Sunday, April 27, 2014

Saint-making – the Great and the Good

Popes John Paul II and John XXIII were canonised today at a ceremony at St Peter's in Rome – the first time that two dead popes have simultaneously been declared saints, and the first time any dead pope has been declared a saint in the simultaneous presence of two living popes. Pope Paul VI is to follow on in October when he will be beatified.

It is not clear at this stage whether Pope Francis will continue waiving the requirement for miracles to establish saintliness and holiness. But, as the seemingly automated pope-to-saint conveyor belt churns out these sanctifications, it is worth asking why the 20th century produced especially holy popes compared to all the previous centuries. Indeed, in the six centuries between Gregory the Great and Thomas Beckett, there were no new canonisations at all. Perhaps waves of emotional fervour fused with X-Factor populism require the contemporary cult of "Santo Subito".

His Grace can't help thinking about poor Pope John Paul I, who was, by all accounts, a truly humble and very saintly man. And poor Pope Benedict XVI, who is also not likely to be hurriedly enrolled among the sanctified when he dies, for his papacy wasn't sufficiently modernist for the fluffy and pink zeitgeist.

Pope John XXIII becomes Pope Saint John XXIII (or Pope Saint John the Good) for having called the historic Second Vatican Council (1962–65). Perhaps this was miracle enough to establish his saintliness. But, for many Roman Catholics, not least the traditionalist Pope Emeritus Benedict, that Council sowed the progressive seeds of an awful lot of ecclesio-doctrinal confusion. For Cardinal Kasper, its documents are intentionally ambiguous:
"In many places, [the Council Fathers] had to find compromise formulas, in which, often, the positions of the majority are located immediately next to those of the minority, designed to delimit them. Thus, the conciliar texts themselves have a huge potential for conflict, open the door to a selective reception in either direction."
Speaking of Nostra Aetate, Pope Benedict XVI said:
"Thus, in a precise and extraordinarily dense document, a theme is opened up whose importance could not be foreseen at the time. The task that it involves and the efforts that are still necessary in order to distinguish, clarify and understand, are appearing ever more clearly. In the process of active reception, a weakness of this otherwise extraordinary text has gradually emerged: it speaks of religion solely in a positive way and it disregards the sick and distorted forms of religion which, from the historical and theological viewpoints, are of far-reaching importance; for this reason the Christian faith, from the outset, adopted a critical stance towards religion, both internally and externally."
Pope John Paul II becomes Pope Saint John Paul II (or Pope Saint John Paul the Great) despite having presided over the Vatican during the global scandal of child sex abuse and the proliferation of priestly paedophilia. Indeed, many of those who sought to protect the legacy and good name of Pope Benedict XVI emphasise the undeniable chronic failures of Pope John Paul II, with some pointing to the papal sinecure gifted to Cardinal Bernard Law following allegations of a systematic cover-up in his archdiocese of Boston.

But none of this seems to matter. Perhaps in his personal and sainted holiness, Pope John Paul II was either oblivious to the thousands of cases of priestly rape and torture of children, or he really did do everything he possibly could to cleanse the Roman temple and mitigate the spread of evil. In truth, we cannot know.

But on saintly intercession, the Church of England's Article XXII is clear:
The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.
Let us by all means have saints, for they are holy ones who are sanctified by virtue of being "in Christ". But divine perfection comes not from the cultic declaration of the intercessory efficacy of John Paul the Great or John the Good, but by belonging to the communion of saints and worshipping among the priesthood of believers.

If we are to attribute especial holiness to particular individuals, and acknowledge their personal piety and historic ecclesio-theological contributions beyond the grave, let us this year – in the 500th anniversary year of his birth – make joyful affirmation of the remarkable Reformation saint John Knox.

A Motion has been tabled by Murdo Fraser MSP in the Scottish Parliament to do precisely that, and it has already attracted a number of cross-party signatures:
That the Parliament recognises the 500th anniversary of John Knox’s birth; notes his contribution to modern Scotland and Protestantism; understands that he is recognised as the founding father of the Scottish Reformation and of Presbyterianism in Scotland; encourages Scots to explore his contribution toward the country's religion, government and identity; notes that Knox helped write the new confession of faith and the ecclesiastical order for the newly created reformed church; considers that, with hundreds of thousands of members, this denomination still plays a significant role in modern day Scotland; believes that Knox's work helped to shape the democratic form of governance that the Church of Scotland adopted; acknowledges the events taking place to celebrate this anniversary in his birthplace, Haddington, and commemorates the life of a man whom it sees as one of Scotland’s greatest sons.
As Scotland seemingly moves towards historic independence, let us not forget the history of the Kirk or the uniqueness of Scottish devotion and their contribution to the Christian spirituality of the United Kingdom. Some will only see the arid summations of Calvinist orthodoxy flowering on very rocky soil. But John Knox's didactic and polemical contribution was deep, tender and loving: from the Secession congregations in the Lowlands to the evangelical Establishment in the Highlands, he made the Scottish Reformation a movement of great spiritual gain, of fellowship, of family and nationhood.

John Knox may not have been declared 'blessed', 'sanctified', 'great' or 'good', but he is undoubtedly a saint. By sweeping away too many superstitious cults and tearing down too many bogus traditions, we are in danger of forgetting that supernatural sanctity and miraculous manifestation did not die with the Apostles.


Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Well Your Grace. Erm, it is permissible to call you that, isn’t it. Wouldn’t want to wrongly attribute you with the trappings of beyond a mere humble mortal, you know. Wouldn’t be right to compromise your fine egalitarianism concerning us worldly wretches, Mary mother of God included.

Anyway, it’s all part of the RCC infrastructure. Nothing to be concerned about. Rather like the gongs handed out to the great and good in the UK. Granted, the two men concerned weren't actors, or sportsmen, or leaders in commerce, but they get the highest recognition just the same. Oh, yes - one important condition – you have to be in a state of deadness.

So there you have it. Yes, child abuse went on in the church, and the perpetrators abused the Christian necessity of forgiveness, but we have to realise that the homosexual condition was just not appreciated for what it is. A continuing danger to the young. One thinks we can be assured that aspect is more than appreciated now !

Pip Pip !

27 April 2014 at 11:53  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 April 2014 at 11:53  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 April 2014 at 11:53  
Blogger Len said...

I gather a few more relics have been gathered to add to the ever growing collection in the RCC(and not just the Popes) phials of blood and a piece of skin.
How nice.
A few more dead saints to add to the prayer list?.

27 April 2014 at 12:22  
Blogger bluedog said...

Indeed, Your Grace, the Roman Church does seem to be in danger of debasing the coinage. Perhaps the global audience for the Wedding of William and Catherine still rankles and this spectacular is designed to re-assert the supremacy of Rome.

Your Grace speculates, ' Pope John Paul II was either oblivious to the thousands of cases of priestly rape and torture of children...' This communicant suspects that this was undoubtedly the case. After all, Wojtyla spent his early manhood as a seminarian and a priest on the run from the Nazis, losing many of his contemporaries to the Gestapo. With this personal experience, one can imagine the possibility of a priest abusing the trust placed in him would have been unthinkable to JP2. He was clearly on a very different moral planet.

'Some will only see the arid summations of Calvinist orthodoxy flowering on very rocky soil.'

Beautifully put, and for those who have yet to collide with the Free Presbyterian Church, right on target.

27 April 2014 at 12:45  
Blogger Martin said...

Of course one becomes a saint by having been dead and being made alive, as we are reminded in Ephesians 2, not once we are dead. And becoming a saint is not a badge of honour but a merciful gift.

27 April 2014 at 13:00  
Blogger David said...

Knox's influence on the development of modern education alone should qualify him for a suitable memorial.

27 April 2014 at 13:01  
Blogger David Hussell said...

I declare a state of strict neutrality on this.

If saints and "stuff" helps others to edge closer to God then who am I to criticise that? I enjoy reading about the ancient "Saints", who I regard as role models, no more or less, but I find it difficult to relate to recent ones - is that logical, probably not ? I have plain(ish) tastes, but we are all different.

27 April 2014 at 13:01  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Len. Relics provide a continuity in the church. Obviously not as continuous as Christ's words and deeds, but for us tangible evidence that Christianity continues. One cannot see how any of God’s laws are broken by their existence. But what does it matter to you anyway, you are not of Christ’s church. Just a lone voice keeping his distance from the rest of us.

27 April 2014 at 13:16  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

No Len. You are not of the flock, but you do come into contact with it. So, what are you then ? Sheepdog? No, your self appointing authority is no authority at all, not for Christ’s organised flock. So what can you be, TB carrying badger perhaps ?

Er, no offence meant old chap.

27 April 2014 at 13:27  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Who gets canonized? The Great. The mighty. The famous. The religious. Popes and Bishops and priests. Mystics and seers of visions. That whole 'must have performed miracles' requirement drives the conclusion. But the ordinary man living the ordinary unseen life? It's Purgatory for him. The whole thing reminds me of the legend surrounding the pool of Siloam. The angel stirs the water and the great and mighty jump in to get canonized. Because God prefers the Great and Mighty.

I suppose now that JPII is a saint, they will dig up his miraculously preserved corpse, stick it in a glass case, and venerate it. Perhaps there might even be a miracle or two in its embalmed organs to keep the Sainthood train running.


27 April 2014 at 13:37  
Blogger Shadrach said...

What are the qualities for saint hood in the RCC world and what is the biblical justification? My understanding is that the believers are the Saints of God.

27 April 2014 at 13:58  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Well, for a rather tongue in cheek (and more lighthearted) look at canonisation in the RCC try this. Clearly I'm in no danger of ever becoming one :)

27 April 2014 at 14:20  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Shadrach @ 13.58

Agreed ! Biblically all believers are "saints".

27 April 2014 at 14:29  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Len, don't feel you are an outsider. The Inspector is on his best insulting form today just because it is a day for Romans.
How little they understand the work of the Spirit.

27 April 2014 at 15:21  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Len said...

[. . .] A few more dead saints to add to the prayer list?.

27 April 2014 12:22

Visiting Rome as tourists one summer in the nineties, my wife and I were wandering round St Peter's when we suddenly spotted the Pope just a few yards away, chatting (in Polish, I think -- we were close enough to hear his voice) with a very happy group of visitors. So now, although we can't say we've actually met a saint, at least we've been in the same room with one.

27 April 2014 at 15:44  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Well Shadrach, far from it being the Inspector that condemns Len, he does it himself. He’s quite proud to announce he rejected organised Christianity as a youth. That includes the CoE. Our shining beacon of insincerity doesn’t advertise THAT fact lest he be booted off this avowedly Anglican site of course. Anti church that he be.

No, there is a fence of his own making between us and him. He can stay that side of it for the duration if he wants to. No problem there.

On the general issue of saints, Protestantism recognises pre reformation saints. That they choose not to install their own is neither here nor there. The concept is in place.

27 April 2014 at 16:14  
Blogger Len said...

Good on you uncle Brian (,27 April 2014 15:44)
I have met hundreds of Saints indeed God declares all born again believers as Saints.

27 April 2014 at 16:19  
Blogger Len said...

Uncle Brian a word of warning keep your distance from religious artifacts they can be dangerous.

'Last week in Italy, a giant crucifix dedicated to one of
these catholic "saints" fell over and crushed a young
man to death'.
Very sad... but that's a graphic example of what Religion is
doing to millions of people every day: crushing them beneath the
weight of idiotic
traditions and man-worship.

School of

27 April 2014 at 16:25  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

The historical Archbishop Cranmer would cheerfully have punished Knox as a Puritan.

The historical Church of England expelled those with Knoxian sympathies in the 1680s, and then spent the next 300+ years pretending to be Catholic.

Those left in the Church of England closest to Knox are accused of splitting the Anglican Communion with the Anglican Realignment and told that practices resembling Presbyterianism are utterly un-Anglican, because Anglicanism wears robes and has very important Bishops.

So yes, it would be terrific to see the Church of England hold a service in honour of Knox. I'd be watching with popcorn.

27 April 2014 at 18:05  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

And, of course, Knox's attitude to women preaching the word of God is perfectly in tune with modern, up-to-the-minute, cuddly Anglicanism.

In fact, I'd give my left nut to watch Knox give his opinion of contemporary Anglicanism.

27 April 2014 at 18:10  
Blogger r33per said...

If it's not TULIP from the pulpit, I don't want to hear it!!!


If you good folks find yourself in Edinburgh, walk down the Royal Mile towards the parliament building and you'll find John Knox House on the left hand side, just past Carrubbers Christian Centre. Well worth a visit.

"There lies he who never feared the face of man" - Earl of Morton at Knox's funeral.

27 April 2014 at 18:13  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, our friend Len has declared support for Criag Winn who is allegedly having conversations with God. He has been informed Christianity is a false construct. Our faith was all made up by Saint Paul, you see, who was demon possessed at the time.

Yes, Jack knows it is hard to believe such nonsense but it does explain a lot.

27 April 2014 at 18:40  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Saint Len if you please Jack. God has told Len and all the born agains that they are saints. (giggles)

27 April 2014 at 18:58  
Blogger Len said...

(sigh) I had better give you Catholics the scriptures because you don`t seem to know them...

The word “saint” comes from the Greek word hagios, which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious." It is almost always used in the plural, “saints.” "…Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to Your saints at Jerusalem" (Acts 9:13). "Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda" (Acts 9:32). "And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons …“ (Acts 26:10)

(Whatever do they teach you in that Catholic religion thingy?.)

27 April 2014 at 19:03  
Blogger Len said...

Jack... you are starting to sound like a broken record.(a Catholic one at that!)

27 April 2014 at 19:04  
Blogger Len said...

I am beginning to understand why so many Catholics are swarming under His Graces table looking for crumbs to devour its because there is no food suitable to sustain them in their dry and dusty halls of religion...
And that incense thing swinging about makes ones eyes water.

27 April 2014 at 19:25  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Cressida, thank you for pointing out Jack's oversight.

Saint Len, Happy Jack sounds like a Catholic because he is one - *gasp*!

Now what are you? Go on, do tell. Not a Christian in any sense Jack knows, given you believe Paul was demon possessed; and not a member of any organised faith group as they make you uneasy.

You're not a "pillar dweller" - a "stylite" - are you? How do your cats manage?


27 April 2014 at 19:35  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

... but why are you here Len, given you hold the same opinion of Anglicanism as you do of Catholicism?

27 April 2014 at 19:37  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Cressida, Happy Jack wrote a long letter to Father Bergoglio recently (he's the Pope but doesn't like the title) asking him to phone Jack urgently and tell him if he is a saint or not.

Once he has called and confirmed this, Jack will post it on Facebook and give a scoop to this blog.

27 April 2014 at 19:43  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

I am concerned that the Christian Church, both Catholic and Protestant, has been infiltrated by communists and satanists. So, it might be that the Roman Catholic Church was established in accordance with Jesus' commands, but if it is now ruled by the antithesis of Christianity, who am I to trust. Similarly, if the CofE is ruled by atheists and non Christians, who is to purge them from the body of Christ? I am probably sounding unhinged, but if Jesus' word was paramount, then many of the decisions and actions in both parts of Christianity would have been condemned unreservedly by the leaders of the Churches. That they are not speaks volumes. On that basis, giving someone the appellation 'Saint' is as worthless as giving someone the title of 'lord' or 'sir' in our country. In both cases it leads on to suspect the recipient has done something they ought to be ashamed of.

27 April 2014 at 20:36  
Blogger Martin said...


Relics provide objects that can be treated with idolatry, as do the 'Saints' as opposed to the saints.

I'm afraid the church of Rome is the schismatic, not anyone else, for they left the Church a long time ago & preach of 'gospel' of you must rather than the true gospel of He did.

BTW, the Bible defines who is a saint as in:

"To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:" 1 Corinthians 1:2 ESV

27 April 2014 at 20:55  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Martin, one doesn’t deny bone worship (idolatry) exists. It’s just that you have to go to primitive parts of the world to see it. Oh yes, London too, courtesy mad immigration policies and asylum claim abuse...

27 April 2014 at 21:10  
Blogger David Hussell said...

"As Scotland seemingly moves towards historic independence" ..... says His Grace.

Your Grace, Your prescience is acknowledged and celebrated throughout the blogsphere, but are you making a prediction ?

27 April 2014 at 21:26  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

On learning from 'those who went before us marked with a sign of faith' I just listened to a podcast about the sufferings and triumphs of Saint John Bunyan. Podcast downloaded from John Piper's 'Desiring God' site. Recommended.

27 April 2014 at 21:29  
Blogger Martin said...


Anywhere you have relics you see idol worship, whether they be bones or not.

27 April 2014 at 21:32  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Martin, One of the great mysteries to this man is why protestants in extremis are so concentrated on idolatry. Be it bones or statues of saints. We RCC types are made of the same stuff as you. You don’t worship bones, and neither do we.

As far as one can determine, the commandment so dedicated is the result of previous revering a golden calf, image of, one off. After 400 years in Egypt, it is not beyond reason that the Israelites carried some pagan baggage with them. But it was sorted there and then by Moses.

Give it some thought will you, old man.

27 April 2014 at 21:45  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr David Hussell @ 21.26 asks, '...but are you making a prediction ?'

Just as long as they repatriate HMY Britannia after the secession.

27 April 2014 at 22:02  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Bluedog, you mean of course ‘recession’ !


27 April 2014 at 22:07  
Blogger bluedog said...

Absolutely right, Mr Inspector.

However, as the holder of the right (ius sanguinis) to wear a registered tartan, this communicant anticipates being offered the opportunity of taking up Scottish citizenship. On second thoughts he will decline, the financial consequences could prove overwhelming.

27 April 2014 at 22:31  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


One of the great mysteries to this man is why protestants in extremis are so concentrated on idolatry

The relic becomes a means by which the power of God may be controlled. It transforms into a magic talisman that (because it is tangible) a man may presume to wield. In essence it becomes a direct connection to the transcendent and the power contained therein. Instead of faith in God, you end up with faith in man's ability to control divine power.


27 April 2014 at 22:49  
Blogger Integrity said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 April 2014 at 23:02  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Carl. One retains his belief that relics represent a continuum. You really are asking a lot here to attribute magic talisman qualities to them as appreciated by us Romans. However, one does agree that the faithful kissing the things is over the top. Put that down to mild hysteria - a very human experience.

27 April 2014 at 23:04  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Sorry to change the subject YG, but I've just read that Paul Weston of Liberty GB party has been arrested yesterday afternoon for quoting Churchill over a megaphone in Winchester. So yet again an attack on freedom of speech.

27 April 2014 at 23:57  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

John in Cheshire, Jesus did promise the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. He didn't say sinful and evil men would be without influence. Get real - this is a fallen world.

The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church does not "create" saints. It simply applies the standard of gospel holiness to those God permits the Church to know are in heaven with Him. In this. And it isn't because of one particular noble achievement; neither does it mean these people led perfect lives whilst on earth, made no mistakes and committed no sin. It simply means the Church affirms they are in Heaven with God.

As for relics, look to Acts 19:11-12. So extraordinary were the mighty deeds God accomplished at the hands of Paul that when face cloths or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.

No doubt in the past and, for some in this day and age, superstition rules but Jack agrees with HG's final sentence:

"By sweeping away too many superstitious cults and tearing down too many bogus traditions, we are in danger of forgetting that supernatural sanctity and miraculous manifestation did not die with the Apostles."

28 April 2014 at 00:30  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, Happy Jack is beginning to understand you - may God help him.


28 April 2014 at 00:38  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Btw Jack

I am looking forward to the closely fought race between Man City and ManU for the EPL title. Oh, wait! I forgot. ManU isn't in contention. My mistake.

Hrm. I wonder if ManU is facing relegation this year.

[Evil nefarious laugh]


28 April 2014 at 00:45  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

I followed your link, Marie. Judging by the Churchill quotation that he chose, I’d say the whole thing was an electioneering publicity stunt. Your friend Weston looked for something that would enable him to be filmed getting arrested, and he achieved his aim.

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! [. . .] Fanatical frenzy [. . .] fatalistic apathy [. . .] degraded sensualism [. . .] retrograde force [. . .]

The extract is from The River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan, published in 1899, when Churchill was 24 years old. Not exactly one of his famous wartime speeches.

28 April 2014 at 00:57  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, now, now. No need to gloat. Most unchristian.

It will be a close run title between Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea this year. Too close to call at the moment. Jack is torn but hopes Chelsea wins. Goal difference is really not good enough.

Man Utd will come back - in time.

Besides, you really should be concentrating on your daughters wellbeing and not on a sport you Yanks really know nothing about.

By the way, joking aside, Jack hopes your daughter recovers soon. Must be a difficult time for you and your wife. His prayers are with you.

28 April 2014 at 00:59  
Blogger Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh said...

"As Scotland seemingly moves towards historic independence, let us not forget the history of the Kirk or the uniqueness of Scottish devotion and their contribution to the Christian spirituality of the United Kingdom...John Knox's didactic and polemical contribution was deep, tender and loving" - (Cranmer)

Some rather disparate connections, perhaps of interest: John Knox was a pupil of John Mair (or Major!)(c. 1467-1550), from Gleghornie near Edinburgh. Mair, himself an admirer of John Duns Scotus, studied at Oxford, Cambridge, and Paris. At the latter university he became Professor of Theology and a renowned logician. Fascinatingly, among those who would have heard Mair lecture at Paris were John Calvin, Ignatius Loyola, George Buchanan, Francisco Vitoria and François Rabelais.

As a conciliarist, Mair held that authority lay with the whole church and not with the Pope, and likewise that political authority lay not with the king but with the people, who could therefore legitimately oust a wayward king (cf the earlier Declaration of Arbroath of 1320 which asserted to the Pope the independence of the Scottish crown from that of England). Conciliarist principles would subsequently inform the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, and the opposition to absolute monarchies of Europe throughout the seventeenth century. Mair remained a Catholic all his life, but nontheless advocated a national Church for Scotland.

Dr Doug Gay, a Church of Scotland minister and lecturer in practical theology at Glasgow University, has recently published a pro-independence book called "Honey from the Lion: Christianity and the Ethics of Nationalism". Gay writes in chapter 2: "Attending to the three main ecclesial traditions of Western Christianity: Roman Catholicism, the Reformed Churches and the Anabaptist Churches, I want to sketch the outlines of an appreciative ecumenical inquiry into their strengths and charisms for political theology and to suggest how each of them contributes something distinctive to the Christian idea of a society". John Mair himself advocated Anglo-Scottish union, but echoes of his views regarding checks on power are evident in Gay's independence-aspiration for "a society organized around principles of subsidiarity, with decisions taken at appropriate levels, maximizing local power in so far as it is conducive to the Common Good" (p155). Despite Gay's framing of the argument for Scottish self-determination in such civic-governance terms, David T. Koyzis in his Cardus review of the book refuses to undamn the "nationalism" of the book's title (I try to respond):

28 April 2014 at 01:18  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...


This is the first I've heard about an illness in your family. I'm sorry to hear it. I hope it's nothing serious.

Didn't know you were interested n football. The United States is in a tough group in the World Cup -- Germany and Portugal are both strong teams.

28 April 2014 at 01:22  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 April 2014 at 01:24  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Uncle Brian

My daughter had emergency surgery two weeks ago tomorrow. She developed an absess that required a second surgery. So it's been a long two weeks. But she was 1000% better today than she was yesterday. Noticeable improvement to everyone but her. I think we are finally on the downhill side of this.

Back in 1994, I sat down to watch the World Cup with every intent to mock it ruthlessly. Much to my surprise, I found myself enjoying it. I always watch the World Cup now.

Just last year the EPL started broadcasting matches in the US. That's the first time I got to see it. The only problem with the EPL is that it makes the MLS look so second-rate by comparison. The American game isn't really that good.

Oh, and I know you meant soccer instead of football. I just made the mental correction for you.


28 April 2014 at 01:57  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


you really should be concentrating on your daughters wellbeing...

I have actually been at the hospital all weekend and will be staying here tonight. Been making throw-away posts today. Nothing really serious. Just stuff to pass the time.

... and not on a sport you Yanks really know nothing about

We haven't been discussing Cricket. In fact, Cricket isn't even really a sport so there's a good reason Americans don't know anything about it.


28 April 2014 at 02:06  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Uncle Brian
I'm not so sure it is just a stunt, you see the Liberty GB party are all about saving Britain and restoring her to her former glory.
Their ten point plan to save Britain includes introducing a US Style First Amendment guaranteeing Free Speech.

They are also most concerned about the Islamisation of Britain that is happening.
So that particular speech from Churchill fits into what they are trying to convey and warn people of.
It would seem that “insulting” has only been dropped from Section 5 of the Public Order Act if you are muslim!

28 April 2014 at 02:15  
Blogger Len said...

The Inspector of nothing in particular said; 'One retains his belief that relics represent a continuum'.
Isn`t that what the pagans did I think they called it 'ancestor worship' ..or something like that ?.
Oh well just add it to' the traditions' and write it in....this Catholic thing theology just keeps growing..whatever next?pieces of skin phials of blood bones skulls teeth?.

28 April 2014 at 08:02  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Carl Jacobs

I hope that your daughter recovers completely and very soon.

Best wishes from me.

28 April 2014 at 08:14  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Carl, your daughter will be in my prayers. Take care, and God bless all your family.

28 April 2014 at 10:23  
Blogger Len said...

A' Wake Up Call' from Bob Mitchell as to what is happening in 'the church' as it slides into apostasy.. We will be judged as to whether we are IN or OUT...'Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "'Come out of her, my people,' so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues'(Revelation 18:4)
Time to decide....

28 April 2014 at 12:01  
Blogger non mouse said...

Best wishes for your daughter's recovery, Mr. Jacobs.

28 April 2014 at 13:27  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace - none of those fat, slitty-eyed foreigners look like saints to me. Dressing themselves up in expensive embroidered silks only emphasises the natural expressions.

28 April 2014 at 13:34  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Thank you to those who have expressed concern for my daughter - both on this thread and others. The Dr said this morning that he was looking at a Wednesday/Thursday release.


28 April 2014 at 15:11  
Blogger Martin said...


The Bible clearly describes all Christians as saints & points out that our deeds, the deeds of the flesh, do not in any way contribute to our holiness for such is based on Christ sacrifice alone.

As to miracles, they were designed to validate the gospel & those who spread it. We now have the New Testament, it is complete, and there is no need of such validating miracles. We now have the mirror of Scripture to see our nature in.

Miraculous manifestations did die out with the apostles, we have no need of the for we have what they did not have, the complete word of God. Such things as relics are superstitious idolatry, not to be seen in Christian churches.

28 April 2014 at 16:09  
Blogger Albert said...


The Bible clearly describes all Christians as saints & points out that our deeds, the deeds of the flesh, do not in any way contribute to our holiness for such is based on Christ sacrifice alone.

As it stands this is a perfectly Catholic statement (something to think about, perhaps). The trouble is that, with St Paul, the Catholic Church uses the word "flesh" differently from how you use it.

Miraculous manifestations did die out with the apostles

Can you prove that from scripture?

28 April 2014 at 21:35  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Martin, Albert has made the very points Happy Jack would have.

As Jack said earlier:

"The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church does not "create" saints. It simply applies the standard of gospel holiness to those God permits the Church to know are in heaven with Him."

And it was Archbishop Cranmer who stated this:

... we are in danger of forgetting that supernatural sanctity and miraculous manifestation did not die with the Apostles."

Albert, could you explain this to Happy Jack?

"The trouble is that, with St Paul, the Catholic Church uses the word "flesh" differently from how you use it."

28 April 2014 at 22:49  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

non mouse, how ungracious and uncharitable of you!

The following might be an alternative for you and others to consider:

"Saints Pope John XXIII and John Paul II: pray that we may be given far better Popes than you both were."

It captures Catholic theology wonderfully and it made Jack laugh in his tummy.

Here's a possible one for you:

"Saints Pope John XXIII and John Paul II: pray that we may be given far better looking Popes than you both were. May they be English and slim, with noble Anglo-Saxon features."

Jack would never say such prayers. He leaves judgement of their papacies to God. And John Paul II was a fine and handsome man. So he got old and frail. If it please God, we all will.

29 April 2014 at 00:02  
Blogger Len said...

When a Pope gets old and frail (and dare we say it senile) can he still make infallible statements?.
Perhaps that is one of the problems within Catholicism?.

29 April 2014 at 07:57  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, of course one may query if pope's become senile. Why wouldn't they - they're human aren't they? And pope's make very few infallible statements - only two since the ex-cathedra doctrine was formally defined at Vatican I - and never without full reference to the Magisterium and widespread consultation with the Church.

As an avid 'student' of Catholicism, you must surely know this and the very tightly defined parameters for such decisions. Then again, perhaps you are blinded to this in some way.

29 April 2014 at 12:08  
Blogger Len said...

'Popes are human!'.
Better get your rosary beads out and start on the Hail Marys.
Hope the Jesuits aren`t listening?.

29 April 2014 at 12:33  
Blogger Albert said...

Happy Jack,

could you explain this to Happy Jack?

As I understand Martin, he takes "flesh" to mean the body. Thus a work of the flesh just means a work. Paul does not mean this, I think. By "flesh", he is referring to deeds done by our sinful nature. This comes through clearly in Romans, I think.

29 April 2014 at 12:47  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, as Happy Jack said earlier, " ... perhaps you are blinded to this in some way." What strange and wilfully wrong ideas and distortions abut Catholicism you peddle about.

Albert, thank you. Jack always reads Paul in this way too.

29 April 2014 at 18:23  
Blogger Len said...

Jack you don`t seem to know much about Catholicism are you a recent convert?.

Just recently, in 2004, Bishop Patrick Dunn of Auckland said this:

"It seems that Pope John Paul II now presides over the universal Church from his place upon Christ's cross."

29 April 2014 at 18:30  
Blogger Len said...

Pope Clement VI., Acta Clementis, c. 1350; cited in the Roman Catholic publication: Granfield, Patrick, The Limits of the Papacy, NY: Crossroad, 1987; p.36.

“The pope can do all things God can do.”

So Jack you either are unaware of the outrageous claims of 'divinity' that many Popes have made or you are trying to lead us up the garden path?.

29 April 2014 at 18:40  
Blogger Len said...

Jesus said the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth but the Popes have claimed that position for themselves.
There are Popes that have openly claimed to be Christ...which is the ultimate heresy. "The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, he is Jesus Christ himself, hidden under the veil of flesh."
Catholic National July 1895

In claiming that the pope is the “Vicar of Christ,” the Catholic Church rejects the sufficiency and supremacy of Christ’s priesthood, and grants to the pope roles that Christ Himself declared would belong to the Holy Spirit

Read more:

29 April 2014 at 19:06  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, deliberate ignorance and misrepresentation.

No references, citations or contexts given - as usual. We've been through all those clauses before, as you know.

Why not read a reputable Roman Catholic website, try toat least understand the doctrine, and then criticise them?

Have a read of this here. It covers all your 'misgivings'.

Do get back to Happy Jack with any questions.

29 April 2014 at 19:45  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Let's take one of the lies

Pope Pius X made the blasphemous claim that he was "Jesus Christ hidden under the veil of the flesh. Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who speaks."

This lie appeared in a Protestant paper, the "Church Review" in England, in October 3, 1895. It charged Cardinal Sarto, Archbishop of Venice, with having said those words.

Cardinal Sarto was elected Pope in 1903. But as soon as the charge was made in 1895, inquiries were sent from England to Venice and Cardinal Sarto produced the manuscript of his discourse. And this is what he actually said:

"The Pope REPRESENTS Jesus Christ Himself, and therefore is a loving father. The life of the Pope is a holocaust of love for the human family. His word is love; love, his weapon; love, the answer he gives to all who hate him; love, his flag, that is, the Cross, which signed the greatest triumph on Earth and in Heaven."

So the quote is from an English Protestant publication in October 1895, not a Catholic one.

Protestant magazine entitled Evangelical Christendom in January 1 of that year. The actual words of Cardinal Sarto (later Pope Pius X in 1903) says that the Pope represents Jesus Christ, not that he is Jesus Christ, as this misquote (and those who use it) love to say.

29 April 2014 at 19:53  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

So Len, you either are unaware of the outrageous lies about the Catholicism or you are trying to lead us up the garden path.

29 April 2014 at 19:56  
Blogger Intonsus said...

The Church of England tradition is to acknowledge recognised holiness of persons ("Saint", after all, means "holy", no more, and no less), in the manner of the early church, by including them in the calendar (or 'canon'). It sees no need for bureaurocracy or process, beyond agreeing that names should be added.
Thus Abp Laud, Abp Luwum, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer,inter alia, have been added to the calendar, and the holiness of their lives and example noted and celebrated.

30 April 2014 at 08:27  
Blogger Intonsus said...

The Church of England tradition is to acknowledge recognised holiness of persons ("Saint", after all, means "holy", no more, and no less), in the manner of the early church, by including them in the calendar (or 'canon'). It sees no need for bureaurocracy or process, beyond agreeing that names should be added.
Thus Abp Laud, Abp Luwum, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer,inter alia, have been added to the calendar, and the holiness of their lives and example noted and celebrated.

30 April 2014 at 08:27  
Blogger Len said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

30 April 2014 at 08:44  
Blogger Len said...


The question must be does the Pope 'represent' Christ or is the pope 'another' Christ a 'replacement' Christ.?

Let us take a look at this.

The term "vicar" comes from the Latin word vicarius, which means "instead of."
Jesus does indeed predict a “vicar” in the sense of a “replacement” for His physical presence here on earth. However, this “vicar of Christ” is not a priest, high priest, bishop, or pope. The only biblical “Vicar of Christ” is the Holy Spirit.

(I would like to think you are merely confused about this issue?.)

30 April 2014 at 09:24  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, no apologies for you spreading lies?

And yet again you get your 'facts' wrong. More distortions. The word 'vicar' means representative or deputy in the absence of a person.

The Latin 'vicarius' is anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior - "at second hand". Vicars exercise authority as agents and not in their own right.

What do you think Jesus meant when He said to Peter:
"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven ..."?

You do know about the OT significance of this expression? No?! Perhaps you should investigate it.

If a 'spirit' has led you to believe Saint Paul was possessed by a demon what other 'confusions' has this 'spirit' sowed in your mind?

30 April 2014 at 10:09  
Blogger Ruari said...

"John Paul II...despite having presided over the Vatican during the global scandal of child sex abuse and the proliferation of priestly paedophilia."

While I agree that HH JPII did not do anything like enough to confront 'this filth' (as his successor called it), your assertion does not really hold water. JPII was enPopeised in October 1978. It's a matter of fact that the tidal wave of abuse that seemed to overwhelm the Church - from Magdalene laundries, through children's homes and the creation of 'orphans' to fill them (and ditto Canada), the abuse in both Industrial schools and public schools in the UK, etc, etc, largely predated his reign. It did not stop entirely but you can see a 'bell curve' that rose strongly from 1958-70 and was already declining rapidly by 1978.

You may disagree with the decision to recognise JPII as a saint - and you are perfectly entitled to do so - but your assertion reproduced above is inaccurate. Some Archbishops Dublin might be a different matter...

30 April 2014 at 14:12  
Blogger Len said...

'Dodo' (seeing that you have totally reverted from' happy Jack' your latest deception. Your whole existence here on this blog is based on a lie.. not surprising that you have chosen Catholicism as your chosen religion?)

It will become apparent to anyone reading God`s Word that Catholicism is not of God and the choice is to either accept false doctrines or to come out of the Catholic religious system.
This is the time to choose to either follow Christ or false religion and if we follow false religion we will be drawn into the last days great deception and there will be no means of escape..

(Perhaps for some it is too late already?.)

30 April 2014 at 14:38  
Blogger Len said...

Oh Jack are really stooping low now as 'Dodo' re just cannot keep up your deception for long can you?. Dodo wrapped in the flesh of happy Jack?.

The Flesh 'religion' always rages against the Spirit..
Jesus was accused of having a demon by the Pharisees..I don`t suppose you can even see what you are doing?.
I truly pity you much hate concealed under a religious exterior..

30 April 2014 at 14:43  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, that's just ad hominem. The issue of Happy Jack's identity is irrelevant to the points being raised.

All you've peddled is lies about Catholicism - indeed, all Apostolic Christianity, including Anglicanism - from who knows what websites. Yet you have no answers when challenged.

And Saint Paul - what do you now say of him? You recently supported the 'proposition' that his writings were inspired by a demon. This is hardly a Biblical position!

Happy Jack will leave this 'debate' here apart from saying it is not him filled with rage and hate or him under a malign deception.

30 April 2014 at 16:39  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

HJ, if you can bear the idea of a NCR article, you might find this interesting

Though since the author of the article is a Presbyterian you might wonder why he's posting there at all. (The book he's reviewing was written by a Capuchin Franciscan though.) :)

30 April 2014 at 21:06  
Blogger Albert said...

Sr T,

I don't really see the excitement of that article. In Catholic teaching, the Pope is the head of the college of bishops. He is so, precisely by being a bishop. Matthew 18 has long been used to emphasize that. Peter is singled out to be given personally what is later given to all. The papacy is not a fourth apostolic order, but the order that all the other bishops have. Reminding us of Matthew 18 (as if it is a recently discovered text) just reminds us of the various poles of Catholic ecclesiology.

As for the suggestion that it reminds us of the dangers of relying on a single verse of Scripture for anything, no serious thinker is going to do that. There are other Petrine texts, and although they need to be seen in the light of other ecclesial texts, they cannot be ignored.

So while this Protestant ball-trickster uses a lot of hand waving conjuring to give the impression that the Petrine text of <Matthew 16 has disappeared, it's pretty obvious it has not and he's just ended up with a Catholic position.

30 April 2014 at 21:44  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Sister Tiberia, Happy Jack was simply challenging the old, worn untruth put forward by Len that Popes consider themselves a "replacement" for Christ.

You are aware of the formally stated Roman Catholic dogma of Vatican I?

Albert, there are indeed "other Petrine texts" that "cannot be ignored."

30 April 2014 at 22:49  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Just read that article and the key bit for Jack is this: "The difference is that Peter gets the "keys to the kingdom" in 16 while the community in 18 "receives the promise of Christ's abiding presence in their binding and loosing in a way that is not given to Peter.""

This seems an artificial and clumsy distinction. The significance of "the keys" is overlooked. Anyone familiar with the Old Testament and Jewish life would understand what Jesus was saying to Peter here.

30 April 2014 at 23:00  
Blogger Len said...

And len was challenging 'the old worn out untruth' that the Roman Catholic church was the church that Jesus founded through Peter.
For for this he was called 'a liar 'by not so happy Jack who then in his own inimitable style accused len of an ad hominem attack on not so happy Jack?.
Jacks past was thrown into the mix because Jack has been known to be hmmm quite devious on more than one occasion.
Anyway the truth is Peter himself never claimed to be' the rock' on which the church was built and never claimed sole ownership of 'the keys 'this is purely a Catholic invention.

Notice this is Peter speaking;

1 Pet. 2:8, speaking of Jesus says that he is "A stone of stumbling and a rock (petra) of offense"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed."

There are many more scriptures that speak(solely) of Jesus being 'The Rock'.

3 May 2014 at 13:18  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, now, now no more misrepresentations, please! Don't go all self righteous.

Happy Jack accused you of spreading lies to advance your position. He does not know if you believe the sources you post or not - whether it is ignorance of wilful - but you should exercise greater care.

You misrepresented the meaning of the word "vicar" and then peddled untruths about what past popes have supposedly said about themselves. Jack pointed both errors out and not a word from you.

Jack's belief is that Jesus established His Church and He established an Apostolic order and He gave Peter a special part in this.

Argue with Jesus about His choice of words when you meet Him. Whether you like it or not, Simon was renamed Cephas (Rock in Jesus' tongue) and Jesus gave him the Keys.

It is in scripture; go figure.

3 May 2014 at 15:03  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older