripture, and can offer no better reasons.

amy

Caroline:

Yes, you do. This one post among many. Read any one of the books written on this - either by me or anyone else. The fundamental issue: What do we know about early Christianity and how do we know it - is at the foundation of my work, for example.

Sandra Miesel

I make that point about Jesus being married to the Church in every talk. No one except a reporter has reacted and he didn't put the remark in his published story.

At this point, I doubt very much that anything we say against TDVC will have the slightest effect on those who take it for true, no matter how well documented or argued our case. Dan Brown is telling millions what they already want to believe and we're not.

Ignoring children's religious education in favor of adults' was an old '60s mantra spread by Mary Perkins Ryan (ARE CATHOLIC SCHOOLS THE ANSWER?) and Brother Gabriel Moran who suggested chidren be given no religious instruction at all. These ideas were part of the great catechetical collapse we've seen since.

Jimmy Huck

"We need more Amy's educating the grown-ups in parishes up and down the land - way to go Amy!"

Thank you, Clare. You have done an excellent job of making my point all the more clear about the "unthinking sheep." It seems the target audience of TDVC's critics such as Nicolosi and Welborn are not impressionable youth whose minds are blank slates that need facts first [or who maybe just simply need to be scandalized, right Jane?] and who are novices in learning how to discern right from wrong. Rather it continues to be those simpleton grown-ups who, in spite of their "grown-up" minds, still apparently don't know how to think for themselves and need to be told that, given their retarded discernment abilities, they simply can't figure out for themselves that TDVC is folly, farce, and fiction, and instead must be told in remedial adult education classes by those who really know.

Let's teach folk HOW to think, moreso than WHAT to think, and not be so fearful of and dismissive of the "dialogue," which will most certainly take care of itself.

Apologies for the sarcastic tone, but I figure that if Nicolosi can have her "wrath" and Amy can have her fun with "this ... er ... 'dialogue,'" I figure I might be permitted a little snarkiness, too.

Mark

I've been struck almost dumb by recent conversations with both Catholics and Protestants in which the person I spoke with didn't have a notion that there was a "Christian" way of thinking about the world -- an actual Christian Worldview, with affiliated Christian philosophy and values. They understood the idea of a Golden Rule, and that the Bible is truth, but the idea that there has been an evolving school of thought developed through historical incident was remarkably a new idea to them, and I had to strive to convince them that there actually was such a thing. I did a poor job of it, I'm sure, especially because I'm only in my adult life trying to capture WHAT that Christian historical/philosophical view actually IS.

Question for Amy or others here ... For a solid primer on church history and belief through the ages, what would be 3 good, solid, trustworthy books for thinking but uneducated (in this matter) adults? Something by Eusebius? A primer on Christian teachings and philosophy? Western culture? Who to trust?

Andrea Harris

I work with several Catholics -- who talked incessantly over the recent Lent about what they were giving up for it -- who are totally awed by the DVC and can't wait for the movie to come out. The church of Celebrity (Tom Hanks is in it!) and Telling You What You Want To Hear rules over all. As for me, I read a couple of pages into the book and it's as badly written as Left Behind. The movie will probably be slick and entertaining, but personally I think it should have the silhouettes of a human and a couple of robots in front of it making wisecracks.

Zippy

It is an anti-intellectual (if not exactly a patronizing) attitude that really sells the faithful short on so many, many levels.

Really? 80% of professed Catholics don't believe in the Real Presence and a similar number practice contraception. I have two choices in how I can interpret that data: that this 80% are willfully wicked, or that they are moral and theological morons, who've been brought up in a culture that raises moral and theological morons. I think the latter interpretation is more charitable than the former, and I don't think it is charitable to refuse to face the actual field of possibilities.

And Jesus "married" to MM is offensive not because it would involve marriage and sex, but because it wouldn't involve a real marriage at all: it would be adultery.

Richard

I work with several Catholics -- who talked incessantly over the recent Lent about what they were giving up for it -- who are totally awed by the DVC and can't wait for the movie to come out.

At our house, we can't wait for OVER THE HEDGE to come out on the same day.

Thanks to Barb for promoting the "Othercott." It's more likely to have a positive impact than yet another publicly promoted boycott.

Jimmy Huck

Zippy - I think there is some middle ground in that such people are neither "willfully wicked" nor "moral and theological morons." Note that what you wrote involves "faith," not knowledge. You said that such people don't "believe" in the Real Presence or that contraception is wrong. But, I'd venture to say that if you asked these folks whether they know (as opposed to believe in) the Church's contention on each of these issues, I'd bet 80% would say yes. And I would argue that the disjuncture between what Catholics know to be the Church's position, and what they believe about it, is not to do with a culture that "raises moral and theological morons" [Aside: what about the idea that parents, and not culture, have some major responsiblity in raising moral and theological paragons], but is precisely to do with the likelihood that the Church has failed NOT in communicating the "facts" of its positions on these matters, but in both helping the faithful to learn how to ponder and question the reasons behind the facts and also, more importantly, in respecting and trusting their inherent intellectual capacities to do so.

Zippy

I think there is some middle ground in that such people are neither "willfully wicked" nor "moral and theological morons."

I don't. I think that anyone who claims to be Catholic and at the same time practices contraception or disbelieves in the Real Presence is manifestly either a moral/theological moron or wicked, or some combination of the two. (I know this in part because I've been there, by the way. Few have scaled the far ranges of idiocy and wickedness quite as high as I have).

Clare Krishan

Sandra, keep up the great work contra-DVC!

But I think you read my post incorrectly. If its CERC you don't like, go read Steve's article on Catholic Exchange at www.catholicexchange.com/vm/index.asp?art_id=22320
and ponder his closing thought (not meant as a poke in your eye, even if it reads that way, please excuse our zeal)

SNIP>> "Everyone agrees the family is under assault. Everyone fails to notice the local parish is often in the vanguard of the assault. Attempting to replace Catholic parents violates parental rights, violates the principle of subsidiarity, and attacks the family, yet the attitude of a significant number of DRE’s, priests and bishops is precisely this, “Parents are not qualified to teach their own children because they are ignorant of Catholic Faith, so it is up to me to do the job.” To any bishop, priest or DRE who thinks this, let it be said as succinctly as possible, “No, it is not up to you to do their job. It is up to them to do their job. It is up to you to teach them to do it. Stop enabling their co-dependence. Start doing your job so they can do theirs.” <

I love Ben Gazzarra as Don Bosco in his 1988 movie, but watch it and consider why he felt called to found the movement we call CCD today, the Congregation for Christian Doctrine - families under attack, parents enslaved to the utilitarianism of the industrial revolution, young men who spend their paltry wages at Le Jardinaire because they don't earn enough to marry and start a family. Do you seriously subscribe to the view that catechists like me in wealthy suburban American parishes are following the same vocation, saving the souls of the 'poor downtrodden' with one hour a week of material geared to six year olds? From experience, I can tell you we don't, we can't! Because that makes the message so diluted its as crazy as Bach's Flower Remedies (forgive the reference to New Age quackery). I'm not arguing for abandoning the children, the four hours I volunteer as catechist in the inner city I think are four of the best five hours of my week (Mass being the best). I am acutely aware when discussing things so intimate as spirituality with them, that its like asking them to undress their souls in public. I wonder what harm am I doing to their relationships with their parents, after discussing prayer, or sacraments, or morals and they naively proclaim 'No, we don't do that at home'?

Mark Mossa, SJ

Amy,

You keep appearing in places and running into people I know!

Jeff Kirby, your guide at St. Peter's, was formerly a member of a youth group I led in South Carolina!

I hope he's doing well.

Mark

carolyn

"And Jesus "married" to MM is offensive not because it would involve marriage and sex, but because it wouldn't involve a real marriage at all: it would be adultery."

What I don't really understand is how a regular marriage would have precluded Jesus' mystical marriage to his Church. Isn't Jesus marriage to the Church simply metaphorical?

I'm not a dupe of DVC. If there was a marrige of Jesus and MM during Christ's ministry, we would have heard of it. I did hear the theory floated (and have no reason to doubt it) that Jesus was a young and childless widower when he undertook his mission. Early marriage I understand was the norm for jewish males at the time.

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

As I read Campolo's statement above, I couldn't help but recall one typical Evangelical objection to the Perpetual Virginity of Mary:

"What would be so wrong with Joseph and Mary having sex? Do Catholics believe there is something sinful about having sexual intercourse? Joseph and Mary were married, so there would have been nothing inherently evil about Mary having sex...." etc. etc.

Sounds familiar, huh? What they've long asked about Mary Campolo now asks about Jesus: "What would be so wrong...?" An old objection to the Perpetual Virginity of Our Lady is subtlely transforming into a possible objection to the celibacy of Our Lord. Perhaps it's true what they say about abandoning the Mother.

In Jesu et Maria,

Sandra Miesel

Given that Steve Kellmeyer has attacked me on my knowledge of the Early Modern witch-hunt and lately has been attacking our TDVC book in nasty fashion, don't expect his opinions on anything to be of interest to me.

Getting out of childhood religious education was indeed a hot topic in the mid-sixties. But Catholic schools or CCD are the only place where a lot of children are going to be exposed to Christianity. Shall we abandon the offspring of bad Catholics and just hope that somehow those kids will run into Catholicism after they've grown up? A well-trained orthodox catechist will know more (and one hopes practice more) of Christianity than many parents today. Parents have no right to neglect or pervert their children's religious education.

I don't expect that anyone's anti-TDVC efforts will unconvert a single Dan Brown devotee but we might be able to innoculate the unconverted and encourage them to learn something about their faith. My goal was to debunk his errors in as damning and definitive a fashion as possible.

Jane M

I went and read Kellmeyer's article on Catholic Education as Clare K recommended. Does he believe in schools at all? Or is it just in the area of religion that he thinks there will be infused knowledge for the parents. I ask this in reasonable seriousness since I homeschooled my children for years and many parents (not me) believed that they could teach their children better for exactly his reasons. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

As it happens in my parish the DRE constantly says that we RE teachers are just there to support the parents. She/he (it's a married couple) also say that for many of the kids the best we will do is to plant a seed. These aren't quite compatible statements but that's because there's an ideal and then there's reality.

The parents of the kids I'm teaching are often quite ignorant of their faith. They are also completely ignorant of this fact. They won't find it out until the kids come home and say "teacher says..." It is a nice idea to educate adults but the fact is that the adults won't come but they will send their kids. The fact is that the parents may be the ones who should prepare the kids for the sacraments but I know that when it comes to confession, for example, most parents need a push. More than one child in every class I've taught has gone to confession again because either I or the whole program pushes it.

I'm also a little curious as to why it is abdicating parental responsibility for parents who don't know a lot to send their kids to a good program. (Of course, that's assuming that there is a good program to send the kids too... and that the parents can tell.)

In my class this year I can talk till I'm blue in the face about "religion" but what gets the kids going is
1) ghosts 2) telling them that the Consecration is more important than Holy Communion 3) telling them that the Catholic Church has more of the truth than other religions
4) The DaVinci Code.

They believe that religion is something separate from the rest of their life, that all religions are equal, that Peter was the worst apostle (Judas? who is Judas?), that we become angels in heaven if we're lucky, that prayers are full of meaningless words though it is good to say them, and that 7:00 p.m. is a terrible time for a class. I agree with the last.

Clare Krishan

Nada te turbe, Jane and Sandra, please don't loose peace of mind over my feeble point of view - just finished watching "Faustyna" for first time on EWTN [incidentally I agree with Jim Caveizel - see ND threads - a film school is definately the way to go) perfect reminder to "nerds" like me who need to humble ourselves at how that saintly soul felt she was afflicted by a lack of intellect and 'twas in a picture (or icon, as our Eastern brothers and sisters write) the Lord chose to reveal his message 'worth a thousand words' see Steve Graydanus review at
www.decentfilms.com/sections/reviews/faustina.html
... the movies' beautiful "Misericordia Domini" using Taize chant (listen at HymnPrint.net and search for 'veni sante spiritus' click on Listen at Gather Comp. 2 478) makes me weep even now - Jezu Ufam Tobie

Alan K. Henderson

As I read Campolo's statement above, I couldn't help but recall one typical Evangelical objection to the Perpetual Virginity of Mary:

Apples and oranges. Jesus didn't have sex because, as Amy explained, Jesus already had a bride in the Church. Mary did not have such a role, so if she was an ever-virgin, it was for different reasons, whatever they are.

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

>>>Apples and oranges. Jesus didn't have sex because, as Amy explained, Jesus already had a bride in the Church. Mary did not have such a role, so if she was an ever-virgin, it was for different reasons, whatever they are.

I agree, but my point is simply that the same argument once used against Mary's perpetual virginity is now being used to argue that Christ having sex wouldn't have been so bad. It's only a short step from there to denying Our Lord's celibacy altogether because "What's so bad about sex? Boy, you Catholics are so repressed!" (Most of our separated Evangelical brethren probably wouldn't make that argument, but then again, it's hard to generalize about something as diverse as Evangelicalism.)

In both cases, the "What's wrong with sex?" argument is beside the point. It assumes that the belief that Mary is Ever-Virgin (or that Jesus was celibate) is somehow intended as a slight against the procreative act. It's not, therefore that isn't a good argument in the first place.

IMHO, Campolo is (perhaps unwittingly) setting up a straw man. I don't think most Christians believe that Christ didn't have sexual relations because marriage is inherently evil and sexual intercourse is sinful. I think they simply realize that 1) Scripture does not say He was married, 2) Tradition clearly teaches that He was celibate, 3) marriage and a family were simply not a part of God the Son's salvific mission on earth and 4) that this whole question is just another manifestation of the modern idolatry of sex.

In Jesu et Maria,

JP

Rosemarie,
There is also another aspect to Mary's life. First she carried Christ in her womb for 9 months, and then raised him to adulthood. Both Mary and Joseph had an intimacy with Christ that few could dream of. The Old Testament uses to the verb over shadow to describe The Spirit of God as it entered the Ark of The Covenant. This same verb is used to denote the time when the Holy Spirit became Mary's spouse. Mary's prepetual virignity can now be understood. The Ark of The Covenant was such a holy object that even if just touched by humans would lead to instant death for that offender. Mary's womb became the Last Ark. It carried The Savior.

Rosemare, you are correct about the idolatry of sex today. It appears that in most people's minds sex is THE ULTIMATE human expirence. No one today can think of any expirence that is so powerful that it would dawrf sex. Even today's theologians cannot fanthom this one salient fact about Mary and Joseph's life.

regina doman

About Kellymeyer's book on the Church needing to get out of Catholic schools - I think his thesis is completely off, from what I've heard about it (haven't read it). The reason the Church got involved with education in the first place was not because of bishops (ooh! bad male bishops!) wanting to keep the flock in line but because SISTERS were drawn to the work of mercy of instructing the ignornant. They took over the religious education of those children whose parents wouldn't bother to educate them in the faith. Almost all the teaching orders came from this holy impulse. Yes, some teaching orders were invited to America by bishops to teach the flock, but other teaching orders were founded by American women (Frances Cabrini and Elizabeth Ann Seton) precisely to fill the need they saw in their society of the time.

If the Church took homeschooling as their model for education, they would only succeed in educating their own. But since the model for education has always had the aim of transforming society - transforming ALL children, not just those of devout baptized Catholics - Catholic schools have had much more of an impact. And that's how it should be. The force of Catholic schooling has been blunted and crippled by the confusion and heresy of the past few years, but that's not to say that it's a completely wrong-headed approach, which Kelleymeyer I believe does.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.