Let he who is without guilt cast the first stone.
An Embarrassing Case of Sacramental Mistaken Identity
Jesus clearly tells his audience that the world will end in their own lifetimes. Not only was Jesus wrong, but his words contradict your citation. No matter how you try to square that circle, the world cannot be both ended in the lifetime of the apostles and still in existence and facing an immanent destruction in 2011.There was more and you can read it in the comments, but that was a pretty pivotal point, and remained the main topic of the comments.
Jesus assures the disciples that these signs will be so. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." The things Jesus has taught are true, more firm than creation itself.It was and may continue to be an interesting discussion. But, what came to me in prayer was some thoughts on attitude. Zig Ziglar, a well known Christian says this: “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude”.
In the midst of this note of assurance is one of the most-discussed passages in Luke. For Jesus also says, "This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened." The prediction is made emphatically, using the strong Greek phrase ou me. This generation will not (!) pass away.
On the surface it looks as if Jesus is predicting the end within his generation, especially since Luke normally uses the term generation (genea) to mean the current generation (7:31; 9:41; 11:29-32, 51; 17:25; Acts 2:40; 8:33). Often the term also has a negative implication, meaning this current generation is evil. Against applying this interpretation to 21:32, however, is the reality of the delay. The generation of Jesus' utterance was passing away even as Luke wrote, and Luke had described numerous intervening events. Jesus had spoken in the thirties, but Luke was writing, in all likelihood, in the sixties. A reference to the current generation is unlikely.
Neither is it likely that Luke refers to the Jews as this generation. According to this view, the promise is that "the generation of Jews" will not pass away. Though this approach removes any problem for the meaning, it is unlikely because genea is not used in this general, nontemporal, ethnic sense elsewhere.
Two other options are possible. If the term has no temporal force, then it could mean "the evil generation of humankind." Using the term with this descriptive, ethical force would mean Jesus is speaking of a quality of human being: evil persons will not escape the judgment when it comes. This evil generation will not pass away before God deals with them. There will be judgment and vindication.
Finally, the term might refer to the generation of the end. In other words, once the beginning of the end arrives with the cosmic signs of verses 25-26, the Son of Man will return before that generation passes away. Such a meaning honors the term's temporal force and reads it as somewhat contextually limited by Luke's clear distinction between near and far events. This view has been rejected by some as too obvious a sense--the last generation will not pass away (Stein 1992:526). However, this misreads the view's force. It is arguing that the end will occur within one generation; the same group that sees the start of the end will see its end. This is the option I slightly prefer, though the previous sense is also possible.
However the phrase this generation is taken, Jesus' statements in verses 32-33 emphasize that Jerusalem's destruction and then the events of the end, including the Son of Man's return and the cosmic signs that accompany it, are more certain than creation's permanence. Be assured, Jesus says, these things will come to pass.
The devil was about to send three newly trained devil apprentices to earth to test our their skills, and so he met with them prior to their starting this assignment.
He asked the first one what he planned to do on earth. He said, he was going to tell everyone he could that there was no God.
Satan smiled at him, and told him that that would get a few, but that most over time know from their heart that there is a God, and so as a strategy, it would not be very productive.
When he queried the second one, his response was that he planned on telling everyone he could that there was no hell.
Again, the devil was amused but told him that the people on earth knew in their hearts that there was a hell, and so he might have minor success, but that it was not a very effective plan.
When he asked the third demon what he planned, his response was chilling. He said that he was going to tell everyone on earth, that there was no hurry.
An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said,"Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."
The little girl, who had started to read her book, replied to the stranger, "What would you want to talk about?"
"Oh, I don't know," said the atheist. "How about why there is no God, no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?" as he smiled smugly.
"OK," she said. "Those could be interesting topics but first let me ask you a question. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff--grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?"
The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."
To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss why there is no God, no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death, when you don't know shit?" And then she went back to reading her book.
“For one,” I continued, “we priests deserve the more intense scrutiny, because people trust us more as we dare claim to represent God, so, when one of us do it – even if only a tiny minority of us ever have — it is more disgusting.”The first one is true. Priests lives should be able to withstand close scrutiny, since they represent Christ to Catholics around the world. But, lest we get to intense about this, I assure you that my life breaks down under close scrutiny, and I rely on the grace and mercy of God to survive my own sinfulness.
“Two, I’m afraid there are many out there who have no love for the Church, and are itching to ruin us. This is the issue they love to endlessly scourge us with.”
“And, three, I hate to say it,” as I wrapped it up, “there’s a lot of money to be made in suing the Catholic Church, while it’s hardly worth suing any of the other groups I mentioned before.”
When God stayed Abraham's hand, sparing Isaac, "Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in the thicket by its horns, and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering in place of his son." Genesis 22:13. A Ram in the Thicket is a blog by Ryan A. MacDonald (RAM), a writer, Catholic convert, and advocate for the Church as a mirror of justice in the public square. Too often in the current climate the Church's own sons - our priests - are sacrificed to satisfy the demands of contingency lawyers, insurance companies, and a scandal-hungry news media. This blog is dedicated to those priests who are accused falsely, or with wild exaggeration, and who wait with patience and fidelity for their reflection in the mirror of justice that our Church must be.In his latest post, Ryan opens up a can of worms that is worthy of reading, To Azazel: Father Gordon MacRae and the Gospel of Mercy .
In a 2001 confidential memo to Bishop McCormack, diocesan attorney Bradford E. Cook wrote: "There were certainly imperfections in the judge's handling of [MacRae's trial]." In regard to the actual claims against Father MacRae he wrote: "Whether it was all trumped up or totally manufactured is impossible to know .... That it was embellished is clear.” The diocesan attorney cited that a number of other priests where Father MacRae served were also accused - some by the same people who accused MacRae: "It is impossible to discount that one or more of them may have been involved with one or more of [MacRae's accusers]."
In another confidential 2001 memo, diocesan Chancellor Rev. Edward Arsenault noted that errors occurred in MacRae's trial, and cited the unfairness of the diocese's refusal to assist him with an appeal forcing him to rely on a public defender for his only remaining hope for justice. Arsenault recommended that the diocese deal with the matter of funding an appellate defense for MacRae by coming up with a remedy for "the lack of base remuneration" from the diocese as required by Church law. On the very verge of these Church officials finally stepping to the plate to help their priest, the 2002 national scandal implicated Bishop McCormack and cast Father Gordon MacRae back into the abyss.
Two persons, a New Hampshire attorney and a former television news producer, have attested under oath that in 2000 Bishop McCormack told them of his belief that Father MacRae is innocent of the claims for which he is in prison, then demanded secrecy, saying, "None of this can ever leave this room."
MBrandon - I fail to see how posting anonymously impedes your ability to respond to what I am saying. I will remind you that you chose to respond to my anonymous post and not the other way around.
Wrongfully accused people are an unfortunate reality regardless of the crime for which they are accused. I fail to see the relevance of your point.
You still have not answered how an educated and privileged man of great power, and with many resources at his disposal (e.g. Mr. Bernard Law) was incapable of understanding that the recidivism rate for pedophiles was very high, and that there was no effective psychological treatment for a child rapist at the time he recylced those rapists through his parishes. If Mr. Law did not know, he should have known. Mr. Law should have acted accordingly.
While we may all be sinners, I will wager that neither of is a child rapist. I will also wager that neither of us has knowingly enabled a child rapist. That makes us very different from the priests who raped these children, and the hierarchy that enabled them. That you see this "unity among sinners" as some great validation of your church is a matter for your own personal conscience.
There is no excuse for child rape or the enabling of child rape. None. The same laws that apply to the RCC apply to all. No special persecution involved. If there are more convictions against the preists of the RCC, it is probably due to the fact that no other organization has had so many child rapists in its ranks. You are free at any time to show statistical evidence to the contrary.
For Mr. Chaput to twist the truth in order to limit the depletion of the temporal wealth of his church is just one more example of the church putting its own interests above those of the victims. To do so in the name of "innocent Catholics" is shameful.
That you endorse the actions/inactions of Mr. Chaput and Mr. Law is truly sad. The only good news is that Catholics like you are a dwindling minority.
Anonymous said...To imply that sexual abuse did not occur in the Catholic Church is head in the sand thinking. To imply that it was a significant proportion of all sexual abuse going on is absurd.
Mr. Chaput is quoted as saying: "I have an obligation - a duty I can't avoid - both to help the victims and to defend innocent Catholics today from being victimized because of earlier sins in which they played no part,"
What a very clever way of reframing the issue. Unfortunately, what Mr. Chaput implies is false. The intent of criminal charges and lawsuits is not to "victimize Catholics today" but to obtain compensatory awards for the victims, and to penalize an institution that is guilty of wrongdoing in both the past and in the present.
Let's never forget that the RCC did not just have bad apples in its barrel, but it also had leaders who enabled the rape and sexual abuse of children. These crimes did not just occur in the distant past - they are also recent. These rapes did not occur just in the US or in Canada, but all around the world.
The men responsible for enabling these child rapists (e.g. Bernard Law) are not former members of the hierarchy, but are current "priests in good standing" who are being sheltered today by the Vatican from criminal prosecution.
How dare Mr. Chaput twist the truth to set up this false framing of the issue? You should be ashamed of what Mr. Chaput did in your good name. You should be calling this man to account for mispresenting the truth.
You should be ashamed of yourself for reframing the truth of sexual abuse that has run rampant in our society and continues in much of our society, making it just an issue about the Catholic Church. The catholic Church is the safest place in the world today for young people, far safer than schools, scout troops, girl guide troops, and other institutions.
MBrandon - How do you respond to the fact that the Vatican continues to shelter Bernard Law from further investigation? Do you think this demonstates that your church has really learned anything from its sins?
Are children really safer in the Catholic Church when the church evades financial and legal responsibility for its recent and past abuses?
Even if I accept your assertion that the RCC is the safest institution in the world right now for our children, how is this relevant to the church's culpability and responsibility for recent and past abuses?
People who unquestioningly support Mr. Chaput's shameless distortions are part of the problem and share in his culpability.
I see that carrying on this discussion would be like trying to put a dress on a pig. It only wastes time and irritates the pig.
Clearly you have an agenda. Enjoy your life.
MBrandon - thought you had no response of your church's indefensible behavior. Your "flounce" confirms it. As for agendas...we all have them honey. Instead of bemoaning this fact, you should have addressed my points and questions directly. But then again, how does one defend Bernard Law, the great enabled of child rPe, and the popes who protect him? You are in my prayers. God bless.
Being in your prayers offers no solace. If your prayers are as misguided as your information about the Catholic Church I am better off without them. Bernard Law sadly did what every other organization did about sexual abuse, not so much covered it up as pretended that it was just a minor issue, and so sent offenders for repair,and returned them to ministry when the professionals said that they were repaired.
As news of the rampant sexualization of the young in Hollywood starts to surface, if the main stream media will allow it, will you condemn them, or give them a pass as you do other organizations?
News flash. The Catholic Church mishandled sexual abuse, just like the rest of society. It should never have happened. It does not change the truth of Jesus Christ and the Church he founded. It proves once again that we are powerless to do good consistently without His guidance.
MBrandon – my prayers ought to be as efficacious as anyone else’s – that is unless you think prayers in general are a waste of time.
As for Mr. Bernard Law – you are partially correct. He acted like many other members of the hierarchy by placing the PR image of his church ahead of the well being of the children who were raped by his priests. If only his tender tolerance for child rapists was as keen as that for the innocent children. I will remind you, and other apologists for this heinous scandal, that it was well known then (as it is now), that the recidivism rate for pedophiles is very high, and that there is no effective psychological treatment for a child rapist. Had Mr. Law reported these child rapists to the authorities, he could have prevented the rape and sexual abuse of literally hundreds of children (according to the Attorney General of the Sate of Massachusetts dated July 23, 2003). If the Vatican is so convinced of the innocence of Mr. Law – then send him back to the US to face his accusers.
It is no moral or legal defense to claim that other organizations behaved as badly as the Roman Catholic Church. It is laughable for you to suggest this, while providing no evidence that any other organization actually did behave as badly or worse.
I have made no claim that this scandal in any way invalidates Christianity or Catholicism. You have placed those words in my mouth. I do, however, wonder how any Catholic can claim divine guidance of the church and her ministers when both have behaved so badly time after time. It takes a special kind of faith to be utterly blind to reality.
Whether or not you welcome my prayers, I pray that truth, clarity, and charity will visit your heart and mind. God bless.
Attempting to communicate with people who Hyde behind anonymity is very disadvantageous.
The efficacy of your prayers is not up to me. However, I suggest that you might more properly pray that truth, clarity and charity visit your own mind as well.
Unless you have been blinded by anti-Catholic bigotry, or have been educated by the Main Stream Media and their particular bias only, it would be nearly impossible for you to not be aware that the statistics of sexual abuse, which is by the way not the rape of young children particularly has been statistically more prevalent through this ugly last 4 or 5 decades many places in our society, which in no way excuses that it occurred in the RCC.
In fact, there are a number of Catholic priests, like Father Gordon MacRae Of the These Stone Walls blog who have been falsely accused of things they could not have logically, geographically done. Still, contingency lawyers have wrung many dollars out of their bishops with no proof whatsoever, merely a threat.
The Church has always had sinners in it, who like Peter, have betrayed the Lord. Count me in that number. I deserve to be there. The Church was founded by Christ for such as us. The failure of it's members, even those popes who have been miserable failures does not take away from the truth of the Church.
"To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women."As a belatedly devoted husband, having previously failed miserably at marriage, and the father of three young adult women, what Mrs. Hartline wrote challenged me to examine my view of the women in my life, and to ponder what the appropriate response is from me as a man, husband and father. I take full responsibility for all of my actions that have diminished the women who have touched my life, those which have been sinful, and those which has been merely inappropriate for the circumstance. But, without excusing my ignorance, there have been also societal influences that have helped me and other men to form the wrong impressions of what women require from us as men.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Marriage works when men choose to love radically, not for what is in it for us, but for what it is, an opportunity to see Jesus in the other, and to be Jesus for that other.
Love never fails.