Big Government

Born into slavery and later ordained in Rome, the first African-American diocesan priest has just taken a big step toward being recognized as a Catholic saint.

On Monday, the Archdiocese of Chicago closed the final diocesan phase of the investigation into the life and virtues of Father Augustus Tolton (1854-1897).

The ceremony took place on the feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, with a large group of the faithful from the Dioceses of Springfield, Illinois and Jefferson City, Missouri in attendance.

Cardinal Francis George wished to preside personally over the closing ceremony of the process despite his poor health, saying he believes that promoting Fr. Tolton’s cause for sainthood was one of the most important things he did in all his years as Archbishop of Chicago.





  1. I think that would be absolutely wonderful. A Black American Saint. It would prove to the whole wide world (once again) that American Catholics are not racist; that America is not a racist nation, and we can all come together and get along.
    Next, a Jewish Saint? Can that be done? I think it would be a brilliant democrat move. Don’tcha think?

  2. A Saint in the New Testament is one who is saved by blood of the Lamb…Jesus

    According to Jude 1:3, the faith- “which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Each and every believer in Christ is a saint. Nowhere in the New Testament does the idea of a special class of “saints” exist.

    ALL believers before God are the same, having been justified and sanctified because they are “in Christ.”

  3. And yet in New testament times, the vast numbers of martyrs being slaughtered for their faith in the most gruesome ways made it obvious to everybody that not all saints were created equal. That’s another word that doesn’t appear in the New Testament: ‘equal.’ Likewise, nowhere does it say we are exactly the same, even though we all may be blessed with the same blessed, generous forgiveness.

    Thanks for this, Cardigan! I’d like to point out that even though this would be the first black priest saint from the CONUS, it certainly wouldn’t be the first black saint from this continent, or the western hemisphere. We have had that honor for centuries.

  4. @Menderman @Moe Tom, this is a preliminary stage so no miracle needs appear yet.

    A Cause for Canonization is opened a minimum of 5 yrs after death, typically in the diocese of the candidates death, during which the Diocese collects information on the persons life, writes a biography reads everything they ave written and conducts with those who knew them. The investigation is presented to Rome and at that point, the phrase “Servant of God” is used before the name.

    While there may be miracles attributed to the person at this point, it is not a requirement yet. At some point, the persons remains will be exhumed and examined – some are found to be incorrupt or not to have decayed. They also want to ensure that an improper cult as not grown around the person or their grave.

    Once these preliminary examinations have been made, the person may be declared to be a servant of god; here, the title “Venerable” may be used and prayer cards may be made to encourage people to pray for this persons intercession.

    At this point there are variables; one who has been martyred may be declared blessed by the Pope; others need to perform a miracle which are usually that someone with a serious medical problem prayed for intercession of the Venerable and God, to show us that person is in heaven with Him, performs the miracle due to the Venerable’s prayers. Here a feast day is established which may be used in that person’s home diocese and in places associated with that person; if a religious in all the houses of that order which is how I have been to celebrations of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta whose Missionaries of Charity asked to have Mass at my parish for her feast.

    For canonization we need another miracle after which parishes, schools, etc. may be named after the saint person and their feast day may be celebrated anywhere. Here, the Church declares that this person enjoys the Beatific vision.

  5. Menderman. You started it. Nan just gave us a dressing down. 10 Our Fathers, 10 Hail Mary’s, and 10 Glory Be’s for you. And an Act of Contrition.

  6. I am unfortunately uninformed about his service to the Lord. Let us hope that this recognition is not tainted by political expediency.

    Let’s get one thing straight though: Saints are recognized by The Church as saints, recognition does not make them saints. They made themselves a saint though their works here on this earth.

    NOTHING gets my blood up like reading where The Church here on earth is “making” some individual a saint of The Church, EXCEPT the changing of the rules like was done in the case of Pope JPII.

    That rule was put in place for a reason and that is that was the wholesale recognition of questionable candidates. Let us not be so arrogant that we think history cannot be repeated and that unqualified elevations (in the minds mortals) can not be repeated.

    Now, here is where I am going to get into trouble with my mother. The Church here on earth has recognized people as saints who simply are not deserving of that recognition.

    This only serves to give scandal to The Church and lessens how living, breathing Catholics view sainthood. It opens it up to question, where there should be absolutely no question, once recognition is made official.

    It offends me that the rules were changed for no other reason than to recognize a contemporary that “the youth could identify with.”

    It does NOTHING to elevate the candidate, he/she was a saint from the day they were qualified. Men cannot improve upon that by changing the criteria to ensure that the recognition is timely (on mankind’s schedule).

    Oh, I have heard the rationale and have weighed it carefully and it simply is too open to corruption to not keep the “archaic” rule in place.

    It is “progressrunivism” run a muck once again, and be clear on this: progressives have INFILTRATED The Church. They are not Catholics by any sane definition, they are innovators, or worse yet wreckers, who believe that contemporary thought trumps two thousand years of collective wisdom.

    They are not students who respect history, and worse yet they re not people who understand mankind as sinful and flawed (in their case), they simplemindedly and arrogantly think that “we are the ones we have been waiting for).” Where have we heard that before?

    I concede that the “rule” was put in place by men and can be changed by men. But who is this rule change serving?

    It certainly isn’t the candidate, they are in a place that is beyond time. They already know that they are recognized as saints here on earth, AND, if worthy of the honor, it means nothing additional to be recognized here on earth today or a hundred years hence.

    Every saint’s soul IS LIVING in a place that is beyond time and space. Ever person who ever lived on this earth’s soul is living in a place that is beyond time and space for that matter. Upon physical death they were aware. That just how eternity works.

    So who does this rule change serve? I say it is the progressive element, who really are not, and never have been in communion with The Church anyway. It serves the egos of the innovators, the progressive INFILTRATORS who USE The Church, to aggrandize themselves and further their desire to “fundamentally change” the institution that is The Church here on earth.

    Let us be clear, The Church was set up by Jesus Christ and it exists outside of meddling by whoever here on earth. The Church is pure, despite what man has done in interpreting and corrupting Her. The Church exists in it’s pure form, regardless of the corruptions introduced by Satan’s gents here on earth.

    Friends, we are living in a time and place that is ruled by “progressivism” and “progressivism,” if nothing else, is dedicated to increasing innocent human misery, suffering and death and their agenda includes turning as many souls as possible over to Satan for an eternity of misery and suffering as they can.

    The Church, Jesus warned us, will be run by man and man is fallible. What that should mean to all thinking people is that Catholics HAVE TO ACCEPT that The Church, here on earth, is not immune from INFILTRATION by the forces of evil.

    It simply will and that is why a true Catholic will “ride this phenomenon out,” they will not lose faith in The Church. And they have a duty to seek to “right the ship” and that means that they recognize corrosive influences, regardless of their title, and oppose them.

    Here is where this gets perilously close to exposing ones self to sinful judgement and how to not fall into that trap. If you recognize a person’s intentions are not consistent with Church teaching oppose them, but do not make the leap and judge them as an infiltrator. They may well be “well meaning but misguided” and as such are not a good fit and you have every reason to judge them as “not a good fit” for the position they hold. They may well be well intentioned but misguided, but then again they well may be Satan’s agents.

    Either way, that is enough to oppose them in good conscience and their agenda without making a judgement that is only God’s to make.

    It is a valid reason to question their judgement AND seek to have them removed from a position of influence, BUT it does not give license to judge their soul – UNLESS they are openly and aggressively advocating for abortion or some other mortal sin, and make it crystal clear which side they are on – I would suggest that prudence is in order.

    This is the hurdle I have not been able to clear and it is the question I have not the ability to reconcile to my satisfaction. But, let me put this out for your consideration. You could recognize that you could say: IF this person leaves this world without repenting to our Lord for their sins in that regard, that in your honest opinion they will “burn for all eternity in hell.” You are entitled to hold that opinion and God will not hold that against you. I think.

    But I digress: A saint is not a saint today, unless he/she was already a saint the day they went to be with our Lord. And what is more important: all of us that are not saints better get right with the lord before we leave this world. Getting right at the eleventh hour IS NOT, nor should it elevate us to saint hood, but it will ensure that our immortal soul has a place in heaven next to our generous and forgiving Lord.

    What is more: Is this YOUR eleventh hour?

    I am not one who thinks you must be in communion with The Catholic church here on earth. But I think that a SINCERE recognition that God exists and that the Judao/Christian understanding of God being the supreme being is necessary.

    If I am wrong, what have I lost? It may be the 72 virgins that Satan promised (on a bed of fire) maybe. Or nothing what the secular humanists promise: Nothing. Period. The ultimate. Full stop! That is like betting dollars for donuts and even though I am not a gambling man, that just does not make sense to me as a good bet to make.

  7. Be sure to find out whose cause of canonization is open in your area and get their prayer cards so you can help. Bishop Frederic Baraga’s cause is open; he was the First Bisop of Marquette; we probably need a miracle to get Abp. Fulton Sheen’s going as there’s a dispute between Manhattan and his childood diocese, Peoria maybe? Also Solanus Casey. There are bound to be some near you; Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN had a guy but his cause was transferred to his childhood diocese of Parma Italy.

  8. @Plain Jane, yes, Peoria started the cause but Manhattan has the remains and says neither he nor his family wanted him to be anywhere else. Please pray for a miracle.

  9. Hasty,
    You may be right about all that. I can’t argue with you. The Holy Spirit guides the Church in her actions regarding recognition, so there’s some authority there, but mindful we all must be of the temptations and snares. No doubt.

  10. Thanks Nan.

    I grew up watching Bishop Sheen. I knew a local man who worked vigorously for the cause of his sainthood.

  11. To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be SAINTS: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:7

    Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the SAINTS and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father. Colossians 1:2

    These ‘saints’ refers to all the believers who were alive, not dead.

    @Grunt, I have read and re-read your comment, but no matter how I try, I cannot get your point. Are you equating martyrdom to not being saintly? What does the suffering of the persecuted church have to do with my comment?
    Even today, some saints are called to martyrdom, and others are not (indeed a mystery), yet all are ‘saints’, yourself included.

    I am not being funny or flippant, but I ask in sincerity.

    By whose authority does one determine who can be classified as a saint?
    If you answer Jesus, (which would be the correct response) then Jesus calls all believers saints, not restricted to a select few.

    Pope John XV in 995 was the first to canonize saints. So am I to understand that every individual who was a believer but saved prior to 995 was not considered a saint? Am I also to understand that a pope supersede Christ?

  12. “[We] hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.”


    Cited in Double Cross by Chick Publications, p. 27
    p. 304, Benziger Brothers (1903)

    “For the Roman pontiff (pope), by reason of his office as VICAR OF CHRIST, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal POWER over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise UNHINDERED.”


    “We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely NECESSARY FOR the SALVATION of every human creature to be SUBJECT TO THE ROMAN PONTIFF (POPE).”


    “…I will be like the most High.”

  13. Jack,
    I’m glad you mentioned Chic Publications. I’ve been a reader for some time, but you should know that even evangelicals don’t really trust his stuff. Jimmy Akin, while an evangelical himself, ran into him once, which is hard, because he’s a pretty secretive character (thinks the Vatican is trying to kill him). Akin is now an apologist working for Catholic Answers ( He wrote a book about Chick:

    The Nightmare World of Jack Chick, by Jimmy Akin, 2008, Catholic Answers, Inc. (order through

    The only answer I have for you about your questions is that you are distorting everything you quote. No one supersedes Christ. Obviously. But if you’d responded to SuperToe when she quoted you Matthew 16:19, we might be able to have a discussion on what authority the RCC actually does claim. We can’t have that discussion as long as you ignore her quote, because the simple fact is that Jesus, in the gospels, gave his Apostles (especially Peter) and their ordained successors AUTHORITY to guard over the propagation of his good message. Nobody else.

    Do you really prefer a world in which no human being has any authority at all? Do you prefer 80,000 churches? All with a slightly different interpretation of the Gospel? Authority has a place, Bro. Show me a quote from either Testament that tells you earthly authority is a bad thing.

  14. After John XXIII and JohnPaul II, I’m not so sure about the whole ‘saint’ business.

    Seems to be morphing into ‘celebrity.’

  15. Tim,
    You could be right, but a dead celebrity who’s admired for serving God is better than a live Miley Cyrus.

    On the other hand, Lady Gaga and Sophia Vergara really kicked ass in Machete Kills. Maybe they’ll make saint some day. 😉

  16. Grunt,

    In point of fact, I did respond to SuperToe. Go back and check it out.

    ““All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2Tim. 3:16-17

    I’m sorry if it Scripture is not good enough, it is my ultimate authority.

    However, I do not see that Super Toe responded to my question…how is it I am required to respond to your questions (which I did) but no one is required to respond to mine? Where is Super Toe? Besides, her question to me was not regarding her quote on Matthew as you claim; rather, she simply inserted that as a support to her position, and did not request anything else from me. What she did ask, is a Scripture verse supporting ‘Sola Scriptura’. However, I did also respond to her quote of Matthew. “Super toe, your quote is erroneous; the word ‘church’ refers to the body of believers, not a physical building or institution. Perhaps you should do a topical study on ‘church’ in the New Testament.

    As for your ‘it’s a fact’ comment, I am afraid you, my friend are the one distorting Scripture for the same reason I gave to SuperToe above.

    Derived from the Greek Πετρος (Petros) meaning “stone”. This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name Cephas, meaning “stone” in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle Simon by Jesus.

    You chide non-Catholics for Sola Scriptura, while Catholics hold the church, the pope and Catholic doctrines that are in direct opposition or contrary to the teachings of Scripture as supreme authority. If you say I am distorting; then please clarify for me, if the quotes are out of context, then again, put them in their proper context, because as it stands, saying so does not make it so.

    Incidentally, in my original comment I never made mention of supporting Sola Scriptura, my whole issue was CHANGING AND DISTORTING THE word of God, changing laws, and commands or implementing as laws doctrines that are contrary to Scripture and claiming man’s (pope) authority over that of Christ. The first comment Super Toe originally made was a red herring, a distraction to avoid the truth and uncomfortable comment I made, she then used Ad hominem to further avoid the issue in order to eliminate the need to refute my comment.

    In the end, you claim we cannot have a discussion until I answer your question (or Super Toe’s) yet do not feel compelled to answer mine and simply hand it over to someone else (Ann Barnhardt).

    Look, I was an altar boy, I did my catechism, I did the whole nine yards, I am not trying to belittle or marginalize Catholics, but rather, I am simply attempting to understand why it is you accept what you do when it is contrary to Scriptures. You alone assumed and implied I support or adhere to Sola Scriptura, though I never personally claimed I did. Why are Catholics so easily offended when non-Catholics use Scripture? Is it perhaps because most Catholics cannot defend the Bible but can only defend their church?

    Finally, Grunt, you mock me….again. Nowhere did I ever say earthly authority is wrong or bad…

  17. Excellent, Jack Daniels. Ditto, especially your first comment. I am a saint and so is everyone who knows, has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord – indeed saved by the Blood of The Lamb.

  18. 99th Squad Leader,

    Thank you.

    That was my whole point…we are all saints, including all Catholics who, as you succinctly put, ‘has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord – indeed saved by the Blood of The Lamb’…..I know many.

  19. @Jack Daniels, while it is true we are all called to be saints, not all of us will make it; those who turn from God won’t. We must go to Mass each Sunday, make confession at least annually during the Easter Season and live our lives according to Christ’s will. Oh, and “including all Catholics?” Keep in mind it was the Catholic Church that Christ founded. Not any protestant outfit; all of those have been founded by men who didn’t believe that Church teaching applied to them.

    And while we speak of the dead, those in Heaven are not truly dead; they live in Christ, and their feastday is typically the day of their death, memorializing their birth into heaven.

    You have to remember that many traditions have chanted over time as the Church doesn’t remain static. I posted information on the current steps in Canonization. Saints were initially acclaimed locally – such as when people chanted “Santo Subito” regarding John Paul II. Devotions to particular persons would spring up based on traditions and experiences of those who had asked for their intercession and had received miracles. It was an informal recognition of their sanctity, presumed based on the miraculous acts that God performed based on the saints prayers.

    In order to keep track of saints, to allow widespread devotions to saints and to ensure that only those deserving were named saints, a process began which has changed over time. The formal canonizations began only after the Great Schism; even today the Orthodox Church, because it isn’t one but has many independent bodies, doesn’t have standard saints from one Orthodox Church to another. For example, The Russian Orthodox Church has two branches and it was the American branch that first made the Romanovs passion-bearers; this is the lowest form of saint, analogous to martyrs as they were killed for their faith. Later, Moscow canonized them. Note that two of their servants, who were not Orthodox, but were killed with them, were canonized also.

  20. Jack,
    I’m having real trouble getting you to respond to the actual counterpoints we make. I’m not mocking. What’s so hard about resounding to the point of her question? You didn’t do that. Her point was that nowhere in Scripture does it say that Scripture is the ultimate authority. Yet you just stated that very non-Scriptural principle again. Why? Who told you Scripture could be the only ultimate authority? Scripture? Wrong. It’s not there. That was her point.

    And you didn’t respond to my point at all. I said, specifically, Matthew 16:19. That’s the other citation she made, but I mentioned it directly in my comment above. Yet you responded to 2 Timothy 3:16. Do you have a trouble with specific references to Book and Verse?

  21. @nan,

    ‘We are all called to be saints…’

    Wrong…we are all called to be saved…”This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be SAVED and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and ONE mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”-1 Tim 2:4

    ‘We must go to Mass each Sunday, make confession at least annually during the Easter Season.’

    Really where is that in Scripture? Though it is true that we are commended to – “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching” Heb 10”25 – there is no specific mandate dictating that we must meet each week…many saints in persecuted nations cannot do this. We were reminded to not forsake coming together so that no man would become an island unto himself and so that we may encourage one another.

    As for make confession,…again this is a RRC doctrine and not substantiated in the Bible, especially at Easter. Where does the idea of going to confession at Easter come from?…certainly nothing I have ever read in the Bible that could even remotely be construed as that. .” For there is one God, and ONE mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”,…1 Tim 2:5. Absolution and forgiveness of sins comes from God and God alone, not man. In other words we confess directly to God and our intercessor is Christ….not a priest in a confessional box

    ‘Keep in mind it was the Catholic Church that Christ founded. Not any protestant outfit’

    Wrong. Remember Catholic simply means universal…ergo the body of believers that are saved and born again, not an institution.
    As I stated to Grunt, and Super Toe, your belief is a fallacy and your verse to support your position is erroneous…again a doctrine of the RRC to legitimize its institution.

    There is NOWHERE in Scriptures that supports your statement.

    Salvation does not come from the church as taught….remember, I was raised a Catholic. Jesus states emphatically “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again…. “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. John 3

    Not only can one not enter the kingdom of God unless born again, Jesus teaches us that he will not even see it.

    Your points regarding the evolution of sainthood would be too long and convoluted to refute, however, say the word and I will provide you some links if you wish to read them. I also find it interesting that in your comment you indicate that the lowest of ‘saints’ are those who die for their faith…the martyrs. Scriptures however, elevates them to the highest of saints.

    “There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them”. Heb 11:35-38

    And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Rev 4:20

    As for the regular Joe six pack saint, Jesus said Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even GREATER things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12. This includes what you define as Miracles.

  22. Where in the Bible does it say to follow scripture alone?

    Only the Catholic Church has followed Christ’s teaching; if you forget, it was the Church that brought us the Bible.

    We are born again when we’re baptized; infant baptism has always been part of the Church – scripture gives us examples of those baptized together with their household in its entirety. Christ was baptized by John the Baptist as an example to show what we need to do.

    The lowest level of sainthood in the Orthodox Church is passion-bearers. Do not conflate that statement with anything about the Catholic Church.

    It is the Roman martyrology that is repeated at Mass; solely martyrs are named with the exception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her spouse Joseph.

    You keep saying that things aren’t in Scripture, not realizing that it’s Martin Luther’s heresy that you put above all.

  23. Oh, and the irony of you, with no authority, saying that the Catholic Church, which for 2000 years has been teaching Truth, has no authority? It is the Catholic Church against which the gates of Hell shall not prevail. You are one person, interpreting scripture as you choose. The Body of Christ is twofold; first it is the Eucharist, body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ; second, it is the members of His church.

  24. I was going to stay out of this fray, but it’s too important that people know the Truth. I encourage those who object to Jack Daniels comments, please study the Word of God for yourselves. It’s an individual responsibility, not a church’s on your behalf.
    Something to keep in mind, Jesus is a Jew. He was called a rabbi by his community and peers. He, Jesus Christ being God, created and obeyed the Levitical law on earth.
    @Jack Daniels – superior work, BTW, you may have some insights on the matter of Levitical law, the foundation of Judeo Christianity and how it framed catholic and protestant religions. I would like to know your thoughts.

  25. Yeah, except that “individual responsibility” is actually an innovation that developed in the last few hundred years, which ignores the fact that we must pay attention to Church authority on Earth. It’s always interesting that Protestants cherry pick scripture so they ignore what it actually says.

  26. “I encourage those who object to Jack Daniels comments, please study the Word of God for yourselves. It’s an individual responsibility, not a church’s on your behalf.”

    Wow. That’s not presumptuous at all. So you really think that Catholics don’t personally read the Bible? They just let the church do it for them? How many times have you read the Bible cover to cover? I bet I’ve done it just as many times, and that’s not just because I used to be a Protestant. To be a Catholic is to be steeped in BOTH Scripture and history. You seem to only have the one, and not very well.

    Having been one of you (an Evangelical) for a big chuck of my life, let me guess that you may be doing the same hypocritical thing that I used to do. You’re accusing others of not personally studying scripture while your most cherished theological principles, things like Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, suspension of the miraculous and rejection of apostolic authority, are not Biblical. Instead, they are things taught to you by men. Men like John Calvin, Jack Chick and the preacher who taught your Sunday school. They taught you like mine taught me, with conviction and force. But they were heretics nonetheless. Because they had no authority, and if you’d thought about it for a second, you’d realize that their principles were, themselves, non-Biblical. How sad.

  27. Jack Daniels,
    I think, because you’ve mentioned it a few times now, it’s important to respond to your claim that the word “church” doesn’t refer to “an institution” but on the body of believers who are born again. This is clearly what you believe, and you’ve stated it as fact, telling me that my interpretation is wrong. Ok, then. We disagree.

    Which of us is right? How can we decide? You say that the NT backs up your interpretation, and I agree that if you just read a few of the references, you might get that idea. But having read it ALL many times, I’m familiar with the many places where the institutional aspects of the church are discussed as well as the responsibilities of the priests and BISHOPS. Where did those friggin’ bishops come from, huh? How ordained them?

    And where did all those pesky bishops come from who attended the councils in the first few hundred years that established the canon of Scripture? And what were they doing at those councils when they weren’t arguing about the Books? They were saying Mass and celebrating the Sacrament of the Eucharist. You know, that thing you don’t do.

    You know how you could know that? You would know if you read the early Church writings YOURSELF instead of letting other men do that for you. Men with a vested interest in you not being aware of all that because it interferes with their gig of running their own churches with their own splinter congregations that pay for their kids to go to divinity school, so they can be preachers some day, even though they can never really have the authority to do that.

    You know who we should ask? Martin Luther. But he’d agree with me. He had a beef with the Church. Some of them were good ones. But he never wanted to break away from the church that Christ himself (NOT men) instituted. Right there in Matthew 16. Or don’t you read the Scriptures yourself?

  28. @Nan, individual responsibility started in the Garden of Eden. I stand by what I’ve stated.
    @GruntofMonteCristo, I can only share the truth as I’ve lived it and know it. As anyone would.
    Glad you read the Word – more power to you.
    Despite your assumptions, I absolutely believe in miracles and have experienced them myself, many times.
    Also, there is great respect for apostolic authority in the church I belong to, but at the same time we are taught to know God for ourselves and base our faith in Christ, for he alone is mediator between God and man. No force involve, just teaching. Our congregation is encouraged to use free will – not say your church doesn’t.

    For me, interpretation of God’s Word is given by the Holy Spirit and that’s who I depend on as I study scripture. I also talk to God anytime I want and He answers me, literally.
    Just letting you know some of the aspects of my relationship with God to show you where I’m coming from. You may or may not agree, I don’t have a problem with that.
    No, I’m not steeped in Catholic church history, but I am familiar with it because my father is Catholic – we’ve discussed it. I do know many things about Church history, however.

    This discussion could go on forever, and our views will never coincide, yet I still want the best for both of you and a lives filled with blessings.

  29. 99th,
    And to you, too, Brother. I actually DO agree with much that you’ve stated here, and I’m a firm believer in the personal relationship with Christ, praying and speaking and listening to him always, quite literally, as you said, and as St. Paul has said. My church states explicitly in its Catechism that its only role is to facilitate and encourage that very thing, so that we may love him and be with him forever, and so I’m always surprised and frustrated that those like Jack D are so persistent in their distaste for that church.

    I’m a bit surprised to see you agree so enthusiastically with what he’s said here, especially about Levitical Law and the Jewish aspects of Jesus’ mission. He’s been very critical of sacred tradition, for example, claiming it’s no more than a creation of men. The Jews did not see it that way, and they don’t see it that way today, as far as I know, so I wonder what you’re referring to. But that’s none of my business, I suppose.

  30. “Jack,I’m having real trouble getting you to respond to the actual counterpoints we make’.


    Here is my ORIGINAL comment. “When you place man in an unnatural environment,….removing the ability to engage with women on an intimate level…you will produce an unnatural effect….homosexuality and pedophilia”. There is NOWHERE in Scriptures that mandates a man to abandon his normal sexual desires and marry in order to serve God.
    This is a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church….not Scripture.

    “by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude;…1 Timothy 4:2-4

    Now here is Super Toes first comment: ‘Hey Jack, do me a favor…..
    Next time you want to quote scriptures as your basis for bashing the Catholic Church find me the source pertaining to “Sola Scriptura”’.

    Where EXACTLY did I refer to Sola Scriptura? And what does her comment have anything to do with what I said ORIGINALLY??? She threw out the red herring as a means of distraction.

    I did respond, you simply rejected it. Perhaps you should go back and re-read the entire comments in the original post and then re-read it….slowly.

    Grunt: “I’m not mocking. What’s so hard about resounding to the point of her question? You didn’t do that. Her point was that nowhere in Scripture does it say that Scripture is the ultimate authority.
    Yet you just stated that very non-Scriptural principle again. Why? Who told you Scripture could be the only ultimate authority? Scripture? Wrong. It’s not there. That was her point”.

    “Sorry to say, but you are both wrong… It is everywhere in Scriptures, both in the OT and NT. Just because you reject Scriptures does not invalidate it. The Bible does not say “Do not use tradition” or “Scripture alone is sufficient.” But the Bible does not say “The Trinity is three persons in one God” either, yet it is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity that tradition do not trump Scriptures: Matt. 21:42; John 2:22; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; 1 Peter 1:10-12; 2:2; 2 Peter 1:17-19, etc. Of course, Acts 17:11

    So, according to your logic, The Book of Mormon claiming to be another testament of Jesus Christ is valid? If not, why?

    Then you again Grunt: “And you didn’t respond to my point at all. I said, specifically, Matthew 16:19. That’s the other citation she made, but I mentioned it directly in my comment above. Yet you responded to 2 Timothy 3:16. Do you have a trouble with specific references to Book and Verse?

    No, but you seem to have difficulty in reading, as I did respond to your point, however, I did also respond to her quote of Matthew 16:19 as well as you, because you both used the same verse(s) here: “Super toe, your quote is erroneous; the word ‘church’ refers to the body of believers, not a physical building or institution. Perhaps you should do a topical study on ‘church’ in the New Testament.

    Then in one breath you say: “Jack, I know you’re not anti-Catholic, you just have a beef. Nothing wrong with that”, and in the next “I’m always surprised and frustrated that those like Jack D are so persistent in their distaste for that church.

    “He’s been very critical of sacred tradition”.

    Please, show me my direct quote opposing or criticizing all sacred traditions?

    And then from Nan: “Oh, and the irony of you, with no authority, saying that the Catholic Church, which for 2000 years has been teaching Truth, has no authority?
    –Nan, where did I specifically make that claim?

    And again…“You are one person, interpreting scripture as you choose.”

    How vulgar and ignorant you are Nan to make such a blatantly false accusation.

    And again, you Grunt: “You’re accusing others of not personally studying scripture while your most cherished theological principles, things like Sola Fide , Sola Scriptura, suspension of the miraculous and rejection of apostolic authority, are not Biblical. Instead, they are things taught to you by men. Men like John Calvin, Jack Chick and the preacher who taught your Sunday school. They taught you like mine taught me, with conviction and force. But they were heretics nonetheless. Because they had no authority, and if you’d thought about it for a second, you’d realize that their principles were themselves, non-Biblical. How sad.”

    You know what is sad? That you just accused me and 99th of things neither one of us claimed. You keep spewing Sola Scriptura when I NEVER….got it? NEVER once claimed Sola Scriptura. What is sad Grunt is that instead of celebrating Christ and rejoicing that you have a brother in Christ, who though may disagree with you on issues, who you can claim fellowship with. You choose not to, but rather condemn me, distort my words, make false claims of things I never said, presume on almost everything, and insult me personally….why?… because I offended your institution…. not Christ… not even you.
    Tell me, do you use this same method to study scripture and history?

    -I questioned the RRC, and not the individual; however you, Super Toe and Nan attack me personally.
    – the Jews at the time of Christ had blown the 10 commandments into over 613 laws and implemented traditions of men, not God and for this they were rebuked. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” Mat 23:13-15

    Nowhere have I ever stated that I oppose all sacred traditions, nowhere have I stated I support categorically Sola Scriptura…that alone was Your view and then expected me to defend what I never claimed!

    My contention is when sacred tradition trumps Scriptures, I do not accept. Do you honestly believe that the RRC is flawless and does not err ever? I have issues with the RRC, not the Catholic himself…I never said such things, you, Super Toe and Nan interpreted my issue as such.

    Regarding sacred traditions, when attacked by the Jews, He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition… you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Matt 15:3-6
    And again, ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in VAIN they worship Me, teaching as DOCTRINES the commandments of men.’ ”

    Do you think I blindly accept all things that are doctrine from the protestant churches as well? I do not.
    Man is inherently evil, and as such is prone to make mistakes; in everything, including hermeneutics….this is why we have pseudo-Christian cults.
    Do you believe that I am so arrogant as to think my views alone will bring the RRC to her knees? If I profess to be a follower of Christ and you all do as well, then why do you consider me an enemy when I speak the truth? Where have I stated that I have distaste for Catholics? Where have I questioned your salvation or your relationship with God? Where did I mock you or personally attacked you?
    Anyone who cannot accept that whatever denomination they belong to is possible of errors is deluded and blind.
    The debate on Sola Scriptures has been going on for some time now and those who do not accept it will argue against it, those who accept it will argue for it. I am to the opinion of a balance; unity on the fundamentals and diversity on the non-essentials, regardless of one’s denomination he adheres to.

    There is a place for sacred traditions, as there is place for personal liberty…as long as it does not collide with Scriptures or stand in direct opposition of the teachings of Christ.

    You and Nan err when you accuse me falsely of things or views that you alone have presumed of me, however I will say this to you Nan….My authority comes DIRECTLY from Jesus Christ. As a born-again, saved by the blood of the Lamb, and child of the living God. For all your pomp and history lesson, I can venture to say you have never read Scriptures in its entirety or you would know that we as individuals have authority in Christ…this is basic hermeneutics and a fundamental teaching of Christ, Paul, the apostles and the early church. Heb 8:10, Romans 3:27, Heb 4:16, Psalm 94:22, Isaiah 61:6, John 7:38, Romans 8:16, Heb 10:12, Matt 11:11, Psalm 91:2, 2Cor. 5:21, Gal. 4:6-7, Eph. 1:3, Acts 1:8, 1John 4:4 and Roman 8:1 to mention but a few.

    I prefer to study in the same method of the Bereans; “Now the Berean Jews …received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true”. Act 17:11

    Where do you find fault is this?

    At any rate, I am done.

  31. Jack,

    You just said: “I’m sorry if it Scripture is not good enough, it is my ultimate authority.” That’s the definition of Sola Scriptura. But you keep telling us we’re falsely accusing you of being an advocate of SS. Yet everything you’ve said, including your very first comment is predicated on a total acceptance of the principle of Scripture being the ultimate authority, a principle that you use but deny using. This is not a conversation. It’s a denialathon. I’m also glad it’s over.

  32. @Jack, what Grunt said about Sola Scriptura; you repeat that what others say is not found in scripture and say that it is your ultimate authority. That both indicates you practice sola scruptura and that you don’t recognize that the Catholic Church, the Church that brought you the scripture you so revere, has any authority.

    99th, no idea what your church is but how can it have respect for apostolic authority without apostolic succession; that’s the beauty of the Catholic Church. Jesus called the twelve to him and named them Apostles, they were the first bishops. Then, at the last supper he instituted the Eucharist, the beginning of the Church. Since then, every bishop has been named by a predecessor bishop, so each bishop is in an unbroken line of bishops going back to the apostles.

    With regard to celibate priests, we are a Church of both Scripture and Tradition; Christ himself said that celibacy was the better part although not all were cut out for it. Moreover, he chose Peter, a widower, as the first Pope. Celibate priests are a long-standing tradition that isn’t likely to change any time soon; my understanding is that protestants have their service on Sunday and a bible study one day a week and may have some volunteer activities besides. Catholic parishes have Mass at least 6 days a week and twice on Sunday. Larger parishes have Mass 2 or 3 times a day and 4 or 5 times on Sunday in addition to a full load of religious education for adults and children, RCIA which teaches those interested about the Church, culminating in their receipt of Sacraments at the Easter Vigil; communion is also taken to nursing homes and to those who are unable to attend Mass. In many parishes Confession is offered 6 days a week. And we have Adoration.

    I think Caesar said it best with regard to those who go it alone, outside the Church “That which men will they always believe.” Acting alone or without the Holy Spirit, man will say that what he wants is good and true when it isn’t. That’s why Henry VIII thought that it was good to marry his brother’s wife, good to divorce her when someone else came along and good to kill the ones that became inconvenient. Many many leave the Catholic Church, the home of Truth, because they believe they know better than the Church because their desires, which they believe to be good, are contrary to Her teaching

    With regard to pedophilia, it afflicts 2-3% of the population across the board and there are no more pedophile priests than there are pedophiles in the general population; by some calculations there are fewer. Note also that the ignorant statement that celibacy is an unnatural state ignores the fact that all unmarried are to be celibate; priests are not being asked to do anything that other single people are not asked to do. It is rather our society that is licentious and makes bad things good.

    Oh, and Jerry Sandusky is married and abused an adopted son among others. There are still pedophiles among the ranks of teachers as they’re passed around from school to school; same with coaches and scout leaders. All the scrutiny on priests does a disservice to the children.

    If people were concerned with more than persecuting the Church, they too would institute safe environment training, background checks for all priests, deacons, employees and volunteers working with children or vulnerable adults. But they don’t; I don’t know which kind of Lutheran she is, but a friend went through training that focused on how not to be accused if you’re an adult working with children. And the Orthodox have training for priests, deacons and employees but nothing for volunteers.

    You might also want to check out I Timothy and read it in its entirety as it clearly shows that after the Apostles, it will be those on whom they have laid their hands who have authority; those pesky bishops that Grunt mentioned, and, as previously stated, it is the Catholic Church that has unbroken apostolic succession, which is where She gets Her authority.

  33. Grunt/Nan

    Regardless of our difference of opinion on issues, I have no animosity towards either of you.
    Anyone who is a follower of Christ, regardless of their denomination is a brother.

    I wish you both well

  34. Jack,
    Thanks, and likewise. I feel the same way, Brother. Forgive my defensiveness and general grouchiness. It’s ’cause I’m getting to be an old fart. But I really do ‘get’ the reasons for these disagreements and should have more patience with them. Lord knows, my church, like most it seems, sucks plenty bad at times and is full of idiots and sinners, so I can’t blame anybody for having issues.

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