the catholic church, as it is, from Christ?


#1

How can the catholic church claim to be from Christ when for a majority of its existence it has been involved in dirty politics, judging and punishing, including torture, sensoring, and most recently the child sex abuse scandal which involves every level of the church in which many bishops and cardinals and even the pope protected abusers.

We could list papal actions and many church leaders who for centuries oppressed believers and unbelievers alike. The oppression and violence from the church is a concrete historical fact.

Of course you must mention those who have done good in the church, HOWEVER, these people are without a doubt separated from the political interests, authority, and the judging eye of the church. You don’t need a political institution to share the love of Christ. The church likes to have people focus on these people to take attention away from their dealings.

Just one example to read below. How can you claim the holy spirit is working in the church when the pope did this? Or does the holy spirit not always work in the church?

Please dont write this off and start rambling about the reformed, at least many of those denominations have never burned anyone at the stake or have the “vicor of Christ” condone torture, or become an international dominating force through an empire.

Ad extirpanda (named for its Latin incipit) was a papal bull, promulgated on Wednesday, May 15, 1252, by Pope Innocent IV, which explicitly authorized (and defined the appropriate circumstances for) the use of torture by the Inquisition for eliciting confessions from heretics.


#2

Ah, hypocrisy. Always a challenging problem.

We want the Church to be filled with nothing but saints, but find it is filled exclusively with sinners. Some are worse than others, and some rise to positions of power and authority.

Does this mean their authority is somehow voided?

The Jewish Church of Jesus' day was also filled with (and run by) sinners. No Christian (or Jew) doubts that God established the Jewish Church through the covenant with Moses. But what about those sinful Jewish leaders - the very ones who handed Jesus over to be crucified. What about their authority? Was it void, or was it still valid?

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ [Peter's] seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. [Matt 23:1-3]

Hmmm. Looks like we gotta respect divinely-appointed leadership, even when the leaders are sinners.


#3

I'm not meaning to attack or disrespect, I just find it hard to reconcile the actions of church leadership.

I understand we are all sinners, but there is a point of pure evil. For instance sinners usually confess their sins and genuinely feel sorry and want to change, did the popes that condoned torture and killing ask foregiveness or feel sorry? When leadership unquestionably goes against Christ, I think there is a problem. We can say the same with the refomers who do not follow certain commands of Christ, but torture and murder is different.

Leaders that committed such crimes should have been taken from power. Christ's own words would have shown their horrid crimes to truth, life, love, compassion and mercy.


#4

Judas was among the 12 Apostles. From Day 1 the Church was never free from scandal.


#5

[quote="incloz, post:3, topic:299659"]
I'm not meaning to attack or disrespect, I just find it hard to reconcile the actions of church leadership.

I understand we are all sinners, but there is a point of pure evil. For instance sinners usually confess their sins and genuinely feel sorry and want to change, did the popes that condoned torture and killing ask foregiveness or feel sorry? When leadership unquestionably goes against Christ, I think there is a problem. We can say the same with the refomers who do not follow certain commands of Christ, but torture and murder is different

[/quote]

If we use the criteria that you suggest, there is no Church worth joining. Not one. All are corrupted with sinful humans. Is there a solution to this?

Yes! Separate the flawed human failings from what the Church teaches. Do not be distracted by human behavior. Look at the twelve. After three years they did not understand Jesus - and they heard the Gospel from our Lord's mouth! They walked with Him. They ate, slept, traveled, taught, saw and performed miracles beside Him. Yet, they quarreled. They disobeyed. They denied. They betrayed. They abandoned Him.

In short, they were human just as you and I are. How did their behavior alter the Gospel message that they taught? It did not.

Try this: instead of looking at the sins of the Church (which are not taught), concentrate on the truth that the Church teaches. Since Christ Himself used sinful men to proclaim the Gospel, can we seriously expect anything less in any other age? The Church is an assembly of sinful individuals who are striving - some better than others - toward the perfection which God desires from each of us.

The Church is the organization which proclaims the Gospel through which we strive toward that goal. Christ did not establish a perfect Church - none of us would qualify for membership. He left a perfect truth in the custody of an imperfect Church so that we could follow that truth and find redemption.


#6

And, the rest of the twelve were martyrs for the Lord! (Even though all but John ran away when He was crucified.)


#7

[quote="incloz, post:1, topic:299659"]

Ad extirpanda (named for its Latin incipit) was a papal bull, promulgated on Wednesday, May 15, 1252, by Pope Innocent IV, which explicitly authorized (and defined the appropriate circumstances for) the use of torture by the Inquisition for eliciting confessions from heretics.

[/quote]

Do all papal bulls become church teaching?

I don't know.


#8

[quote="po18guy, post:5, topic:299659"]
If we use the criteria that you suggest, there is no Church worth joining. Not one. All are corrupted with sinful humans. Is there a solution to this?

Yes! Separate the flawed human failings from what the Church teaches. Do not be distracted by human behavior. Look at the twelve. After three years they did not understand Jesus - and they heard the Gospel from our Lord's mouth! They walked with Him. They ate, slept, traveled, taught, saw and performed miracles beside Him. Yet, they quarreled. They disobeyed. They denied. They betrayed. They abandoned Him.

In short, they were human just as you and I are. How did their behavior alter the Gospel message that they taught? It did not.

Try this: instead of looking at the sins of the Church (which are not taught), concentrate on the truth that the Church teaches. Since Christ Himself used sinful men to proclaim the Gospel, can we seriously expect anything less in any other age? The Church is an assembly of sinful individuals who are striving - some better than others - toward the perfection which God desires from each of us.

The Church is the organization which proclaims the Gospel through which we strive toward that goal. Christ did not establish a perfect Church - none of us would qualify for membership. He left a perfect truth in the custody of an imperfect Church so that we could follow that truth and find redemption.

[/quote]

Thank you, This really helps my thought process on this matter. I have always struggled with certain things the church has done. I just feel there should be some accountability for serious actions I suppose. I'm sure there is now, but I dont think there was in the past.

Thanks again.


#9

[quote="incloz, post:3, topic:299659"]
I'm not meaning to attack or disrespect, I just find it hard to reconcile the actions of church leadership.

I understand we are all sinners, but there is a point of pure evil. For instance sinners usually confess their sins and genuinely feel sorry and want to change, did the popes that condoned torture and killing ask foregiveness or feel sorry? When leadership unquestionably goes against Christ, I think there is a problem. We can say the same with the refomers who do not follow certain commands of Christ, but torture and murder is different.

Leaders that committed such crimes should have been taken from power. Christ's own words would have shown their horrid crimes to truth, life, love, compassion and mercy.

[/quote]

Do a little Googling into the German protestant crimes against Catholics; the protestant persecution of the Anabaptists; the killing and exile of Catholics under Henry VIII and others. Evil is well distributed. Yet, it is best documented only when the Catholic Church is accused. Why is that?


#10

[quote="po18guy, post:5, topic:299659"]
If we use the criteria that you suggest, there is no Church worth joining. Not one. All are corrupted with sinful humans. Is there a solution to this?

Yes! Separate the flawed human failings from what the Church teaches. Do not be distracted by human behavior. Look at the twelve. After three years they did not understand Jesus - and they heard the Gospel from our Lord's mouth! They walked with Him. They ate, slept, traveled, taught, saw and performed miracles beside Him. Yet, they quarreled. They disobeyed. They denied. They betrayed. They abandoned Him.

In short, they were human just as you and I are. How did their behavior alter the Gospel message that they taught? It did not.

Try this: instead of looking at the sins of the Church (which are not taught), concentrate on the truth that the Church teaches. Since Christ Himself used sinful men to proclaim the Gospel, can we seriously expect anything less in any other age? The Church is an assembly of sinful individuals who are striving - some better than others - toward the perfection which God desires from each of us.

The Church is the organization which proclaims the Gospel through which we strive toward that goal. Christ did not establish a perfect Church - none of us would qualify for membership. He left a perfect truth in the custody of an imperfect Church so that we could follow that truth and find redemption.

[/quote]

Very well stated, thank you!


#11

[quote="incloz, post:3, topic:299659"]
I'm not meaning to attack or disrespect,

[/quote]

Glad you clarified this since your opening post was....uummmmm.....rather direct...:whistle:

I just find it hard to reconcile the actions of church leadership.

Join the club....To me one of the amazing things about the Church is how it survived some of it's leaders.

Something I kind of wonder though....How many corrupt OT leaders were there? Even David "a man after God's heart" committed terrible crimes. Yet - for all of the corruption, the wandering from the path of righteousness that can be seen in the OT...even to God allowing the nation to be overrun and carried off...to 10 of the 12 tribes being lost forever...For all of that, did the nation of Israel ever stop being God's "Chosen people"?

something to think about...

I understand we are all sinners, but there is a point of pure evil.

Yes we are all sinners...and Yes there is a point of "pure evil" but can you say that the various church leaders actually reached the point of pure evil.

For instance sinners usually confess their sins and genuinely feel sorry and want to change, did the popes that condoned torture and killing ask forgiveness or feel sorry?

I don't know if they did or not...do you?

When leadership unquestionably goes against Christ, I think there is a problem.

Amen - but the question is - does the problem with an individual invalidate essential Church teaching.

Have you ever known a protestant pastor or evangelist or Scholar to misinterpret the Bible? Does the error of the individual invalidate the teachings of the Bible?

The answer of course is no it does not. Same with the Church - the teachings are true regardless of the less than stellar performance of some of the office-holders.

We can say the same with the reformers who do not follow certain commands of Christ, but torture and murder is different.

hhmmmm....Not to disrespect, but why is it that reformers are described as "not following certain commands of Christ", while Catholic leaders are intimated to be approaching "pure evil"...and as far as torture and murder is concerned...Reformers have sufficient blood on their hands as well.

Leaders that committed such crimes should have been taken from power. Christ's own words would have shown their horrid crimes to truth, life, love, compassion and mercy.

It is, in my opinion, unfortunate that the western Church became so tangled in temporal matters and civil rule after the fall of the western Empire. But that is just what happened. The Holy Spirit WAS active though and managed to protect the Church and her teachings.

Here is something to consider though...
The more corrupt a leader, the less interested he was in things spiritual. Since he was not that interested in spiritual matters he did not attempt to "fool around with" or subvert Church teachings on matters of faith and morals.

The more holy leaders were, of course not about to subvert the teachings of Christ and His Church.

The Eastern Church developed differently since the Empire there did not collapse for another millenia or so. It developed along side the civil rulers and while having great influence, the patriarchs of the East did not wear the dual hats of spiritual leader and temporal leader. Of course this system had it's problems too as it tended to make the Church a bit more subservient to the state.

In any event... It is good that the Pope is no longer the King of vast temporal lands.

Peace
James


#12

[quote="incloz, post:8, topic:299659"]
Thank you, This really helps my thought process on this matter. I have always struggled with certain things the church has done. I just feel there should be some accountability for serious actions I suppose. I'm sure there is now, but I dont think there was in the past.

Thanks again.

[/quote]

To paraphrase...."Accountability is mine saith the Lord"....:D

Peace
James


#13

[quote="Dorothy, post:6, topic:299659"]
And, the rest of the twelve were martyrs for the Lord! (Even though all but John ran away when He was crucified.)

[/quote]

John was the only apostle at the foot of the Cross, the one asked to watch over Jesus' Mother and the only one not to die a martyr's death.

to the op: there are sex abusers in other christian churches, you just don't hear about them as often because the media loves to hate the Catholic church.


#14

You will note that, in the times of worst behaviors, the Church and civil political powers were intertwined. In those times, it was unavoidable. In Germany, at the time of Luther’s rebellion, both sides allied themselves with opposing political powers - partially for self-preservation. The Church holds no such power today in the civil realm, which is as it should be. Yet, the Church must still drive civil doctrine, as she alone teaches the unchanging moral foundation of society.


#15

Ubi homines, ibi miseriae.


#16

[quote="incloz, post:1, topic:299659"]
How can the catholic church claim to be from Christ when for a majority of its existence it has been involved in dirty politics, judging and punishing, including torture, sensoring, and most recently the child sex abuse scandal which involves every level of the church in which many bishops and cardinals and even the pope protected abusers.

[/quote]

Though scandalous, Church leaders mistreating others was anticipated in the New Testament. So, if some do mistreat others, it should be no real surprise to anyone.

Jesus Christ promised that those Church leaders who mistreated others would be harshly judged by Him at His return. See Luke 12:41-48 and Matthew 24:45-51

St. Paul counselled St. Timothy on how to deal with Church leaders accused of mistreating others. See Timothy 5:19-22.


#17

[quote="fames, post:15, topic:299659"]
Ubi homines, ibi miseriae.

[/quote]

I was going to go with "To err is human; to forgive, divine", but that works too. :)


#18

[quote="incloz, post:3, topic:299659"]
I'm not meaning to attack or disrespect, I just find it hard to reconcile the actions of church leadership.

I understand we are all sinners, but there is a point of pure evil. For instance sinners usually confess their sins and genuinely feel sorry and want to change, did the popes that condoned torture and killing ask foregiveness or feel sorry? When leadership unquestionably goes against Christ, I think there is a problem. We can say the same with the refomers who do not follow certain commands of Christ, but torture and murder is different.

Leaders that committed such crimes should have been taken from power. Christ's own words would have shown their horrid crimes to truth, life, love, compassion and mercy.

[/quote]

Many Catholics have been killed by protestant hands as well

fatherjoe.wordpress.com/instructions/debates/the-inquisition-the-church/protestants-have-killed-many-more-catholics/

And the sex abuse scandal is not only a Catholic problem either.

blogs.denverpost.com/hark/2010/05/25/scandal-creates-contempt-for-catholic-clergy/39/

Not only that, but there is a huge problem with mismanaging funds in protestant circles!

What does this have to do with truth claims? Nothing:thumbsup:


#19

People are sinful. Sinful people do stupid things. Sometimes they get put in charge of the Church at some level. The fact that there is still a Church after 2000 years of politics, corruption, abuse, and sin in general has got to mean something. If the Church were a merely human organization it would have folded in about 33 AD when all its leaders ran away because the Founder was being executed. But the Founder was no ordinary Founder; after His death He rose again. And the leaders were no ordinary leaders, they had a mandate from the Founder and the guidance of His Spirit. And they hand that on, even down to the present age, because the Founder loves his Bride the Church, and will be with her always.

-ACEGC


#20

http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h244/corona_stellarum/Smilies/QATC.gif


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